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GENESIS ---EXODUS--- LEVITICUS 1.1-7.38 --- 8.1-11.47 --- 12.1-16.34--- 17.1-27.34--- NUMBERS 1-10--- 11-19--- 20-36--- DEUTERONOMY 1.1-4.44 --- 4.45-11.32 --- 12.1-29.1--- 29.2-34.12 --- THE BOOK OF JOSHUA --- THE BOOK OF JUDGES --- PSALMS 1-17--- ECCLESIASTES --- ISAIAH 1-5 --- 6-12 --- 13-23 --- 24-27 --- 28-35 --- 36-39 --- 40-48 --- 49-55--- 56-66--- EZEKIEL --- DANIEL 1-7 ---DANIEL 8-12 ---




by Prof J McGarvey.


1. Apology for Writing.

If an apology were needed for calling in question the conclusion of those scholars who deny that Moses was the author of the Book of Deuteronomy, it is furnished by these scholars themselves. They constantly insist that men of thought should hold their most cherished convictions subject to revision. They denounce as unreasoning traditionalists those who, rejecting further investigation, cling tenaciously to old beliefs. They are the last men, therefore who should object to any fresh re-examination of their own conclusions. They would thus be imitating those whose unwillingness to hear them excites their displeasure. In no conclusion are these scholars more confident than in the one just mentioned; and if I shall appear to them exceedingly rash in publishing at this late date an attempt to show that it is erroneous, they are still bound by their own principles not to condemn me without a hearing.

If I shall not advance anything new, I may at least place old arguments and evidences in a form somewhat new; and I may be able to point out some defects in their work that have hitherto escaped their notice. I have a right, therefore, to expect among the most interested and appreciative of my readers those whose opinions I am constrained to combat-provided only that my work shall prove worthy the attention of serious men. I did not enter upon it hastily, but after an earnest study of the whole field of controversy for many years.

2. Higher Criticism Defined.

The process by which the scholars referred to in the preceding section have reached their conclusions, is commonly styled The Higher Criticism. This title distinguishes it from "Textual Criticism," or the discovery and correction of clerical errors in the original text. Strictly defined, higher criticism is the art of ascertaining the authorship, date, credibility and literary characteristics of written documents.(1) It is a legitimate art, and it has been employed by Biblical scholars ever since the need of such investigations began to be realized. Only, however, within the last hundred years has it borne this title.(2)

Previously both the textual and the higher criticism were known under the common title, "Biblical Criticism" It scarcely needs to be added that the exclusive use of the title Higher Criticism for that application of it which seeks to revolutionize established beliefs in reference to the Bible, is erroneous: as is also the tacit claim of some advocates of these revolutionary efforts to the exclusive title of higher critics.(3) All confusion in the use of these terms will be avoided if the definition just given is kept in mind.

This definition will be better understood if we add to it a statement of the method in which the inquiries of the art are properly conducted. This method is well defined by Prof. W. Robertson Smith in these words: "The ordinary laws of evidence and good sense must be our guides. For the transmission of the Bible is not due to a continued miracle, but to a watchful Providence ruling the ordinary means by which all ancient books have been handed down. And finally, when we have worked our way back through the long centuries which separate us from the age of Revelation, we must, as we have already seen, study each writing and make it speak for itself on the common principles of sound exegesis" (0. T., 18).

In other words, the method is to employ the laws of evidence by which other questions of fact are determined, to do this with "good sense," and, when the meaning of the text is to be settled, to interpret it "on the common principles of sound exegesis. When Prof. C. A. Briggs says, "The higher criticism is exact and thorough in its methods" (Bib. Study, 194), he speaks truly of these methods when properly defined and applied; but it is unfortunately true that the most exact and thorough methods may, in unskilful hands, or in the hands of men with sinister designs, be employed with disastrous results.

Any method of procedure which proposes to apply the laws of evidence, may, by misapplication of those laws, lead to erroneous and unjust decisions. Our courts of justice bear constant witness to this fact Any procedure in which "good sense," as Professor Smith expresses it, is to be our guide, may, by the lack of good sense on our part, guide us astray. Common sense is a very uncommon commodity, and not less so among men of great learning than among their less fortunate tell us. And as to "the principles of sound exegesis," the scarcity of the scholars who can steadily command and employ these is startlingly attested by the pages of countless commentaries on the various books of the Bible.

From these remarks it naturally follows that higher criticism, however correct the principles by which it seeks to be guided, is, in practice, an extremely variable quantity -- so variable as to include the writings of extreme rationalists on the one hand and the most conservative of Biblical scholars on the other. From these premises there springs again the inference that those who have adopted the conclusions of certain critics should not be so confident of their correctness as to practically assume their infallibility. We hear much of "assured results" but there are none so assured as to be exempt from revision. The real issue between the two great parties to the criticism of the Pentateuch lies here. It is the question, which of the two have employed aright, and do employ aright, the laws of evidence, the maxims of common sense, and the principles of a sound exegesis.

By what title these two parties should be distinguished, is as yet an unsettled question. As we have stated above, the party who favor the analysis have usually styled themselves critics, and their opponents traditionalists; but this is manifestly unjust to the latter; for while there are traditionalists on both sides -- that is, men who accept what has been taught by their predecessors without investigation on their own part -- yet it can not be denied that the leaders of this party have been as independent and as scholarly in their investigations as their opponents -- Thomas Hartwell Horne not less so than S. B. Driver.

Again, the analytical party have styled their system modern and scientific, whereas the system which opposes it is equally modern in its argumentation, and whether it is less scientific or not is the question in dispute Prof. James Robertson, in his Early Religion of Israel, employed the titles "Biblical" and "Antibiblical;" but the more conservative school on the other side claim to be equally Biblical, in that they claim to have discovered the real significance of the Bible. Professor Briggs has employed, in his more recent writings, the titles "Critical" and "Anticritical;" but this is to assume that his party alone is critical.

If we had, on the analytical side, only the unbelieving originators of the system, the difficulty would disappear, and the distinction of rationalistic, or unbelieving, and believing criticism would be appropriate and exact; but the difficulty is to find distinguishing terms which will include on that side both the radical and the evangelical wings of which it is composed.

On the whole, it appears to the present author that the distinction is most fairly preserved by the terms destructive and conservative. By common consent the unbelieving critics are styled destructive, seeing that they would destroy the whole superstructure of Biblical faith. But the so-called evangelical wing seek to destroy belief in the principal part of Old Testament history as it has come down to us, and consequently their criticism is also destructive to a large extent These two distinguishing terms are for these reasons employed in the body of this work.


1. It is defined by Prof. W. H. Green in these words: "Properly speaking, it is an inquiry into the origin and character of the writings to which it is applied. It seeks to ascertain by all suitable means the authors by whom, the time at which, the circumstances under which, and the design with which they were produced" (Higher Crit. of Pent., Preface, v.). He omits credibility, and the literary characteristics.

2. Johann Gotfried Eichhorn, author of a very learned Introduction to the Old Testament, was the first to use the new title, about the close of the eighteenth century. He accepted the analytical theory of the Pentateuch, so far as it had been elaborated, but, like Jean Astruc, who wrote a few years earlier, and who is usually credited with first propounding that theory, he held to the Mosaic authorship.

3. W. L. Baxter says of these: "Their more proper designation would be, Imaginationist Critics: they are higher than others, solely through building their critical castles in the air, instead of on terra firma" (Sanctuary and Sacrifice: A Reply to Wellhausen, viii.).

3. The Analytical Theory Of The Pentateuch.

It is with the application of higher criticism to the Book of Deuteronomy that we are especially concerned in this work. As a result of the labors of a century on the part of a succession of writers, mostly German rationalists, a theory of the origin and structure of the Pentateuch has been evolved which meets with the general approval of those who deny that Moses was its author.(1) This theory is styled the analytical theory, because of the peculiar analysis of the Pentateuch which it involves. The authorship and date of Deuteronomy is one of the subjects involved in this analysis, and this renders it important to present here a brief outline of the theory to which easy reference may be had in reading the following pages.

It is claimed by the advocates of this theory that the Book o Deuteronomy, or at least the legislative portion of it (chapters xii.-xxvi.), was the first book of the Pentateuch to come into existence. It was first brought into public notice in the eighteenth year of the reign of Josiah, king of Judah, and it alone was the book found by the high priest Hilkiah, when he was cleansing the temple, as described in the twenty-second chapter of II. Kings. This was in the year 621 B. C., or about eight hundred years after the death of Moses.(2) The book had been written but a short time when it was thus found. Critics vary in judgment as to the exact time but all agree that it had been composed within the previous seventy-five years. These years were occupied by the idolatrous reigns of Manasseh and Amon, and the first eighteen years of Josiah.

The more radical critics hold that no writing at all came down from the time of Moses, unless it was the Decalogue in a much briefer form than we now have it.(3) The more conservative class think that the document described in Ex. xxiv. 1-l1 as being written by Moses, consecrated by blood, and called "The Book of the Covenant," was really written by Moses. It contained the legislation found in Ex xx.-xxiii. With these exceptions, all who have accepted the analytical theory agree that Moses wrote no part of the Pentateuch. The conception of Moses as an author and lawgiver, which has prevailed among the Jews and Christians alike for so many centuries, is a delusion which has been dispelled by the critical investigations of the nineteenth century.

While all this is held as to Moses, it is not denied that some of the writing which is now found in the Pentateuch came into existence before the date of Deuteronomy. In the ninth century B. C., about the time of Elijah and Elisha, or possibly in the eighth, about the time of Amos and Hosea (the exact time is unsettled), there came into existence two historical documents which contributed to the final formation of the Pentateuch. One of these was written in the northern kingdom, as appears from its more frequent references to persons and places among the ten tribes. It was an attempt at a history of early times, beginning with creation and ending with the death of Joshua. It contained such traditions of those times as had come down orally to the time of its author, and possibly some written document of an earlier period. Its author habitually used the Hebrew name Elohim for God, on account of which he is known as the Elohistic writer, and is referred to briefly in critical writing as E.

About the same time, some think earlier and some think later, a similar, but independent document appeared in the kingdom of Judah, covering the same period of time, containing the stories afloat among the old people of the southern kingdom, and written by an author who uniformly called God Jehovah. He is called the Jehovistic writer, or briefly, J. The stories in the two were to some extent the same; with variations resulting from oral transmission, but each contained some stories not found in the other. It is not pretended that we have any historical account of either of these books, or that any ancient writer, either Biblical or secular, makes any allusion to their existence. It is only claimed that the fact of their existence is traceable in portions of our Pentateuch that were copied from them.

At a still later period, but how late no one pretends to say, except that it was earlier than the writing of Deuteronomy, a third writer took these two books of E and J in hand, and combined them into one, by copying first from one and then from the other, as he thought best though sometimes, when he was doubtful as to which of two stories was to be preferred, copying both. Occasionally he added something of his own. He is called a redactor, the German term for editor, and for the sake of brevity is usually referred to as R.

The resulting document is called JE, and it is supposed that, as a natural result of the compilation, the two older documents passed out of use, and soon perished. The document JE was therefore the only historical book in existence among the Israelites previous to the date of Deuteronomy.

The principal reason for holding that the Book of Deuteronomy came into existence as above described, and that none of the other three books of law existed earlier, is the revolution in worship effected by King Josiah under the influence of this book.

It is alleged that previous to Hilkiah's discovery every man was at liberty to build an altar and offer sacrifices where he saw fit, and that all the sacrificial altars that were erected, as Jeremiah expresses it., "on every high hill and under every green tree," were entirely legitimate when the worship was rendered to Jehovah. Many of these places of worship, however, had been consecrated by the Canaanites to the worship of Baal and other deities, and the Israelites were constantly enticed by the associations of place, and other considerations, to fall into idolatry. It therefore occurred to the writer or writers of Deuteronomy to compose a book in the name of Moses which would pronounce worship at all such places unlawful, and would concentrate all the sacrifices at the altar in front of the temple in Jerusalem. In this way idolatry would be suppressed, and the priesthood of the central sanctuary would be exalted and enriched. The fact that King Josiah, believing the book to be from Moses, enforced this regulation, proves by its success the wisdom of this device.

Thus far, it is to be remembered, neither of the law-books, Exodus, Leviticus or Numbers, had been written; but between the time of Deuteronomy and the beginning of the Babylonian captivity, a priestly law was written containing the regulations now found in chapters xvii-xxii. of the Book of Leviticus. It is called the law of Holiness, and it is designated by the letter H. We now see that when Judah was led captive into Babylon, they had in hand the legal part of the Book of Deuteronomy, six chapters of Leviticus, and the historical hook JE, but no other part of the Pentateuch.

About the close of the Babylonian exile another book was written which contained both history and law. It covered historically the same period of time which had been covered by J and E, but it introduced much new matter. The first chapter of Genesis was now composed, the author J having begun his. book with the second chapter. Many other parts of Genesis were also first written by this author; together with the main body of the Books of Exodus, Leviticus and Numbers. He was a priest, and he is referred to under the letter P. He wrote about one thousand years after the death of Moses.

But the Pentateuch was not yet completed. The documents JE, D, H and P, out of which it was yet to be compiled, existed separately. The task of compiling them into one fell to the lot of another redactor or editor, who, at or soon after the close of the exile., took in hand the preceding books, and compiled from them the Pentateuch as we now have it adding, however, here and there, some matter of his own. This book of the law of Moses was read to the people by Ezra, as described in the eighth chapter of Nehemiah, and this reading was its first publication to the world.

As was said above, it is not claimed that there is any historical account of these various documents, or that any ancient writing contains the faintest allusion to their existence. But it is claimed that the fact of their separate existence and subsequent combination can be demonstrated by separating them now according to their several peculiarities of style and subject-matter. This has been done, and the several documents have been published in separate form. So exact is the process, that in many instances a single short sentence, or a clause of a sentence, is assigned, one part to J, one to E, and another to P.

The reader will find this analysis set forth to the eye in color representing the several sources of the text, in Bissell's Genesis in Colors and in the various volumes of the Polychrome Bible. The several documents are also printed separately in Documents of the Hexateuch, by W. E. Addis; and in two works by Prof. Benjamin W. Bacon, of Yale, entitled Genesis of Genesis, and Exodus.

This analysis will not be considered on its merits in the following pages, because it bears only remotely on our subject, and also because in a work entitled The Unity of Genesis, the last work that came from the prolific pen of the lamented Prof. William Henry Green, of Princeton, the analytical theory is thoroughly exposed as contrary to the facts in the case. To argue the question again would be a work of supererogation; at least, until some formal reply shall be made to Professor Green.

There are certain important results which attend the. theory, and constitute an essential part of it, that are to be stated next.

Should we grant all that has been thus far stated, and yet maintain that all of these supposed writers were divinely inspired so as to write with historical reliability, we could still maintain the authenticity of Old Testament history. But such inspiration is denied. Miraculous aid of any kind is denied by radical critics, and inspiration that guards historical narratives from error is denied by all. Consequently the theory throws a mist of uncertainty over the whole of the historical writings of the Old Testament, and most positively discredits a very large portion of it

We may state first, as a specific result, that the first ten chapters of Genesis are altogether legendary or mythical. The first two chapters are not, as they appear to be, a history of the creation of the universe and the formation of this earth as an abode for man; but they are two contradictory accounts, one presenting the author P's conception, and the other J's, while both are very far away from describing the reality. The story if the fall is a fable, and it falsely represents the change which took place in man. This change was an upward movement, as the theory of evolution demands. There was no fall of man. The stories of Cain and Abel are equally imaginary, and that of the flood, though self-consistent throughout as it stands, is resolved into two contradictory accounts of some local disaster in the valley of the Euphrates, one written by J and the other by P. The account of the confusion of tongues, and the consequent dispersion of the human race, is an idle attempt to explain by a miracle that which came about in a natural way.

As to the rest of Genesis, the stories of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and Joseph are also unreal with the radical critics, who in general deny that any of these men had a real existence. They are mythical heroes, such as were conjured up in the imaginations of the early heathen nations when trying to trace their primitive history. Thus the whole of the book of Genesis passes away before the mind of the critic, except as its marvelous narratives may be used for illustrations. The more conservative critics retain the belief that these patriarchs had a real existence, but they hesitate to accept the details of much that is written respecting them. They accept some and reject the rest according to each man's individual judgment

With the radicals, the Israelites were never in bondage to the Egyptians, as described in the Book of Exodus and repeated so constantly in the later books of the Old Testament; but they were a desert tribe, and in the course of their wanderings they settled on the border of Egypt and incurred Egyptian hostility. The story of deliverance from the Egyptians is therefore wholly false, as is also that of the visit to Mount Sinai and the giving of the law. All the miracles in the wilderness arc denied, and it is claimed that the tabernacle in the wilderness never had an existence, the account of it being an imaginary story spun from the brain of P, with Solomon's temple as its model.

The conservatives admit that Israel was in bondage, but they hold that the stories of the ten plagues are exaggerated accounts of natural events. The passage of the Red Sea they strip of all its miraculous incidents, and the law given at Mount Sinai contained nothing more than the little "book of the covenant found in Ex. xx.-xxiii. The laws in Leviticus were not given there as is declared both at the beginning and the end of that book, neither were those which are scattered through the Book of Numbers given by Moses. As to the Book of Deuteronomy, we have already seen how its contents are regarded by all these critics, both radical and conservative; for there is no material difference of opinion among them on this matter.

We now see what is made of the Pentateuch, if this theory is true. The question is sometimes raised, What difference does it make whether Moses or some other man wrote the Pentateuch? If this means whether Moses wrote it or some other man who lived at a time to possess correct information, the difference might be immaterial. But this is not the question. It is, whether Moses is its author, or several unknown men who lived from seven hundred to one thousand years after Moses, and who had no means of correct knowledge.

In other words, the question is whether it came from a man who was the chief actor in much the greater part of its events, and could therefore give an authentic account of them, or from a set of men removed many centuries from the events, whose source of information was nothing better than a hoary tradition, and who have actually given us nothing that is certainly real history.

Another consequence which is a part of the theory is yet to be mentioned. It has been observed by those the least familiar with the new critical literature that it speaks no longer of the Pentateuch, but of the Hexateuch. This is because the Book of Joshua is involved with the Pentateuch in the same supposition as to dates and authorship.

It will be remembered that J and E, the first writers, extended their narratives from Adam to the death of Joshua. P also did the same. The Greek translators of the Old Testament, who were the first to divide the Pentateuch into separate books, and to give them their Greek names, Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy, made the mistake of supposing that these constituted one original book of early history and law, and that the Book of Joshua was a later production. From this mistake originated the title "Pentateuch," signifying five books. But the critics have detected this mistake. They have found that the original work in the hands of Ezra, called the book of the law of Moses, instead of closing with Deuteronomy, extended to the close of what we call the Book of Joshua, and that Hexateuch (a work of six books), and not Pentateuch, is the correct title.

The Book of Joshua is with them wholly unhistorical. It falsely represents the conquest of Canaan by the Israelites. It is not true that Joshua invaded the land with a great army, crossing the Jordan by a stupendous miracle, and subduing the tribes of Canaan in two decisive campaigns. It is not true that he divided the land among the tribes, as described in the latter part of the book. All these accounts are inventions of later ages. The true account of the invasion is that very imperfectly given in the early chapters of the Book of Judges; and this is interpreted to mean that one tribe at a time, or two tribes acting together, invaded Canaan, and, after many vicissitudes finally obtained lodgment among a people much more civilized and enlightened than themselves.

The theory, then, if true, robs the first six books of the Bible of authenticity, and puts their several authors on a lower level than that of ancient heathen historians by separating them many centuries further from the events which they pretend to record. To the critics themselves this makes the Hexateuch a much more precious work than it was when they gave it credit; for they are never tired, at least the "evangelical" wing, of repeating the assertion of this increased preciousness.

However difficult it is to account for this, I suppose that we must credit them with telling the truth; but with the great mass of believers in Christ and the Bible the feeling must ever be the reverse of this. They feel now, and will forever feel, the utmost disgust for a set of books with the pretenses made in these, that are after all nothing more than these critics represent them to be.

1. For a brief historical sketch of this theory, the reader is referred to Wellhausen's article, "Pentatench," In Encyc. Brit.; to Bissell's Origin and Structure of the Pentateuch, 42-83; or to either of two hand-books, Radical Criticism, by Prof; Francis R. Beattie, of the Presbyterian Theological Seminary, Louisville, Ky.; and The Elements of Higher Criticism,. by Prof. A. C. Zenos, of McCormick Theological Seminary, Chicago.

2. This opinion was first suggested by De Wette in the year 1817. Wellhausen, Encyc. Brit.; Art. "Pentateuch.")

3. Thus Kuenen says: "It need not be repeated here that Moses bequeathed no book of the law to the tribes of Israel. Certainly nothing more was committed to writing by him or in his time than the 'ten words' in their original form" (The Religion of Israel, II. 7).

4 The Suspicious Sources Of This Theory

Before we consider the evidences for and against this theory, it is proper that we note some prima facie considerations which cast upon it a cloud of suspicion. Those who have wrought it out were unbelievers, and were moved in their labors by hostility to the Bible and the Christian religion. Especially is this true of the two scholars to whom, above all others, the present form of the theory owes its completion and defense, A. Kuenen, now deceased, and Julius Wellhausen, who is still living.(1) They unhesitatingly reject as incredible all accounts of supernatural events, including those connected with the career of Christ.

These statements are freely admitted by the advocates of the theory, and some of them strive, as best they can to ward off suspicion thence arising. W. Robertson Smith acknowledges his own indebtedness to these two scholars in the following two sentences: "The first to attempt a connected history of the religion of Israel on the premises of the newer criticism was Professor Kuenen, the value of whose writings is admitted by candid inquirers of every school." "Taken as a whole, the writings of Wellhausen are the most notable contribution to the historical study of the Old Testament since the great work of Ewald, and almost every part of the present lectures owes something to them" (Prophets, 12, 43).

Professor Briggs makes a similar acknowledgment, and seeks to guard against its effect: "We should not allow ourselves to be influenced by the circumstance that the majority of the scholars who have been engaged in these researches have been rationalistic or semi-rationalistic in their religious opinions; and that they have employed the methods and style peculiar to the German scholarship of our century.

Whatever may have been the motives and influences that led to these investigations, the questions we have to determine are: (1) What are the facts in the case, and (2) do the theories account for the facts !"' (Bib. Study, 212). But it is vain to attempt to allay suspicion by such remarks as these. When the enemies of the Bible invent and propagate theories in the direct effort to destroy faith in the Bible, the friends of the book must necessarily be suspicious of them for such men would not be satisfied with their own works did they not believe that the Bible is discredited by them.

Prof. W. H. Green expresses himself on this point, with his usual calmness, in the following words: "It is noteworthy that the partition hypotheses in all their forms have been elaborated from the beginning in the interest of unbelief. The unfriendly animus of an opponent does not indeed absolve us from patiently and, candidly examining his arguments, and accepting whatever facts he may adduce, though we are not bound to receive his perverted interpretations of them. Nevertheless, we can not intelligently nor safely overlook the palpable bias against the supernatural which has infected the critical theories which we have been reviewing, from first to last. All the acknowledged leaders of the movement have, without exception, scouted the reality of miracles and prophecy and immediate divine revelation in their genuine and evangelical sense Their theories are all inwrought with naturalistic presuppositions which can not be disentangled from them without their falling to pieces" (H. C. of P., 157).

When the armies of one nation surrender to those of another it is usually understood that the latter has won its cause. So, if the army of the Lord shall surrender to the enemies of the Bible in respect to the nature of the Bible itself, it is inevitable that the onlooking world will take it that the cause of unbelief has triumphed.

It should also be said in this connection, that the same rationalistic scholars who have evolved the analytical theory of the Pentateuch have espoused all of the old infidel objections to the various books of the Old Testament, and have made these important parts of their argument in favor of the analysis. Their triumph, therefore, would be the triumph of infidelity in its oldest and most radical forms. If it is able to triumph thus, let it be so; but let no man who hopes for salvation in Christ surrender to the enemy unless he shall be compelled to do so after exhausting all the resources of evidence and logic within his reach.

That the analytical theory of the Pentateuch originated with and has been developed by the enemies of the Bible, while it does not indeed necessarily prove it to be false, establishes a strong logical presumption that it is so, and demands of believers that they continue to combat it until their last weapon shall have been used in vain.

1. In the introduction to his Religion of Israel, Kuenen says: "For us the Israelitish is one of these religions (the 'principal religions'), nothing less, but also nothing more" (p.5). "As soon as it began to be clear that the testimony of Israel's sacred books could not stand the test of a searching inquiry; as soon as it appeared that they were least trustworthy just in those places where their accounts seemed to afford the most unequivocal proof of the truth of supernaturalism--from that moment, especially in connection with all the other motives which lead to the rejection of supernaturalism, its fall was an assured fact" (p.11 f.). "The representation of Israel's early history presented to us in the books named after Moses and Joshua, must be rejected as in its entirety impossible. Prejudice alone can deny that the miracles related in the same writings must be rejected at the same time" (p. 22).

5. The Unbelieving Tendency Of This Theory.

If the actual tendency of accepting the theory in question is toward unbelief in the Christian religion, this fact is the strongest possible vindication of such a work as the present. That the theory is at least dangerous in this respect, is acknowledged by one of its most able advocates, Prof. Andrew Harper, in the following words: "The debate concerning the critical views of the Old Testament has reached a stage at which it is no longer confined to professed teachers and students of the Old Testament. It has filtered down through magazines first, and then through newspapers, into the public mind, and opinions are becoming current concerning the results of criticism which are so partial and ill-informed that they can not but produce evil results of a formidable kind in the near future."

Again, after stating his own conclusions with respect to Deuteronomy, he says: "They have been reached after a careful consideration of the evidence on both sides, and are stated here not altogether without regret. . . . For, as Robertson Smith has well said 'to the ordinary believer the Bible is precious as the practical rule of faith and love in which God still speaks directly to his heart. No criticism can be otherwise than hurtful to faith if it shakes the confidence with which the simple Christian turns to his Bible assured that he can receive every message which it brings to his soul as a message from God himself.'

Now, though it can be demonstrated that the view of Scripture which permits of such conclusions as those stated above is quite compatible with this believing confidence, there can be little doubt that Christian people will for a time find great difficulty in accepting this assurance. The transition from the old view of inspiration, so complete, comprehensible and effective as it is, to the newer and less definite doctrine, can not fail to be trying, and the introduction of it here can not but be a. disturbing influence which it would have been greatly preferable to avoid" (Corn., 2, 34).

Such utterances as these, so candid and yet so reluctantly made, imply the consciousness of a danger much greater than they express. The actual results have been even more serious than these thoughtful men apprehended. J. J. Lias, one of the ablest writers on this subject in Great Britain, says in his Principles of Biblical Criticism: "A statement has been widely circulated in the public press that the number of persons in Germany who this year (1893) declared themselves to be of no religion is fourteen times as great as in 1871. Is there no connection between this fact and the manner in which German criticism has treated the Bible?" (216, note).

