Lange Commentary - Genesis

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Lange Commentary - Genesis

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GENESIS ( ÃÅÍÅÓÉÓ , áְּøֵàùִׁéú );





Genesis is the record of the creation of the material world, of the founding of the spiritual world, or kingdom of God, and of general and special revelation; as such it stands at the head of all Scripture as the authentic basis of the whole Bible. It is consequently, in the first place, the basis for all the books of the Old and the New Testament in general, a root whose trunk extends through all Scripture, and whose crown appears in the Apocalypse, the new Genesis, or the prophetic record of the completed new, spiritual world and city of God.

In the special sense, then, it is the basis of the whole Old Testament; in the most special sense it is the basis of the Pentateuch. The Introduction to the Sacred Scriptures in general, we have already given in the “Commentary on Matthew.” The Introduction to the Old Testament precedes the present exposition. We have yet to treat of the Introduction to the Pentateuch, or the Five Books of Moses.

Observation.—Compare the beginning and the end of the Introduction of the “Commentary” of Delitzsch. The author has said many valuable things of the deep significance of Genesis. For example: “Genesis and Apocalypse, the Alpha and Omega of the canonical writings, correspond to each other. To the creation of the present heaven and the present earth corresponds the creation of the new heaven and the new earth on the last pages of the Apocalypse. To the first creation, which has as its object the first man Adam, corresponds the new creation which has its outgoing from the second Adam. Thus the Holy Scriptures form a rounded, completed whole; a proof that not merely this or that book, but also the Canon, is a work of the Holy Spirit.”

But Delitzsch confounds here and elsewhere (as also Kurtz) the significance of the biblical book of Genesis, with the significance of the living Divine Revelation that throughout precedes the biblical books themselves and their historical covenant institutions. It might be going too far to say: “The edifice of our salvation reaching into eternity, rests accordingly on the pillars of this book.” This edifice rests, indeed, on the living, personal Christ, although the faith in Him is effected and ruled by the Holy Writ. In a similar manner it must appear one-sided, when the Pentateuch, as a book, is made the basis of the Old Covenant, or even of the New; although it is, on the other hand, quite as wrong if we do not count the records of divine revelation within the sphere of revelation.

Literary Supplements to the Bible in general.—See Literary Catalogue in Hertwig’s Tabellen; Kurtz: “History of the Old Covenant,” Introduction; Kirchhofer: Bibelkunde, pp. 1, 2, 19 ff.; Winer, 1. p. 75. Works on this subject by Griesinger, Cellerier, Kleuker.—Köppen: “The Bible, a Book of Divine Wisdom.” Prideaux, Stockhouse, Lilienthal, etc. Bräm: “Surveys of Universal History,” Strasburg, 1835; Bertsch: “History of the Old Covenant and its People,” Stuttgart, 1857.



The Hebrew Thorah (i. e., doctrine, especially doctrine of the law,—law), or the record of the covenant religion of the Old Testament ( ἡ ðáëáéὰ äéáèÞêç ), 2Co_3:14; äéáèÞêç = áְּøִéú ), has its real principle not so much in the Mosaic law as in the Abrahamic covenant of faith as effected by the first preparation of the kingdom of God in the creation of the world and of man (see Rom_4:1, ff.; Gal_3:17).

Genesis is, therefore, not the introduction to the five books of Moses, especially to the law-giving portion, as Kurz supposes (“Compendium of sacred history,” p. 94; it is true, with the restriction: “For the Israelitish standpoint the first book has only the import of an historical introduction”), for this would correspond to a specific and Judaistic view of the Old Testament; but it is the universal foundation for it; i. e., for the temporary economic particularity of the patriarchal state and of the law-giving. Genesis is the special root of the Thorah, and the general root of the Holy Writ.

Hence the Pentateuch, including this basis, is developed in five books; (Hebraice: çֵîִùָּׁä çֵåּîְùִׁé äַúּåֹøָä , the five fifths of the law in rabbinical notation. Grece: ἡ ðåíôáôåõ÷ὸò sc. âßâëïò . Latin: liber Pentateuchus). The number five is the half number ten. Ten is the number of the perfect moral or historical development; five is the number of the hand, of action, of freedom, and so then also of their legal standard.

The founding of the law in Genesis unfolds itself in the triple form of legislation. Exodus (liber Exodi; ἡ ἔîïäïò ; Hebrew: ùֵׁîåֹú ) presents the prophetic side of the law throughout. Even the Tabernacle, whose construction is described from Genesis 35-40, belongs not mainly on the side of the priestly service, but on that of the prophetic legislation of God, as the place of the living presence of the lawgiver, and of the law itself (in the ark of the Covenant; hence: Ohel moed, Ohel haeduth, tent of meeting, tent of testimony).

Leviticus (Heb.: åַøִּ÷ִøָà Gr.: ëåíéôéêüí ) embraces the priestly side of the law, the holy order of service for the Israelitish people, according to its symbolical and universal significance in its most comprehensive sense.

The book of Numbers (Heb.: áַּîִּãְáָּø , Gr.: ἀñéèìïß ) is ruled throughout by the idea of the princely or royal encampment of the people of Israel as an army of divine warriors, in which are presented its preconditionings and its typically significant characteristics, revealing, as they do, by manifold disorder, that this people is not the actual people of God, but only the type of that people.

These three fundamental forms of the symbolical Messianic law, namely the prophetic, the priestly, and the royal, are embraced in Deuteronomy (Heb.: ãְáָøִéí , Gr.: äåõôåñïíïìßïí ), or in the solemn free reproduction of the whole law again as a unity, in order to point from the sphere of the legal letter into the sphere of the inner prophetic force of the law (compare Deu_4:25; Gen_5:15; Gen_5:21—the ordering of house and wife; Gen_6:5; Gen_10:18-19; Gen_11:1; Gen_14:1; Gen_18:15; Genesis 28 ff. Gen_30:6; Gen_30:2-14; Gen_33:2-3).

As in Exodus, Leviticus, and Numbers, the historical period of Israel is opened, so Deuteronomy points forward to the prophetic period.

From the foregoing it appears that we can divide the Pentateuch into three main divisions; namely, into Genesis as the universal foundation of the law, next into the particular law that shows, with its Messianic, significant, triple division, the symbolical background of its whole appearance (i. e., into the divisions Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers), and finally into Deuteronomy, in which, along with the intrinsic character, the universal import of the law again prophetically appears.

