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them. This was related to warn the Hebrews of the consequences that would ensue if they should marry the women of Canaan. Such assertions are entirely arbitrary. It might with equal truth be said Genesis was designed as an introduction to the Psalms, or to the book of Ecclesiastes. The book simply records the uncertain and mythical history of the Hebrew race, from Adam till the descent to Ægypt. Abraham, therefore, is the most conspicuous character in the book. From him the history goes back in two genealogical lines, — from Seth, before the flood, from Shem, after it. After Abraham, his descendants were the only heroes of the story. Various statements and accounts came in as subsidiary to this general plan. This book was, doubtless, of great value to the Hebrews, as it is to us a priceless relic of olden times.
6 Read it as two historical works of the old world," says Eichhorn, “ the air of its age and country breathes in it. Forget the age you live in, and the knowledge it affords you, — still you cannot enjoy the book in the spirit of its origin; dream not of that. The youth of the world which it describes demands a spirit that has descended to its deeps. The first rays of the glimmering light of reason do not harmonize with the clear light of broad noon. The shepherd only speaks in the soul of the shepherd; and the primitive Oriental only speaks in the soul of another Oriental. Without an intimate acquaintance with the customs of pastoral life; without an accurate knowledge of the East and its manners ; without a close intimacy with the manner of thinking
• See numerous instances of this character in Jahn, vol. ii. 99. ofReferring to the two documents from which the book is composed. See below, $ 150, sqq.)
and speaking in the uncivilized world, (obtained by a knowledge of Greece in its earliest ages, and of the uncultivated nations of modern times,) — you easily become a traitor to the book, when you would be its deliverer and interpreter.
"In particular, its language must not be treated like that of a cultivated and philosophic age. Above all, in this book, it is like the world in its childhood; it is often destitute of comprehensive general expressions, and therefore it must mention the parts of things, to furnish an idea of the whole. It is like a painting, or the language of poetry; like them it represents every thing part by part. And, since the language of our age is so far removed from the original simplicity of language in the ancient world, we must separate the thought from its dress.
"Finally, according to the language of this book, God produces every thing directly, without availing himself of the course of nature and certain intermediate causes. But in this there is nothing peculiar to it. Its conceptions are only like those of the ancient world in general, when it had not been ascertained, by long-continued inquiry, that all events are connected into a series of intermediate causes. Therefore it stops with God, the ultimate cause, as if he were supposed to be the immediate cause. And even for us, who have inquired into the causes of things, the name of God, in these cases, is often indispensable to fill up the blank, when we do not design to say that God has interrupted the course of things.”]"
2. Exodus. (ning nr.)
The bonds of this people, which was called to a higher destiny, were knit, in tle previous book, by the migration into Ægypt, and were then drawn closer by their servitude; but they were soon loosed by the omnipotence of Jehovah, which was manifested through Moses. The people were brought out of Ægypt amid miracles and punishments; and the long-promised covenant of God was solemnly established with them at Mount Sinai. The civil and religious institutions of the theocracy were established, and God took up his abode among his people.“
This book must be considered as an addition to the legislation at Sinai, — the main features of which were contained in the previous book, — and it contains the chief laws which relate to the offerings, the feasts, and the priests, as well as the ordinances of sacred discipline. It contains only a little historical information, and that relates to the priests, (viii.-x.) The theocratical history advances no farther; it is only filled out, and completed.
. The following passages belong to this part of the theocratic plan: Ex. iii. iv. vi. 2—8, xii. 1—28, xiii, 1–16, xix. xx. xxiv. xl.
VOL. II. 5
The commencement of this book is likewise supplementary, (i. 1-X. 10.) It contains the important part of the holy constitution, the selection of the Levites to the priesthood. Then begins the history of the march through the wilderness, and the conflict between the new constitution and the evil dispositions of the people.
We soon come to the end of this march, when the contest for the possession of the country commences: Moses opens the campaign successfully, and then prepares for his departure from the scene of action.
The passages which are not narrative, but are in- . serted between the narrations, are of the greatest importance from the political and statistic information which they afford. Chap. xxii.—xxiv. form an episode.“
5. DEUTERONOMY. (-2277 ms.)
Shortly before his death, Moses appears before the people, and, by reference to their early history, admonishes them to obey God and his laws; he in part repeats the laws previously given, and in part gives new ones. Finally, he gives a solemn sanction to his legislation, appoints Joshua as his successor, and, after giving reminiscences, warnings, and prophecies, in a spirited discourse, and casting a glance into the beloved
• See Carpzov, Int. in V. T. vol. i. p. 46; he also finds an account of the political administration in this book.
land which was shut to him, he mysteriously departs from the scene !"
PECULIARITIES OF THIS NARRATIVE.
1. IN REFERENCE TO COMPLETENESS.
While the narrative expresses itself fully in many accounts and descriptions, and is even tedious at times,' on the other hand we notice important chasms, which cannot be ascribed to the narrator's want of order, but must rather be attributed to his want of documents.
The most important chasms are between Genesis and Exodus, where a period of four hundred years is passed over; and between Numbers xiii., in the second year of the Exode, when the camp was at Kadesh-Barnea, and Numbers xx., in the fortieth year of the Exode, when the Jews arrive at the wilderness of Zin. Of all this period of thirty-eight years, we know as good as nothing.