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

Title II.Originally published as Das iiberlieferungsgeschichtliche Problem des Pentateuch (BZAW. R. Berlin: W.106 ISSN 0309-0787 ISBN 1-85075-229-X .—Critical studies I. 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. English 222. Bible.. Pentateuch. 17. The problem of the process of transmission in the Pentateuch 1. O. Series III.T. 1977) © 1977 by Walter de Gruyter & Co. Überlieferungsgeschichtliche Problem des Pentateuch. de Gruyter.

4 The function of the promise addresses in the composition of the patriarchal story 2.1 The variety of layers in the process of transmission of the Abraham tradition 2.3 The blessing 2.2 The promise of descendants 2.1 The promise of the land The new approach of Gerhard von Rad 12 1.3 The documentary hypothesis maintained 24 1.2 The story of Abraham 2.5 The absence of any definite reworking in Exodus-Numbers 43 43 48 49 52 55 57 61 64 66 68 74 84 .3.1 The stories of Joseph.2 The modification of this approach by Martin Noth 16 1.3.CONTENTS Foreword Translator's Note 7 9 Chapter 1 THE PROCESS OF TRANSMISSION AND THE DOCUMENTARY HYPOTHESIS 11 1.3 The promises to the patriarchs 2.2.4 The guidance 2. Jacob.3.3.2 The promises in the divine addresses in the Abraham story 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 2.5 The combination of individual promise themes 2. and Isaac 2.

2 The problem of the Yahwist 3.1 The patriarchal story 4.6 The larger units' in Exodus-Numbers 2.4 Genesis 23 3.4.2 Theological'passages 3.1 Literary analysis of the Yahwist 3.3. 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 .4.2.3 The problem of a priestly narrative in the patriarchal story 3.2. but a layer of priestly reworking 3.4.2 The other 'larger units' 4.2.5 Synthesis Chapter 4 CONCLUSIONS AND CONSEQUENCES 4.3.4 No priestly narrative.4 Reasons against the acceptance of a Yahwistic work 3.3 The function of the priestly layer 3.2 The Jacob story 3.1 Dissent from the documentary hypothesis The larger units' in the Pentateuch 4.7 Traces of an over-arching reworking Chapter 3 CRITICISM OF PENTATEUCHAL CRITICISM 3.3.1 The stories of Joseph and Isaac 3.2.3 The theology of the Yahwist 3.2.1 Chronological notes 3.3 The problem of the synthesizing.3 The Abraham story 3.2.2 Characteristics of the work of the Yahwist 3.4 The priestly layer in the patriarchal story 3.1 The present state of pentateuchal criticism 3.3.

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

July 1975 Rolf Rendtorff . SchriesheinVHeidelberg. I thank the German Research Council (Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft) which enabled me to spend a first period of study in Jerusalem in 1966.8 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.

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

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

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

in The Problem of the Hexateuch and Other Essays. 3 M. (Eng. 1966). Von Rad's perception was that this process of disintegration pertained especially to the final form of the Hexateuch. p.2 and M. 1966). that the process was irreversible'. At the same time. 1972. 1984. The present work is an attempt to show the reasons for this and to advance a step further towards this goal.1981. 1972. 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. 573. 1981). The Form-Critical Problem of the Hexateuch' (1938. and the study of individual pieces of material on the other.1 Gerhard von Rod's new approach Von Rad wanted to break a deadlock that had been reached in pentateuchal (hexateuchal) research. They are: G. 2 G. have had a lasting influence on pentateuchal studies. has not yet developed fully.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. in its attempt to progress by means of the traditio-historical approach. and partly to carry them further.1 But the consequence of this procedure is that the form-critical approach. which was deemed to be no longer worth any serious discussion in itself. now according to the other'. these two works. (1966-1974) Eng. Noth. (German 1948) Eng. A History of Pentateuchal Traditions. 1-78. And so I deliberately take up two works which. Genesis 1-11. since Gunkel. von Rad. vague or clear.3 The problem of the process of transmission of pentateuchal traditions will be developed here on the basis of. Eng. A History of Pentateuchal Traditions (1948. 1. pp. rather it served merely as a 1 C. von Rad. Eng. I take up their approaches partly in a critical vein. Westermann. Noth. (German 1938). He saw that the reaso for the general 'scholarly lassitude' lay in this: the analysis of the Pentateuch into sources on the one hand. . and in critical dialogue with. had introduced 'a process of disintegration on a large scale': and many scholars had been paralysed *by an awareness. 'The Form-Critical Problem of the Hexateuch'.

. op. were collected and passed on. But it has diverted attention from the one-sided emphasis on literary analysis.. and further. originally independent.1 Von Rad has given new and substantial stimulus to hexateuchal (pentateuchal) study with this fresh approach. are in some way recognizable'. the subdivision of the pentateuchal traditions into several independent complexes of tradition. 3 See below. Finally. as was von Rad's intention. it has led beyond the treatment of individual pieces of material which featured so prominently in the works of Gunkel and Gressmann. The term Hexateuch will be used only where it is actually required. and so to a new 1 Von Rad.3. He did so by means of form-criticism. has been of far-reaching significance for Old Testament theology.3 However. 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. which were originally independent. even when the authors quoted speak of the Hexateuch. 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'. the recognition that there was available a variety of complexes of tradition. 2 We will speak of the Pentateuch in what follows. the other. to a concern for the larger units. the importance that he ascribes to the Tabwist' for the final shape of the Pentateuch. pp. cit. 1-3.. Von Rad therefore directed attention once more to this final form. Two principal features of von Rad's work have had further consequences for the Pentateuch itself: the one. attempting to understand the whole Hexateuch as 'genre' (Gattung) 'from which it must be supposed that.2 and his initiative has had far-reaching effects beyond this area. has not yet thrown clearer light on the final shape of the Pentateuch. . 1.1. His thesis of the 'small historical Credo' has provoked a variety of form-critical and traditio-historical works. 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.

p. the question remains unresolved..5 Von Rad underscores here the internal connection with the pentateuchal traditions by means of the orientation towards the taking of the land.. cit. as Noth had done. following Pedersen.. 1953 (2nd edn). clearly recognizable as a selfcontained unit. in the long run. 'in all its essential elements issued into a fixed form' before the tradition settled down to its literary shape in the liexateuchal sources JE.. 3 J. ZAW 52 (1934) 161-75. the question arises whether one can identify the 'collector' of the Gilgal stories.14 The Process of Transmission in the Pentateuch branch of the study of the historical process of tradition. but just as much a question of genre'.6 However. 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. Exodus 19-24. right up to the whole as it now lies before us. cit. I understand Uberlieferungsgeschichte as the whole process of the formation of the tradition which extends from origin of the smallest units. p. 76. 4 Von Rad. op. and so for him 'it is no longer just a literary question with J and E. Pedersen. perhaps even the end stage'. op. this latter is to be regarded 'rather as a later procedure.. 6 Von Rad.. Tassahfest und Passahlegende'. with the Yahwist and the Elohist'. Das Buck Josua. following 1 With Noth. And so von Rad insists that the process of formation of this complex has. 'We have here. pp.e. 52. 2 Von Rad.3 regards Exodus 1-14 as a further complex of tradition. With regard to the patriarchal story von Rad. 1938. 1. i.. op. 18-19. separate him completely from them.2 Von Rad. With regard to the tradition of the occupation of the land.1 Von Rad recognizes several larger complexes of tradition in the Pentateuch which stand out clearly from each other. cit.4 This tradition too was at the disposal of the Yahwist. 5 M. whose method of working Noth had discerned in his commentary on Joshua. with one of the pentateuchal sources or. op. Noth. This is the case above all with the Sinai tradition. p. across their broader development and insertion into smaller and larger collections. .. a genuine exodus tradition which is clearly distinct from the tradition of the occupation of the land'. cit.

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'. though it is all but impossible. von Rad believes that he can recognize him in the arrangement of the cult-stories of Bethel (28. The Documentary Hypothesis 15 Gunkel. attention to the smallest. cit. many texts are linked which.59. but 'which is certainly the work of the Yahwist'. 59.. 3 Von Rad sees the beginning of the Penuel story only in v. 4 Op.. ci*.5 just as is the 'joining together of the primeval story and the story of salvation' (12. to demonstrate the part that the Yahwist played'. the union of the Jacob-Esau cycle and the Jacob-Laban cycle.4 The primeval story too forms an independent composition whose shape derives 'from a series of originally independent pieces of material'. v. cif.1.1-3). and fitted it into his work'.1 As for the Jacob stories. 6 Op. on the other hand. On the one hand.. form critically.. p. recognized different groups of stories of very different kinds. p. and they are fitted together with each other so as to produce new larger units.64. apart from intelligent guessing. For the Abraham stories. and for this certain principles of organization clearly hold good.p.2S-33).59. 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.2 At best. 2 Ibid.24). are of quite different kinds. op.p. cif..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.6 These studies of von Rad gave pentateuchal research a new theme. The most conspicious feature is the regular thematic matching within the individual complexes of tradition. 25 (Eng. units had passed over the old source analysis which took its point of departure from the final form of the text. was already complete'. p.10-22) and Penuel (32.. originally independent. 58. the independence of these larger units. 5 Op. Since Gunkel. 65. and the quite different and independent devel1 Ibid.. ..

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. far beyond the limits of pentateuchal research. The close association consists in this. . H. Ringgren. 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'. This distinction of larger complexes of tradition. 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. EvTh 27 (1967) 138-53. reached their final shape out of various elements in the course of transmission of the traditions. has taken a strong hold on the attention of subsequent scholarship. 'Literarkritik und Traditionsgeschichte'. Uberlieferungsgeschichte'. 'Literarkritik. R. 2 M. has become the determining leitmotif of all Old Testament scholarship. ThLZ 91 (1966) 641-50. cf.16 The Process of Transmission in the Pentateuch opment of each of them. since that moment. that Noth is likewise concerned here with the very same stage of the process of development from which the works lying before us. Formgeschichte. each coloured by its own theme. namely the deuteronomic and chronistic histories.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. Rendtorff. Die sammelnden und bearbeitenden Geschichtswerke im Alien Testament. Noth. 1957 (2nd edn).2 In his introductory remarks Noth takes his stand explicitly in strict and historical continuity with von Rad's work on the Hexateuch.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. 1. 1943. In 1943 he published 'Studies in the History of the Process of Traditions'. Uberlieferungsgeschichtliche Studien. The idea takes a somewhat different form in the Uppsala-school'. emerges.

Die . Despite the different starting points.2).17 17 of cases at hand to him in which. cit. 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. ThBl 6 (1927) 333-37 = Kleine Schriften 1. Eissfeldt. Noth dealt with the final stage of the process of development. Gunkel had directed his special attention to the original.2 And so.. under the catch-phrase 'the history of the process of tradition' (Uberlieferungsgeschichte). p. 'Die kleinste literarische Einheit in den Erzahlungbiichern des AT'. One can well invoke Gunkel himself in this context. pp. smaller or larger. In 1 Op. An Introduction to the Old Testament (1964. But neither approach took as the object of its study the path that led from the individual traditions to the larger complexes. or not at all. O. 1965. Both approaches reckon with larger complexes of tradition. n. and he describes this Yahwist as the 'forerunner' of his Deuteronomist (op. 2. arranged in the way in which he could or wanted to use it for his total presentation. 123-49. The work as a whole had acquired the shape in which it now lies before us out of a series of complexes of tradition. 61-62.3 They form the proper object of form-critical study. working with the presupposition that in each case the complexes have grown together or been assembled out of individual traditions. 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'. 3 Already. 2 Noth compares the work of the Deuteronomist expressly with that work which von Rad attributes to the Yahwist.. both the intent and statement of the question agree in substance with the task that von Rad undertook for the Pentateuch. already formed. at least in several instances. individual traditions which were often described as the 'smallest literary units'. cit. 3rd edn) Eng.1962.1 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. 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).

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. This would be in a way the first phase of the process of the history of tradition. However. the limits of Noth's methodological approach must be pointed out. however. at the very beginning of the formation of the traditions. 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. We must now take up a further critical objection. 2). have made these the objects of their study and exegesis. Consequently.1 And so once more it is back to Gunkel's approach. 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. Gressmann.. Gunkel. . thence. but. p. is not the subsequent and final result of the simple grouping together and arranging in sequence of individual traditions and individual complexes o traditions. and after him von Rad in particular as well as others. Consequently. then.. Methodologically.. von Rad and others proceeded by and large in this way without.. there was a small number of themes that were essential for the faith of the Israelite tribes' (op. His work at the same time bypasses the concrete text. 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. already noted. the further question of the pre-history of the text and the traditions embodied in it would be put. In many ways. they have followed them further to the formation of larger complexes of tradition and ultimately to the final literary stage. 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. having developed a comprehensive understanding of the task of the study of the process of the history of tradition. cit. Gunkel. to the procedure of Noth's traditio-historical programme It is the fact that Noth..22 The Process of Transmission in the Pentateuch research.

however large. the traditional 1 Op.par. has meaning only as an answer to this question. cols. III. The contexts in which each individual text now stands. The Documentary Hypothesis 23 literary growth of the tradition. RGG (3rd edn) 1961.1 Some fundamental remarks are necessary here. 1966. the statement of the question is basically altered. a fundamental distinction must be made between literary analysis on the one hand. 211-17. The documentary hypothe sis. EKL. are not yet a matter of attention in this approach. Rendtorff. However. cols.. 2-5. Also: R. seeking to explain the tensions and contradictions and inquiring about its coherence with the context. as soon as access to the pentateuchal texts is set in the context of the form-critical method.2 So then. one should consult the appropriate sections in the standard introductions to the OT. the 'smallest literary unit'. Ploger. 2 For other hypotheses about the formation of the Pentateuch.1. 109-14. taken as a whole. R. O. 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. . and on the other. 'Pentateuch'. cit. as it puts the question of unity to a concrete. in particular for the 'complementary hypothesis' and the 'fragmentary hypothesis'. This does not mean that there is no place for questions of literary criticism. presupposes the existence of 'pentateuchal sources' in the traditional literary-critical sense and includes them within his presentation of the traditio-historical process. Smend. The form-critical method and its application mean a basically new approach in the matter of access to the pentateuchal texts. 1413-19. but rather the concrete individual text. when all is said. and it is with this that we are now concerned. consists of several. BHHW. individual text. III. accounts of the whole pentateuchal material which have been brought together in a 'redaction'. inasmuch as it explains that the present text. 'Pentateuch'. cols. whatever different shapes it may take. 'Pentateuchkritik'. 1959. The Pentateuch as a whole as it lies before us is no longer the point of departure. The work begins as it were at the opposite end. The different 'sources' of the Pentateuch was the answer to a particular question. originally independent. nor must they be the primary concern of the interpreter.

one is only justified in accepting continuous 'sources' in the Pentateuch when. both adhered to source division. belong to particular 'sources' in the sense of continuous 'documents'. This could give rise to the impression that the two methods belonged together or in any case could be joined together with- . One consists in the fact that Gunkel. 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. 1. and likewise his pupil Gressmann. 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. From the standpoint of the traditio-historical approach. the source theory offers the most enlightening answer to the questions which arise from the final shape of the text. shows that this is scarcely ever the case. 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 all this has nothing at all to do with the question of whether individual elements. to pursue the whole process of the formation of the tradition right up to the present final literary stage. I see two main reasons for this. This requires that the literary-critical questions as well be put at all phases of the traditio-historical inquiry. 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. often it is only then that one can delimit the original smallest unit. Recent study of the Pentateuch. as is so often the case today. however. But they must be related on each occasion to the stage of the formation of the tradition and limited thereby.3.24 The Process of Transmission in the Pentateuch division into sources. which literary criticism has shown to be separate from each other. It is a fundamental error when literary-critical work on the Pentateuch is equated with source division in the traditional sense.

never forgetting that it is a hypothesis. but have arisen in the course of a history'. EvTh 27 (1967) 148ff. so that this fact in itself. Gunkel. The second. 368.5 In the long run therefore it is merely a matter of giving terms to passages which. . Genesis. but of collections which are not from one mould and cannot have been completed at one stroke. p.e. one must try in the meantime to come to terms with the hypothesis of JE. He attributed to him the central role in the definitive formation of the Hexateuch. 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. and particularly Gressmann. are separate from each other. In his view the distinction of J from E can only rarely be carried out with any sort of certainty'. that it is clear that Gunkel. from the literarycritical point of view. The sources have not each its own profile. but schools of narrators. and never reveal themselves with certainty'.4 and he adds: 'In many cases JE are nothing more than labels which can be exchanged at will. applied the separation of sources in a far less stringent manner than is generally done today. Ibid.2 And so he continues: "«F and 'E' therefore are not individual writers. Mose und seine Zeit. Nevertheless. p. He portrayed in a 1 2 3 4 5 So too Rendtorff. Ixxxiv. with the Tahwist' and the 'Elohist') it is not a question of unities or even of collocations of unities. Ibid. But for it to establish itself and to find justification for the abundance of variants. there is only a gradual awareness of the consequences of a new methodological approach. Gunkel emphasized that liere (i. the symbols JE are indispensable. considered from our present point of view. can say nothing about its methodological justification.3 Gressmann goes even a step further.1 The first thing to be said to this is that frequently in the history of research. What individual hands contributed to the whole is thus a matter of relative indifference because they differ very little individually. Above all. p. The Documentary Hypothesis 25 out difficulty. they did not see themselves in a position to recognize the 'Personalities' of the authors of the written sources.1. Ixxxv. even though they can lay claim only to relative validity'.

.1 and he worked out with particular emphasis that. up to this point. 52. anonymous process of growth' (op.2 In von Rad's view. 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'.3 The result is a 'massive work'. 'took up the material which had broken free from the cult and preserved it in the firm grip of his literary composition'. a theological achievement is to be seen here. in a powerful theological work. Von Rad.26 The Process of Transmission in the Pentateuch most impressive way the great achievement of the Yahwist as composer and moulder. Op. Von Rad discusses only the question. p. Op.. cit. one plan is at work'. Op. because he obviously saw in it no problem at all. without it being said explicitly. 59.27. often widely scattered. notes 17. pp. cit.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. to the basic on-going tradition'. before all else. cf. . 51. p. but that liere. a'*. 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.50. p. He underscored that in this case there could be no question of an anonymous growth. 67-68. the Yahwist is the one who.. p.7 That this role belongs to the Yahwist derives apparently..35. whether instead of reckoning with one 'great collector and moulder* it were better to reckon with 'a gradual. on the same literary level as the other sources.. 48. cit. traditions are gathered together in a powerful work of composition under a dominant idea and become literature'. Op. pp.4 and 'it is astounding how firmly it was possible to bind the bewildering abundance of the assembled traditions. p. p..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. 52). more basic question.29. without giving him any notable pre-eminence. He touches only the other. cit.. But the switch-points have already been set in another direction.. speaks of the Yahwist only in a casual way..53. 15-16. cit. 7 Op..

But these problems are of a different sort from what we are discussing here.74. introduces nothing essentially new over and above what has been discussed.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. 'the form of the Hexateuch is definitively his'. cit. the Yahwist. The form of the Hexateuch is definitively the Yahwist's'.1. The Documentary Hypothesis 27 writer'. There is here so to speak a re-discovery of the personality of the authors of the sources. The stratification of E and P in relationship to J and their binding together is a purely literary matter and so. p. though only of one of them. But this is to be understood. 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. . This shows that von Rad has here simply taken over something already available. and in essence can only be understood. 2 Op. as something theological. and 1 Op. 50-51. of their growth and their readers is after all open and is likely to remain so. 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. 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. from the form-critical point of view. pp. cit. and the 'stratification' of the two other sources in relationship to this work remains basically opaque.. rather the Yahwist has provided a basic arrangement. an entirely satisfying and explicable phenomenon! The question of the origin and destiny of these two works.1 But the possibility that another than the Yahwist could have brought to completion this 'massive work of composition' is never considered..

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

. 'So the whole weight of the theology of J lies at the beginning of his narrative. one must prescind from the entity G. cit. . 41.1-3 as a link passage between the primeval story and the patriarchal story. Op. Ibid. everything depends.236. which were normative when the material being passed on was given literary formulation. The Documentary Hypothesis 29 cretely and clearly to this fact'. almost completely out of consideration'.. at any rate. cit. Von Rad's judgment of the Yahwist as a theologian depends on his view of him as a composer of a work. according to the state of things. 12. And it must be underscored yet again that von Rad's judgment depends precisely on the work being a theological one. But if E is 'to remain. and it is this view that Noth contests..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'.1.1 Von Rad's basic view of the Yahwist can in fact scarcely be contested more concretely and clearly. Thus the essential connection between the work of composition and the theology on which. 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. for von Rad.. cit.2 And so there can be no theological judgment on the basic composition that Noth. Subsequently. He was satisfied to have said at the beginning how he wanted the rest to be understood'. What is Noth's position here? When discussing the 'question of the basic ideas. Noth is in broad agreement with von Rad in his explanation of the Yahwistic primeval story and his understanding of Gen. ascribes to 'G'. 236. is abolished.3 then 'the theology of J is all the more clearly before us'. he kept almost exclusively to the traditional stuff of the pentateuchal narrative without intervening to alter or expand its substance. By reducing the contribution of 1 Op... p..4 It finds expression above all in the arrangement of the primeval story and its binding with the subsequent Pentateuch narrative'. 2 3 4 5 Op. because we can know nothing at all of its wording1. p. p. in this. Ibid.

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

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

the larger units within the Pentateuch. The peculiar nature of these larger units has already been outlined in the presentation of von Rad's study. and before all.1 They are a synthesis. the formation of individual 'cycles of stories'. on the other hand. must be presented so as to acquire. 1.2. 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. so far as they have been worked out hitherto. under this point of view. and finally. This makes clear the means used in the course of formation of the individual stories and the comprehensive 1 See above. The patriarchal stories of Genesis will be chosen as the example. and how this relates to the composition of coherent written 'sources' whose existence is generally accepted. the gradual collecting of the narratives about the individual patriarchs. and in brief. the methodological pre-requisites must first be broadly established and developed. It requires very thorough special studies for the individual complexes of tradition/larger units. of texts which form-critically and because of their origin are often to be judged very differently. 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. forming a new unit. The different stages of the process of the formation of the tradition can be clearly discerned in them: the independent individual narratives. Hence. the putting together of the stories about the patriarchs so as to form a larger unit. 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.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. a survey of the material gathered together in the Pentateuch. . the intent of what follows is twofold: on the one hand. 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.

6 But he speaks also of the 'apparently unconnected block(s) in the primeval story which are heaped together*. . 1971.H. and the literature is broadly at one in accepting this self-delimitation. there is broad agreement that the passages stand side by side with no intrinsic link between them. The Documentary Hypothesis 33 larger units and the theolological intentions at work in the process of assembling and reworking them. Gunkel writes: The passages begin almost always quite abruptly. 7 Op. 12.64. 4 Genesis. 5 Op. One can put the division between the two after Gen. Something must be said first of all about the larger units within the Pentateuch. 'Genesis 12. 6 Genesis 1-11. 12.1-3 is regarded as 'a clamp between the primeval event and the patriarchal story'. 11. in Probleme biblischer Theologie. which once more lead back to the basic question that this work puts.2 In both cases Gen. In the table on the same page. 525-54.26 (Westermann). cit. 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'. G. von Rad distinguishes a 'series of cycles of material originally independent'. p. 2. 566. and of revolts and their consequences'. Festschrift.3 As for the matter of the primeval story in detail. the last group stands under the heading 'Crime and Punishment'. Steck.. 65. And finally.p.1-3 (von Rad)1 or after Gen. pp.5 Westermann tries to arrange the texts into three narrative groups: 'narratives of creation.4 Following Gunkel. 2 Genesis 1-11.. The current stage of exegesis sees a clear link between the primeval story and the patriarchal story at the beginning of the Abraham story. p. For the most part they delimit themselves. The primeval story forms the first larger unit. von Rad. It comprises Genesis 1-11. p.p.64. of achievements. they are in rough sequence or are in complete contradiction'. cit.1. 562 3 O.1-3 und die Urgeschichte des Jahwisten'. some reflections are added on the relationship of the larger units so formed to other units.

. p. Gunkel speaks of a 'thread as the last collector will have conceived it'. Genesis 1-11. Op. an arrangement which derives from the primeval story as a whole and keeps this whole always in sight'.. Ibid.2 and Westermann puts the question whether these apparently unconnected texts are 'somehow. Neither.p.4 So then. rather must it be said 'that the style of the narratives in Genesis 1-11 is basically different from that in Genesis 12-50.3 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. The patriarchal story (Gen. cit. the two types belong to two fundamentally different styles and lines of tradition'. Interpreters try now to work out the intention of the composition and the means used to give it its shape. the whole has the effect of a tightly closed unit. they seem to have been put together as if by one who wanted to impose a unified form. when and at what stage of the formation of the tradition these very different complexes were joined together. is immediately obvious so that very different answers are given. over-arching. of course. and to what extent a common.1 von Rad sees in the composition 'the directing of the individual pieces of material towards a goal'. 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. .64. 12-50) forms the next larger 1 2 3 4 Genesis. reworking can be discerned. 1. 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.34 The Process of Transmission in the Pentateuch present composition. joined with each other in a much more profound arrangement than appears at first sight. so that despite this disparity in the individual elements.. nevertheless.

and Joseph stories are the result of the juxtaposition and collection of single narratives. synthetic shaping of the narrative materials into larger complexes. The second half of the Moses story portrays as its general theme the departure of Israel from Sinai for the promised land.2 But Gressmann did not himself divide this large narrative complex further. Jacob. Op. And more—the first three have been further joined together to form a larger unit. 387. and on the other a clearly recognizable. Gressmann writes: 'The cycle of stories of Exodus 1. pp. 386.5 Pedersen brought a completely new approach to Exodus 1—15 when he considered it as a coherent larger unit. The stories from the birth of Moses to the arrival of Israel at Sinai3 form a coherent unit up to a point. Apart from some smaller cycles of stories within this larger framework.5. p.p.. However. cit. this group of stories in the Moses narrative 'splits into two loose halves'. cit..1-15. Op.4 Let us turn then to the first part of the Moses story. Mose und seine Zeit. The dominant intentions and the way in which they have been arranged are clearly evident. The Documentary Haypothesis 35 unit.388. but after this the contours fade'. see below under 2. cif. it will be dealt with in detail in the second chapter. 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.6 He understands the 1 2 3 4 5 6 For further detail. Op. . 387-88.1 Various suggestions have been made for the delineation of larger units in the following books of the Pentateuch.21 can be followed clearly. 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'. Isaac.. p. it is only in the patriarchal story that they are found in this form.1. Each of the patriarchal stories in itself exhibits such a synthesizing reworking: each of the Abraham.

p.1 And so an entirely new statement of the question arises here. 66. he divides the material into a great 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Op. Op. A History.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. Exodus heading on p. 'Die vermeintliche 'Passah- . pp. constructed according to a definite plan'. pp. cit. Despite all unevennesses and secondary additions. confined to the narrative of the plagues of Egypt'. he brings chs. See in particular S. Further. however 'in a somewhat more narrowly drawn framework. must be judged quite differently than from a purely narrative point of view. 19. Mowinckel. p.. In particular. which have been at work in the process of assembling the individual pieces of material. pp. the legend forms a well articulated whole from beginning to end (Exod. cit.3 Noth also accepts the validity of Pedersen's thesis. 156ff.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'.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. 167. the intentions and the method of arrangement.7 On the one side. in a quite different place. growth and formation of larger units presents itself in a radically altered form. 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'.. but also from that of the history of cult and liturgy. 201ff. It is clear that with such presuppositions the question of the origin. 1-15). 51-52. The Form-critical Problem'. Op. 1-15 together again under the heading The leading out from Egypt'. 51-52...6 Fohrer too has analysed the way in which Exodus 1-15 cohere. Noth deals with the traditions of the birth and call of Moses. cit. as they have taken form in Exodus 14.5 But in the division of the book of Exodus in his commentary. it considers the history of the growth of larger units within the Pentateuch not only from the point of view of narrative. including in his approach the criticism by exegetes of Pedersen.

. On the contrary.1 He rejects 'the fiction of a deep cleft that has made it possible to accept an isolated exodus tradition'. That larger whole was the occupation of the land by Moses' host which comprised the tradition of how the exodus came about. he regards it as a 'cult legend'. but on the other. 'Ex 1-15 in Bezug auf die Frage: Literarkritik und Traditionskritik'. (the exodus is 'not an isolated event to be evaluated separately and by itself). and continues: In reality. 2 Op. Besides the difference. i. this would require an entirely new approach.e. 1 Uberlieferung und Geschichte des Exodus. 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. The Documentary Hypothesis 37 37 number of smaller narrative 'elements'. between a predominantly narrative approach and a cultic approach. already mentioned. Eine Analyse von Ex 115. 3 See below under 2. .6. 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.2 It is obvious that very different methods and statements of the question clash in this discussion of Exodus 1-15.1964. Following Mowinckel. and originally too the settlement in east Jordan'.?. 122. the further wandering right up to the entrance into the territory of east Jordan. 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. 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. and finally.. p. then the death of the charismatic leader Moses. Within the framework of our statement of the question..1. the exodus. cit.3 Von Rad has laid special emphasis on the independence of the Sinai passage. Exodus 1-15 is directed to a continuation of and forms a part of a more comprehensive historical narrative. he brings into legende'. STL 5 (1952) 66-88. in particular of Exodus 19-24. 121. the firm alliance with Yahweh on Sinai.

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.1 The criticism is concerned primarily with the question—do the different complexes of tradition just mentioned belong together or not. Perlitt. 11. But it is just this discussion that has stood in the way of further study of the formation and structure of the Sinai pericope.3 Gressmann accepted as a basis for all these narratives a collection of stories connected with the sanctuary at Kadesh. Exodus 19 through to Numbers 10 contains an assortment of narrative. .14-21 the transition to the theme 'leading into the land' (A History. According to him they 1 Cf. 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. A. and was joined with them only at a relatively later stage. Noth sees in Num. V. 148). 2 Further pointers in this direction may be found in L. to be sure.14-36. 81.2 It lies before us in a form that reflects a wild growth. separated out certain blocks of material.1-20. Num.13. nor can it be. Introduction to the Old Testament. and legal material which has been thrown together. Beyerlin. Weiser. 206). 'further sojourn in the wilderness'. 1969. Bundestheologie im Alien Testament. Hence. 20. 1970.38 The Process of Transmission in the Pentateuch relief once more the cultic. esp. in particular different codes of law. p.13. 16-18. cultic. 3 There are differences in the delimitation of the ending of this complex of tradition. But as to how all this came together into a whole. pp. pp. Fritz represents an opposite view: Israel in der Wiiste. 'Preparation for and beginning of the "conquest"' (Numbers. 156-238. W. 20 and 21. Herkunft und Geschichte der altesten Sinaitraditionen. as it is so obvious. and Num. and so in his commentary on Numbers he makes the division: Num. This opinion has been frequently criticised. this question has still not really been put. Traditionsgeschichtliche Untersuchung der Wiistenuberlieferung des Jahwisten. 11-20). and whether there were any guiding principles of arrangement or discernable intent at work in the process. liturgical function of this collection. chs. there have been scarcely any studies of the question of how the extremely different elements within the Sinai pericope came together. Scholarship has. 20.