Observation 1. For the more general category, Historical books of the Old Testament, see the division in the general Introduction. In respect to the literature, see Literary Catalogue.

Observation 2. The present division into five books is considered by some (Berthold) as original and peculiar to the Hebrew collection of the Canon. According to others (Hävernick, Lengerke) it proceeds from the Alexandrians. In favor of the first view is the fact that Josephus, who retained the Hebrew canon, was acquainted with this division (contra Apion. i. 8, also Philo). De Wette seems also to incline to this opinion. Michaelis considered this division older than the Septuagint, but not original. According to Vaihinger (see the article Pentateuch in Herzog’s Real-Lexicon), the division of the Pentateuch into five books was made before the captivity. But the same learned authority supposes it not to have been made until after the division of the Proverbs of Solomon into four parts, because the conscious influence of symbolical numbers had not favored the number five until after that period, as with the division of the Psalms into five books, and the presentation of the five Megilloth.

We do not consider this argument conclusive against the earlier division of Moses into five books. The Jew could distinguish a significant number four, and a significant number five, even according to this numerical symbolism. In the Pentateuch the number five seems to have been indicated from the beginning by the variety of the originals. That Genesis is actually in contrast with the following books, and that Deuteronomy is quite as specific, is evident. The fundamental ideas of the three middle books, do not contrast less specifically with each other, as appears from our division.

It serves even to a better appreciation of the import of the Tabernacle, when we consider that it is an annex of the Decalogue, and of the whole fundamental lawgiving connected there with, and that, in accordance with this, it is represented in the second book as the place wherein Jehovah, as lawgiver, is present to his people. The contents of the fourth, again, are in strong contrast with Leviticus (as the book of the tribes). The ethical prophetical book of Exodus is especially the book of God and his prophet. Leviticus, or the book of the divine office, refers especially to the priests. Numbers, or the book of the tribes, more especially concerns the people in a theocratic, political sense.

Observation 3. If we mark the number ten as the number of perfection, or completion, and consequently the number five as the number of half completion (Vaihinger), such classification seems much too general and indefinite, since the numbers three, seven, and twelve, are also numbers of perfection, or completion, each in its kind. It will be our duty to treat of symbolical numbers in Exodus. Here we will simply anticipate that clearly “the ten words” indicate moral completion, or perfect development, and so also the ten virgins in the gospel parable. When, however, there appear five as foolish and five as prudent or wise, the number five may indeed mark the number of the freely chosen religious and moral development of life. Five books of Psalms indicate the moral and religious life-prime of the Old Testament, just as the five Megilloth indicate five periods of the development of Israelitish life. The five fingers of the hand are the symbol of moral action, as the five senses symbolize the number of the moral reciprocity of man with nature.—Vaihinger rightly concludes from the significancy of the number five, that the Decalogue should not be divided into three and seven, but into five and five.

Observation 4. Our theological naming of the five books (Genesis, &c.) is the Alexandrian naming of the Septuagint, followed by the vulgate (only that the gender of Pentateuch and Exodus in Greek is feminine on account of âéâëïò and ὁäüò , in Latin masculine on account of liber).

The five books, which were comprised by the Jews under the above names: the five fifths, of the law, were individually designated by them, according to the initial words: Breschith, &c, as this naming has passed into the Masoretic Bibles. But the Jews had also a designation for the five books, according to the contents, i. e., Genesis was called the book of the creation (see Vaihinger in Herzog’s Encyclopedia, Art. Pentateuch, p. 293).

Observation 5. Vaihinger seeks for the five books of Moses a second half, and finds it in the prophets (law and the prophets, Mat_22:40). This division is interfered with by the intervention of the Kethubim. Then he finds the second half in the additional idea of the law as promise in the New Testament. Without doubt, the New Testament is the converse of the Old; that, however, the number five, as such, requires a complement, becomes doubtful by the number of the books of the Psalms, unless we are to consider the writings of Solomon as the complement of these five books of Psalms. It is true, a complement follows the five historical books, in the Apostolic writings of the New Testament.

Observation 6. It has been maintained by Ewald, Bleek, Knobel, and others, that the basis of the Pentateuch was originally connected with the book of Joshua, and that the work was in six parts (see Vaihinger, p. 293; Keil, Introduction, § 42, p. 143). It is curious that the same criticism which on the one hand considers these books of Moses too large to have been original, on the other hand again thinks them dismembered out of larger, and comparatively modern, historical writings.


In the introductory paragraphs on the Old Testament criticism, it has been said, that in treating the point in question, we neither feel dependent on tradition and the orthodox rule, that it is necessary for the belief of the canonical word of God to attribute to Moses all the five books of Moses in the present form (except the report of his death), nor on the critical conjectures which in various ways, through their false suppositions, their want of intelligence of the more profound relations of the word, and their great divergence from each other, prove themselves unripe efforts.

That one must adopt a canonical recension of the originals of Moses (i. e., a recension falling within the prophetic sphere of the Old Covenant), appears from the manifold indications of criticism. To these indications belongs, above all, the account of the death of Moses; the judgments on Moses, however, as of a third person, which is the object of the statement Exo_11:3; Num_12:3, seem to us to decide nothing. Then there is the great chasm of 38 years in the history of the wanderings of Israel through the desert (Numbers 20), as also other enigmatical obscurities (see Vaihinger). Farther, the manifold indications of the combination of various originals in initial and concluding formulas; the marks of a later period (Gen_12:6; Gen_13:7; Gen_14:14; Gen_23:2, at that time the Canaanites were in the land; Dan, Hebron, seem no conclusive characteristics); the presumption of a book of the wars of Jehovah (Num_21:14); the great development of the genealogy of Edom carried even to the appearance of its kings (Gen_35:11). The ambiguity of the expression “unto this day” (Gen_19:37; Gen_22:14, ff.), is also noticed by Vaihinger.

From many false presumptions of criticism on the other hand, it is clear that we cannot yield to its past views. Here place especially the rationalistic starting-point of most critics, and their dogmatic prejudices. This Isaiah 1. the prejudice against supernatural revelation in general; consequently 2. against miracles; and 3. against prophecies; through these many are impelled to deny to the Pentateuch not only authenticity, but also its historical character. On this point see Delitzsch, p. 46. Here belongs also the ignoring of the great contrast between the names Elohim and Jehovah, which in its essential significance extends not only through the whole Old Testament (the Solomonic universalism, the Davidic theocratic Messianism), and through the whole New Testament (the Johannean doctrine of the Logos, the Petrine doctrine of the Messiah), but also through the whole Christian church to the contests in the immediate present (ecclesiastical confession and Christian humanism).