This necessary tendency of the theory in question will receive further notice in the body of this work, when we come to speak of its hearing on the assertions of Jesus and his apostles. It is but just to say, however, before leaving the subject at present, that many scholars, especially in Great Britain and America, have accepted the analytical theory without accepting the sweeping denial of all miracles which is common among its originators.

But this makes the evil tendency inherent in the theory itself all the more dangerous from the common habit among men of accepting injurious teaching from apparent friends of the truth much more readily than from avowed enemies. On this point Professor Green very justly says: "It is only recently that there has been an attempt at compromise on the part of certain believing scholars, who arc disposed to accept these critical theories and endeavor to harmonize them with the Christian faith. But the inherent vice in these systems can not be eradicated. The inevitable result has been to lower the Christian faith to the level of these perverted theories instead of lifting the latter up to the level of a Christian standard."


The alleged late date and unknown authorship of the Book of Deuteronomy are so involved in this theory of the Pentateuch as a part of it, that the disproof thereof would shatter the whole superstructure. This is apparent when we remember that the theory assumes the pre-existence of the documents J and E in order to account for historical allusions in Deuteronomy. If then, this last book is thrown back to the time of Moses, it necessarily carries back with it these preceding documents, and thus the whole scheme is broken to pieces: for it is inconceivable that J and E were written before the time of Moses.

Prof. Andrew Harper indirectly admits this when he says: "Deuteronomy has been the key of the position, the center of the conflict, in the battle which has been waged so hotly as to the growth of religion in Israel. The attack on the views hitherto so generally held within the church in regard to that matter has rested more upon the character and the date of Deuteronomy than upon anything else" (Coin., 2). It is for this reason, chiefly, that the authorship of this book has been selected as the subject of this volume.

While it is a matter of importance in itself to know the authorship of a book so invaluable, its importance is greatly enhanced by the consideration that in settling this question we virtually settle the same respecting the other books of the Pentateuch.

It would argue, perhaps, an extreme of self-confidence were the author to express the conviction that what he has said will settle this question, for doubtless. the time and labor to be expended ere the critical superstructure of a century's growth can be undermined and demolished, as the present author believes it certainly will be, are likely to be somewhat commensurate with those by which it was built up. The conflict hitherto has been chiefly that between the warring factions among the advanced critics themselves; hereafter it will be between the united advocates of the finally accepted theory and the friends of the Bible as it is. It is for the purpose of taking an humble part in this conflict that this volume is presented to the public.

7. Plan Of This Work.

The natural order in which to discuss the authorship of a book is to begin with the claim set up in the book itself, and consider first the internal evidences for and against it This would have been the order of the present discussion but for the fact that certain prepossessions have taken hold of the minds of many, and until these are removed a favorable consideration of this evidence would be well-nigh impossible.

It therefore seemed to the author wiser to begin with the arguments and evidence which have been arrayed on the negative side of the position, and to divide the discussion into two parts, of which Part I. is a consideration of the grounds on which the Mosaic authorship is denied, and Part II. a presentation of those on which it is affirmed.

Even with this beginning we might have been expected to consider first the internal evidence against the Mosaic authorship, but there stands in the forefront of the negative position the assumption mentioned in a previous section (3, p. vii ) as to the actual origin of the book, and this takes precedence of all other considerations. Our discussion begins, therefore, with what the adverse critics have said with reference to the book discovered by the priest Hilkiah, as recorded in the twenty-second chapter of II Kings.

In representing the positions and arguments which I controvert, I have not usually stated them in my own words, lest I might be suspected of misrepresenting them, and lest I should in some instances unwittingly do so; but I have quoted freely from representative authors. In pursuing this course, I have taken pains to follow on every leading issue the line of argumentation pursued by that scholar on the other side who seemed to present the case with the greatest force; and where it appeared important I have appended footnotes referring for clarification to other authors. If this method shall appear to any reader a more personal form of controversy than courtesy might suggest., I beg him to consider that it gives more directness and piquancy to discussion; and not to forget that when an author places himself before the public as an antagonist of established and cherished beliefs, he involuntarily exposes himself to direct attack.

If, in this somewhat personal controversy, I have at any time overstepped the bounds of courtesy, I offer as my apology the indignation which must ever stir the breast of a friend of the Bible when lie sees it assailed by arguments so shallow and sophistical as to be unworthy of their authors. And if at any time I have indulged in lightness, it should be remembered that ridicule, when justly administered,. is a most proper and effective weapon in the defense of truth.


a. List of works chiefly consulted in creating this volume:
The Prophets of Israel: W. Robertson Smith.
Old Testament in the Jewish Church: same author; second edition.
Introduction to the Literature of the Old Testament: S R. Driver; sixth edition.
International Critical Commentary: Deuteronomy: same author.
Expositor's Bible: Deuteronomy: Andrew Harper.
The Documents of the Hexateuch: W. F. Addis.
International Critical Commentary: Judges: George F. Moore.
The Canon of the Old Testament: Herbert F. Ryle.
The Expositor's Bible: Isaiah: George Adam Smith.
Biblical Study: Charles A. Briggs.
Higher Criticism of the Hexateuch: same author.
The Prophecies of Isaiah: T. K. Cheyne.
Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges: Hosea: same author.
Polychrome Bible: Isaiah: same author.
Polychrome Bible: Joshua: W. H. Bennet
Polychrome Bible: Judges: George F. Moore.
Articles "Israel" and "Pentateuch," in Encyclopedia Britannica: ninth edition: Julius Wellhausen.
Prolegomena to Old Testament: same author.
The Religion of Israel: Abraham Kuenen.
The Oracles of God: W. Sanday.
Triple Tradition of the Exodus: Benj. W. Bacon.
The Unity of Genesis: William Henry Green.
Higher Criticism of tile Pentateuch: same author.
The Pentateuch: Its Origin and Structure: F. C. Bissell.
Lex Mosaica: Essays by Twelve Eminent Scholars of Great Britain.
Sanctuary and Sacrifice: W. L. Baxter.
Principles of Biblical Criticism: J. J. Lias.
Early Religion of Israel: James Robertson.
Prophecy and History in Reference to the Messiah: Alfred Edersheim.
Did Moses Write the Pentateuch after All?: F. E. Spencer.
Inspiration of the Old Testament: Alfred Cave.
The Veracity of the Hexateuch: S. C. Bartlett.
The Higher Critics Criticised: Rufus P. Stebbins and H. L. Hastings.
The Ancient Hebrew Tradition: Fritz Hommel.

b. Abbreviations used in citing books in the preceding list that are most frequently referred to:

In connection with the name of W. Robertson Smith, Prophets stands for "The Prophets of Israel;" O. T.--"Old Testament in the Jewish Church."
In connection with the name of S. R. Driver. Int.--"Introduction to Old Testament Literature;" Com.--"Commentary on Deuteronomy."
In connection with Andrew Harper, Com.--"Commentary on Deuteronomy."
In connection with W. F. Addis, D. of H. -"Documents of the Hexateuch."
In connection with Charles A. Briggs, Bib. Study--"Biblical Study;" H. C. of H--"Higher Criticism of the Hexateuch."
In connection with T. K. Cheyne; Isaiah--"The Prophecies of Isaiah;" Hosea--"Commentary on Hoses;" Pol. Isaiah--"Isaiah in the Polychrome Bible." Encyc. Brit.--"Encyclopedia Britannica;" Encyc. Bib.--"Encyclopedia Biblical;" Lex M.--"Lex Mosaica."
In connection with W. H. Green, H. C. of P.--"Higher Criticism of the Pentateuch."
In connection with W. L. Baxter, Sanc. and Sac.-"Sanctuary and Sacrifice.."
In connection with Alfred Edersheim, P. and H.--"Prophecy and History in Reference to the Messiah."
In connection with Alfred Cave, I 0. T.--"Inspiration of the Old Testament."




There is nothing on which destructive critics are more fully agreed, or more confident in their convictions, than that the book found in the temple by the priest Hilkiah, as described in the twenty-second chapter of II. Kings, was the legal part of the Book of Deuteronomy; and that this was the first time that a book of law existed in Israel. This conclusion is argued with great confidence from the account of the book given in the chapter named and the chapter following.

I regard the second chapter of Ryle's Canon of the Old Testament as the strongest and clearest presentation of this line of argument known to me, and he shall be my guide in the discussion of it. Professor Ryle introduces the discussion with the following paragraph:

It is not till the year 621 13. C., the eighteenth year of the reign of. King Josiah, that the history of Israel presents us with the first instance of a book which was regarded by all -- king, priests, prophets and people alike -- as invested not only with sanctity, but also with supreme authority in all matters of religion and conduct (p.47.)

To avoid misunderstanding on the part of readers not familiar with the subject, I should remark that the author does not here mean to deny the previous existence of the conjectural documents J and E of the critics, which, according to the analytical theory, had been written from one to two hundred years earlier; but these documents, according to hypothesis, were historical in their contents, and not books of law. (See Int., p. ix.).

Before entering upon his argument, Professor Ryle makes another statement as to the appreciation which was at once accorded the book, in the following paragraph:

In this familiar scene, "the book of the law" stands in the position of Canonical Scripture. It is recognized as containing the words of the Lord (2 Kings xxii. 18, 19). Its authority is undisputed and indisputable. On the strength of its words the most sweeping measures are carried out by the king and accepted by the people. The whole narrative, so graphically told by one who was possibly a contemporary of the events he describes, breathes the conviction that the homage paid to "the book" was nothing more than its just due (p. 48).

These words we must not forget, for they have a potent bearing on the arguments by which the author proceeds to support his first proposition. To the minds of all scholars opposed to destructive criticism, these words are perfectly acceptable; and all the results of finding the book are precisely what should be expected.

For if, as they believe, and as the Scriptures assert, the whole Pentateuch had been in existence since the days of Moses, it would have disappeared from public view during the long reign of Manasseh, who abolished the religion which it inculcated, turned the temple of Jehovah into a heathen pantheon, practiced every idolatrous rite known to the pagan tribes around him, and shed innocent blood from one end of Jerusalem to the other. It would have been as much as the life of any Jew was worth during that period to have possessed a copy of the divine law and sought to propagate its teaching. And that period had lasted, though not in its greatest darkness, for seventy five years, including the fifty-five of Manasseh's reign, the two of his son Amon, and the first eighteen of Josiah.

Josiah himself, being the son of Amon and grandson of Manasseh, had enjoyed during their lifetime no opportunity to see the book of the law, or to learn anything of its contents. It was only after his father's death, when he was eight years old, that men and women of faith who had lived through the period of apostasy, and who remembered some of the contents of the law of Moses, had an opportunity to impart to his young mind what they themselves remembered of the word of God. That some such knowledge was imparted to him is evident from the fact that in the eighth year of his reign "he began to seek after the God of his father David;" and in the twelfth year of the same "he began to purge Jerusalem and Judah from the high places, and the Asherim, and the graven images, and the molten images" (II. Chron. xxxiv. 3).

At this time he had undoubtedly learned that Israel once had a law; that under the leadership of his grandfather they had departed from it; and that it was his duty to lead the people back to it. He knew from what worship his grandfather had departed, and knew that idolatry in all its forms was unlawful in Israel. He was well prepared then, should the book of the law be put into his hands, to receive it as the ancient law of his God and his country, and to give it the reverence which it deserved.

Again, when Hilkiah found the book of the law in the temple, he found it just where it ought to have been; and the finding caused no surprise, unless it was because it had not perished while the temple was so grossly defiled. For an express provision of the law required that the Book of Deuteronomy should be kept in the temple "by the side of the ark of the covenant" (Deut. xxxi. 24-26). And though we find no express command like this in regard to the preservation of the other portions of the Pentateuch, we may infer with full confidence that if they existed, the priests and Levites realized that they must be kept in the same place of security.

With all this agree perfectly the words of Hilkiah when he handed the book to Shaphan, the scribe or secretary of the king. He said, "I have found the book of the law in the house of Jehovah" (II. Kings xxii. 8). This is the style of one to whom the title of the book was familiar. He did not say, "a book containing the law of Jehovah;" nor, "a book which appeareth to be the law of Jehovah;" but, "the book of the law of Jehovah." It is not the language of one to whom the book was a new thing, but that of one to whom it was perfectly well known, but had been in some sense lost.

The words, "I have found the book," do not necessarily imply that it had been hidden, although it may have been. It may be that some faithful priest at the beginning of Manasseh's desecration of the temple, had hidden it to prevent its destruction, and that in thoroughly cleansing the walls and floor of the temple its hiding-place was disclosed; but the words may be as well accounted for if after the long time in which it was exposed to destruction, he found it where it had been kept ever since the erection of the temple. The agents of Manasseh, notwithstanding their hatred of the book and its contents, may have permitted it to remain in its place, because in that place it was out of the reach of the people and in their own possession.

The history which it contained might have served as a motive for leaving it undisturbed so long as the worship which it enjoined was being effectually suppressed.

Finally, when the book was read to the king, then by the prophetess Huldah, and then by the king himself to the people, the consternation and alarm which its threatenings excited are precisely such as would naturally occur if the book was known to be the old law-book of the nation given by God through Moses; but they are unnatural, and even incredible, on any other hypothesis.

We may also remark, in addition, that every single act of the reformation which resulted from the discovery of this book would just as naturally and certainly have resulted had the book been the whole Pentateuch, as if it had been only the legal portion of the Book of Deuteronomy. What, then, can be the motive for denying that it was the whole Pentateuch, and by what course of reasoning is that denial supported?

Professor Ryle undertakes to formally answer this question, and I copy his argument in full:

When we inquire what this "book of the law" comprised, the evidence at our disposal is quite sufficiently explicit to direct us to a reply. Even apart from the knowledge which we now possess of the structure of the Pentateuch, there never was much probability in the supposition that the book discovered by Hilkiah was identical with the whole Jewish "Torah," our Pentateuch. The narrative does not suggest so considerable a work. Its contents were quickly perused and readily grasped. Being read aloud, it at once left distinct impressions upon questions of national duty. Its dimensions could not have been very large nor its precepts very technical. The complex character of the Pentateuch fails to satisfy the requirements of the picture. Perhaps, too (although the argument is hardly one to be pressed), as it appears that only a single roll of the Law was found, it may not unfairly be remarked that the whole Torah was never likely to be contained in one roll; but that, if a single roll contained any portion of the Pentateuch, it was most probably the Deuteronomic portion of it; for the Book of Deuteronomy, of all the component elements of the Pentateuch, presents the most unmistakable appearance of having once formed a compact independent work (p. 48f.).

The question here raised is vital in this discussion; that is, it is vital as respects the analytical theory. With those who credit the Mosaic authorship of Deuteronomy, it is immaterial whether the book was the whole Pentateuch or Deuteronomy alone; but with the other party it is absolutely essential to show that it was not the whole Pentateuch, because it is an essential part of their theory that much the greater part of the Pentateuch had not been written when this book was found. For this reason nearly every writer in favor of the theory makes some attempt at argument on this point.

The first point of argument in the preceding extract is that the book was read in too short a time, and that it left impressions too distinct for the whole Pentateuch. In making this argument the professor draws on his imagination; for there is nothing said in the text about the time consumed in the reading.

Mr. Addis goes further still. He says: "It would have been a sheer impossibility to read the Pentateuch, or even the legal portions of the Pentateuch, through aloud, in one day; much less could it have been read twice in one day." He says further that "the kernel of Deuteronomy (i.e., Deut.. iv. 45 to xxvi., or possibly xii. to xxvi.; xxvii. 9, 10; xxviii.; xxxi. 9-13) exactly meets the required conditions. It could be read through aloud in between three and four hours at most" (D. of H., lxxv.).

Doubtless Mr. Addis is right in asserting that the portions of Deuteronomy which he selects as the probable contents of the book could be read through in between three and four hours; but, in order to reduce the time to this limit, he has to assume that the book contained only the chapters and verses which he cites. If it was the whole Book of Deuteronomy, it would have required six hours to read it through, and to have read it twice in one day would have filled the day from sun to sun.

But Shaphan read it once to himself; he read it to the king once; and then Huldah either read it or pronounced judgment concerning its contents without reading it, which is highly improbable (II. Kings xxii. 8, 10, 14-16). These three readings are rather too much for one day, even if the contents were as meager as Mr. Addis supposes; and it follows either that more than one day was occupied, or that only a part of the contents of the book was read; that is, the part which alarmed the king and caused him to rend his clothes. Chapters xxviii. to xxx. would have been sufficient for this; and this part of Deuteronomy, or any other part of it, may have been read to the king if the book from which it was read was the whole Pentateuch.

Indeed, this is the very part of the whole Pentateuch which it was most important for him to hear, seeing that it, above all other parts, presented the fearful penalties which God had prescribed for such an apostasy as that under Manasseh and Amon.

The only thing that militates against this view of the reading is, that when the king read to the people it is said that "he read in their ears all the words of the book of the covenant which was found in the house of Jehovah" (xxiii. 2). But while these words most naturally include all the contents of the book, they may refer to only those words connected immediately with "the covenant;" and the covenant is especially emphasized in the denunciatory passage just mentioned. (See xxix. 1-13).

Huldah uses the same universal expression, when she says (16): "Thus saith Jehovah, Behold, I will bring evil upon this place, and upon the inhabitants thereof, even all the words of the book which the king of Judah hath read." Here, although she says "all the words of the book," she clearly limits her meaning to those in which evil to the city and its people is predicted. This justifies us in limiting the same expression, when applied to the public reading, to the same part of the book.

Unless, then, we construe this passage to mean that all the contents of the book were read, as well as the part pertaining to the covenant and its violation, the reading could have been done from a book containing the whole of the Pentateuch as well as from one containing Deuteronomy alone.

It follows that whether the book was Deuteronomy alone, or part of our present Deuteronomy, is involved in great uncertainty, to say the least, and that to this extent the same uncertainty hangs over that part of the analytical theory which assigns a later date than that of Deuteronomy to the greater portion of our present Pentateuch. An adverse decision on this point would be an obstacle not to be overcome by any argumentation in favor of the analytical theory.

This uncertainty is enhanced when we consider the bearing of another passage in the history of Josiah. It is said (xxiii. 25): "And like unto him was there no king before him, that turned to Jehovah with all his heart, and with all his soul, and with all his might, according to all the law of Moses."

What is meant here by "all the law of Moses"? The expression certainly includes the book of the law found by Hilkiah; but if the analytical theory is true, it includes more; for, according to that theory, the documents J and E were already in existence, and they were well known to the author of Kings. But J contained not only his history from the creation to the death of Joshua, but also the laws now found in Ex. xx. to xxiii., originally called "The Book of the Covenant".

Josiah walked, then, according to all that was written in this book, and in the whole of the books J and E. But where did he find the latter after the apostasy of his father and his grandfather, unless they were included in the book of the law found by Hilkiah? We have no hint of any other book of the law known to him. Certainly, then, the critics ought to admit that J and E were in Hilkiah's book; and if these were there, their line of argument against the presence in it of the whole Pentateuch breaks down, so far as it is derived from the account given of Hilkiah's discovery.

Before leaving this branch of the argument, I may add that Andrew Harper, who is the peer of any other writer on the analytical side, unlike Addis and many others, admits that the book in question was substantially Deuteronomy as we now have it. He says:

'That this was Deuteronomy, if not altogether, yet practically, as we have it now, there can be but little doubt: and it immediately became the text-book of religion for all that remained of Israel' (Expositor's Bible, Deuteronomy, p. 45). He forgets, as his colleagues do, the "book of the covenant" embodied in J and JE.

The second point of argument in the extract which I have made from Ryle's Canon is based on the assumption that the whole Pentateuch was never likely to be contained in one roll. Unlike the majority of his class of critics, however, he admits that this argument is "hardly one to be pressed." It certainly is not for two reasons; first; that the document is nowhere called a roll, but always a book; and, second, that as the Pentateuch was always spoken of in ancient times by the Jews as one book, it follows that when written on a roll instead of leaves; it is most probable that one roll received it all.

The roll would be a large one, but large rolls were no more objectionable in the time of manuscripts than large volumes were after the time of printing. But it is idle to argue about the size of a roll containing the whole Pentateuch, when the document in question was not a roll, but a book.

It is surprising with what caution Professor Ryle expresses himself on the question whether the book found by Hilkiah was our Deuteronomy, or a part of it, and, if a part, what part He says:

We seem to have convincing proof that the "book of the law" was either a portion of our Deuteronomy, or a collection of laws Deuteronomic in tone, and, in range of contents, having a close resemblance to our Book of Deuteronomy (p.49).

When we consider that it is a necessary part of the analytical theory of the Pentateuch to establish the identity of that book with Deuteronomy, or, at least, with the legal portion of it, this mode of speech is vague enough; and it shows that the writer's own convictions on the subject were in a nebulous condition. In his attempts at proof we find, as we should naturally expect, the same vagueness which characterizes his proposition.

He claims that the evidence is twofold, and the first form of it he states in these words:

1. The description which is given of the book found in the temple shows that, in the most characteristic feature, it approximated more closely to portions of Deuteronomy than to any other section or the Pentateuch (ib.).

This vagueness should not be held as a reproach to Professor Ryle, but rather as an evidence of his conscientiousness, and of his logical discrimination. He is too logical to deduce positive conclusions from doubtful premises, and too conscientious to affirm what he feels that he can not prove.

But he proceeds to present what proofs he has, and we patiently consider them:

(a) The book contains denunciations against the neglect of the covenant with Jehovah (II. Kings xxii. 11, 13, 16, 17). Now, the Pentateuch contains two extensive passages describing the fearful visitations that should befall the people of Israel for following after other gods (Lev. xxvi.; Deut. xxviii.-xxxi.). Of these, the passage in Deuteronomy is the longest, and while the passage in Leviticus would be calculated to make a very similar impression, it may be noticed that the words of Huldah, referring to the curse contained in "the book of the law," possibly contain a reference to Deut. xxviii. 37 and xxix. 24 (cf. II. Kings xxii. 19). It can not be doubted that one or the other, or both, of these denunciations must have been included in Josiah's "book of the law" (p. 50).

As proof that the denunciations which alarmed Josiah were those in Deuteronomy rather than those in Leviticus, this is feebleness itself. It turns upon the "possibility," not the certainty, nor even the probability, that the words of Huldah contain a reference to two particular verses in Deuteronomy.

What are these particular words of Huldah? The verse cited reads: "Because thine heart was tender, and thou didst humble thyself before Jehovah, when thou heardst what I spake against this place, and against the inhabitants thereof, that they should become a desolation and a curse, and hast rent thy clothes, and wept before me; I have also heard thee, saith Jehovah." These are the words of Huldah, and the verses in Deuteronomy to which she "possibly" had reference are these: "And thou shalt become an astonishment, a proverb, and a byword, among all the peoples whither Jehovah shall lead thee away" (Deut. xxviii. 37); "Even all the nations shall say, wherefore hath Jehovah done this unto this land? what meaneth the heat of this great anger?" (xxix. 24).

Well might the professor say that the words of Huldah possibly contain a reference to the latter two verses. When all three of the verses are merely cited by their chapter and verse numbers, the reader may possibly think that possibly there is such a reference; but when they are all quoted in full, seriatim, he can judge of this possibility, and he can see why our cautions author uses the adverb "possibly" - an expression not characteristic of conclusive reasoning.

But, apart from all this reasoning from possible premises, we may freely admit, and our position requires us to admit, what Professor Ryle states as his conclusion, that "one or the other, or both these denunciations must have been included in Josiah's 'book of the law;'" for if it was the denunciations in Lev. xxvi. that alarmed him, this would show that the Book of Leviticus was in the volume; if it was these in Deuteronomy, this would only prove that Deuteronomy was in the book; and if Shaphan read both sets of denunciations, it only proves that Leviticus and Deuteronomy were both in the book.

In other words, whatever proof is found that the Book of Deuteronomy is quoted or referred to in this account is proof that the Book of Deuteronomy was in the manuscript, as it must have been if the manuscript was the whole Pentateuch; but it is not proof, it cannot be, that the other books of the Pentateuch were absent from it. It is on this last point, as we shall see again and again, that the whole line of argument which we are considering is fatally defective.

The second argument under this head is stated by Professor Ryle in the following words:

(b) The reforms carried out by the king and his advisers, In order to obey the commands of the "book of the law," deal with matters all of which are mentioned, with more or less emphasis, in the Deuteronomic legislation (p. 50).

Suppose this to be true, and what does it prove? If it were found, upon further examination, that these reforms deal with matters not mentioned in any book of the Pentateuch except Deuteronomy, it would certainly prove that Deuteronomy was in the book that was found; but it would not prove that the rest of the Pentateuch was not in it The doctrinal part of Luther's reformation turned upon the teaching found in Paul's two epistles, Galatians and Romans; but this is by no means proof that Luther's New Testament contained none of the other books that are in ours.

But let us examine the specifications adduced in support of this proposition:

(i) The principal religions reform carried out by Josiah was the suppression of the worship at the high places, and concentration of the worship at the temple. No point is insisted on so frequently and so emphatically in the Deuteronomic laws as that all public worship is to be centralized at the one place which Jehovah himself should choose (Deut xii. 5 and passim).

Grant all this and what is proved by it beyond the fact that Deuteronomy was part of the book? What proof does it afford that Deuteronomy, or some part of Deuteronomy, or "a collection of laws Deuteronomic in tone," was all of the book? Should a man find a copy of Shakespeare, and, in writing about it, make allusions only to Hamlet, could we argue that his copy contained Hamlet alone, or some part of Hamlet, or a drama having a close resemblance" to Hamlet?

(ii) Josiah took measures to abolish the worship of the heavenly bodies, a form of idolatry distinct from the worship of Baal and Ashtoreth. His action is in obedience to the commands of Deuteronomic laws (Deut. iv. 19; xxvii. 3). There alone in the Pentateuch this particular form of idolatry is combated. For, although it had existed in an earlier time, it does not seem to have infected the religion of Israel until late in the monarchical period (cf. II. Kings xxi. 3, 5; xxiii. 4, 5, 12).

These considerations are not sufficient to prove that Deuteronomy was even a part of the book found; for the general prohibition of idolatry in the Decalogue was sufficient to justify Josiah in abolishing the worship of the heavenly bodies, if he had never seen Deuteronomy. And although it, is true that there is no specific mention of this kind of worship as being actually existent in Israel till late in the monarchy, the fact here admitted by Professor Ryle that "it had existed in an earlier time" shows that it could have been specifically condemned in Deuteronomy if the latter was written by Moses. This argument therefore has no bearing whatever on the date of Deuteronomy.

(iii) Josiah celebrated the feast of the Passover (II. Kings xxiii. 21-23) in accordance with the "book of the law"-we find the law of the Passover laid down in Deut. xvi. 1-8.

True, he kept the Passover "as it is written in this book of the covenant;" and it is true that the law of the Passover is laid down in the passage cited from Deuteronomy in an incomplete form; but it is also laid down in Exodus, Leviticus and Numbers; and so it appears again, that if Deuteronomy had not been even a part of the book found, Josiah would have done precisely what he did.

If I were trying to prove that the book found contained the rest of the Pentateuch and not Deuteronomy, see how the arguments of the critics would suit my purpose. Strange that men with so much logical acumen never turn their own arguments around, and look at them on the other side.

