Prophetic Testimony To The Pentateuch -- By: Henry Hayman
BSac 49:193 (Jan 1892) p. 109
Prophetic Testimony To The Pentateuch
In dealing with the objections of current criticism to the genuineness and relative antiquity of the Pentateuch, it seems best to meet them in their most popular form. Of this in the following pages the lectures of Professor Robertson Smith on “The Old Testament in the Jewish Church,” are taken as a type well known. There can be no more important section of the whole area of evidence by which these objections are to be tested, than the testimony of the prophets of Israel and Judah. At the same time that they do not absolutely prove a much higher antiquity than that of their own age, yet so far as they prove this latter, they render highly probable a much higher one. To put the question thus opened briefly: If the Pentateuch be substantially older by even half a century than the close of Uzziah’s reign, it must be vastly older. There is no period of the monarchy since the earlier part of Solomon’s reign to which it can even with plausibility be ascribed. But that reign, rich in administrative and centralizing power, shows no trace of nomothetic energy. The earlier reigns are too largely warlike struggles, first for existence and then for supremacy, for such energy to have been developed. What we know of Samuel’s personal practice is too largely antithetic to the Levitical norm for us to regard him as a possible author of it. This antithesis arises from contemporary events and their influ-
BSac 49:193 (Jan 1892) p. 110
ences, chiefly indeed from the divorce of the ark from its sanctuary. Besides which a sanctuary, claiming to be central, under a fixed and inherited priesthood of divine origination, and with fixed rules and customs of cullus, is what meets us on the threshold of Samuel’s personal history, and points backward to a series of some ages of continuity. No one would think of ascribing such a work to the highly disorganized period of the Judges. The question of origin is thus thrown back between Joshua and Moses; and to ascribe it to Joshua is simply to make the whole record in the literal sense preposterous. These are the reasons for attaching far more than the mere weight of contemporary testimony to the evidence furnished by the prophets.
Of these the professor asserts, that “they deny that these things [sacrifice and ritual] are of positive divine institution, or have any part in the scheme on which Jehovah’s grace is administered in Israel. ‘Jehovah,’ they say, ‘has not enjoined sacrifice’” (p. 288). He holds that such passages as Isa. 1:11 seq.; Amos 2:10; 5:25 prove his contention. Let us exa...
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