THE UNITY OF THE BOOK
WILLIAM HENRY GREEN, D.D., LL.D.
PROFESSOR OF ORIENTAL AND OLD TESTAMENT LITERATURE IN PRINCETON
CHARLES SCRIBNER'S SONS
COPYRIGHT, 1895, BY
CHARLES SCRIBNER'S SONS
[Digitally prepared by Dr. Ted Hildebrandt
Gordon College, MA 9/11/2002]
PRINTING AND BOOKBINDING COMPANY
ALL tradition, from whatever source it is derived,
whether inspired or uninspired, unanimously affirms that
the first five books of the Bible were written by one man
and that man was Moses. There is no counter-testimony
in any quarter. From the predominant character of their
contents these books are commonly called the Law. All
the statutes contained in them are expressly declared to
have been written by Moses or to have been given by the
LORD to Moses. And if the entire law is his, the history,
which is plainly preparatory for, or subsidiary to, the
law, must be his likewise.
The Mosaic authorship of the Pentateuch has, how-
ever, been challenged in modern times in the name of
the higher criticism on two distinct and independent
grounds. One is that of the document hypothesis in its
various forms and modifications, which occupies itself
with the narrative portion of the Pentateuch, and on
the ground of literary criteria claims that this is not the
product of anyone writer, but that it has been compiled
from different documents, which are clearly distinguish-
able in diction, style, conception, plan, and design, and
which belong to widely separated ages. The other is
that of the development hypothesis, which has attached
itself to the preceding, but deals characteristically with a
different portion of the Pentateuch and employs a differ-
ent style of argument. Its field of operation is the laws,
which it claims were not and could not have been given by
Moses, nor at anyone period in the history of Israel.
It professes to trace the growth of this legislation from
simple and primitive forms to those which are more
complex and which imply a later and more developed
civilization. And it confidently affirms that these laws
could not have been committed to writing in their pres-
ent form for many centuries after the age of Moses.
These hypotheses are discussed in a general way in my
"Higher Criticism of the Pentateuch," where the fallacy
and inconclusiveness of the reasoning by which they are
defended and the falsity of the conclusions deduced from
them are exposed. In order to a complete refutation of
these hypotheses it is necessary to show still further by
a detailed examination their inapplicability to, and in-
compatibility with, the phenomena of the Pentateuch,
and that, so far from solving the question of its origin,
they are destitute of any real basis; they find no support
in the Pentateuch itself, but are simply the creations of
learned ingenuity and a lively imagination.
The present treatise occupies itself exclusively with
the document hypothesis, and aims to prove that the
book of Genesis is not a compilation from different docu-
ments, but is the continuous work of a single writer.
The demonstration that this hypothesis has no foothold
in Genesis effectually overturns it for the rest of the
Pentateuch, or, if the critics please, the Hexateuch. It
took its rise in Genesis; the most plausible arguments
in its favor are drawn from that book; and the verdict
rendered by that book substantially settles the case for
those that follow. It is on the basis of the assumption
that it is firmly established in Genesis that it is carried
through the Hexateuch. If that assumption is proved
to be false, the hypothesis collapses entirely.
What is here proposed is a critical study of Genesis
from beginning to end, chapter by chapter and section
by section. The history of critical opinion is given in
full in the more important passages, and is throughout
traced sufficiently to place before the reader the various
views that have been entertained, together with the
grounds adduced on their behalf. Pains have been taken
to carefully collate and frankly state whatever has been
urged in defence of the hypothesis by its ablest and
most eminent advocates on each successive passage; and
this is then subjected to a thorough and candid exami-
nation. The reader will thus be put in possession of the
reasons for and against it to the best of the writer's abil-
ity, and can form his own conclusion. The writer, while
aiming at entire fairness in presenting both sides of the
argument, does not conceal his own assured conviction
of the overwhelming preponderance in favor of the faith
of ages and against the divisive hypothesis of modern
As the alleged criteria of the different documents are
most fully and clearly stated by Dr. Dillmann, his pres-
entation of them is followed throughout the book, unless
where some other authority is expressly mentioned.
To avoid constant circumlocution P, J, E, and D are
frequently spoken of as though they were the real en-
tities that the critics declare them to be, and passages
are said to belong to one or the other because critics so
affirm. Such language adopted for brevity must not be
understood as an admission that the documents so called
In replying to the objections of Bishop Colenso in
1863 the author ventured the suggestion that he might
at some future time prepare a work on the criticism of
the Pentateuch. Since that time the positions then
taken by leading critics have been abandoned by them-
selves, and their whole conception of the origin and con-
stitution of the Pentateuch has been revolutionized.
