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Prolegomena to the History of Israel by Julius Wellhausen

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comes from God and from the music of the Levites (chap. xx.).
In the statements about fortress-building which regularly recur
in connection with the names of good rulers, /1/

1 viii. 3-6, xi. 5-12, xiii. 19, xiv. 5, 6 [6, 7], xvii. 12,
xix. 5, xxvi. 9, 10, xxvii. 4, xxxii. 5,, xxxiii. 14.

general statements, such as those of Hosea viii. 14, 2Kings
xviii. 13, are illustrated by concrete examples, a few elements
of tradition being also employed (Lachish). It is not possible,
but, indeed, neither is it necessary, to demonstrate in every case
the imaginary character of the statements; according to xix. 5
it would appear as if simply every city of any kind of
consequence was regarded as a fortress and in the list given in
chap. xi. 6 seq., we chiefly meet with names which were also
familiar in the post-exile period. That Abijah deprived Jeroboam
of Bethel amongst others, and that Jehoshaphat set governors over
the Ephraimite cities which had been taken by Asa his father
(xiii. 19, xvii. 2), would excite surprise if it stood anywhere
else than in Chronicles. In forming a judgment on its family
history of the descendants of David, the statement contained in
xiii. 21 is specially helpful both in manner and substance: "And
Abijah waxed mighty, and he married fourteen wives, and begat
twenty and two sons, and sixteen daughters." This can only be
taken as referring to the reign of Abijah, and that too after the
alleged victory over Jeroboam; but he reigned altogether for only
three years, and is it to be supposed that within this interval
one of his sons should even have attained to man's estate?
In reality, however, Abijah had no son at all, but was succeeded
by his brother, for the definite and doubtless authentic
statement that Maachah, the wife of Rehoboam, was the mother
both of Abijah and of Asa, and that the latter removed her from
her position at court (1Kings xv. 2, 10, 13), must override
the allegation of ver. 8, that the successor of Abijah was his
son. After Jehoshaphat's death it is said in the first place
that Jehoram slew all his brethren (2 Chr. xxi. 4), and
afterwards that the Arabians slew all Jehoram's children
with the exception of one (xxii. 1); how many of the Davidic
house in that case survive for Jehu, who nevertheless slew
forty-two of them (2Kings x. 14)? In short, the family
history of the house of David is of equal historical value with
all the other matters on which the Chronicler is more widely and
better informed than all the older canonical books. The remark
applies to names and numbers as well; about such trifles, which
produce an appearance of accuracy, the author is never in any

VI.II.4. The Book of Kings then everywhere crops up as the real
foundation of the portion of Chronicles relating to Judah after
the period of Solomon. Where the narrative of the former is
detailed and minute, our author also has fuller and more
interesting material at his command; so, for example, in the
history relating to the temple and to the common and mutual
relations of Judah and Israel (2 Chr. x., xviii., xxiii., seq.,
xxv. 17-24, xxxiii. seq.). Elsewhere he is restricted to the
epitome that constitutes the framework of the Book of Kings; by
it he is guided in his verdicts as to the general character of the
successive sovereigns as well as in his chronological statements,
although, in accordance with his plan, he as a rule omits the
synchronisms (xiii. 1, xxv. 25). The positive data also, given by
the epitome with reference to the legislation in matters of
worship by the various kings, are for the most part reproduced
word for word, and float in a fragmentary and readily
distinguishable way in the mixture of festivals, sermons,
choruses, law, and prophets. For this is an important
verification of all the results already obtained; all in
Chronicles that is not derived from Samuel and Kings, has a
uniform character not only in its substance, but also in its
awkward and frequently unintelligible language--plainly belonging
to a time in which Hebrew was approaching extinction--in its
artificiality of style, deriving its vitality exclusively
from Biblical reminiscences. This is not the place for the
proof of these points, but the reader may compare Staehelin's
Einleitung (1862), p. 139 seq.; Bertheau, p. xiv. seq., and
Graf, p. 116.


VI.III.1. When the narrative of Chronicles runs parallel with the
older historical books of the canon, it makes no real additions, but
the tradition is merely differently coloured, under the influence
of contemporary motives. In the picture it gives the writer's own
present is reflected, not antiquity. But neither is the case very
different with the genealogical lists prefixed by way of
introduction in 1Chronicles i.-ix.; they also are in the main valid
only for the period at which they were drawn up--whether for its
actual condition or for its conceptions of the past.