At a later period we may speak of some valuable references of Sack and Hengstenberg, to the contrast between Elohim and Jehovah. We also reckon here the supposition, that Moses, the lawgiver, on account of this his peculiar office, could not also, at the end of his career, and in his prophetic spirit, have given a deeper meaning to the law, as he looked out from the legal sphere and over into the prophetic, even as from the mountain Nebo he looked over into the promised land (see the quoted article of Vaihinger, p. 315 ff.). The office of John the Baptist was to preach repentance in the name of the coming Messiah; before his death, however, he became the prophet of the atonement with reference to Christ: Behold the Lamb of God which bears the sins of the world. It is everywhere wrong to assume that a lawgiver has known nothing higher than what he finds within his calling to announce in form of law, according to the degree of culture to which his people have advanced.

After these remarks we give a survey of the various views of the origin and the composition of the Pentateuch, with reference to Bleek (p. 161 ff.).

1. The older supposition among Jews and Christians, that Moses was the author of the entire Pentateuch. This is also the judgment of Philo and Josephus. Thus the Talmud: “Moses wrote his book, the Pentateuch, with the exception of eight Pesukim, the last eight, which were indited by Joshua. Philo and Josephus even assume that Moses wrote the section concerning his death in the spirit of prophecy.

2. The views of the Essenes, according to which the original theocratic revelation was falsified by later interpolations, passed naturally over to the gnostic writings of the Jews, and the Alexandrian gnostics. From this we may explain a similar account of Bleek, relative to the gnostic Valentinus, the Nasoræans (as given by Epiphanius and Damascenus), the Clementines and Bogomiles. The source of these views is everywhere the same gentile, dualistic representation. They also coincide with those judgments of the gnostics, which in their various grades are so inclined to throw away the Old Testament.

3. Doubts of certain Jewish authorities of the middle ages about the authorship of the whole Pentateuch by Moses, Isaac, Ben Jasos, and Aben Esra. The commencement of a genuine criticism is seen with them. They accepted, however, only later additions in certain passages, i. e., Gen_36:31.

4. The first critical doubts after the reformation, 16th century: Carlstadt: De canonicis scripturis, Moses non fuisse scriptorem quinque librorum. Anderas Masius: “The Pentateuch in its present form is the work of Ezra or another inspired man.”—17th century: Hobbes in his Leviathan: “The Pentateuch a work about Moses, not by Moses, yet based on originals by the hand of Moses.” So also Isaac Peyrerius, at first a reformed divine, then Roman and Jesuit: Systema theologicum ex Prœadimitorum hypothesi, 1655. Spinoza in his Tractatus theologico-politicus: “Ezra is the author of the Pentateuch and of the remaining historical books in their present form.” Richard Simon: “Critical History of the Old Testament”: “Moses wrote the laws; the history of his time he had written by annalists, from which followed the later composition of the Pentateuch.” Clericus, in his Sentimens, went still further, though in his “Commentary on Genesis” he took it mostly back, holding that only a few additions are Post Mosaic. Anton Van Dale, Menonite: “The Pentateuch was written by Ezra on the basis of the Mosaic book of the law, and other historical documents.”—18th century: At first a long-continued reaction in favor of genuineness: Carpzov, Michaelis, Eichhorn (Introduction, 1–3). Then followed renewed attacks: Hasse, Professor at Königsberg: “Prospects of Future Solutions of the-Old Testament,” 1785; at the time of the exile the Pentateuch was composed from old records.” Later retractations (following the example of Clericus), according to which he accepted only additions to the documentary Pentateuch. Fulda, whose conjectures are like Bleek’s; Corrodi, Nachtigall (pseudonym, Otmar), whose sweeping assertions were modified by Eckerman, Bauer, aud others.—19th century: To great lengths now went Severin the father, and De Wette; these then were variously opposed under the confession of additions and interpolations by Kelle, Fritzsche, Jahn, Rosenmüller, Pustkuchen, Kanne, Hug, Sack, and others. Reconciling or medium views were presented by Herbst, Bertholdt, Volney, and Eichhorn, 4th Edition. We then have the investigations of Bleek: “A few aphoristic supplements to the investigations of the Pentateuch” (in Rosenmüller’s Repertorium, 1822). Later: “Supplements to the investigations of the Pentateuch”(Studies and Criticisms, 1831). The proof that a great number of the laws, songs, and similar pieces, were originally Mosaic, was not recognized by Hartman, von Bohlen, Vatke, and George. Bleek wrote against von Bohlen: De libri Geneseos Origine, &c., Bonn, 1836. The complete Mosaic composition of the Pentateuch was on the contrary again maintained by Ranke, Hengstenberg, Drechsler, Hävernick, Wette, Keil, and Ludwig König. Movers and Bertheau here follow with peculiar investigations and views. Tuch, in his commentary on Genesis, follows in all material respects the views of Bleek, who also designates the labors of Stähelin, De Wette, Ewald, and von Lengerke, as the latest investigations of the Pentateuch. The latter is eclectic, leaning on Bleek, Tuch, Stähelin, Ewald, and de Wette.

Stähelin passes over the authorship of Moses himself, and makes as the basis of the Pentateuch and the following books an older writing, which extends from the creation to the occupation of the land of Canaan. The recension of the day falls in the time of king Saul, and may have been by Samuel or one of his pupils.

De Wette, in the edition of his Introduction, 5 and 6, supposes a threefold recension of the whole work, at the same time with the book of Joshua , 1. the Elohistic, 2. the Jehovistic, 3. Deuteronomistic. The latter made at the time of Isaiah. The sources of the first treatise could have been partly Mosaic, though it is questionable if in the present form.

Ewald (History of the People of Israel): “by Moses, originally, there was but little—merely the tables of the law and a few other short utterances.” Bases of the present form of the Pentateuch: four or five books involved in each other. See below the treatises on Genesis.