164-65.. 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. Noth. The reason for this was that the texts in Joshua were regarded as belonging to the pentateuchal 'sources'. the question of how the narratives came together in their present arrangement has remained undiscussed. pp. 8. cit. cit. Beyerlin. especially with the question of whether Kadesh was ever a cultic centre for some or for all the Israelite tribes. demonstrated above all for Genesis. religio-historical. Op. and traditio-historical questions.1.6 This means nothing else than that Noth here regarded the occupation of the land traditions in Joshua as an independent larger unit. The reason for this is that it is not possible to arrive at internally coherent complexes for each of the accepted continuous narrative threads'.5 Instead of continuous 'sources' in the narrative parts of Joshua. p. Cf. Das Buck Josua.3 But in all this. 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. Fritz. 165ff. The Documentary Hypothesis 39 were only separated from each other by the inset Sinai passages in the course of the traditio-historical development. A History. Mose und seine Zeit. Noth has contested this thesis very strongly.. pp.1 This question is in turn linked with historical.2 while others have accepted and elaborated it.. That is. p. .4 Finally. p. who gathered together older traditions which had already been partly joined together and shaped them into a 'very old whole unit'. op. And so one spoke of the 'Hexateuch'. came to the conclusion 'the literary-critical theses. 12. pp. 25. 386-87. are not valid for the book of Joshua in the same enlightening way. of particular interest is the discussion of the traditions about the Israelites' occupation of the land. It is surely not due to chance that this occurred in 1 2 3 4 5 6 Gressmann. 1953 (2nd edn). he discerned a 'collector' at work. in his analysis of the book of Joshua. op. cit.

and hence any talk of the *Hexateuch'. and Moses'. However. again without the consequences for the source theory as a whole being drawn. and has been accepted by various scholars. 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'. Noth's thesis has subsequently undergone lively discussion.1 Further. 'its description would have ended with the reports of the death of Miriam. . or will not. texts. on the basis of his analysis of the book of Joshua. 16. draw the consequence of this. 2 Ibid. 1 A History. hence. requires a continuation in the account of the occupation of west Jordan. on the other. On the one hand Noth. this raised a new difficulty for Noth. 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'.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. p. in Noth's opinion. namely to submit the source theory itself to critical examination. he cannot. there is the fact that the book of Numbers begins with the account of the occupation of east Jordan which. It seemed certain to him that the old pentateuchal sources originally ended up with a narrative of the occupation of the land. Noth thinks that this original description of the occupation of the land in the older pentateuchal sources has Tbeen lost'. the reason being that the priestly writing is not interested in the theme of the occupation of the land. And so he makes use of a redactor who has simply left out' the postulated.2 One can only say that this is an extremely precarious way of arguing. 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. but not extant. cannot maintain the thesis of continuous sources which end up with the description of the occupation of the land. Aaron.

Hence. to someone called the *Yahwist'. 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. Research so far has acknowledged the independent character of most of these units. As a consequence. Moses and exodus. each is assembled from various elements of tradition and presents itself now as a more or less self-contained unit. there . in essence. for our context. plays no role. to what pentateuchal 'source' does it belong. sojourn in the desert. The question whether it belongs to a broader context is to be put only at a later stage. try consistently to show that the present unity is a constituent part of a larger context. These works. From the traditio-historical point of view the question. 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. together with other 'theological' reworkings. however. there is no ground for regarding this larger unit as. 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.1. One is often content to designate a reworking as 'theological' so as to ascribe it. 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. occupation of the land. Sinai. and there are already many individual studies. 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'. a large unit consisting of traditions about the occupation of the land has been clearly discerned in the book of Joshua. the question of the independence is not dealt with. Each of these units has its own characteristic profile. But for the Pentateuch itself there would be the further question. namely the pentateuchal 'sources'. The Documentary Hypothesis 41 41 It must be stated that. anything else than an independent complex of tradition within the Pentateuch. the patriarchal story.

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'. . It is only in a next step in the comparison that the question of the larger complexes can be put.

it marks itself off. Jacob. the constituent parts of which are not appropriately designated as stories (Sagen). we must call it a Novelle'. However. from the other cycles of stories by its very tight structure'. one must go further and say: the Joseph story is not a cycle of stories.397. he says finally: 'After all this. as in other places.Chapter 2 THE PATRIARCHAL STORIES AS EXAMPLES OF A 'LARGER UNIT' WITHIN THE FRAMEWORK OF THE PENTATEUCH 2.1 After describing the characteristics of the style and the manner of presentation in further detail. he shows himself remarkably uncertain in his choice of form-critical terminology. The notion 'Novelle' has prevailed by and large for the Joseph story. he continues: 'However. It is clear that here. Its special character within the patriarchal story 1 Genesis. .. we can scarcely call this narrative a story (Sage). 2 Op.. p. rather 'the boundaries between the passages are very fluid'. and Isaac Within the patriarchal story several independent narrative complexes delineate themselves clearly. 396. but also for literary arrangements. Nevertheless. 37-50) stands out most clearly of all.2 Consequently. hence. The special place of the Joseph story (Gen.p. Gunkel uses the notion 'cycle of stories' in a very undefined sense.1 The stories of Joseph. Gunkel has already described appositely its peculiar character. It is scarcely possible to separate the individual stories from each other.. he describes it as 'a well arranged whole'. cit. not only to describe a collection of originally independent stories. First of all he writes: The Joseph story is a cycle of stories (Sagenkranz)'.

He specifies the arrangement that has thus arisen in the following way: This Jacob—Esau-Laban cycle is.9. p.19-34. but an artistic arrangement: a sequence of cross references forwards and backwards. however.44 The Process of Transmission in the Pentateuch has been generally acknowledged.17 onwards under the heading 'Jacob in Canaan'. Gunkel has also made the most important observations on the Jacob story. 28. 1966 (German 1953).. 25. p. 5 Ibid. 292. p. pp. deals with the passages from 33.1 This classification among the traditions influenced by Egyptian wisdom sets it apart even further from the rest of the tradition in the patriarchal story. 27.3 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'. 29—31).. and especially the conclusion which reverts to the beginning. p.23-33 [22-32]) in particular play an important role in the overall arrangement. cit.. binds the whole together into a unit'. 6 Op.. cit.10-22) and Penuel (Gen. 368.. Mahanaim.1-28.6 Von Rad has taken Gunkel's observations further at this point by showing that the two cultic stories of Bethel (Gen. 4 Op. Von Rad has added a further dimension with his thesis: 'the Joseph story is a didactic wisdom narrative which. both in the ideal that it presents and in its basic theological thinking. not a loose juxtaposition from the hand of a redactor. They stand at the two turning points of Jacob's journey: 1 The Joseph Narrative and Ancient Wisdom'. in The Problem of the Hexateuch and Other Essays. 292-300. and Shechem which *have been distributed along the trail of Jacob's travels'. Penuel. 291. 32. 3 Op. 292. It is a question here of the cult stories of Bethel. . is dependent on many a stimulus of Egyptian origin'. cit. 2 Gunkel. accordingly. 32-3G2) and the Jacob-Laban stories (Gen. He has shown that it consists in essence of two large narrative complexes: the Jacob-Esau stories (Gen.

3 Ibid. The literature for the most part does not evaluate this chapter as an independent section. 7 Op.3 There is an independent Isaac story in Genesis 26. A History. 'inserted.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'. On the one hand it is fitted more firmly into the 'units of tradition'. 5 'The Form-critical Problem'. p. 1972. he speaks of a 'group of coherent narratives dominating the whole which can be called one large narrative'. and so surmised that the chapter liad been taken from another related book of stories and inserted here'. Gunkel puts it under the heading 'Survey of the arrangement of the JE Jacob stories'.5 In his Genesis commentary. 12-33) which have been incorporated into the broad arrangement of the Jacob stories'. 26. 2 'Arten der Erzahlung in der Genesis'.. The Jacob story then is supported by these two narratives 'as a bridge is supported by two pylons. 4 Op. 6 Op.. it is in brackets with the additional note. 270. by a later hand'. self-contained Abraham narratives and the Joseph narrative which forms a much larger and more complex unit'.. 98ff. however. 1964. it is different. p. 39.6-11. . but looks at it within the frame of the Jacob story.6 Gunkel too felt that the Isaac story had its own character over against the other patriarchal stories. p. cit. p. 291.1 Westermann too has arrived at essentially the same division and designation of the constituent parts of the Jacob narrative. pp. cit. esp. 57. on the other. The Patriarchal Stories 45 the flight from Esau and the retreat from Laban. 87..2.. These two narrative blocks are clearly markers indicating the guiding theological thinking*. 9-91. Looking at the entire block of the Jacob-EsauLaban cycle of stories.7 1 Genesis.. p. in Forschung am Alien Testament. cit. also Noth. pp.4 Von Rad writes: 'There are only two stories about Isaac (Gen..

2 Gunkel. 300. cit. as it were in a compendium and with the help of a continuous narrative thread. He describes the chapter as a 'string of units of tradition that are in part only sketchy and in themselves not tightly knit'. Kessler. p. 6 Op. in my opinion. 29. 3 Von Rad. 360.108. Both have their parallels in the Abraham story (Gen. J) *has assembled here.6 Both are linked as narrative by the cross reference in v. 21. Diss. proposed convincing reasons arguing that each of the Isaac variants are. theol. all that the narrative tradition known to him about Isaac was aware of. Noth stated that the author (for him. from the traditio-historical standpoint. p. The chapter is described as a 'mosaic'.. 5 A History.3 Kessler.10-20 and 20. pp.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'.1-18. The remaining parts of the chapter are of a very different type. Genesis. 103ff. on the basis of his study of the cross references within the chapter. 4 R. 7 However. comes finally to the conclusion that 'Genesis 26 presents a narrative cluster that can be described as "the Isaac cluster"'. Genesis.. 23 and 25. Two divine addresses stand out which have no immediate connection with the narrative context (w. 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. 12. 1972. 1 and 6. . 104. Uberlieferungsgeschichtliche Untersuchung der expliziten Querverbindungen innerhalb des vorpriestlichen Pentateuchs. 2-4. older. Neuer Commentar fiber die Genesis. 1887. 24).7 Verses 1 Franz Delitzsch.22-32). 7-11) and the making of the treaty with Abimelech of Gerar (w.4 We must pursue this question somewhat more closely. Die Querverweise im Pentateuch. Genesis 26 contains only two detailed narratives: 'the betrayal of the ancestress' (w.1 a passage which 'has not become a completely self-contained composition'. Heidelberg. p. 26-31).5 In fact.46 The Process of Transmission in the Pentateuch The independence of Genesis 26 with respect to the context is well underscored. the first divine address is linked to the context by w. p. Noth has. the second by w.

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

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. This would mean that. for the Isaac story. pp.18). nevertheless.25b. R. 19-20) and Sitnah (v. Genesis. in Probleme biblischer Theologie. 32-33).1 One must conceive of these as the work of a collector or author of a particular group of texts who. gives the impression of a relatively self-contained piece. with the naming of each well on each occasion. he wanted to take into his work. and the undisputed use of the well Rehoboth (v.2 What typifies these short communications is precisely that they have not been turned into story. von Rad. 1971. despite the variety of the material. Festschrift G. 'Beobachtungen zur altisraelitischen Geschichtsschreibung anhand der Geschichte vom Aufstieg Davids'. side by side with developed narratives. there are a number of brief passages with self-contained pieces of information which have not been developed into narratives.2 The story of Abraham The interpreter of the Abraham traditions is faced with a 1 Cf. p. Rendtorff. made use as well of information which had not been formed into narrative. 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). 15 and 18 very differently. In the story of David's rise (1 Sam.22). for example. 432ff. 2 Gunkel.302.48 The Process of Transmission in the Pentateuch places in the Old Testament. and finally about the naming of the newly dug well at Beersheba in association with the treaty between Isaac and Abimelech (w. faced with these short communictions. 21). 2. . 428-39. There is no reason for considering the tradition in w. but which. esp. about the dispute over the newly dug wells at Esek (w. pp. They have been fitted into the framework of the other Isaac traditions in such a way that the synthesis. and so by means of short communications he was able to pass on the relevant information. 15. 16—2 Sam. it is form-critically misguided to say that 'an etymological story has been spun' out of the names of the wells. Further. 5).

2. what are the characteristics of this larger unit. 12. This notion is clearly not applicable to the passage Gen. The Patriarchal Stories 49 unique situation. in its present form it must be considered late. 18.2. 12. There is scarcely any other area in the Pentateuch where the individual narratives stand out as such self-contained and independent literary units.1-8.On the other hand. is the case in the Jacob-Esau and the Jacob-Laban stories. 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. of which Gunkel.3038j1 but he has seen also that the expression 'cycle' is not entirely appropriate here. 19. into a larger unit? 2. 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. writes: The narrative has little concrete about it and can scarcely be called a 'story' (Geschichte)'. as Gunkel himself has explained. He describes it in the form-critical context as a collection of originally independent.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. . 19. 2 As. 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. summing it up. for example. Gunkel has already spoken of an Abraham-Lot cycle to which he reckons the following texts: Gen. On the one hand.1-28. individual stories (Sagen} which had been woven into a certain unity. there are many independent units of tradition in the Abraham stories which have no explicit relationship to their context. 159.1-16aa. still recognizable as such today. He developed this 'information' into a sort of story (Geschichte) which he has set 1 Genesis. p. is appropriate only for a part of the texts mentioned.1-8. 13.2 The term story (Sage) however. and what are the means used to arrange these originally independent smaller units.

2 Genesis.. he gives chs. Of particular importance here is Kessler's demonstration that the four 'scenes' (Gen.1-8 in the collection when he described it as the 'signature tune' (Motto) of the Abraham stories as a whole. 176.30-38). 19. pp. 13.1-16) and Sodom (19. 18. the obedient one.2 Hence Genesis 13 would have been placed before the two narratives of Mamre (18. . Gunkel considers that we are dealing here with something belonging to the collection and the reworking. 8-21. cit. Gunkel himself limited the function of 12.3 the intention of which is quite clear. p. 20. not with an original story (Sage) or narrative. and especially by the geographical references in 18. These for their part have been joined together by means of the intermediary passage 18. Gunkel maintains that the same holds for Genesis 13. 69ff. 167.16. 22-34) are joined together 1 Genesis. A further group of narratives that belong together is readily discernible in Genesis 20-22.1-7. 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. and consequently the one blessed'.1-28) only after these had been brought together to balance each other. a shoot grafted on to an older branch'. This narrative is not constructed for itself but is rather a preparation for the two narratives about Abraham and Lot at Mamre and Sodom. But this broader context which Gunkel established covers only a small part of the Abraham tradition.. Hence we are to regard Abraham as the believer. and so one must consider it a later and new formation. 19 the title 'Narrative groups'. Kessler has described them as the 'Negev group' because their common scene of action is in the Negev. 21.17-33.1 Accordingly.27-28. 22. as are the means used to arrange and bind together the individual elements. p. so as to form a larger unit with Genesis 13 (and 19. 3 Kessler.. op.50 The Process of Transmission in the Pentateuch as it were as a 'signature-tune' (Motto) at the beginning of the Abraham stories. 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.

op. 611. The Patriarchal Stories 51 by cross-references. 6 Here. 17. 12. 22-23) without a knowledge of Genesis 20'.5 17.1 (Then Abraham set out from there') joining it with the preceding narrative(s). 2 Op.1. It has. cit. Further. 14. pp. however. Kessler.1-2. 23. however. 15.1.1 The note about Isaac's growing up in 21. so that it cannot be taken in itself to be a typical sign of a particular layer of reworking. op. 22. 24. Ill.1. compare too 18. 92. On the other hand.1. for a link with the context: 13. 16. pp. "The Form-critical Problem'. This is the case with Genesis 14.8 refers back to the preceding passage which tells of Isaac's birth. 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. presuppose the whole context of the Abra1 Kessler. 16.1.30 cannot be alleged against this. 20. 3-4 in a remarkably elaborate way by 'resuming7 geographical details. A History. cf. 8. p.1. nn. 3 For the relationship of Gen. 59. 5 The mention of Sarah's barrenness in Gen. 7 And so there are no grounds whatever for any claim that this 'resumption' belongs to the Yahwist: this is against Noth. 80-87. been joined to the context in 12. 590. . 253.2.10-20 is self-contained and has no explicit references to the rest of the Abraham traditions. ad loc.7 There are some further narratives. and Genesis. 4 Gen. 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 20.9. the passage about the treaty between Abraham and Abimelech at Beersheba in 21.2 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).6 23.. 11. 22 to the 'Negev-group'.1.1. But this procedure is without parallel within the patriarchal story. however. von Rad.. 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. 22.10.22-34 'is unintelligible in its beginning (w. n... likewise self-contained which. apart from the fact that the actors in them are the same. 6. 221f.1. 13. cit. cit. 21. the narrative in 12. p. p.1. 87. the birth of Ishmael is presupposed.1.

both in content and formulation. Finally.1 It presupposes the whole life-story of Abraham. cit. Kessler. what is the overarching element which.4.2 In contrast to Genesis 24. . 7-21) presuppose as a whole. to that stage of the reworking which was bringing the Abraham tradition together.2 The promises in the divine addresses in the Abraham story The Abraham traditions present. therefore. as well as the departure from the original homeland (Ur-Kasdim) and the promise of the possession of the land (w. 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. 2.52 The Process of Transmission in the Pentateuch ham traditions to such an extent that they can scarcely have existed without it. it has already been noted that the passage 12. but over against which it exhibits clear tensions. then the answer must without doubt be: the divine promises to Abraham. L. It belongs. 92ff. pp.. the chapter stands in the middle of a context with which it not only has no link. therefore. so 1 Cf. It presents a unique. reveals that the element of promise appears in a bewildering variety of forms. This is true in particular of Genesis 24. If one asks. come together. On the other hand. however.2. the narrative about the winning of a bride for Isaac. 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). independent exposition of the basic themes of the Abraham tradition. Both parts of the chapter (w. op. and each in a different way. 2 Cf. The situation is much more difficult in Genesis 15. for the most part. 7-21). again in contrast to the two chapters already mentioned.1-8 has been arranged with a view to the overall complex of the Abraham tradition in its present form. Periltt. see above under 1. despite this. of which we have spoken above. from the literary standpoint. it cannot have been formulated with a view to the present context. 1-6. a picture that is very uneven and many-layered. Closer examination. allows the impression of a self-contained unity to emerge.

.. cit.1 Nevertheless. the promise of the possession of the land is an essential part of the narrative. The structure of the whole passage is multi-layered and. cit. cit. we must undertake the task because it is possible that this may give access to the problems of the composition of the Abraham traditions. He came to the conclusion that only very few of the individual narratives can be described as 'promise narratives'.5 Finally.. cit. p. pp. 5 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.. 3 Op.. 6 Op. 2 Op.3 Genesis 18 is a very obvious example of a promise narrative. 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. pp. Westermann however surmises that the narrative does not lie before us in its original form. 33. in all other cases the element of the promise does not belong to the oldest constituent part of the narrative. cit.7 Investigation must 1 Cf. p. Rather. in 15. 11-34. The promise motif belongs predominantly to that stage when the old narratives were brought together to form larger units'.. Westermann has made an important step in this direction.7-21. 19. 29. very difficult to penetrate. see above under 2. 4 Op. . p. 7 Op. Westermann. 33. the promise of the son is closely joined to the promise of numerous descendants.2 His statement of the question must be taken up and developed here.1-6. and there is no way in which it can be detached.4 In 15. 21ff.2. It is notable that both narratives contain as well elements of a place etiology. cit. He has dealt with the theme of the promises to the fathers above all in his work The Types of Narrative in Genesis'. from the traditio-historical standpoint. p.1.6 According to Westermann's analysis. The promise of a son is the central narrative element here. The Patriarchal Stories 53 that at first glance it seems impossible to arrive at criteria for the collection and arrangement of the Abraham traditions.

which Abraham carries out. In Genesis 18. but which contains no explicit promise (v. cf. cf. Gunkel. 2). below under 2. there is a striking number of narratives in which there is no divine address at all: 12.4. Then YHWH appeared'. already referred to.3. it is by no means present in all the Abraham narratives.10-20. further inquiry commends itself so as to broaden the investigation and to inquire about the function of the divine addresses in the Abraham stories. On the other hand. 23. 200.54 The Process of Transmission in the Pentateuch carry on from here.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. 21. and speaks directly to people. On the other hand. 19.22-34. even though unrecognized at first.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.12. However. 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. And the formula. p. 17. The first result of this is negative: however significant the role of the divine address is in many places. does not allow an immediate analysis of the text. remains opaque. as there is in 21.22. 2 Despite Gen.30-38. 3 On the element of guidance in the promise addresses. There is a divine command at the beginning of Genesis 22. for the complicated situation. 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. in a second group of narratives. . 14.1 In the remaining cases YHWH only speaks without intervening in the action. Genesis. constituent part of the narrative. the promise element is in the foreground. 15. Rather.3 There is a command from YHWH to Abraham in Gen. Hence. 24. The promises occur almost exclusively in divine addresses or in citations from them. In these cases.9 to do a particular thing. the divine address is a direct. as in Genesis 18 and 19. This is the case particularly when the divinity itself is present. the divine address forms a constituent element.

2. 15. There is therefore a basic difference between the development of the narrative on the one hand. that when the divine address dominates the context or stands independently over against the context.1-6 too. . that the late narrative form in Gen. Finally. joined here with covenant obligation. therefore. On the one hand.13-16.14-17. 23-27). it becomes more and more exclusively a promise address.1 2. the development of the increasing use of the divine promise address as an element of reworking. It is clear. The Patriarchal Stories 55 any divine address to Abraham. a great number of different promise themes occur in the promise addresses 1 It is of interest. But it has no influence on Abraham's conduct. Likewise in 12. There are some cases where the divine address is so dominant that one can hardly speak of a narrative.15-18. only at a later stage is a promise addressed to Hagar.1-3. the promise address carries its own weight in the context. 24 is an expressly 'pious' narrative!—and on the other. These examples show that the divine address can be employed in different ways as a narrative device. where the direct divine address yields more and more in favour of an indirect divine action—Gen. 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. nor does the Joseph story. though does not at all have to be joined always to the promise element. 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. We have mentioned already the difficulties to which this inquiry gives rise. the divine address occurs as an independent and clearly denned piece in 13. 22. This is a clear indication that the promise emerges into sharper relief particularly in the later stages of the history of tradition. 24 contains no direct divine address. Each is pure promise address. in contrast. the action recedes completely behind the promise address. In 15. in each case added to or inserted into the context.3 The promises to the patriarchs And so we return once more to the promise addresses in the narrower sense.

these individual promise addresses are inter-twined with each other in very different ways without there being at first glance any definite principle. the practice is somewhat more varied: the divine address occurs in the poetic passage which has been taken up in 25. and 1 In the Isaac story. to be sure: This late stage however is evident too in J.23. again when referring to the divine address in 31. 24).1) and 32.. In the Jacob story. Setting side by side the various possibilities in which the promise elements can appear.3-4. further.2-5.4 He adds. divine addresses occur only in two independent promise addresses without any immediate connection with the context (26. Westermann has studied both the individual promise elements and the links between them and has gained important insights. we are left with the cumulative combination of a great deal of promise material.1113. 4 Op. p. He writes: 'the combination or addition of a great deal of promise material can be considered with complete certainty as a late stage'.9-12 and 46.3 (more of this later) and 31.24. On the other hand. 31. p.1 but they are completely absent from the Joseph story.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.2-4 and in the account of a promise address in 48. it seems that each promise element can be joined to any other in any sequence whatever. it is very necessary to extend the study across the patriarchal stories as a whole. then in narrative context. cf. he writes: 'At the end. 11-34. And Westermann has not really succeeded in progressing beyond this situation. cit. . they occur nevertheless in the Isaac and Jacob stories in the same or similar form. 33. 32. 2 'Arten'. cit. 3 Op. 32. pp. Though promise addresses are incomparably more frequent in the Abraham story. Hence. also the synthesis on p. in undoubtedly older narrative passages in 28. in passages like 28.2 But the synthesis of his results leaves the question open.27-30.13-15..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. finally.13-15 (cross reference in 35. especially in P and the later expansions of the old narratives'. in the independent promise addresses in 35.

That means that where we find different promise elements joined together. the principle established by Westermann is of particular importance: 'One must go behind the late combinations which contain a number of promises. 2 Ibid.2 It is this task that we now undertake.7 13. and inquire about their individual elements and the particular history of each in the course of tradition'.3. 22'.15 35. * It is obviously a question of a relatively late stage.17 28. that is. The situation is obviously very complicated.3 15. 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.3 17. in the addition in ch. In accordance with the methodological principle already mentioned. We will try to throw light on the history of the traditions of these formulations.12 26. In so doing. to which the following table should help. .13 13. we will first deal with each of them separately and compare them with the other texts that contain the same promise material. we will begin with an analysis of the individual elements and so postpone for the time the question of their joining or combination. 2. one cannot avoid extending the analysis across a relatively wide area. texts which are not in direct divine addresses are placed in round brackets. 3 In this and the following tables.2. The Patriarchal Stories 57 in E.8 28.4) 1 Ibid.1 The promise of the land We begin with the promise of the land which occurs in a variety of formulations. And so we must try to make it more perspicuous by a careful analysis of the individual promise elements. Hence.

7 (24. to you and to your descendants with you.7) 15. (2) the word 'descendants' renders the singular Hebrew word zera'. 'seed'. in one case the verb has been repeated again in such a way that it is very clear that the phrase is composite (35.7 13.7 24.13 13.12).3 17.7. 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) 15. 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) 12.15).13.18 26.7 15. In some cases God's address to Abraham runs: 'to you will I give it (the land)' (13.4 (Translator's note: (1) the personal pronouns and the personal possessive adjectives 'you' and 'your' are always in the singular in the Hebrew.7 is clearly outside the pattern).58 The Process of Transmission in the Pentateuch 12. . the words 'and to your descendants' are added to 'to you'. the formulation in 15. 13.18 26. in a number of other cases which occur in addresses to all three patriarchs.4 (48. lit. 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. that you may possess the land of your sojournings.15 35.12 26.4 48.17 28.) The table tries to trace a definite line of development in the formalized phrases within the promises of the land.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.8 (28.

4). The Patriarchal Stories 59 In other cases.16. Before pursuing further the development of this formula.3. Finally. is the patriarch himself (12. 17.2.3 28. 24. 18.18 26. 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. in the second to 'all the nations of the world'. 48.8. 26.18 in your descendants will all the nations of the world find blessing 26. 15. 26. 12.18 in him will all the nations of the world find blessing) 22.14 'and in your descendants' is attached.18. the verb is in the Nip'al (12. in which the verb is in the Hitpa'el.3. which may be regarded as the latest stage in the process of formation.18.18). the descendants alone are the receiver. This holds particularly for the promise of the effectiveness of the blessing for others. we must take up and anticipate briefly other promise themes which leave themselves open to similar observations.7.14 18. in the first group the effectiveness of the blessing is directed to 'all the clans of the earth'.4.7.4).4).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.3. (18. The development corresponds exactly to that in the . the personal element has receded entirely into the background so that the 'descendants' alone appear as the recipients of the promise (12. from whom the effectiveness of the blessing proceeds. Finally.4 12. 28. while in 28. in the second group.18 takes an intermediate position. in the other it is in the Hitpa'el (22. 28. 18.18) 22.14).14 in you will all the clans of the earth find blessing and in your descendants (18. that this is a subsequent addition is as clear here as in the corresponding formulations of the promises of the land.) What is important for our perspective is that in the first group the receiver of the promise.3 in you will all the clans of the earth find blessing 28.

. one of which links the 'promise of increase' (so Westermann) with the key-word 'seed'. in which the expression 'to you will I give the land' stands at the beginning. It is surprising that the expression 'seed' is never employed in these. This is a further proof that the use or non-use of the word 'seed' is neither accidental nor arbitrary. the other on the contrary does not. The key-word 'seed' (Heb zera'. formengeschichtliche und stilkritische Untersuchungen zum Deuteronomium. Let us return to the promise of the land! The question might arise whether the line of development accepted above (2. but on each occasion has a clear purpose. the situation in 13.1 This means therefore that we are dealing with two different lines of tradition.2 However.17). walk through the land. 'up. are more obviously related to the context than those formulas which we regard as later in the process of tradition. 'the land upon which you are lying.17 and 28. Traditionsgeschichtliche Untersuchung von Genesis 15'. which has not yet been inserted firmly into the formula. p.3. and likewise with a juxtaposed 'and to your seed'.60 The Process of Transmission in the Pentateuch promise of the land. Ploger. Literarkritische. 65. is to be understood simply in this way. And so we will have to leave the formulation in 15.3. . this is obviously part of a fixed deuteronomistic formula. the most important of which is the following: the formulations with 'to you'. I will give it to you' (13. these too regularly speak of 'seed'.1). because I will give it to you' (13.15. cf. in my opinion. 1967. 'assembly* and others. Kaiser. These are also expressions in which the image of dust or sand is used. On the other hand there are sentences in which the promise of numerous posterity is expressed by the concept of 'nation' . . ZAW 70 (1958) 107-26.2. 0.7. On the one hand there are formulations in which a multiplication of the 'seed' is promised without the use of any image of comparison. 'descendants') also plays a notable role in the promises of numerous posterity. I will give it to you' 1 See below under 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. J. There are. clear indications in favour of this. 2 On the deuteronomistic character of 15.13 is clear.15).7 out of consideration.G.

On each occasion ('I will give it') is found in the Hebrew text. but the land is described as 'the land which I gave to Abraham and Isaac'.. RendtorfF. and after the promise of increase. pp. the promise of increase) occurs in a variety of forms.2. At the other end of the scale there are formulations in which the receiver of the promise of the land is the 'seed' only. and the words 'I will give it to you'.12: here the promise of the land is set within an independent divine address.1. which can scarcely be described as narrative.2 In 15. KuD Beih. 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. 1975.13).2.2 The promise of descendants The promise of descendants (posterity. 39-59.18 the formula is part of the note about the striking of the covenant which clearly stands apart from the narrative itself. 2. where it is set in conjunction with the preceding promise of increase. the author is rather using the basic elements of the cult etiology in a very formalized way.4 is part of a complex divine address with a number of promise elements. 1970 [4th edn]) = Gesammelte Studien zum Alien Testament. First of all. it is similar in Jacob's address in 48. 1 (1961. 'Die Offenbarungsvorstellungen im Alten Israel'. The Patriarchal Stories 61 (28. 'Arten'. The phrase in 24. This is the case particu1 See above under 2.4.7 is a formalized cross reference to the promise of the land pronounced earlier in Abraham's address. similarly Westermann. . These occur particularly in short formalized sentences without any immediate relationship to a narrative context: In 12. the formula in 26. 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. in Offenbarung als Geschichte. 28.7 the formula is set within the 'note'1 about Abraham's foundation of an altar in Shechem. 2 Cf. R.41ff. refers to it. the suffix referring to the land about which the narrative is actually speaking. It is similar again in 35. p. with the same suffix form as in the passages already mentioned.3. Finally. esp. pp.

17 .14 your seed will be like the dust of the earth (32. dust and sand. there are first of all a group of expressions which speak simply of the increase of the 'seed' without using further images or metaphors..14).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.5 26. was certainly independent (w. 10. 22.16 I will make your seed like the dust of the earth 28. the stars. Finally. so will your seed be I will increase your seed like the stars of heaven. with the resumption of Abraham's hesitant utterances in v.16. In 15. In the promises of increase.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.13 13. 13. In Genesis 16.4 15. 21. a combination of both. originally.24 I will increase your seed 16.13 I will make your seed like the sand of the sea which cannot be counted for number) finally. 11-12).5 26.12 26.14 32.4 count the stars! .3. then.10 21. the announcement of the birth of a son to Hagar is made by taking up a poetic piece which.4 too the formulation of the assurance of the birth of a son is determined entirely by the context.24 16. the formulations with which the birth of a son is promised in 17. 15.12 because after Isaac will your seed be named 26..16 28. 19 show no formalized elements such as are found in the remaining promises of increase.

there stands another group in which the word 'seed' does not appear.11 28.2 I will increase you very.2.5 17.3) 48. kings of nations will come from her .16 she will become peoples.4 you will become father of a number of nations 17.17 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. and I will make you into nations.16) 17.6 17.18 because I will make him into a great nation 46. the talk is of a 'nation' and 'nations' of 'peoples' . The Patriarchal Stories 63 22.13 12. and kings will come forth from you 17. very fruitful.16 17.3 because I will make you into a great nation there 18. and of 'assembly' and 21.16 may they increase in number over the earth) For the rest.18 17.2 48.13 I will make you into a nation 12. incidentally.18 he will indeed become a great and strong nation 17. The assurance of the great increase of descendants is.2 I will make you into a great nation 21.4 17.3 18.20 35.18 46. entirely without comparative images.5 because I will make you father of a number of nations 17.3 21.6 I will make you very. 17. very greatly (48.4) 21.

then some uncertainty or vagueness accompanies its use. cf.3 The blessing The declarations of increase are frequently joined with the assurance of blessing.20 I will make him fruitful and increase him very. 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. on the other hand.3 may he make you fruitful and increase you. and you will become an assembly of peoples) (48. the verb 'to be/make fruitful' qal/hip'il) is found only in the second group in combination with the notions of 'nation' etc.3-4 Jacob says: *E1 sadday appeared to me at Luz in the land of Canaan. 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. he blessed me 1 Westermann. There is no doubt that the idea behind this is that the blessing becomes effective at the instant that it is pronounced.3. and hence it is not the object of a promise which will only find fulfilment in the future. and kings will come forth from your loins (28. as already noted.15-16. also 28. 2.1-4). There is a further terminological difference: the verb 'to increase' hip'il) is used predominantly in the first group. This too makes clear that we are dealing with traditions that are independent of each other. he will beget twelve princes. . At times the statement about the blessing precedes the divine address so that the address itself as a whole appears as blessing. pp. 'Arten'. and I will make him a great nation 35.1 When blessing is assumed into the realm of promise where it did not belong originally.4 see. 25-26. In 48. very much. Westermann has pointed out that blessing cannot really be the object of promise. though it occurs also in the second.11 be fruitful and increase! A nation and an assembly of nations will come from you. 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.64 The Process of Transmission in the Pentateuch 17.

pp.9-12 is introduced as blessing: Then God appeared to Jacob again when he came from Paddan-aram and blessed him. as well as with the others in which it is missing (12. 13.16. 25-26. and God said to him: Your name is Jacob.3. 22.17-18. which use the expression 'seed' (22. with or without the mention of the 'seed'.24). 28.. and the promise of the land follows it.. Westermann. 22.2. 2 These are the correct references. Here too there is no difference with respect to the formulations.3 it is linked with the assurance of guidance ('I will be with you and bless you').' Likewise.4.2 It should be noted further that the pronouncements of blessing begin with both combinations of the groups of promises of increase mentioned above.18.2-3.. 28. 12 nor in v. This combination therefore is on a different level in the process of the history of tradition from the individual.24. 18. 25. 3 Cf.3). and in the very large majority of cases with the promise of numerous posterity.' Further. for the rest. 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.. p. The Patriarchal Stories 65 and said to me: See. In 26. 28.17. 26.14. the precedence that Westermann1 established of the promise of blessing before the promise of increase holds: 17.2.3 1 Op. I will make you fruitful. 32. independent development of both these sequences of pronouncements. 20.12 does not belong here because the word occurs neither in v.4 the possession of the land is described as the immediate consequence of 'the blessing of Abraham'. 17. it is preceded by an assurance of increase: 12. cit.16. 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. op. In 12. the whole divine address (consisting of two parts) in 35. 26. In 28. cit. The obvious conclusion from all this is that the 'blessing' is not an independent promise theme. 20.17. but occurs always in combination with other themes..