The penchant for pedigrees and genealogical registers, made up from
a mixture of genealogico-historical and ethnologico-statistical
elements, is a characteristic feature of Judaism; along with the
thing the word YX# also first came into use during the later
times. Compendious histories are written in the form of TLDWT and
YWX#YN. The thread is thin and inconspicuous, and yet apparently
strong and coherent; one does not commit oneself to much, and yet
has opportunity to introduce all kinds of interesting matter.
Material comes to one's hand, given a beginning and an end, the
bridge is soon completed. Another expression of the same tendency
is the inclination to give a genealogical expression to all
connections and associations of human society whatsoever, to
create artificial families on all hands and bring them into blood
relationship, as if the whole of public life resolved itself into
a matter of cousinship,--an inclination indicative of the times of
political stagnation then prevalent. We hear of the families of
the scribes at Jabesh, of the potters and gardeners and
byssus-workers, of the sons of the goldsmiths, apothecaries, and
fullers, these corporations being placed on the same plane with
actual families. The division into classes of the persons engaged
in religious service is merely the most logical development of
this artificial system which is applied to all other social
relations as well.

Proceeding now to a fuller examination of the contents of 1 Chron
i.-ix. and other texts connected with that, we have here, apart
from the first chapter, which does not demand further attention,
an ethno-genealogical survey of the twelve tribes of Israel, which
is based mostly on the data of the Priestly Code (Genesis xlvi.;
xxvi.), expanded now more now less. But while the statements
of the Priestly Code have to hold good for the Mosaic period only,
those of Chronicles have also to apply to the succeeding
ages,--those, for example, of Saul and David, of Tiglath-Pileser and
Hezekiah. As early as the time of the judges, however, very
important changes had taken place in the conditions. While Dan
continued to subsist with difficulty, Simeon and Levi had been
completely broken up (Genesis xlix. 7); in the Blessing of Moses
the latter name denotes something quite different from a tribe, and
the former is not even so much as named, although the enumeration
is supposed to be complete; in David's time it had already been
absorbed by families of mingled Judaic and Edomitic descent in the
district where it had once had independent footing. Eastward of
Jordan Leah's first-born had a similar fate, although somewhat
later. After it has been deposed from its primacy in Genesis xlix.
and twitted in Judges v. with its brave words unaccompanied by
corresponding deeds, the faint and desponding wish is expressed in
Deuteronomy xxxiii. 6 that "Reuben may live and not die," and King
Mesha is unaware that any other than the Gadite had ever dwelt in
the land which, properly speaking, was the heritage of Reuben.
But in Chronicles these extinct tribes again come to life--and not
Levi alone, which is a special case, but also Simeon and Reuben,
with which alone we are here to deal--and they exist as
independent integral twelfths of Israel, precisely like Ephraim
and Manasseh, throughout the whole period of the monarchy down to
the destruction of the kingdom by the Assyrians. /1/ This is

1. For Reuben see (in addition to 1Chronicles v. 1-10) v. 18, xi.
42, xii. 37. xxvi. 32, xxvii. 16, for Simeon, 1Chronicles iv.
24-43, with xii. 25, and 2Chronicles xv. 9, xxxiv. 6, observing
that in the last two passages Simeon is reckoned as belonging to
the northern kingdom, so as to complete the number of the ten

diametrically opposed to all authentic tradition; for to
maintain that nothing else is intended than a continued
subsistence of individual Simeonite and Reubenite families within
other tribes is merely a desperate resort of the harmonists, and
every attempt to tone down the fact that those extinct and
half-mythical tribes are in Chronicles placed side by side with
the rest without any distinction is equally illegitimate. The
historical value thus lost by the narrative as a whole cannot be
restored by the seeming truthfulness of certain details. Or is
more significance really to be attached to the wars of the Simeonites
and Reubenites against the Arabians than to the rest of the extemporised
wars of the kings of Judah against these children of the wilderness?
If only at least the names had not been "sons of Ham, and Mehunim
and Hagarenes " (iv. 40 seq. [Heb.], v. 10)! As for the
pedigrees and genealogical lists, are they to be accepted as
historical merely because their construction is not apparent to
us, and they evade our criticism? The language affords no room
for the conjecture that we here possess extracts from documents of
high antiquity (iv. 33, 38, 4I, v. 1 seq., 7, 9 seq.), and
proper names such as Elioenai and the like (iv. 35 seq.) are not
striking for their antique originality.