It is true that Josiah kept the Passover; and it is also said in the text that "there was not kept such a passover from the days of the judges that judged Israel, nor in all the days of the kings of Israel, nor of the kings of Judah" (xxiii. 22). In what did its preeminence consist if not, in part at least, in the strictness of its compliance with the law?

But if Josiah had been guided by Deuteronomy alone, he would have been ignorant of some of the most essential requirements of the law respecting this feast. The passage just cited (xvi. 1-8) is the only one in Deuteronomy giving any part of this law. It shows that the feast was to be observed in the month Abib, but it does not say on which day of the month, and a wrong day would have vitiated the service. It says that the victim should be of the flock or the herd; but it does not say that it must be a lamb of the first year without blemish. It does not say that the animal was to be roasted whole, that bitter herbs were to be eaten with it as well as unleavened bread, nor does it prescribe that no bone of the victim should be broken. It says nothing at all about the burnt-offerings which were to be offered every day of the Passover week. Not half of the legal provisions for this feast are mentioned in Deuteronomy, and yet with this book alone we are to believe that Josiah kept such a Passover as had not been kept before since the days of the judges.

Are we told, in reply, that those other provisions are later additions to the law, and that those mentioned in Deuteronomy are all that were at first observed? If so, he who thus replies is guilty of the oft repeated fallacy in criticism of changing history to save an argument and at the same time of assuming as the basis of argument that which is yet in dispute; for the proposition that Exodus, Leviticus and Numbers are of later date than Deuteronomy is one of the matters under discussion.

(iv) Josiah expelled wizards and diviners from the land in express fulfillment of "the book of the covenant" (II. Kings xxiii. 24); we find the prohibition of this common class of impostors in Oriental countries expressed in strong language in Deut. xviii. 9-14.

Here, again, the author makes an argument that is wholly inconsequential, for two reasons: First, if the book found was the whole Pentateuch, this passage of Deuteronomy would have been in it; and, second, if the Book of Deuteronomy had not been in the book at all, the prohibition of wizards and diviners would have been found in the part now called Leviticus, which prescribes that all such impostors must be stoned to death (Lev. xx. 27). What kind of proof is this that the book was Deuteronomy alone?

Professor Rile was too thoughtful a writer not to see and feel the weakness of this mode of reasoning; consequently the following paragraph is added to bolster it up: It is not, of course, for a moment denied that laws dealing with these two last subjects are to be found elsewhere in the Pentateuch. But as in all four cases Josiah's action was based upon "the law,' whatever "the law" was, it must have dealt with "feasts" and with ''wizards'' as well as with ''concentration of worship'' and ''star-worship." In the Deuteronomic laws all four points are touched upon.

The weakness is not made strong; for, if the book found was the whole Pentateuch, it contained Deuteronomy with its notice of these subjects, together with the other parts in which all these subjects, except "concentration of worship," are dealt with. The attempt to show that the Book was Deuteronomy alone is still a failure as glaring as before.

Moreover, so fully are all these topics, with the exception named, dealt with in other parts of the Pentateuch, that but for the latter we should have no evidence from this point of view that Deuteronomy was in the book at all.

The next argument of our author is more elaborate, and it turns upon one of the titles given to Josiah's book:

(c) The book found in the temple is designated "the book of the covenant" (II. Kings xxiii. 2, 21), and it appears that it contained a covenant to the observance of which the king solemnly pledged himself (ib. 3). In the Pentateuch we find, it is true, a mention of "the book of the covenant" (Ex. xxiv. 7), by which the substance of the Sinaitic legislation (Ex. xx.-xxiii.) seems to be denoted. But it is clear, from the fact that the section (Ex. xx.-xxiii.) contains no denunciation; from the fact that it contains only the very briefest notice of the feast of the Passover, and then under another name, "the feast of the unleavened bread" (Ex. xxiii. 15); from the fact that it makes no mention of either wizards or star-worshippers that this portion of the Israelite law can not be "the covenant" referred to in II. Kings xxiii. On the other hand, an important section at the close of our Book of Deuteronomy is occupied with a "covenant;" and it can hardly be doubted that "a book of the law" which was also "the book of the covenant," must have included such passages as Deut. xxix. 1, "These are the words of the covenant which the Lord commanded Moses to make with the children of Israel;" verse 9' "Keep therefore the words of this covenant;" verse 14, "Neither with you only do I make this covenant and this oath;" verse 21, "According to all the curses of the covenant that is written in the book of the law;" verses 24, 25, "Even all the nations shall say, Wherefore hath the Lord done thus unto this land? . . . Then men shall say, Because they forsook the covenant of the Lord" (pp. 51, 52).

Unfortunately for this line of argument, some of the most eminent of Professor Ryle's fellow critics deny that chapter xxix., from which his last four quotations are made, was a part of the original document (See Driver, Commentary on Deuteronomy, lxxiii.-lxxvii.; Addis, Documents of the Hexateuch, lxxv.) If they are correct, these citations amount to nothing, seeing that in that case these verses were never seen by Josiah, and they had therefore no influence on his conduct.

But they are doubtless wrong The whole Book of Deuteronomy, with the exception of the last chapter and a few interpolated passages not affecting the present discussion, was contained in the book found in the temple; and, if it was there as a part of the whole Pentateuch, it may have been spoken of as "the book of the covenant."

But if Deuteronomy may have had this title because of the frequent reference in it to the covenant between God and Israel, how much more might the Pentateuch as a whole have been called the Book of the Covenant, seeing that it contained all of Deuteronomv and in addition to this "the book of the covenant," expressly so called, which is found in Ex. xx.-xxiii., and is constantly alluded to in all the Pentateuch.

While, then, our author's argumentation, taking his own view of the contents of Josiah's book, would prove that Deuteronomy was part of the book, it stops there, and moves not a hair breadth toward showing, as the necessities of the theory require him to show, that it was Deuteronomy alone.

The next argument presented by Professor Ryle I will summanze, in order to save space. It is based on the fact that the author of Kings, in the only two passages in which he quotes expressly the law of Moses, quotes from Deuteronomy.

The passages are II. Kings xiv. 6, where the quotation is undoubtedly from Deut. xxiv. 16; and I. Kings ii. 3, where David is addressing Solomon and says: "Keep the charge of the Lord thy God, to walk in his ways, to keep his statutes, and his commandments, and his testimonies, according to that which is written in the law of Moses, that thou mayest prosper in all that thou doest, and whithersoever thou turnest thyself." It is claimed that this is a citation from Dent. xvii. 18-20; but if the reader will compare the two he will find that they contain very few words in common.

Moreover, unless the author of Kings has falsified history in this passage, it is David, and not himself, who makes the reference; and if it is in reality a reference to Deuteronomy, it proves that Deuteronomy existed in the days of David.

But in reality these words of David are an almost verbatim quotation from Josh. i. 8, where God admonished Joshua on his taking command of the army of Israel. David, in admonishing his son Solomon when about to be made king of Israel, quoted the words of the Almighty addressed to Joshua on a similar occasion.

This does prove that the Book of Joshua was in existence before David's death, which is itself a deathblow to the analytical theory, but it has no bearing whatever on the identification of the book found by Hilkiah.

Professor Ryle also claims that "in numerous characteristic expressions and phrases the compiler of the Book of Kings shows a close acquaintance with the Deuteronomic portion of the Pentateuch," and he cites several passages in proof. Then he argues:

If, therefore, the compiler of the Books of Kings identified the "law of Moses" and the "book of the law" with Deuteronomy, or, at least, with a Deuteronomic version of the law, we may nearly take it for granted, that, in his narrative of the reign of Josiah, when he mentioned "the book of the law" without further description, he must have had in his mind the same Deuteronomic writings with which he was so familiar (p. 53).

Yes, "if." But, if the compiler of the Books of Kings had in his possession the whole of the Pentateuch, as we have repeatedly shown above, he would have written precisely as he does, and therefore nothing that he says can be logically held as proof that he had Deuteronomy alone.

At this point let it be carefully observed that, according to the analytical theory itself, the documents J and E were already in existence, the former containing legislation now found in Ex. xx.-xxii. If we suppose, with the analytical critics, that Deuteronomy alone was found by Hilkiah, and that it alone was known by the author of the Books of Kings as "the book of the law," what had become of these other two documents? Had they also been lost or hidden during Manasseh's apostasy? They must have been, or Deuteronomy could not have held the field alone as the law of God. But if they had thus disappeared, what was to hinder all the Pentateuch from having disappeared in like manner?

Even, then, if the critics could make out their cause, that Deuteronomy alone was Josiah's book, this would by no means preclude the supposition that the other books of the Pentateuch were in existence, but hidden in some other place. Thus we see that, from every point of view, the analytical theory is involved in confusion and inconsistencies.

After denying that the Book of Deuteronomy was of Mosaic origin, and claiming that it first became known to the public in the eighteenth year of Josiah, the next task for the critics is to show us when the book was written. On this point the radicals only are able to speak definitely. They tell us that the composition of the book was a pious fraud, perpetrated by Hilkiah and others for the purpose of breaking. down the worship in the high places, and enriching the temple priests by concentrating all in their hands, (See Sec. 4 [2].)

Professor Ryle, and our English and American critics, are not willing to thus asperse the character of Hilkiah, but in trying to avoid it they shroud the origin of the book in a cloud of uncertainty. I quote from Ryle, his answer to the radicals:

To these questions the scholars who suppose the composition of the book to have been the work of Hilkiah himself and his friends, and who ascribe its discovery, not to chance, but to collusion, have no difficulty in making reply. Viewed from such a point of view, the book played a part in a clever intrigue conducted by the priests at Jerusalem who aimed at dealing a finishing stroke to the rival worship at the high places. But we have no reason to impugn either the accuracy or the sincerity of the historian, who describes an incident of which he was possibly a witness. An unprejudiced perusal of his narrative leaves the impression that he has no shadow of a suspicion of the discovery having been anything else but a fortunate accident, and that, in the opinion of those living at the time, the book was supposed to have existed long ago and to have been lost (Canon of Old Testament, p.54).

This is a very unsatisfactory answer to the radicals. It is only to say that the historian, that is, the author of the Book of Kings, and "those living at the time," were so successfully deceived that they had "no shadow of a suspicion" about the discovery, and that they really supposed the book to have existed long ago. If they thus supposed, and if, as Professor Ryle believes and tries to prove, the supposition was false, it follows that whatever the motive of Hilkiah and others, the people were deceived by somebody, and most successfully deceived. In the argument thus far the radicals clearly have the advantage.

But Professor Ryle gives some reasons for not believing that the book was an ancient one when discovered:

Assuming, then, that this "Deuteronomic 'book of the law'" was honestly regarded as an ancient book in the eighteenth year of Josiah, we must take into consideration the following facts: (1) That never before, on the occasion of a religion reform, do we find, in the Books of Samuel and Kings, any appeal to the authority of a book; (2) that, even in Hezekiah's reign, the attempt to suppress the high places was not, so far as history tells us, supported by any such appeal; (3) that the earlier prophets, Amos, Hosea, Micah and Isaiah (I), give no certain sign of having been influenced by the Deuteronomic laws (p. 55).

The first two of these reasons are evasive; for in the very brief account of Hezekiah's reformation, in which he put down the high places as Josiah did, it is said of Hezekiah, "He clave to Jehovah, he departed not from following him, but kept his commandments which Jehovah commanded Moses" (II. Kings xviii. 6).

Here the king is said to have clung to Jehovah in effecting this reform; he kept Jehovah's commandments which he commanded Moses; but because the word "book" is not employed, Professor Ryle would have us conclude that the commandments which were kept, and which God had commanded Moses, were not in a book.

It is a common argument with believers that if you find in the second century, or in any year of the first century, quotations of passages now found in Paul's Epistle to the Romans, they prove that the epistle existed that early. But no, say the unbelievers, not unless the name of the epistle is given. Thus the infidel argument against the New Testament is taken up by "evangelical critics," when they come to the Old Testament.

The man of common sense, whether a believer or an unbeliever, will, so long as he reads of men "keeping the commandments of God which he gave Moses," conclude that they had the book in which these commandments were written. As to the earlier prophets, they give abundance of evidence that they knew the ethical teachings which abound in the book of Deuteronomy; how dares Professor Ryle to assume that they were not led to do so by knowing the contents of the book? Nothing short of positive knowledge that the book had not been written in their day, would justify such an assumption; and yet the assumption is used as an argument to prove the fact on which it depends. This is too glaring a fault in logic to be excusable in such an author.

A consciousness of weakness is betrayed at this point by the professor's next sentence, in which he says: Of course, as has already been pointed out, ancient laws are copiously incorporated in Deuteronomy, and the mere mention of institutions and customs which are spoken of in Deuteronomy, does not prove the existence of the book itself.

This is true; but it is not in point; for he is trying to prove that because the word "book" is not used in connection with them, the book did not exist. This is an argument from silence; and lest his readers should disregard it on that account, our author next attempts to bolster up this species of argument:

The force of the argument from silence, however, will at once be appreciated when the pronounced influence of the Deuteronomic writings upon the style of authors to whom the Book of Deuteronomy was well known--e.g., Books of Kings, Jeremiah and Zephaniah--is fully taken account of. There is nothing parallel to it in the earlier Hebrew literature. The inference is obvious; the Book of Deuteronomy, in the earlier period, was either not yet composed or not yet known. But, if written, could it have failed to escape the notice of Amos, Hosea and Isaiah, and to leave on them something of the mark it made on later literature? (p. 55).

This argument assumes that there was nothing, except its recent origin, to give Deuteronomy the special influence which it exerted over later writers.

Without, then, pausing to show, as we can, that the statement of this influence is magnified, it is a sufficient answer to show that this influence can be otherwise accounted for. The fact that the rediscovery of the book after it had been lost to sight so long, and the fact that its teaching, whether it was alone or in company with the other hooks of the Pentateuch, was the chief instrument in bringing about the most famous religious reformation in the history of Israel, necessarily brought it into a relative influence which it had not exerted before.

There is a parallel in the influence exerted by the Epistles to the Romans and the Galatians during the life of Luther and afterward. Were there any ground for raising a doubt whether Luther and his generation possessed all of the books of the New Testament, or whether these two epistles had not been recently written by some theologian in the name of Paul, how readily could critics of the modern school take up the cry, and demand, Why, if those two epistles existed before Luther's day, did they not influence the style and theology of earlier writers, as they certainly did those of a later date? The answer would be, There was a special reason in the Lutheran Reformation in which salvation by works was denied, and salvation by faith insisted on, to give new prominence to the two epistles in which the latter doctrine is especially emphasized.

Just so, the Josian reformation was brought about chiefly by the teaching and the warnings of Deuteronomy, and this necessarily drew to this book, rather than to any other then written, the attention of writers in the next generation.

So, then, this famous argument, which is a favorite with all classes of destructive critics, proves to be faulty in the fact that it ignores completely the real cause of the fact on which it is based.

In order to fix the time previous to which the Book 0f Deuteronomy could not have been written, Professor Ryle introduces a passage from Isaiah which has been made to figure conspicuously in the discussion of this question. He argues thus: One well-known passage (Isa. xix. 19) should be sufficient to disprove the possibility of that prophet's acquaintance with the Deuteronomic law: "In that day there shall be an altar to the Lord in the midst of the land of Egypt, and a pillar [mazzebah] at the border thereof to the Lord." Isaiah could hardly have said this if he had been acquainted with the prohibition of Deut. xvi. 22, "Thou shalt not set up a pillar [mazzebah]; which the Lord thy God hateth." Nor is the reply satisfactory which says that Isaiah refers to the soil, not of Palestine, but of Egypt; for the prophet is contemplating a time when all the world should be subject to the "law" of Israel's God. It would appear, therefore, that the Deuteronomic "book of the law" was not known to Isaiah or his prophetic predecessors, and could hardly have been written before the reign of Hezekiah. When, in addition to this, the marked characteristics of his style corresponding to those which are found in the Hebrew writing of the sixth and latter part of the seventh century B. C., it is the most natural conclusion that the literary framework of the book is not to be placed earlier than the close of Isaiah's ministry (circ. 690 B. C.).

In this argument the author starts out as if there was no possibility of his being mistaken. The passage in Isaiah "should he sufficient to disprove the possibility" of his acquaintance with Deuteronomy. But in his next sentence he lowers his tone and says, "Isaiah could hardly have said this if he had been acquainted with the prohibition of Dent xvi. 22." And his conclusion is based on the latter assertion, and not on the former.

Leaving off the question of possibility, he says, "Deuteronomy could hardly have been written before the reign of Hezekiah." Such a play of diminuendo as the argument advances is clear evidence that the man who framed it began with a confidence which he could not maintain to the end.

But let us see whether, if Isaiah had known intimately the prohibition of the mazzebah in Deuteronomy, he could still have predicted the erection of one at the border of Egypt. The obvious answer is, if it were revealed to him that there would be one, of course he could have predicted it.

But it is assumed that he predicted it with approval, which he could not have done had he known Deuteronomy. The prophet certainly does speak of the event as indicating a change in Egypt for the better. Taking into view the immediate context, he says: "In that day there shall be five cities in the land of Egypt that speak the language of Canaan, and swear to Jehovah of hosts; one shall be called, The city of destruction. In that day there shall be an altar in the midst of the land of, Egypt, and a pillar at the border thereof to Jehovah. And it shall be for a sign and for a witness unto Jehovah of hosts in the land of Egypt; for they shall cry unto Jehovah because of the oppressors, and he shall send them a saviour, and a defender, and he shall deliver them."

This clearly indicates a time when Egypt should be sore oppressed, and should turn to Jehovah for help, offering sacrifice to him, and setting up a pillar on the border of the land to honor him. Egypt was a land of pillars, or obelisks, as the word is rendered on the margin of the Revised Version, all erected in honor of their gods, and inscribed on their sides with the praises of the god whom each sought to honor.

Now, if, in a time of distress, seeing the impotency of all her gods, Egypt should erect an obelisk in honor of Jehovah, the act would be a happy move in the right direction, no matter how abominable such a pillar might be beside a Jewish altar.

She was also to erect an altar to Jehovah. Suppose that on this altar they offered the sacrifices to which they are accustomed, but which would have defiled a Jewish altar, and the text indicates nothing to the contrary; still Egypt would be congratulated for doing even this with the purpose of honoring Jehovah. Isaiah, then, could have written all that he did with a full knowledge of what is said about the mazzebah in Deuteronomy.

Let us now give more particular attention to the prohibition in Deuteronomy, and see whether, in the argument under consideration, it is properly interpreted. The subject of the mazzebah is mentioned twice in this part of the book; first in xii. 2, 3, where it is said, "Ye shall surely destroy all the places, wherein the nations which ye shall possess served their gods, upon the high mountains, and upon the hills, and under every green tree: and ye shall break down their altars, and dash in pieces their pillars [mazzebahs,] and burn their Asherim with fire."

Now, this portion of Deuteronomy has the form of a discourse; and whether it was delivered by Moses as the text affirms, or written in the time of Hezekiah and put into the lips of Moses by imagination, the speaker, real or imaginary, after uttering the words just quoted, uttered, in less than ten minutes later, these words: "Thou shalt not plant thee an Asherah of any kind of tree beside the altar of Jehovah thy God, which thou shalt make thee. Neither shalt thou set up a pillar [mazzebah];; which Jehovah thy God hateth" (xvi. 21, 22).

Can we imagine that there was no connection of thought between the two prohibitions? Is it not morally certain that the Asherah and the pillar in both passages mean the same? And, if so, are we not compelled by the laws of interpretation, to understand that, in the latter passage as in the former, the prohibition is against such mazzebahs as the Canaanites had used, and not against such structures when used legitimately? The answer which this question demands is implied in the very wording of the text; for the words, "a pillar which the Lord thy God hateth," leave room for the supposition that there were pillars which God did not hate.

That there were pillars (mazzebahs) which Jehovah did not hate, Isaiah knew, and the author of Deuteronomy knew. For be it remembered, that even if the Book of Deuteronomy was unknown to Isaiah, the documents J and E, and the combined document JE, were known both to him and the supposed author of Deuteronomy. This the analytical theory teaches. But in JE we find several statements about the erection of pillars (mazzebahs) by Jacob at Bethel, at Mizpah, and at Rachel's grave (Gen. xxxiii. 18, 22; xxxi. 45, 51, 52; xxxv. 14, 20). Moreover, JE represents God as approving the erection of this first mazzebah in saying to Jacob, "I am the God of Bethel, where thou anointest a pillar, where thou vowedst a vow unto me: now arise, get thee out of this land, and return to the land of thy nativity" (xxxi. 13).

In view of this fact Isaiah must have known that there were mazzebahs which God approved; and the supposed author of Deuteronomy knew it as well.

Is it credible, then, that the latter put into the mouth of Moses, speaking for God, a prohibition of all mazzebahs? If not, then we must believe that the prohibition in question was against such mazzebahs as the Canaanites had in use.

Finally, there is a consideration suggested by the Deuteronomic prohibition which has been entirely overlooked by destructive critics, and yet it completely refutes their theory as to the date of the book. There is a book which forbids absolutely the erection of an altar to Jehovah other than the one at his chosen place of worship; a book written with this as one of its primary purposes, if not the chief purpose; yet in the midst of it we read these words: "Thou shalt not plant thee an Asherah of any kind of tree beside the altar of Jehovah thy God which thou shalt make thee." Notice the future tense: "The altar of Jehovah thy God which thou shalt make thee." The altar in question was yet to be made when the book was written. If Moses wrote the book, this is what he would have said: for the altar spoken of was that in Jerusalem, or both that and the earlier altar at Shiloh. The Jerusalem altar was too, according to hypothesis, the one at which the author of Deuteronomy sought to concentrate the worship as the only altar of Jehovah. This altar had been made hundreds of years before this hypothetical date of Deuteronomy, yet the writer speaks of it as "the altar of Jehovah thy God which thou shalt make thee" What clearer demonstration could we have that the book was written before the altar in Jerusalem was made; that is, before the reign of Solomon? And if it was before the reign of Solomon, there can be no reason for giving it a date later than Moses. This argument can be set aside only by charging the author with fraud in putting these words in the mouth of Moses.

I have dealt thus elaborately with this argument, from the consideration that it is made use of by all the destructive critics without an apparent suspicion that any fallacy could be found in it The result illustrates the importance of the closest scrutiny of every argument and every passage of Scripture before concluding that it contains anything inimical to the Bible's own account of itself

If it is true, as asserted by Professor Ryle, that the Book of Deuteronomy, when discovered by Hilkiah the priest, "was the first instance of a book which was regarded by all, king, priests, prophets, and people alike, as invested not only with sanctity, but also with supreme authority in all matters of religion and conduct," it becomes a matter of supreme importance to account in some satisfactory way for such a reception of the book. But even his strong statement of the case falls short of the reality.

The book was not only regarded as invested with sanctity and supreme authority, but it was regarded as having come from Moses; and it was this last consideration which gave it its sanctity and authority. This must all be accounted for in order to make the critical theory of its origin credible.

The necessity of this can not have escaped the minds of the acute scholars who have advocated this theory, and one would expect to find in their writings some plausible if not convincing attempt at an answer. But on this point I have searched their writings in vain. Professor Ryle shows clearly that he felt the need of such an explanation, and through several pages of his Canon he feels around the question without fairly facing it.

As you read through these pages in search of it, you are inclined to exclaim alternately, "Now I see it, now I don't see it" The nearest he comes to it is on page 60, where he formally raises the question only to immediately run away from it. Having fixed the date of its composition in the closing years of Hezekiah's reign, he says:

Nor is it difficult to understand how such a work, during the reactionary reign of Manasseh, became lost to view. That its accidental discovery in the eighteenth year of King Josiah produced so astonishing an effect can well be imagined.

Of course it can. We can easily imagine almost anything. But we have no need to imagine it; it is plainly told in the text, and nobody calls the record in question. What we desire is not to imagine it, but to account for it. And how does our learned author do this? Here is what follows:

The evils which the prophet or writers had sought to combat, had grown in intensity during the seventy or eighty years which had elapsed. The reform, so necessary before, culminating in the abolition of the high places, which Hezekiah had failed to carry out successfully, had now been long delayed; the difficulty of effecting it must have become proportionately greater; the flagrant indulgence in open idolatry, under the patronage of the court, had raised yet more serious obstacles in the path of religious restoration. In a single year "the book of the law" caused the removal of every obstacle. The laws it contained must, many of them, have been familiar, by tradition, long usage, and written codes. But in this book, laws, old and new alike, lived in the spirit of Moses, and glowed with the spirit of prophecy. The tone in which the law was here expounded to the people was something new. It marked the close of one era; it heralded the beginning of another. It rang sharp and clear in the lull that so graciously intervened before the tempest of Babylonian invasion. The enthusiasm it aroused in the young king communicated itself to the people. The discovery of "the book of the law" procured at once the abolition of the high places. The book was recognized as a divine gift, and lifted, though but for a passing moment, the conception of the nation's religion above the routine of the priesthood's traditional worship.

I search in vain, through all this, for even a semblance of an answer to the question, How can the reception accorded the book be accounted for? If Hezekiah's attempt to abolish the high places had failed, this would make it only the more difficult for this book to cause their removal; and this the author freely admits. He also admits, or, rather, he tells us in plain words, that the indulgence in open idolatry under the patronage of the court had raised "yet more serious obstacles" in the path of religious restoration. This only makes more imperative the demand for the explanation which is called for, but not given.

Next we are told what we knew before, that "in a single year 'the book of the law' caused the removal of every obstacle;" and this only intensifies our desire to know how it succeeded in doing so. Next we are told that "the laws it contained must, many of them, have been familiar, by tradition, long usage, and written codes." But, if they were, why was the king so astonished at them, and why did he rend his clothes?

"But," continues our author, "in this book, laws, old and new alike, lived in the spirit of Moses, and glowed with the vehemence of prophecy." Yes; they not only lived in the spirit of Moses, but they professedly came from the very lips of Moses; and the question. is, How were king and priests and prophets and people alike led to believe that they came from Moses, when many of them, and especially the most objectionable of them all, had never been heard of before? This is the question to be answered, and the author's attempt only heaps up, statement by statement, the obstacles in the way of a satisfactory answer.

Again he says, "The tone in which the law was here expounded to the people was something new." But it claimed to be as old as Moses; how, then, could it be something new? And if it was something new, why did neither king, nor priest, nor prophet, nor one of the people, see in the fact that it was new, incontestable proof that it was not spoken by Moses?

But, "it marked the close of one era; it heralded the beginning of another." Suppose it did; how could all parties know this, and why should this have made them think that the book came from Moses?

But, "it rang sharp and clear in the lull that so graciously intervened before the tempest of Babylonian invasion;" and "the enthusiasm it aroused in the young king communicated itself to the people."

Yes; but why did it arouse any enthusiasm in the young king? And what if it did ring in that lull? If the king had suspected that the book was recently written, would it have aroused in him this enthusiasm? Would it have made him rend his clothes?

Finally we are told that "the book was recognized as a divine gift, and lifted, though but for a passing moment, the conception of the nation's religion above the priesthood's traditional worship."