Vetter. 2.1: 'Go forth from your country and your kinsmen and your father's house to the country that I will show you'. D.1 One must include here as well: 'I will prosper you' 32.2). but not in the Abraham story. 28. 'Return to the land of your fathers and your kinsmen' (31. 32.66 The Process of Transmission in the Pentateuch 2. also 50.. cf. and will bring you back to this land. the brief formulations already mentioned are almost always there in a corresponding context: 'I will protect you everywhere you go.3. 31. which has links with the promises of guidance. A further element. This promise often occurs as someone is about to set out on a journey for which guidance is assured.3) or 'I am with you' 26.10). even though the phrase 'I am with you' is missing.5. 35. cf.21).5 below. lapidary promises of guidance occur in the Jacob and Isaac stories. Talk of : in 26. There is too a clear connection with the words in 22. 31. finally.24). there is yet another independent element in the promise material.20. This promise is formulated in very brief and lapidary wise: 'I will be with you' 26. Isaac) there on one of the mountains that I will 1 On the formula: H.24. 42.4: 'I will go down with you into Egypt and I will bring you back again'. or in a kind of reverse process: T)o not go down into Egypt. However. is the reference to 'the land that I will show you'. 32. Jahwes Mit-Sein—ein Ausdruck des Segens.' (28.. cf.3. For example in 46.2: 'Go forth to the land of Moriah and offer him (i.D. 1971. ZAW 80 (1968) 139-73.3.42).4 The guidance Finally. it occurs too in the form of a report: 'the God of my fathers has been with me' 31.3. It is striking that these stylized. . it recalls the command to Isaac to remain 'in the land which I bid you' (26.e. 28.5. For example in 12.15..13. This formulation is obviously very close to 31. there are addresses there which are very close in content to these.15).10. Also. presents a problem of its own in connection with the formula. similarly 31.24.. but stay in this land which I bid you' (26. 31. namely the assurance of guidance which includes YHWH's presence or Taeing-with' the patriarch. '. ich will mit dir sein'. Preuss. cf.2).3.13). Jacob's words to Joseph and his sons: 'God will be with you' 48.

3 (31.13) 15.2. One must mention further in this context God's command to Abraham: 'Up. 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 .11 15. The Patriarchal Stories 67 show you'.2. of Beth-El) I am YHWH.1 [15.13 46. it should be further mentioned that a number of promise addresses are introduced by formulas in which the divinity presents itself.7 17. your father I am YHWH. By way of conclusion to this resume.7 17.3 31. but there are pronouncements which. and the God of Isaac I am Ha-El.1 . it contains a divine command which requires Abraham to make a particular journey in trust.1] 26. there are no explicit assurances of guidance in lapidary formulations in the Abraham story. therefore. They are brought together here. then the basic element in the promise of guidance would have its original setting in the Abraham tradition. show that Abraham set out and undertook a particular journey under divine instructions. go through the length and breadth of the land' (13. One can ask. your father. if the stylized expression 'I am with you' draws something from this idea which it passes on to the other patriarchs.24 28. the God of Abraham. If this is so.1 35. in the opinion of the narrators. thence it would have found its way into the other patriarchal stories in its stylized.3 15. lapidary form. then.17). The command to go uses the same language as in 12.24 28.1 and 26. 26. and the reference to the 'mountain that I will show you' recalls both 12. the God of your father I am Ha-El.13 46. Clearly.1 I am the God of Abraham.

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. 17. 28. The promise of the land is found relatively seldom by itself. each of the other promise themes occurs also by itself within a divine address. 18.3. 15.3. In 13. 21.18. 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'. 24.3. for the most part it is joined to the theme of numerous posterity (promise of increase). This situation is even more characteristic in 28. the word 'seed' now stands in an emphatic position at the end of the promise of the land. it is resumed immediately at the beginning of the promise of increase. 2. and only in that group which belong together in the process of the formation of the tradition (12. it is only the promise of blessing (above 2.1) and in 15.21).5.2. the promise of the land. 32. 35. we will begin again with the promise of the land.1 The keyword 'seed' occurs in both sentences.12. independent promise themes. 16. 42. Consequently. is followed immediately by the promise of increase. 13 (cf. with the word 'seed' again in an 1 . 48. cf. 13. In our investigation of the combinations of different. The theme of guidance—given the overall frequency of its occurrence—is found alone for the most part: 31.3) that occurs always with other promise themes. The promise of increase occurs more often without other promises: 15.13-14.20. The promise of increase follows immediately.5.3. above 2. There is in some cases a characteristic combination of the promises of land and increase.15- 'I will give it to you and to your seed for ever*.5 The combination of individual promise themes Among the individual themes of promise whose different formulations and variations we have examined and noted.7. 31. '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.3.10.

there is only 'to your seed'. The combination is reversed when the promise of increase precedes the promise of the land. the parallelism therefore is clearly discernible.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'. Firstly. The sequence and the theme correspond in 48. in 28. And so one can speak here of a gradual expansion of the promise. instead of the two-fold 'to you . and to your seed'.11-12. and certainly not 1 .3-4. Finally. In these cases therefore we are dealing not with a gradual expansion of the promise. 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'.word 'seed' binding the two. a sort of link by association. The Patriarchal Stories 69 emphatic position at the beginning: 'And your seed will be like the dust of the earth'. the only two places where that image occurs.word 'seed' is not used.2.3-4 too the promise of increase is at the beginning with the same terminology. We are dealing here with those formulations of the promise of increase in which the key. It follows without any explicit link in v. The text by and large is somewhat more compact and shows in addition an interesting shift of emphasis. It must be mentioned further that in both cases the promise of increase is formulated with the image of 'dust of the earth'. In this respect therefore there is no immediate connection between the formulations of the promise of increase and the promise of the land. and kings will go forth from your loins'. 12. . however.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. It is immediately clear. the promise of the land follows at the end with the key. in 35. . instead. that the presuppositions here are different in many ways. 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. the word 'seed' is at the very end without any reference to the promise of increase. where explicit reference is made to the promise in 35.

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

We must now go back again to the first group of texts. in contrast to the gradual growth and development of the themes in the course of the process of their being passed on. 17). We must certainly ascribe the addition of these two promise themes to an overarching reworking of the patriarchal story.2. In this text too. 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. (3) that this was expanded. 15). Finally. Now if the view expounded above is correct. 28. then it is clear here as well that the relationship of v. When we approach the text with the insights gained from Genesis 28. Genesis 13 and 28. crossing is a much more immediate and concrete way of taking possession than seeing (v. then we must assume: (1) that the assurance of guidance (v. (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. In the face of this assurance of guidance. 13). 15) was the earliest part of the present context. and then drew with it the promise of increase. In both cases. The situation is very similar in Genesis 13. v. 18) which he must reach for the further continuation of the narrative. namely that the promise of the land drew the promise of increase with it. there is a further passage in the divine address (v. Let us begin with ch. it is concerned yet again with the promise of the land. 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. after the combination of the promise of the land and the promise of increase (w. There is a sentence in v. 17 presents the earliest stage of the promise of the land in the process . The Patriarchal Stories 71 where promise themes have been simply added. 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. taking up the key-word 'seed'. 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. 15-16). In addition. 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.

yet another promise of the land is attached (v. the passage concludes with the promise of blessing for others. basing it in detail on Abraham's conduct (w. Finally. The promise address begins with the assurance of guidance on which the promise of blessing follows immediately (w. The version in v.3b) in the form in which 'you and your seed' are brought together in immediate succession and not separated by the verb.14-17 as for 28. Even though the situation here is not quite as clearly discernible as in Genesis 28. it is quite unusual for the promise of the land to be traced back to an 'oath' of God to Abraham. 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. 4 in the promise of the land in the patriarchal story. the promise of increase was understood as a consequence of the promise of the land.13-15. the plural occurs only here and in v. 4 would also favour this. 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. plural. 4a). then. 2. The two-fold promise of the land is striking. again with the plural reference to 'all these lands'.25.3a). the procedure is to be reck1 On the oath formula.72 The Process of Transmission in the Pentateuch of the history of the tradition. it may be explained as follows: First. hence. it is made to follow yet again. Further. only the 'seed' appears as the receiver of the promise. following our reflections. Finally. Then comes a promise of the land (v. The passage contains therefore a series of unusual elements. representing an intermediate stage in the history of the process of the development of the tradition.3 where the promise holds 'for you and your seed'. represents a later stage in the process of tradition than v. 5). . namely 26. 4ad) according to which the 'seed' is to be like 'the stars in the sky*. nevertheless we can presume a similar process of growth for 13. and this. 4b.1 A promise of increase follows (v.7 below. a formulation which elsewhere is all prevailing in deuteronomistic usage. It is striking that the promise is directed to 'all these lands'. but this time it is a promise to *your seed' only. see 2. there. inasmuch as the key-word 'seed' has not yet been added: 'I will give it to you'. In any case.

. In some cases it is clearly linked with the promise of increase. 42). There are then a number of possible combinations with the assurance of guidance. 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. 13b) to the assurance of guidance (v. as Westermann has already shown. where there is talk of God's 'prospering* Jacob and the visible expression which this finds in the increase of his possessions.5. The Patriarchal Stories 73 oned as involving several stages. 15) is the first step in the expansion of the promise address. the blessing does not appear as a separate element in his table of possible promise types. then in 12. Indeed. In the accounts of the divine guidance or the divine presence with Jacob.2 the promise of increase again follows the assurance of guidance. The promise of blessing is not an independent promise element. according to our earlier observations. the promise of blessing follows at once on the assurance of guidance. 1 Westermann.2. We will return to this again. 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. In 26. the unusual formulations point to a stage of reworking which is not identical with most of the other promise addresses. despite great variety. 32. in 46. and in 13. In 28.3.1 The promise of the land can occur alone. Synthesizing the results of our study of the combination of the different promise elements we see that. Finally. If we include here the non-stylized statements of the Abraham story. in 26. likewise in 31. especially in short. 'Arten'. Further.3 the promise of increase is worked into the assurance of guidance: Tor there I will make you into a great nation'.24 the divine address contains only these two promise elements. the addition of the promise of the land (v. p. and the promise of the land is linked with these by an emphatic *because'.13-15 too.10-11. the 'blessing' in the form of wealth in herds is the consequence of the presence (31. definite contours stand out.17 the promise of the land follows it.

associated with it by the key-word 'seed'. the promise of the land is the older in the process of the formation of the tradition. that it grows out of the promise of the land. the promise of the land is combined with the promise of increase in such a way that the latter. cf. so as to round off the general theme of promise. 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. And so we come to the question of the structure and composition of the patriarchal story and the over-arching . it is in a context stamped by deuteronomistic language. on the other hand. in combination with the promise of the land. the promise of the land is not linked with other promise elements. the promise of the land combines in a characteristic way with the assurance of guidance. formulated differently. which now speak of the 'seed' as the receiver of the promise.7. the promise of increase is earlier in the process of the formation of the tradition than the promise of the land. admits of two possibilities: the one.74 The Process of Transmission in the Pentateuch stylized phrases as in 12.7: 'to your seed will I give this land'. The promise of increase is also combined with the assurance of guidance in particular ways. on the one hand. For the rest. in the relationships of the promise themes and formulations to each other. it is the reverse—the promise of the land is attached to the promise of increase. Even when it is combined with the promise of blessing. Finally. Likewise in 15. relatively late in the process of the formation of the tradition. The promise of increase occurs rather frequently without the addition of other promise elements. It is scarcely by chance that we are concerned here with these brief formulations. the other. nothing of importance is attached to it. The promise of increase. grows out of it. 2.18. in such cases. in some cases. 15. In each of these cases the context is exclusively that of the promise of the land.7.4 The function of the promise addresses in the composition of the patriarchal story The question now arises whether. in such cases. more can be said about the function of the promise addresses in the patriarchal story. 24.

here it is the goal to which Jacob will return. The element of guidance plays an important role in the Jacob story as well. Neither has any immediate connection with the narrative context. It marks the first decisive intervention in the life-story of Jacob—the flight to Haran.2-5). Both contain the element of the assurance of guidance. First. 2 Cf. cit. 3 It is to be noted that the term in Gen. Jacob is the subject of a divine address before he sets out 1 in 26. They form. though it be from Abraham's . It appears a second time and is underscored at the next turning point: in 31.. but serves the theological interpretation of the Jacob story in the context.4. It is obvious here that the divine address with the theme 'guidance' is not part of the narrative.3. When we look at the content of the two addresses.3 It is particularly striking here that the divine address (v.2. let us consider the Isaac story. 2-5 present. 31. The theme appears yet again at the very end of the Jacob story: in 46.1 and 24. Jacob receives the divine command to return to the land of his fathers. hence. It is clear. 7. i is the place whence Abraham set out. in the closing address in v. 140.24) of the collection of Isaac traditions. 13). Kessler. the other at the end (26. one at the beginning (26. they can well be elements of the theological reworking of the collection. Both divine addresses begin with the phrase *YHWH appeared to him'.3 is not used of the whole land as in Gen. only the promise of increase is there with the guidance. It contains only two divine addresses. 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.15.2-4. 'I am with you'. 3) breaks the narrative thread which i resumed again in w. 12. as already noted in detail. however. the promise of the land stands underscored as the centrepiece.2 It is there with all its force in the first divine address to Jacob in 28. 2. The Patriarchal Stories 75 reworking. 24. op.3 could also be understood in a future sense. we find that w. 4-5 with the words from v. then. In contrast. a very complex and many layered picture. that besides the guidance.1 even though the language in which it is expressed takes a somewhat different form. p. the emphatic end-point of the theological interpretation of the Isaac story.

to which again 1 a promise of the land has been attached. rather it exhibits several stages or layers. 2 Compare. 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. it is only the promise of increase that has been interwoven into the assurance of guidance (46. 22). obviously did not take place at one stroke.19). to the land that I will show you' (12. (35. the theme of 'guidance'.9-12).12) with (17.3). Following our observations so far. Nevertheless. The instruction. the beginning. 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. the promise of the land stands at 1 In v. which becomes divine guidance because of Abraham's obedience. with a divine address in which the element of guidance occupies a central place: 'Go forth from your country. more accurately. The Jacob story. stands at the beginning and the end of the Abraham narrative. and the end of his 'journey'. Of the promise elements. for example. Let us turn finally to the Abraham story. however. as we have already seen. the second begins with the extensively elaborated promise of increase. At the conclusion. are each marked out by a divine promise address. the Abraham story too begins with a narrative of guidance or.1). The Jacob story. 12. Yet another detailed divine address stands before the broadly developed Joseph story (35. There is a parallel to the Isaac story here. is not as fixed and formalized as with Isaac and Jacob..76 The Process of Transmission in the Pentateuch for Egypt.13). has double conclusion. our analysis shows that the promise of the land is in the foreground in the first of the divine addresses (28. the turning point. is framed by these three assurances of guidance. and was elaborated first out of the promise of guidance. With regard to the content. Here. its main content is the assurance of guidance on the journey. and the theological interpretation that goes with it. The framework of the Jacob story. ..2 here too there are obvious linguistic links with Genesis 17. More exactly. framed as it is by divine addresses. therefore.

18).18. that each of the three patriarchs is to be a blessing for the whole human race. and notably at the beginning.13. This 'addition'. 21. brings the traditions about them together into one large unit.2). though not in the fixed and formalized form. It occurs once in each of the Isaac and Jacob stories.2).5. it is repeated in the citation in 18. For the rest. The passage 22. This promise.18.1 As in the other collections. The Patriarchal Stories 77 the very beginning. It appears first with an introductory function in the Abraham story (12. 15.1). 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.17.10. A further element in the closing address must be mentioned here: the promise of blessing for others (22. with formulations which have been taken up again in the introductory passages of the Isaac story (26. 13.2-5). The nip'al form is found at the beginning of the Abraham story (12. and then no more. 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. in the first divine address to each of the patriarchs (26. . the promise of the land is found particularly in the early chapters of the narrative (12.3) and in the Jacob story (28. We spoke earlier of the different linguistic formulas of the promise of blessing for others.18).15-18 is of special importance for our purpose. 15. is obviously one of those passages of the framework such as we have encountered already in the Isaac and Jacob stories. 13. 21. and it is found yet again at the close of the Abraham story (22. here too the promise of increase is emphasized at the conclusion. further.8). when Abraham is to set out 'to the land that I will show you' (12. 17.7. 28. it is developed further as an 'oath' of YHWH. 17 (passim). it is applied to Ishmael. These verses underscore the close of the Abraham story. and then throughout the whole Abraham narrative.14). which clearly extends beyond the limits of the narrative of the offering of Isaac. 17. The promise of increase also occurs at the very beginning: 'I will make you into a great nation (12.14).2. The function of the divine addresses as framework and interpreters are once more clearly recognizable in this promise element.

this oath is taken up explicitly in 26. 12. First. . Later.18 and 26. and another reason was added which in both language and thought is close to that of Deuteronomy. The reason is that Abraham listened to the voice of God. this statement is expanded in the deuteronomistic style. older from the point of view of the history of traditions than those in 22.3-5 is quite clear.18 and 26. the Isaac story was added to them as a collection in its own right. In both cases the reason is given. introduced by a phrase which one might render by 'that is why9. and which is rare in the Old Testament and is found only in these two places in Genesis.14 are.17 does not occur in 26. later formulations were used here in the process of the formation of the tradition. The whole of the divine address to Abraham in 22. In both cases the promise address comprises the promise of increase—using largely the same terminology1—and the promise of blessing for others. following our observations.3 and the promise described as the fulfilment ('maintenance') of the oath.3 and 28. The assembling of the patriarchal stories therefore to form a larger unit took place in different stages.3 and 28. Considering this from the point of view of the process of formation of the tradition. 22. Corresponding to this. But there is more in common. the following emerges: a first phase saw the Abraham and Jacob stories bound together by means of the promise of blessing for others. the divine 1 Talk of possessing the gate of one's enemies' in 22. there. the gift of'all these lands' is assured.16-18 and 26. 2 See also the phrase 'because of Abraham my servant' in 26.78 The Process of Transmission in the Pentateuch form on the contrary at the conclusion of the Abraham story (22. the formulations in 12.2 in 26.14 speak of'all the clans of the earth'. especially between the conclusion of the Abraham and the Isaac stories.24. 'in that'.5.4. In contrast to the two other collections of narratives.16 is introduced by a solemn oath formula.4 of'all nations of the world'. And so the very tight link both in language and content between 22.4). Each of the patriarchal stories had its own antecedent history.18) and in the Isaac story (26. the collections of the Abraham and Jacob stories that had a more markedly narrative form were joined together.3. A second phase saw the same promise element of blessing used to bind the Isaac tradition as well to the Abraham tradition.

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

16 where. 17).10 stands in a quite isolated divine address.4. from which the word 'seed' is missing.3.2 and 18. it occurs in the Isaac story in 26. A further expression of the promise of increase appears in 13. Ishmael is to become a (great) nation. By and large. The image of the stars is found again in the Abraham story only in the closing passage. The promise of the son therefore is developed further towards the promise of increase. so that it is in this that one must look for the purpose of the text of 15.1-6 as it now lies before us.18. the multiplication of the 'seed' is to be like the dust of the earth.5. for the rest.14. This statement is heavily underscored in the framework of the alteration of 'Abram's' name to 'Abraham'. 2-4). But it then moves on to speak of the abundance of posterity. that the posterity will become a nation. The situation is somewhat different in 15. where the new name is explained in a word play as 'the father of a host Cab-hamon) of nations' (17.15-18 (v. as a single statement. there is no doubt that Isaac is in mind. a great nation. 22. that Ishmael is to become a (great) nation (21. the promise of the son and the promise o increase are clearly separated. there is the single statement about a great nation in 12. making use of the image of the stars. 2 See above under 2. First. and repeated.20. . This text too begins with the promise of a son as an answer to Abraham's hesitant questions (w.3. in 21. There is another group of texts in which an increase to 'peoples' is promised.1-6. the same occurs in a very different sort of context in 17. therefore. It is noteworthy that this formulation.1 Finally. occurs again in 46. This formulation does not occur again in the rest of the Abraham story.80 The Process of Transmission in the Pentateuch descendants (seed) in 16.13. in the framework of the extension of the promise of the land to the promise of increase. It is also said. or nations. Given the context of the Abraham story.13.2 The groupings here are again clearly different.18). it is 1 See above under 2. though it does in the Jacob story in 28.3. a text which is traditio-historically parallel.4-5). there is the rather frequent statement.2.18 (where it is expanded). at the conclusion of the Jacob story.

14-17. where Abraham is ordered to journey to the land which YHWH will show him. The orientation of the promise of the land is different in 13.31 15. there has been a series of stages which. Here it is a matter of the assurance of the possession of the land after the separation from Lot. 17. II). it is the original announcement of the occupation of the land where Abraham is already living. 2 So with the Sam and LXX. BHS.3. cf.13-15.3 There is a further series of texts in which the promise of the land is likewise the consequence of the promise of increase. We will have to reckon here with a gradual growth of the tradition. where there is an accumulation of ideas. and then in the passage that frames the Jacob story (35.31. one must note carefully that this verse is formulated in quite obvious parallelism to 11.1.1 The promise of increase has certainly not been developed at one stroke in the course of the reworking of the Abraham story. It is similar in the case of the promise of the land. fits nicely into this context. 6.4. rather. outside the divine address in the form in 28. while the possession of the land is assured to the 'seed' as well. The Patriarchal Stories 81 conceivable that the plural form 'nations' had its origin in this word play. 3 See above under 2.7-21. 1 Gen.5. 12. The plural occurs twice more in Genesis 17 (w.31 15. besides also D'D. namely 15. 11. First. 2. We must again begin with a text in which the promise is an immediate constituent part of the context. 16). where a corresponding assurance is given to Jacob.2.3.912). . have had scarcely any connection with each other. Once again we must refer to the parallel texts in 28.16. in part. 48. 'nation and an assembly of nations' (v.7 11.7 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.

and outside the Abraham story in 28. When Abraham takes possession of Shechem as a place of cult. We have discovered that it always occurs in combination with other promise elements.3) where there is talk of the blessing.7 holds a similar emphatic position. in the Jacob story. let us add a few remarks on the promise of blessing. then again at the very end (48. In conclusion. 35. it is found twice more in the Abraham story in conjunction with the promise of increase. characteristic of these is that the promise is addressed only to the 'seed'.4. in a series of passages where the real interest is the promise of increase.4. also 26. We can reckon therefore with a stage in the process of the history of tradition in which.2) and at the end (22. The same formula confirms the striking of the covenant in 15. However. belongs here also. Here too one can recognize clearly a deliberate intention in the placing of the promise elements. Finally. In the Abraham story it occurs.9). formalized sentences without any link with other promise elements. and in precisely in the same places in the Isaac story (26. before and after the journey to Haran (28.7 and belongs without doubt to a quite different stage in the process of formation. with the same wording.8. The citation of a divine address in 24.3. cf. this is underscored by the brief to your seed will I give this land'. Here.12.7. For the rest. Let us summarize: we have seen that the promise addresses have on the one hand gone through a varied and many-lay- .3. in parallel passages about Sarah (17.17).82 The Process of Transmission in the Pentateuch We have already referred to this combination of the promises of increase and land.16) and Ishmael (17.20). This is the case in 17.3. and certainly not by chance. the place where it occurs is not without significance. 48. One could say then that the promise of the land in 12. Likewise. the promise of the land occurs in brief. the promise of the land itself is not the real theme.18. 24). one must always keep in mind that one is dealing here with a late stage in the process of formation of the tradition. at the beginning (12. 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. the formulation is notably different from 15. 35. the promise of the land has been added.

The Patriarchal Stories 83 ered process of development. in the course of the process of its formation.5.14). These were obviously the two elements which had established themselves as stamping and covering comprehensively the patriarchal stories. there is a close link between the guidance and the blessing for others. there are still further passages to mention in which the divine guidance appears as a determining element (28. of a variety of links with the other promise themes—land.2. In the Isaac story.3. a clearly stamped guidance narrative stands at the beginning (12. by means. There can be no doubt therefore that the patriarchal stories present an independent larger unit which. the intention and careful planning which have directed the process are in many cases clearly discernible. Likewise. It stands at the beginning (12. 32. and at the beginning of each of the Isaac and Jacob stories (26.1. In these last two. but on the other hand have been carefully and consciously made a part of the reworking and theological interpretation of the patriarchal stories. 46.18) of the Abraham story.34). It pervades and stamps the Jacob story also.1-3) and the end (ch. besides the divine addresses (28. 31.15. here. 42. 31. see above under 2.1-9. has been reworked in different stages and provided with theological interpretations. 22).3) and at the end (22. however. . Certain elements are particularly prominent. 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.20.2. 24). The Abraham story too is determined by it. the element of guidance is in an emphatic position at the beginning of the two divine addresses which frame it (26.2-3. 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. The reworking did not take place at one stroke. 12. posterity.10-11).1 The blessing for others is a second promise element which joins together all three patriarchal stories.4. 28. and blessing. and the divine promise addresses dominate both the reworking and the interpretation.

are not found in the traditions of the book of Exodus. 22. The direct divine address is used far less often than in the patriarchal story. 2.3. as a determining and characteristic element.7). but there is no reference at all1 to the constantly repeated promise of increase 1 In the very redundant Exod. 1.7. holds for the whole of the patriarchal story.84 The Process of Transmission in the Pentateuch effect in the narratives. The prolific increase in numbers of the Israelites is mentioned in the very first verses of Exodus (1. And this suggests that we direct the question first to the continuation of the patriarchal story in the book of Exodus. in the patriarchal story. 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.4 (Isaac). in the Jacob story it shows itself as an element of the composition. 12. which stands as a signature tune (Motto) at the beginning of the Abraham story. 26. belong to the content of the promise addresses. it is clear that the reworking has fitted these three collections together so as to form one composite whole. for the rest of the Pentateuch as well. .5 The absence of any definite reworking in Exodus-Numbers It has been shown that the patriarchal stories represent a selfcontained larger unit which. referring to the increase of the Israelites. in particular. This is clear at once in the passages where themes occur which. in both its individual parts and as a whole. determined by the same purposes and using the same means. 28. A first result is a negative conclusion: the promise addresses. there are but two terms. while in the Isaac story it appears only in the two divine addresses without any reference to the context. But before all else. the contents of the promise addresses of Genesis scarcely occur and are not at all the centre point. and that once again by means of the promise address.14 (Jacob).18 (Abraham). which have already occurred in the promise of increase in the book of Genesis. has undergone intensive reworking and theological interpretation. The question now arises whether one can demonstrate a reworking. Thus one can see that this promise. not very specific.

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. pp.1 of which the author is obviously not aware. and instead. Introduction to the Old Testament. Fohrer-Sellin. The Patriarchal Stories 85 addressed to the fathers. Isaac. the home of the Canaanites. and more. .3. 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. 50. 15. into a land that flows with milk and honey. as a land that is the home of foreign nations. the land is introduced as something entirely new. 124f. the Hittites. The text reads: 'I will lead you into a good. those addressed here would be the 'seed' for whom the promise holds good. at a time determined by God. the Amorites. It is not.13-16.2.2 Following the terminology of the promise of the land in Genesis. the Israelites are to journey after they have been rescued from slavery in Egypt. 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. And so the silence about these links in Exodus 3 is all the more striking. the Hivites. 27. 1 Cf. 'Arten'. The land is introduced here as an unknown land.2. One would expect that this promise would be taken up in Exodus 3. they are to return to the land promised them.24.8). and the Jebusites' (3. In Gen. p. references to the patriarchal story are not the verbs and see above under 2. In Gen. the Perizzites. This text stands in splendid isolation within the patriarchal story. 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. and Jacob'. Westermann. The situation is even more striking with the first mention of the land into which it has been proclaimed. But they are not spoken to as such. 2 Cf. broad land. 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. However. nevertheless.

17.24. The formulation corresponds to that in Gen. The text reads: Then God remembered the covenant with Abraham.8. one might perhaps conclude that the author had in mind some sort of general statement. The reference back to the patriarchal story is obvious. there is a transition piece between the story of Moses' youth and the following traditions about his call and the leading out of Egypt.7. 3. Only in Genesis 15 and 17 is there talk of this 'covenant'. In Exod. nothing is said about the content of the covenant obligation. 7). where there is likewise reference back to the promises to the patriarchs. 6. cf. n. and Jacob (v.7 in a somewhat adapted formulation (v. in the latter. n. but only in explicit relationship to the promise of the land. Ch. The land is described as the 'land of Canaan' and 'the land of sojourning(s)' (Exod. . see above under 2. it is a matter of a resumption of those formulations which. belong to the latest in the process of the formation of the tradition. but not by way of resuming one of the promise elements. 141a. it is the land that is mentioned as the content of the divine self-obligation (15. The word 'covenant' is there again. it is once more stated expressly that God will lead the Israelites into the land that he has solemnly promised to give to Abraham. with Isaac. rather like Gen. than a concrete promise. Macholz. Isaac. 2. . and with Jacob' (v.1 At the end of the divine address.2-9. 8). the theme 'covenant' is developed extensively. Further. 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. it stands outside the narrative context in an independent narrative address. In Exod. with the whole range of promises sounding. the assurance of God's presence has been taken up from 17. In Exod.23-25. within the patriarchal stories. and moreover. and with the addition of the assurance 'to be your God and the God of your descendants after you' (17. 17. there is a very extensive divine address. 2.86 The Process of Transmission in the Pentateuch entirely lacking. However. In the former.4).3.5. it is rather by mention of the 'covenant' that God made with the patriarchs. 24).18).1). This is a reference back to the patriarchal story. 6. which has no immediate connection with the narrative context.

there is extensive reference to the promises to the patriarchs: 'Remember Abraham. Isaac. Isaac. you and your people whom you have lead out of the land of Egypt. the promise of the land. 22. In each case it is said of the land. and the whole of this land of which I have spoken to you I will give to your seed. 50. especially to the promise of the land.7. though quite sporadic.* In these places. 3.13). whereas it occurs in connection with the promise of the land only twice outside the divine address (Gen. 5. Exodus 13 contains cultic prescriptions about the eating of the unleavened bread and the offering of the firstborn.7. 33. One can recognize again 1 For the connection with the tradition in Exod.11).1 reads: TJp. and Jacob: to your seed I will give it'. There is talk here of the oath which is found in the patriarchal stories in Gen.2. after the people had sinned by making the golden calf. see below under 2. There are some further places.7. is added here. 24. to the land of which I swore to Abraham. and they will take possession of it for ever' (32. missing in Genesis 22. the citation of the divine address to that in Gen. where there are references to the promises to the patriarchs.3. in the patriarchal story.7. And so it is a matter of the two passages in which. 22. and Israel. 24. In the prayer of Moses.2 The reference therefore is to a layer of tradition in the patriarchal story which is relatively late and by no means central. your servants to whom you swore by yourself and to whom you spoke: I will increase your seed like the stars of heaven.8. There is a clear echo of Gen. The prescriptions in both cases refer to the period after YHWH will have led the Israelites into the land.16 and 26. 50. however.24. with certain differences in the formulation. The Patriarchal Stories 87 process. The address of YHWH to Moses in Exod. The address corresponds almost word for word to that of Joseph in Gen.24). it refers not to the promise of the land but to the promise of increase. go on your way from here. . 2 Further detail see below under 2. God's oath is joined with the promise of the land.16-17 with the oath that YHWH swore by himself and the promise of increase under the image of the stars. that it is that which YHWH swore to the patriarchs to give to the Israelites (w.