The complex character of the Pentateuchal question
and the tedious minuteness required in its thorough ex-
amination doubtless supply the reason why so many
critics are content with repeating or building upon the
conclusions of their predecessors without investigating
for themselves the soundness of the basis on which these
conclusions rest. The author frankly confesses for him-
self that, while he felt at every point the weakness and
unsatisfactory character of the arguments of the divisive
critics, he was long deterred by the complexity of the
task from undertaking to prepare such a treatise as the
nature of the case required. He might have continued
still to shrink from it but for the proposal, in 1888,
by his friend Dr. W. R. Harper, of an amicable dis-
cussion of the subject in the columns of the Hebraica.
The kindly proposal was accepted, though with some
hesitation lest the cause whose defence was thus under-
taken might suffer from unskilful advocacy. It seemed,
however, to involve less responsibility and to be a less
onerous undertaking to engage in such a discussion,
piecemeal, in the columns of a quarterly journal, at
the solicitation of a friend, than to set myself to the
preparation of a work on the entire subject of my own
motion. The discussion thus begun was continued at
intervals, step by step, through the whole of the narrative
portion of the Pentateuch. Though convinced at the
outset of the unsoundness in the main of the arguments
urged on behalf of the critical partition of the Penta-
teuch by its principal defenders, I did not know but
there might be some fire where there was so much
smoke, and some possible foundation for the positive
assertions in which the critics are so prone to indulge.
The discussion was accordingly begun with no absolute
prepossession on my part for or against the existence of
Pentateuchal documents. One thing was clear to my
mind from the beginning, that the Pentateuch as inspired
of God was a true and trustworthy record; everything
else was left to be determined by the evidence which it
should supply. As the discussion proceeded I found my-
self unable to discover sufficient reason anywhere for the
assumption that the Pentateuch was a compilation from
pre-existing documents; and by the time that my task
was completed I had settled down in the assured belief
that the so-called documents were a chimera, and that
the much-vaunted discovery of Astruc was no discovery
at all, but an ignis fatuus which has misled critics ever
since into a long and weary and fruitless search through
fog and mire, that might better be abandoned for a
forward march on terra firma.
The discussion in the Hebraica prepared the way for
the volume now offered to the public, in which the
attempt is made to treat the question with more thor-
oughness than was possible in the limitations necessarily
imposed in a crowded quarterly. The ground there
traversed has been carefully re-examined and explored
at afresh in the light shed upon it by the ablest minds on
either side of the controversy. The prominence ac-
corded to German scholars is due to the fact that the
have been the chief laborers in the field. The various
partition hypotheses, after Astruc's conjecture, as he
himself termed it, had pointed out the way, have been
originated and elaborated by German scholars. And if
they have failed to put them upon a solid basis, it is but
from no lack of learning, ingenuity, or perseverance, but
much from the inherent weakness of the cause.
It is hoped that this volume may prove a serviceable
text-book for the study of criticism; that it may meet
the wants of theological students and ministers who de-
sire to acquaint themselves thoroughly with a subject of
such prominence and importance; and that it may like-
wise prove helpful to intelligent laymen who, omitting
the discussion of Hebrew words that are necessarily in-
troduced, may be led by it to a better understanding of
the book of Genesis in its connection and the mutual
relation of its several parts, and be helped in the solu-
tion of difficulties and the removal of objections. It
stands on the common ground, dear alike to all who re-
gard the Pentateuch as the word of God through Moses,
whether Jew or Christian, Catholic or Protestant, clergy-
man or layman. If by the divine blessing it shall be
made to contribute in any measure to the elucidation or
defence of this part of Holy Scripture, or to the confir-
mation of the faith of any, or to the relief of such as
may have been perplexed or troubled by anxious doubts
or misgivings, the author will be profoundly grateful to
Him to whom all praise is due.
PRINCETON, N. J., September 26, 1895.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
THE BOOK OF GENESIS, 1
The creation of the heavens and the earth (Gen. i. 1-ii. 3),
words indicative of P, 4.
THE GENERATIONS OF THE HEAVENS AND THE EARTH (CH. II. 4-IV.) 7
Primitive state and fall of man (ch. ii. 4-iii. 24), 7; false critical
methods, 7; no duplicate account of the creation,
9; no discrepancies, 20; words and phrases indicative of J,
29 ; mutual relation of this and the preceding section, 33.
Cain and Abel--Cain's descendants (ch. iv.), 36; marks of J, 39.