Of course the book was received as a divine gift; but the question is, Why? And this question is not answered. Robertson Smith attempts an answer in these words:

The authority that lay behind Deuteronomy was the power or the prophetic teaching which half a century of persecution had not been able to suppress (0. T.,. 363).

But the "prophetic teaching," according to hypothesis, and according to Robertson Smith himself, had been absolutely silent about the restriction of sacrifice to a single altar, and hostile to sacrifices in general. This is, then, no answer to the question.

On the critical hypothesis as to the origin of the book, may we not here venture the assertion that it can not be answered? In view of the utter failure of the ablest critics thus far to find an adequate answer, may we not safely conclude that one will never be found?

There is another obstacle in the way of the answer demanded which is insuperable, and which has been created by the critics themselves. They tell us that the documents J and E had been written some hundred years or more before the discovery by Hilkiah, and they tell us that the laws of the "book of the covenant" embodied in Ex. xx.-xxiii. were preserved in J, and had come down from Moses. They tell us that in that book the law guaranteed to every Hebrew the right to build an altar and offer his sacrifice at any spot which he might choose that this had been God's recognized and well-known law down to the very day in which Hilkiah's discovery was made.

But here a newly written book of the law is produced, which contradicts all this, and teaches that it is a sin to offer sacrifices on any other altar than the one in Jerusalem. And when this newly written law, contradicting what all the people had hitherto received as the law of God, was read to the king, he rent his clothes; and when he read it to the people, they entered into a covenant with him to tear down all of the altars at which they had hitherto worshipped according to God's undisputed law.

How can this be accounted for? They obey the new law because they are led to believe that it came from Moses, and they reject the old law though they believed that it also came from Moses. Did they think that Moses contradicted himself? If so, why, of the two contradictory laws, did they accept the one newly brought to light, the one never heard of before, and the one most obnoxious to their cherished habits? Who will answer these questions, or who will show, if they remain unanswered, that the new theory of the origin of Deuteronomy is worth the paper it is printed on?

I knew a preacher who became insane and imagined that he was made of glass. He would not allow you to shake hands with him--only a gentle touch. And when he took a seat in a wooden chair he was very careful lest he should break himself to pieces. This critical theory of Deuteronomy reminds me of him. Wherever you shake it, it breaks.(1)

1.For the arguments of other authors on the evidence discussed in this section, see Driver, Int., 86-89; Robertson Smith, 0. T., 256f., 363; Addis, D. of H., lxxv.; Andrew Harper, Com. Deut., 29-33; Principal Douglas, Lex M., 63-67; Stanley Leathes, Lex M., 443ff.; Robert Sinker, Lex M., 462ff., 480; James Robertson, Early Rel. of Israel, 421; Bissell, 0. and S. of Pent., 23.


It is held by those who advocate the late date of Deuteronomy, that the previously existing law contained in the book JE, which was really given by Moses, if Moses gave any law at all, permitted the people to erect altars wherever they chose, and that the law in Deuteronomy was intended to abolish that privilege. Sacrifice in the high places had been perfectly legitimate under this law, but it was now to be abolished by force of this newly discovered "book of the law."

By Robertson Smith the position is stated in the following words:

The central difference between the Deuteronomic code, on which Josiah acted, and the code of the First Legislation, lies in the principle that the temple at Jerusalem is the only legitimate sanctuary. The legislator in Deuteronomy expressly puts forth this ordinance as an innovation: "Ye shall not do, as we do here this day, every man whatever is right in his own eyes"-Deut. xii. 8 (O. T., p.253).

A little reflection will show that this position, though put forward as if it were unquestionable, can not be maintained.

In the first place, if such were the facts in the case, the friends and supporters of the high places, who are admitted to have been exceedingly reluctant to give them up, could and would have successfully answered: 'We are not doing whatsoever is right in our own eyes; but that which Jehovah our God gave us permission to do by the hand of Moses. This new law, therefore, pretending to come from the same Moses, a law which no Israelite has ever heard of before, is false and spurious. We will have none of it.'

They could have said, 'We have the old Mosaic law written in our sacred books; it is a part of the book of the covenant given by God to our fathers; and it is also written with indelible letters in our ancestral customs; and we shall not be deceived into the belief that this hitherto unknown book, with its innovation, has also been our law from the beginning.' What answer could Josiah, or any of his officers sent out to tear down the altars on the high places, have made to this? They would have been as dumb as the stones of the altars which they destroyed.

In the second place, the supposed writer of Deuteronomy could not, without barefaced folly, have put the words of this restrictive law into the mouth of Moses. He would have had Moses legislating against a further continuance of worship which as yet had no existence in Israel; for it certainly had no existence among them while Moses was still alive.

When, then, Hilkiah's book was presented to the first man of sense on his high place, he would have responded: "Do you think I am a fool, to give up my chosen place of worshiping the God of our fathers in compliance with a book pretending that Moses forbade our fathers to continue in the practice, when, as a matter of fact, our fathers had never engaged in it?"

The pretense would strike them very much as if some unscrupulous politician should now publish a copy of Washington's farewell address with a warning in it against the adoption of the Austrian secret ballot in our elections. Such are the absurdities, unperceived by themselves, in which critics become involved when they permit their zeal in support of a theory to run away with their better reason.

If it should be asked, in response to the preceding, what practice was it that Moses had reference to when he said, "Ye shall not do as we do here this day," the answer is, first he certainly did not mean what the men of Josiah's day, seven hundred years later, would be doing, but something that men were doing in his own day.

Second, when Moses spoke the people addressed had only a few weeks before been guilty of wandering off with the women of Moab and engaging with them in the worship of Baal-peor (Sum. xxv.); and this piece of self-will in worship, which had cost the lives of twenty-four thousand men, was fresh in their memories. Thus we see that if the law was given by Moses, all that is said about it agrees with the facts in the case; and if it was not, everything is thrown into confusion and absurdity.

Professor Driver's statement of the position is not stronger than that of Professor Smith. Here it is:

The law of Deuteronomy thus marks an epoch in the history of Israelitish religion; it springs from an age when the old law (Ex. xx. 24), sanctioning an indefinite number of local sanctuaries, had been proved to be incompatible with purity of worship; it marks the final, the most systematic effort made by the prophets to free the public worship of Jehovah from heathen accretions (Corn. Deut., 138).

This is a more cautious statement than that of Robertson Smith, but it is not less objectionable. It represents a law given by divine wisdom for Driver recognizes the divine origin of the old book of the covenant, as proving to be "incompatible with purity of worship." This is an absurdity.

It also represents the king and the people as promptly abandoning a form of worship that was lawful, the law for which had been given by God through Moses, and to which the masses of the people had become devotedly attached, on the demand of a new law, pretending to come from Moses, but which had really never been heard of before.

No people in the history of the world was ever thus deluded. The incredibility of such a deception is increased when we add that never afterward was any question raised in Israel as to the Mosaic origin of this new law.

If the hypothesis is accepted, it reverses the notable saying of President Lincoln, that "you can fool some of the people all the time, and all of the people part of the time, but you can not fool all the people all the time."

Both of these scholars, in common with all the critics of their class, assume, as if it were an undisputed fact, that the first legislation permitted a multiplicity of altars to be erected, and sacrifice to be offered on them wherever it suited the good pleasure of the worshipers; and for this reason they claim that worship on the high places, "on every high hill and under every green tree" was legitimate until the publication of the law in Deuteronomy, which limited all sacrifices to the single altar in Jerusalem.

The question whether this assumption is true or not can be settled only by an appeal to the terms of the law itself. We quote it in full:

"And Jehovah said unto Moses, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, Ye yourselves have seen that I have talked with you from heaven. Ye shall not make other gods with me; gods of silver or gods of gold, ye shall not make unto you. An altar shalt thou make unto me, and shalt sacrifice thereon thy burnt offerings, thy peace offerings, thy sheep and thine oxen: in every place where I record my name I will come unto thee and I will bless thee. And if thou make an altar of stone, thou shalt not build it of hewn stones: for if thou lift up thy tool upon it, thou hast polluted it. Neither shalt thou go up by steps unto mine altar, that thy nakedness be not discovered thereon" (Ex. xx. 22-26)

This, if we may believe the record in Exedus, is the law of sacrifice delivered at the foot of Mt. Sinai (cf. 18-21). Does it authorize a multitude of altars at as many different places? or one altar at a time ? The word "altar" is in the singular number, and the people are addressed as one individual: "An altar of earth shalt thou make unto me." Evidently the one people were to make the one altar; and it is impossible that the multiplicity of simultaneous altars in use at the alleged date of Deuteronomy would have been justified by this law.

But the altar was to be made of earth or of stone, and consequently it could not be moved. If, then, after the first one was built under this law, another should be needed at another place, it would have to be erected as was the first.

This brings us to the question of place, and to the second provision of the law: "In every place where I record my name I will come unto thee and bless thee." Though not expressed, it is here implied that in these places the aforesaid altar would be erected.

But Israel as a people could be in only one place at a time, and consequently the places contemplated are consecutive and not simultaneous places of worship. With this the subsequent history of Israel perfectly agrees. The altar of wooden boards covered with brass which Moses constructed before leaving Mt. Sinai (Ex. xxvii. 1-8), instead of being in conflict with this law, as has been alleged, was strictly in conformity with it. An altar of earth, if used more than once, would be constantly crumbling, and one of unhewn stones would be constantly falling. Neither would be at all suitable for continued use.

Consequently, as Mr. Ferguson has conclusively shown in Smith's Bible Dictionary, the structure made by Moses, which was nothing but a hollow box without top or bottom, was only a case within which the real altar was made, and which held it, whether made of earth or of rough stones, in proper shape, while it gave the structure a smooth exterior.

By itself it was not an altar at all; for it provided no place on which the fire could be built and the victims burned. If the fire had been built inside of it, as has been supposed, it would have charred the wood through the thin plates of brass, and ruined the structure.

But when the case was placed on a level piece of ground, and filled with earth, or with stones, the law was complied with, and the altar was held in proper shape for any length of time. When the place of encampment was changed, the priests, by means of the strong wooden bars passed through rings on the outside of the case, lifted the latter away from the enclosed earth or stones, and left the altar to crumble.

This one altar at a time, frequently renewed, yet always the same in exterior appearance and form, was the altar of Israel, according to the history, throughout the desert wanderings, throughout the period of Joshua and the judges, and on to the erection of Solomon's temple. It is only by impeaching the sacred records that this can be denied. And if this is the truth respecting the first legislation about the altar and the place of worship, the only difference between this law and that in Deuteronomy is that in the latter the exclusiveness of the law is made more emphatic.

Another evidence of the perfect unity of these two laws is found in the words used in common respecting the place of worship. In Exodus the words are, "In every place where I record my name I will come unto thee, and will bless thee." In Deuteronomy, "But unto the place which Jehovah your God shall choose out of all your tribes to put his name there, even unto his habitation shall ye seek, and thither thou shalt come." The latter contains no verbal quotation from the former, but it is evidently intended to explain it. Where the former has, "In every place where I record my name," the latter has, "Unto the place which Jehovah your God shall choose" -- choosing a place for his worship, explains the expression, "record my name."

The only difference is that in the older law it is implied that he might record his name in more than one place, whereas in the latter he is to choose one place. And this agrees with the history; for when they came into Canaan God first recorded his name at Shiloh, where the tabernacle with the ark of the covenant in it was located by Joshua, and remained till after the capture of the ark by the Philistines (Josh. xviii. 1; I. Sam. iv. 11-v. 1). Afterwards Jerusalem was chosen, and this is the one sanctuary to which, according to all classes of critics, the words of Deuteronomy have reference.

Prof. William Henry Green has spoken so well on the alleged discrepancy between these two laws, that I here quote him in full:

There is no such difference as is pretended between the book of the covenant and the other Mosaic codes in respect to the place of legitimate sacrifice. It is not true that the former sanctioned a multiplicity of altars, and that this was the recognized practice of pious worshipers of Jehovah until the reign of Josiah, and that he instituted a new departure from all previous law and custom by restricting sacrifice to one central altar in compliance with a book of the law then for the first time promulgated. The unity of the altar was the law of Israel's life from the beginning. Even in the days of the patriarchs, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, no such thing was known as separate rival sanctuaries for the worship of Jehovah, co-existing in various parts of the land. They built altars and offered sacrifice in whatever part of the land they might be, and particularly in places where Jehovah appeared to them. But the patriarchal family was a unit, and while they worshiped in different places, successively in the course of their migrations, they nevertheless worshiped in but one place at a time. They did not offer sacrifice contemporaneously on different altars. So with Israel in their marches through the wilderness. They set up their altar wherever they encamped, at various places successively, but not in more than one place at the same time. This is the state of things which is recognized and made legitimate in the book of the covenant. In Ex. xx. 24 the Israelites are authorized to erect an altar, not wherever they may please, but "in all places where God records his name." The critics interpret this as a direct sanction given to various sanctuaries in different parts of Palestine. There is no foundation whatever for such an interpretation. There is not a word here nor anywhere in Scripture from which the legitimacy of the multitudinous sanctuaries of a later time can be inferred. An altar is lawful, and sacrifice upon it acceptable, and God will there meet with his people and bless them, only where he records his name; not where men may utter his name, whether by invocation or proclamation, but where God reveals or manifests himself (H. C. of P., 147, 148).


It is argued that if the restrictive law in Deuteronomy had been known from the time of Moses onward, or if the law in Exodus had been understood as restricting sacrifice to one altar at a time, we should be able to find traces of this restriction between the time of Moses and the time of Josiah. But it is alleged that, on the contrary, even the best of men in that interval built altars and offered sacrifices without regard to such a law, and in direct opposition to it; and that they did this without apology or rebuke.

Professor Driver, in the condensed style which is habitual with him, states the argument in the following words:

In these books (Joshua-I. Kings) sacrifices are frequently described as offered in different parts of the land, without any indication (and this is the important fact) on the part of either the actor or the narrator that such a law as that of Deuteronomy is being infringed. After the exclusion of all uncertain or exceptional cases, such as Judg. ii. 5; vi. 20-24, where the theophany may be held to justify the erection of an altar, there remain, as instances of either altars or local sanctuaries, Josh. xxiv. 26; I. Sam. vii. 9, 17; ix. 12-14; x. 3, 5, 8; xiii. 9; xi. 15; xiv. 35; xx. 6; II. Sam. xv. 12, 32.

The author properly recognizes in these instances two distinct groups, distinguished by the fact that the former were accompanied by theophanies, or visible appearances of divine messengers, under whose command or with whose approval the altars were erected.

The instances referred to under this head are those of the people assembled at Bochim, and of Gideon at Ophrah. He might have added that of Manoah at Zorah (Judg. xiii. 15-20). Of these he speaks cautiously. He styles them "uncertain or exceptional cases." What he means by "uncertain" I do not know, unless he is uncertain whether they actually occurred; but they were undoubtedly exceptional.

His admission that if they did occur as described "the theophany may be held to have justified the erection of an altar," renders it unnecessary for me to discuss them so far as Professor Driver' is concerned, but not so far as respects the great majority of his fellow critics; for they deny the reality of theophanies, and hold that these altars were erected, if at all, on the responsibility of the men themselves. For this reason we shall consider the bearing which these cases have on the main question as if no concession had been made.

As respects the sacrifice at Bochim, the facts revealed in the context (Judg. ii. 1-5) are these: The people of Israel were assembled at a place which, at the time of their assembling, bore no distinctive name. For what purpose they had assembled we are not informed. It may have been for some political purpose, or it may have been for public worship. The angel of Jehovah came from Gilgal to this place, and rebuked the people for having made peace with the Canaanites contrary to the command of Jehovah. The people wept under the rebuke, and offered sacrifices unto Jehovah. Because of the weeping, they gave the name Bochim (weepers) to the place. There is not a word said about erecting an altar, although no sacrifice could be offered without one.

The natural inference is that the tabernacle, with its altar, was close by the place of assembly. A case of erecting an altar distinct from the one at Shiloh is therefore not made out. Critics who claim to be scientific should remember that to draw conclusions from facts which are assumed, and can not be proved, is anything else than scientific.

As respects Gideon's altar and sacrifice, the case is made out, and made out very plainly. When the angel of Jehovah had appeared to him, given him his commission to deliver Israel from the Midianites, had set fire to the stewed kid and bread by touching them with the point of his staff, and had disappeared, Gideon built an altar on the spot, and called it Jehovah-shalom; but he built it as a monument, and not for the purpose of offering sacrifice on it. He offered none.

Within the same night, however, Jehovah commanded him, perhaps by the mouth of the same angel, to take his father's seven-year old bullock to the top of the hill where was an altar of Baal, to tear down the latter and build in its place an altar to Jehovah, and offer on it the bullock. All this Gideon did, and he did it, as the morning light revealed, at the imminent peril of his life.

Does this prove that the Book of Deuteronomy, with its law against the erection of other altars than the one at the central sanctuary, was unknown to Gideon? Suppose that he had known a book which had this Law written on every page, would he have disobeyed Jehovah himself when he gave him this special command?

I presume that when Abraham was commanded to sacrifice his son Isaac, he knew very well that it was contrary to God's will that a man should kill his own son; yet I presume that later Bible writers and speakers, including Jesus and the apostles, have been right in admiring Abraham's obedience to the divine command.

If Gideon had sense enough to know which was his father's seven-year-old bullock, he had sense enough to know that he who makes a law has the right to make exceptions to it. I wonder if our scientific critics do not know this.

In the case of Manoah, no altar was erected, though the natural rock on which his offering was laid is called an altar. He proposed to prepare a kid for the angel of Jehovah to eat; but the latter said: "Though thou detain me, I will not eat of thy bread; and if thou wilt make ready a burnt-offering, thou must offer it unto Jehovah." This gave to Manoah express permission to offer a burnt offering; and consequently, when the kid and meal were brought, he offered both upon the rock to Jehovah. He set fire to his offering, and when the flame went up, the angel went up in it. By this Manoah knew that his visitor was the angel of Jehovah, and his offering had the angel's approval.

On presenting the facts with reference to these three offerings in a lecture, I was once asked how God could thus make exceptions to his law, consistently with Paul's warning to the Galatians, "Though we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you any gospel other than that we preached, let him be anathema." I answered that making exceptions in laws which were made to be abolished is quite a different thing from perverting the everlasting gospel. This answer is sufficient.2

Let us now examine the second group of passages cited by Professor Driver in proof of his allegation. The first is Josh. xxiv. 1, 26. Here in verse 1 we learn that Joshua gathered the tribes together at Shechem, and called for the chief men, and, it is said, "they presented themselves before God." This last clause, taken in connection with the statement in verse 26 that Joshua took a great stone and set it up there, under the oak that was "by the sanctuary of Jehovah," is claimed as proof that there was a sanctuary at Shechem, at which the chief men presented themselves before God. It certainly proves this. But the thing to be proved is that an altar was erected there and sacrifices offered on it. Of this there is not a word in the text or the context.

A sanctuary is any holy place; and, as Abraham had once sojourned here; as Jacob had once bought a piece of land here, on which he resided until the slaughter of the Shechemites by his sons; as Joseph's mummy was buried here, and as here Joshua himself had erected a monumental altar, on which were inscribed the Ten Commandments -- it is not surprising that some particular spot here, overshadowed by a magnificent oak, was known as a sanctuary.

If Peter, even under the Christian dispensation, styled the Mount of Transfiguration "the holy mount," why may not a place at which so many solemn events had transpired have been called a sanctuary or holy place, though no sacrifice was offered there. It is clear, then, that Driver's first citation has no bearing whatever upon his proposition. Strange that so good a marksman made so wild a shot!

But three of the others are equally wild. One (I. Sam. xiv. 9-14) is the sacrifice offered by King Saul at Gilgal, which was condemned so severely by Samuel, that, in the name of Jehovah, he said, "Now, thy kingdom shall not continue."

Another (I. Sam. xiv. 35) is the erection by Saul of an altar on the spot where the pursuit of the Philistines ended at the close of the day of his rash vow. But here he offered no sacrifice, and the altar was evidently intended as a monument. It is called in the text the first altar that Saul built; and this shows that the altar on which he had made offerings at Gilgal was not built by him, but was one that pre-existed.

The third wild shot is the reference (II. Sam. xv. 12, 32) to the sacrifices offered by Absalom at Hebron, when inaugurating the rebellion against his father; and to the statement in connection with David's flight from Jerusalem, that he came to the top of the ascent of the Mount of Olives, "where God was worshiped."

In the last instance nothing is said about an altar or a sacrifice; everybody knows, who knows David, that he could worship God without either; and the first instance was a piece of hypocrisy on the part of Absalom, which he would have perpetrated, in defiance of such a law as that in Deuteronomy, with as little hesitation as he perpetrated his other crimes. His father's assent to it was an act of weak indulgence toward a wayward son who seemed now to manifest some gratitude toward God.

There remain, then, out of the nine passages cited by Driver in support of his proposition only the five which speak mainly of sacrifices being offered in various places by the prophet Samuel. This reminds me to say that it is quite a custom with the destructive critics -- and not less so with Driver than with others -- to string out a long list of passages in support of a proposition, many of which, as in this instance, are totally irrelevant. The reader who is not familiar with the Scriptures, and is either too indolent or too busy to hunt up the passages, takes it for granted that the great scholar knows what is in his proof texts, and that the proof is doubtless there. This, whether intended so or not, is a kind of confidence game, by which careless and too confiding readers are deceived.

What have we to say now about the fact, well known and never disputed, that during the public ministry of the prophet Samuel he offered sacrifices on altars erected at various places, and never offered any, so far as the history informs us, on the altar before the door of the tabernacle, where the law in Deuteronomy requires that they should be offered? Does it prove that he knew not the Book of Deuteronomy, and that, therefore, it had not yet been written?

I answer, first, that if Samuel was an inspired prophet, the fact that he was guided in all his official acts by the Spirit of God, even though some of these acts did infringe a ceremonial law, is his complete justification. They were instances, like those in connection with the theophanies mentioned above, in which God, not now by angels, but by his Holy Spirit, made exceptions to his own law.

To the rationalists, who are the real authors of this argumentation, this answer amounts to nothing, because they deny the reality of such inspiration. But to men who believe in the divine inspiration of the prophets, this answer is conclusive. It shows that Samuel may have had the Book of Deuteronomy in his hand every day of his life, and may yet have done as he did. This consideration also justifies Samuel, though not a priest in performing priestly functions, as it afterward justified him in assuming military command and civil jurisdiction. (See I. Sam. vii. 5-17.)

But it must be admitted that such and so many exceptions to a divine law would be extremely improbable under ordinary circumstances. It is proper, then, in order to a complete understanding of the prophet's course, to inquire whether there were extraordinary circumstances then existing which furnished an occasion for these exceptional proceedings.

Samuel's first sacrifice was offered at Mizpah about twenty years after the capture of the ark by the Philistines. (I. Sam. vii. 5-9; cf. chap. ii.) This was when he was about twenty-five years of age. If any sacrifices had been offered anywhere within those twenty years, the record is silent with respect to them.

At the beginning of this period, and for a considerable time previous to it, a state of things existed in Israel never known before, and never experienced afterward. The tabernacle, with the altar built by Moses in front of it, then stood at Shiloh. (I. Sam. i. 3.) Hophni and Phinehas were officiating as priests, their father, Eli, being high priest. The former appear to have been the only priests then officiating. Such was, and had been their sacrilegious conduct that "men abhorred the offering of Jehovah" (ii. 17;). If they abhorred it, they did not, of course, participate in it. This statement shows that at this time the men of Israel in general, but with exceptions to be mentioned presently, had ceased to bring offerings to the altar, and this best explains the fact that only two priests were officiating.

The crimes which had disgusted the people in general, and driven them away from the public worship of God, are specified. When a worshiper would slay his peace offering, and give the priests their legal portion of it, the latter would demand still more of the flesh while it was raw, and then, while the portion belonging to the offerer was boiling, they would send a servant with a three pronged flesh-hook in hand, and whatever flesh would be drawn up by this when thrust into the vessel, would be taken to the priests (ii, 12-17).3

How many men of spirit, after being treated in this manner once, would ever return for another offering? The reader can best give an answer by saying how often he would return to a church in the present day if he was treated in any similar manner by the officials of the church. And who would return to church if even one of his neighbors or particular friends was dealt with in such a manner?

But this, though the most insulting to the offerers, was not the grossest crime which these abominable priests committed. We are told in the text that "they lay with the women that did service at the door of the tent of meeting" (ii. 22). Right there, in the sacred precincts where Jehovah should be adored, they committed this abomination, not even seeking, as all but brute beasts usually do, a secret place for such indulgence.

What church in the whole of Christendom would be longer frequented should it be known that the priests or preachers, or church officers of any grade, who were the guardians of its sanctity, were making of it a house of shame?

There is evidence that even the few who did attend the services at Shiloh under these circumstances were mostly a class not much better than the priests; for when Eli saw the pious Hannah praying earnestly with moving lips, but no audible sound, the sight of a woman at prayer was so unusual that he thought she was intoxicated. The only wonder is that the godly Elkanah still came to Shiloh once a year with his family.

As to the three annual festivals which all the people were required by law to attend, it seems that they had fallen into total neglect.

The infamous conduct of these beastly men reached its climax, when, with unholy hands, they took the ark of the covenant into the battlefield, as if to force God to give Israel a victory in order to protect the symbol of his own earthly presence. Their own death in the battle, the death of their father and of the wife of one of them, the defeat of Israel, and the capture of the ark to be made a trophy in the temple of a heathen god were the terrific consequences.

The removal of the ark was Jehovah's abandonment of the tabernacle which had been so grossly profaned, and of the people who had come to worship him. The dying wife of Phinehas, as if with prophetic voice, exclaimed, "The glory has departed from Israel." God protected the ark with ceaseless care, but he never returned to the deserted tent of meeting.

Another consequence followed swiftly upon the preceding. The people having been driven from the worship of Jehovah by the sacrilege of the priests, and having now been abandoned in turn by Jehovah, rushed away, as their custom was, to the gods of the heathen (vii. 4).

When the ark, guided by the almost visible hand of God, returned to Beth-shemesh, after an absence of seven months, the people of that town, with a burst of enthusiasm, offered burnt offerings and sacrifices before it on the same day (vi. 15, 16); but if any priest during the judgeship of Samuel, made an offering before the tabernacle, the fact is not recorded. That sacred structure had now become an empty shell; for all that had given it sanctity was gone.

This was the state of things in Israel when Samuel came to man's estate. How he had passed those twenty years of darkness we are not informed. But from the time that he predicted the coming fate of Eli's house, "all Israel, from Dan to Beersheba, knew that Samuel was established to be a prophet" (I. Sam. iii. 20); If he was five years of age at that time, he was twenty-five when he found that all the house of Israel, wearied with idolatry, began to "lament after Jehovah" (vii. 2). Perhaps this change had been brought about by his own influence.

He issued a proclamation to all Israel, saying, "If ye do return unto Jehovah with all your heart, then put away the strange gods and the Ashtaroth from you, and prepare your hearts unto Jehovah, and serve him only: and he will deliver you out of the hands of the Philistines." They did this, and he called them together at Mizpah, where he offered for them his first burnt offering (vii. 3-9). He then assumed the office of judge, and from that day till Saul was fully established on the throne he continued to exercise it.