Kurtz, in the “History of the Old Covenant,” in the supplement to Delitzsch, has taken the view that Moses did not write the Pentateuch, but only the passages in the middle books where something is expressly given as written by him, and besides that, Deuteronomy, Genesis 1-32; the Pentateuch, however, was written partly under Moses, and partly under Joshua, or not long after Joshua 2

Bleek (pp. 183 ff.) has given very interesting and evident proof of genuine Mosaic originals, in Leviticus, Numbers, and Exodus. At first it is shown of the sacrificial law, Leviticus 1-7., that it comports in its literal acceptance only with the relations in the wilderness, as appears from the contrast expressed in such phrases as “in camp and outside the camp,” “Aaron and his sons,” “heads of their fathers’ houses” (Exo_6:14), &c. In Leviticus 16. it is commanded that one of the goats shall be sent into the wilderness. Similar indications of originality are found Leviticus 13, 14, &c. Bleek judges in the same way concerning the relations of the camp in Numbers, Genesis 1 ff. Here may be added single songs, viz., the three songs, Numbers 21.—Then are quoted, however, many signs as traces of the later composition of the whole: Gen_12:6 : “and the Canaanite was then in the land” (comp. Gen_13:7). Gen_36:31 : “and these are the kings that reigned in the land of Edom, before there reigned any king over the children of Israel.” Gen_40:15, Joseph says: “I was stolen away out of the land of the Hebrews.” In Gen_13:18, the city of Hebron is mentioned. According to Jos_14:15; Jos_15:13, the city was formerly called Kirjath Arba (comp. Gen_22:2; Gen_35:7; see also the note on Hengstenberg’s declaration, according to which it is possible that Hebron was the oldest name of the city). In Gen_14:14, the city is called Dan, on the contrary we read Jdg_18:29 : “The Danites gave to the city of Laish the name Dan.” Exo_16:35; Num_15:32; Num_15:36; Deu_1:1; Deu_2:12; Deu_3:2, &c. Bleek counts here also the law respecting the king, Deu_17:14-20. Again, laws in Deuteronomy, which seem to anticipate the sojourn in Canaan: Deu_19:14; Genesis 20. Besides these the repetitions: Exo_34:17-26; comp. Genesis 21-23; Exo_16:12, comp. Numbers 11 &c. Then there are apparent disagreements, such as Numbers 4 : “Period of service of the Levites from the 30th year to the 50th;”—again, Num_8:23-26 : “From the 25th to the 50th year.” Still further: “unnatural position of separate sections,” e. g., Exo_6:14-27. Also the chasm in the account from Num_20:1-20, where a space of 37–38 years is omitted. Finally, the improbability that Moses would leave behind an historical work of such extent. We have already, in the General Introduction, given the results of Bleek’s investigations, which we cite as fruit of the untiring diligence of an honest, acute, and pious investigator, without considering them absolutely evident (namely, what concerns those parts where the force of the prophetic prediction seems ignored, or where the acceptance of repetitions and contradictions might be the result of a want of insight into the construction of the books). The article Pentateuch, by Vaihinger, in Herzog’s Real-Encyclopedia, appears to us very noteworthy in a critical point of view. With respect to the present condition of the discussions in question, we refer to the aforesaid labors of Bleek in his Introduction, to the article by Vaihinger, to the supplements by Hengstenberg, to the Introduction to the Old Testament by Keil, and to the Introduction to Genesis by Delitzsch. A carefully prepared tabular presentation of the various views, may be found in Hertwig’s “Tables to the Introduction to the Old Testament,” p. 26 ff.

After the above general remarks, we might, for the present, here come to a close, since we have again to treat of the separate books of the Pentateuch in the proper place. One consideration, however, which seems to us of special importance, and which might not receive its full attention, is the internal truth of the religious periods of development, as ecclesiastical theology has long shown it in the outlines. That the Jewish religion does not begin with the Mosaic legislation, but with the Abrahamitic promise, is presupposed in the New Testament, and is also based upon the nature of the case. The patriarchal religion is characterized as the original of an inner life of revelation and faith, according to its beginnings in the sphere of life, as developed in chosen heads of families. It is clear that this theocratic religion of promise must be distinguished again from the earlier universalistic religion, which it presupposes. It must also present itself objectively in a form of law, externally commanding for a whole nation grown up in slavish oppression and moral desolation. Since this rested, however, on the basis of an inner character in the chosen ones of the people, it was necessary that there be a transition period, (by means of the impulse of the inner life of faith), from the legal stage to the period of a new and more general internal feeling, i. e., to the prophetic period. When finally the spiritual life of this prophetic period became more general, according to the popular measure among the pious of the nation, then it was necessary to make the records of it, in their entirety, effective for the canonical guidance of the national life. The course of the development of the Christian church forms throughout a parallel to this legal development of the Old Testament economy, and it lies in the slow manner of this development, that its separate stages must be indeed lasting historical periods. But what follows from this, in reference to the literature of the individual periods?

It is clear that Genesis, in its essential character, does not point, in the least, beyond the patriarchal standpoint. It consists of originals, which partly represent the universalistic view of the primitive religion, partly the theocratic view of the religion of promise. Though these originals may not have been conceived until the age of Moses as fixed and lasting traditions in the house of Abraham, it appears settled that a Genesis could not have been invented in the prophetic period, nor even in the transition period (from Samuel to Elijah), nor, indeed, in the legal period. The intercourse of the Abrahamites with the Canaanites, the relations of race, the religious forms, everything speaks against it. The book of Job, it is true, transfers its representations from a later period into an earlier one, or into what is still a universalistic religious faith-view; but with all the art of representation, how openly appears the more developed religious stage which points to the period after Solomon. In view of the sacredness of the originals of Genesis it is not probable that their compilation into one work should have fallen beyond the age of Samuel, or even that of Moses.

As regards further the three books of the law (Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers), they bear in their entire contents so decidedly the impress of the stern legal standpoint, that only the compilation of them (not, however, the collection of their material parts) could fall beyond the Mosaic age.

Finally, as above shown, it is not all inconsistent with, but corresponding to, the spiritual life, if we suppose that towards the end of his days, and in his prophetic character, Moses may have prepared the way, through a series of original writings, for the mediation of his legislation with the future period of prophetic subjectiveness, and thus laid the foundation of the transition period beginning with Samuel. The moulding of these originals then belonged to a later period. Should, however, Deuteronomy have been made in the prophetic period, it must have unfailingly betrayed itself through Messianic traits, if not in reference to the personal Messiah, at least in reference to the Messianic kingdom, which is not in the least the case.