Of the remaining tribes, so far as they belong to Israel and not
to Judah, the next in the series after Reuben are the
trans-Jordanic (v. 11-26). They are said to have been numbered
in the days of Jotham of Judah and Jeroboam of Israel, on which
occasion 44,760 warriors were returned; they took the field
against the Hagarenes, Ituraeans, Nephishites, and Nabataeans,
gaining the victory and carrying off much booty, "for they
cried to God in the battle, and He was entreated of them because
they put their trust in Him." But afterwards they fell away
from the God of their fathers, and as a punishment were carried off
by Pul and Tiglath-Pileser to Armenia by the Chaboras and the
river of Gozan. Apart from the language, which in its edifying
tone is that of late Judaism, and leaving out of account the
enumeration "the sons of Reuben and the Gadites and half of the
tribe of Manasseh," the astonishing and highly doubtful
combinations are eloquent: Pul and Tiglath-Pileser, the Chaboras
and the river of Gozan, are hardly distinguished from each other;
Jotham and Jeroboam, on the other hand, make so impossible a
synchronism that the partisans of Chronicles will have it that
none is intended,--forgetful, to be sure, of Hosea i. 2, and
omitting to say what in that case Jotham of Judah has to do here
at all in this connection. The Hagarenes and Ituraeans too,
instead of (say) the Moabites and Ammonites, furnish food for
reflection, as also do the geographical statements that Gad had
his seat in Bashan and Manasseh in and near Lebanon. As for the
proper names of families and their heads, they are certainly
beyond our means of judging; the phrases however of the scheme
they fill (anshe shemoth rashe l'beth abotham, migrash, jahes)
are peculiar to the Priestly Code and Chronicles, and alongside of
elements which are old and attested from other quarters, occur
others that look very recent, as for example (v. 24) Eliel,
Azriel, Jeremiah, Hodaviah, Jahdiel.

In the introduction the Galilaean tribes have no prominent place,
but in the rest of the book they make a favourable appearance
(see especially 1Chronicles xii. 32-34, 40, and 2Chronicles xxx.
10, 11, 18); it readily occurs to one, especially in the
last-cited passage, to think of the later Judaising process in
Galilee. In Issachar there are stated to have been 87,000
fighting men in David's time (misparam l'toledotham l'beth
abotham, vii. 1-5); out of Zebulun and Naphtali, again, exactly
87,000 men came to David at Hebron, to anoint him and be feasted
three days,--it is carefully mentioned, however (xii. 40), that
they took their provisions up with them. The proper kernel of
Israel, Ephraim and Manasseh, is, in comparison with Simeon,
Reuben, Gad, Issachar, treated with very scant kindness (vii.
14-29),--a suspicious sign. The list of the families of Manasseh
is an artificial _rechauffe_ of elements gleaned anywhere; Maachah
passes for the wife as well as the sister of Machir, but being a
Gileaditess (Beth-Maachah), ought not to have been mentioned at
all in this place where the cis-Jordanic Manasseh is being spoken
of; to fill up blanks every contribution is thankfully
received. /1/ In the case of Ephraim a long and meagre genealogy

1 Kuenen, Th. Tijdschr., 1877, pp. 484, 488; Godsdienst v.
Isr., i. 165.

only is given, which, begun in vers. 20, 21, and continued in
ver. 25, constantly repeats the same names (Tahath, Tahan,
1Samuel i. 1; Eladah, Laadan, Shuthelah, Telah), and finally
reaches its end and goal in Joshua, whose father Nun alone is
known to the older sources! Into the genealogy a wonderful
account of the slaying of the children of Ephraim by the men of
Gath (1Samuel iv.?) has found its way, and (like viii. 6, 7)
according to the prevailing view must be of venerable antiquity.
But in that case the statement of iv. 9 must also be very
ancient, which yet obviously is connected with the rise of the
schools of the scribes stated in ii. 55 to have existed in Jabez.

Everywhere it is presupposed that Israel throughout the entire
period of the monarchy was organised on the basis of the twelve
tribes (ii.-ix.; xii.; xxvii.), but the assumption is certainly
utterly false, as can be seen for example from 1Kings iv.
Further, the _penchant_ of later Judaism for statistics is carried
back to the earlier time, to which surveys and censuses were
repugnant in the extreme. In spite of 2Samuel xxiv., we are told
that under David enumerations both of the spiritual and of the
secular tribes were made again and again; so also under his
successors, as may be inferred partly from express statements
and partly from the precise statistics given as to the number
of men capable of bearing arms: in these cases the most astounding
figures are set down,--always, however, as resting on original
documents and accurate enumeration. In the statistical
information of Chronicles, then, so far as it relates to
pre-exilic antiquity, we have to do with artificial compositions.
It is possible, and occasionally demonstrable, that in these
some elements derived from tradition have been used. But it
is certain that quite as many have been simply invented; and
the combination of the elements--the point of chief importance--
dates, as both form and matter show, from the very latest period.
One might as well try to hear the grass growing as attempt to
derive from such a source as this a historical knowledge of
the conditions of ancient Israel.