If Samuel had been so directed by the Spirit of God that was in him, he could have brought the ark from Kiriath-jearim, replaced it in the tabernacle, hunted up some of the apostate priests, and set the old form of worship on foot once more. The fact that he did not do this, but that, on the contrary, he set up an altar at Ramah, where he now resided, and occasionally built others as circumstances required, shows clearly that such was the will of God at the time.

It might have been his will if Deuteronomy had not yet been written, and if the law in Deuteronomy restricting sacrifice to a single altar had been written, it might still have been his will as an exception to that law. In the latter case, indeed, it was the end of that law so far as the altar at the door of the tabernacle was concerned; for regular service at that was not afterward renewed till near the close of David's reign, and then for only a few months. Such a termination may have been thought wise, partly on account of the corruptions of the past, and partly on account of God's intended transfer of sacrificial rites to the temple yet to be built.

Before advancing to the next division of the subject, it is well to notice another remark made by Driver with reference to the altars erected by Samuel. He says: "The narrator betrays no consciousness of anything irregular or abnormal having occurred."

In this answer the learned author ignores all the recorded facts above recited. Was not the narrator conscious of something irregular and abnormal when he narrated with so many details the wickedness of Eli's sons; the consequent abhorrence for the service among the people; the solemn rebukes administered to Eli for not restraining his sons; the capture of the ark. and its lodgement far from the sanctuary in which it had been kept for four centuries?

True, he does not say, in so many words, that Samuel's disregard of the altar at Shiloh was caused by this state of things; but when he related these irregular and. abnormal circumstances he had a right to assume that his readers would see that they account for the irregular and abnormal proceedings of the prophet. In fact, his readers did recognize this connection of cause and effect, until modern criticism arose with its passion for controverting all accepted truths, and called it in question.

Let us now turn to the sacrifices which were offered between the time of Samuel and the dedication of Solomon's temple. First of all, let us trace the history of the tabernacle and its altar during this period. When Eli died it was still standing at Shiloh, where it had stood since the days of Joshua. But Shiloh, as we learn from Jeremiah, was utterly destroyed; just when or by whom we are not informed (Jer. vii. 12-14; xxvi. 6-9).

The tabernacle, however, was either saved from the wreck or removed before it occurred; for in the latter part of the reign of Saul we find it at Nob, where David obtained the shewbread and the sword of Goliath from Ahimelech, the priest (I. Sam. xxi. 1-9). Nob was in the territory of Benjamin, and close in the vicinity of Gibeon, where Saul resided. Ahimelech was a son of Ahitub, who was a son of Phinehas and a grandson of Eli (xxii. 19 ; xiv. 3). This shows that descendants of Eli to the third generation continued to keep guardianship of the tabernacle, and that they followed it from Shiloh to Nob.

Doubtless Ahimelech was a better man than his grandfather, Phinehas; but the fact that he so readily consented to give the holy bread, which none but priests could lawfully eat to David and his servants, shows that the laws regulating the tabernacle service were still grossly violated. Shortly after this all the priests at Nob were slaughtered by Doeg, with the exception of Abiathar, son of Ahimelech, who fled to David in the cave of Adullam, and the town of Nob was depopulated (I. Sam. xxii. 18-23).

The tabernacle now disappears from the history till the latter part of David's reign, when we find it in Gibeon. This place was some seven or eight miles northwest of Jerusalem, and about the same distance due west of Nob. The ark in the meantime had remained at Kiriath-jearim. This place was nearer to Gibeon than the latter was to Jerusalem; but though the two sacred symbols were now within five or six miles of each other, they were not brought together. David, after reigning seven years at Hebron, took possession of Jerusalem, strengthened its fortifications and moved the ark into it, placing it in a tent specially constructed for its reception.

It would have cost him as little labor to have moved it into its old resting place in the tabernacle. He not only avoids this, and puts it into a new tent but he leaves the old structure outside the city on the hill of Gibeon. He does not, however, totally neglect the old structure and its altar; for he appoints Zadok and other priests to minister before it and to offer burnt offerings on its altar "according to all that is written in the law of Jehovah which he commanded Israel." At the same time he appointed sixty-eight priests, with Obed-Edom at their head, to minister before the ark in Jerusalem, "as every day's work required" (I. Chron. xvi. 37-42).

Here now were two altars in use almost in sight of each other, and each was served by a regularly appointed priesthood. A more open disregard of the Deuteronomic law restricting sacrifice to a single altar could not exist. If that law was in existence at the time, then David, instead of restoring the ark to the tabernacle, and requiring all sacrifices to be offered there, as the law required, deliberately and intentionally set the law aside.

But as David was constantly attended by prophets, such as Nathan and Gad, besides being himself inspired in the latter part of his reign, he must have been guided in all this by inspiration. Indeed, the very fact that the ark had always stood in the tabernacle until it was captured by the Philistines, would have been a controlling reason for replacing it there, had this reason not been overruled by some superior consideration. What could this superior consideration have been, unless it was that God, having formed the purpose of a settled place of worship in Jerusalem, chose to gradually bring the tabernacle into neglect, so that the transition from it to the temple should not be so abrupt as to shock the devotional feelings of the godly among the people? David had already conceived the idea of building a temple, and the actual construction of it only awaited in God's purpose the peaceful reign of Solomon.

If Deuteronomy, with its restrictive law, was already in existence, its relaxation was justified by the circumstances, and therefore it can furnish no ground for denying the existence of that book. The argument, then, by which the non-existence of the Book of Deuteronomy is inferred from the sacrifices offered on various altars during the judgeship of Samuel and the reign of David, is a sophism which has plausibility only in the absence of a careful consideration of the facts in the case. It is an example of historical criticism which misinterprets history.

After Solomon's temple was consecrated, it must be admitted, by all who give credit to the Book of Kings, that offerings on any other altar than the one before the temple were held to be illegal. In the account of the reign of every good king down to that of Hezekiah, it is mentioned as a defect of his government that the "high places" were not taken away.

This is said of Asa, of Jehoshaphat, of Jehoash, of Amaziah, of Azariah, of Jotham; but when the author comes to Hezekiah, the best of the kings down to his day, he says: "He did that, which was right in the eyes of Jehovah, according to all that. his father David had done. He removed the high places, and broke the pillars, and cut down the Asherah."

The writer has two refrains running through his historical song -- one through the story of the good kings who reigned in Jerusalem, the other running through the story of the successors of Jeroboam. In the former he sings, "Howbeit the high places were not taken away: the people still sacrificed and burnt incense in the high places." In the other, "He departed not from the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, wherewith he made Israel to sin."

The sins of Jeroboam, thus referred to, were those of setting up an altar and image for calf-worship, and of forbidding his subjects to go to Jerusalem to worship God. They were sins against the single sanctuary to which worship was restricted by the law in Deuteronomy.

The sin of omission on the part of the comparatively good kings of Judah was that of not removing the altars and images which the disobedient people were constantly setting up "on every high hill and under every green tree."

When, in addition, the historian comes to the reign of a king of whom he could say, "He removed the high places, and broke down the pillars, and cut down the Asherah," what stronger assurance could he give that worship at these places was unlawful, and that it had been tolerated only by a dereliction on the part of the kings?

It was a case much like that of the liquor saloons in our own country, which are in many places prohibited by law, but are kept up in spite of law, through the unfaithfulness of executive officers. The force of this evidence is so great that our destructive critics are able to evade it only by the device to which they always resort when all others fail them -- that of denying the statements of the historian. They tell us that these expressions of opposition to the high places were interpolated by a Deuteronomic writer who wrote back into the past the sentiments of his own day, his day being after the Book of Deuteronomy had been discovered by Hilkiah. They were intended to deceive the people into the belief that Deuteronomy was, as it claims to be, a book of Moses. Thus must the history go down to make room for the theory. And this is "scientific" criticism!

Let it also he distinctly noted that from the consecration of Solomon's temple onward, no good king or priest or prophet ever offered sacrifice at any other altar than the one in front of the temple; and that while the majority of the good kings are censured for permitting some of the people to sacrifice in the high places, the best two of them, Hezekiah and Josiah, broke down that practice to the best of their ability. So far as Judah is concerned, then, the law in Deuteronomy was recognized, and this is sufficient proof in the absence of conflicting evidence that Deuteronomy was known and its authority recognized in that kingdom.

Let us now turn to the northern kingdom. We learn incidentally, from Elijah's answer to the Lord at Mt. Horeb, that altars had been erected by the worshipers of Jehovah in Israel. He says: "The children of Israel have forsaken thy covenant, thrown down thine altars, and slain thy prophets with the sword." This was spoken during the prevalence of Baal worship under the reign of Ahab. How many of these altars had been in use we have no means of knowing; but the one on which Elijah called down fire from heaven on Mt Carmel was one of them; for it is said, "He repaired the altar of Jehovah that was thrown down."

It was made of twelve stones, according to the twelve tribes of Israel, showing that worshipers of Jehovah among the ten tribes still recognized the unity of Israel, notwithstanding the division which had taken place. This may have been the reason why their altars were east down.

We are to answer the question, Does the fact of these altars, whether many or few, at which sacrifices were offered by the pious people in Israel, prove that these godly people were not acquainted with the restrictive law in Deuteronomy?

To reach an answer, we must remember that Jeroboam, the first king of the ten tribes, prohibited his subjects from going to Jerusalem to worship and that every succeeding king "departed not from the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, who made Israel to sin." What, then, could the godly in Israel do when they wished to make atonement for their sins? They must either erect altars in their own country, and make the prescribed offerings there, or live and die without the atonement which was necessary to their peace with God.

Fortunately for them, their forefathers, previous to the bringing in of the Mosaic ritual, had erected altars wherever they had pitched their tents, and God had accepted their sacrifices. To this practice, in their extremity, they returned.

Moreover, when Jeroboam issued his famous and infamous decree, all the priests and Levites in his kingdom abandoned their homes and retired into the kingdom of Judah, where the true priesthood officiated at the one legal altar; and Jeroboam appointed a new order of priests for his calf-worship (II. Chron. xi. 13-16). This compelled the people in Israel who clung to Jehovah, to resort to prophets to act as priests, or to present, after patriarchal custom, their own offerings.

It is not necessary to decide whether, in all this, the pious in Israel did right. Whether they did right or wrong, these considerations amply explain their non-observance of the Deuteronomic law of a single altar; and they show that the argument against the existence of that law, drawn from this non observance, is a very thin sophism.4

2For other grounds of justification in this case, see J. J. Lias, Lex M., 263f., 266; Principal Douglas, Lex M., 266; Bissell, O. and S.of Pent., 356ff.
3"It Is difficult to understand, if the provisions of the Mosaic law were not yet in existence, (1) what was the precise sin of Hophni and Phinehas-supposing them to have existed and to have committed any sin-which called for so severe a punishment; and (2) if they were fabulous characters, what could have induced a historian who desired to recommend the regulations which had lately been introduced, to represent the priests themselves as having so grossly violated those regulations" (J J. Lias, Lex M., 262, note).
4This view of the subject is admirably presented by Dr. J. Sharpe, Lex M, 345f.


It is claimed by the destructive critics that in the Book of Deuteronomy no official distinction is made between priests and Levites -- that all Levites were qualified for priestly functions. This they hold as proof that Deuteronomy was written at a much later date than the Mosaic book of the covenant (Ex. xx.-xxiii.), which makes no provision for any priesthood at all.

It is held as proof that Deuteronomy is of earlier date than the legislation in Leviticus and Numbers, in which there is a distinction between the functions of the priests and the other members of the tribe of Levi -- the natural line of development being from no priesthood at all to one consisting of a whole tribe, and then to a select family of that tribe, elevated to aristocratic dignity.

We shall examine these several allegations in the order in which they are named, and first that respecting these of the -- two terms in Deuteronomy.

Driver presents the common doctrine of his class in these words:

In the laws of P in Leviticus and Numbers a sharp distinction is drawn between the priests and the common Levites; in Deuteronomy it is implied (xviii. 1) that all members of the tribe of Levi are qualified to exercise priestly functions (Int., 82; Com. on Deut., 122).

In his later work, the Commentary, he modifies this statement by appending these remarks:

Thus, though there is a difference in Deuteronomy between "priest" and "Levite," it is not the difference recognized in P; in P the priests constitute a fixed minority of the whole tribe, viz.: the descendants of Aaron; in Deuteronomy they are a fluctuating minority. viz.: those members of the tribe officiating for the time at the central sanctuary. Accordingly, in Deuteronomy the distinctive title of the priests is not "sons of Aaron," but "sons of Levi" or "Levitical priests." Naturally the eldest of the families descended directly from Aaron, which had the custody of the ark, enjoyed the preeminence, and this is recognized in x. 6; allied families also, which had secured a position at the central sanctuary, would doubtless rank above their less fortunate brethren; but no exclusive right is recognized in Deuteronomy as belonging to the descendants of Aaron in contradistinction to other members of the tribe (219).

It seems from this that Deuteronomy does make a distinction between priests and Levites. It is admitted that the expression "priests and Levites" means "the Levitical priests." In his comment on xviii. 1, Driver makes this still more explicit by defining the expression as "the priests of the tribe of Levi, the Levitical priests, the standing designation of the priests in Deuteronomy (213). And yet he makes a feeble effort to show that the expression includes the whole tribe of Levi.

The whole verse under consideration reads: "The priests the Levites, even all the tribe of Levi, shall have no portion nor inheritance with Israel: they shall eat the offerings of Jehovah made by fire, and his inheritance." Driver says of the clause, "even all the tribe of Levi," that it is "an explanatory apposition to 'the priests the Levites.' Such explanatory appositions are frequent in Deuteronomy,. and denote regularly the entire group of which one or more representative items have been specified in the preceding words" (213).

Let this be true, and it only shows that the entire group included in all the tribe of Levi, of which one "representative item" has been mentioned in the previous words, were to have no portion nor inheritance with Israel. But this, instead of showing that the Levitical priests included the whole tribe of Levi, only shows that they constituted "one representative item" of that "entire group."

There is a fact, strangely overlooked by Driver and his fellow critics, which thoroughly disproves the assumption that the expression "the priests the Levites" means all the tribe of Levi; and this is the fact that the author of Chronicles, who, as they freely admit, was acquainted with the law which makes "a sharp distinction" between priests and Levites, employs the same expression three times for the priests alone (II. Chron. v.5; xxiii. 18; xxx. 27).

Not only so, but the same expression is found in Josh. iii. 3, which is ascribed by these critics to E, who wrote according to hypothesis before the date of Deuteronomy, and yet it designates the priests only; for they bore the ark across the Jordan, and this could not have been done by the whole tribe of Levi. The expression in that place is translated in the Polychrome Bible, "the Levitical priests." Such, then, is the fate of a criticism which is held by all classes of destructive critics as proof of a contradiction between Deuteronomy and the other books of the Pentateuch.

In the rest of the extract from Driver's Commentary given above, there are two points of argument that demand attention, and both may be answered together. First, that though a difference between priests and Levites is recognized in Deuteronomy, it is not the same difference which is clearly defined in P; that is, in Leviticus. Second, that while the descendants of Aaron had the custody of the ark, and on this account enjoyed a pre-eminence, no exclusive right is recognized as belonging to them.

This is all answered by the fact that in Deuteronomy the distinction between priests and Levites is nowhere formally stated, but in the three middle books it is. If, then, we grant what the books themselves claim, that these middle books which make the distinction were written before Moses delivered the addresses in Deuteronomy, it is seen at once that there was no occasion in Deuteronomy for pointing out this distinction, it being perfectly well known to all the people.

It is only by first assuming that Deuteronomy preceded the other books that these critics can find a place for this argument; it can not therefore be used as proof of that precedence. When a fact can be equally accounted for by either of two suppositions, it can not be logically used as a proof of either.

We shall have more to say respecting the alleged differences between Deuteronomy and the middle books on this subject of the Levites when we come to speak of ether alleged contradictions between them.

In this connection it may be well to notice the use that has been made of Micah's Levite priest as a proof of the priestly character of the Levites in the time of the judges. Andrew Harper states the case very briefly in these words:

As we see from the story of Micah in Judges, it was considered desirable to have a Levite for priest everywhere, and consequently there would arise at all the high places Levitic priesthoods, most probably in part hereditary (Com., p.325).

When the reason why Micah was glad to obtain a Levite as his priest is considered, the inference sought to be derived from the fact disappears. This reason is uniformly ignored by the critics who argue as Harper does. It is this: Micah had set up a silver idol in his house, made of some silver which he had stolen from his mother; and, because he could do no better, he made one of his sons the priest to serve before it. The son was probably a chip from the old block. One day a good-for-nothing Levite, who was wandering about like a modern tramp, "to sojourn where he could find a place," dropped in, and Micah, on learning who he was, offered him five dollars a year and one suit of clothes, if he would stay with him and be his priest. The trifling fellow accepted the offer, and Micah was fool enough to say, "Now I know the Lord will do me good, seeing that I have a Levite for my priest." He was lifted up by the exchange, very much as a modern saloon-keeper would be if he could get a deacon for his bartender.

But what proof does this afford that all Levites in those days exercised priestly functions? It was not long before this tramp Levite, for the sake of better wages, combined with some rascally Danites to steal Micah's image and carry it off to a city which the Danites were about to steal, and to set up a house of worship there. Served Micah about right (Judg. xvii., xviii.).

Driver agrees with Harper in thinking that many of the priests of the high places were Levites; and the reckless conduct of Micah's Levite makes this highly probable. In times of demoralization the people always neglect their duty toward the ministers of religion, and the latter are apt to become demoralized with them, and, for the sake of money or notoriety, to be ready for anything that turns up.

But Driver makes a singular use of this fact in the following passage in his Commentary:

The aim of Deuteronomy is to limit the exclusiveness of the Jerusalem priests: it provides that a country Levite, coming to officiate at the central sanctuary, is to share in the dues received there equally with the priests resident on the spot. How far this provision was acted on by the Jerusalem priests, we do not know; II. Kings xxiii. 9 shows that, at least after the abolition of the high places by Josiah, the disestablished priests (who are yet styled "the brethren of those at Jerusalem"), though they were allowed the maintenance due to them as priests by the law of Deut xviii. 8, were not admitted to the exercise of priestly functions at the temple (220).

This is true, but where did Josiah get the idea of thus dealing with these priests, and what authority could he claim for refusing them, when they returned to their proper places, the privileges of their office? This question the critics do not pretend to answer, although an answer is close at hand if they were willing to use it, and it can scarcely have escaped the notice of them all.

This exclusion is explicitly provided for in the Book of Leviticus in the cases of members of the priestly family who were marred by physical blemishes. They were to eat of the holy meats, but were not to officiate at the altar (Lev. xxi. 16-24). Here was an analogous case to guide the judgment of the king, and the fact that he followed it to the letter indicates the strong probability that he had it before him, and that therefore the critical theory which makes Deuteronomy precede the other law-books is erroneous.

We have already mentioned, in the beginning of this section, the claim that the first legislation made no provision for a priesthood. We now wish to speak of it more particularly. Robertson Smith sets forth the claim in the terms that follow:

The first legislation had no law of priesthood, no provision as to priestly dues. The permission of many altars, which it presupposes, is given in Ex. xx. 24-26, in a form that assumes the right of laymen to offer sacrifice, as we actually find them doing in so many parts of the history. Yet a closer observation shows that the old law presupposes a priesthood, whose business lies less with sacrifice than with the divine Torah which they administer in the sanctuary as the successors of Moses (O. T., 359).

The "first legislation" here mentioned is that of Ex. xx. 23. But when this legislation was given, a priesthood was already in existence; for when God commanded Moses to come up into the mount where he gave that legislation, he said to Moses: "Let the priests also, who come near to Jehovah, sanctify themselves, lest Jehovah break forth upon them." And again: "Let not the priests and the people break through to come unto Jehovah, lest he break forth upon them" (Ex. xix. 22, 24).

These were undoubtedly men who had been recognized as priests before this first legislation was given; that is, the priests of the patriarchal dispensation.

On the same historical authority we affirm that during the forty days' sojourn in the mount by Moses, which followed immediately upon this legislation, God selected the family of Aaron to be his priests, thus establishing a new order of priesthood; for we read (xxviii. 1) that God said to Moses: "Bring thou near unto thee Aaron thy brother, and his sons with him, from among the children of Israel, that he may minister unto me in the priest's office, even Aaron, Sadab and Ahihu, Eleazar and Ithamar, Aaron's sons."

Then follows, in the same chapter, a description of the priestly garments which they were to wear, and in the next chapter the law of their consecration; and in the fortieth chapter, the tabernacle and its furniture having been then completed, we have a description of their consecration. So, all this history has to be cast aside as absolutely false before it can be fairly asserted that the first legislation provided for no priesthood, that every man was left to offer his own sacrifice, or that all the descendants of Levi were qualified for priestly functions. And this criticism, which destroys the history that we have, and substitutes something purely imaginary in its place, is styled historical and scientific!5


5For the arguments on this topic expressed by other authors, see Robertson Smith, Prophets, 38, 101; Addis, D. of H., xlv., lxxxiv. to lxxxvii.; A. Harper, Com., 21-25, 310-313; Bartlett, Veracity of Hex., chap. xix.; F. B. Spencer, Lex M., 550; Bissell, O. and S. of Pent., 112-122.


It is constantly alleged by the advocates of the late date of Deuteronomy that there are contradictions between it and the three middle books of the Pentateuch which are inconsistent with the supposition that all came from the same writer, and which demand both a later author than Moses for Deuteronomy, and a still later date for the other books. A portion of the evidence from this source has been considered already in Section 3, and now we take up the rest.

1. Contradictions as to the Financial Condition of the Levites.

This contradiction is compactly stated by Driver in these words:

Deut. xviii. 6 is inconsistent with the institution of Levitical cities prescribed in Num. xxxv. It implies that the Levite has no settled residence, but is a "sojourner" in one or other of the cities ("gates") of Israel. The terms of the verse are indeed entirely compatible with the institution of Levitical cities, supposing it to have been imperfectly put in force; but they fall strangely from one who, ex hypothese, had only six months previously assigned to the Levites permanent dwelling-places. The same representation recurs in other parts of Deuteronomy: the Levites are frequently alluded to as scattered about the land, and are earnestly commended to the Israelites' charity-Chaps. xii. 12; xviii. 19; xiv. 27, 29; xvi. 11, 14; xxvi. 11-13 (mt., 83).

Andrew Harper's presentation of the case is quite similar:

The same conclusions present themselves if we look more closely into the curious fact that Deuteronomy always speaks of the Levites as poor. . . . But this poverty is not consistent with their whole position as sketched in the Levitical legislation. There we have the Levites launched as a regularly organized priestly corporation, endowed with ample revenues, and ruled and represented by a high priest of the family of Aaron, clothed with powers almost royal, surrounded by a priestly nobility of his own family, and by a bodyguard of his tribesmen entirely at his disposal. Such a body never has remained chronically and notoriously poor (Corn. on Deut., 25, 26).

In these last remarks, Harper must have had in mind the established clergy of England, whose revenues are collected, like those of the civil government, by compulsion; and yet, even the English clergy of the lower orders remain "chronically and notoriously poor." Only the bishops and higher orders of clergy are "chronically and notoriously" rich.

But the financial condition of the levites, as provided for in the "levitical legislation," is very imperfectly understood by both of these scholars. True, according to the law respecting levitical cities, every family of the tribe was to be provided with a home in such a city, but it is notorious that a house to live in brings a man no income for the support of his family.

True, a strip of pasture land a thousand yards in width was to be left around every city; but this would barely support the goats which were needed for milk, and could bring no income.

True, also, that a tithe of the increase from the fields and the flocks and herds of the other tribes, was to be given to the levites; and this would have been an ample provision for their support if as in England, an armed and ample police force had been provided for its prompt collection and delivery; but there was no provision for the forcible collection of the tithe, and therefore this was left to the good will of the people at large.

The support of the Levites was analogous, not to that of the clergy of an established church in modern times, but to that of the dissenting clergy in Great Britain and the Protestant ministry in America. It is a well-known fact that this ministry is, with rare exceptions, "chronically and notoriously poor". The income for its support is meager, and it varies with what the people call "good times" and "hard times."

When "hard times" set in, one of the first moves in economy is a reduction in the income of preachers. As a result, thousands of them are often compelled to resort to secular labor for the means of livelihood. The same is true when waves of immorality sweep over the land, or seasons of lethargy benumb the souls of religious people.

On account of these considerations, the legislation for the support of the levites, instead of securing them against want, was a deliberate consignment of the whole tribe to such a dependence on the liberality of the other tribes as to insure to them frequent periods of great destitution.

Professor Driver, as quoted above, shows that he recognizes this fact, when he says that the terms in which the Levite is spoken of in Deuteronomy are "entirely compatible with the institution of Levitical cities, supposing it to have been imperfectly put in force." But what provision of the kind, in the history of any nation, ever was perfectly put in force when none but moral force was to be applied?

If all these provisions were made by Moses in the wilderness, as they claim to have been, every thoughtful Levite must have seen in advance, if he judged the future faithfulness of the other tribes by what he had known of it in the past, that his tribe was doomed to such uncertainty of support as would insure frequent periods of destitution. And Moses, above all others, must have foreseen this contingency.

Yet Professor Driver says that his remarks about the future poverty of the levites, and especially what he says of the Levite being at times a sojourner in some city of the other tribes, "falls strangely from one who, ex hypothese, had only six months previously assigned to the levites permanent dwelling-places." It would have sounded much more strange if a man of the experience and foresight possessed by Moses, had spoken confidently of the future prosperity of the Levites under the working of such a system as he provided.

This view of the subject is confirmed by the facts of history. For if we concede that Moses gave the levitical legislation, and that the historical books of the Old Testament give real history, we find the experiences of the Levites to have actually been what sound judgment should have anticipated in advance.

The Levite who officiated as a priest before Micah's silver image lived in a time of lawlessness., when "there was no king in Israel;" and this fully accounts for his wandering and poverty. When Nehemiah made his second visit to Jerusalem he says: "I perceived that the portion of the Levites had not been given them, so that the Levites and the singers that did the work were fled every one to his field." This neglect followed close upon a solemn covenant of the people made after hearing read the law of Moses, in which the faithful payment of the tithes was one of the neglected duties to which they pledged themselves ~ xiii. 10; x. 37-39, 28, 29).

If such neglect of the Levites, compelling them to resort to the fields for a livelihood, occurred during the ministry of Nehemiah, how much more certainly must it have occurred during the idolatrous reigns of such kings as Ahaz, Manasseh and Amon, to say nothing of Ahaziah and Athaliab.

Finally, it is only by denying the truth of history for the sake of a theory, that the testimony of Chronicles with reference to the Levitical cities in the days of Jeroboam can be set aside. It is declared by the author of this book that when Jeroboam set up his idolatrous worship at Bethel, and forbade his subjects to go to Jerusalem to worship God, the Levites in all Israel resorted to Rehoboam. "They left their suburbs and their possessions, and came to Judah and Jerusalem" (II. Chron. xi. 13, 14).