THE GENERATIONS OF ADAM (CH. V. 1- VI. 8), 42
Adam to Noah (ch. v.), 42; the Cainite and Sethite gen-
ealogies, 43; duplicate statements, 47; primeval chronology,
49; marks of P, 50. The Sons of God and the Daughters of
Men (ch. vi. 1-8), 51; marks of J, 61.
THE GENERATIONS OF NOAR (CH. VI. 9-IX. 29), 65
The flood (ch. vi. 9-ix. 17), 65; the critical partition of
ch. vi. 5-ix. 17, 66; J not continuous, 71; P not contin-
uous, 78; no superfluous repetitions, 83 ; the divine names,
88; no discrepancies, 90; difference of diction, 94; marks
of P, 96; marks of J, 116; numerical correspondence, 121;
the Assyrian flood tablets? 122, Noah after the flood (ch.
ix. 18-29), 127.
THE GENERATIONS 0F THE SONS 0F NOAH. (CH. X. l-XI. 9), 131 Origin of nations (ch. x.), 131 ; marks of P, 141 ; marks
of J, 143. Tower of Babel (ch. xi. 1-9),143; marks of J, 145.
THE GENERATIONS 0F SHEM (CH. XI. 10-26), 146
Shem to Abram (ch. xi. 10-26), 146.
THE GENERATIONS OF TERAH (Cx. XI. 27-XXV. 11), 148
Preliminary remarks, 148; the divine names, 151; the crit-
ical partition, 154; no discrepancies, 161. The family of
Terah (ch. xi. 27-32), 168. The call of Abram and his jour-
neys (ch. xii.), 171; critical partition of vs. 1-9, 172; marks
of P, 175; marks of J, 181. Abram in Egypt (vs. 10-20),
182; marks of J, 185. Separation from Lot (ch. xiii), 185;
grounds of partition, 186; marks of P, 192; marks of J, 193.
Abram's rescue of Lot (ch. xiv.), 195. Promise and cove-
nant of Jehovah (ch. xv.), 202. Birth of Ishmael (ch. xvi.),
208; marks of P, 213; marks of J, 215. Covenant sealed
by Abraham (ch. xvii.), 217; style of P, 226; marks of P,
231. Visit to Abraham and destruction of Sodom (ch. xviii.
1-xix. 28), 236; marks of J, 240. Lot's incest (ch. xix. 29-
38), 246; marks of J, 250. Abraham with Abimelech, king
of Gerar (ch. xx.), 250; critical embarrassment, 250; diction
of ch. xx., 252; not referable to a distinct document, 254;
marks of E, 259. Birth of Isaac and dismissal of Ishmael (ch.
xxi. 1-21), 262; critical perplexity, 262; division impossible,
266 ; marks of P, 269; marks of J, 269; marks of E, 270.
Abraham at Beersheba (ch. xxi 22-34), 273; marks of E,
276. Sacrifice of Isaac (ch. xxii. 1-19), 277; the critical par-
tition, 278; marks of E, 286; marks of R, 288; no proof of
separate documents, 290. Family of Nahor (ch. xxii. 20-24),
291; marks of J, 292. Death and burial of Sarah (ch. xxiii.),
293; marks of P, 296. Marriage of Isaac (ch. xxiv.), 298;
marks of J, 304. Conclusion of Abraham's life (ch. xxv.
1-11), 307; marks of P, 310.
THE GENERATIONS OF ISHMAEL (CH. XXV. 12-18), 312
Marks of P, 313.
THE GENERATIONS OF IsAAC (CH. XXV. 19-XXXV.), 314
Esau and Jacob (ch. xxv. 19-34), 314; marks of P, 320;
marks of J, 321. Isaac in Gerar and Beersheba (ch. xxvi.
1-33), 322; marks of J, 326. Jacob's blessing and depart-
ure (ch. xxvi. 34-xxviii. 9), 328; marks of P, 332; marks of
of J, 333; marks of E, 333. Jacob's dream (ch. xxviii.
10-22), 335; marks of J, 341; marks of E, 342. Jacob in
Haran (chs. xxix., xxx.), 344; the divine names, 350;
marks of J. 353; marks of E, 354. Jacob's return from
Haran (ch. xxxi-xxxii. 3), 357; hiatus in the document P,
362; the covenant of Laban and Jacob, 365; the divine
names, 369; marks of P, 370; marks of E, 370. Meeting
of Jacob and Esau (ch. xxxii. 4-xxxiii. 17), 372; Jacob
wrestling with the angel, 377; no proof of a parallel narra-
tive, 380; the divine names, 380; marks of J, 381. The
rape of Dinah (ch. xxxiii 18-xxxiv.), 382; Jacob's arrival
in Shechem, 383; critical difficulties, 386; divergence of the
critics, 388; not composite, 398; marks of P, 402; marks
of J, 403. Jacob at Bethel and Isaac's death (ch. xxxv.),
404. Jacob at Bethel, 405; death of Rachel, 408; grounds
of partition irrelevant, 411; conclusion of the section, 412.