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

28. 46.4. the inevitable conclusion: the Moses tradition has been reworked and interpreted from entirely different points of view than the patriarchal stories.8).5.2. In 46.13)1 and twice in connection with the formula 'Fear not' together with an assurance of guidance (26. 1. 29. 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. 2 Cf.3. this reference back to the patriarchal stories is not something that arose out of the stories themselves. these two traditions obviously did not belong together. 42. In Exodus 3-4. besides the divine address. 9). says. and Jacob. and that likewise almost entirely in connection with statements about the guidance of Jacob by YHWH (31. the God of the patriarch (Jacob) presents himself as "?«n. within which the author or redactor wants the questions to be understood. 15.7) and with the first mention of the land into which YHWH will lead the Israelites (3. further Exod.24 to Isaac. talk of the God of the fathers has acquired a new function which it did not have in the patriarchal stories. 32.5 (beginning).3 to Jacob).10).2. In the basic stage of their formation and reworking. 18. This goes together with the observation that with the information about the prolific increase of the people (Exod.3 Hence. Further. in the Jacob story there is. when taking up this episode in 32.2 It is of particular importance to have established that there are here other questions than those in the patriarchal stories which are determinative. talk of the God of the fathers.10 (Eng. there is no reference at all to the corresponding promise themes in the patriarchal stories.. 1 It is only here that the divine name YHWH occurs when God is addressing himself to one of the patriarchs. and does not take up a topic already at hand there. rather it looks back to the patriarchal stories with a different formulation of the question. . 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. The Patriarchal Stories 89 or fathers occurs once in connection with the promise of the land to Jacob (Gen.. 3 See above under 2. Accordingly.

And more. 'Mose'. EvTh 31 (1971) 579-88 = Gesammelte Studien zum Alien Testament 2. p.27b). 4 Op. 2 Op. 326).90 The Process of Transmission in the Pentateuch 2. (p. It is clear that Exodus 1—4 has been composed as a relatively self-contained unit. p.. as we have seen. by and large. Von Rad has indicated briefly1 that one can scarcely speak of stories (Sagen) in the proper sense in the Moses-tradition. cit. the basic element of the divine addresses does not appear in the Moses tradition. 'the tight inner coherence of the narrative in Ex 1-14'4 is striking. the presuppositions are essentially other. Hermann. they bow down in worship.31 has clearly several functions: first. but on the Israelites 1 'Beobachtungen an der Moseerzahlung Exodus 1-14'. 3 Op. 582-83. 192-93 = pp. EvTh 28 (1968) 301-28.31.. also S. then it takes up the statement that God 'saw' (2. 5. the statement of the "belief of the Israelites is taken up by way of conclusion in 14. pp. rather we have to do at most with 'motifs' (Sagenmotiven). 9): 'the people believed'.583. cit. The verses 2. 582. who speaks of a 'tighter arrangement of events' with regard to Exod. 192 = p.2325 mark the decisive turning point: God hears the cry of the oppressed Israelites and takes heed of it. Finally. 193 = p.2 This is in accord with the absence.1. The conclusion in 4. and they would have to be quite different because. of 'developed narrative units'. First. 8. 1973.3 In contrast. Now they experience this themselves. . it brings to a close the question whether the Israelites will "believe' Moses 4. as we have tried to do for the patriarchal stories. Their belief is no longer based merely on the proclamation of rescue by Moses. pp. 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. the methodological criteria would have to be worked out.. 18998. Iff. cit.25) the Israelites and their distress. 5 Cf.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.5 Just a few remarks may now be made on the composition of the Moses narratives.

3 Here and in v.7.5 The link with the promises to the patriarchs 1 Cf. 4 See above under 2. W. Exod. 32. It is only in v. von Rad. that brought you out from Egypt' (w. 13). Gross. There is only a very general reference here to the event of the Exodus. 4. 'Die Herausfuhrungsformel—Zum Verhaltnis von Formel und Syntax'. The references in Exodus 32 are more concrete. 198 = p. who brought us out of the land of Egypt' (w. comes the broad reference to the promises to the patriarchs (v. Here. it is a matter throughout of fixed and formalized formulas which on each occasion have been joined by as relative sentences for further precision. . The Israelites say: 'As for this fellow Moses. 12 the verb (Hip'il) is used instead of (hip'il). op. Moses uses the same formulation about YHWH (v. No particular demonstration is needed to show that the Sinai passage is an independent larger unit. go on from here. ZAW 86 (1974) 425-53. 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. 3 of the image of the golden calf they say: 'these are your gods. II).1 But these questions must be pursued further. 8). Express cross references to the preceding complexes of tradition occur only in isolation. 33. YHWH says to Moses: 'your people.1-3 is interesting. the situation in Exod.5. p. YHWH commands Moses to set out with the words: 'Up. 19. cit. 7).4 Finally.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. 1.4). attached to this. The Patriarchal Stories 91 having 'seen' what YHWH has done. Israel. 588. to kill them on the mountains and to wipe them from the face of the earth?' Then. One can discern then a clear connection between the composition of Exodus 1-4 and the overall composition of Exodus 1—14. cf. 2 Account is not taken here of references which occur within the legal material and the uncontestably priestly layer of the Sinai passage.. you and your people whom you have brought out of the land of Egypt'. On the problem of the difference between these two verbs in the 'formula of leading out'. the people you brought out from the land of Egypt' (v.2. 5 Cf. 23).

this holds too for the references to the patriarchal story.4. 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. This does not in any way mean that the two complexes of tradition must have been related to each other originally.8. It is clearly something more than mere passing references or after-thoughts. 17. 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 2.8. Isaac.3 [cf. there is more about the land into which Moses is to lead the Israelites. only the sequence 'Amorites. and YHWH announces the expulsion of the nations living there. primarily. the leading out from Egypt is mentioned often in connection with the 'murmuring' of the people. and with that striking absence of any connection with the patriarchal story. 20.6. 11.3.2 The passage is characterized by a striking mingling of traditions. 18. One rather gets the impression that the tradition of the 'murmuring' of the Israelites contained this element right from the beginning.5. Its function is. 21 belongs to the desert or occupation of the land tradition. see above under 1. enumerating them in almost the same terms as in Exod. 3.5. w. to set in relief the contrast between the present. 2 Verse 2. Hittites' is the reverse of Exod. the content of these texts shows no further connections with the traditions about the leading out from Egypt.2-4. and so bring to the fore the accusations against Moses (and Aaron) (Exod. Apart from the mere reference back to the better situation in Egypt. 20.13. 3 On the question whether ch.1 Then.53)." . In the narratives about Israel's stay in the desert. dangerous situation in the desert and the comparatively much better position in Egypt. 21. 14. 16. The land is described as 'the land that flows with milk and honey' (v. 16. It must be said that in general. it is spoken of in the same way as we have known it from the beginning of the Moses narrative. 3). Num.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. and Jacob: to your seed will I give it'.4-5. 32].

It is scarcely possible to glean from the texts that the leading out was a saving action of YHWH for Israel.2 Here.13. 14 with reference to the 'ill-treatment' that 'befell' the Israelites.22). Then we cried out to YHWH. 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.2. 11. 16a).1 There are only two places in this complex of tradition where there are references to the patriarchal stories. at the same time been a notable shift of emphasis. whereas its real significance as a historical and saving action of YHWH for Israel is scarcely mentioned. The first occurs without any links within an address of Moses to YHWH. The Egyptians treated us and our fathers badly. The narratives of Israel's stay in the desert have not. 20. that in a limited sense. and hence. 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. 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. 18. in an address of YHWH.6. there is some dependence in the process of the formation of the tradition. 2 Moses' message opens in v. as a whole.8. 14. . as well as Exod. 18. In both cases the reference is to the 'oath' that YHWH swore to the patriarchs that he would give them the land (Num. The second combines the traditions: immediately before. There has. In the narratives of the occupation of the land in the book of Numbers. so resuming a formulation already used in Exod.23). cf. 19. and he heard our voice and sent an angel and led us out from Egypt' (Num.15. Num.12. 16. the 'signs' which he had done in Egypt and in the desert (!) are referred to (Num. however. 14. Exod. been brought into an inner harmony with the traditions preceding them. The reference to the leading out from Egypt serves only as a contrast to the present situation. 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. The Patriarchal Stories 93 the Israelites. 14. the leading out from Egypt is mentioned 1 On the other hand. 22.

in the context of the leading out from Egypt. the passage speaks of an angel and not of Moses.8. This passage joins together the traditions of the promise of the land to the patriarchs and of the leading out from Egypt. The relationship to the different traditions is clearly quite disjointed in this chapter. and Isaac' (32. 33. Finally. 2. there are two further places..11). The cross references. it evokes no association at all with the patriarchs of whom Genesis speaks. which appear everywhere. The notion of 'fathers' has shifted. introductions to lists. are to see the land which I swore to Abraham. But no comprehensive reworking which shapes the whole into a unit is immediately . Jacob. 32. And so only isolated references to the exodus tradition and to the patriarchal stories occur in this context..4 the lists of the tribes and clans is introduced: 'These are the Israelites who came out from Egypt'. 26. 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.94 The Process of Transmission in the Pentateuch together with the history that preceded it. These are mentioned explicitly within the same context and by name: 'None of the men who came up out of Egypt. And further. In Num. where the leading out from Egypt is mentioned: in Num.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. But here too. 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. and in Num. however. making any concrete narrative connection.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'. one cannot speak of any real connection with the larger units of tradition that have preceded. do not as a rule belong to the real narrative substance of the individual units.

there emerges one particular group of texts to which we must give somewhat more careful attention. show a very thorough reworking in which a theological intent arranging them was clearly at work. Isaac. Gen. that an over-arching reworking of the Pentateuch. in two texts which are important for the composition of the patriarchal story as a whole. 3. This is all the more striking because the patriarchal stories which we have examined closely as examples. 22. they are all concerned with one thing—that YHWH swore to the patriarchs that he would give the land to them. It appears. 4.2 here. Rather. 15.2. would be in no wise discernible. see also Exod. 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. Gen. however.16. The Patriarchal Stories 95 evident. 1967. which encompasses the different larger units. This does not mean. 26. p. . through the mal'ak 1 For . 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.24 anticipates the exodus story. Among the cross-references mentioned. 50. Talk of YHWH's oath is not very deeply anchored in the patriarchal stories. Die Landverheissung als Eid. But this theological intent is not discernible in the same way for the Pentateuch as a whole.e. YHWH's address (i.16.3. and Jacob'. cf. but it has already become quite obvious that it will have to be of a different kind from that of the patriarchal stories.16 does not appear in a fixed formula as in the majority of other cases. however.31. also N. Lohfink. In other words: the theological arrangement of the patriarchal stories is not to be equated with the theological arrangement of the Pentateuch. It is noteworthy that the mention of YHWH's oath in 22. 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. 2 See below. The reworking and arrangement of the remaining units requires still more careful study.

50. But what is most important is that it has the function of a transition piece in the place in which it stands. and appears again only in Num.16 in the process of formation of the tradition.24 therefore has not developed immediately out of the Abraham story as it lies before us.4. One can see here a step in the direction of the formulation in Gen. Gen. who spoke to me and swore to me: to your seed will I give this land'. elsewhere only in Jer. linked with (as in Isa.5. can refer only to 22.16 is the only attestation of in the book of Genesis. 22. the God of heaven .24. Jer.2 The words 'I will fulfil the oath that I swore to your father Abraham'.28. Finally. and which has obviously been added subsequently to the body of the Abraham stories.24. namely Abraham's comportment in the preceding story of the offering of Isaac. The passage of course is linked with 22. but without any connection with the promise of the land. 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. One can scarcely see here a connection with the promise of the land where the formulations are quite different. Gen.24. 3b and 4a ). 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. and Lev.16. We can only conclude that in this passage.. The formulation of Gen. where there is a clear connection between YHWH's oath and the promise of the land: *YHWH. 24. 1 . and 11 x in Ezek. 2 See above under 2.. The situation is not entirely clear in 26.17.7. 22.96 The Process of Transmission in the Pentateuch YHWH) is introduced by the phrase: *By my own self I swear*. The passage about the oath is framed by the double promise of the land (w. 50. 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'. a fourth passage needs to be mentioned. 22. The formulation is close to that in Gen. 49. 14. 50.1 The reason for this is then given. it is completely absent from Exod. there is talk of YHWH's oath. It occurs in the context of a narrative which is relatively late.18. It joins the patriarchal story to the following traditions.3. so important for the composition of the Abraham story as a whole.)..

5.2. and Jacob: to your seed I will give it. is not present in the two units of tradition themselves. It could then very well be that one can detect in the express mention of the promise of the land in this place. therefore. is joined with the enumeration of the foreign nations who now occupy it (Exod. p. The Patriarchal Stories 97 in particular to the narrative of the leading out from Egypt. The command to Moses to set out is given in Exod. you and the people you have led out from the land of Egypt. there is much talk in w. As for their function. the oath of YHWH to the patriarchs is mentioned twice (w. It provides a link. first occurrence). one must remember that the exodus of the Israelites from Egypt has been mentioned immediately beforehand (12. 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 (13.25.51).24 is beginning to be fulfilled. as we have seen. an intent directing the composition. the formalized description of the land.8. The next example does not appear. . 13) in the prescriptions about the unleavened bread. And I will 1 On see above. 3. and with the description of it as a land flowing with milk and honey'. at first sight. and had to be made. which. 50. to give any grounds for thinking that it has a corresponding function in the over-arching composition. In v.1-3a: Then YHWH spoke to Moses: Up. to the land which I swore to Abraham. The formulation therefore presupposes both traditions. nevertheless. 50. 95 n. Isaac. 33. each time with explicit reference to the promise of the land. depart from here. Seen from this point of view. 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. so that what is said reaches far beyond the ambit of ritual prescriptions. 13 is concerned in content with the prescriptions about the unleavened bread. 3-10 about the leading out from Egypt and of the imminent leading into the land promised by YHWH. In Exodus 13. 1. namely that what was announced in Gen.1 This then is the obvious place where the link with the last words of Joseph could. What follows in ch.19) with express reference back to Gen.5. 'which he swore to your fathers to give you'.

22.2 The function of this cross reference at this place could be that. 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. with the exception of Caleb (14.98 The Process of Transmission in the Pentateuch send an angel before you. Gen. with YHWH's express decision in Exod. as in Gen. the promise of the land is again mentioned and confirmed when the journey is resumed. So then. 32.16-17 are once again clear. The reference to the promise of the land in the prayer of Moses in Exod.11-14. as the God who made the promise of the land. . in the context of the promise of increase. 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.1-3). 32. the fulfilment of the promises to the patriarchs would have become impossible.7. We find the same traditions joined together here as in Exod. the Hittites. 22. the Hivites. After Moses' intervention in Exod. 14-15). so Moses intercedes and counters YHWH with his very own promises.10 to annihilate the people. 23). 13. Moses gives expression to his doubts.13 is also to be seen in this context.11-15. the realization of the promise is put in question: YHWH declares that not one of the desert generation is to see the promised land. whom he describes. 24. at the same time it is said that this journey to the land constitutes the realization of this promise. The links with the oath in Gen. and once again YHWH's oath is recalled in the same concise form (v. would send his angel before Eliezer. YHWH's oath is mentioned here. 2 On (Gen. 11. 22. besides. and the Jebusites—to a land flowing with milk and honey'.1 and I will drive out the Canaanites. YHWH himself resumes the promise of the land to the patriarchs in his command to journey on (33. In the prayer in Num. 'the stars of heaven' are mentioned. among many other things.15. 32. These two passages then complement each other. In the episode of the scouts in Numbers 13-14 also. the Amorites.16). after a break in the journey by a stop at Sinai. the Perizzites. where Abraham requests that YHWH. in however concise a form ('the land which you swore to their fathers').22-24). (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.

p. op. Rupprecht also supports this function for Gen. 32.2. cit.1 and at the same time clamp together all Pentateuch traditions under one allembracing theme: YHWH has given the land to the Israelites. it must be first explored. and the command of YHWH to Moses in Exod.. esp. Two passages are of particular importance for the composition as a whole: the announcement by Joseph in Gen. cit. Both passages join the patriarchal stories with the traditions which tell of the journey of the Israelites from Egypt back into the promised land. 50. these words of YHWH are cited again in Num. 2 N.2): "Sich des Landes bemachtigen"?.23!]). Ploger.24 that YHWH will bring the Israelites back into the land promised to the patriarchs.24: (Exod. 30. 2. 14. there is not a word [except in Num. 17-18 with n.10. they belong to a layer of reworking which has not penetrated into the substance of the narratives themselves. One usually calls the layer of reworking of which we are speaking here 'deuteronomistic' or more recently 'early deuteronomic'2 or 'protodeuteronomic'. Finally. The Patriarchal Stories 99 the promise of the land to thw patriarchs. 50.1-3a at which the real journey into the promised land begins. but have merely made clear at certain decisive places the guiding point of view under which the whole is to be understood. one can scarcely avoid the impression of a very deliberate intent in the composition and interpretation of the Pentateuch as a whole. They appear throughout in their present context as 'post-scripts'. pp. 67. op. It has been shown that this reworking has left the texts at hand essentially unchanged and has inserted interpretative additions at definite places. 33. Lohfink. it is a matter of a reworking which in its ideas and language is closely related to Deuteronomy.3 In any case. 445. The land is described as quite unknown.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. and dangerous.. 1. Hos. strange. It 1 K. ZAW 82 (1970) 442-46. 3 J. that is. that the patriarchs had already lived there for a long time and that YHWH had promised them possession of it—of all this. .

.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.

1 Hence. take the documentary hypothesis as the virtually uncontested point of departure for their work. At the same time.Chapter 3 CRITICISM OF PENTATEUCHAL CRITICISM The question now arises whether. and their interest in the most precise understanding of the nature and theological purposes of the individual written sources seems undisturbed. across the larger literary complexes. this is the place to ask if this assumption is justified. 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. 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. the individual. . 1 See above under 1. recent pentateuchal research puts the question of the 'sources' in the sense of the documentary hypothesis. apart from this reworking with its deuteronomic stamp. right up to its present and final stage. Current international study of the Pentateuch presents at first glance a picture of complete unanimity. 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. 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.3.

discussed earlier. p. The sources are. 5th edn. after all. David Green. p. 48. 1975). namely that the texts which Kaiser and others claim for the Yahwist are to be divided into two sources. see below p. i. The sentence. 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. 3 E. 1969. on the whole definitively separated. comprehensive 'Introduction' by Otto Eissfeldt. 1970 (2nd edn). on the whole definitively separated'. 1970 edn (and incorporating further revisions by the author to 1973 (Oxford: Blackwell.2 The reader must pause here: Is the question.4 he likewise divides the Tahwist'. the Yahwist. 1984. of a first and second Yahwist. the 3rd edition of which is not much older than the two mentioned. circulating in German and contemporaneous with Kaiser's book an 'Introduction' by Georg Fohrer. 2 Emphasis added. does the chief source of the Pentateuch.. 4 Einleitung in das Alte Testament. actually exist or must two sources in fact be accepted in its place.'1 This sounds like the final result of a long development. English version of Introduction to the Old Testament. accepted by Kaiser and many others. 107 n. however. There is also the standard. 1970) trans. of the theological significance of the Yahwist depend on it? There is. and the author obviously wants it to be understood as such. English.e. 5. Fohrer. contains a parenthesis.3 Fohrer represents the view noted in the parenthesis. Sellin-G. not yet finally explained. and calls the second of them the 'nomad source'. completely revised and rewritten. but calls the second source the 'lay course'. 1964 (3rd edn) English. 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. Einleitung in das Alte Testament. .102 The Process of Transmission in the Pentateuch 3. 44. 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.. Introduction to the Old Testament (London: SPCK.1 The present state of pentateuchal criticism One reads in the latest German 'Introduction to the Old Testament' by Otto Kaiser: 'The sources are. 1969 (llth edn). prescinding from the problem.

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

p. 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'. one can only describe such a statement as wishful thinking.1 Schmidt observes that this characterizes 'the state of research into the book of Exodus which remains basically unaltered up to the present da/. Engnell has expressed in withering words how this situation is to be judged: 'In reality. in style and content.. pp. 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. It is certainly true that there is broad agreement in working out a layer of tradition within the Pentateuch which. 1970. can be described as 'priestly'.104 The Process of Transmission in the Pentateuch nagel who wrote: 'Complete certainty has been reached in separating out P. amounts to a complete dissolution of the entire system by the very scholars who defend it' (Critical Essays on the Old Testament. Willis from Swedish. cit. cit.5 He writes: 'A characteristic of the content of P is the tight link between historical narrative and law.T. 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. 8. p. the development of the literary-critical approach in the period following Wellhausen's classical formulation . Even so passionate an opponent of classical source criticism as Engnell acknowledges this. 5 Fohrer.. cit. 3 I. J. trans. 59. 1912.3 But further. cit.. p.2 Nothing essential then has changed in this uncertainty for half a century. 146.4 But there are basic differences of opinion when it comes to determining further the nature of this layer and establishing its intent. and many a time one has to renounce completely any separation of J and E as too uncertain'. there is often great uncertainty in separating J from E. 183 . On the contrary. 183 6 Op.. op. The two are bound together inseparably'. 2 Op.6 Noth represents an opinion which is the complete opposite of 1 Lehrbuch der Einleitung in das Alte Testament. p.. 4 Op. The survey that follows therefore claims only a limited degree of probability. p.. 53).

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

Tentateuque'. the other hypotheses proposed in the course of the 19th century have receded into the background: the 'fragmentary hypothesis'. long before Wellhausen. and certain scholars or groups of scholars have shifted the emphasis in their statement of the question. There has been no essential change in the arguments and counter-arguments for the delimitation of the sources not O0nly since 1912. . one or several more sources or layers. Most of the positions assembled by H. 1966. and a glance over its history shows that it was ever so. is far less unanimous than is often maintained. VII. DBS. (2) Since Wellhausen. but nogreement as to their number. there is a priestly layer in the Pentateuch. There have certainly been new positions in addition. the 1 Einleitung in das Hexateuch. there is. Gazelles. i. 1893.106 The Process of Transmission in the Pentateuch 1. therefore. Holzinger1 in 1893 are still represented today by individual exegetes. Pentateuchal research.e. as W. Schmidt has noted. however. the 'priestly document' has normally been regarded as the latest of the pentateuchal sources. more or less extensive. there still remains a variety of different opinions. it is accepted that the Pentateuch is assembled from several continuous 'documents' or 'sources'.H. 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. and their relationship to each other. the 'documentary hypothesis' has been supported almost exclusively. One must add. fragments. What is often presented as the 'triumph' of the documentary hypothesis since Wellhausen is basically but two things: (1) since then. that these two hypotheses have had virtually no support since the middle of the 19th century. however. which reckons not with sources extending from the beginning to the end of the Pentateuch. there is. and the 'complementary hypothesis'. In face of this. according to which there was one basic document which was complemented by all sorts of other material. in fact. 791.e. quoted by H. i. but since the end of the previous century. 2. col. their delimitation. no agreement as to its more precise purpose nor as to which texts are to be assigned to its basic content. besides. but only with individual. but looking across the broad spectrum of current OT scholarship.

pp. pp.E. 3 Caselles then speaks of the 'present malaise in pentateuehal criticism. 13-19(15). LohfET. esp. M.4 O. Cassuto. sections III. Kaufmann.SOff. since then. p. Gazelles^ who wrote not so long ago: 'The present state would justify the title under which N. Let us cite only such a brilliant interpreter of pentateuchal research as H. 5 'Die alttestamentliche Wissensehaft'. W. Criticism of Pentateuchal Criticism s 107 Eeuss-Graf-Kuenen~Wellhausen-hypothesis' has prevailed to such an extent that. thus. 9. esp.. 2 See above p. op. 3 BibThB 2 (1972) 3-24. but assumes that the redactor has used the priestly document as a frame. namely concerning the Yahwist. dt... 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. 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'. 1974. 4 Ibid.. 153ff. trans.. Y.. Wagner presented his views: "Pentateuchal Criticism: No Clear Future"'.t pp.5 As an example of the younger German 1 E. IV. Creenberg from Hebrew. The Religion of Israel from the Beginnings to the Babylonian Exile. 1960. 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. has taken the narrative material in essence from the Yahwist. This is because lie sees that the very question which he himself felt to be central.3. There is an increasing number of voices today which question the apparent consensus or doubt whether it exists at all. and abr. 106 a. Engnell. which necessarily has repercussions on the theological analysis'. Haha. U. I.g. and has added the Elohist by way of complement only to a limited extent. The Documentary Hypothesis and the Composition of the Pentateuch.. ed. 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. and Conclusion. in Wissenschaftlicht Theologie im Uberblick. 1981. Kaiser maintains that pentateuchal research is really on the move again. . Others go farther. 1.

that it can be demonstrated that it is complete from beginning to end. 1974. one may cite F.1 above).1 3.. Stolz whose writings reflect a widespread view. If this source is no longer clearly discernible.2 3. p. the theological meaning of the Pentateuch has to a large extent been built on the interpretation of the Yahwist. 36. also the citation above from Gazelles (3. reckon with a Yahwist whose character is as complex as can be imagined.2. according to the basic principles of the documentary hypothesis. . to be sure.. he writes: With a conception such as this one must. 2 See above under 1.3 (von Rad's view of the Yahwist). After assessing the difficulties under which the hypothesis of a *Yahwist' labour today. To what extent does it see itself in the position to delimit clearly the texts to be ascribed to the Yahwist.e. let us put the question of the literary analysis. Certain demands must at least be put to the Yahwist which. from the creation right down 1 Das Alte Testament. In any case.108 The Process of Transmission in the Pentateuch OT scholars.1 Literary analysis of the Yahwist Has the current Pentateuch research a clear picture of the Yahwist? First. then the hypothesis as a whole can scarcely be maintained.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. hold in fact for all sources: namely. and that for two reasons: (1) the Yahwist is the only older source accepted by all supporters of the documentary hypothesis. If one does not succeed in demonstrating this chief source convincingly. (2) More recently. the other sources are dealt with and characterized in comparison with him. In fact. it is in no wise a rounded picture'. essential parts of the narrative material derive from it. then the current. i. judgment about the Yahwist constitutes as it were the key to the whole problem of the documentary hypothesis. widespread method of explaining the Pentateuch theologically is in danger.

also D. according to the respective views. The majority of exegetes reckon with only two sources for the primeval story. and that the texts attributed to it constitute a clearly recognizable coherent whole. 37—50). 2 Genesis (German 9th edn 1972. Ein kritischer Bericht. Recently. the Elohist has no part in the primeval story according to the prevailing view. Criticism of Pentateuchal Criticism 109 to the occupation of the land. At first glance no particular problems appear to arise in the analysis. O. Eng. Die Landnahme der israelitischen Stamme in der neuren wissenschaftlichen Diskussion. the correct) explanation of the origin of the present form of the text. namely the 'sources'. Rather. voices have increased which doubt if the source theory is applicable to the Joseph story (Gen. 20 (1970). Redford. among two. Von Rad. three. But it is not enough to demonstrate the lack of unity in the text. J and P).e. in an extensive block of 1 See above under 1.2 This at least puts a large question mark over the documentary hypothesis as the method which is to explain the whole Pentateuch if. The rest of Genesis is shared out. Only then can the Yahwist stand as a 'source' in the sense of the documentary hypothesis. and has also traced the path from them to the present final form. A Study of the Biblical Story of Joseph (Genesis 3750). 440. added an appendix in which he took account of these doubts. in the last edition of his Genesis commentary. in that it has worked out the earlier constituent parts. Cf. 92. the documentary hypothesis claims to be the best and most convincing (and so.3. n.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. inasmuch as there could be the most diverse explanations of this. J and P (or three: L/N. 2nd edn 1972) p. in the opinion of its subsequent supporters. p.B. 3. or four sources.2. i. VTSupp. 1967. 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. . and it only makes sense as an answer to this question. Steck. 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.

and (2) the precise delimitation of the units. .2 This means yet a deeper breach in the validity of the documentary hypothesis. Testaments. 1899 [3rd edn]. axcgetes are more or less divided. op. 6 Cf. but in explaining these unevennesses. 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. 82-83. Accordingly. 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.H.4 Let us cite furl./' but that a generation of work has not succeeded in determining which individual passages belong to the different sources.her from the commentary of W.Story and Pentateuchal Criticism'. and gaps in the text.e.1. Whybray. p. p. 'The Joseph. breaks.3 The difficulties of delimiting the sources in the first half of the m:ck of Exodus have already been mentioned. i. the tensions and unevennesses which are present in the text have to be explained in another way. It is relatively easy to perform the task of sorting out roughly the passages whose r or.N. A History. R. inserting them into their original context. VT 18 (1988) 522-28. because this large passage of text drops completely out of the conventional framework of explanation. 52). Also. pp. cit. After weighing thoroughly all 1 Sfcesk.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. 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. Noth. 4 See above under 3. There is often a twofold problem: (1) the assigning of these pieces to each other. 1974. 5 Exodus.5 This citation shows that one can establish that a text is not a unity. 20. 2 Redford and ¥/eippert. One surmises that this work. the assignment of texts remains an extremely doubtful matter. Schmidt in this matter: There is often agreement in registering the tensions. Where does a source really begin.? co live contents cohere.110 The Process of Transmission in the Pentateuch the tradition. is assembled out of J and E. here as elsewhere.