We thus see that when, in Deuteronomy, the Levites were spoken of as if they would be a poor tribe, needing the religious benevolence of their brethren, this is not contradictory to the appointment of certain cities for them to dwell in, but was an unavoidable consequence of the very means of support which is provided in the levitical legislation. Its bearing as evidence is against the "critics."

It is notoriously easy, in the ardor of debate, to overstate the facts in a case. This has been done by both of the writers quoted above in reference to the poverty of the Levites. We are told by Professor Driver that in Deuteronomy "the levites are frequently spoken of as scattered about the land, and are earnestly commended to the Israelites' charity;" and by Mr. Sharpe, that "Deuteronomy always speaks of the levite as poor." We have thus far argued as if these statements were correct; we now propose to state the case as it is.

The name "Levite," in the singular or the plural number, occurs nineteen times in Deuteronomy. Twice they are mentioned as guardians of the book of the law (xvii. 18); once in connection with the curses to be pronounced at Mount Ebal (xxvii. 14) ; once as speaking with Moses certain commands of God (xxvii. 9); once in their capacity as teachers (xxiv. 8); once as constituting a part of the court of final appeals (xvii. 9); four times in connection with the common rejoicings before Jehovah on festal occasions (xii. 18; xvi. 11, 14; xxvi. 11); twice when the people are directed to give the tithes to them (xxvi. 12, 13); three times with reference to their being without landed inheritance (xii. 12; xiv. 29; xviii. 1); twice in exhortations to the people not to forsake them (xii. 19; xiv. 27); and twice in the directions concerning a homeless levite who may come to the central sanctuary to serve among his brethren. Strictly speaking, in only five of these passages is the poverty of the levites spoken of at all, and in only two are the people of the other tribes exhorted not to forsake them. This falls very far short of what one would suspect from the strong language of Driver and Harper.

And if, as we have argued before, the whole of the legislation contained in Leviticus and Numbers had been already enacted, this was no worse than a fair amount of good sense on the part of Moses, without the aid of inspiration, would have enabled him to anticipate.

Much has been said in this connection about the supposed case of a Levite mentioned in Deut. xviii. 6-8. The text says And if a Levite come from any of thy gates out of all Israel, where he sojourneth, and come with all the desire of his soul unto the place which Jehovah shall choose; then he shall minister in the name of Jehovah his God, as all his brethren the Levites do, which stand there before Jehovah. They shall have like portion to eat, besides that which cometh of the sale of his patrimony.

It has been held that the condition of this Levite was that of all the tribe But he is clearly distinguished from the rest by the fact implied in the last clause, that he had sold his patrimony. His condition is explained and accounted for by the law in reference to Levitical cities, and it can be explained in no other way. According to the statute governing the sale and redemption of real estate, if the house of a Levite was sold, he could redeem it at any time; and if it was redeemed by another Levite, it went out of the latter's possession and into that of the original owner in the jubile (liv. xxv. 32, 33). The Levite's patrimony was his dwelling-house in the levitical city, which he had received by inheritance from his forefathers back to the beginning. This he might sell; and if he should not be able to redeem it, he was deprived of it till the next jubile. In the interval, if the proceeds of the sale were not sufficient to supply his wants, this law in Deuteronomy gave him the privilege of coming to the central sanctuary and partaking with the levites doing service there of the food provided for them. This, together with what he had left from the sale of his patrimony, would keep him from suffering.

This provision, then, instead of being contradictory to the provisions supports them. One would think from this last remark, that Mr. Addis supposes all of the cities and villages of Palestine to be situated in the bottoms or on the edges of deep ravines. He certainly has never visited Palestine, or read attentively what has been written of it; for even now it has not forty-eight, but nearer 408 towns, with twice two thousand cubits around them, well suited for pasturage. Is he ignorant of the fact that much more than half the surface is as smooth and level as a Western prairie?

Again, if the Levitical cities "never were, and never could have been, more than a theocratic dream," how could the writers of Joshua and Numbers have been believed when they wrote about them? And as to Ezekiel, if his silence about them shows that he knew nothing of them, why does not his silence about the offering of tithes and the firstborn of beasts, which are mentioned in Deuteronomy, prove that he knew nothing about them? It is acknowledged that Deuteronomy was Ezekiel's law-book; and if he is silent about laws contained in it, why may he not have been equally silent in regard to other laws, and especially about Levitical cities which had confessedly ceased to be such when Ezekiel wrote?

All these assertions are boldly uttered by Mr Addis, but in uttering them he is whistling against the wind. The facts in the case suggest still another consideration, which we will mention before we dismiss this argument. If it is incredible, or inconsistent with Deuteronomy, that Levitical cities existed before the exile, what about the possibility of their existence, as described in Numbers and Joshua, after the exile?

After the exile, and previous to the close of the Old Testament history, the Jews occupied scarcely more than the territory once belonging to Judah, and this very sparsely. How, at that period, could the supposed writer of the Book of Numbers palm off upon the people a law which required forty-eight Levitical cities, and how could the writer of Joshua name these cities and give their locations in the various tribes, when everybody knew that both the law and the pretended compliance with it had no existence? And again, what motive could have actuated the two falsehoods, and how could their author have acquired the ingenuity in lying necessary to their invention? He was a greater genius than the author of "Utopia," with less conscience than the author of "Sindbad the Sailor."

When men make such characters out of the writers of the Bible, and ask us to accept them, we decline. Before we finally dismiss this subject, we invite attention to another statement in Deuteronomy which can be accounted for only on the supposition that the levitical legislation preceded that in Deuteronomy. It is found in the following words, addressed by Moses to the Israelites with reference to the transactions at Mount Sinai: "At that time Jehovah separated the tribe of Levi, to bear the ark of the covenant of Jehovah, to stand before Jehovah to minister unto him, to bless in his name, unto this day. Wherefore Levi hath no portion nor inheritance with his brethren: Jehovah is his inheritance, according as Jehovah thy God spake to him" (x. 8, 9).

This last clause, "according as Jehovah thy God spake to him." cannot refer to anything said in Deuteronomy; for this is the first mention of the subject in this book. It must then, refer to something said previously. If Moses spoke the words, it must refer to what is written in Num. xviii. 21-24, where the statute referred to is recorded; and it proves that the transaction in Numbers preceded those in Deuteronomy. It proves particularly that the Levitical legislation, instead of being enacted one thousand years after Moses, as our critics allege, was enacted by Moses himself.

The only attempt that I have seen to evade the force of this argument is made by Andrew Harper, who, in explaining the words, "as he hath spoken to them," says: "The only place in Scripture in which such a promise is given is Num. xviii 20-24; so that these passages, if not referred to by the author of Deuteronomy, must be founded on a tradition already old in his time" (Corn., 314).

If we accept this as the alternative, it follows either that the Book of Numbers was written before Deuteronomy, which refutes the critical theory, or at least that this part of the Levitical legislation was already in existence.

But this is not the whole story. The supposed writer of Deuteronomy put these words in the mouth of Moses, and by doing so he testifies that the Levitical legislation preceded the date at which Moses spoke. He fails, then, to serve the purpose of those who invented him, and they may as well set him aside as a useless device.

2. Contradiction as to Tithes.

All the destructive critics unite in claiming that there is such a contradiction between Deuteronomy and Numbers in regard to tithes as to prove that the two books were written by different authors and far apart in point of time.

Professor Driver, after setting forth the law of tithes as he finds it in Deuteronomy, states the position of his class of critics in these words: 'The Deuteronomic law of tithes is, however, in serious, and indeed irreconcilable, conflict with the law of P on the same subject' (Corn. Dent., 169). By "the law of P" he means the law formally prescribed in Num. xviii. 21-32, and alluded to in Lev. xxvii. 30-33. Whether this proposition can be maintained or not is to be determined by a careful consideration of the provisions in the two laws.

We shall first follow Driver in his representation of the law in Deuteronomy. He begins his exposition by stating the general law in these terms:

Israel is to show its devotion to Jehovah by rendering him a tithe of all the produce of the soil, to be eaten by the offerer, with his household, at the central sanctuary, at a sacred feast, to which the Levite is to be invited as a guest: those resident at a distance may take with them the value of the tithe in money, and expend it at the sanctuary in such food as they desire, to be consumed similarly at a sacred feast. Every third year, however, the tithe is not to be consumed at the central sanctuary, but to be stored up in the Israelite's native place, as a charitable fund for the relief of the landless and the destitute.

This representation is near enough to the truth to plausibly represent the text, and far enough from it to establish the appearance of a contradiction. The text certainly does say: "Thou shalt surely tithe all the increase of thy seed, that which cometh forth of the field year by year. And thou shalt eat before Jehovah thy God, in the place which he shall choose to cause his name to dwell there, the tithe of thy corn, of thy wine, and of thine oil, and the firstlings of thy herd and thy flock; that thou mayest learn to fear Jehovah thy God always" (Deut. xiv. 22, 23). But it does not say, as Professor Driver's statement implies, that they were to eat all of the tithe of these various articles. It is not guilty of this absurdity.

That it is an absurdity is evident the very moment we consider what the amount of the tithe would be. If the man's little farm yielded barely enough to feed his family, this interpretation of the law would require him to eat up at one feast what would keep his family for five weeks. Or, to put the case in another form, if his farm yielded annually 100 bushels of wheat, 100 gallons of wine and 100 gallons of oil, and if his firstlings should be only one lamb, one kid and one calf, he would be required at this "sacred feast" to eat up ten bushels of wheat, ten gallons of wine, ten gallons of oil, a lamb, a kid and a calf. Big feasting for a poor man!

And then, if he were a rich man, with a larger body of land, he might have to eat at one feast 100 bushels of wheat, 100 gallons of wine, 100 gallons of oil, ten lambs, ten kids and ten calves.

Now, the only way to relieve the law of this absurdity is to suppose that it provided only for a single meal out of the tithe before it was left for the Lord, that is, for the support of the Lord's ministry - the priests and Levites. If this law in Deuteronomy was the beginning of legislation on the subject, we admit that there would be no room for this interpretation of it, seeing that it makes no provision for the priests and Levites beyond the single feast. But if, as the Book of Numbers represents, the law that a tithe of all products of the soil cultivated by eleven tribes was to be given annually for the support of the tribe of Levi, this Deuteronomic law would have been readily understood when given, and would be as readily understood now, as simply providing that, when the farmer came up annually with his tithe and his firstlings, he should unite with the beneficiaries of it in a feast of part of it ere he left the remainder to its appointed purpose.

It was a very wise provision; because it had the tendency to make the giver part from his gift more cheerfully.

There is still another reason, and a very imperative one, for thus understanding the law. If the whole tithe were to be eaten at one feast, the Levite would certainly be well stuffed at the time, but what provision would this be for the rest of the year? He would have nothing to eat except when he could find some farmer coming up with his tithe, and there would be intervals of feasting and longer ones of fasting throughout the year - a mode of living not conducive to good health or long life.

Our professor and his company are equally wide of the mark in reference to the tithe of the third year. The law says: "At the end of every three years thou shalt bring forth all the tithe of thine increase in the same year, and shalt lay it up within thy gates: and the Levite, because he hath no portion nor inheritance with thee, and the stranger, and the fatherless, and the widow, which are within thy gates, shall come, and shall eat and be satisfied; that Jehovah thy God may bless thee in all the work of thy hands which thou doest" (28, 29).

In this instance, as in the other, it would be impossible to eat all the tithe at one feast; and if it were thus eaten, the Levite, the stranger, the fatherless and the widow would alternate between enormous feasts and excruciating fasts. The meaning evidently is that out of the supply laid up and kept on hand the Levites were to be provided for, and the poor were to be kept from suffering. But here, again, the law in Numbers is presupposed. It had already provided for the support of the Levites out of the tithe, and this law simply adds the provision that the poor of the cities in which the tithe was stored should also be fed from it.

We are now to see in what way Professor Driver makes out his case of an irreconcilable conflict between this law of Deuteronomy and the law in Leviticus and Numbers. He says: In Num. xviii. 21-28 the tithe is appropriated entirely to the maintenance of the priestly tribe, being paid in the first instance to the Levites, who in their turn pay a tenth of what they receive to the priests; in Deuteronomy it is spent partly at sacred feasts (partaken in by the offerer and his household), partly in the relief of the poor, in both cases the Levite (by which in Deuteronomy are meant the members of the tribe generally, including priests) sharing only in company with others, as the recipient of the Israelite's benevolence (p. 169).

This is all substantially true, but where is the irreconcilable conflict? If God through Moses gave the first law, why should he be charged with contradicting himself by afterward providing that the contributor of the tithe might enjoy one feast on it in company with the levites, and that while it was kept in store for the Levites, any suffering poor in the store city should be relieved from it? If this later provision had been made after the first had gone into operation, the Levites would have been deprived of a small part of that which had previously been their own; but if we accept the Scriptures for it, both laws were given before either went into effect.

It is like the provisions of a man's will in which by an early clause he bequeaths certain property to one of his children, and in a later clause directs that this child shall give an annual feast to his brothers and sisters, and keep from suffering any of them who might become very poor. Who, in this case, would proclaim that the two clauses of the will are in irreconcilable conflict, and that therefore both could not have been written by the same testator? Certainly no sane man, unless he was so determined to make a point against the will as to lose for the moment his sanity.

The second point of irreconcilability is stated by Driver in these words: 'Further, in Deuteronomy the tithe is exacted only on the vegetable produce; in Num. xviii., though it is not exactly so stated, the impression produced by the terms employed (note the similes in verses 27-30) is that here also only a vegetable tithe is intended. If, however, Lev. xvii. 32 f. be rightly regarded as an original part of the legislation of P, so that it may be legitimately used in the interpretation of Num. xviii., the tithe levied on the annual increase of cattle will be included as well. But, in either case, a large proportion of what in Numbers is devoted exclusively to the support of the priestly tribe, remains in Deuteronomy the property of the lay Israelite' (169, 170).

How could the learned author designate as "a large proportion" that which was only a single meal eaten out of the tenth of all of the farmer's increase for a year? And how could he say that a large proportion '~remains the property of the lay Israelite," 'when none of it remained with him except what he carried away in his stomach? Such exaggerated statements are not made by thoughtful men except when they are hard pressed in making out a case.

There is a custom in modern times, though not known in the established churches of the Old World, which illustrates the sacred feasts of Deuteronomy. The members of a congregation often gather at the house of the minister, bringing with them various articles of food to supply his storeroom for months to come; yet the whole company remains to have a feast with the family out of what has been brought. The feast adds a charm to the occasion, and increases the good will of both the givers and the receiver. Such was the evident intention of the feast given on the occasion of delivering the tithe to the levites.

3. As to the Priest's Portion of the Peace offerings.

The law in Deuteronomy is this: "And this shall be the priest's due from the people, from them that offer a sacrifice, whether it be ox or sheep, that they shall give unto the priest the shoulder, the two cheeks, and the maw" (xviii. 3). Driver says: This is In direct contradiction to Lev. vii. 32-34 (P), which prescribes the breast and the right thigh as the priest's due of the peace-offerings (Corn., 215).

Should this be granted, what would it prove? Would it prove that both laws were not given by Moses? Or would it prove that, having given the one in Leviticus nearly forty years previously, he now gives this as an addition?

Suppose Professor Driver to be a priest, and there comes a man with a fat ox to make a peace offering. He offers Driver the shoulder, the two cheeks, and the maw. Driver answers, "No, sir; the law gives me the breast and the right thigh. I will not accept the shoulder in place of the thigh, nor the cheeks and maw in place of the breast" What would the offerer say? According to Driver the critic, he would say, "There is another law contradictory to this, which says you must be content with the shoulder, the cheeks and the maw, and this being the later law, it abolishes the former."

I think that Driver the priest would see a point that Driver the critic overlooks. He would reply, "No, sir; the two laws do not contradict each other. One gives me the breast and the right thigh; the other gives me the right shoulder, the cheeks and the maw; and I will have all that both laws give me."

The priest, looking at his own interest, would not fail to be a better interpreter than the critic, whose chief interest is to find contradictions. He would see that the later law, instead of contradicting or repealing the former, only added to the portion to be given to the priest. No reason is given for the addition; for it is not the custom of the Lawgiver to assign reasons for all of his enactments; but we can easily discover one arising out of changing conditions.

During the forty years in the wilderness, the priests were few in number, and the flocks and herds of the people were few also; but after crossing the Jordan, which was soon to take place, this would be reversed - the priests would become a numerous family, the people would be in possession of abundance of cattle taken as spoil from the Canaanites, and a more liberal provision for the priests was but just.

Even at the time when Moses was delivering this law, the latter part of the change had set in by means of the immense herds of animals recently taken as spoil from the Midianites (Num. xxxi. 25-47). Had the critics taken a commonsense view of the subject, and taken into consideration the attending circumstances, they would never have conceived this argument against the Mosaic origin of the law.

4. The Sacrifices of the Passover.

This alleged discrepancy is thus presented by Driver: Dent. xvi. 2: "Thou shalt sacrifice the passover unto Jehovah thy God, (even) sheep and oxen." In P (Ex. xii. 3-6) the paschal sacrifice is a lamb. The two laws, it is evident, represent the usage of two different stages in the history of the feast; when Deuteronomy was written, the victim might be either a bullock or a sheep; when P was written, the choice was limited to a lamb (Corn., 191).

This is another instance of begging the question. Only by assuming that the laws in Deuteronomy preceded those in Exodus and Leviticus, and then ignoring a large part of the latter, can this charge of contradiction be made plausible. Fully and fairly stated, the latter provides, first, that the victim consumed on the first night of the passover week must be a lamb of the first year (Ex. xii. 18); and, second, that after this they should "offer an offering made by fire unto Jehovah seven days" (Lev. xxiii. 8).

Whether the victims of these "offerings made by fire," which means burnt offerings, were to be of the flock or the herd is not specified. Now, if we let this law stand where God placed it, as part of the legislation given at Mt Sinai, we shall find no difficulty in understanding the later provision in Deuteronomy, and not a shadow of contradiction will appear. Moses will then be understood in the latter passage as meaning by sacrifice of sheep and oxen the burnt offerings which followed the eating of the paschal lamb, and by the word "passover," not the paschal supper, but the sacrificial service of the seven days.

So any Jew in the audience who heard Moses would instinctively and necessarily understand him, and so would any modern reader who had read the previous law and remembered it. Even Kuenen so understands it (ii. 30). Thus another alleged discrepancy vanishes, and that which was to prove that Moses did not write Deuteronomy is no mean proof that he did.

5. Eating that which Dies of Itself, or is Torn by a Beast.

The statutes on this subject, taken in the order which they have in the Scriptures, are these: "And ye shall be holy men unto me; therefore ye shall not eat any flesh that is torn of beasts in the field; ye shall cast it to the dogs" (Ex. xxii. 31). This is the first mention of the subject, and the only specification is flesh torn by a beast. The persons prohibited from eating it are the Jews.

"And every soul that eateth that which dieth of itself, or that which is torn of beasts, whether he be homeborn or a stranger, he shall wash his clothes, and bathe himself in water, and be unclean until the even: then shall he be clean. But if he wash them not, nor bathe his flesh, then shall he bear his iniquity" (Lev. xvii. 15, 16). Here the specification of flesh that dieth of itself is added, and the penalty of eating it is prescribed. It simply made the person unclean with that particular kind of uncleanness which was removed the same day by washing the clothes and bathing the flesh. Clearly this is an addition to the original law, not a contradiction of it

"Ye shall not eat of anything that dieth of itself: thou mayest give it to the stranger that is within thy gates, that he may eat it; or thou mayest sell it to a foreigner: for thou art a holy people in Jehovah thy God" (Deut. xiv. 21). Taking the three statutes together, the matter stands thus: The Hebrew is forbidden in all three to eat of the flesh referred to. He is told to throw it to the dogs or he may give it or sell it to strangers. The reason for the prohibition is, not that the flesh was unhealthy, but that eating it, like eating any of the unclean animals mentioned in the preceding verses of the passage in Deuteronomy, made the person legally unclean. The "stranger" or the "foreigner" is not in either passage forbidden to eat it; but if he does, he, like the Jew, must bathe his flesh and wash his clothes.

An unsophisticated mind would not dream of a conflict between any of the provisions of this law, but not so with our critics. Professor Driver, who fairly though very briefly represents them , says of the passage in Deuteronomy: 'It is in conflict with the law of Leviticus; for in Deuteronomy what is prohibited to the Israelite is allowed to be given to the "stranger" or "foreigner" resident in Israel, whereas in Leviticus it is forbidden to both alike (except under the condition of a subsequent purification). The Israelite and the stranger are thus placed on different footings in Deuteronomy; they are placed on the same footing in Leviticus (Corn., 165).'

The conflict here so positively asserted does not exist. The reader can see, by a glance at the passage quoted above from Leviticus, that the eating in question is not "forbidden to both alike," neither is it formally forbidden to either. It is simply ordered that if either eat the flesh that dieth of itself, or is torn by beasts, he shall wash his clothes and bathe himself in water. The two are treated alike only in that which follows the eating, not in the prohibition of the latter.

And in Deuteronomy there is nothing to relieve from this washing and bathing the stranger to whom the flesh may be given by a Jew. It was not required of strangers and foreigners that they should be "holy unto Jehovah," and consequently some things forbidden the Jews, in order to their ceremonial holiness, were permitted to the foreigner who might reside among them.

The Jew was forbidden to eat the flesh of any quadruped that did not chew the cud and part the hoof; but the stranger might freely eat of any forbidden flesh, and the Jew might sell it to him if he had it for sale.

This privilege of selling to strangers flesh that died of itself has been criticised on moral grounds. It has been compared to the act of offering such flesh in our markets - a practice forbidden by law. But it is not implied in the law of Moses that the seller of such flesh might lie to his foreign customer by telling him that the animal had been slaughtered in the usual way; it is clearly implied that it was to be sold for what it was. The fact that the heathen had no scruples about eating such flesh, as many heathen have none at the present day, removes from the transaction the thought of deception and the temptation to it.

6. As to Hebrew Bondservants.

(Editor's note. Israel were never called Hebrews by fellow-Israelites. The term Hebrew was used of them as 'foreigners'. The reference here is probably to Habiru (non-Israelite) bondservants, men and women of no fixed country. A somewhat similar seven year contract for them was known from Nuzu.)

Our destructive critics affect to find several contradictions in the laws regulating the bondage to which Hebrew men and women were liable. In both Exodus and Deuteronomy it is provided that a Hebrew sold to one of his brethren shall serve him only six years; but if, at the end of that time, he prefers to remain in bondage, the master may bore a hole in his ear with an awl and he shall remain a bondman for life.

In Exodus it is provided that this boring should be done before the judges (rendered "God" in RV), evidently to guard against fraud; for the judges would be disinterested witnesses that the bondman had given his free consent. In Deuteronomy Moses omits this provision, and simply says, "Thou shalt take an awl, and thrust it through his ear unto the door, and he shall be thy servant forever" (xv. 17). The door would be a firm substance against which to press the ear before piercing it, thus lessening the pain and preventing laceration. It is on this omission in Deuteronomy that a charge of contradiction is based.

Robertson Smith (Propheis, 100), Driver and Addis (D. of H.) xlviii.), for instance, following their German leaders, claim that because the law in Exodus says that the bondservant must be brought to God (the judges) for the ceremony of boring, he must be brought to a sanctuary. Smith and Driver say to "the sanctuary," while Addis says to "a local sanctuary." But, inasmuch as this requirement is omitted in Deuteronomy, it is inferred that in the latter we have a different law. Driver states the inference thus: 'In Exodus the ceremony is a public and official one; in Deuteronomy it is of a purely domestic character, being transacted entirely at the master's own house' (Corn., 184).

This inference is very disparaging to the good sense of the "Deuteronomist;" for if he was a man of the least reflection, he would see that to give the owner of a bondservant the right to bore the ear of the latter as a purely domestic ceremony, without the presence and cognizance of disinterested witnesses, would place the perpetual bondage of the servant entirely in the hands of an unscrupulous owner, and would thus practically nullify the law of release at the end of six years. The hole in the ear was the mark of perpetual bondage voluntarily assumed; and if the boring was done in private, though done without the bondman's consent, his subsequent denial that he had given his consent would be of no avail against the testimony of his master and members of his family whom he might suborn as witnesses. The Deuteronomist, whoever he was, was a friend of his people, and especially of the poor; and he was incapable of inventing such a law.

The inference is that they follow Kuenen, who says: "The Hebrew slave who voluntarily entered into servitude for life, had to make his declaration to that effect in the sanctuary, in order to add to the solemnity of his act~ap. xxi. 6" (Re~ of Israe~ 11.83), equally disparaging to the piety of the Deuteronomist~; for it is admitted by the three gentlemen quoted above, and by all who style themselves "evangelical critics," that the law in Exodus was actually one of those given by Moses; and it is held that the Deuteronomist framed his laws after the model of those given by Moses: how, then, could he have deliberately deprived the Hebrew bondman of the safeguard prescribed by Moses, which protected him from being kept in perpetual bondage by an unscrupulous master

And even if the Deuteronomist was base enough to devise such a law, how can these critics account for the fact that it was accepted by the people in opposition to the law of Moses ~ These questions they have not attempted to answer, neither do they seem to have sufficiently reflected on their scheme to see that they could be propounded.

The little boy who builds his first cob house seldom sees how easily it can be toppled over until some other boy tries it. "Modern scientific critics" ought to have more foresight.

The common-sense view of the omission in Deuteronomy is this: that Moses, having already given, for an obvious reason, the requirement that the bondman's free consent must be expressed in the presence of the judges, and that in their presence the hole should be bored in his ear as further proof that consent had been given, in repeating the law left out a part which no man who had once heard it, or heard of it, could ever forget. It looks like malice to claim here a contradiction between the two laws. It is a simple case of omission. The idea of going to a sanctuary is invented by these critics.

If going to God, as they themselves testify, means going to the judges who execute God's law, then wherever the judges were they might go. But the law required that judges be appointed in every city (Deut. xvi. 18-20), and the judges in the master's own city would in this case be preferred as the most convenient witnesses in case of subsequent dispute. In actual experience bondmen were sometimes held unlawfully (Jer. xxxiv. 8-22).

In passing, we may remark that Driver forgets himself while speaking on this subject, and styles the ceremony as "nailing his ear to the door of his master's house" (184).

In the second place, it is affirmed that these two laws contradict each other in reference to the term of service of a Hebrew bondwoman. In Exodus it is said, "If a man sell his daughter to be a maidservant, she shall not go out as the men-servants do" (xxi. 7). In Deuteronomy, after the direction about boring the ear of the manservant with an awl, it is said, "And also unto thy maidservant shalt thou do likewise" (xv. 17). Driver comments on the apparent conflict as follows: No doubt the true explanation of the variation is that the law of Deuteronomy springs from a more advanced stage of society than the law of Exodus; it thus regulated usage for an age in which the power of the father over his daughter was no longer so absolute as it had been in more primitive times, and places the two sexes on a position of equality (Corn., 182 f.).