VI.III.2. As regards Judah and Benjamin, and to a certain extent
Levi also, the case of course is somewhat different from that
of the ten extinct tribes. It is conceivable that here a living
ethno-genealogical tradition may have kept the present connected
with the past. Nevertheless, on closer examination, it comes out
that most of what the Chronicler here relates has reference to the
post-exilic time, and that the few fragments which go up to a
higher antiquity are wrought into a connection which on the
whole is of a very recent date. Most obtrusively striking is it
that the list of the heads of the people dwelling in Jerusalem
given in ix. 4--17 is simply identical with Nehemiah xi. 3-19. In
this passage, introducing as it does the history of the kings (x.
seq.), one is by no means prepared to hear statements about the
community of the second temple; but our author is under the
impression that in going there he is letting us know about the old
Jerusalem; from David to Nehemiah is no leap for him, the times
are not distinct from one another to his mind. For chap. viii.
also, containing a full enumeration of the Benjamite families,
with special reference to those which had their seat in the
capital, Bertheau has proved the post-exilic reference; it is
interesting that in the later Jerusalem there existed a widespread
family which wished to deduce its origin from Saul and rested its
claims to this descent on a long genealogy (viii. 33-40). /1/

1. Equivalent to ix. 35-44, which perhaps proves the later
interpolation of ix. 1-34.

It cannot be said that this produces a very favourable impression
for the high antiquity of the other list of the Benjamites in vii.
6-11; to see how little value is to be attached to the pretensions
of the latter to be derived from original documents of hoary
antiquity, it is only necessary to notice the genuinely Jewish
phraseology of vers. 7, 9, 11, such proper names as Elioenai,
and the numbers given (22,034 + 20,200 + 17,200, making in all
59,434 fighting men).

The registers of greatest historical value are those relating
to the tribe of Judah (ii. 1-iV. 23). But in this statement
the genealogy of the descendants of David must be excepted
(chapter iii.), the interest of which begins only with Zerubbabel,
the rest being merely an exceedingly poor compilation of materials
still accessible to us in the older historical books of the canon,
and in Jeremiah. According to iii. 5, the first four of David's
sons, born in Jerusalem, were all children of Bathsheba; the
remaining seven are increased to nine by a textual error which
occurs also in the LXX version of 2Samuel v. 16. Among the sons
of Josiah (iii. 15 seq.), Johanan, i.e. Jehoahaz, is
distinguished from Shallum (Jeremiah xxii. 11), and because he
immediately succeeded his father, is represented as the
first-born, though in truth Jehoiakim was older (2Kings xxiii.
3I, 36); Zedekiah, Jehoiakim's brother, is given out to be the
son of Jeconiah, the son of Jehoiakim, because he was the
successor of Jeconiah, who succeeded Jehoiakim. Similar things
occur also in the Book of Daniel, but are usually overlooked, with
a mistaken piety. Whoever has eyes to see cannot assign any high
value except to the two great Jewish genealogies in chaps. ii.
and iv. Yet even here the most heterogeneous elements are tossed
together, and chaff is found mingled with wheat. /1/

1. For further details the reader is referred to the author's
dissertation De gentibus et familiis Judaeis, Gottingen, 1870.