The frequent quotation of Mosaic passages in the prophets (see Delitzsch, p. 11 ff.) may certainly prove the existence of such written originals, not, however, the existence of the respective books in their present form (Vaihinger, p. 313). The fulness of these quotations ever remains a proof that the written sources in question had such a degree of sacredness and respect, that we cannot easily assume that at a period, later as compared with the quotations, they had been dismembered in the most various manner, and then again, as new material, been worked up into new books. That the service in High Places was not completely abolished until the time of Hezekiah, is no proof that Deuteronomy, with its prohibition of this service, did not appear until his time (Vaihinger). In the same manner the manifold apostasy of the people from Jehovah would speak against the authenticity of the legislation from Sinai itself. It must be taken into consideration, that the legal nature of the Mosaic faith would urge, in the most decided manner, to the putting in writing and settlement of all definitions and explanations of the law. But from this it does not follow, as Delitzsch maintains, p. 6, that the Post-Mosaic history shows no traces of developments of law. The sacerdotal regulations of David, and many other things, contradict this. It is perhaps also taken too little into consideration, that the contact of the Israelitish traditions with Egyptian refinement and the art of writing must have exerted an immense influence. The periods of Joseph and Moses were certainly, therefore, more given to writing than many a later one. According to the degree of its religious development, its marks of inward depth, and its indications of universality (as it appears, notwithstanding the great theocratic severity of the book), according too to its stately, poetic, and sententious style, has Deuteronomy, as it seems to us, an unmistakable affinity with the literature of Solomon in its wider sense, as it, together with the three works of Solomon, comprises also the book of Job (comp. also the Prayer of Solomon, 1Ki_8:22).

We must, therefore, suppose that the recension of it belongs to the transition period from the legal to the prophetic era, which extends from Samuel to Elisha. The stern vindication of the unity of the place of worship, Genesis 12, appears even to presuppose the founding of Solomon’s temple; as the regal law, Genesis 17, certainly appears in its coloring to point to the errors of Solomon. The same is true of the strong and zealous words against those who mislead to apostasy. If we adhered to this point of view we might set Deuteronomy beside the Song of Solomon and the 45th Psalm (Psa_5:11). On the other hand, it is hardly credible that a Jewish author, after the apostasy of the ten tribes, should have invented such a superabundant blessing on Joseph as we find pronounced in Deu_33:13. Moreover, it is also not easily credible that a theocratic spirit which, toward the end of the period of the Judges, compiled the originals of the lawgiver Moses, should not also have compiled the Deuteronomic originals of his later days. On the ancient character and Egyptian recollections of Deuteronomy, see Delitzsch, pp. 23 ff.

At the time of Jesus Sirach (180–130 b. c.) the Old Testament was extant in its tripartite form as a closed canon (Preface, Genesis 7). At the time of Nehemiah (444 b. c.) Deuteronomy was already compiled, also the constituent parts of the Pentateuch (Neh_13:1; 2Ma_2:13, speak only of a collection of holy books on the part of Nehemiah). At the time of Ezra (458 b. c.) there was developed a documentary learning, which extended to the law, i. e., to the legal writings of Moses (Ezr_7:6-10). For this reason tradition has placed the closing of the canon in the time of Ezra and Nehemiah.

At the time of Josiah (639–609 b. c.) Deuteronomy was again found in the temple as a lawbook of an older period (2Ki_22:8; 2Ch_34:14). It is not at all improbable that just this book, with its emphatic curses of idolatry, was the one that was forgotten or concealed in the depths of the temple at the time of the idolatrous king Manasseh (comp. Gen_33:7). The various conjectures which modern criticism has connected with this circumstance proceed from the ðñῶôïí öåῦäïò that the Old Testament theocrats were at that time hierarchs in the medieval sense, and might have permitted a pia fraus. And so, according to Vatke, must the law have been made about this time. At the time of the king Hezekiah (725 ff.) “his men” collected the addenda to the proverbs of Solomon (Gen_25:1); this, however, was not its beginning. Such a collection of the proverbs of Solomon presupposes far earlier collections with respect to the Psalms and the books of the law. Hence Isaiah can about this time go back with his prophecy to the predictions of Deuteronomy. With the wonderful disappearance of Elijah (896 b. c.) is in reality the purely legal period closed. His shower of fire, prefiguring the end of the world, is followed by the prophetic period, which the vision of Elijah on Horeb, and much more the labors of Elisha in his healing miracles, had presignalled. Elijah looks backwards as the final landmark of the death-bringing and destroying influence of the law; Elisha looks forwards with evangelical omens which the evangelizing words of the Messianic prophets must soon follow. When David was departing this life (1015 b. c.), he could already lay to the heart of his son Solomon, the law of Moses as a written one (1Ki_2:3). The promise of the typical Messiah-king (2 Samuel 7) presupposes already the promise of the typical Messiah-prophet (Deu_18:15), and the promise of the Messiah-priest (Deu_33:8 ff.), i. e., determinate originals of Deuteronomy; since the prophets and priests are present in Israel before the kings.

Observation. It is not with entire justice that Kurtz remarks (History of the Old Covenant, 1, p. 46): “It is an historical fact that stands more firmly than any other fact of antiquity that the Pentateuch is the living foundation, and the necessary presumption, of the whole Old Testament history, not less than of the entire Old Testament literature. Both of these and with them Christendom, as their fruit and completion, would resemble a tree without roots, if the composition of the Pentateuch were transferred to a later period of Israelitish history.” Does the Old Testament theocracy rest then on the completed compilation of scriptural books, or, indeed, on writings at all, or does it not rather rest on the living, actual revelation of God, which preceded all writings? And now all Christendom! The church also rests, indeed, not on the authenticity of the New Testament books, but on the living revelation of God in Christ, although it is regulated by the canon of the New Testament. Moreover, it is well verified that the Pentateuch, as the earlier foundation, is attested by all the following scriptural books. The internal testimony of the Pentateuch to the written compositions of Moses, to which Kurz, after Delitzsch, refers, is also of great import. He has also justly remarked that the canonical character of the scriptural books would stand firmly, even if Ezra were to be regarded as their compiler.

The whole of the present question is largely influenced by the distinction between the records of Elohim and Jehovah, to which we must return in the introduction to Genesis.