It is quite certain that the law in Deuteronomy does put the man and the woman spoken of in a position of equality; but whether this conflicts with the law in Exodus depends entirely upon whether the same bondwoman is meant in both places.

Undoubtedly the woman in Deuteronomy is one who, like the manservant mentioned in the same law, has the right to go out of bondage at the end of six years, but voluntarily consents to remain in possession of her master. As evidence of her consent, her ear is to be bored "likewise." But in Exodus a particular case is specified, that of a daughter sold by her father; and the context shows plainly that, (whether originally intended or not) the daughter became the concubine of her master or his son.

The statute on the subject, when quoted as Driver quotes it, is really misquoted, because only a small part is quoted, and a part which does not fairly represent the whole. It reads thus: "And if a man sell his daughter to be a maidservant, she shall not go out as the menservants do. If she please not her master, who has espoused her to himself, then shall he let her be redeemed: to sell her unto a strange people he shall have no power, seeing he hath dealt deceitfully with her. And if he espouse her unto his son, he shall deal with her after the manner of daughters. If he take him another wife, her food, her raiment, and her duty of marriage, shall he not diminish. And if he do not these three unto her, then shall she go out for nothing, without money" (xxi. 7-11)

There are at least two very obvious reasons for these regulations respecting this kind of a bondwoman. First, the fact that the daughter would not go free at the end of six years would discourage the sale of daughters, and prompt a poor man, if he was compelled to part with one of his children, to sell a son instead of a daughter.

Second, after she had lived with her master or one of his sons as a concubine for six years, it would be a hardship for her, whether with children or without children, to go out free and struggle for her own support. She would be in the condition of a divorced wife without alimony. While concubinage was tolerated, it would be almost inevitable that a young woman, living in a family for six years, and being of the same people, and perhaps more attractive than her master's wife or daughters, would be used as a concubine by some male member of the family; and consequently when her father sold her, he must have done so with this expectation in view, whether it was specified in the contract or not.

The law recognized this fact, and treated the case accordingly. The law is so understood by Andrew Harper.7 If, now, we suppose, as the record represents, that this law was made at Mount Sinai, and that Moses, at the end of the forty years, delivered the speeches in Deuteronomy, that which he says about a bondwoman going out at the end of six years would necessarily be understood by his hearers as including only those bondwomen who had come into bondage in some other way than by being sold by their fathers.

They would be already familiar with the fact that the latter class were to be bondwomen for life. It is true that if the latter was the only way in which a woman could be reduced to bondage, the later law would have to be understood as repealing the former; but the natural probability is that the sale of a daughter was a rarely exceptional case, and that the great majority of bond-women were the wives of men who sold themselves and their families. In this case, he and his went out free at the beginning of the seventh year.

We may remark before leaving this subject, that the case of a wife given to a bondman in the time of his service, mentioned in the law of Exodus (xxi. 4), is undoubtedly one in which the woman given was a heathen bondwoman, who, with her children, was held in perpetual bondage, and was not released even in the jubile (lev. xxv. 44-46). No other bond-woman was so under her master's control that he could thus give her to a bondman. This Hebrew neighbor's daughter, if he held one, could be given as a wife or concubine only to his own son, as we have just seen above.

The third provision of the law of bondage in which a conflict is claimed, is that concerning release in the year of jubile. Driver puts the charge of discrepancy in these words: There is a third law of slavery In Lev. xxv. 39-46 (H and P). By this law (1) only foreigners are to be held by Israelites as slaves for life; (2) Hebrew slaves are to receive their liberty, not, as in Exodus and Deuteronomy, in the seventh year of servitude, but in the year of jubile (Corn., 185). (Editor's note: Of course if the Habiru woman is a foreigner this does not apply).

This is not a fair statement of the case; for if the law of release in the seventh year had been given already, as it claims to have been, the law that all in bondage when the year of jubile arrives must be released, would necessarily mean that all not previously released under the operation of the older law must then be released; and it is unfair to say that "Hebrew slaves are to receive their liberty, not as in Exodus and Deuteronomy, in the seventh year." They were to receive their liberty in the seventh year, as a general rule; but, if any did not, they were to receive it in the jubile.

Driver further says: The usual mode of harmonizing these discrepant provisions is by the assumption that the law in Leviticus is intended to provide that, if the jubile year arrives before a Hebrew slave's seventh year or service, he is to receive his liberty in it. But if this had been the true explanation of the discrepancy, a law so circumstantial as that in Leviticus would surely have contained some explicit reference to the earlier law, and the case in which it was intended to supersede it would have been distinctly stated (185).

If Professor Driver had written the law, perhaps it would have contained such a reference; but the method of Hebrew writers was less artificial than that of modern writers, and many things were left, as in the natural world, for discovery by the reader.

But even if Driver had been the writer, he could not have made the reference on the ground on which he claims that the author of Leviticus should have made it - that the present law was "intended to supersede" the one in Exodus. According to the explanation which he combats, the law was intended, so far as six-year Hebrew bondmen were concerned, only to release those whom the previous law had failed to release. His only reply to the explanation would be a denial that any would thus fail to be released by the previous law. But this he could not say; for it is as plain as day that a law which released bondmen only after six years of service, would fail to release before the jubile all who had been reduced to bondage within less than five years previous.

The jubile came every fiftieth year; so if a Hebrew was sold in the forty-fifth, or in any later up to the forty-ninth, he would have one or more years longer to serve when the fiftieth year began. That which Driver treats as an assumption, then, was an inevitable fact, and nothing but the blinding effect of a theory to be supported can account for his failure to see it.

But this usual explanation, though good so far as it goes, does not bring out all the truth. The jubile would find other Hebrews in bondage besides those who had not served out their six years. The man and the woman whose ears had been bored, if still alive, would be released, and, whether they were alive or dead, their children would be released. So also would all thieves who had not served out the time for which they had been sold; for if a thief, being unable to make the restitution required by the law, was sold for four years' service at a time less than four years before the jubile, the jubile would release him for the remnant of his time; for the force of the law of jubile was to release every bondman and bondwoman of Hebrew blood, for whatever cause they had been reduced to bondage, and to restore every one to the landed inheritance of their fathers.

If rightly understood then there was only this difference between this law and the others, that the jubile released every one who had not been released by the force of the other two laws.

7. As to the Decalogue.

That the Ten Commandments originated with Moses is firmly held by the conservative critics, though denied by the radicals.5 The reader may find in Andrew Harper's Commentary an eloquent and conclusive argument on this question, and also, in opposition to Wellhausen and Kuenen, a demonstrative proof that the religion of Israel in the beginning was not polytheistic, as they and other infidels affirm.

But that these Ten Commandments were all given by Moses in the form which they now bear, is denied by even the conservatives; and the merits of this denial we are now to consider. The controversy turns chiefly upon the reasons appended to the Fourth and Fifth Commandments, and upon certain variations of expression in the Tenth. It is held that in their original form all of them were without any reasons attached - that they read thus: "Thou shalt not make unto thyself any graven image" "Remember the sabbath day to keep it holy." "Honour thy father and thy mother." All the other words now connected with these are said to" be later additions, some made by the author of Deuteronomy, and others by the supposed redactors of Exodus.

(Editor's note: Those who said this overlooked the fact that in ancient lists it was quite common for the author of the list quite unexpectedly to launch into some detailed treatment at some point in the list. For an example of this see the Sumerian king lists).

The differences between the two forms of the Fourth, Fifth and Tenth, Driver presents by printing these three in parallel columns. "Remember the sabbath day to keep it holy" (Exodus). "Observe the sabbath day to keep it holy" (Deut). (For further contrasts see Bible text in Exodus 20.8-11, and Deuteronomy 5.12-15). "Honor thy father and thy mother.' (Exodus) '~Honor thy father and thy mother.' (Deuteronomy) 'That thy days may be long in the land which Jehovah thy God giveth thee.' (Exodus) 'As Jehovah thy God commanded thee, that thy days may be long, and that it may go well with thee, in the land which Jehovah thy God giveth thee.' (Deuteronomy) "Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor anything that is thy neighbour's.' (Exodus) '- 'And thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's wife; and thou shalt not desire thy neighbor's house, his field, or his manservant, or his maidservant, his ox, or his ass or anything that is thy neighbors' (Deuteronomy) (see 151., 33ff.)

On this exhibit Driver remarks: "The principal variations are in agreement with the style of Deuteronomy, and the author's hand is recognizable in them." Let this be granted, and what does it prove? If Moses was the author of both books, it proves only that his style in Deuteronomy is different from that in Exodus. In other words, it shows that in delivering an oration on laws that he had given, he adopted a style different from that in which he wrote the laws.

And what writer of statute laws that ever lived would not do the same? Let a lawyer, in commenting on a deed written for his client, speak in the style in which deeds to real estate are commonly written, and how long would a jury listen to him? Or let a political orator, advocating a tariff bill, speak in the style of the bill, and how long would his party keep him on the stump?

If another than Moses wrote Deuteronomy, he, of course, wrote naturally in a style different from that of Exodus; and if Moses wrote it, he, as a matter of course, purposely did the same. It is nonsense, then, to argue from the difference of style that the two forms of these commandments were written by different authors.

As to the origin of the supposed additions to the original form of these three commandments, various conjectures have been advanced by critics, which would be worthy of consideration if there was any proof that additions have been made. Labor spent in the effort is like that of the French savants who labored hard to answer Ben Franklin's question, why a vessel entirely filled with water would not run over if a ten-pound fish were put into it.

Driver, after mentioning some of these, decides that the more probable view is that "these clauses are in their original place in Exodus," and that the additions in Deuteronomy are "of the nature of further comments upon the text of Exodus." If he had added to this remark the supposition that those in Exodus were not additions at all, but that Moses wrote them, he would have displayed still better judgment. To justify the keeping of the sabbath, it was a reason applicable to all men.

If we examine more closely the added words and clauses in Deuteronomy, we shall find that they are such as would most naturally be made by Moses in repeating oratorically to the people laws which he had previously given, expanding some of them for the sake of making them more explicit, and adding here and there a motive to obedience. For instance, in the Fourth Commandment, where Exodus has "nor thy cattle," Deuteronomy has "nor thine ox, nor thine ass, nor any of thy cattle" - naming the ox and the ass, lest some one might suppose that they were not included in "cattle," and also putting emphasis on the sabbath rest for the two classes of animals which were most given to work.

The motive presented for keeping the sabbath, that Jehovah had delivered them from servitude in Egypt, was an appeal to their sense of gratitude. It was not given as the reason why God had sanctified the seventh day, but as a reason why Israel should observe it. "therefore Jehovah thy God commanded thee to keep the sabbath day." The reason why God had hallowed the seventh day, because in creation he had rested on the seventh day, had been given in Exodus; and so far as it furnished a reason for keeping the sabbath, it was a reason applicable to all men.. Moses, without repeating that, gives Israel a special reason. why they should keep it, whether others did or not; and the reason is, gratitude to God for giving them rest from the servitude in Egypt.

It was easy for every one who heard him, and who had ever heard or read the original commandment, to see that at this point he was not quoting the commandment, but adding a motive for its observance.

The addition in the Fifth Commandment, "that it may be well with thee," is but an expansion of the preceding clause, "that thy days may be long." A man's days may be long, and yet full of misfortunes. They were to understand that on condition of keeping this commandment they would have length of days without misfortunes.

The variations in the Tenth Commandment are only a reversal of the order in which the neighbor's wife and his house are mentioned, which is insignificant, and the addition of "his field," which is included in the expression, "any thing which is thy neighbor's."

There is another consideration connected with these changes which has been entirely overlooked by our critics. Their seventh-century author of Deuteronomy did not, according to their own hypothesis, write in his own name, but in the name of Moses. He wrote what he supposed Moses would have said if he had really delivered the discourses which are ascribed to him. Evidently, then, he thought that it would have been proper for Moses to have spoken these additional. words and clauses. In this he showed his good sense, and condemns the critics who created him.

There is another speculation of the critics which here deserves a passing notice. It has reference to the oxen and asses and fields mentioned in the Fourth and Tenth Commandments. It is stated by Andrew Harper in these words:

"If the original form of these commandments was what we have indicated, they correspond entirely to the circumstances of the wilderness. There is no reference in them which presupposes any other social background than that of a people dwelling together according to families, possessing property, and worshipping Yahweh. None of the commandments involves a social state different from that. But when Israel had entered upon its heritage, and had become possessed of the oxen and asses which were needed in agricultural labor and in settled life, this stage of their progress was reflected in the reasons and inducements which were added to the original commands. In the Fourth and Tenth Commandments in Exodus, we have, consequently, the essential commandments of the earlier day adapted to a new state of things; i.e., to a settled agricultural life" (Corn., 96).

It is difficult to treat such talk as this with seriousness. Mr. Harper knows very well that desert tribes, such as he supposes Israel to have been, are always owners of oxen and asses, except where they are extremely poor. It is notoriously true of the Bedawin tribes, who occupy the same wilderness at the present time. Indeed, their chief industry is the rearing of herds of cattle, asses and camels.

Furthermore, how ridiculous it is to suppose that, even if Israel had not a hoof of such animals in the wilderness, Moses, in giving them laws for their future guidance, must omit the mention of animals which he knew they would have in the time for which he was legislating.

If one of these critics should read the will of a rich man, in which he gives advice to his children with reference to the proper use of the possessions which he bequeaths to them, he would sagely conclude that the will must have been written after the children came into possession of the property. They certainly would if they had a theory to be upheld by "scientific criticism." Here, again, their supposed Deuteronomist shows better judgment than theirs; for he thought there was no incongruity in putting these words in the mouth of Moses in the wilderness.

Seeing now that all the added words and clauses of the Decalogue found in Deuteronomy are just such as Moses, repeating the commandments oratorically, could most properly employ, and seeing that, even if these speeches were composed in the seventh century, the author of them himself thought they were appropriate in the lips of Moses, the adverse critics are estopped by the judgment of their own Deuteronomist, as well as by the maxims of common sense, from urging that Moses could not have been the author of both forms.

8. As To Certain Acts of Moses At Mount Sinai.

There are several alleged contradictions between the accounts in Exodus and Deuteronomy of certain acts of Moses while the camp was still at the foot of Mount Sinai. The first we shall mention has reference to his appointment of judges of tens, hundreds, thousands, to assist him in administering justice.

The case is presented by Driver in these words:

In i. 9-13 the plan of appointing judges to assist Moses is represented as originating with Moses himself, complaining to the people of the difficulty that he found in dealing personally with the number of cases that arose; the people assent to the proposal, and Moses selects the judges accordingly. In Ex. xviii. 13-26 the plan is referred entirely to the advice of Jethro; no allusion is made to the difficulty felt by Moses; and Moses takes action without at all consulting the people (Corn., xxxv.).

This passage opens with a misstatement It is not said in i. 9-13 that the plan originated with Moses. If this had been said, there would have been a contradiction. The passage reads thus: "And I spake to you at that time, saying, I am not able to bear you myself alone; Jehovah your God hath multiplied you, and, behold, ye are this day like the stars of heaven for multitude. Jehovah, the God of your fathers, make you a thousand times so many as ye are, as he hath promised you. How can I myself alone bear your cumbrance, and your burden, and your strife ?" - then comes the command to select the judges.

Does this conflict with the statement in Exodus that Jethro had first suggested the plan to Moses before he submitted it to the people? If it does, then, should the President of the United States submit a measure to Congress, and should it afterward be discovered that it was suggested to him by one of his secretaries, our modern scientific critics would find here an irreconcilable inconsistency! The President, as everybody knows, is not bound to tell whether the measures which he proposes originated with himself or with some of his advisers; neither was Moses obliged to tell the people that his judiciary scheme originated with Jethro. As Jethro was not an Israelite, there may have been prudence in withholding from them this information until they themselves expressed approval of the measure.

The second conflict has reference to the number of times that Moses ascended the mount, and fasted: According to Lx. xxxii. 34, Moses was three times in the mount (xxxii. 1 if.; xxxii. 31; xxxiv. 4); but it is only on the third occasion that he is recorded to have fasted (xxxiv. 28). Deuteronomy (ix. 9), in the very words of Exodus, describes him as doing so on the first occasion (ib., xxxvi.). This is an incorrect representation; for the ascent described in Deuteronomy is the one on the return from which he broke the tables of stone (ix. 17); and this was the second ascent described in Exodus. The first was when he was called up before the Ten Commandments were spoken, and was sent down to warn the people not to draw near the mount (Ex. xix. 20-25).

The second ascent described in Deuteronomy is the one his descent from which is described in Ex. xxxii. 7-9, almost in the words of Deuteronomy. The only difference as respects fasting is that it is mentioned in the one account and omitted in the other. It is absurd to call this a contradiction. Driver himself does not commit this absurdity; for he closes the paragraph just quoted in part, with the remark, "Obviously Deuteronomy may relate what is passed by in silence in Exodus; but the variation is remarkable."

It is not at all remarkable, for if, when Moses delivered the speeches in Deuteronomy, Exodus had already been written. and the fact made known to the people that he fasted during the last forty days in the mount, there was great propriety in now telling them, what they had not learned before, that he also fasted during the first forty days. In reality, he was compelled to fast or be fed miraculously; for there was no food to be found on the naked rock of which Mount Sinai is composed.

To charge contradiction here is to betray a careless. study of the facts, mingled with a determined purpose to make out a case.

The third specification has reference to the point of time at which Moses made his intercession for the people: Chap. ix. 25-29. This, it is plain, must refer either to Ex. xxxii. 31ff. (Moses' second visit to the mountain), or (more probably) to Ex. xxxiv. 9, 28 (his third visit to it). It is singular, now that the terms of Moses' own intercession, as here reproduced, are borrowed, not from either of these passages, but from xxxii. 11-la, at the close of his first forty days upon the mountain (ib. xxxvi.).

Here, again, the learned author treats Ex. xxxii. 31 ff. as an account of Moses' second visit to the mountain, whereas it is an account of his intercession for the people between his second and his third visit. The words, "And Moses returned unto Jehovah, and said, Oh, this people have sinned a great sin, and have made them gods of gold" (31), seem to have misled him to the thought that the return was to the mountain-top. But the context shows plainly that this intercession was conducted in the tent of Moses (c vii. 11), and the account of it is immediately followed by the statement that "Jehovah said to Moses, Hew thee two tables of stone like unto the first: and I will write upon the tables the words which I wrote on the first tables, which thou brakest. And be ready by the morning, and come up in the morning unto mount Sinai, and present thyself there to me on the top of the mount" (xxxiv. 1, 2). The account of the intercession given in Exodus follows immediately upon his return from the mount when he broke the tables of stone (xxxii. 19 if.), and so it does in Deuteronomy (ix. 17 if.). There is perfect agreement as to the occasion of it, and the objectors are again convicted of inventing the charge of contradiction, and misconstruing the text to sustain it.

The fourth and last specification we shall notice has reference to the time at which the ark was made for the reception of the two tables of stone. It is claimed that in Deuteronomy the ark was made by Moses just preceding his return to the mount with the two new tables of stone, whereas in Exodus it is made by Bezaleel after Moses returned from that visit. The author places the two passages side by side, and then remarks:

There is only one material difference between the two accounts but it is an important one. In Ex. xxxiv. 1-4 there is no mention of the ark, which, according to Deuteronomy, Moses made at this time for the reception of the two tables, and in which (verse 5) he placed them after coming down from the mount. This difference between Exodus and Deuteronomy does not admit of explanation. In Exodus instructions respecting the ark are given in xxv. 10-21; and Bezaleel, having been commissioned to execute the work of the sanctuary (xxxi. 1 if.; xxxv. 30 to xxxvi. 1), makes the ark (xxxvii. 1-9). There is, of course, no difficulty in supposing that Moses may have been described as making himself what was in fact made, under his direction, by Bezaleel; but in Deuteronomy Moses is instructed to make, and actually does make, the ark of acacia wood before ascending the mount for the second time to receive the tables of stone; whereas in Exodus the command to make the ark is both given to Bezaleel and executed by him after Moses' return from the mountain (xxxv. 30 if.; xxxvi. 2; xxxvii. 1).

We shall be helped to understand this matter by first drawing out in detail, and with careful reference to chronology, the account in Exodus. Observe, then, that the first command to make the ark was given to Moses during his first forty days in the mount, and he was told, "In the ark thou shalt put the testimony that I shall give thee" (xxiv. 18; xxv. 10, 21). This was before the first tables were given to him. At the end of that forty days he received the tables, started down the mountain, and, seeing the idolatry in the camp, threw them down and broke them (xxxi. 18; xxxii. 15-19).

Then comes his intercession for the people in his own tent which he pitched outside the camp and called the "tent of meeting," and at the close of it he is commanded to hew two new tables of stone, and return into the mount, which he does (xxxiii. 7-23; xxxiv. 1-4). At the close of the second forty days he receives the new tables of stone, and brings them down in safety (xxxiv. 28, 29). Then, after calling upon the people for contributions of material and labor for the construction of the tabernacle, and receiving an abundance (xxxv. 1-29), he appoints Bezaleel and Aholiab chief constructors (30-35). and commands the former to make, among other articles, the ark of acacia wood (xxxvii. 1).

On the first day of the second year after leaving Egypt., everything was completed, the tabernacle was created, the tables were put into the ark, and the latter put in its place (xl. 17-21). This last act of putting the tables of stone into the ark occurred about seven months after the last descent of Moses from the mount, and this descent occurred not less than fifty or sixty days after the first command to make the ark. Approximately, nine months passed between the first command to make the ark, and the final deposit of the tables within it: and the account of all runs through sixteen chapters of Exodus, here a little and there a little.

Now, the whole of this story is summarized in Deuteronomy in the space of five verses, and it reads as follows: "At that time Jehovah said to me, Hew thee two tables of stone like unto the first, and come up unto me into the mount, and make thee an ark of wood. And I will write on the tables the words that were on the first tables which thou brakest., and thou shalt put them in the ark. So I made an ark of acacia wood, and hewed two tables of stone like unto the first, and went up into the mount, having the two tables in mine hand. And he wrote on the two tables, according to the first writing, the ten commandments, which Jehovah spake to you out of the midst of the fire in the day of the assembly: and Jehovah gave them to me. And I turned and came down from the mount, and put the tables in the ark which I had made; And there they be, as Jehovah commanded me" (x. 1-5).

Here it is very obvious that the order of time in which the various steps were taken, and which is so distinctly stated in Exodus; is not observed. The differences are correctly stated by Driver. Moreover, it must be admitted that if the two accounts were written independently of each other, and by different authors, there is a contradiction with reference to the time at which the ark was made.

But how is it, if, instead of adopting this theory to start with, we start with the representation which Deuteronomy makes of itself? That is, that Moses, having proceeded, in ascending the mountain and afterward in making the ark as described in Exodus, and having written that book, he is now addressing an oration to the people who knew from memory what be had done, and had also read or heard the account of that doing? They would, of course, see, even more readily than we do, that he now mentions some of the facts in the reverse order without meaning that they occurred in that order, but because it suited his purpose, and he could do so without misleading a single one of his hearers.

It should be observed, too, that in his present statements of the steps taken he uses no adverb of time to show that they were taken in the order in which he mentions them.

The passage, then, is perfectly free from contradictions, and was perfectly understood to be so by those who heard Moses. It is only when the critic has separated Moses from Deuteronomy that he can use this passage to justify the separation. In other words, he cuts the cord which binds the book to its author, and then proves that the author did not write the book by the fact that the cord has been cut. Again and again is this fallacy perpetrated.

9. As to the Mission of the Spies.

It is persistently asserted by destructive critics that there are several contradictions in the accounts of this incident. Robertson Smith undertakes to show that the account in the thirteenth and fourteenth chapters of Numbers is made up of two contradictory stories blended together so awkwardly that they can be separated. He accordingly prints them in parallel columns, placing xiii. 21, 25, 26, 32, and xiv. 1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 7, 10, 26-35, 36-38, on the left hand, and xiii. 20, 22, 26, 27-29, 30, 31-33, and xiv. 1, 4, 11-25, 39-45, on the right But neither column makes a complete story; and of that on the right he is constrained to admit, "It has lost its beginning and a few links at other points" (0. T., 400 f.). This admission is strikingly true. The column is like a snake that has lost its head and a few sections of its body, and it has the appearance of the disjointed parts of an india-rubber snake made to frighten children.

Later writers, such as Driver and Addis, though they follow Smith and his predecessors in asserting that there are contradictions, are not so incautious as to copy these disjointed fragments.

The alleged contradictions are three in number: First, that while in Numbers (xii. 1) God issues the command to send the spies, in Deuteronomy (i. 22, 23) the request to send them comes from the people, and Moses consents to it, but nothing is said about God's command. Second, in Numbers (verse 21) the spies go as far north as "the entering in of Hamath," while in Deuteronomy (1.23-25) they go only as far as Hebron. Third, when they return, one of the stories in Numbers represents Caleb alone as contending that Israel can take the land, and as being exempt from the sentence of death in the wilderness, while the other represents Joshua as taking part with Caleb.

To take the last of these allegations first, we remark that only after Robertson Smith has split up the narrative in Numbers into two disjointed pieces, and thrown what is said of Caleb into one and what is said of Joshua into the other, is the slightest shadow of a contradiction apparent It is a contradiction of his own creation. The text of Numbers as it stands, while it speaks of Caleb alone at first as remonstrating with the people (xiii. 30), includes Joshua with him toward the close of the account (xiv. 6), and the same precisely is true of the account in Deuteronomy (i. 36, 38).

So plain is this made in both accounts, that readers of the Bible the world over have understood that both of these men gave a true account of the land, and were both exempted from the sentence which was passed upon the rest of the people.

The first and second of these so called contradictions are nothing more than cases of omission in the briefer of the two accounts. Nothing in the experience of the people addressed by Moses could have been more familiar than this piece of history; for it furnished the reason why, instead of entering the promised land within less than two years after they left Egypt they had been kept out of it for more than thirty-eight years longer. It explained the deplorable fact that all the fathers and mothers of the persons addressed, to the number of more than a million, had perished in the wilderness.

In referring to it, therefore, as a warning, Moses could with perfect propriety mention such parts of the story as suited his hortatory purpose, and omit all others, without the slightest appearance of ignoring them, much less of denying their existence. He accordingly treats of the whole subject in the space of twenty- four verses (i. 22-46), whereas the original account in Numbers contains seventy-eight he abbreviates by omitting many well-remembered incidents. He omits the names of the twelve spies and those of the tribes which they respectively represented (4-16); he omits the whole of the long list of directions which he gave them (17-20); he omits the season of the year in which they were sent (21); he omits the names of the giants whose people were found at Hebron (21, 22); he omits the number of days that were occupied in the journey (25); he omits the detailed account the spies gave of the location of the different tribes in the land (29); he omits the thrilling incidents of himself and Aaron falling on their faces before the people, of the urgent pleadings made by Caleb and Joshua, and the proposal of the people to stone. these four men (xiv. 5-10); he omits his own long and earnest pleading with God against the latter's proposal to slay the whole multitude and raise up a people from Moses to inherit the land (11-21); he omits the greater part of the final sentence upon the rebels (28-35); and he omits the fact that the ten false spies died of a plague (36, 37). In the midst of such a multitude of omissions, why should it be thought strange that he omitted to state the whole distance that the spies journeyed, and the fact that God directed him to send them?