THE GENERATIONS OF ESAtJ (CH. XXXVI.-XXXVII.1), 415
Opinions of critics, 415; unity of the chapter, 417 ; no dis-
crepancies, 420; no anachronism, 425.
THE GENERATIONS OF JACOB (CR. XXXVII. 2-L.), 430
The unity of plan, 430; lack of continuity in the docu-
ments, 434; the divine names, 434; diction and style, 435.
Joseph sold into Egypt (ch. xxxvii. 2-36), 437; variance
among critics, 437; grounds of partition, 447; marks of J,
450. The narrative of Judah and Tamar (ch. xxxviii), 452;
no lack of order, 452; no anachronism, 454; marks of J,
455. Joseph is cast into prison (ch. xxxix.), 457; no dis-
crepancies, 457; the divine names, 459; marks of J, 462.
Dreams of the butler and baker (ch. xl.), 463; no discrep-
ancy, 464; no anachronism, 466; diction, 467. Pharaoh's
dreams (ch. xli.), 467; grounds of partition, 468. Journeys
of Jacob's sons to Egypt (ch. xlii.-xliv.), 473; no discrep-
ancy, 475; the divine names, 482; marks of J and E, 483.
Joseph makes himself known (ch. xlv.), 487; marks of E,
491. Removal to Egypt (ch. xlvi 1-27), 492; marks of J,
498; marks of E, 498; marks of P, 498. Settlement in
Goshen (ch. xlvi. 29-xlvii. 11),499; marks of P, 502; marks
of J, 502. Joseph's arrangements in Egypt (ch. xlvii. 12-27),
504; marks of E, 506; marks of J, 507; marks of P, 509. Jacob
charges Joseph and adopts his sons (ch. xlvii. 28-xlviii.
22), 510; marks of P, 518; marks of E, 518; marks of J,
519. Jacob's blessing and death (ch. xlix.), 519; no vati-
cinium post eventum, 521; marks of P, 526. The burial of
Jacob and death of Joseph (ch.l.), 526; marks of J, 529;
marks of E, 530.
Grounds of partition, 531; repetitions and discrepancies,
532; the divine names, 538; diction, style, and conception,
548; continuity of Genesis, 554; chasms in the documents,
556; when and where produced, 560. Summary of the argu-
I. THE DIVINE NAMES, 573
II. STYLE, CONCEPTION AND THE RELATION OF PASSAGES, 573 III. CHARACTERISTIC WORDS AND PHRASES, 574
IV. THE ENGLISH EQUIVALENTS, 579
WORKS REFERRED TO IN THIS
*** These works are here arranged in the order of their publication.
The reader can thus see at a glance where each belongs in the history of
Matthew Poole, Annotations upon the Holy Bible, First Edition, 1683.
Astruc, Conjectures sur leg Memoires Originaux, dont il paroit, que
Moyse s'est servi pour composer le Livre de la Genese, 1753.
Harmer, Observations on Divers Passages of Scripture, Second Edi-
Ilgen, Die Urkunden des ersten Buchs von Moses in ihrer Urgestalt,
Vater, Commentar uber den Pentateuch, Theil i, ii., 1802; Theil iii,
Eichhorn, Einleitung in das Alte Testament, Dritte Ausgabe, 1803;
Vierte Ausgabe, 1823.
DeWette, Beitrage zur Einleitung in das Alte Testament, Erstes Band-
chen, 1806; Zweiter Band, 1807.
Ewald, Die Komposition der Genesis kritisch untersucht, 1823.
Gramberg, Libri Geneseos Secundum Fontes rite dignoscendos Adum-
bratio nova, 1828.
F. H. Ranke, Untersuchungen fiber den Pentateuch aus dem Gebiete
der hoheren Kritik, Erster Band, 1831; Zweiter Band, 1840.
Hengstenberg, Die Authentie des Pentateuches, Erster Band, 1836;
Zweiter Band, 1839.
Movers. Review of von Bohlen's Genesis in Zeitschrift fur Philosophie
und Katholische Theologie, 1836.