Apart from the introduction, vers.1-8, chap. ii. is a genealogy
of the children of Hezron, a tribe which in David's time had not
yet been wholly amalgamated with Judah, but which even then
constituted the real strength of that tribe and afterwards became
completely one with it. The following scheme discloses itself
amid the accompanying matters: "The sons of Hezron are Jerahmeel
and Celubai" (Caleb) (ver. 9). "and the sons of Jerahmeel, the
first-born of Hezron, were..." (ver. 25). "These were the
sons of Jerahmeel. And the sons of Caleb the brother of Jerahmeel
were..." (ver. 42). "These were the sons of Caleb " (ver. 50 a).
That which is thus formally defined and kept by itself apart
(compare in this connection "Jerahmeel the first-born of Hezron,"
"Caleb the brother of Jerahmeel") is materially also distinguished
from all else. It is the kernel of the whole, and refers to the
pre-exilian time. Even the unusual _et fuerunt_ (vers. 25, 33,
50) points to this conclusion, as well as, in the case of Caleb,
the positive fact that the towns named in ver. 42-49 are all
situated near Hebron and in the Negeb of Judah, where after the
exile the Idumaeans were settled, and, in the case of Jerahmeel,
the negative circumstance that here no towns at all are mentioned
among the families, Molid, ver. 29, being perhaps a single
exception, and thus the extreme south is indicated. But this
kernel is amplified by a number of post-exilian additions. In
the first place, in connection with Jerahmeel, an appendix
(vers. 34-41) is given which is not ethnological but purely
genealogical, and brings a pedigree of fifteen members manifestly
down to near the age of the Chronicler, and which moreover is only
in apparent connection with what precedes it (comp. ver. 34 with
ver. 31), and invariably uses the hiphil form _holid_, a form
which occurs in vers. 25-33 never, and in vers. 42-50 only
sporadically in three places open to the suspicion of later
redaction (comp. especially ver. 47). Much more important,
however, are the additions under Caleb; of these the one is
prefixed (vers. 18-24), the other, more appropriately, brought in
at the close (vers. 50-55, beginning with "and the sons of Hur,
the firstborn of Ephrath," Caleb's second wife, ver. 19). Here
Caleb no longer presents himself in the extreme south of Judah and
the vicinity of Jerahmeel (1Samuel xxv. 3, xxvii. 10, xxx. 14,
29), where he had his settlement prior to the exile, but his
families, which are all of them descended from his son Hur,
inhabit Bethlehem, Kirjath-jearim, Zorah, Esthaol, and other towns
in the north, frequently mentioned in Ezra and Nehemiah. Thus
the Calebites in consequence of the exile have forsaken their old
seats and have taken up new ones on their return; this fact is
expressed in ver. 18 to the effect that Caleb's first wife Azubah
bath Jerioth (Deserta filia Nomadum) had died, and that he had then
married a second, Ephrath, by whom he became the father of Hur:
Ephrath is the name of the district in which Bethlehem and Kirjath-
jearim are situated, and properly speaking is merely another
form of Ephraim, as is shown by the word Ephrathite. In addition
to these appendices to Jerahmeel and Caleb, we have also the
genealogy of David (vers. 10-17). The Book of Samuel knows only
of his father Jesse; on the other hand, Saul's genealogy is
carried further back, and there was no reason for not doing so in
David's case also if the materials had existed. But here, as in
Ruth, the pedigree is traced backwards through Jesse, Obed, Boaz,
up to Salma. Salma is the father of Bethlehem (ii. 54), and hence
the father of David. But Salma is the father of Bethlehem and the
neighbouring towns or fractions of towns AFTER THE EXILE; he belongs
to Kaleb Abi Hur. /1/

I In the Targum, Caleb's kindred the Kenites are designated as
Salmaeans; the name also occurs in Canticles (i. 5, the tents of
Kedar, the curtains of Salmah), and also as the name of a
Nabataean tribe in Pliny. Among the families of the Nethinim
enumerated in Nehemiah vii. 46-60 the B'ne Salmah also occur,
along with several otber names which enable us distinctly to
recognise (Ezekiel xliv.) the non-Israelite and foreign origin
of these temple slaves; see, for example, vers. 48, 52, 55, 57.

But if anything at all is certain, it is this, that in ancient times
the Calebites lived in the south and not in the north of Judah, and
in particular that David by his nativity belonged not to them but
rather to the older portion of Judah which gravitated towards
Israel properly so called, and stood in most intimate relations
with Benjamin. Of the first three members of the genealogy,
Nahshon and Amminadab occur as princes of Judah in the Priestly
Code, and are fitly regarded as the ancestors of those who come
after them; Ram is the first-born of Hezron's first-born (ver.
25), and by the meaning of his name also (Ram = the high one),
is, like Abram, qualified to stand at the head of the princely

While in chap ii. we thus in point of fact fall in with an old
kernel, and one that necessarily goes back to sound tradition
(apparently preserved indeed, however, merely for the sake of
the later additions), the quite independent and parallel list,
on the other hand, contained in iv. 1-23 is shown by many
unmistakable indications to be a later composition having its
reference only to post-exilian conditions, perhaps incorporating
a few older elements, which, however, it is impossible with any
certainty to detect. /2/

I Pharez, Hezron, Carmi, Hur, Shobal (iv. 1), is a genealogically
descending series; Chelubai must therefore of necessity be read
instead of Carmi, all the more because Chelub and not Carmi appears
in the third place in the subsequent expansion; for this, ascending
from below, begins with Shobal (ver. 2), then goes on to Hur
(vers. 5-10), who stands in the same relation to Ash-hur as Tob
to Ish-tob, and finally deals with Chelub or Caleb (vers. 11-15).