It is a fact that the Samaritans (see article in question in Herzog, Winer, &c.) distinguished themselves from the Jews by having a Pentateuch different from theirs in many particulars, and that they possessed, and still possess this, regarding it as the only Holy Writ (other separate writings, e. g., a Samaritan book of Joshua, different from the canonical, are of no special importance). This is to be mentioned here for the reason that the existence of this Pentateuch might, on the one hand, support the authority of our canonical Pentateuch, and on the other hand might also create a prejudice against it.

The earlier composition of the Pentateuch has been inferred from the circumstance that the Samaritans had a Pentateuch in common with the Jews. The Samaritans, it was supposed, received their Holy Writ as a relic of the Israelites of the ten tribes, whose remains mingled with theirs; this explains why they possess only the Pentateuch.

The Israelites, as separated from the kingdom of Judah, accepted from the Jews no other sacred writings, in consequence of their national hatred. Therefore the Pentateuch must have been extant before the separation of the two kingdoms (Jahn). If now Vaihinger is of opinion that this demonstration is contradicted by the proof of Hengstenberg that the Samaritans proceeded solely from heathen colonists, and not from a mixture of Jews and heathen, the argument itself is not duly established; for this matter compare the article “Samaritans” in Winer. Again the circumstance that the Samaritan Pentateuch contains elements which are intended for the glorification of their mountain Garizim, does not oblige us, with Petermann (see article “Samaria” in Herzog’s Real-Encyclopedie), to transfer the whole present compilation of the Pentateuch to the time of the separation of the Samaritans from the Jews, that is, between Nehemiah and Alexander.

If we presuppose among the Samaritans a far earlier existence of the Pentateuch, according to its present entirety, nevertheless the paganizing character of the people, which vacillated between overstrained judaistic institutions and a heathen fondness for fables, would prefer the interpolations which are peculiar to their versions. On the other hand, it is not easy to perceive why the ten tribes, on the separation from Judah, should have been in possession only of the Pentateuch. Moreover, the great harmony of the Samaritan Pentateuch with the Septuagint, permits the inference of earlier Jewish revisions, which would make the old text more pleasant to the pagan culture of the period, by avoiding anthropomorphisms and anthropopathisms. Therefore Vaihinger assumes that the Samaritans first received their Pentateuch through Manasseh, son of the high-priest, as Josephus calls him (Archæology Gen_11:7; Gen_11:2; comp. Gen_13:9; Gen_13:1), who fled to them and drew many Jews with him to apostasy. Welte also assumes (see the article “Samaritan Pentateuch” in the Church-Lexicon of Catholic Theology, by Wetzer and Welte), that the Samaritans first received their Pentateuch through that Jewish priest, who (according to the account of Nehemiah), went over to them as the son of the high-priest Jehoiada, and became the first high-priest of their newly-erected worship on the mountain of Garizim. At the time of this priest, or later, a more acceptable, falsified compilation of the Pentateuch might easily have crowded out a purer and more ancient one; for it is neither historical that the Samaritans until then had been pagans, nor probable that they, as worshippers of Jehovah, had remained without a book of the law. The Israelitish priest, sent to instruct them in the religion of the land, might also have taken charge of the Hebrew service under the form of image and calf-worship. So much, however, is certainly clear, that the careful perseverance of the Samaritans in the legal stage, even after the coming in of an imperfect hope of the Messiah, their want of a living development under the influence of a prophetic spiritual life and prophetic writings, with their careful reverence for the Pentateuch, is very significant testimony that the Pentateuch belongs essentially to a legal period that far preceded the prophetic one.

That the deviations of the Samaritan Pentateuch cannot injure the authority of the Jewish masoretic one, appears from their manifold harmony with the Septuagint, from their modernizing character, as well as, finally, from the manifest falsifications, which have not spared even the Decalogue. For further particulars in reference to this subject, see the articles in the Real-Encyclopedias of Herzog, and of Wetzer and Welte; also the article “Samaritans” by Winer, which latter refers especially to Gesenius: De Pentateuchi Samaritani origine, indole et auctoritate, Halle, 1845.

5. Theological and Homiletical Literature on the Pentateuch.

See Walch, Biblioth. theol. 4. p. 444 ff.

The Universal Wörterbuch, by Danz, under the article “Pentateuch,” p. 754; also the supplement, p. 81.—Winer, Theol. Literature 1., p. 196 ff.; Supplement, p. 31 ff.—Kurz, History of the Old Covenant, pp. 22 and 53. A survey of the writings on the Old Testament in Keil’s Introduction (p. 61) to the Pentateuch, p. 64 works: Clerici Commentarius in Mosis Prophetœ libros 5., Tübingen, 1733. Moldenhauer, Translation and Explanations of the Books of Moses, Quedlinburg, 1774 to 1775. Jerusalem, “Letters on the Mosaic writings and Philosophy,” 3d ed., Braunschweig, 1783. Hess, “History of the Israelites, and Moses in particular,” see Danz, p. 675. Vater, “Commentary” (1802–1805), 3 vols. Ranke, “Investigations of the Pentateuch,” 2 vols., 1834–1840. Hengstenberg, “Authenticity of the Pentateuch,” 1836–1839. The same: “The most important and difficult sections of the Pentateuch explained,” 1 vol. “History of Balaam and his Prophecy,” Berlin, 1838. The same: “The Books of Moses and Egypt,” with supplement; “Manetho and the Hyksos,” Berlin, 1841. E. Bertheau, “The seven Groups of Mosaic Laws in the three middle books of the Pentateuch,” Göttingen, 1840 (the writings of George, Bruno Bauer, The Religion of the Old Testament, Vatke). Baumgarten, “Theolog Commentary on the Old Testament,” 2 vols., Kiel, 1843. Kurz, “History of the Old Covenant,” 1 and 2 vols., 2d Ed., Berlin, 1853. Bähr, “Symbolik of the Mosaic worship,” Heidelberg, 1837. Also other works to be hereafter named, referring to the Mosaic worship. Knobel, “Genesis, Exodus, and Leviticus;” also “Numbers, Deuteronomy, and Joshua;” “Concise Manual,” Leipzig, 1861. Delitzsch and Keil, “Biblical Commentary on the Old Testament,” 1st vol. “Genesis and Exodus,” Leipzig, 1861; 2d vol. “Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy,” Mecklenburg. Scriptura ac Traditio, Commentaries perpetuus in Pentateuchum, Leipzig, 1839. Schuschan Eduth, i. e., “Exposition of the five books of Moses,” Heb. and German, with notes by Arnheim.—Herzheimer, 1853–1854. Thorath Emeth, “The five books of Moses,” by Heinemann, Berlin, 1853. The works on “Church History,” by Natalis Alexander, and many other older theologians, especially of the reformed church; also Lutheran, Buddeus, &c.; Catholic, Stollberg, &c.—Homiletical, see Winer, ii. p. 115 ff. “Sermons,” by Hohnbaum, Baldauf, Sailer, &c. Zinzendorf, Extracts from his “Discourses on the five books of Moses and the four Evangelists.” Published by Clemens, 9 vols., 1763. Beyer, “History of the Israelites in Sermons,” 2 vols. Erfurt, 1811. G. D. Krummacher, “The Wanderings of Israel through the Wilderness,” Elberfeld, 1828. Meurer, “Moses, the servant of God. Spiritual Discourses,” Leipzig, 1836. Appuhn, “Moses, the servant of God,” Magdeburg, 1845. Oosterzee, “Moses, 12 Sermons,” Bielefeld, 1860. Treatises on the Doctrine of Immortality of the Old Testament, especially that of Moses, and on the separate books, will be mentioned in their respective places.