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

n.p. 6 Op. n. n.1-4. the problems do not become easier. 103.3 One could also describe this situation in another way. 31. 1 A History.4 'One must renounce any literary critical analysis of Exodus 33. Noth finds problems in Exodus 3—4. 30. 3. which seems 'to have been interpolated only secondarily into the work of the Yahwist'. 115. cf. has.5 And the passage Exod. 19-24. cit.549. 32-34). 2 Op. but only verified the hypothetical solution given earlier. not only in the process of the formation of the tradition..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. 24.112 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.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. eft. p. has not been included in the list.. Bundestheologie im Alien Testament. Perlitt. n. Noth maintains that the narrative of the Sinai event. 1969.3-8. been given such a complicated literary arrangement that a plausible analysis is now no longer possible'. 115. 114. 156ff. 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. It seems here to be a matter of a conglomeration of seconda/y growths'. eft.17) as a 'secondary element'. . 31. but also from the literary standpoint'. 5 Op. already within the old pentateuchal material (Exod. cit. 4 Noth. p. p.. by expansions and interpolations. n. Noth carries out some negative delimitations: the story of the golden calf is 'a secondary element within J.. 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'. ibid. 31. pp. 3 Op. L.1 in so far as he does not hold it to be elohistic.2Q3. namely by concluding that the criteria for source criticism have proved unsuitable to explain the literary problems of the Sinai pericope! Going into detail. which deals with the ceremony of the *blood of the covenant'.

all sorts of supplements have been inserted towards the end of the Moses tradition in the different literary stages. Ibid. Noth is of the opinion that one should not isolate the book of Numbers. Op. p. pp. 12 of Numbers is one of the most despairing cases in pentateuchal analysis. 120.. there has also been a literary working together of the Pentateuch and the deuteronomistic history. 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'. the old pentateuchal sources begin again..1 And a little later: In the second half of the book of Numbers.5 Nevertheless. I simply give up any attempt to dismember it'.32. In his rehearsing of the Yahwistic work he writes: *We feel our way through the fragments of the Yahwistic narrative.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. cit. p. and character ('fragment hypothesis')'. 126. as already said. 32f. according to the prevailing view. In the last available pieces in Numbers 32. Ibid. the situation in the 4th book of Moses does not of itself lead at once to these conclusions'. Immediately after dealing with the Sinai pericope where. age. 89. cit.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. Criticism of Pentateuchal Criticism 113 more difficult. n.p. Moses appears no more'. Numbers.3. one should call to mind 1 2 3 4 5 6 Op. p.5. n. 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.. then one would not easily come to the idea of 'continuous sources'. but rather to that of an unsystematic arrangement of numerous pieces of tradition of very different content..6 As for the 'results of pentateuchal analysis gained elsewhere'. 4. . Introduction. Noth writes: The very fragile ch.

and in addition. 37.3 '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'. n. 2 See above under 1. 22-24). 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. 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. But the citations given here indicate that there is in any case widespread uncertainty.. the analyses of Noth must be counted as truly representative of the present day. 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. been 'contracted to a secondary narrative trait'.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 Ibid. from Steuernagel to Schmidt. cit. Interpretation 20 (1966) 131-58. 5 Op. One must not pass over the fact that there are also exegetes who place more confidence in the trustworthiness of source analysis. even if one does not 'renounce completely as too uncertain5 the assignment of texts to particular sources. 3 'The Kerygma of the Yahwist'. 'great uncertainty' reigns in the source division in the first part of the book of Exodus.1. even though one cannot discern them there.5 There is no more talk of the death of Moses. but thinks that the conclusion *has been lost' in the course of the redaction.114 The Process of Transmission in the Pentateuch once more that already. . Noth is in basic agreement. and the results have 'often only a limited degree of probability*. with the Yahwist. Hence.4.1 It must remain doubtful if this is a basis from which one can expect 'sources' in the book of Numbers.

Smend. Wolff thinks otherwise: He maintains that the Yahwist is 'taciturn' on the Sinai theme.1 But for these also the difficulty remains that in the Yahwistic work there is no information about the death of Moses. but here too.3 He is of the opinion that this is 'thoroughly comprehensible in view of what is narrated here'. 86-87.3. Biblische Zeug"Jsse. they want to retain a small bit of 'Hexateuch'. 33. 127). n. and the 'law'-giving has obviously given occasion for all sorts of subsequent expansions and statements'. n. They acknowledge thereby Noth's separation of the book of Joshua from the Pentateuch. the making of the covenant. great uncertainty reigns. 31. 115. Criticism of Pentateuchal Criticism 115 chapter of the book of Judges as the conclusion of the Yahwistic work. . 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. Many would like to find it in Deuteronomy 34. p.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. Noth has already spoken against this view (A History. 78ff.. But this is not due to redactional alteration of the text. rather: 'How can it be otherwise. but do not draw the consequences from it. Introduction.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. rather.5 Noth is clearly of the opinion that the Yahwist too originally had a considerable and discernible share in this central passage. 2 Gazelles finds the opinion which ascribes Deut. what is the significance of the Sinai periocope for him. 1967.Literatur des alien Israel. p. also S. 34. 6 Exodus. col. 1966. 4 Ibid. pp. p.. given as starting point the kerygma (of the Yahwist}? The nations which 1 E. 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. 791).1b-6 to the Yahwist as 'tenant' (DBS VII.g. pp. 3 A History. Kaiser. 13.

5 Jahwist und Priesterschrift. 181. both themes are at the very centre of the theological conception of the Yahwist. 1969. in De Mart a Qumr&n.F.1 And so Wolffs conception of the Yahwistic work allows no significance worth mentioning to the Sinai theme. have no place at all in the Sinai theme. 34-57 (50). pp.. in the centre of the Sinai tradition stands Yahweh's will that demands justice. because it was already there before him. 6 The Yahwist. pp. . It was 'a free and daring act of the Yahwist' and signifies theologically 'a considerable enrichment'. having grown up together with the other themes'.4 There are still further opinions in the different monographs on the theology of the Yahwist. pp. cit. 1969. 53-54. Zwei Glaubenszeugnisse des Alien Testaments.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'. According to Marie—Louise Henry 'the Yahwist makes the event at Sinai the climax of his presentation'. 1969. Festschrift J. He could not of course by-pass it. The Bible's First Theologian. By taking to itself the Sinai tradition. 19. p. 'Positions actuelles dans l'ex£gese du Pentateuque'. Ellis writes: The Sinai covenant may rightly be termed the climax of the Yahwist's saga'.116 The Process of Transmission in the Pentateuch preoccupied him in the primeval story.3 For von Rad. Von Rad has emphasized that the 'inset of the Sinai tradition' was one of the decisive theological accomplishments of the Yahwist.5 P.2 The tradition of the occupation of the land attests Yahweh's merciful will. on whose account the patriarchal theme was so fruitful for him. Coppens. Over against this there should be set other opinions. and whom he saw both in the Joseph story and then in the exodus tradition in the form of the shackling might of Egypt. The Form-critical Problem'. Op. p. 53-54. Gazelles says of the Sinai theme: the Yahwist 'knows the Sinai [theme] and is more interested in it than one thinks'. themes which for Wolff have no further independent significance. 1. the selection of which can only be more or less random. the simple and basic soteriological idea of the tradition of the occupation of the land acquired a powerful and beneficial substructure'.

But as soon as one comes to refinements. pp. Older generations applied much ingenuity to working out the linguistic peculiarities of the penta-(hexa-) teuchal sources. by another to E. One reads: 'One can speak of a characteristic Lexikon oftT. 1959 (5th edn). pp. apart from the distinction 'Canaanites/Amorites' and 'Sinai/Horeb'.1 1 There follow no less than fourteen pages of Yahwistic vocabulary. There is a corresponding 'Lexikon' of E (9 pages).5 But in his Introduction he again advanced the argument from linguistic usage. Op. Op. Criticism of Pentateuchal Criticism 117 to be regarded as specifically and characteristically Yahwistic. 283-90. .2 again with further details on grammar and style. argument by means of differences in linguistic usage has receded completely into the background. cit. 5. 5. cit.45.339-48. 5 Op. and notes. 93 (emphasis in original). pp. and tries. p. 1893. p. also A.. Hexateuch. 6 Introduction. Introduction to the Old Testament. p. 11..6 Here the argument from different linguistic 1 2 3 4 Einleitung in den Hexateuch. Eissfeldt writes: *Even for J and E a whole list of statements have been made which are of permanent value. 29. likewise for (T)' and) P.3. 1922 = 1962 (2nd edn).4 He therefore gives place to the argument of the frequent occurrence of narratives. 181-89. cit. each time on the basis of language'. 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' . The uncertainty becomes still greater when it is a question of the marks that characterize the Yahwist's way of presentation and style. but little has remained from Holzinger's comprehensive lists. Bentzen. p.. then some more on grammar and style. narrative motifs.3 Since then. confusion begins. 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'. Synopse. all that is left is that the slave woman is called in the J-layer and in the Elayer. 183. It is generally emphasized that the language of the priestly document is clearly recognizable. The same narrative is not infrequently assigned by one author to J.

it is not used in any polemical sense.3 Noth. 3 Introduction. 7 And this all the more so in view of A.2 Kaiser refers to Holzinger (1912) and mentions a few examples. When the claim that the sources J and E differ from each other in their use of language. 1913) and Steuernagel (1912). 115. 214-15. objects etc. p.. something like Eissfeldt. 1) pp. 1974. p. 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. 'Amah .1 However.118 The Process of Transmission in the Pentateuch usage is reduced to a tiny crumb. persons. but in detail cannot be more sharply defined. 31. 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. arguments are often taken over and repeated on the basis of a general. but only to state that the consensus consists only in a basic conviction.6 it can only be due to the principle of inertia that this argument is still used at all. 6 Cf. Das alte Testament. 93.4 One thing becomes very clear from this example: in the present state of pentateuchal study. can be described as 'detailed' (so Fohrer). 2 Whether the summary details given by Steuernagel in his Lehrbuch—4see above under p. these arguments scarcely carry conviction and the individual exegete has scarcely been able to substantiate them with concrete content.5 consensus about the acknowledgment of the documentary hypothesis. Stolz. and these words and phrases occur too seldom to be of any real service in classifying the material as a whole'. p. he does not produce any examples but refers merely to the tables in Driver (1891. however illdefined. Further examination shows that the change in the designation of places. 21. 233-34. p. 104 n. 203. also F. however. 5 The German word used is 'diffus'. 4 A History. must be questionable. is not due to chance but coheres with other distinguishing marks'. Fohrer speaks confidently: The linguistic usage is different in the individual source layers. Jepsen's discussion. is reduced after all to the statement that there are two (or three!) different designations for the slave woman.7 Reference to tables in older literature without con1 Introduction..

Op. what part did the Yahwist and the other older authors of the sources play in the shaping of the texts ascribed to them.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 . serves scarcely more than to function as an alibi.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. Introduction. p.. 297. 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}. Criticism of Pentateuchal Criticism 119 crete details about what is considered still valid in them. so that one must reckon with two basic narratives.. Their committment to and Schiphchah'. first an older (G1) and then a later (G2)'. VT 8 (1958) 293-97: 'It would be far better to exclude the two words and from the arguments for source division'.p. The collection of stories had already begun in the oral tradition'.2. A History. First. 3.3 But this only makes the question more urgent.!29. It is not a matter of alternatives as opponents of the documentary hypothesis have developed it under the catch cry 'oral tradition'. p. 39. Since then further intermediary steps have been introduced into the discussion. There are various aspects to this question.IS. cif. 1 2 3 4 . One generally insists today that the Yahwist's work had a long pre-history. it has something to do with the question of oral and written tradition. p.1 Fohrer extended the thesis. one finds a very divided answer. 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.3.

Op.. The written collection of stories. pp. Op. 131. took place in a long process in which one can distinguish "two periods". .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. Op.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'. But what about the entity 'G'? Noth leaves the question open 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Genesis. p. Op. Ibid. and with their committment to writing the living oral transmission by no means came to an end'. 85.. cit. were written down only relatively late. as they are found from Genesis to Samuel. What preceded them? For Gunkel. 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 indeed for each literary unit'. p. 128-32. Op. cit.2 Fohrer's judgment is similar: 'In accordance with the literary promises available to Israel. The written sources/layers therefore are in essence unanimously considered to be written works.. and answered differently. cit. 85. p. the formation of the written sources meant the transition from oral to written tradition....120 The Process of Transmission in the Pentateuch writing 'will have followed at a time which lent itself rather to writers'.8 There is then only an apparent contradiction to the opinions of Gunkel and Fohrer already cited. cit. See above under 1. 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.3 Koch. p. in his discussion of this whole group of questions. to the older of which we owe "the collections of the Yahwist (J) and the Elohist (E)"'. 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'. Ixxx. cit.5 He surmises that 'the popular narratives.

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. Ixxxiii. H. Die Entstehung der Geschichtsschreibung im Alien Israel. pp.lSOt 4 Kaiser.2 Fohrer is of a different opinion here: 'It is to be presumed that G1 circulated only in oral tradition. pp. 5 Differently. Noth rejects G's opinion of the sources as 'schools of narrators'..3. see above under 1. p. Noth writes: 'the ancient sources clearly kept substantially to the narrative tradition given to them both as a whole and in detail'. whereas G2. 74. Gunkel had already insisted that the stories were taken over by the collectors essentially as they found them. p.5 For the rest. had a distinct form. 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. 1972. 7 Genesis. be it oral or written. Despite this agreement with Gunkel.8 And Fohrer very similarly: 'Apart from their individual characteristic. 229.8L 3 Introduction. it is emphasized that the material available. Introduction. . from which 'the Yah wist took over. 39. there is a recognizable tendency to give an affirmative answer. however.4 There is no unanimity therefore on the question whether the Yahwist used written sources which were available to him. he was much more strongly bound to what lay before him. p. 229. at the division of the kingdom after the death of Solomon. p.7 meaning here by 'collectors' expressly J and E. the authors of the ancient source layers kept in general and in detail to the tradition that they 1 A History. be it oral or written'. the basic outline for his narrative'. 2 Introduction.1 Kaiser speaks similarly of a 'moulded tradition (G). 6 For von Rad's view. Schulte. Ixxx. was probably available in a written version'. 84f. 8 A History. Criticism of Pentateuchal Criticism 121 and maintains that it cannot be decided.1.. He insists 'that this common basis for J and E must already have had a fixed form'. 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'.

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

or did he 'mould' them into another form. Criticism of Pentateuchal Criticism 123 despite these fundamental differences. Op. also W. then in what does this stamp consist. must be considered Yahwistic.3. 37.6 If one 1 2 3 4 5 Genesis (9th edn German. Eng 2nd edn) 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.. p. The Kerygma'. considered as certain. Schmidt. that the documentary hypothesis holds and that consequently everything that is not ascribed to the priestly writing or.. 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'.p.3. 1967. there is no unanimity: did the Yahwist not even so much as formulate or remodel the texts passed on. . 26.. 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 rework their language and style so that they now bear his own characteristic stamp? If yes. Literatur des alien Israel. cit. 136.1 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'. given the fundamental differences in form and style between the individual narratives? If no. which is not on firm grounds reckoned to another source or layer of reworking. if need be. 6 See above under 1. p. p.2 Smend writes on the question: We must think of the Yahwist as first and foremost a loyal collector of popular tradition.4 And so in this question as well. is ascribed to the Yahwist. Biblische Zeugnisse. to the Elohist.5 We have already spoken of a sort of method of subtraction which is used today whereby everything. 64. Exodus.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'.27. (He) has for the most part been content to pass on what was available to him'.

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

150 (with reference to Weiser). and how 'history' (Geschichte) is shaped out of individual stories (Geschichten). p.3) are taken predominantly. Criticism of Pentateuchal Criticism 125 although it has lost its essential basis and thereby its power of conviction: for von Had. namely 'the contents of the great forecourt known as the primeval story*.3.2 As proofs are alleged Gen. 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'. Op.p. 84. 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. see below under 3. The picture is similar with Fohrer. According to Kaiser the Yahwist has 'in the traditions available to him undoubtedly moved the action of Yahweh firmly into the foreground'. p. Introduction. Ibid. the 'self-expression' of the Yahwist becomes very clear.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. often almost exclusively. 8. Another characteristic mark of the present discussion is in evidence here: the arguments for identifying the Yahwist (for his theology. 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'.. Wolff holds to this idea and underscores it heavily.21 and (without explicit citation) Gen. .3 (The other nations can and so ought to share in its blessing?3). 12.!50. from Genesis! It is not mentioned if the 'special emphasis' of J is demonstrable in other places as well.1 He continues further: 'Striking here is the mingling of national (already noted) and universal concepts'. the arrangement of the larger blocks was the decisive accomplishment of the Yahwist. while in this 'arranging the material passed on'. 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. ci*. But Wolff has to qualify this immediately and say in the very next sentence that there is 'no reliable evidence here'.2.

23b-33. there can be no talk of a promise motif or motifs being passed on to the Yahwist. even though so many individual supporting arguments have been shown to be no longer tenable. T3y giving shape to the promise motifs handed on and by linking together the ancient traditions he achieved furthermore a theologizing*. 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 Here too there is the undemonstrated claim about the 'linking together of the ancient traditions' and the intention inherent in it. 18. 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.1-4a. 'Literarkritik und Traditionsgeschichte'.5-8. even though one cannot exactly prove it). . in my opinion.) talks of five much discussed bridge passages.4).3-2.3 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.3 The theology of the Yahwist But we have not yet mentioned a crucial matter of discussion 1 Ibid.1 (towards the end). 4 Wolff (op. it does not occur to them to doubt it. 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. 6. pp. 3 See above under 3.5 3.17-18.. 5 See further R. exclusively from the book of Genesis. 2 As shown above (2.!36ff. Rendtorff.2. larger complexes of traditions were already available (to the Yahwist)'. EvTh 27 (1967) 138-53. 12. one can discern clearly yet again how the overall conception has been maintained.2. cit. What then could he still link together? There is present here once more that general yet ill-defined consensus which we noted earlier. 8.21-22.126 The Process of Transmission in the Pentateuch clearly in the versions taken over by the Yahwist.2 And more—two sentences before we read 'that besides the basic plan linking together the different cycles of themes.

in the arrangement of the hitherto independent large complexes of tr&dition of the Pentateuch/Hexateuch. He did not mention in it his The Formcritical Problem.1 This text has been explained often and in detail. with the heaviest emphasis.21-22). 12. 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. Moth's opinion has prevailed by and large.3. pp.2 The second text. It is striking that this text is missing from the presentation of the Yahwist's theology in the Introduction of Fohrer and Kaiser. Gen. 18. i. Wolff. has put it at the centre of the theology of the Yahwist. 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. We have already referred to the basic shift of emphasis which judgment about the Yahwist as a theologian has undergone through Noth. The selection of texts has generally remained the same. .. in his commentary on Genesis he writes of both passages: If they do not stem precisely from his (the Yahwist's) pen.1-3 and 18.. they are in their whole pattern of thought incomparably closer to him 1 The Form Critical Problem'. there are mainly two places: Gen. on the contrary plays no role at all in von Rad's presentation of the Yahwist's theology. Besides a few sentences in the primeval story (especially 6. In their presentation of the Yahwist. Criticism of Peniateuchal Criticism 127 which dominates to a large extent the current literature: the theology of the Yahwist. 66. It has already been noted that von Rad saw the theological achievement of the Yahwist above all in the theological composition. 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.'. it is 'the clamp between the primeval story and the story of salvation' and 'the etiology of all etiologies of Israel'.22b-33. p.5 and 8.22b-33. 2 The Kerygma'. 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.!37ff.e.

p. 3 A History. 151 8 Cf. 4 Op. for von Rad.128 The Process of Transmission in the Pentateuch than the really ancient narratives'. 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'.6 And this is the only passage outside the primeval story that Fohrer expressly cites in his presentation of the theology of the Yahwist. 7 Introduction. 5 Introduction. op. Nothing. cit. 6 See above under 3. p. is to be reckoned only to a stage in the process of tradition when reworking and reflection were at work.20-33): The passage stands quite isolated and it is scarcely possible for us to classify it in the historical-theological process'. . it seems. 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. without any doubt.1 However. 1 Genesis (German.19 is deuteronomistic. I. 239. it immediately suggests itself to many exegetes that the piece is to be ascribed to the Yahwist.2. 214-15. cit. For him this piece is 'an independent contribution of J'3 and 'in the analysis of the theology of J deserves especially careful attention'. in any case one would like very much to ascribe so lapidary a piece of theology to this great theologian. 627. in his Theology of the Old Testament he has this to say about the second piece (18. Noth. p.8 such refined theological reflection ought not be confided to a 'redactor*. speaks in favour of one of the other sources.239.2 Hence.p.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'. 84-85. Eng. 2 Theology of the Old Testament. but stands in solitary isolation.5 Smend writes: 'Only once. Noth sees it differently. 1972. It is obviously a matter here not of a piece of ancient story tradition. apparently. 238. and so only the Yahwist remains. pp. 1972.. 2nd edn). it has never had a constitutive function for the understanding of the Yahwist.1. As this is beyond dispute. 9th edn. only the 'addition' in 18.. n. pp. but of a theological reflection which. p.

according to Abraham's view implicitly confirmed by Yahweh.. Noth.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. Ibid. towards a world where righteousness is missing or hopelessness seems to lie at its base'.. it becomes clear that people in this world can only be rescued through the free action of God himself. Noth.239.. that the 'righteous action' of the 'judge of the whole earth' (v. cit. And further.1 Noth points out that in Sodom. 239. 2. Cf.. cit. ci*.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. and he is of the opinion that thus 'the human being of the Yahwistic primeval story stands before us. that he would not as it were number off the 'just' over against the 'godless'. op.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. op. p.. not through some sort of righteousness of their own by which they might be able to protect themselves and others before the divine judgment'. 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': '.p. The statement of Noth (and Kaiser) that the human person 1 2 3 4 5 Cf. namely that the individual 'just' would be taken up into the judgment that befalls the 'godless". consist in this... Kaiser. 23 n. p..3.32. . described as unambiguously and consistently as anywhere else in the Old Testament'. 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. Op. 239.. such reflections do not appear 'in other parts of the Yahwistic work' (Smend). the "judge of all the world". there were not even the 'ten just' of v. Introduction. p. probably there would not even be one'. 25) would.

9. 9. 53. pp. 238. One may leave it an open question whether the view in the text is 'still far from the later. 18. 4 Fohrer. but rather Ezek. there is no intercession. p.7). 9. p.7. 17!2 The intercession of the Tahwistic' Moses for the Egyptians is. 8.1 But the closest parallel to Abraham as intercessor would be the 'elohistic' passage in Gen. . on the contrary. p. Introduction.. cit.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. And so it is difficult to find in Gen. cit.7 belongs to the 'Elohist'. op. op. in many ways doctrinaire. Wolff wants to see in this passage an initial development of the Yahwistic theme of Gen. when the firstborn of Egypt are destined to death. 395. the plagues also serve the same goal (8. 147f.3 or is already 'on the way from corporate to individual responsibility and liability as formulated in Ezekiel'. see Wolff. that Pharaoh acknowledge that YHWH alone is God and has the power (Exod. I. individualistic solution* of the question. 1 'The Kerygma'. The answer is: in the tireless intervention of Abraham-Israel on behalf of those who are destined to death'..14.29). 3 Noth. in place of the old notion of collectivity. 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. 12.22b-33 evidence of a theology that is characteristic of the work of the Yahwist.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. On the contrary. 20. 151 5 Theology of the Old Testament.6.10)'. 11.4-6 where it is said expressly 'not because of your own righteousness'. how blessing can come to those threatened with death in Abraham-Israel. 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. and finally.4 For von Rad it is 'a unique breakthrough which. 2 For the claim that 20.3.18.

in the question of the 'theology*. Criticism of Pentate uchal Criticism 131 14.12-20 which. they alone would be saved (Ezek. might take its 1 Verses 22-23! 2 On this. 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. Theology. But Ezekiel denies this: men so exemplary and just as Noah. and Job could not effect that. 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. What.3. 16. in my opinion. It must remain open here whether Ezekiel holds this thesis to be utterly false theologically. . von Rad passes over too quickly. 395. in the methodologically strictest sense. if need be. Wellhausen. has broken away from the literary critical problems of the documentary hypothesis and become independent. He holds Gen. Daniel.2 What remains of the 'theology of the Yahwist'? First. However. 18. of the Yahwist as a 'source' or 'source layer' as understood by the documentary hypothesis. p. cf.12-20 belong to a common context in the process of the history of tradition. the talk here is first. I. 1899 (3rd edn). 20). Die Composition. 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. underscores the closeness to Isa. 14. 14. whether a few just can save a whole community.1 in any case it is clear that the theological reflections in Gen. Rather. Von Rad.22b-33 and Ezek. 18. 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.3. 18. 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. One could say somewhat subtly: Ezekiel's contemporaries also know the problem dealt with in Genesis 18. p.22b-33 to be an 'insertion'. 25. 10. 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'. 53.14.

52554. cit.1-3. And so even Wolff in his approach to Gen. 233. Language and style he took for the most part from what was available to him. 60. 140. The Kerygma'. Festschrift G. he is in agreement with Noth. the element of the divine promise addressed to the patriarchs plays an astonishingly small role. 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. Here again. A History. p. 12.7 as 'tradition' (ibid.3 And as for the Abraham-Lot narrative in Genesis 13. pp. Yet it is clearly evident that there is in them a very concentrated form of theological reflection and speech. in its present narrative con1 Wolff. 'Zum geschichtlichen Ort der Pentateuchquellen'. 2 Thus Zimmerli. pp. 'Genesis 12. is a later question. . The Form Critical'. 1965. 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. 12. 167-72. When he describes 12.1-3 has to explain that the promise of the land. 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. But they are not of the kind out of which one can develop a theology of the Yahwist.* or limited almost entirely to the primeval story. but not with von Rad. in which. 25-35.132 The Process of Transmission in the Pentateuch place. can no longer be claimed for him. is 'contracted to a secondary narrative feature' and 'is not in the area of his particular interest'. 1971.. Old Testament Theology in Outline.H.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. in Probleme biblischer Theologie.1-3 und die Urgeschichte des Jahwisten'. Steck. ZThK 53 (1956) 1-10 = Das kleine Credo und andere Studien zum Alien Testament. Rost. p. attention must be drawn to a peculiar situation: although attempts to present a theology of the Yahwist proceed almost entirely from Genesis. Gen. 3 Op. On the contrary: they present almost an embarrassment. p.). Individual passages had for the most part already been formed. which so clearly runs through the whole patriarchal tradition. O. von Rad. L.

that the uncertainties coming to light show a very obvious weakness in the whole theory which.2. 133 on Gen. as he sees it. Criticism of Pentate uchal Criticism 133 tent. this question is *but touched on in passing'.4 Reasons against the acceptance of a Yahwistic work We return then to the place where the reflections of this chapter began. op. we came to the conclusion that the agreement in essential basic questions was very much less than is generally maintained.l4a 2 See above under 2.1. . ci*. 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. so as to be able to interpret the text within the frame of the Yahwistic theology. And when these themselves are the subject of a theme. In his case.3 3.3. in the intent of the Yahwist'.2 There is obviously in Genesis a large area of quite expressly theological statements which cannot. the weight of tradition has not yet allowed to penetrate consciousness.. the promise of the land. p. 1 Op. in which the theme (namely. so the question must now be put. cit. be taken into consideration when one inquires about the 'theology' of the 'sources'. for that not contained in it. whereas.1 And so he exchanges the theme expressly mentioned in the text. But other authors as well scarcely mention the promises in this context. 22. as is the case with Westermann. in many cases. or can scarcely.1-3 the *Yahwistic' theme of blessing.16-17: This is a guide to understanding passages. taking out of 12. in reverse. the assurance of the land to Abraham plays a central role.p. this theology often has to be tapped from very indirect hints. blessing) is not directly sounded.. This is true in a special way for the Yahwist. We had put the question. 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'. Wolff. the 'sources' on the contrary play no role. 3 Cf. Wolff writes: The one blessed becomes a source of blessing inasmuch as he freely leaves to the other fertile land'.

1-3. 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.14) are to be a blessing for all the clans of the earth. without exception. the element of blessing is not an independent promise theme. 26. therefore. 12. but that they show different stages and layers. And attempts to work out the 'theology of the Yahwist' are not in the end touched by this. If our reflections are correct. 12. 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. represents one stage within the history of the theological reworking and interpretation of the patriarchal story. as Westermann has shown. 22. . belongs to a stage in the process of tradition which links the stories of the three individual patriarchs with each other: Abraham (12. this promise appears in a further developed form in which it is not the patriarch himself. But this is not the final stage of the process of formation of the tradition. are acknowledged as valid.134 The Process of Transmission in the Pentateuch there are certain general basic presuppositions which. incompatible contradictions arise. which make it clear that the fundamental unanimity claimed does not in fact exist to any extent. as we have seen. for. which is generally held to be the central statement of the Yahwist.18. Now we have already seen that in the different attempts to set out the theology of the Yahwist.4). Verse 3. but his 'seed' that is to be the mediator of the blessing to the 'nations' (Gen. then the question must be put. namely that one can discern in them a very intensive theological reworking and interpretation which did not take place at one stroke. 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. but not the last.3) and Jacob (28. the promise addresses of the patriarchal stories play a remarkably minor role. of the guiding theological ideas that compass the Pentateuch as a whole.3. when the Abraham and Isaac stories are joined together. but in the concrete application of the general framework. Gen.

Noth to J.. 161. p. is described as an unknown land. 28.14-17 to the Yahwist. Particularly remarkable is the fact that in Exod. Noth to J.3.2-4. but in brackets. 15.18. Eissfeldt and Fohrer assign 31. cit.2-4 to E/J. which have so much in common. 31. 2 Eissfeldt and Fohrer assign Gen.1 are assigned to different sources. 1922 = 1962 (2nd edn). the same wording of the formulation is found in Gen. Hexateuch-Synopse. 4 See the respective passages in Eissfeldt. 46. attributes Gen. pp.7. Noth.8 the land. which obviously belong together.13-15 to J.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. also. 13.14-17 to L/N and Gen. 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.13-15. Fohrer to E.15. into which YHWH will bring the Israelites after leading them out of Egypt. n.2 This is true also in other places: for example. Introduction. where all three assign 28. 13. pp. 5 Op. 12. and Noth. Other promise addresses have several layers. that it is only with a layer of reworking that bears the deuteronomic stamp that explicit cross references have been inset. 3.3 to L/N. 28.4. Eissfeldt assigns 46. for example.14-17 and 28. the assurances of guidance to Jacob in Gen.3 are assigned to different sources. Gen.3. A History. inhabited by foreign nations. Criticism of Pentateuchal Criticism 135 Other texts which are ascribed to the Yahwist belong to other stages in the process. 28. 13.15 to J. Eissfeldt.30.5. Fohrer. a verse which is judged entirely differently in the allocation to sources. and there is no mention at all that the patriarchs had already lived there for a 1 See above under 2. 21. 31. The incompatibility becomes all the more clear when we take up once more the question.p. .11.147. 3 See above under 2. Fohrer. for example.13 also belong here. Gen. so that it is not very plausible when these texts. displays the later form of the promise of the land in which the 'seed' is the bearer of the promise.52-53.3. 103.

Noth represents the most extreme position inasmuch as he will include under the symbol P only the narrative sections. These facts.e. who shaped and handed on the patriarchal stories and the complexes of tradition that follow them. as does Noth. but it is clear also that there are weighty. 3. of a coherent narrative work covering the whole Pentateuch. 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. Even when one makes way for sources to which one may assign passages in this synthesis of texts. It is utterly inconceivable that the Yahwist has now suddenly forgotten.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. have but one explanation: a *Yahwist'. He requires that one 'prescind completely' from all non-narrative passages with a . reasons against the acceptance of a Yahwistic work in the sense of the documentary hypothesis. 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. about whose delimitation there is apparent agreement. and in my opinion compelling. or has consciously chosen to remain silent about. how one delimits his work and determines his method and intention. This conclusion best supplements the uncertainties and incompatibilities in the current discussions described in detail above.3 The problem of a priestly narrative in the patriarchal story Before we draw the final conclusions from the reflections on the Tahwist'. the 'priestly document'. in my opinion. 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. we want to turn our attention first to the question of the status of the other chief source of the Pentateuch. all the theological concerns that preoccupied him with the divine promises to the patriarchs in their various forms. i. does not exist.

Ibid.p.3 What.. This is all the more important inasmuch as it follows therefrom 'that only in this (i.l7. about this 'coherent (story) without gaps' in the P-narrative? Let us examine the question in the patriarchal stories! Here.. 10. the P-narrative). cit. 1 2 3 4 A History. 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'.3. coherent account of events from the creation on. This includes the opinion that P provides an originally independent. p. 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'. Op. Op. the rest 'stands out more clearly and clear-cut as narrative. Criticism of Pentateuchal Criticism 137 cultic-ritual interest 'when dealing with the P narrative'. What 'stands out' here? Only this. But. only the question of its ending is in dispute: whether the work ends with the death of Moses in Deuteronomy 34.2 An astounding closed circle! When one excludes all the non-narrative material.4 And he sees himself compelled at once to call in question his own basic principles.p. then. There is another of Noth's theses that has found wide agreement.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.e. 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.l2.. For our statement of the question it is important that the document being discussed is a coherent P narrative with but few gaps. or whether parts of the traditions of the occupation of the land in the book of Joshua belong to it.. cit. . however that may be. the opinion that the priestly document is a narrative work is today almost universally shared.

p. 14.1. but that nevertheless they postulate the existence of an originally independent coherent narrative. Joseph makes himself the object of his brothers' hatred. n. 195). cit.1 K Elliger has largely disregarded the fragmentary character of this tradition. is sold into Egypt. E. 'Pentateuque'. Genesis. Weimar has dealt with this text recently. p. p. Speiser.46a of the summary synthesis of the presupposed P-narrative of the Joseph story'.. 124) = Kleine Schriften zum Alien Testament. 292.6 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. 6 Op. ZThK 49 (1952) 121-43 (esp. ZAW86 (1974) 174-203 (p. 37. 41. We have rather. only the brief note in Gen. cit.3. pp.138 The Process of Transmission in the Pentateuch 3. 174-75. op. 1966. Introduction. He discovered the gap.A. 4 'Aufbau und Struktur der priesterschriftlichen Jakobsgeschichte'. *besides the introduction in Gen. p. 195.5 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. 174-98 (p. DBS VII.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. are reduced to an introduction to the revelation on Sinai' (Introduction.. Cf.3 one finds only a gap! P. 1964. 1966. . pp. cit. 3 Op. 181). 86. According to him 'it is (here) no more than the notification of what is absolutely necessary. According to Fohrer. and is elevated by Pharaoh'.2 When one looks for proof of the 'sold into Egypt' in the table provided by Elliger himself.46a is not included in Fohrer's synthesis of the P source layer.lflOl 2 'Sinn und Ursprung der priestlichen Geschichtserzahlung'.. in P 'the primeval and patriarchal stories. p. cit. This once more is a clear case of a circular argument. The possibility that perhaps there might not be such a coherent 1 Noth. 2.. even though in his view 'it was not all that extensive'. 831. 5 Op. There must be such— because P has presented a coherent account without gaps. 41. 195. Obviously it has not been preserved 'without gaps'. p.. H. it only wants to explain why Jacob went down into Egypt'. 121-22 = pp. col. p. 177). Gazelles. however sparse it may be..