Levi of course receives the fullest treatment (1Chronicles v. 27
[vi. 1]-vi. 66 [81], ix. 10 seq., xv., xvi., xxiii.-xxvii.,
&c.). We know that this clerical tribe is an artificial
production, and that its hierarchical subdivision, as worked out in
the Priestly Code, was the result of the centralisation of the
cultus in Jerusalem. Further, it has been already shown that in
the history as recorded in Chronicles the effort is most
conspicuous to represent the sons of Aaron and the Levites, in all
cases where they are absent from the older historical books of
the canon, as playing the part to which they are entitled according
to the Priestly Code. How immediate is the connection with the
last-named document, how in a certain sense that code is even
carried further by Chronicles, can be seen for example from this
circumstance, that in the former Moses in a novel reduces the
period of beginning public service in the case of a Levite from
thirty years of age to twenty-five (Numbers iv. 3 seq., viii. 23
seq.), while in the latter David (1Chronicles xxiii. 3, 24 seq.)
brings it down still further to the age of twenty; matters are
still to some extent in a state of flux, and the ordering of the
temple worship is a continuation of the beginning made with the
tabernacle service by Moses. Now, in so far as the statistics of
the clergy have a real basis at all, that basis is post-exilian.
It has long ago been remarked how many of the individuals
figuring under David and his successors (e.g., Asaph, Heman,
Jeduthun) bear names identical with families or guilds of a later
time, how the two indeed are constantly becoming confluent, and
difficulty is felt in determining whether by the expression
"head" a person or a family ought to be understood. But,
inasmuch as the Chronicler nevertheless desires to depict the
older time and not his own, he by no means adheres closely to
contemporary statistics, but gives free play at the same time to
his idealising imagination; whence it comes that in spite of the
numerous and apparently precise data afforded, the reader still
finds himself unable to form any clear picture of the
organisation of the clergy,--the ordering of the families and
tribes, the distribution of the offices,--nay, rather, is
involved in a maze of contradictions. Obededom, Jeduthun, Shelomith,
Korah, occur in the most different connections, belong now to one,
now to another section of the Levites, and discharge at one time
this function, at another, that. Naturally the commentators are
prompt with their help by distinguishing names that are alike,
and identifying names that are different.

Some characteristic details may still be mentioned here. The
names of the six Levitical classes according to 1Chronicles xxv. 4,
Giddalti, V'romamti-Ezer, Joshbekashah, Mallothi, Hothir,
Mahazioth, are simply the fragments of a consecutive sentence
which runs: I have magnified | and exalted the help | of him who
sat in need: | I have spoken | abundance of | prophecies. The
watchman or singer Obededom who is alleged to have discharged his
functions in the days of David and Amaziah, is no other than the
captain to whom David intrusted for three months the custody of
the ark, a Philistine of Gath. The composition of the singers'
pedigrees is very transparent, especially in the case of Heman
(1Chronicles vi. 7-l2 [22-27] = ver 18-23, [33-37]). Apart from
Exodus vi. 16-l9, use is chiefly made of what is said about the
family of Samuel (1Samuel i. 1, viii. 2), who must of course have
been of Levitical descent, because his mother consecrated him
to the service of the sanctuary. Heman is the son of Joel
b. Samuel b. Elkanah b. Jeroham b. Eliab b. Tahath b. Zuph,
only the line does not terminate with Ephraim as in 1Samuel
i. 1 (LXX) because it is Levi who is the goal; Zuph. however,
is an Ephraitic district, and Tahath (Tohu, Toah, Tahan, Nahath)
is an Ephraimite family (vii. 20). Further back the same elements
are individually repeated more than once, Elkanah four times
in all; he occurs once as early as in Exodus vi. 24, where also
he is doubtless borrowed from 1Samuel i. The best of it is that,
contrary to the scope of the genealogies recorded in1 Chronicles
vi., which is to provide a Levitical origin for the guilds of singers,
there is found in close contiguity the statement (ii. 6) that Heman
and Ethan were descendants of Zerah b. Pharez, b. JUDAH. The
commentators are indeed assisted in their efforts to differentiate
the homonyms by their ignorance of the fact that even as late as
Nehemiah's time the singers did not yet pass for Levites, but their
endeavours are wrecked by the circumstance that the names of
fathers as well as of sons are identical (Psalm lxxxviii. 1,
lxxxix. 1; Ewald, iii. 380 seq.). In point of history these
musicians of the second temple are descended of course neither
from Levi nor from the sons of Mahol (1Kings v. 11 [iv. 31), but
they have at least derived their names from the latter. On all
hands we meet with such artificial names in the case of Levites.
One is called Issachar; it would not be surprising to meet with a
Naphtali Cebi, or Judah b. Jacob. Jeduthun is, properly
speaking, the name of a tune or musical mode (Psalm xxxix. 1,
lxii. 1, [xxvii. 1), whence also of a choir trained in that.
Particularly interesting are a few pagan names, as for example
Henadad, Bakbuk, and some others, which, originally borne by the
temple servitors (Nehemiah vii. 46 seq.), were doubtless transferred
along with these to the Levites.