If we can regard as the conclusive mark of the genuine canonicity of the scriptural books, the fact that the spirit of divine revelation (which in the historical sphere has gradually entered into human nature until the perfect union of the Godhead and humanity) has appeared, and that this spirit, consistently progressing, has entered into human writing belonging to revelation, then it appears quite in accordance with nature that such a spirit of revelation has, in Genesis, united with the very earliest and most childlike form of human authorship, and that it does not manifest itself as a completed sacred work of art of theocratic Christian authorship, until the end of the whole biblical literature in the Apocalypse. The accounts of Genesis, taken in their human aspect, seem like loosely arranged and simple narratives of childlike speech, in contrast with that perfect symbolical composition of the Apocalypse, whose deep significance surpasses the comprehension of the most celebrated judges. But though Genesis forms a self-inclusive and connected whole, which sheds a bright, divine, infallible light over all beginnings of primitive time (see § 1), we nevertheless see therein the fact that here the living God has, in the most emphatic sense, prepared his praise “out of the mouth of babes and sucklings.” At the same time this fact gives us a satisfactory solution of the character of inspiration; how at every period it is perfect in the sense, that on the divine side it is continually the voice of the same divine spirit (and in truth of a spirit which completely commanded, in their respective tasks, those human minds that were apprehended and held by its influence), whilst, on the human side, it was to proceed from the imperfection of childlike, pious utterance and story through a series of degrees, until it had reached the full adult age in the new covenant; and all this the more so, as on the line of its chosen ones it had continually to break through the opposition of human sinfulness, which ever surrounded its nucleus of light with colored borders and shadows. With respect to what is centrally fundamental in the Old Testament books, it may be said, that one Godlike thought, or thought of God, ranges itself on the other, in proportion to the degree of divine revelation, or to that of human development. As regards the outer circle of these writings, we may find them burdened with all kinds of human imperfections, if we will judge them according to the New Testament, or draw them on the model of practical historical writing, or of natural science, &c. We must then, however, at the same time, well understand that those supposed imperfections are controlled by the principle of revelation in the books, and that, in our criticism of the style of revelation, we toil towards heterogeneous points of view. Such a process has a relative justification only in presence of an orthodoxy which emphasizes the said literal meanings in order to make from them abstract history, geography, natural science, &c., for the authoritative belief.