To look the facts in the face is all that is necessary to see the impertinence and absurdity of the charge of contradiction. Driver himself, in the very act of presenting the first of these three charges, furnishes a satisfactory answer to it. He says:

Here (Deut. i. 22, 23) the mission of the spies is represented as due entirely to a suggestion made by the people; in Num. xiii. 1 it is referred to as a command received directly by Moses from Jehovah. No doubt the two representations are capable, in the abstract, of being harmonized: Moses, it might be supposed, approving personally of the purpose (Deut. i. 23), desired to know if it had Jehovah's sanction; and the command in Numbers (xiii. 1-3) is really the answer to his inquiry.

What could be more reasonable than this, especially as Moses was not in the habit of adopting measures that might involve the lives of a dozen eminent men without God's approval? Seeing, then, that this obvious explanation is right at hand, so close that, had it been a serpent., it would have bitten Robertson Smith and his imitators, why did these ingenious men make out of it a contradiction? Why, unless they were on the search for contradictions when they should have been searching for the truth? They were fighting, not to defend the Bible, but to bring it into disrepute. So we are compelled to judge them in much of their work.

10. As to the Time spent at Kadesh.

It is universally assumed by destructive critics that the stay of Israel at KadeshBarnea is represented in Numbers as lasting thirty-eight years; while in Deuteronomy, contrary to this, they spent the thirty eight years circling Mount Seir. Driver, in his Commentary (31-33), treats the subject elaborately; but the discrepancy as he understands it is sufficiently presented in the following sentence: if the present narrative in Numbers be complete, the thirty-eight years in the wilderness will have been spent at Kadesh: nothing is said of the Israelites moving elsewhere; and the circuit round Edom (Num. xxi. 4) will have taken place at the close of this period, merely in order to enable the Israelites to reach the east side of Jordan. In this case the representation in Deut. ii. 1, 14, according to which the thirty-eight years of the wanderings are occupied entirely with circling about Mount Seir, will be irreconcilable with JE (that is, with Numbers).10

The only way to determine the reality of this alleged contradiction is to trace carefully the representations in the two books separately, and then compare them to see their differences, if any appear. We begin with that in Numbers.

In xiv. 25, after the sentence has been pronounced on the men of that generation, God issues the command, "Tomorrow turn ye, and get you into the wilderness by the way to the Red Sea." Driver says of this, "Whether they did this, is not stated;" and it is true that it is not stated; but the command was given, and Moses, who was the leader and commander of the host, always moved at God's command; and the pillar of cloud, which guided every movement, undoubtedly did the same. It is not necessary, then, that the text should say they did move. On the contrary, it would require a statement of the text that they did not move, to justify us in supposing that they did not.

But this inference, plain as it is, is not our only ground for concluding that they obeyed the command. In later verses of the same chapter (32, 33) God says to the people: "Your carcasses shall fall in the wilderness. And your children shall be wanderers in the wilderness forty years, and shall bear your whoredoms, until your carcasses he consumed in the wilderness." How could they be "wanderers in the wilderness forty years" if they remained thirty-eight years at Kadesh? It is necessarily implied that they were to leave Kadesh and wander about.

The narrative next proceeds through chapters xv.-xx. of Numbers, with a group of new statutes (xv. 1-41); the account of the rebellion of Korah, Dathan and Abiram (xvi. 40) the punishment of those who murmured over the fate of these men and their fellow conspirators (41-50); the confirmation of Aaron's priesthood (xvii. 1-13); some new statutes in reference to the priesthood and the Levites (xviii. 1-32); and the statute in reference to the ashes of the red heifer (xix. 1-22). Then comes the statement: "And the children of Israel, even the whole congregation, came into the wilderness of Zin in the first month; and the people abode in Kadesh; and Miriam died there, and was buried there" (xxi. 1).

How could it be here said that after these intervening events "they came into the wilderness of Zin in the first month, and abode in Kadesh," if they had been in Kadesh during the whole intervening time? Undoubtedly this is a return to Kadesh; and the assertion that they "abode in Kadesh," grossly misinterpreted as referring to the whole thirty-eight years, clearly refers to the stay there after this return.

The first month here mentioned, as all parties agree, is the first month of the fortieth year. We need not go outside the Book of Numbers, then, the very book which is charged with teaching that Israel abode at Kadesh thirty-eight years, to see that by necessary implications it shows that they left Kadesh after the affair of the spies, wandered in the wilderness until all but the last of the forty years had expired, and then returned again to Kadesh.

This conclusion, drawn from the course of the events, is sustained by the evidence of the itinerary of the wilderness wanderings, also recorded in Numbers. In this itinerary (Num. xxxiii.) Kadesh is mentioned only once, it being the intention of the writer to name the forty two places of formal encampment, without regard to the number of times that Israel may have encamped at any one place. When Kadesh is mentioned, it is, as we have seen, in connection with the arrival there in the first month of the fortieth year.

But they reached that place, and sent forth the twelve spies at the time of the first ripe grapes in the second year out of Egypt (xiii. 20). Hazeroth is the last camping-place mentioned in the account of the journey before reaching Kadesh (xii. 16, cf. xiii. 26); but in the itinerary there are between Hazeroth and Kadesh nineteen encampments. This could not have been true of the first arrival in Kadesh; consequently we must conclude that these nineteen encampments were made between the first and the second arrival in that place, or during the wanderings of thirty-eight years, of which we know but little.

Thus it appears, from every point of view furnished by the Book of Numbers, that this interval of thirty-eight years was not spent at Kadesh, but at encampments lying in between the first and the second visit to that place.

Now let us turn to Deuteronomy, and see if there is anything there to contradict this conclusion. There, in ii. 14, Moses says to the people: "And the days in which we came from Kadesh-Barnea, until we came over the brook Zeresh, were thirty and eight years; until all the generation of the men of war were consumed from the midst of the camp, as Jehovah sware unto them." The terms here employed show that he is counting from the time that Jehovah sware this; that is, from the first visit to Kadesh. This is made equally clear by the fact that the places of encampment since the last visit to that place are named in Num. xxxiiii. 38-44, and they are only five in number. The first of them, Mount Hor, was reached in the fifth month of the last year of the wanderings (xxxiii. 38), and the others were passed a little later in the same year.

The "many days" that they spent in compassing Mount Seir (the land of Edom), which Driver understands as including the thirty-eight years, were spent after leaving Kadesh the last time; for Moses says: "So ye abode in Kadesh many days, according to the days that ye abode there. Then we turned, and took our journey into the wilderness by the way to the Red Sea, as Jehovah spake to me: and we compassed mount Seir many days" (Deut. i. 46-ii. 1). The circuit occupied many days compared with the small space around which they had to pass.

The many days which they spent at Kadesh included the forty spent by the spies in their march through Canaan, together with some days previous, and some days after this march, and, during the last visit, the days of mourning for Miriam, probably thirty, and much the greater part of the time from the first month to the fifth, in which they reached Mount Hor (Num. xx. 1,'22).

This instance of alleged contradiction illustrates the ease with which an allegation of the kind can be made after a careless examination of the text in search of contradictions, and the success with which the charge can be refuted when the same text is examined with proper care.

11. As to the Time of Consecrating the Levites.

The time of this event is stated in a general way in this passage: "And I turned and came down from the mount, and put the tables in the ark which I had made; and there they be, as Jehovah commanded me. (And the children of Israel journeyed from Beeroth Bene-jaakan to Moserah: there Aaron died, and there he was buried; and Eleazar his son ministered in the priest's office in his stead. From thence they journeyed to Gudgodah; and from Gudgodah to Jotbathah, a land of brooks of water. At that time Jehovah separated the tribe of Levi, to bear the ark of the covenant of Jehovah, to stand before Jehovah to minister to him, to bless in his name, unto this day)" (x. 5-8).

If one should read this passage without observing the fact that a parenthesis begins with the words, "And the children of Israel journeyed," and that there is a total disconnection between this and the next preceding thought, he might suppose that Moses here fixes the consecration of the Levites at a time subsequent to the death of Aaron, and of certain journeys that followed his death.

But the parenthetical nature of the intervening clauses, together with the change of address from the second person (verse 4) to the third ('~the children of Israel journeyed"), show plainly that we have here an interpolation by another than the original speaker.

The reference in the words, "At that time Jehovah separated the tribe of Levi," is unquestionably to the time when he came down from the mount and put the tables in the ark, mentioned before the parenthesis; and this agrees with the account in Exodus. On this passage Driver makes these remarks: If x. 6, 7 be an integral part of Deuteronomy, "at that time" can in that case only refer to the period indicated in those verses, and verses 8 and 9 will assign the consecration of the tribe of Levi to a much later date than is done in Ex. xxviii. 29; Lev. viii.; Num. iii 5-10.

If, however, verses 6 and 7 be not original in Deuteronomy, "at that time" will refer to the period of sojourn at Horeb (i. 5); in this case there ceases to be a contradiction with Exodus. He might as well have saved himself the trouble of writing this, for he answers his own objection in the very act of presenting it. This "if" introduces the reality in the case.

12. As To The Sentence On Moses and Aaron.

In connection with his recital of the sentence pronounced on the people of Israel after the report of the spies, Moses says: "Also Jehovah was angry with me for your sakes, saying, Thou shalt not go in thither. Joshua the son of Nun, who standeth before thee, he shall go in thither: encourage thou him; for he shall cause Israel to inherit it" (Dent. i. 37, 38).

On these verses Driver makes the comment:

Neither the position of these two verses, nor their contents, can be properly explained unless they are held to refer to some incident which took place immediately after the return of the spies. If that be the case, they will present another (cf. verse 36) of the many examples which the Pentateuch contains of a double tradition: According to Deuteronomy, Moses was forbidden to enter Canaan in consequence of the people's disobedience at Kadesh in the second year of the Exodus, according to P (Num. xx. 12; xxvii. 13 f.; Deut. xxxfl 50 f.), it was on account of his presumption at the same spot but on a different occasion, thirty-seven years afterward (Coin., 26, 27).

(Editor's Note. The so-called appearance of a 'double tradition' is a feature of ancient literature and should therefore not be used as a criterion for discerning sources).

There would be plausibility in this representation if nothing more were said on the subject in Deuteronomy, and if both accounts were derived, as Driver assumes, from oral tradition, one running for seven hundred years, and the other for one thousand. In that case neither would be worth the paper on which it is printed.

But in the last passage which he himself cites parenthetically (Dent. xxxii. 50 f.), the same account of God's anger against Moses is given as in Numbers. There it is declared that God said to Moses, "Get thee up into this mountain of Abarim, unto mount Nebo . . . and die in the mount whither thou goest up, and be gathered to thy people; as Aaron thy brother died at mount Hor, and was gathered unto his people; because ye transgressed against me in the midst of the children of Israel at the waters of Meribah of Kadesh, in the wilderness of Zin; because ye sanctified me not in the midst of the children of Israel" This is the testimony of Deuteronomy when, instead of a mere allusion, as in i. 36, 37, a full account is given.

There is, then, not a shadow of inconsistency between the two books. But the destructive critics refuse to let the matter rest thus. In order to still make out a contradiction, which is impossible with the text as it is, they resort to the device of robbing the Deuteronomist of this latter passage, and assign it to P, the hypothetical author of the account in Numbers. This is their constant device when the text as it is cannot be harmonized with the theory to be sustained.

We must here insist again, as in all of these alleged contradictions, that the only way to ascertain whether they are real, is to try them on the ground on which they claim to stand. This portion of Deuteronomy claims to be a speech delivered by Moses to the Israelites near the close of their wanderings, when the last of the scenes at Kadesh was less than a year in the past, and the earliest of them a little over thirty-seven years, while both were as distinctly remembered by every middle aged man and woman in the audience as was the battle of Bunker Hill by the American people forty years after it was fought. To such an audience many allusions to those events which might be puzzling to one who was not familiar with details, would be perfectly intelligible.

If, then, as Deuteronomy represents, and as Numbers represents, the anger of God against Moses and Aaron was because of the sin at Meribah, when he mentioned it in connection with the sin of the people after the report of the spies, they could not have thought that he meant to connect it in point of time with the latter event. They would know that he mentioned it in that connection because of the similarity of his fate with theirs - a most natural connection of thought. And when he said, "God was angry with me on your account," they could not think that he meant on account of their rebellion when the spies reported, because they well knew that Moses had done his very best to dissuade them from that sin, even risking his own life at their hands in the effort. They would remember that it was their murmuring for want of water which caused Moses to act as he did, and that thus indirectly God was angry with him on their account. How smoothly the stream of narration flows when it is thus permitted to follow its own channel; and how discordant when divided and led into ditches dug by its enemies.

13. As to the Asylum for the Manslayer.

Driver says:

In Ex. xxi. 13 the asylum for manslaughter (as the connection with verse 14 seems to show) is Jehovah's altar (cf. I. Kings i. 50; ii. 28); in Deuteronomy (c.19) definite cities are set apart for the purpose (Corn., 37).

To the same effect Robertson Smith says:

The asylum for the manslayer in Ex xxi. 12-14 is Jehovah's altar, and so, in fact, the altar was used in the time of David and Solomon. But under the law of Deuteronomy, there are to be three fixed cities of refuge ~Deut. xix. 1, seq. (0. T., 354).

The issue here turns on the correctness of the first assertion in these two statements. Is it true that the law in Exodus made the altar of Jehovah a sanctuary for the manslayer? It reads thus: "he that smiteth a man so that he die, he shall surely be put to death. And if a man lie not in wait, but God deliver him into his hand; then I will appoint thee a place whither he shall flee. And if a man come presumptuously upon his neighbor, to slay him with guile; thou shalt take him from mine altar, that he may die." This law, instead of making the altar an asylum for the manslayer, positively forbids its use as such. It is to furnish no protection, not even temporary protection, from death.

On the contrary, this statute contains the promise, "I will appoint thee a place whither he shall flee." This promise was fulfilled in the appointment of the cities of refuge, and it was provided that every man who killed his neighbor might find asylum there until the time of his trial, and might remain there after his trial if he was found not worthy of death (Deut xix. 1-13).

The cases referred to by both of these writers as occurring in the time of David and Solomon are those of Adonijah and Joab. But both of these, though they fled to the altar in the hope of being spared, were slain; and Joab was slain by the command of Solomon while clinging to the horns of the altar (I. Kings i. 50, 51; ii. 24, 25, 29-34). This is a unique way of proving that the altar was an asylum for the manslayer - instances in which it furnished no protection whatever!

If it should be asked why Joab fled to the altar, if it was not an asylum, the answer must be, not that it was an asylum - for Solomon did not recognize it as such - but because he thought that possibly he might not be slain there, lest human blood might defile the altar. In this instance a provision of the law has been misrepresented and its meaning reversed, in order to make out a contradiction with another arrangement which it actually provided for in promise. Scarcely anything could be more reprehensible.

But there is still another phase to this reprehensible use of Scripture. If God made a law by the hand of Moses, as these men would have us believe, that his altar should be an asylum for the wilful murderer; and if this law was recognized as this by such rulers as David and Solomon, how can it be accounted for that an unknown author in the days of Josiah deliberately legislated to the reverse of this law, and that the people of Judah accepted the innovation without a word?

Again: If, down to the time of this new legislation, the altar of Jehovah had been the asylum for the manslayer, how is it that this new and unknown legislator made the people believe that in all their past history back to Moses there had been cities of refuge into which the murderer could flee for temporary asylum? Were the Israelites of Josiah's day, including Josiah himself a set of idiots, or have the critics who argue as Driver and Robertson Smith do lost their heads?

14. As to the Year of Release:

It is not claimed that there is a positive contradiction between Exodus and Deuteronomy on this subject, but doubt is thrown on the origin of the latter by the remark that "had both laws been framed by Moses, it is difficult not to think that in formulating Dent. xv. 1-6 he would have made some allusion to the law of Ex xxiii. 10 f., and mentioned that, in addition to the provisions there laid down, the sabbatical year was to receive this new application" (Corn., 38, cf. 174 if.).

We can best judge of this by copying the two laws, and seeing them together. The law in Exodus is this: "And six years thou shalt sow thy land, and shalt gather in the increase thereof; but the seventh year thou shalt let it rest and lie fallow; that the poor of thy people may eat: and what they leave, the beasts of the field may eat. In like manner shalt thou deal with thy vineyard and thy oliveyard."

The law in Deuteronomy reads thus: "At the end of every seven years thou shalt make a release. And this is the manner of the release: every creditor shall release that which he hath lent unto his neighbers; he shall not exact it of his neighbor and his brother; because Jehovah's release hath been proclaimed. Of a foreigner thou mayest exact it; but whatsoever of thine is with thy brother thine hand shall release."

It is true, as Driver observes, that in formulating this latter law there is no allusion made to the former; but why should there be? The two provisions are perfectly independent of each other, so that neither would necessarily suggest the other. And if as Driver affirms, it is difficult not to think that Moses, in formulating the latter, would have made some allusion to the former, why is it not equally difficult, and even more so, if some other man, seven hundred years later than Moses, had been the writer? If the former consideration argues that Moses was not the author, it argues with greater force that a man in the days of Josiah was not the author, and it is equally good to prove that nobody at all was the author.11

Finally, if Moses did not give this law of release from debt, but did give the law of rest for the land, and if the latter law had been the recognized law of the seventh year ever since the time of Moses, how could any man, in the seventh century after Moses, dare to write that Moses also gave the law of release from debt - a law of which no human being had heard until that day? Who could believe him? And who could be expected to obey this pretended law by releasing his creditors from paying just debts? The enactment would be too absurd for any but a lunatic.

15. As to Eating Firstling~

One of the most plausible in the whole list of the alleged contradictions has reference to the eating of the firstlings of the flocks and herds, and of the tithe. The charge is compactly stated by Driver in these words:

In Deut. xii. 6, 17, the firstlings of oxen and sheep are to be eaten by the owner himself at a sacred feast to be held at the central sanctuary. In Num. xviii. 18, they are assigned absolutely and expressly to the priest (Corn., xxxix.).

In this case neither of the provisions is accredited by our critics to Moses. The one in Numbers is ascribed to P, who wrote, according to the theory, about two hundred years after Deuteronomy was published. But Deuteronomy, from the time of its publication, was acknowledged by the Jews as God's law given by Moses. If, then, during those two hundred years, it had been the practice in Israel, according to the express letter of God's supposed law, for every man to eat his own firstling oxen and sheep, how did P dare to publish a new law requiring the owner to give up his God-given right in this particular, and turn over his firstlings to the priest? Moreover, P wrote, not in his own name, but in the name of Moses, claiming, equally with the author of Deuteronomy, that his laws were given by Moses; how, then, could he dare to thus represent Moses as contradicting himself, and how could he hope that anybody would receive his new law ~ How, indeed, can the critic account for the fact that Israel did receive both of these contradictory laws as having been given by Jehovah through Moses ~ No answer has been given to these questions; and none can be given that will relieve the theory of practical ahsurdity.

On the other hand, if the law in Numbers was written by Moses, and not by the hypothetical P, and if it had been the law, from the days of Moses to the days of Josiah, that the priest should have the flesh of the firstlings, how could the writer of Deuteronomy dare to say that it had also been the law, ever since Moses lived, that the firstlings were to be eaten by the owner and his family? He would have betrayed himself and his book of law as a fraud, had he done so.

These considerations necessarily raise a doubt whether the alleged contradiction really exists; and they force us to be very slow in admitting that it does. They suggest that possibly the exegesis which supports the charge of contradiction may be erroneous. To test this suggestion, let us now examine the several passages with care.

The one in Numbers is unambiguous, and it does, as Driver affirms, give the firstlings to the priest 102 Addressing Aaron, Jehovah says: "But the firstling of an ox, or the firstling of a sheep, or the firstling of a goat, thou shalt not redeem; they are holy: thou shalt sprinkle their blood upon the altar, and shalt burn their fat for an offering made by fire, for a sweet savour unto Jehovah. And the flesh of them shall he thine, as the wave breast and the right thigh; it shall be thine" (xviii. 17, 18).

The first of the three passages in Deuteronomy reads thus: "And thither shall ye bring your burnt offerings, and your tithes, and the heaveofferings of your hand, and your vows, and your freewill offerings, and the firstlings of your herd and your flock, and there shall ye eat before Jehovah your God, and ye shall rejoice in all that ye put your hand unto, ye and your households, wherein Jehovah thy God hath blessed thee" (xii. 6, 7). Here they are told to eat, but they are not told which they shall eat of the various offerings mentioned.

We know, however, from other legislation, that they were not to eat of the burnt offerings, which were totally consumed on the altar. They were not to eat of the heaveoffering, which was to be consumed by the priest and his family; and, if the law in Numbers had been already given, they were not to eat of the firstlings. But other legislation gave them the right to eat of the tithes, of the freewill offerings, and of the offerings in fulfillment of vows.

When, then, they were told to bring all these offerings to the place that God would choose, and to eat there, they were necessarily restricted in their eating to these three classes of offerings, the others having been forbidden. There is no authority here for eating of the firstlings.

The second passage is the seventeenth verse of the same chapter. Having directed the people in the sixth verse to take all their offerings, of every kind, to the place which God would appoint, he here repeats, in reference to some of them, the same instruction in a negative form. He says: "Thou mayest not eat within thy gates the tithe of thy corn, or of thy vine, or of thine oil, or the firstlings of thy herd or thy flock, nor any of the vows which thou vowedst, nor thy freewill offerings, nor the heaveoffering of thy hand: but thou shalt eat them before Jehovah thy God in the place which Jehovah thy God shall choose," etc.

These are the offerings which they would be most tempted to partake of at their homes; and this accounts for the repetition. It seems from this that, while not commanded to eat of the firstlings, they were permitted to do so. The case, then, is like that of the tithes, which though given to the Levites, the giver was permitted to have one feast from them with the Levites, at the time of delivering them to the latter.

This provision is not contradictory to the one that gave the firstlings to the priests, but an addition to it by which the offerer was permitted to have one feast with the priests who received them. In this case also, as in that of the tithes, the firstlings would furnish a much greater quantity of flesh than the man and his family could consume if they alone ate of it.

If the offerer, for instance, had one hundred sheep and twenty cows, he would he likely to have born every year twenty or more male lambs that would he the firstborn of their mothers, and a half-dozen calves that were the firstborn of his heifers. If his flocks and herds were numerous, he would be certain to have many more than that. His family and a half-dozen priests could make a bountiful repast on one lamb and one calf, and the rest would be a very liberal perquisite for the priests.

In the third passage cited (xv. 19) the firstlings are mentioned again for the special purpose of forbidding the owner to make any profit from them of any kind: "All the firstling males that are born of thy herd and of thy flock thou shalt sanctify unto Jehovah thy God: thou shalt do no work with the firstling of thine ox, nor shear the firstling of thy flock~ Thou shalt eat it before Jehovah thy God year by year in the place which Jehovah shall choose, thou and thy household." Here the eating must be understood as in the passage last cited.

Before dismissing this objection, it may be well to remark that if a critic, before considering the passages involved, had already reached the settled conclusion that Deuteronomy was written first, and the Book of Numbers two centuries later, that both were written by uninspired men, and that the later writer was not at all concerned whether his record should agree or not with the older document, he would almost necessarily see a conflict between these provisions about the firstlings.

On the other hand, if the critic accepts the account which these books give of their own origin and mutual relations, and therefore sees in Numbers the earlier legislation, and in Deuteronomy an oratorical representation of the same, he would need only to exercise a moderate degree of common sense to see that there is no contradiction between them. The destructive critics have been blinded to obvious truths by having first accepted a false and destructive theory as to the origin of the several books.

16. As to a Fragment of the Wilderness Itinerary.

The last of the so-called contradictions between Deuteronomy and the middle books of the Pentateuch which appears worthy of notice is that between a fragment of itinerary in Deut. x. 6, 7, and the corresponding place in the full itinerary of Num. xxxiii.

It is enough to say of this, that although Driver in his Commentary devotes two and a half pages to an attempt to make something out of it prejudicial to the history (118-121), he finally unites with Wellhausen, Reuss, Cornill and Diliman in the conclusion that the passage in Deuteronomy on which the objection is based is an interpolation. He says:

"All things considered, it seems, however, likely that x. 6, 7 is not a part of the original text of Deuteronomy. If this be the case, Deuteronomy will be relieved of the contradiction with Num. xxxiii. 31-33, though the contradiction will still attach to the source from which the notice is derived, and bear witness to the existence of divergent traditions in our present Pentateuch" (xxxvi.; p 118, 121).

The correctness of this judgment can be verified by any intelligent reader if he will read verses 6-9, marked as a parenthesis in our English version, in connection with the verse preceding and that following. He will see that the parenthesis makes a break in the connection of thought and in the chronology, which renders it incredible that it was uttered by Moses. When such unbelievers as Wellhausen, Beuss and Cornill had admitted this, it is very strange that Driver, who claims to be an evangelical critic, while also admitting it, should make a show of argument on the passage contrary to his own admission. And stranger still is his closing remark in the extract just made from him, that "the contradiction will still attach to the source from which the notice is derived, and bear witness to the existence of divergent traditions in our present Pentateuch"

Suppose that the contradiction does attach to the source of the interpolated passage; does this have any bearing on the authorship of the book ~ Driver knows that it does not.. And why say that a false statement interpolated in the book "bears witness to the existence of divergent traditions in our present Pentateuch," when, according to his own admission, it bears witness only to the existence of one or more interpolations so bunglingly made as to be promptly recognized as such. It is difficult to believe that the remark has any other aim than to leave the mind of the reader impressed unfavorably toward the real Deuteronomy. It is a Parthian arrow, shot backward in the retreat from an attack which the warrior is not willing to acknowledge as a failure.

All the alleged contradictions on which the destructive theory of Deuteronomy is based, at least all on which a final decision depends, have now passed in review before the reader. All have been expressed in the words of one or more of the ablest advocates of that theory, and in not a single instance has the allegation been sustained. In every instance it has appeared that fair dealing with the text, competent knowledge of its details, and the exercise of sound common sense, relieve it from all inconsistency with the books which precede it in our printed Bibles, and which have always preceded it in the Hebrew manuscript copies. Nothing has been found to show that Moses could not have been the author of all of them. Such we believe will be the verdict of every person of unprejudiced mind, who will studiously read what has been said of these sixteen specifications.

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GENESIS ---EXODUS--- LEVITICUS 1.1-7.38 --- 8.1-11.47 --- 12.1-16.34--- 17.1-27.34--- NUMBERS 1-10--- 11-19--- 20-36--- DEUTERONOMY 1.1-4.44 --- 4.45-11.32 --- 12.1-29.1--- 29.2-34.12 --- THE BOOK OF JOSHUA --- THE BOOK OF JUDGES --- PSALMS 1-17--- ECCLESIASTES --- ISAIAH 1-5 --- 6-12 --- 13-23 --- 24-27 --- 28-35 --- 36-39 --- 40-48 --- 49-55--- 56-66--- EZEKIEL --- DANIEL 1-7 ---DANIEL 8-12 ---



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