With the priests, of whom so many are named at all periods of the
history of Israel, matters are no better than with the inferior
Levites, so far as the Books of Samuel and Kings are not drawn
upon. In particular, the twenty-four priestly courses or orders
are an institution, not of King David, but of the post-exilic period.
When Hitzig, annotating Ezekiel viii. 16, remarks that the
five-and-twenty men standing between the temple and the altar
worshipping the sun toward the east are the heads of the twenty-four
priestly courses with the high priest at their head (because no one
else had the right to stand in the inner court between temple and
altar), he reveals a trait that is characteristic, not only of
himself, but also of the entire so-called historico-critical school,
who exert their whole subtlety on case after case, but never give
themselves time to think matters over in their connection with each
other; nay, rather simply retain the traditional view as a whole,
only allowing themselves by way of gratification a number of
heresies. It is almost impossible to believe that Hitzig, when he
annotated Ezekiel viii., could have read those passages Ezekiel
xliii. 7 seq., xliv. 6 seq, from which it is most unambiguously
clear that the later exclusion of the laity from the sanctuary
was quite unknown in the pre-exilic period. The extent of the
Chronicler's knowledge about the pre-exilic priesthood is revealed
most clearly in the list of the twenty-two high priests in
1Chronicles v. 29-41 (vi. 3-15). From the ninth to the eighteenth
the series runs--Amariah, Ahitub, Zadok, Ahimaaz, Azariah,
Johanan, Azariah, Amariah, Ahitub, Zadok. As for the first five,
Azariah was not the son, but the brother of Ahimaaz, and the
latter apparently not a priest (1Kings iv. 2); but Ahitub, the
alleged father of Zadok, was, on the contrary, the grandfather of
Zadok's rival, Abiathar, of the family of Eli (1Samuel xiv. 3,
xxii. 20); the whole of the old and famous line--Eli, Phinehas,
Ahitub; Ahimelech, Abiathar--which held the priesthood of the ark
from thc time of the judges down into the days of David, is passed
over in absolute silence, and the line of Zadok, by which it was
not superseded until Solomon (1Kings ii. 35), is represented as
having held the leadership of the priesthood since Moses. As for
the last four in the above-cited list, they simply repeat the
earlier. In the Book of Kings, Azariah II., Amariah, Ahitub,
Zadok, do not occur, but, on the contrary, other contemporary high
priests, Jehoiada and Urijah, omitted from the enumeration in
Chronicles. At the same time this enumeration cannot be asserted
to be defective; for, according to Jewish chronology, the ancient
history is divided into two periods, each of 480 years, the one
extending from the exodus to the building of the temple, the other
from that epoch down to the establishment of the second theocracy.
Now, 480 years are twelve generations of forty years, and in
1Chronicles v. there are twelve high priests reckoned to the period
during which there was no temple (ver. 36b to come after ver. 35a),
and thence eleven down to the exile; that is to say, twelve generations,
when the exile is included. The historical value of the genealogy
in 1Chronicles v. 26-41 is thus inevitably condemned. But if
Chronicles knew nothing about the priestly princes of the olden
time, its statements about ordinary priests are obviously little
to be relied on.