Genesis corresponds now to its design, according to which it is the revelation of God concerning the origin of the world, of mankind, of the fall, of the judgment, and the redemption. Not only that it presents these origins purely in their ethical idea and physical development, in accordance with the monotheistic principle, but also that whilst on the one side it clearly brings out the periods in the economy of the preparatory redemption (Adam, Seth, Enoch, Noah, Shem, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph), and connects these periods with persons, wholly in accordance with the principle of personality in the kingdom of God (according to which each particular form of religion is the form of a covenant between the personal God and the personal man); it also presents practically, on the other side, the great contrast between universalism according to which God is Elohim for all the world and all mankind, and theocratic particularism, according to which He is Jehovah for His chosen ones, His covenant people, and His kingdom of salvation, in its full redemptory historical significance. Thus the history of Genesis passes through a series of contrasts, in which that particularism, which in the second book of Moses becomes legal, appears ever more defined, whilst, at the same time, there is seen more clearly the mutuality of this economic particularity and of the teleological universalism as it rests on principial universalism (Genesis 1-3). Thus the promised seed of woman, Genesis 3, confronts the fall of the human race. Then the line of Cain with its God-forsaken, worldly culture (Genesis 4) is confronted by the line of Seth with its sacred worship, elevating the duration of life (Genesis 5). The line of Seth was to become a salvation to the line of Cain, but the former conduces to the perdition of the latter through its overhasty carnal and spiritual intercourse (Genesis 6). The house of Noah in the ark forms then a contrast to the mass of mankind sinking in the flood; but even to these the saving of the ideal humanity in Noah’s house was to be of advantage, according to 1Pe_3:19-20. A new and twofold contrast is then formed among the sons of Noah; to the contrast of piety, and pious culture, and barbarism (Shem and Japheth as opposed to Ham), is presented now the contrast of a one-sided worship (Shem) blest of God, and of a one-sided culture, also blest of God (Japheth). The culture of Japheth is no longer accursed, as that of Cain; after its propagation in the world, it is to return to the tents of Shem and be brought into unity with the perfected faith of revelation (Genesis 9). Thus is the formation of the contrast between theocracy and heathendom introduced, as it is unfolded on the basis of the universal genealogical table (Genesis 10). With the development of heathendom (Genesis 11) is contrasted the founding of theocracy (Genesis 12). That, however, the contrast thus opened is no absolutely hostile one, appears not merely from the preventive thought of the dispersion of nations (Gen_11:6-7), but rather from the whole series of antitheses against heathendom, or heathenish characteristics, which now runs through the life of Abraham. The first antithesis is formed between Abraham and his father’s house, with its heathenish indecision in respect to the true faith (Genesis 12). His father, Terah, was already on the way to Canaan; but he let himself be detained by the fertile Mesopotamia. The second antithesis of Abraham is Pharaoh in Egypt and heathen despotic caprice (Genesis 12). The third antithesis is Lot and heathen selfishness and worldliness (Genesis 13). In the fourth, Abraham meets he heathenish, robber-like warfare, with the liberating holy war of freedom, and, in consequence of this, is greeted by the prince of heathen piety, Melchisedek, as the prince of the theocratic faith (Genesis 14). Then the antithesis enters into the very house of Abraham himself. Not the son of his faithful servant Eleazer shall be his heir (Genesis 15), not the son of his body begotten of Hagar the maid (Genesis 16), not even his posterity itself in unconsecrated birth; no,—circumcision must distinguish between the consecrated and the unconsecrated in his own life and race (Genesis 17). So far the contrast between Abraham and the heathen world is clearly softened through the light of peace, as he, in deed, has been separated from the heathen world, in order that in his seed all races of the earth may be blest (Genesis 12). Pharaoh and Lot, and the men allied to him in war, were no godless heathen; Melchisedek could even surpass him in certain respects. But now the contrast opens between Abraham and a Sodom ripe for judgment. Abraham, the highly favored confidant and friend of God, pleads for Sodom in an extremely persistent manner. His intercession shows in what sense he is chosen, and at least profits Lot and his daughters (Genesis 19, 20). The position of Abraham in respect to Abimelech of Gerar is again no contrast between bright day and dark night; the weakness of Abraham in the duty of protecting his wife, is contrasted with the arbitrariness of Abimelech in matters of sex (Genesis 20). In what a mild light, however, appear Ishmael and Abimelech (Genesis 21), and Hagar, to whom also the angel of the Lord as such appeared at an earlier period in her great necessity (Genesis 16)! And later, Abraham must distinguish between the human sacrifice, as offered in the heathenish spirit, and the theocratic devotion of the soul (Genesis 22), as he was previously obliged to distinguish between unconsecrated and consecrated connection of sex, generation, and birth. The manner in which Abraham buries Sarah is not the heathen manner of interment; and so also his seeking a wife for his son has its theocratic traits (Genesis 23, 24). The antipathy against heathendom, together with a friendly relation to the heathen themselves, runs throughout the life of Abraham, as this meets us finally in the children of his second marriage. Here follows now the great contrast between Isaac and Ishmael. Ishmael cannot be the theocratic heir; he has his inheritance, however, and also his blessing. The same may be said of the contrast between Jacob and Esau. The latter is only rejected under the point of view of the theocratic hereditary power; he also has his blessing. Finally, a contrast is even formed between Joseph and his brethren. And then also between Joseph and Judah; and Judah becomes inferior to Joseph the very moment he gives himself up as security for Benjamin (Genesis 44-18 ff.). Thus in Genesis throughout there is presented the relation between theocratic particularism and heathendom. The heathen element is rejected, what is noble and pious in the heathen is acknowledged. The bond of humanity in relation to the heathen is retained in illustration of real sympathy, just reception, and kindly treatment. But where the economic particularism, ordered by God, tends to become a human or inhuman, pharasaical fanaticism (as in the crime of the brothers Simeon and Levi at Shechem), there the spirit of revelation pronounces through the mouth of the patriarch a verdict of decided condemnation (Gen_34:30; Gen_49:5-7).

Already, therefore, does Genesis constitute an economic and conditional contrast between Judaism and Heathendom, and consequently also a religion which is at the same time theocratic in its particularism and human in its universalism, resting, as it does, on a self-revelation of God, according to which he is, on the one hand, the God of the whole world and all nations; on the other hand, the God of the chosen ones, the God of Israel, of his covenant people, of his kingdom.

The simplicity with which Genesis presents the whole history of antiquity in biographical forms, is, at the same time, its sublimity. Its God is a personal God, and its world and history do not consist of persons who are puppet images of impersonal things, but of personalities from whose reciprocal action with God are developed the real relations. Thus is unfolded that history of the heroic acts of faith, with which the old heroes of the faith introduce the revelation, piece by piece, into the world, according to Hebrews 11. The faith of Adam and of all primeval mankind in the creation, is followed by Abel’s faith in sacrifice, Enoch’s faith in immortality. Noah’s faith in judgment and deliverance, Abraham and Sarah’s faith in promise, the faith of Abraham in a resurrection, and the faith in hope and blessing of the patriarchs in general. Abraham, however, is especially the father of the faithful, because he not only believed for himself, as Melchisedek did, but also for his race (Romans 4.). He is, consequently, at the same time the man of active obedience to the faith, the man of deed or doing. Isaac, on the contrary, is the type of all sufferers or waiters in faith. In the life of Jacob finally, acting and suffering in the faith alternate in the most manifold style, i. e., he is preëminently the faith fighter, or one who fights the fight of faith; his name Israel implies this. In the wonderful story of providence which expresses itself in the history of Joseph, we meet, more decidedly than in the life of Jacob, the type of humiliation and exaltation, which hereafter continues to be the basis of the conduct of the faithful, and which finds, therefore, its last and highest fulfilment in Christ.

The characters of the twelve sons of Jacob are individually presented to us in such firm and practical features, that we receive the decided impression that we have everywhere to do with persons, not with personifications. Those critics who will transfer the personifications of heathen mythology to patriarchal history (Nork, Redslob, &c.), overlook the great world-historical contrast, according to which the heathen consciousness has lost itself in the impersonal, the material, the worldly; whilst the history of theocratic consciousness is the history of the religious spirit raising itself above nature, or of the self-comprehension of significant personalities in the communion of the personal God. For this consciousness, the remembrance of great persons was more indelible than that of great masses of people; the remembrance of great personal experience of faith, and of deeds of faith, more important than that of great events. As the monotheistic faith was peculiar, so also was the monotheistic memory. The faith of the patriarchs could not have become the religion of the future, had it not struck correspondingly strong roots in the past. Their faith in the future went beyond the end of the world; their faith remindings were, therefore, obliged to go back beyond the beginning of the world.

We must not forget that the illumination of God corresponded, throughout, to the inquiries and efforts of the religious spirit of man. Therefore visions were seen backwards as well as forwards, and the power of personal interest explains the gradually retroceding prophetic significance of many names.

Supplement. The nomenclature of Genesis, see in the translation itself.


A. Patriarchal Tradition

Genesis, which in its age surpasses all monuments of old religious literature, although the oldest manuscripts of it do not go back of the ninth century after Christ (see Delitzsch, p. 5), comprises a space of more than 2,000 years (according to Delitzsch, p. 4, comp. p. 15, 2,306 years). In its contents it touches only the beginnings of the art of writing;<