Essays In Pentateuchal Criticism -- By: Harold M. Wiener

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 066:261 (Jan 1909)
Article: Essays In Pentateuchal Criticism
Author: Harold M. Wiener

Essays In Pentateuchal Criticism

Harold M. Wiener


The “Clue” To The “Documents”

We now come to the most important of all the points we have to discuss. Mr. Carpenter states the critical case with respect to it as follows: —

“The real key to the composition of the Pentateuch may be said to lie in Ex 6:2–8… . Two facts of the utmost importance are here definitely asserted. In revealing himself as the Lord, God affirms that he had not been known by that name to the forefathers of Israel; but he had appeared to them as El Shaddai. On the basis of these words it would be reasonable to look for traces in Genesis of divine manifestations to the patriarchs under the title El Shaddai, and their discovery would afford a presumption that they belonged to the same document. On the other hand the occurrence of similar manifestations in the character of the Lord would directly contradict the express words of the text, and could not be ascribed to the same author. The distinction which Astruc adopted has thus the direct sanction of the Pentateuch itself, and its immediate application is simple and easy. Does the book of Genesis contain revelations of God to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob as El Shaddai? To Abraham and Jacob, certainly: ‘I am El Shaddai’ Gen 7:1 and 35:11; but the corresponding announcement to Isaac is missing. Mingled with these, however, are other passages of a different nature, such as the divine utterance to Abram 15:7 ‘I am the Lord that brought thee out of Ur of the Chaldees’; or to Jacob 28:13 ‘I am the Lord, the God of Abraham thy father, and the God of Isaac.’ Side by side with these stand many others describing the recognition of the Lord by the patriarchs and their contemporaries. Between Bethel and Ai Abram ‘builded an altar unto the Lord, and called upon the name of the Lord ‘12:8 cp 13:4, 18 21:33.

To the king of Sodom Abram declared that he had sworn ‘to the Lord’ to take none of the ‘goods’ recovered from the Mesopotamian invaders 14:22. Sarai complained to her husband, ‘the Lo...

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