But that the verse for that reason belongs to P. 3ff.46a to P? First the details about his age: on each occasion the age of Joseph at the time is given.1 Such valuations—or better. pp. a whole narrative. this narrative no longer exists.46a an 'unnecessary and pedantic addition' that is 'characteristic' of P. the reason for the enmity is Jacob's preference for Joseph.3. 2. For the Isaac story.p. 492. such does not exist. p. p. p. Holzinger.2 It is maintained that in 37. 492. 41.3 Gunkel has less scruple: '37. sees in the attachment of the words 'king of Egypt' to 'Pharaoh' in Gen. he knows too the reasons why P introduced changes in face of the older source. cit. One must then in all sobriety conclude that for the exegete who is not convinced beforehand that there must be a P-Joseph story. is a unity and a possibility for P. nevertheless they serve as generally accepted signs of P-passages. See W. is difficult to prove. Gunkel. Holzinger.5 Unfortunately. without any criteria for them ever being given. 'Jakob der Mann des Segens. 1898. things seem clear: There is no separate Isaac story in the priestly history'. Zur Traditionsgeschichte und Theologie der priesterschriftlichen Jakobsuberlieferungen'. followed by Gunkel.3. But there are still further reasons.224. Op. after the exclusion of secondary elements. though it would explain the situation without trouble. 1 2 3 4 5 6 Genesis erkl&rt. See below under 3. Joseph himself has given cause for it.. 37. Genesis. 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. Gross.2 and 41. according to v. devaluations—of the writer P are common. What are the reasons for ascribing Gen.2.6 But this is very surprising. Ibid. comes to the conclusion: 'then only P is left to take 26'. whose beginning is allegedly here. Bib 49 (1968) 321-44 (spec. and the whole of v. 219. According to w.. and this is entirely the work of imagination. 321-22). 3. after discovering the tension.3. . Genesis.2 belongs entirely to P. Criticism of Pentateuchal Criticism 139 narrative is not considered. 2. and the prevailing opinion is that details of this kind are characteristic of P.4 He discovers.

25. 3 See above under 3. one attributed many fragments of 1 Genesis. according to the prevailing opinion. But nevertheless.2 3. there is no Isaac story. 25. then one gets into insoluble difficulties.1.2 The Jacob Story What is the situation with the Jacob story? Weimar writes: 'The Jacob story begins with the Toledot of Ishmael Gen. And what next? Earlier. rather condescendingly. 25.. 175 established the absence of the Isaac story in P.1 It is curious enough that P who. p. for at least 'feeling himself obliged to preserve due order'. 4 Genesis. . knew the older sources.12-17 explicitly as the 'Ishmael story' without solving the contradiction. p. although he had already on p. 385. cit. this accords with the image of P as a second rate writer.4 When one wants to understand the Toledot' headings attributed to P as structural signs in a coherent and continuous P-narrative.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. 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.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.3. but felt himself obliged to preserve due order. p. the sentence only raises again the dilemma described by Gunkel. 2 I cannot understand how Weimar (op.19 as 'having been prefaced by Pg to the whole Isaac story as heading and structure-signal (?). 'had nothing appropriate to say about Isaac'! He is given credit. In other words: there is no discernible beginning to the P-Jacob narrative. This surprising shift has come about because P had nothing appropriate to say about Isaac. and so to put in a column for Isaac and fill it out'. obliged to talk.3. which has made its home in much exegesis. 185) can speak of the Toledot-formula in Gen. 385.

p. But P would not have considered it necessary so much as to register Jacob's arrival in Paddan-aram. not to mention a report on the successful outcome of the commission to marry. in an unusually detailed speech and with the most pressing of reasons. 31. 182 2 Weimar.3. 183.18ap. Elliger plays down this dilemma when he writes: 'Jacob obeys by looking around for a wife among his mother's relations'.6 But why is the piece ascribed to P? Here the arguments are taken almost exclusively from language.18ap.3. 4.46—28. the word is generally regarded as characteristic of P. 7 Cf. p.. he would have been satisfied with a note about his departure from there. pp. Fohrer's table. According to P Isaac. 4 Op.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'.3.2 Now this is a remarkable and unreasonable demand on the reader.1. and would have sent him on his way with a blessing extending far afield (Gen. 6 See above under 3.1. Pg only takes up again with Jacob's departure from there (31.3. Hexateuch-Synopse. p. cit. p.4 One recalls that for Noth only for the P-narrative 'is there to be expected the complete preservation of the original content'.5).. 3 See above under 3. First. . one invokes Elliger among others: 'Omitting Jacob's stay in Paddan-aram.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.7 However. 5 See above under 3. 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. 183. 14.3. but to find one to go to Paddan-aram.1. Introduction. Eissfeldt. But what of the quite isolated verse Gen. if one 1 See the divisions of P in Eissfeldt. 27. 43ff. would have required Jacob not to take a wife from 'the daughters of Canaan'. see above under 3.3 He thus hushes up the fact that nothing at all is reported of the execution of the commission. Introduction. n. Criticism of Pentateuchal Criticism 141 texts in the story of Jacob and Esau to P. the land of his mother's family to find one.b).1 but now.

Finally. even though this involves difficulties. The word 2 serves as the next 'proof (Gunkel) for P. 388. 2 Genesis. It occurs three times in the book of Genesis. within the reflection on the theology of history (w. 22. but only 'makes up for it. 12. 13. ascribed to P. and that with reservation. is attributed to P only by Procksch.7. The places in question in the book of Genesis are 12. is. 1924.. And so one can scarcely say that this word can make a contribution to source criticism. In the attestations that remain. once in a text (34. 16.11).16 [2x].3. the closed circle of argumentation appears once more. It too is held to be characteristic of P.15. 11. 21). First it must be stated that the only attestation which uses simply the designation Taddan' (Gen. Weimar tries to explain why P does not report the birth of the sons there. 501.23) which no one ascribes to P. . 13-16). p. 36. in which Paddan-aram occurs. Taddan-aram'.14.1 There is a further attestation in Gen. The list of Jacob's sons in Gen. 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.7) is not generally reckoned to P. which likewise is not ascribed to P.. add Num. 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.32b (a piece almost universally not ascribed to P!) and 35. regarded as an addition to P. which is closer to the priestly pentateuchal layer. where one would expect it. p. It is found later in the Pentateuch within the "Holiness Code' (Lev.142 The Process of Transmission in the Pentateuch opens the concordance.6. In 46. on the contrary. in the form of a 1 Die Genesis Ubersetzt und erkldrt. which among recent exegetes.6.5.22b-36. 48. 15. however its usage is quite different. although immediately beforehand there is a text so reckoned. 46. at any rate. 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. 35. there is the designation of the land from which Jacob departs. as far as I know. The verb need not be dealt with here as it occurs in more or less immediate context with the noun.

1.. cit. p. pp. p. cf. 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.20. But the P-context must be established! Finally. 35. It should be further noted that. So too the text fragment Gen. op. and on another the preceding words as well. in the introductory piece to the divine address to Jacob in Gen.2 or ends up after the Toledot of Jacob in Genesis 37.lTft . 33. 45.g. 7). Introduction. 5.3 And so. Hexateuch-Synopse.9. 'to the city of Shechem'. nevertheless acquiring thereby and at the same time criteria for determining other texts. Gunkel is not entirely consistent when he claims for P on one occasion the words cited.1 Others have experienced greater difficulties here. the list is either given preference so as to substitute for the missing account of the birth of the sons of Jacob. inasmuch as the argument from linguistic usage enables the texts ascribed to P to give each other mutual support. But not by Wellhausen. with the expression Paddanaram.18a is assigned to P because of the expression Paddan-aram. the expression Paddan-aram is found in the chronological note on the marriage of Isaac in Gen. 553. 368. 11. op. p. 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.4 The classical solution is to take out v.5! The last mentioned 1 2 3 4 5 See above under 3.6. 25. even though all assertions about the completeness and integrity of the P-narrative are clearly contradictory. op. Gen. Procksch. Composition. cit. 12. when he came from Paddan-aram' are ascribed to P. and four times in the narrative of Isaac's sending of Jacob (28. 69. although they are in no way a bother or offensive. this thesis is maintained. Criticism of Pentateuchal Criticism 143 list'.31. cit.3.3. Fohrer. 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.. Gunkel. Eissfeldt. Hence. p..2. 384. There is often talk merely of the city of Haran—generally too in texts that are usually ascribed to P.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. e. 388.

p. pp. 13). by secondary pieces (48. 'he and all the people with him' stands unrelated. and nobody ascribes them to P. in Gen. cit. namely Gen. though not Paddan-aram. 4 Cf. the concordance shows that there is no other so to speak 'geographical' designation of the land in the patriarchal stories. 2 Holzinger. Genesis erklart. like so many other examples. 36. 25. but Haran.4 Noth. 6a where is a certain sign of P'. 35. 184. Within the story this designation is used in all 'sources' and layers.387. A 'certain sign of P? Further. or the like. this is now lodged in v. 99-100 n. 3 Op. e.. 7. 5 A History.5. nevertheless. 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. or rather in Luz. The expression Paddan-aram then occurs only in the context of Jacob (with the exception of the note in Gen.g. according to Eissfeldt. op. E. 5) and P (v. this is ascribed to P together with the other attestations with reference to 'characteristic' linguistic usage. which now bears the name of Bethel..20 relating to Isaac).144 The Process of Transmission in the Pentateuch has also the word .3).2 Gunkel says more exactly why this is a sign of P: 'the superfluous and precise determination of the place'. The next piece ascribed to P is again a fragmentary sentence. This is without doubt a pointer to a particular layer in the tradition. p. Ga.7. 42. 13 which exegetes divide variously between J and E. Holzinger's reason is: T naturally narrated as well the arrival in Bethel.5 46. But the opinion is 1 Once again it is to be noted that Wellhausen does not ascribe this fragment to P.12).3 We have already noted earlier these typical judgments about P. . the only other descriptions used of it are 'the land of sojournings' (generally to *P'!).1 One accepts that the second half of the sentence. but scarcely has anything to do with 'sources' in the sense of the documentary hypothesis. 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. by P again (48. cit. and in Genesis 50 in passages quite close to each other by J (v. 19. 'the land of the fathers'.

among other things. Criticism of Pentateuchal Criticism 145 clearly laid to rest by the concordance material without more ado. it is said several times of the field in which the cave was situated that Abraham bought.30-31 and though it is said of Abraham (25. When we survey the texts in the Jacob story which are supposed to belong to P. 'why not. which is found in Gen. 49.9.14 is ascribed to E although/because it reports again the erection and anointing of the massebah which E has described already in 28.30.13). 35. Further.19.13) (translated each time by 'east of Mamre' in NEB.2 (but without mention of Mamre). cit.3 But in any case.p..19. It is remarkable that Gen. 13. 50. In Gen. v. we find very fragmentary and incoherent 1 Holzinger in Einleitung in den Hexateuch. But that is obviously using a double standard. 340.17) or (23. 3 Ibid.27-29 does not say that Isaac was buried in the cave.2 This is a bold statement as the two names occur together only here! The association of Kiriath-arba and Hebron. though this is presupposed in 49.18. 35. 1893. trans. There has already been talk of the problem of the list of Jacob's sons in Gen. namely in 28.18 it is said of Abraham that Tie settled by the terebinths of Mamre which are in (near) Hebron'. 35.389.19. 35. characteristic of P.27-29 is reckoned as P's. is not clear'. 15 is also to be accounted to P. There can be no question at all here of a standardized linguistic usage characteristic of a single source. The account of Jacob's return home to Isaac and of the latter^ death in 35. He maintains there that the 'occurrence of (is) an almost certain mark of P'. It is curious that 35. p. this is scarcely evidence of the studied and 'pedantic' style alleged against the source P.3.1 After the divine address in Gen. occurs in 23. For Gunkel.9) and Jacob (50. that it lay > (Gen.22b-26. 25.9-13. the change of name from Luz to Bethel had already taken place earlier in the other sources. 2 Op. 'the names Mamre and Kiriath-arba' are. had taken into account the findings in the concordance. . while Mamre for its part is associated with Hebron in 23. but with the limitation that it 'however occurs also in JE'. The repetition is apparently a sign of the same source and not of another.).27. 23.

starting from their own assumptions. 3.31-32). are for the most part small or very small textual units.1—2.2.1-17. and more.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. many exegetes have felt themselves compelled to rearrange the texts freely at their discretion so as to construct some sort of reasonably continuous text.4a or Gen. so self-contained. such as Gen. 145. see under 3.2 Nowhere in the patriarchal stories is there a passage so extensively laid out. 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. The few examples. p. Such comprehensive and self-contained passages of a priestly character occur only rarely in the rest of the Pentateuch. are not as free compositions as seems to be the case here. 11.1 3. 23 which is to be dealt with later.4.4-5). The Narrative Style of the Priestly Writer. Noth has concluded 1 This makes no difference to Weimar's construction. the special nature of the passage must be considered carefully. The passages ascribed to P in the Abraham story. First. McEvenue.E.1. following on the genealogy of Shem (Gen. Genesis 17 stands out as an entity that is sui generis. apart from ch. and as a whole bearing the marks of the priestly layer of the Pentateuch. 1971.3.10-17).3 The Abraham story Let us now turn to the Abraham story \ It seems to offer the clearest and most convincing narrative complex. 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.3. In addition. It is the freest composition' within the whole P-narrative. First. then the migration of Abraham from Haran to the land of Canaan (12. Questions begin again with the latter text. . 1. 2 S. 9. it must be said that there is no coherent Jacob story from P. 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.

But whereas in the Jacob and Joseph stories P-passages are supposed to have been suppressed by the older sources. 24. while there is no occasion at all to take it out of its context. cf. 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'. 5.4b. 12. 32. We have already experienced the whole area of problems that this last argument raises. 61. Why? First.10. It is meaningless to claim as a mark of P. This is 'in the interest of retaining as fully as possible' the content of P.21. 1 Genesis. 3 See above tinder 3. Noth himself mentions them expressly a few sentences later. As for Gen. 22). 22. 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. and elsewhere.3. Gunkel): and i and according to Holzinger. it is the chronological note about Abraham's age at the time of his migration in v. The balance of tfsu meaning 'persons' and i referring to the rest of one's possessions occurs again in Gen. 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.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.3. Ixxxv. 4b. would be a mark of P. it need only be said that the chronological note in v.3. however.1.3. because in this way different P-passages give each other mutual support. 4b is to be seen in conjunction with other like notes. it is the most natural and obvious way to state that somebody is departing and that he is taking others with him. But such assertions are not untypical of the method. here'. 5 we meet again an argument already well known: linguistic usage 'proves' that it belongs to P (Holzinger.31. is not in the problem area inasmuch as it would hardly have suppressed a corresponding statement in another source.23. In v. 31. . 11.23 (Eng. here the opposite is assumed. Gen.2. 2 See above under 3.1 further. hence outside of the passages ascribed to P. p.4b-5. i as well. The passage Gen. 14. this. which is ascribed to P. 12. the verb-form as in Gen.

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

15. la. cit.: because v. p. 16.2 Elliger exalts still further the literary intentions of P: The main facts are communicated soberly.6 A glance at 1 Ibid. 12.3. 15-16 are assigned to the P-narrative. 5 A History. 121 (= p. but without precise dating. p. Gunkel. 2 Op. 174).4 3.1 under Q (= P).3 Does this mean the other narrators who report vividly. everything concrete.3. According to the basic principles of source division. 3. 3 See above under 3. 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. and of the mood of malicious joy ringing in the story. Characteristic also is the general nature of the statement that Lot settles in the area round 4 See n. 124. p. He writes: *Here too P has taken merely the bare facts from the story. 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. a mark of P is to be found in v. . Wellhausen. especially the dispute between the herdsmen and Lot's self-interest. p. Criticism of Pentateuchal Criticism 149 is judged and evaluated. What are the arguments? According to Holzinger and Gunkel.1.B. p. Die Composition. it is a matter here of real and reliable history'. as Abraham's nephew and erstwhile companion in the caravan.5 This means therefore that what remains of the 'old Hagar story' is incomplete without these pieces. there is not a sign'. Gunkel has on the whole a poor opinion of P. 16. 14. does not include 16. 12bp is attributed to another source! [author]). is a half saint who must remain free from any suspicion that he went to live among the people of Sodom out of sympathy'. nothing is said of his living in Sodom (N.. Genesis. thus it would appear that Lot. are less concerned with 'real and reliable history'? Or ought one not ask this question? Further. 16'. 6 Genesis.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. 264. the 'pedantic addition' of 'Abraham's wife'. always with precise dating. 13. is missing. as well as Abraham's readiness for a peaceful settlement. Gen. 124.

15 remains! According to Noth.1 But this is a very unsatisfactory piece of information. a classical 'J-'piece. are more complex. 10 11-12. 14? Verse 15 could also be a 'redactional addition with attention to Gen. 15. p. 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. i. 3 A History. the very basic principles of source division forbid that it be assigned to P. pp. 21. as is well known. n. 12.' What shows that it is part of a P-narrative? According to Holzinger. One could use this material better as a certain proof that this part of the verse does not belong to P.e. . 16. 19-20. but 'with attention to Gen. p. But it remains an open question for Noth how the original conclusion of the 'old Hagar story' may have looked. 13. 2 Die Composition. Many exegetes have followed this view. 9 is a 'redactional addition'. Only v. And as it is indispensable in the context of the narrative. the 'old Hagar story' has been 'pruned at the end' in favour of P.8ff. 21.2 The words of the mal'ak YHWH in v.150 The Process of Transmission in the Pentateuch the concordance shows that this pedantic addition appears as well in Gen. which is ascribed to P.'. prescinding from the sweeping judgment. a piece regularly attributed to *E'. and in 20. as Wellhausen has already shown in detail. is a chronological note which must be seen in the context of other chronological notes. if there is anything missing. again. 86. it is not in competition with the expected statements of other 'sources'. The second address in particular presupposes that Ishmael grew up in the desert.18.8ff. Verse 3. 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. But there is nothing about this in v. 28. For Noth also v. The same holds for v. 9 require Hagar's return to Abraham. that Hagar did not go back to Abraham. Perhaps there was originally nothing more than the tribal saying about Ishmael and the place etiology in v.17. 'the utterly pedantic 1 A History.3 where it is presupposed that Ishmael is present as a member of Abraham's family. it is a note that Hagar went back to Abraham.

4 The verse is undoubtedly a *brief summary note about the rescue of Lot'. it is 'the giving of the name by the father*. 4. Genesis 38. 9. Gunkel.6 Reference is made to Gen. 132.25f. and others. 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. And there is no tenable argument that v. 264: T records the whole act like a registry clerk'. 2 Verses 3. Gunkel. 19. 15 belongs to a continuous P-narrative. because this verse should have followed immediately on Gen. 5 Holzinger.6.1 Now everyone who has ever been concerned with the matter knows how difficult it is to answer the question. 5 and 29. A History.5 the function of which is not immediately discernible. who usually named the new born child in ancient Israel. But this is a sign of embarrassment. (5. But this holds as well for v. 6.11. Gunkel. 15. p. 3 Genesis. One need only look at the tensions and lack of clarity in the single chapter. 4 Noth. following Dillmann. Holzinger himself confirms this for Gen. Criticism of Pentateuchal Criticism 151 awkwardness of the verse'.22'. But. p. what argues for P? The arguments which are advanced by the commentators. 30.. One has the impression that none of these 1 Genesis. According to Dillmann.26: This is one of the exceptional cases in which in J it is not the mother who names the new born child: cf. Holzinger. Ex 2. the use of the verb in the pi'el. One usually reckons Gen. Genesis. is a mark of P. . 12ab .25-26. 9 which nobody attributes to P.3 The list of exceptions is far too long for one to draw a definite criterion from it for source division. 'destroy'. 13. it is clear also that v..3.29). 25. 18. p. not to speak of the conjectures of the exegetes! That it is only in P that the father gives the name is untenable.2 or in Gen. 57. 124. p. according to the prevailing opinion. 13. It is beyond dispute that the conclusion of Genesis 16 is not a unity and leaves questions open.119. ibid. lib. 6 Holzinger. and how un-unified are the texts in this regard. 25. 263.29 to the P-narrative. 4. but in the final redaction it could 'only be accommodated to the continuation of the narrative Gen. are exclusively from linguistic usage. p.28'.17. Genesis. p.

. which is attributed to P. It would be more appropriate to make a comparison with the sentence in the prayer of Moses in Exod. 21. 19. 19. Gen.1. 13. and the expression 'cities of the plain' in the allegedly priestly verse. must be brought in to support the priestly character of Gen. God 'remembers' immediately the one he will rescue. 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. mention is made of clearly a stereotyped phrase. according to Gen. cit.2 must belong to F.29. 8.10. your servants'. Gen.27. A further argument is the use of the divine name elohim.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. the expression is used with reference to Rachel whose prayer for fertility God hears. and Israel. on the other hand. also Deut..29 is to be compared with the apparently corresponding expression in Gen. 132. The verb is used immediately beforehand in Gen.12. Isaac. which bears the deuteronomistic stamp: 'Remember Abraham.29. Holzinger gives voice to the dilemma: 'Something in 21.1 It must belong. 13.1-5 has provided the exegetes with a headache because the sources do not readily allow separation. in the middle of an address by YHWH about the destruction of Sodom in which the divine name YHWH is used four times. 32. is ignored.11. cf.1. he remembers Abraham and rescues Lot because of him. 8. there1 Op.1. p.13 in the J-narrative as well as in the 'J'-text of Gen. 19. 13.152 The Process of Transmission in the Pentateuch commentators has taken the trouble to consult the concordance. The account of the birth of Isaac in Gen. One can hardly draw an argument out of all this for assigning a passage to a particular 'source'. in Gen. One text only will be referred to: in Amos 4. This. 9. For the rest. 19. First.13. is not all that is to be said on the question. But there are problems here. This sort of argument becomes all the more contradictory when the *Yahwistic' verse. however. a further note: the phrase 'then God thought of Abraham' ("ori) in Gen.

3 Op. has inserted this divine name into P. 'do. thus. 2b is a sign of P. 2 KBL. but has mixed them.p.v.1 The word . even when the consequence is that one of the most certain signs of P.: but was not brevity. reference is made to Gen.. la. 133. are to the fore (N. the chronological data. 21.21—but is it to be insinuated that the reader has passed over or already forgotten the same expression in Gen. Further. the search for elements of an assumed. the astonished reader learns that in v. comes about exclusively through Gen. the use of the divine name elohim.14 in VF? Holzinger's overall judgment is: '21.7-10. make' occurs 2600 times in the Old Testament. Again. cit. but R. s. 'and especially the rambling nature of the whole piece' (Gunkel). the reader does not learn.2 because it is 'colourless'. P has not had a chance to speak fully and his wording has even been altered'. la looks like P.3 Noth's judgment is different: in his opinion 'the mention of the birth of Isaac. Criticism of Pentateuchal Criticism. And in w. 17.3. cit. 18. 133.p. and this is seldom enough the case. under the influence of in v.1b-5 by leaving out the corresponding statement of the old sources'. it becomes a mark of P. . by and large. We will come back to this later. p. It is clear once again that. so important for the context. 4 A History.1-5 is one of those cases where R has not simply juxtaposed the elements from his sources. the 'pedantic detail' (Holzinger). It is the common and prevailing opinion that the Abraham story concludes with the account of Abraham's death and burial in Gen.4 What reasons he has for disregarding the reflections of Holzinger and others.B. 153 fore arguments must be found for it! For example: 'the colourless in v. 13. 1 Op. continuous P-narrative has occasioned exegetes to assign elements to P even when there are serious reasons against. no longer holds! But it is almost too easy to criticise manipulations of this sort by which many exegetes discredit their own methodology. 25. even paucity of presentation. 2b and 4 elohim is of course once more a mark of P. a special mark of P?)..

Ch.p. w. 1. Macholz has written appositely of the style of Gen. 6 Introduction. c#. unaltered in essence. 9 Op..9 According to von Rad. 173.5. 3 Die Genesis.6 Speiser sees in it a passage from J going back to an older tradition in which only the introductory note belongs to P.2).. 8 See above under 3. 7 Genesis. is relatively quite fresh. it has 'the appearance as if P.3. 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.7 McEvenue does not follow this entirely. p. 4 G. 1964. When Dillmann speaks further of the 'artistic detail of the presentation'. .. colloquial. The first argument is the chronological data in v.. 17-18)'. here.. Procksch writes: This narrative. 2 Ibid. a new example that P has used older material available'.4 Genesis 23 One of the strangest phenomena in this area is that exegetes almost unanimously attribute Genesis 23 to P. p. p. 273. since Dillmann who based himself on Knobel (1852/1860!). though rather ancient in origin.8 but notes: 'the chatty.1 but this holds only from v. 309. 1 Genesis.22.4 Even today the special character of Genesis 23 within the Pnarrative is underscored. 17 onwards. verses of this kind are freed from any control by their context precisely because of their assumed P-character. In many other cases. See above under 2.2 For the same reason he should also reckon the extensive narrative of Genesis 24 to P. 23: 'the alleged "P-characteristics" have their basis in the subject-matter of the text rather than in its "author"'.3.154 The Process of Transmission in the Pentateuch 3. esp.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. 1875 (3rd edn).3. not for the body proper of the narrative. style of Genesis 23 seems untypical of F. and concludes from this that one must assume older material available.3. 5 Die Genesis. The arguments have been passed on.5 According to Fohrer the narrative 'is of material of Palestinian origin'. p. Gunkel mentions further 'the many repetitions in the narrative'. A further argument is 'the juridical exactness' (cf. 526 (see above under 3.

23. 17.2 In any case it has become clear that Holzinger's decision: 'there is no possible doubt that this passage belongs to P*. because the freshness and liveliness of thrust and counter-thrust is unique within this source'. cit. . the land'. to reckon this chapter to P? Once again. who had left everything behind them for the sake of the promise. it is due to the pressure of traditional opinion. Introduction. The question for von Rad is: *What theological interest— and it is this alone that is of concern—has given it (i.3 can hardly be maintained today in this form.1 The narrative 'is thus rather a puzzle for us from the traditio-historical standpoint'. 36.4 Fohrer says: *But everything is entirely ordered to and subordinated to the personal leanings of P. the narrative) such a prominent place in the priestly document?' His answer: 'the typical broken relationship to the material of the promise of course. p.3. What then has given occasion. 47.e. Criticism of Pentateuchal Criticism 155 against customary practice. 1972 (2nd edn Eng.7.. A second characteristic mark of the P-passages is the strong. there is not a trace of this in Genesis 23. So why then is it reckoned to P? Without doubt. and 'precise chronology* is the real mark of P. all this 'could not remain unformulated by such a precise and conceptual theologian as P. replies our narrative: in death they were already "heirs" and 1 2 3 4 5 Genesis.). has built in an older narrative almost unaltered.5 but what this in fact means for Genesis 23. 37. But a question arises here: did the patriarchs. often very heavy. cf. nevertheless. he does not say. that the possession of the land was promised to the patriarchs. Op. p. p.4. as von Rad alleges. remain without any share at all? No. He says several times: the patriarchs live "in the land of their sojournings" chs.9).8. 182. p.). one must bear clearly in mind the methodological procedure: the general opinion is that one recognizes P first and foremost by the style.1. For the whole of ch. but that this promise was not yet fulfilled. 249. 28. From this standpoint Genesis 23 cannot belong to P. Genesis. Macholz. 246. it is because of the chronological note in the introduction. theological statement. 133. Genesis 1972 (2nd edn Eng.

in my opinion. And there is a further. without throwing even the slightest theological light on it. more or less entirely. unaltered (there can be no question at all. There is not a word. cit.28 should have departed so far from his own style as to have taken over this purely 'profane' story. complementary. We will add just a few remarks about the fragmentary nature of the narrative and about the arguments with which one usually disregards them. It is obvious that no 1 Op. A large part of the texts or text fragments. effectively contradicted. in my opinion. In particular. 6. I see no valid reasons for accepting that Genesis 23 is a part of a P-narrative. about these theological connections. which are claimed to establish an even tenuous. 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.'1 This very impressive interpretation has. continuous. 3.4 The priestly layer in the patriarchal story It is clear that a coherent P-narrative in the patriarchal story cannot be demonstrated. of accounts of an action or an address of God. But God is not even mentioned in the whole of Genesis 23! It is. not even a hint. cannot withstand critical examination.156 The Process of Transmission in the Pentateuch no longer "sojourners". of P being the real author).p. and further. in my opinion. there is a series of cases in which the material in the concordance contradicts the alleged linguistic criteria. When all is said and done. point of view: all the more detailed texts that are elsewhere ascribed to P consist. but numerous reasons against.250. And so the opinion that there is a P-narrative running through the Pentateuch is. coherent narrative. It would be beyond the limits of this book to advance in like detail the corresponding proofs for the remainder of the Pentateuch. .. in my opinion but one basic error: from what we know elsewhere of this 'precise theologian'. inconceivable that the author of texts like Genesis 17 and Exod. he would certainly have expressed this in such a way that the reader could not but understand it.

But this is typical of wide areas of current pentateuchal research. coherent narrative. .41. the absence of an indispensable piece of narrative is exalted to a particularly profound theological interpretation. so trouble-free and with such nightly stealth and security does it take place!'2 And so here. A simple chronological note is encumbered with a narrative function. They do not form a continuous.2. as in 6. They are not meant as a polemic against particular authors. Some further reflections may be added to these. Wellhausen writes on this: To expect that Moses be first introduced before he appears as a well known person. 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 well known pre-emptive judgment about P serves to hush up the fact that the story lacks continuity.1. at the same time. 3. one ought not expect such banalities as that a leading person be first introduced. is not justified in Q'. 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.3. A new critical scrutiny of the arguments will only be possible when this assumption is brought into the discussion.1 Chronological notes First. there is a group of chronological texts which stands out 1 Die Composition. and how from this assumption obvious facts which speak against it are ignored or overlooked. A further example: an account of the departure from Egypt is obviously missing in the assumed Pnarrative. they serve to show how widespread is the assumption that there must be a coherent P-narrative. rather. 62 (for Wellhausen. 6. p.1 But this only means: in the case of so poor a writer as P. First. And so once more. Elliger writes: *NB: the departure itself is simply recorded with a single sentence Ex 12.4.2-8). as has become clear. there is no introduction of Moses: he is suddenly there and receives assurance that the Israelites will be led out of Egypt (Exod. Q = P). 2 See above under 3. they are obviously linked with each other.3.