Havernick, Handbuch der historish-kritischen Einleitung in das Alte
Testament, Erster Theil, Zweite Abtheilung, 1837.
Tuch, Kommentar uber die Genesis, 1838; Zweite Aufiage, 1871.
Stahelin, Kritische Untersuchungen uber den Pentateuch, die Bucher
Josua, Richter, Samuels, und del Konige, 1843.
Kurtz, Die Einheit der Genesis, 1846.
Winer, Biblisches Realworterbuch, Dritte Aufiage, 1847.
Ewald, Jahrbucher del Biblischen Wissenchaft for 1851-52.
xvi WORKS REFERRED TO IN THIS VOLUME
Knobel, Die Genesis, 1852.
Delitzsch, Die Genesis, 1852, Dritte Ausgabe, 1860; Vierte Ausgabe,
1872. Neuer Commentar uber die Genesis, 1887.
Kurtz, Geschichte des Alten Bundes, Erster Band, Zweite Aufiage, 1853.
Hupfeld, Die Quellen der Genesis und die Art ihrer Zusammensetzung,
Robinson, Biblical Researches in Palestine and in the Adjacent Re-
Bohmer, Das Erste Buch der Thora, Ubersetzung seiner drei Quellen-
schriften und der Redactionszusatze mit kritischen, exegetischen,
historischen Erorterungen, 1862.
Noldeke, Untersuchungen zur Kritik des Alten Testaments, 1869. Merx,
Article on Dinah in Schenkel's Bibel-Lexikon, 1869.
Schrader, Editor of the "eighth thoroughly improved, greatly en-
larged and in part wholly transformed edition" of DeWette's
Lehrbuch der historisch-kritischen Einleitung in die kanonischen
und apokryphischen Bucher des Alten Testaments, 1869.
Kayser, Das vorexilische Buch der Urgeschichte Israels und seine
Erweiterungen, ein Beitrag zur Pentateuch-kritik, 1874.
George Smith, Translation of the flood tablets in his Assyrian Dis-
coveries, 1875; the Chaldean Account of Genesis, 1876; and Records
of the Past, vol. vii., 1876.
Wellhausen, Die Composition des Hexateuchs, in the Jahrbticher fur
Deutsche Theologie, 1876-1877; republished in Skizzen und
Vorarbeiten, Zweites Heft, 1885; and again in Die Composition des
Hexateuchs und der hist orischen Bucher des .Alten Testa. ments,
Kuenen, The Religion of Israel to the Fall of the Jewish State, trans-
lated by A. H. May, vol. i, 1874.
Dillmann, Die Genesis, first edition published as the third edition of
Knobel's Commentary, 1875; second edition (Knobel's fourth),
1882; third edition (Knobel's fifth), 1886.
Wellhausen, Geschichte Israels, 1878, republished as Prolegomena zur
Geschichte Israels, 1883. Third edition, 1886.
Oort, The Bible for Learners, English translation, 1878.
Colenso, The Pentateuch and Book of Joshua critically examined,
Part Vii., 1879.
Reuss, Die Geschichte der Heiligen Schriften Alten Testaments, 1881. Haupt, Der keilinschriftliche Sintfluthbericht, in Schrader's Die Keil-
inschriften und das Alte Testament, 1883.
WORKS REFERRED TO IN TH1S VOLUME xvii
Budde, Die Biblische Urgeschichte (Gen. i-xii 5), 1883.
Kuenen, An Historico-critical Inquiry into the Origin and Composi-
tion of the Hexateuch. Translated by P. H. Wicksteed, 1886.
Vatke, Historisch-kritische Einleitung in das Alte Testament, 1886.
Stade, Geschichte des Volkes Israel, 1887.
Kittel, Geschichte der Hebraer, 1888.
Harper, The Pentateuchal Question, in the Hebraica for 1888-1892.
Kautzsch und Socin, Die Genesis mit ausserer Unterscheidung der
Quellenschriften, 1888; Zweite Aufiage, 1891. Reproduced in
English as Genesis Printed in Colors, showing the original sources
from which it is supposed to have been compiled, with an intro-
duction by E. C. Bissell.
Cornill, Einleitung in das Alte Testament, 1891.
Driver, An Introduction to the Literature of the Old Testament, 1891.
Strack, Die Genesis, 1892.
Davis, Genesis and Semitic Tradition, 1894.
Kuenen, Gesammelte Abhandlungen zur Biblischen Wissenchaft.
Aus dem Hollandischen ubersetzt von K. Budde, 1894.