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.

old and fulfilled in life. but also the burial of Rebekah and Leah. Gen.7 (Abraham's death) and 25. 26 diverges from the other texts in that 1 Here only with instead of 2 In 25. somewhat shorter in the case of Isaac (35. here. The formula is expanded in Abraham's case by mention of the burial place in the 'cave at Machpelah' which is awkwardly formulated. 49. whereas it did not in the Isaac story.29-32 presents a further stage in the formation of the tradition.33b. With Jacob. although Gen.1 but concludes only in 49.28a and which occurs often in the primeval story. not only is the burial of Isaac in the cave reported by way of supplement. and his sons Jacob and Esau buried him'. the reworking has separated them from each other so as to insert between them the last words and instructions of Jacob.162 The Process of Transmission in the Pentateuch begins with the words followed by the age. The same detailed formulation occurs several times. 47.28). 47. This is more easily explained if. 49.12-14 also belongs to this layer of reworking. It is clear then that the information about the deaths of Abraham. The execution of Jacob's instructions in Gen. Isaac.7 expanded with . 50.e. Two further texts belong immediately in this context: Gen.30f. a corresponding assimilation took place. The introductory (v. like the closing verse of Genesis 23. This is true too of Gen. The remaining texts show other marks. 25. This suggests that one consider a subsequent expansion. 22) which we have already met in Gen. following the parallels. it begins in the same way in Gen. Ishmael. 50. presupposes that he was buried there.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.22. belong together. occurs again here. otherwise it would remain incomprehensible why the reference is missing in the case of Isaac. and Jacob come from the same layer of reworking. 26. who are nowhere else mentioned. i. The subordinate sentence too in v.28b. but these two pieces. after the insertion of Genesis 23 in the Abraham story. the subordinate sentence is formulated in greater detail: 'then Isaac expired and died and was gathered to his kin.

etc. there is no mention of Esau's death.3. n. Criticism of Pentateuchal Criticism 163 it repeats again the age with the information about the death.3. Here again another layer of reworking is discernible. seem to me to point much more to a particular system of reworking an available narrative than to an independent 'history' (Geschichte). . 182. 'narrative'. on the other hand. This then would be the only place where the older sources would have given such information about the life-span.2. Gen. No reasons at all are given why this is considered to be the case here. I do not understand how a list can be a 'phase in the life'.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. though they contain some correct observations. story.. 183.1 Looked at as a whole. There are no discernible links between the two groups.g. How can a list be a main part of a 'history' (Geschichte. (2) information about the entire lifespan in the context of the report of the death. Weimar often puts 'narrative' for 'history*.2) has erected an imposing structure on these formulas. But this is form-critically quite incomprehensible. where the two chronological notes. e. story. 25.4. All in all. the chronological data in the patriarchal story shows a variety of marks. and with the prefixed . it is surprising that this verse is without exception reckoned to E.2 3. Let me pick out a sentence at random: 'And thus the list of Ishmaelites formed. 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. The main difficulty which I see in his work is the fact that he works with notions of 'history' (Geschichte.).. the first main part of the history of Ishmael' (p. which I cannot comprehend. 179). It is remarkable that there is nothing about Jacob in the first group. for example. Weimar (see above under 3.). 'report'. in the table on p. Fohrer). 2 The problem of the toledot-formulas still remains opaque. in the synthesis on p. or divided between J and E (Procksch.. A little later he writes that the list of Ishmaelites 'presents only a phase in the life of Ishmael'. but there is something about Esau. trans. trans. it is clear that there has been no uniform and consistent reworking. But perhaps these notions are not to be understood as form-critical precisions? But how else could they be understood? Weimar's constructions.17 and 26.34 are classified respectively as 'heading' and 'narrative'. His understanding of 'narrative' is displayed.

in v.3. 4 a reference back to the 'blessing of Abraham'.9-13. A further link is that the talk in these texts is of blessing. In 35.34-35 and 28.3 28.4.6-9 belong here as well. 2) corresponds exactly to what is described as blessing in the texts just mentioned. First.1 is introduced as Isaac's blessing of Jacob.1 and 35. in 28. They are Gen.1-4 refers back to ch.1 35. though with numerous variations in the choice of words.11-12. 17. *E1 sadday*.3. which correspond to the other texts. A number of different explanations present themselves: first.3-4 to 35. it is said that El sadday appeared to Jacob and blessed him. in 17. which occurs in these two places only in conection with the promise of the land.3-4 (5-6). the content of the blessing however follows only in the second address. 16) and for Ishmael (v. understood as blessing without 1 26. and is again fertility and increase (v.9 the two-fold divine address is again introduced as blessing. In 48.164 The Process of Transmission in the Pentateuch sages. 48. 11-12. it would be conceivable that the author of Genesis 17 wanted to have the promises that he mentioned. also v.3-4. 48. 11) and possession of the land (v. the promise of fertility and increase for Sarah (v.6-7 (cf. with reference back to it. with reference back to the latter. 20) is described expressly as blessing.2 One can discern readily that these texts are related to each other.3 there is the actual blessing formula and in v.3.6-9! 2 There is scarcely any argument in the literature for assigning 48. but that the passages run in parallel lines.8 in the phrase (an eternal possession). one should note the repetition in 28. the content is again fertility and increase as well as possession of the land (v.5-6 to P. 4). and further. 12). It is noticeable that the cross reference does not cite literally. one notes that they all use the divine name. 3 See above under 2. The texts stand in pairs: 28.3 and 48. w.11 it occurs in the form of the formula of self-presentation 'I am El sadday' as introduction to a divine address. The objects of the blessing are fertility and increase in v.46-28.5.4 and 17. there is further a link between 48.3. . the possession of the land in v. 27. In Genesis 17 the promise address is not introduced as blessing. This is very remarkable in view of the fact that the content of the promise in 17. 17.

the connections between these four texts are clear. 4.12). Criticism of Pentate uchal Criticism 165 saying so explicitly.3.. 16.' in v. 28.8. and your seed' is found in three texts promising the land. 35.1 the land promise in second place testifies to a later stage of the tradition. Some further observations may be made on the position of this group of texts with the remaining promise addresses in the patriarchal story. 19b. there could be a third possibility: that originally there was talk of blessing at the beginning of ch.4).) by the idea of 'covenant' in any case a clear distinction is made between the blessing for Sarah and Ishmael (vv.1.. and would only have been supplied later (in 17.3. both expressions follow immediately on each other twice (Gen.4) is added to 'seed'.16.5 and 2.. 20.9 the word ^bless' has been put in front of the whole complex of divine addresses. there is only 'to your seed' (48. but that this idea has been eclipsed and suppressed (w. 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.. despite the notable differences. once the verb stands between them.. 21!). 7. The formulation 'to you. this is a peculiarity of this text group.12. It was shown earlier that therein lies the peculiarity of these texts against others in which the sequence is reversed.8. 1 See above under 2. as well as already mentioned (17. which obviously forms the point of departure for the whole group of texts. 17. table of beginning). very fruitful. 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 one could also argue that in Gen. 35.. In three cases 'after you' 17. 11-12.2. Finally. 6 is nothing other than a pronouncement of blessing. 20) and the covenant with Abraham and Isaac (w.4. once..3. one could argue that the assurance 'I will make you very.4. and once it is repeated after them (35. 48. 17. .8. Whatever the case may be. the latter is not formulated as a divine address and shows some peculiarities). And so these text do not stand out from the other promises of the land as a self-contained group (see above under 2. as well as in the cross references). but that it is missing in the actual promise address in w.

4.2.5 for more on Gen. 27. 12 There is no account of any other circumcisions in the patriarchal story. 2 See above under 2. his return from there (35. They show how the blessing of God (more accurately.4. therefore. that these four texts are related to each other. of El sadday) accompanies him on his way. 17.10). the only other note about circumcision concerns Isaac in Gen. and the 1 See above under 2. It is notable that the plural form 'nations' and 'peoples' occur only in this group.166 The Process of Transmission in the Pentateuch 48.3. which are found in various forms in the patriarchal story. yet another link is that the two divine addresses in Genesis 17 and 35. in particular to v. but rather to anchor the prescription about circumcision in God's covenant with Abraham. in particular the notion of God's 'covenant' with Abraham. .23-26.1 while on the other new elements have taken their place. The remaining passages are all concerned with Jacob. and circumcision as the visible expression of the covenant relationship. Ishmael. 21. the different promise elements. It is remarkable. tables).4). And this parallel is clearly intended. The special place of the texts then is apparent. 17.9-13). and the males who belonged to the *house' of Abraham in Gen.9-12 involve a change of name of the patriarch concerned. however. these texts belong to the group which does not use 'seed' in this context (see above under 2.2 his departure for Haran (Gen. There are the same main stages which in another layer of theological reworking are characterized by the theme 'guidance'.46-28.3.5). As for the promise of increase. There can scarcely be any doubt. are synthesized in a characteristic way.5) and Jacob (35. Abraham (17. Finally. 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. Their intention is obviously to point in a definite theological direction. but the group is not to be detached entirely from the historical process of tradition of the promise addresses. where there is reference back to Gen. after the account of the actual circumcision of Abraham. that circumcision as sign has not been carried further. On the one side. 17.

the second blessing is given only after the return to the ground of the promised land. Criticism of Pentateuchal Criticism 167 end of the journey in Egypt (48. And further. The departure for Haran is already under the blessing. are not reckoned to P.2.2 nor the assurance of mediatorship of the 1 See above under 3.3 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. they are introduced with . But this exhausts their contribution to the shaping and interpretation of the patriarchal story as a whole. 17. new interpretation which takes its place by the earlier one. like the divine addresses to Abraham (Gen.3-4). 3.4.9).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. presupposing the journey down to Egypt.3. 2 See above under 2. 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. But it is notable even so that. and the last mention of blessing looks back. The impression that arises from this is that of a complement and a new emphasis of an already existing narrative. But these questions require farther study.1 At the same time it is evident this layer of reworking has a quite characteristic interest in the figure and journey of Jacob. The emphases in detail lie in a different direction from those in the 'guidance' layer. . 26. 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. Neither the assurance of guidance. These texts give the Jacob story a separate. But this does not touch the many promise addresses to Abraham which belong to other layers of tradition and reworking. generally.1) and Jacob (35. It has already been shown that these texts cannot be part of a continuous priestly Jacob story.4.3. there are many details in Gen. which runs through all three patriarchal stories.

Erkenntnis Gottes nach dem Buche Ezechiel. 24) We had earlier expressed the conjecture that one might see here a link with Gen. with the broad expansion of the formula 'I am YHWH' and with the 'recognition statement'6 in v. 1963. and Jacob (v.1 which has proved itself in a special way to be an element binding the arrangement together. The exodus event 1 2 3 4 5 6 See above under 2. We had concluded earlier that on the one hand the lack of connection between the individual complexes of tradition is striking. At the same time one can discern a definite line of interpretation in this group as a whole. a quite unique type of theme is evident.5 For the rest.5 and 2. See above under 2. Cf. See above under 2. it strikes one immediately that in the further course of the narrative there is no cross-reference of this sort to be found. . W.2 Beside the texts formulated in the deuteronomic style. 17.7. 41-119. The 'priestly' texts then stand out in relief within the patriarchal story as an independent group with a number of peculiarities.4. but that on the other hand there are isolated references back to the patriarchal story in the exodus tradition. A few further remarks may be added here about the combination of the patriarchal story with the traditions that follow. However. and in addition it does not share in the overall arrangement of the story.2-9. 17. which in the present context indicates the change of fortune pointing toward the imminent rescue of the Israelites. With these two texts then a deliberate tie of the patriarchal and exodus traditions is achieved.5. in a link piece.7.23-25. But it is by no means the dominant interpretation within the patriarchal story. there are again those which are generally reckoned to the priestly document: In Exod. Gesammelte Aufs&tze. 7. however. because it embraces only a partial aspect (primarily the Jacob stories). Also. 2.7-8.3 there is reference back to God's 'covenant' with Abraham. See above under 2. Zimmerli.4 one can recognize clear echoes of Gen. Isaac. in the divine address in Exod. 1954 = Gottes Offenbarung. pp.168 The Process of Transmission in the Pentateuch blessing for others. 6.5. are found in these texts. Ibid.

17). The texts generally claimed for this narrative thread are to be judged very differently. Criticism of Pentateuchal Criticism 169 itself. so that the result is a continuous.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.46-28. 24) and Ishmael (v. while the others all have to do with Jacob (Gen. either stylistic or in content or in their particular setting in the present text. indeed. the goal of the journey. though they do not use the idea 'covenant'. 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. partly the total life-span with the information about the death of the person concerned. in the majority of cases. a single tie of the patriarchal and exodus traditions under the aspect of YHWH's covenant with the fathers. there are several groups of chronological notes. they are linked with Genesis 17 in a particular way. there is a considerable number of assertions which a simple glance at the . withstand critical examination.9-13. 25) at the time of their circumcision is mentioned. the wandering in the desert. First. beside the episodic. 35. a small group of'theological' texts stand out. but only. We find in these priestly texts therefore no reworking covering the whole of the Pentateuch. 48. one of which synthesizes the divine promises to Abraham in a new way and puts them under the key word 'covenant' (Gen. new interpretation of the patriarchal story. 3. 27. Further. 1. Nor are there connections between the chronological notes and the theological texts. Study of these texts demonstrates that the arguments for assigning them to P (arguments which are almost entirely absent in more recent literature) cannot. only that in Genesis 17 the age of Abraham (w.3. give no indication that it is the land.4. and the occupation of the land. There are no discernible connections between these groups. coherent narrative.3-4).5. that YHWH had assured to the patriarchs. They mention partly the age of a person at the time of a particular event.

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.14. because the texts. which are claimed for P. 'destroy* in Gen. But no proof is forthcoming that they are constituent parts of a 'source' within the meaning of the documentary hypothesis. on the one hand. we are faced with the question. of a continuous narrative which once existed independently on its own.2b. At most. there have been different reworkings of the patriarchal story which are consistent and of theological significance. but which occurs also in the 'J-passage' 12. 21. hence. the claim for P of the expression 'at the particular time' in Gen.5 Synthesis It has been demonstrated that. despite the lack of any discernible relationship to each other. which is found also in the immediately related 'J' piece in 18. Examples could be multiplied at will. the alleged P use of the verb in the pi'el.18. and that on the grounds of 'proofs' from linguistic usage.17 and in the 'E-passage' 20. and of the Moses and exodus traditions on the other. 16. and further. The refutation of arguments such as these sets up a sort of chain reaction.10.e. critical examination shows cogently that these connecting pieces are not to be claimed for P. they still do not produce a coherent narrative.170 The Process of Transmission in the Pentateuch concordance proves to be false. This pulls the mat from under any assumption of a coherent P-narrative. Even when one assumes that the remaining groups of texts mentioned are all to be reckoned to one 'source'. 3.1 which is held to belong to P. In my opinion. i.29 which is used in the immediately preceding J-narrative in 19. 19.13 as well as in the J-text in 13. to a large extent support each other. one could attribute them all to the same layer of reworking which has complemented and interpreted in a particular way a text already available. I underscore once again as typical examples: the appendage 'Abraham's wife' in Gen.

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

Even though many exegetes have clearly not 1 H. The changing fate of the TDlohist' is a clear example of the problem.2 The problems of source division have intensified notably with the rise of form-criticism and the discipline arising out of it. Wolff. 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'. 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. 136. or to reduce by virtue of necessity the demands of the criteria for source division. 'growths' or whatever. 'glosses'. namely the study of the process of formation of the tradition. cit. 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.1.172 The Process of Transmission in the Pentateuch very quickly the difficulties and the problem area of this undertaking. 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.1 That the doublets or complements at various places in the Pentateuch could be independent of each other is thus not given serious consideration. see above under 3. And even when today one has largely renounced any wish to reconstruct the Elohist completely. p. When it is recognized that individual texts belong together. op. because since Wellhausen the 'fragmentary* hypothesis has been superceded. then they must also belong to a 'source'. . 2 Those who contest the Elohist are the exceptions here. The question whether the individual sources have been fully preserved has played a special role in these discussions. or ascribe relatively large sections of texts to redactors.W. or to explain them as not belonging to sources and so as 'additions'. but never to be able to distribute the entire material of the Pentateuch among them. This has led time and again to the questions whether one should postulate new sources or sub-sources..

Thus. this means that the authors of the individual written sources made use by and large of material already given shape. Von Rad 1 So Fohrer. at least for Old Testament scholarship in the German-speaking area. 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. further problems come into the perspective.e. pentateuchal study and documentary hypothesis have become so inseparable. 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'.lll. One usually reckons with a stage of oral tradition in which the texts to a large degree more or less acquired their form. 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. p. Many exegetes are not aware of this and it has not left any discernible trace in the literature. The first basic alteration is that the Pentateuch is no longer regarded primarily as a literary product. After von Rad had demonstrated the independence of the individual complexes of tradition within the Pentateuch and their general independence of each other. a much greater self-sufficiency is attached to the individual narrative or tradition. the only explanation is that. But because one can speak of 'sources' only from the earliest time when the text was fixed in writing. there has. Introduction. .3. First. been many an alteration in the presuppositions. what part did the authors of the sources play in the composition of the present whole. 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. 'None of the views mentioned [i. the question arose. but not a question addressed to it. nevertheless.1 But when the question is put in the context of the process of the formation of the tradition.

.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.' still discernible. only as the work of the Yahwist'.1: Thus. is very probably. On the contrary. He writes of the two cultic stories of Bethel (Gen. 2 See above under 1. 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.. but to 'G'. as for the literary arrangement. and consequently the 'fulfillment and penetration of that ancient story material by the Yahweh faith. in one most vivid sentence about place and time. in the exegesis of 18. even with von Rad.1. the Yahwist has 1 Von Rad. a remarkable imbalance in evaluating the Yahwist. Fohrer. 67f. the Yahwist is not mentioned. he is occasionally claimed for narrative details: e.2233.. And so once again other criteria must be sought for discerning and characterizing the Yahwist. There is evident here. 53ff.. This process of the transition of the material at one time stamped by the cult into new literary' arrangements is then described in detail. Kaiser and others had already assigned these not to the Yahwist.. "The Form Critical Problem'. 28) and Penuel (Gen. But Noth. which the Yahwist has inserted between the old narrative passages'... essentially self-contained. and there is very often talk there of the Yahwist without his part in the development becoming readily discernible. 18.g. pp.. he speaks of'connecting pieces.. 18ff. which were available to him. . of other cult stories it is said expressly that 'we can regard the blending of [the] sacral traditions with the Yahweh faith'. 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'. On the one hand he ascribed to the Yahwist the final arrangement of the complexes of tradition. 32) that 'the part of the Yahwist in [their] composition.1 and many exegetes have more or less followed him expressly. Gen. yet in the summarizing 'epilogue' to the preceding cult story of Mamre.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. clearly standing out from the narrative context. for example.

1 and 3. examining seriously and reflecting methodically on their compatibility with the assumptions and statements of the question of the 'classical' documentary hypothesis. 569ff. pp.3.Jl It becomes quite clear from all this. On the contrary. I see numerous important reasons which. . . 2 See also Westermann's critical survey. Criticism of Pentateuchal Criticism 175 brought us right into the picture. from such a statement of the question. to the present synthetic whole. I think. speak against the currently reigning view of pentateuchal sources within the meaning of the documentary hypothesis..2. however. 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). 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.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. 1 See above under 1. across the larger units or the complexes of tradition. Genesis 1-11.

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. Above all. This is particularly remarkable at the level of the generally accepted 'older sources' of current pentateuchal study. It is precisely this that is the express goal of the traditio-historical method since it appeared. each of which has obviously had its own pre-history. 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. These 'sources' are for the most part regarded as theological works. then one cannot acquire a coherent view of the history of its growth. to which the essential arrangement of the Pentateuch is ascribed. there is a notable absence of cross-references between these larger units'. He has shown that the Pentateuch consists of a number of complexes of tradition which are clearly separate from each other.2. 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.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. 1 See above under 1. 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. Hence.

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

then there is no answer. and it must be repeated again here. W. in recent pentateuchal study. cf. This conclusion must be protected from possible misunderstanding. this hypothesis has almost been identified with the literary-critical method as such. dissent from the documentary hypothesis. see above under 3. However. Fohrer expresses 1 The terminology of the discipline is significant: one assigns the text to a source.H. as an (unintentional) example. 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. . Literary criticism of different passages of the Pentateuch has separated out individual units of text.1 In any case.2. 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'.1. pp. and the traditio-historical method.4. and when one tries to allege the currently reigning notion of 'sources' to answer the questions raised by traditio-historical study. and quite obviously even when there are no clear criteria favouring one source or the other. that it is not at all a question of contesting in any way the legitimacy of literary-critical statements of the question. namely what is known as the 'documentary hypothesis'. Schmidt. 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. Exodus. 63-64. so that the difference between the two must again be expressly brought to mind. means an alteration in the methodological approach. one does not encounter the 'sources' in the sense of the documentary hypothesis. On the contrary. It has already been underscored. a particular hypothesis. while maintaining the literary-critical position. 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. Conclusions and Consequences 179 today. What is to be questioned rather is a particular conclusion of the literary-critical work on the Pentateuch. Many of the observations made about the texts since the rise of the literary-critical method retain their validity and still require an answer.

and put the question of belonging to one of the 'sources' only at a later stage of the exegesis.2 But our inquiry. 2 See above under 1. be it that the basic principle cited agrees with exegetical practice or not. 1964. from a form-critical or a traditio-historical point of view. it is long since clear. that from the traditio-historical point of view. The basic principle already mentioned earlier must be set against it. EvTh 31 (1971) 579-88 = Gesammelte Studien zum Alien Testament 2.. p. the assumption of continuous 'sources' in the Pentateuch is only justified when. to start with. 1973.. it presents itself as the most plausible answer to the questions which the final form of the text raises.1 But it is legitimate to contest even this basic principle. at the end of the path of the traditio-historical inquiry. 189-98: 'So as things stand today. that the Hexateuch contains more material that does not belong to a source and that the narrative threads contain more disconnected narrative . in my opinion. has shown that this is not the case.3. pp. But. Similarly Fohrer: 'Indeed.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. 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). as the documentary hypothesis demands. 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. namely. 4. one must in many cases concentrate on individual narratives and other such 'smallest units'. the literary-critical separation of the different strands. 'Beobachtungen an der Moseerz&hlung Ex 1-14'. 3 Von Rad has seen this clearly. must stand'. A great amount of exegetical ingenuity is still being spent on the problem of source division. is no longer to be gained. it is to be flatly denied. 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. although it has long since become clear that a self-contained picture of the 'sources'. has in fact long since lost its force because 'to start with'.3 And even if one might hope to come to convincing 1 Uberlieferung und Geschichte des Exodus. It too. and especially the 'crosscheck' of the documentary hypothesis.

1 The patriarchal story The patriarchal story which. 'Argumenta e Silentio. and Jacob stories each has its own history of formation and its own independent profile.1 only shifts these concerns on to another plane. 4. as an example of a 'larger unit' within the Pentateuch we have subjected to detailed analysis. is not to refute the documentary hypothesis.Wagner. CanJT 13 (1967) 225-32.H. proves to be a complex and at the same time a rounded unit. DBAT 8 (1975) 11-17. Diebner/H. H. 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. VT 22 (1972) 448-59. Isaac. 2).E. and that very obviously. DBAT 8 (1975) 2-10.2 The 'larger units' in the Pentateuch The main purpose of this study.2.4. however. 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. First. it is evident yet again that the Abraham. And the newly enkindled discussion about the dating of the sources of the Pentateuch.1975. Schmid has also argued for a late dating of the Yahwist (May 1975: Fachgruppe Altes Testament in der Wissenschaftlichen Gesellschaft fur Theologie). Das grosse Schweigen als Folge der "alten Pentateuchquellen"'. Tentateuchal Criticism: No Clear Future'. B. Rendtorff zum 10. . especially of the 'Yahwist'. in Festschrift fur R.. 'Edom in alttestamentlichen Texten der Makkabaerzeit'. 1 J. The conclusions remain to be sketched briefly and the consequences to be pondered..' (see p. DBAT Beiheft 1. but in my opinion it is chasing after a phantom. Van Seters. 'Confessional Reformulation in the Exilic Period'. Schult. 'Die Ehen der Erzvater'. N. 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. 6 n. Conclusions and Consequences 181 conclusions in Genesis or in the first half of the book of Exodus. 23-34. 4. this is no longer possible from the Sinai pericope on at the very latest.5.

15-18. only at a later stage of the reworking and arrangement. 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 2.2. the genre 'Sage' undoubtedly needs a renewed and more nuanced study. . in the framework of the Isaac story with the two divine promise addresses in Gen.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.3.4 This belongs as well to the passages which bind the three patriarchal stories with one another and fit them together into a whole.4) and to Jacob (28. The traditio-historical problems of the patriarchal story are not thereby finally solved.4). But now that the independence and complexity of the patriarchal story has become so evident. rather a way has been opened to deal with them more intensively. the Abraham and Isaac stories (22.3. 26.18. See above tinder 3. This is evident.2 In both cases the promise of the land is emphasized at the beginning.4. It is given to Abraham (12. 26. 28. In the Jacob story.14). 22. See above tinder 2.241 and in the arrangement of the Jacob story as a 'guidance' narrative.18).4. Only a few problems will be indicated here which present themselves anew.4.14) and. the assurance of blessing which accompanies him on his way has been added in another layer of tradition. especially in the closing promise address in Gen. for example.4. First. the different formulations show that the Abraham and Jacob stories were first joined together (12. But here too the function of a framework is clearly recognizable. and the assurance of abundant descendants at the end. See above under 2.182 The Process of Transmission in the Pentateuch intact.2-5 and 26. The promise of the blessing for others dominates here. 22. 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. to Isaac (26.

he had to carry on as if chs. 2. And further. Genesis 1-11. 17 were not there. one must investigate in more precise detail than has been possible within the limits of this study. Kessler on the 'cross references' offers further pointers 1 Cf.2. pp. 18fF.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. like Genesis 14 and 23.4 thereby leaving the way open for as unprejudiced analysis as possible. and likewise again chs. study can turn itself to the questions of the structure of the patriarchal story under different presuppositions. in dealing with the promise addresses in ch. . particular groups of texts were not assigned to the priestly layer. In this area. but in such a way that he was forced to span certain texts. 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. 3 Von Rad has included Gen. 20-22.4. Westermann. In the case of the *Yahwistic' Abraham story. 14. A new beginning may be made here. 170f). but I am very conscious that my own insights are only a beginning. pp. and so did not merit any thorough consideration. In doing so. Conclusions and Consequences 183 the one hand and the complex of traditions with which the book of Exodus begins on the other.1020 and Genesis 24 without being forced to look for proofs which would assign them to sources.2 set into relief the profound differences between texts like Gen. In particular. can be simply studied and evaluated in their own right. one would pursue more precisely the connections between the divine promise addresses and their context. the collection and arrangement of the patriarchal stories. The reflections presented above still leave many questions open in this regard. 15. I have deliberately tried to avoid preliminary decisions about whether individual texts belong to particular 'sources'. 1. 2 See above under 3. and it can.3 They were added anyway by a redactor. Finally. And texts which are difficult to classify. the work of R. 12. to take up an example already mentioned. 22 among the narratives designated by him as 'Yahwistic' (Theology of the Old Testament. 4 And thus.2.

throw light on the path. and so allow one to discern the guiding principles and methods of reworking. 4.2 The other 'larger units' Something corresponding holds for the other larger units within the Pentateuch. This is especially the case with 1 See above under 2. 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.1. in their present form.3-4) with an emphasis to which there is no parallel in the patriarchal story? Can one. without more ado. which do not arise in the same way for other larger units within the Pentateuch. to which others could be added. 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. 28. 32. To give but two examples: how is one to understand the following: the narrative in Gen. from the smallest units to this larger unit.2. 2 See above under 2. yet they are mentioned in an insertion into its context (13.1. put this side by side with other narratives in which. answers to them would first promote a better understanding of the patriarchal story as an entity.1 a question of course which is linked with those already mentioned. whereas the event at Pnuel (Gen. Hence. the divine promise addresses carry such weight. 22-32]) has remained quite untouched? Can one simply maintain the interpretation of von Rad.1. are concerned with specific problems in the patriarchal story. so plausible at first sight. .184 The Process of Transmission in the Pentateuch and suggestions.10-22) has undergone a very varied and multi-faceted interpretation by means of the divine promises. but have not been tied to the context in any comparable way? And how does one evaluate this: the cult etiology of Bethel (Gen.10-20 ('the ancestress in danger*) has no divine address and so no mention of the divine promises to Abraham. step by step.23-33 [Eng.

6 This could be a clue to the simultaneous growth of 1 Cf. 5 Steck. then it means that. 550. also Westermann.3 or not at all. yet another aspect becomes clear: many studies on the primeval story limit themselves entirely to it. 2-11 is. because Gen. Wolff has unintentionally shown this in 'The Kerygma of the Yahwist'. 12. 3 E.K.g.4. pp. Steck: 'Gen. 525-54 (esp. however. cit. . p. the primeval story has indeed been tied to the patriarchal story.. 24. At the same time.2 nevertheless. If this is correct. 2 E. Steck. Num. a whole. and interpret it accordingly as a unit in itself. the only occurrence of the key-word 'blessing' in the whole of the book of Exodus in Exod. pp.3b and is in fact not a continuation of the promise given there. Genesis 1-11.3a (despite the notable change of the verbs) but not so to the words of 12. on the basis of Gen. And a further remark: 'the universal perspective of the primeval story which the Abraham story achieves in (Gen. but which has no counterpart in the larger units that follow. according to our reflections.64ff. about which Wolff insists 'the real message of the Yahwist is to be seen only in 12.9. they take it for granted that the layers of tradition discernible there must be regarded as constituent parts of the pentateuchal sources. but only with it. 12. in 'Genesis 12. rather the opposite. p. Ertrage der Forschung. 1-11 alone. Conclusions and Consequences 185 the primeval story.W. 7. pp. 12) v.32 shows no connection with Gen. Probleme biblischer Theologie. underscore its internal coherence. 1972.g. Westermann. 6 I think that H.1-3 und die Urgeschichte des Jahwisten'. Festschrift von Rad. 3'5 is often alleged as a reference back to the patriarchal story to the primeval story. cf.1-3. 1971. p. And the single occurrence in the book of Numbers within the Balaam oracles..4 The independence of the primeval story as a larger unit has long since been recognized and stressed. O. but further reflection is required about its connection with the other units. Genesis 1-11. The express connection is made merely by a few remarks about Gen. 12. which is meant to encompass all that is typical of the human condition. 12. 12..3 is one of those passages which bring the patriarchal stories together as a whole. 4 So Westermann.3b'.1 it has always been the object of studies which have focussed entirely on the problems in these chapters.'. Genesis 1-11. with all the possibilities and depreciation of human existence. in the intent of the Yahwist. can certainly be related to Gen. 549). op.3b. 549-50.

"Mose'. Pentateuchal study takes for granted that the Sinai pericope is an entity in itself. 1973. is then studied again.1 Since Pedersen. (hip'il).31). interpreting. 4 It is remarkable that the verb used in these passages.4 And so it is evident once more that the reflections made here have no counterpart in other larger units.2.1. 3 See above under 3.4. and thereby further cut 1 See above under 1. planning.31 the Israelites 'believe' the message that Moses has received and bow before it—just as later. von Rad. though from the most divergent points of view. occurs only seldom elsewhere in the Pentateuch. Even if the supposition that the unit is in essence a liturgical text has receded into the background.23-25 marks the turning point in the first section of the call of Moses. 326).3 Exod. cramped together into a few chapters.2 Once again we may take up the reflections on a deliberate. 2. arrangement of the unit.27b) and they finally see this rescue with their own eyes (14. 2 Cf. The remaining 'nucleus'. theologically interpretative. The analysis of the Sinai periocope usually begins with the speedy. 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. which has given this passage its own stamp. EvTh 31 (1971) 579-88 = Gesammelte Studien zum Alien Testament 2. G. . and unanimous. nevertheless its peculiar literary character and relative internal coherence is continually underscored.186 The Process of Transmission in the Pentateuch these two larger units independently of their connection with the following units. 189-98. when the definitive rescue is announced to them (12. 'Beobachtungen an der Moseerzghlung Exodus 1—14'. EvTh 28 (1968) 301-28 (esp. arranging. There is obviously a mind at work here. God takes heed of the Israelites. exclusion of the parts belonging to the 'priestly document'. the question of the special character of Exodus 1-14(15) has been there. This notion. we can for the most part latch on to what has already been said. borrowed from the liturgical realm. In 4. Herrmann. S. But this question needs further careful attention. With regard to the other larger units. mainly in respect of assigning passages to their sources. pp.

6.g. Here. see above under 1. This brings up a partial aspect of the question. 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. been torn apart again. 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. and what systems of arrangement are discernible.3 It must be emphasized. what were the intentions and ideas at work. how does one explain the process by which these texts came together. that it is necessary to free oneself from the hypothetical realm and the bonds of source division. Conclusions and Consequences 187 up. Fritz. 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. 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. 1969. The advantage of this could well be that source division (prescinding from T') has thus exhausted itself. and then when the different parts of the Pentateuch were assembled. These 1 Cf.4. 2 See above tinder 1. 3 E. and to put the question. This holds particularly for the still quite open question. V. Perlitt. .4 and 2. how the larger units have been brought together and finally assembled into the whole which is the present Pentateuch. Bundestheologie im Alien Testament. The problems of the narratives of Israel's stay in the desert have already been outlined. pp. L. whether and how far these texts belong together in one larger unit. and that many exegetes would not find it all that difficult to renounce it in this area.2 Here too there are indications that this group of texts is to be understood as an independent larger unit. 157-58. But the notion of larger units' must not be overdrawn. the attempt to work out an isolated 'Yahwistic' desert tradition must of necessity cover over more problems than it can solve.4. over against recent attempts.

whether they were conceived as part of a comprehensive presentation of the occupation of the land and where. One must examine the corresponding texts in the book of Numbers independently of these to see if they belong together. 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. One must always be ready to grant that single pieces of material. the continuation is to be sought. 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. which have not belonged to such larger contexts. have only been taken up at one of the stages of a synthesizing redaction. and that this work did not take place at one stroke. requiring further discussion.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. however. but shows several stages and layers. but that this collection has undergone work of arrangement and interpretation. . On the one hand there is the question whether they were at one time bound together as an independent larger unit. The study of the patriarchal story has shown that it is not only a collection of texts that belong together thematically.188 The Process of Transmission in the Pentateuch questions then must be examined very carefully and without previous commitment.4. that most of the texts of the Pentateuch were united into 'larger units' before these were brought together to form the present whole. It is similar with other larger units: the 1 See above under 1. 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. if at all. or at the final redaction of the Pentateuch. on the other hand there is the problem. The narratives about the occupation of the land in east Jordan also contain a double problem. They are much more readily recognizable as an independent larger unit with its own particular profile. It is clear.

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

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

2 See above under 1. one must make further distinctions here. 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. it is better not to retain the expression 'priestly document' because it is 1 However. so far as is possible. Hence. but of outlining more exactly the process by which the single narratives came to form the larger units. Conclusions and Consequences 191 because it is no longer a matter of assigning individual texts to different sources. and. First.4. and so more refined distinctions commend themselves. New criteria must also be reclaimed for the process of putting together the larger units to form the Pentateuch as a whole. there must be renewed discussion of the sign of this work of collecting and reworking and of those who were responsible for it.4. However. For this reason Noth introduced other notions into the study of the book of Joshua. but should point primarily to the necessity of arriving at a further clarification. is a cohesive group of 'priestly' texts. which he wanted to withdraw expressly from the prevailing realm of the documentary hypothesis. Isaac. 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'. This should not result in imposing a fixed terminology. However. on the one hand for the independent process of growth of each of the stories of Abraham. and on the other hand for the process of gathering them into one larger unit.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. it has become evident that the assumption of a continuous 'priestly' narrative cannot stand critical examination. standardization of ideas. it must be emphasized that the only layer that can be discovered within the Pentateuch that is comparable to the 'sources'. . And to this end various reflections from earlier chapters of this work may be taken up.2 Hence the suggestion that similar terminology be used with them. and Jacob. refinement. The notions of 'redaction' and 'redactor* are too closely bound with the putting together of 'sources' in pentateuchal study. Thus.

R. . 9. which are generally reckoned to 1 Cf.4 It should immediately be called to mind that these 'theological' priestly texts do not occur throughout the whole of the Pentateuch.12 as well as to the terminology where there is talk of fertility and increase as consequences of the blessing.192 The Process of Transmission in the Pentateuch too heavily impressed with the stamp of a continuous narrative. In addition. Likewise the retrospective linking of these texts with the primeval story is obvious: the divine address in 9. 5 See above under 3. 6.4. pp.2-9 the priestly cross-references to the patriarchs cease. 6-7. It is evident that the priestly texts are not restricted to one of the larger units of the Pentateuch.23-25 and 6. 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. The chronological details. but do not cover the whole Pentateuch. 2 See above under 3.4. Rendtorff.2. We had discovered that with Exod.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. 3 The refinements necessary here within the priestly layer cannot be carried out in this study. Studien zur Geschichte des Opfers im Alien Israel. We have seen that the 'theological' priestly texts in patriarchal story find their clear continuation in Exod.2-9. 2. disputed in current pentateuchal study.1-7 is introduced as blessing and thus corresponds to the other theological priestly texts in the patriarchal story. the patriarchal story. These texts reach beyond the limits of the larger units.3 There are also obvious connections with the creation account in Genesis 1. 1967. It commends itself to speak of *priestly texts'. and Exodus 6. whether different types of priestly texts belong together. 4 A corresponding connection with the flood story is less clearly demonstrable. there must be renewed examination of the question.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. The first part of the divine address in Gen.4.

And so.lOff. 11. 11. 12. . a text which is quite outside the pattern.7 is formulated in a unique way. namely the beginning of residence in the land of Canaan.4.10). 7. and at the beginning of the flood (7.1 and 19. it is in Exod. and Japhet (5. or departure from the land of Egypt. With the texts of the second main group. there are clear connections between the patriarchal story and the preceding 1 Ibid. manifest likewise some connections between the different larger units. data about the death is missing. 14. on the age of Noah when he begot Shem. in respect of the chronological notes.29. 34.3 Of the other chronological notes. 20.11. these texts are formulated according to a fixed pattern. There is no text at all in the primeval story which corresponds exactly to the pattern of the group mentioned above. which give details of the entire life-span in connection with the notification about the death. Num. 2.7 in the note on the age of Moses and Aaron 'when they spoke to Pharaoh'. 10. This holds too for the corresponding data in Genesis 5 (w.6).1 in some sort of relationship to Gen.32).4.32 corresponds to the basic pattern in the patriarchal story. and that this other event is on each occasion in the infinitive with a preceding lamed. 4 One could see a connection in that the specific time is on each occasion given in relation to another event.40. ll. Conclusions and Consequences 193 the *F texts.3. 16. Some. 3 The information about the death of Moses in Deut. except in the case of Terah. 31) and the notification of the death of Noah in 9. 11.4 The remaining chronological remarks in Exod. 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. to which there is no parallel in the rest of the Pentateuch.17. 2 See above under 3. Ham. it has already been pointed out that the note about the death of Terah in Gen. one might put Exod. 20. whereas in Gen.8.12 There is only one sentence that corresponds to this pattern in the larger units that follow the patriarchal story. 16.1 show no linguistic relationship to the chronological texts of the patriarchal story. however are close to it: the note on the age of Shem when he begot Arphacsad (Gen. 27.

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

32. there is Gen.24 where. cf. 33. 2 In Exod. the desert. Isaac.11). and especially to the promise of the land to the patriarchs.18. and Jacob'. In Numbers 11 there is yet another critical situation in which Israel's journey into the promised land appears in danger. from Sinai. the occupation of the land in east Jordan. 11. 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.12 both are set side by side in almost identical formulations. op. 340.. the exodus. 50.13-16. p. The formulation is very close to that used in Gen. 15.5. It is similar in Numbers 1314 where YHWH himself recalls his oath as he withdraws. at the 1 Except in the isolated passage. immediately before the departure from Egypt.23). Kessler. 33. 33. at the end of the patriarchal story. and are stamped with deuteronomic language.7. Conclusions and Consequences 195 hack to the patriarchal story.4. 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. First. cit.13).7. 32. 12. partially. Sinai. In Exod. 50. It is the same immediately before the next departure. 12).24 and Exod. there is reference back to the promise of the land to the patriarchs. Gen. Moses prays to YHWH. The connection between the promise of the land to the patriarchs and the leading out of Egypt is particularly underscored: in Gen. 13. 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. 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. his decision to annihilate the people (14.1. to the formula 'the land which I swore to Abraham. Thus. reminding him of his oath (v. and YHWH orders the departure for the land which he swore to the patriarchs that he would give to their descendants (Exod. is added: 'to your descendants (seed) will I give it'. .1-3a). 24. 15.

or which can definitively be made responsible for it. 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). 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. and the ^priestly document' has shown that it likewise can not establish itself as a coherent whole. 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. There is another question which is relative to the more precise designation of this layer and its pertinence to texts in other areas. First. But there should be a brief sketch of the consequences and the questions thus raised. It is not the purpose of this study to inquire in detail into the final stage of the history of its formation. according to our examination so far. 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. 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. I have described these texts as 'deuteronomically stamped' so as to avoid a premature conclusion as to what . But this certainly does not solve the problem of the final redaction of the Pentateuch. And so this deuteronomically stamped layer of reworking is the first and. This is significant because our inquiries hitherto have found no text or no layer of reworking about which this can be said. and this is pronounced at the departure from Sinai (Exod.196 The Process of Transmission in the Pentateuch same time.1). The advocates of the 'source' theory can no longer demonstrate this for the ancient pentateuchal 'sources'. or is it a matter of a predominantly interpretative reworking. 33. But nothing is thereby said of the part that this layer had in the final arrangement of the whole Pentateuch.

The texts do not contain just current deuteronomic or deuteronomistic statements. the heavily 'deuteronomistically stamped' Genesis 153 contains nothing about YHWH's oath which is so frequent in Deuteronomy. but requires careful scrutiny. e.g.3. all-embracing. In Gen. 6. a 'land flowing with milk and honey'. 6.8. Neither is the promise of the land to the patriarchs mentioned in Josh. It would be methodologically inadmissible.1. with the group of texts already mentioned. 24. 33. 2 In Deut. to mention just one other example. 3.24 and Exod. 26.5-9. w.1. is used.19. is by no means excluded. or how 'deuteronomic' is to be discerned in this area. therefore. I have already referred to the discussion whether one ought speak rather of 'early deuteronomic' or 'proto-deuteronomic'. Conclusions and Consequences 197 their place might be within the concept 'deuteronomic'. In Deut. It occurs in Deuteronomy only in the 'Credo' text (6. .7 (end).1.23). but the formula found elsewhere. 50. 17-18). inadequately based.4. of Gen. This. Rather. This is necessary because criteria for what is 'deuteronomic'. It would be cause for concern if premature. 18.1 But here too there would be a definite conclusion which it would be better to avoid at first.20-24 and Deut. in Exod. 26. For example.11-14 (cf. to one layer of reworking and redaction. 1 See above under 2. 3 See above under 2. of course. but this does not necessarily mean that this text belongs. have not yet been adequately worked out. There exists here a fundamental difference between the 'Credo' formulations of Deut. without examining more closely and basing more firmly their connection. there is no mention of the promise of the land to the patriarchs. 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. 2.2 and in the deuteronomistic history only in Judg. a quite different sort of theme occurs. it belongs to the broad realm of deuteronomic-deuteronomistic language and theology.23 the verb is used instead of. 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. new theories were to replace hypotheses now outgrown.

1.343. It is hardly likely..p. 10 show much in common both in structure and in formulation: 'Then Joseph/Joshua died. 8 and Judg. 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. in my opinion. rather we must assume that the reworkers. 2 Op.2 He sees in them 'two clear examples . VT 17 (1967) 334-53. who used this pattern in Exodus 1 and Judges 2.6... and refers to 'the dtn. 1... 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.. 3 Ibid... however convinced he may have been of the continuity of the two periods and have arrived at his formulation in this conviction'.. 1 'Exodusstudien Exodus 1'. a few further observations and reflections may be added. which is used in the historical literature at the transition from one epoch to another*. idiom' in Judg. belonged to the same circles.. who I which did not know Joseph/YHWH.. that these two texts *belong to the same literary pattern'.. And so again we encounter the deuteronomic-deuteronomistic circle. and all that generation. 2.. 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.3 Vriezen reflects further and interestingly 'that the author (of Exod. is of the opinion that here there 'was an older and a later' example available for this pattern. Vriezen has drawn attention to the striking parallelism between the beginning of the exodus story and the beginning of the story of the judges.. convincingly I think.. . of the same phraseology.p.8..4 This fits very well into our picture of the history of the formation of the Pentateuch. Vriezen..' Vriezen has shown.1 The texts of Exod. under the influence of the source theory. 4 Op. crt.198 The Process of Transmission in the Pentateuch With this reservation. 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.339.6.. cit. 2.

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. cit.. In any case.. Conclusions and Consequences 199 This gives new weight to the fact that towards the end of the book of Numbers. the fact that it is not *P* but 'Dtr' who dominates in the account of Moses' death in Deuteronomy 34. And so in Noth's view.4. 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. the deuteronomistic element appears clearly. that this link was made in the context of the great work of the redaction of the Pentateuch'. especially in chs. p. it is also clear that the last sections of the book of Numbers are not comprehensible when detached from this overall complex. 2 Op. 143. because they show too many common features. Noth dealt with this problem in detail1 and expressed the view that 'one.. be separated from the books that follow. 25.2 Noth. The delimitation and canonization of the Pentateuch certainly presents a problem for our present view of the literary history of its formation.. favours the opinion that it must be a matter of later redaction here.. But this argument is rendered irrelevant when one does not reckon with such a tightly outlined 'P'-narrative. (could) consider here. in its present form.3 This manner of argument would in any case carry little conviction because of the assumption of an independent Pnarrative. Finally. p. cit. The announcement of the death of Moses in Num. The book of Deuteronomy in its turn cannot.. because of his presuppositions. . 27.12-23 and the account of it in Deuteronomy 34 show that the link between the two is intended. 32-35. 3 Op. 145. only becomes really comprehensible if it already existed within the limits set by the P-narrative and enjoyed special esteem'. p. it is clear that the book of Deuteronomy cannot be sharply separated from the remaining Tetrateuch'. came to reject this conjecture. But it can hardly be explained by the conjecture of a 'special esteem' for a fictitious earlier 1 The Chronicler's History.


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

440. That would be to pour new wine into old skins. 2nd edn). p.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. .1 1 Genesis (German 9th edn. Eng. as von Rad demanded in one of his last statements: 'we urgently need a comprehensive new analysis of the narrative material of the Pentateuch'. One must tackle it. The problem of the process of tradition in the Pentateuch lies deeper.

193 34 12-50 83nl 12. 134.11-26 11.31-32 11.2 5. 77 62.12 148.10 12.15 57. 150 12. 78.15-16 68.21-22 8. 151 13. 132n3. 184 13. 148 51n4 13.1-9 49. 54. 71. 76.4b-5 147 142. 184 13.4a 1 4. 33.16 13.9 51. 71 13.16 12. 148. 73. 152 13.31 32. 184 12. 125. 135n2 13.1 13. 52 12.12a 148 13.20 5. 170 13. 70. 150.10. 63. 151 13. 185 12.1-2 51.11 5.31 5.1 8.3a 185n6 185n6 12.1-3 15.10.14 5. 77.4-5 146 12. 60.17 7. 72. 130.10-20 46. 73 12.2 65. 82.10-11 148 13. 150.1-8 12. 60. 77. 182.21 9. 143 12. 74.5 12.5 148 13. 71. 185 12.6b 148 13. 55. 84. 148 13.26 11.5 6. 159 195n2 12.l1b 148. 77 13.9 13.17 11. 61. 50.8 5.1-17 9.10 11.12. 58.3 59.2-3 65 12.1-7 9. 122.29 5.27 5.3b 12.32 146 192 151 193 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 146 147 158.17 57.2 148 13.7 58. 77 12.12 12.17 12.26 5. 160 12. 81. 83.6 142. 77 .11 9.15 12.3.32 6.6 8. 51.14-17 55. 70. 59. 135.7 58.3-4 51.13 12.15 9. 67.29 11.10 152. 34 11.19 13 150 51n4 49 150 150 170 161 50. 132. 135.30 5.12b 149 13.17 5.4 158.INDEXES INDEX OF BIBLICAL REFERENCES Genesis 1-11 1.8 148 148 13. 68. 183. 75n3.30 11.1 66. 161.

1 153 21. 61. 82 54 55. 50 51n4. 159. 170 . 81. 62. 74. 59. 65.4-5 80 17. 77. 63. 195n2 51. 78. 80 18.1a 159 17.14 15. 174 18.16 62.16 50 18. 28 151 18. 17. 82. 135. 82.1 86. 158n2. 80 51n4. 65. 509 19.6 63.12 166 17. 54. 85. 174 18. 170 19.21 165 17. 166 17.21 15 15. 77.1 159. 165. 165.20-23 128 18. 130. 156. 62. 70.15-16 16. 130n 2 20.16 18. 149n2 17. 82.4 63. 168 57. 145 51. 77. 75n5 17. 68.19 62.5-6 70 17. 82.12 161 20.17-33 50 18. 68. 77.1-18 46 20. 165 17. 161.22 50 18. 170 18. 170 19.10 16.1-19. 197 18.116aa 49.16 14.11-12 16. 77.5 63. 170 149 149.32 129 19 54 19.23-26 166 158-60. 181 15.22b33 127. 169 53.30-38 49. 51. 165 17. 183. 58. 53. 86. 164.208 13. 50.19 128.13-16 15. 54 20-22 50. 197 52. 165 17.19b 165 17. 131n2.29 151. 165 17. 68. 169 17. 147 52. 81. 55. 67 80 62 62 62. 67.20 63. 167. 86. 63. 169.18 14 The Process of Transmission in the Pentateuch 71. 60. 70nl.6-7 164 17. 142. 65.18 16 16.14 62. 77. 146. 183.1 51.18 59.3 16.1 15.17 130 20. 55. 152.7-8 168 17. 164. 81 57. 67. 81.27-28 50 19. 86.5 15. 151 54n4. 80 62 149 151 158.13 152. 183 51n4 142 142 142 142.1 16.3 15. 18.2 63.10 62 18.23-27 55 17. 86. 53. 170 16. 160 51.24 169 17 17. 81nl.15 16.2-4 15. 160. 55 20.1-7 50 152 21.22 54n3 17.1-28 49.8 70. 77 52.12 14.1-5 21. 155. 192 51n4. 77. 80. 68.25 18 14. 183 20 50.7 15. 164.4 15.9 15. 17.7 130. 53. 17.11 14.2b 153.1-6 158. 195nl 142 58. 131. 76. 70.7 70. 51n4 20. 54. 193 151 62.7-21 15. 74.9 16. 164. 16467. 164.18 150.25 129 18. 54. 59. 165 17.

25 22 209 78. 98.19 25.5 26. 96 72 58. 54. 77. 77nl. 82. 182 51.10 24. 74.9 25. 51 51n4 47 51n3.4 24. 51n4 54. 21.16-17 22. 80 51. 54.24 26. 162n2 145 140 162. 78nl. 80 63.12 21. 183 51n4 75n3 58. 159. 61. 160. 48 47 47. 134. 182 72 72 72 78 45 46 45 46 75n4 47. 59. 154. 84. 122. 65. 160. 83.3 51n4. 80.23 25. 159 78 57. 68.26 26 26. 80.17-18 23. 169 71.22 26.6-11 26. 166.Index of Biblical References 21.18 26.4a 26.4a 22.4b-5 26. 162. 75.13 21. 66 147 96 96 55.12-17 25. 98n2 65 62. 76. 174 64.7-10 25.25b 26. 161 56nl 151 158. 68.3 22.2-4 26. 160 56nl. 78n2. 61. 66. 83. 72. 59. 68.3-5 26.15-18 22. 62.22-23 21. 59. 83. 144.8ff. 78. 57. 134.1-4 141.4628. 6567. 52. 80. 77. 73. 65. 77. 77. 161 145 154 145. 84. 68.1 24.20 25. 146. 166 158 160 150 50 51. 82.5 28 28.18 21.8 21.4 26. 82.17 22.5f. 78nl.67 25.2 26.61 24. 54. 163n2 44 22.19-34 25. 63.3b 22. 75nl.19-20 26.25-26 25.17 25. 87 51n4 54. 54 46. 62. 159.7 25.4ad 26.22 21. 163n2 44 140n 2 143.12-14 26.34 27.28 26.17 23.19 24 24. 182 78 87.56n l. 133n3 59.15 26. 21.128.22-34 21. 72.12-33 26. 158.5 21. 96. 95.12 26. 75. 26.22-32 21. 182 48 46 47 46 48 164nl 159. 96nl.4 21. 78. 48 48 48 48 46.9 27.8-21 21.18 23 153. 79 63. 96 59.1 23. 78. 87. 167.2 23.7-11 26.34-35 26. 164. 82.2-5 26. 55nl.26-31 26.2 22. 77nl. 65. 72.2-3a 26.3b 26. 195n2 147 147 161 153 162. 46.32-33 26. 54nl.16 22.16-17 26. 77.16-18 22. 89. 154 145 52. 164 .21 26. 15456.7 24. 159 45. 47 50. 95. 87. 183 23.2-3 26. 72. 182 46 83 72 66. 77.1 22. 77.17-18 22.29 26.

138nl. 22b36 35.6 143 28. 89 66 142 144 142 158. 164. 75n3. 89 28. 81n1.160 138. 59. 67.23 35. 75 141 147 56nl 89 66. 81. 61.13 46.11-13 31. 194n2 164n2 . 65. 72. 76. 67.3 38 38.5 31.27-29 35. 28b 48.6-9 28. 44. 68.12 32. 159 139 139 151 161 158.11-12 69. 135n2 28.27-30 33. 165 35. 75n5.13 57. 81. 65. 73.1 28.1 37. 83 30. 64. 164.18 145 28.5 42.10-11 31.42 32-36 32 32.29 31.14 35.5 164nl 28. 166 35. 68 144 145.28 47.18abp 31. 89 65 n 2 62.9 82. 145 145 145 161. 80. 194n2 35. 78. 166.13 31. 60.3-4 161 30.28a 47. 80. 68. 165. 65. 83.12 57.3 68. 37. 164 58.3-4 28. 89 73 56nl 66-68.14 41. 58.4 57. 63. 164. 83. 184 28.4 48. 165 42. 162 161. 165 143 28.7 37-50 37 37. 76. 167 35.27 35. 83.13 32.12 46.13b 73 28. 82. 56nl. 81nl.46 41.13-15 56. 66. 164.10-22 15. 73.4 34. 82. 164.3 46. 73.11 63. 82. 61. 162 56nl. 82. 194n2 28. 69. 135.23 (22) 32. 75. 70n2. 135 35. 59.14 59. 77. 82. 31.1-21 37.3-4 48.9-13 66.8 34. 134 28. 65. 73. 71.210 28. 69.7 143 28. 68. 61. 67.9-12 56nl.10-11 32. 83.15 66.2-4 46. 169 144. 84.4 46.18a 34.13-14 68 28. 66 44 164 69 143 63.24 31. 81.10 166 35.3 35.20 66. 59. 62.2 37. 161 162 158 161.7 42.46a 145 145 147 56nl 143 161 161 161 142 56nl 66.10 32. 167.19 145 28. 75. 165.28 36. 164.2 28. 70.23 31.2 75 56nl.9 161 31. 169 35. 71. 76. 135.1 35.15 35. 75.3 48.6a 35.26 47. 139 144 144 144 56nl. 3ff.6 46. 164. 155.3 The Process of Transmission in the Pentateuch 31. 89 44 174 83 66. 135n4 28.23-33 (22-32) 32. 164. 68.9 47.2 34. 83.5-6 142. 162 155 43 143 38 155 139. 73.15 47. 58. 135 63.9 161 28.

90.26 142.5 50.2-9 86.9 90 4. 161. 198 84. 87. 36n7. 98. 195 97 98 97 36 80.7 32.23-25 2.6 130 130 8. 97.32 17.115. 37. 91 90n5 198 161n3. 49. 168 90 88 89. 157 6.11 50.6 3.2 16-18 16. 95nl 3. 197n2 97 158. 99.2-8 6.8 90 4.11-14 32.15 13.3 16. 186 12.1 32. 90.32 185n6 12.17 3 3.14 130 9. 112 Exodus 1-15 1.20 50. 36.8-17 9. 13.10(9) 32.1 90 4. 33b 50.3 18 184 18. 162 66. 195 87.49-32 49.29 130 11. 98 98 91 91 87. 193 8.2 157 6.8 1. 135.10 2 2.8 86.11-22 2. 197n2 111 89 50. 152. 9597. 195n2.23 33 33. 189 35 36.5 88.30 49.3-10 97 87. 85.1-3 33. 3–4 3.4 86 6. 186 192 6 6.51 97 87.15 88 88.25 50.31 15. 93nl 93 92 93nl 89n3 93n2 38 37.41 157 12.21 198 99nl 111 111 111 151 112 85 88 85. 913n5 91 89nl.3-8 32-34 32 32.15-16 48. 186. 91.14.6 16.3 . 144 64 63 66.7 86 6.1 16.25 3ff. 84nl. 97 13 13. 197n2 3. 37nl.21 1-14 1-4 Iff. 168. 85nl. 195.7 130 12. 186 89n3 38 193 92 92. 99. 192 86.7 160nl.8 32. 99nl. 91.16 48. 196. 158n3.12-14 50.18 192 9.13 13. 89. 98 97. 1 1. 195 91 112 91.8 19-Num 10 19-24 19.11 32.8 86 7.13 50.7 1.7 48.3 32. 30f.31 90.30-31 49.1-3a 33.1-10 2. 97.1 37 46.40 193 12. 92. 168. 195.27b 90. 192 156.4 24.13 32. 186 36.16 4.21 49.4 32. 145 158n3. 111 91 112 112 91 91 92 91 91.24 211 87.5 195 13.19 14 14. 90 4.6 1. 68 162 162 145 145 162 144 158 162 144.11 13.24 2. 162 35.12 32. 90. 89 2.Index of Biblical References 48. 87nl.

12-20 14.14-21 38n3 20.23 913 38 n 3 38 92 98 195 92 92 98. 195 94 94 142 1 Samuel 1. 195 92 93nl 93nl 98 93nl 98.23 197n2 9. 6.13 16.12 11.11-15 11.22 14.5 11.13 38n3 93 20.5 53.13 14. 131n2 Deuteronomy 6.1 193 92 20.1 35.8 32.162.13 11-20 11.20 18 33.1 198.22-24 14.11 11. 137.4-5 20.18 53.9 26.20 13-14 14.11-14 24.10 Jeremiah 22.12-23 32-35 32 32. 199 34.14 33.16 14.2-4 14.19 14.24 96nl 96nl Leviticus 22. 99.120.3 185n6 94 199 199 113 94 94.27 152 197n2 25.28 92 16. 99.11 142 Numbers 10.5-9 34 115.17-18 Judges 2 191 191 197n2 197n2 Ezekiel 14 14.18 11.15 20.1 161n3 Isaiah 49.7 193n3 Joshua 1-12 13-21 24.3 53. 198n3 197 152 .212 The Process of Transmission in the Pentateuch 24.2 Amos 4.14 14. 195 96nl 14.24 Hosea 2.5 114 22-24 86nl 131n2 130 130.5 22.20-24 197n2 197.18 14.16a 93 92 21.5 48 25.4-6 130 9.4 27.11 32.1436.32b 142 20.11 130 131 131 131 131 131 130 204 99nl 2.

141.J. 13. 144. 154n5. Y. 139n6 Gunkel. K. 22. 115n2. 14. J. 36. 33. 38n3. 52nl. 90n5. 52n2.7. 122.2. 154 Koch. 174. M. H. O. M. 107. 38n3. 99 Plöger. 104. 128. 11. 102. 121n4. 102. H. 144. 18nnl. 135nn2. 147-49. B. 139. 115nl.G. P.112.6. 39. 14. 45. 13. 144. 143. Schult. 30nl. 12n3. O. 60. 103. 47.4. 48n2. 14n3. 35.50nnl.INDEX OF AUTHORS Bentzen. 105. K 138. F. 35. G. 163nl. 99n2.4. 117. 27. 151. 113-15. 129. 117n6 Beyerlin. 46n4. 19. 38. I. 17. 15. 163nl Rad. 105. 202 Diebner. 104n3. 203nl Fritz. 154. 203n3 Macholz. O. R. 186 Perlitt. 118n2. 24. 157 Ellis. 127. 112n4. A. 14n5. 19nl. 135nn2. 86nl. 17n3.4. 139nl. 18n3. 120-22. 24. 181nl. 16n2. 151nl. 116. 105. 118 Eissfeldt. 151. 155n2 Mowinckel. 91n3. 143n5.C.R. 110n6. 161nl Henry. 174.F. 140. 153. 136. 43.4. H. 22. 17n3. 132n3. S. 38n2. 31n3. 44. Kautzsch 158nl Gressmann. 142. 50n3. 14nn2. 144. 121 Knobel. 190. 20. 25n2. 121n8. H. 138n6 Coppens. 60n2. 17. 138nl. 125. 115nl. 66nl Procksch. W. 119-21. 174. 143n5. 142. 112n3. G. 138nl. W. 39nl Gross. S.-H. 12n2. 44n2. A. 112. 143n3. . 128. 15n3. 15. G. 21. 39n4. 116n4 Delitzsch. 18n3. 18nn2. 107nl Gazelles. N. 145nl. 21. 50. 20.W. 119-21. 124 Engnell. 70nl. 155. 128n8. 116 Hermann. 199.3. 111. 107nl Kessler.D. 147. 186n2 Holzinger. 11. 195nl Kilian. 203n4 Kaufmann. von 12.3. R. 45n3. 141nl. 187nl Ploger. 20n3. 150. 118. 124. V. 37 Noth. F. 51n7. 28-30. 27. 137.-E. 36. B. 135nn2. L.107nl Fohrer. 191. 106. 18. 154. 14. 122. 107. 128. 13. 24. 75n2. 19. 143n5. 121n8. 51nnl. 139. O. 46. 16. 36n7. 17n2. 50. 95n2. 129. 118.2. 113. 107. 16. 22. 118n7 Kaiser. S. 117. 147-53. 149. 46nl Diebner. A. 124. 125. U. 173nl. 190 Elliger. 121. llnnl. 141nnl. 40. 103n4. 49. 46n2. 46. 201 Pedersen. 145. 120 Lohfink. A. 151n4.-L. 179. 18. 155 Jepsen. 22nl. 154 Driver. 153. W. 154.l81n2 Dillmann. J. 121 Gesenius. 103n4. H. 23n2 Preuss. 39n3 Cassuto. 13nl.

33n3. 99nl Schmid. 142. 60. 175n2. E-G. 61n2. R. 16nl.H. 103. 57. 183n3. 23n2 Speiser. 27-29. 154 Steck. 123. 127. 107 Weimar. 111. W. J. 103. Fohrer 31n3. W. 26n7. 185n6. D. R. 47nl. L. 138n6. 48nl. 123. 51n7. 132n3. 114. 33. D. 179nl SeUin. 157. 90. 66nl Vriezen.214 The Process of Transmission in the Pentateuch Steuernagel. 53. 116. 204n2 Smend.N. 103. 126n5. 23n2. 123n6. 103n3. 61n2. H. 64. 149n4.132. 109n2.130n2. 138. N. J. 118n2 Stolz. 91nl. 106. 25. 140. 181nl. 173. 198n3 Wagner. 186n2. 185n2 . 131n2. 103n3. 123125. 44. 174.A. 56. 198. 131. 163 Weiser. 144nl. 194n5 Ringgren.127.2 Whybray. 45. 155. 154.W. 11. 11. 73nl. 206 Redfern. 114. 172 Westermann. 146nl. 47. 114. 34. 168n6 22. 64nl.H. 111. 106. 130.C. 133. 37.1 77. 112. 110. 46n3. C. 53nl. 133.. 150. 132n2. P. H.126n4. 172nl. 143n4.B. C. 38nl Wellhausen. 114-116. O. 183nl. 133n3. 85n2. 203n2 Zimmerli. 65. 109n2. 121n6. van 181n2. 85nl.130. 26. 102n3 Seters. 45. 36. 118.E. 109. 134. 132. 110n2 Wolff. 47. 32-34. E. 21n7.H. 25nl. T. 142n2. 132n2. 125. R. 108. 182nl. 110n2 Rendtorff. 118n6 Vetter. 185nl. 12nl. 16nl Rost.184 184n2. H. K. 132n2 Rupprecht. 65n3. 181n2 Schmidt. F. 128. 131n2. A.

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