VI.III.3. To speak of a tradition handed down from pre-exilic times
as being found in Chronicles, either in 1Chronicles i.-ix. or in
1Chronicles x.-2Chronicles xxxvi., is thus manifestly out of the
question. As early as 1806 this had been conclusively shown by
the youthful De Wette (then twenty-six years of age). But since
that date many a theological Sisyphus has toiled to roll the
stone again wholly or half-way up the hill--Movers especially, in
genius it might seem the superior of the sober Protestant
critic--with peculiar results. This scholar mixed up the inquiry
into the historical value of those statements in Chronicles which
we are able to control, with the other question as to the probable
sources of its variations from the older historical books of the
canon. In vain had De Wette, at the outset, protested against
such a procedure, contending that it was not only possible, but
conceded that Chronicles, where at variance or in contradiction,
was following older authority, but that the problem still really
was, as before, how to explain the complete difference of general
conception and the multitude of discrepancies in details; that
the hypothesis of "sources," as held before Movers by Eichhorn,
was of no service in dealing with this question, and that in the
critical comparison of the two narratives, and in testing their
historical character, it was after all incumbent to stick to what
lay before one (Beitr., i. pp. 24, 29, 38). For so ingenious
an age such principles were too obvious; Movers produced a great
impression, especially as he was not so simple as to treat the
letters of Hiram and Elijah as authentic documents, but was by way
of being very critical. At present even Dillmann also
unfortunately perceives "that the Chronicler everywhere has
worked according to sources, and that in his case deliberate
invention or distortion of the history are not for a moment to be
spoken of" (Herzog, Realencyk., ii. p. 693, 1st edit.; iii.
223, 2d edit.). And from the lofty heights of science the author
of Part V. of the Biblical Commentary on the Old Testament
looks compassionately down upon K. H. Graf, "who has loitered
so far behind the march of Old Testament research, as to have
thought of resuscitating the views of De Wette;" in fact,
that Chronicles may be established on an independent footing and
placed on a level with the Books of Samuel and Kings, he utterly
denies any indebtedness at all, on its part, to these, and in
cases where the transcription is word for word, maintains that
separate independent sources were made use of,--a needless
exaggeration of the scientific spirit, for the author of the Book
of Kings himself wrote the prayer of Solomon and the epitome, at
least, without borrowing from another source; the Chronicler
therefore can have derived it, directly or indirectly, only from

In reply to all this, one can only repeat what has already been
said by De Wette. It may be that the Chronicler has produced
this picture of old Israel, so different in outline and colour
from the genuine tradition, not of his own suggestion and on his
own responsibility, but on the ground of documents that lay
before him. But the historical character of the work is not
hereby altered in the smallest degree, it is merely shared by
the so-called "sources." 2Maccabees and a multitude of other
compositions have also made use of "sources," but how does this
enhance the value of their statements? That value must in the
long run be estimated according to their contents, which, again,
must be judged, not by means of the primary sources which have
been lost, but by means of the secondary literary products
which have survived. The whole question ultimately resolves
itself into that of historical credibility; and to what
conclusions this ]eads we have already seen. The alterations and
additions of Chronicles are all traceable to the same
fountain-head--the Judaising of the past, in which otherwise the
people of that day would have been unable to recognise their
ideal. It was not because tradition gave the Law and the
hierocracy and the _Deus ex Machina_ as sole efficient factor in
the sacred narrative, but because these elements were felt to be
missing, that they were thus introduced. If we are to explain
the _omissions_ by reference to the "author's plan," why may we
not apply the same principle to the _additions_? The passion
displayed by Ewald ( Jahrbb. x. 261) when, in speaking of the
view that Manasseh's captivity has its basis in Jewish dogmatic,
he calls it "an absurdly infelicitous idea, and a gross injustice
besides to the Book of Chronicles," recalls B. Schaefer's
suggestive remark about the Preacher of Solomon, that God would
not use a liar to write a canonical book. What then does Ewald
say to the narratives of Daniel or Jonah? Why must the new turn
given to history in the case of Manasseh be judged by a different
standard than in the equally gross case of Ahaz, and in the numerous
analogous instances enumerated in preceding pages (p. 203 seq.).
With what show of justice can the Chronicler, after his statements
have over and over again been shown to be incredible, be held at
discretion to pass for an unimpeachable narrator? In those cases
at least where its connection with his "plan" is obvious, one ought
surely to exercise some scepticism in regard to his testimony;
but it ought at the same time to be considered that such
connections may occur much oftener than is discernible by us,
or at least by the less sharp-sighted of us. It is indeed possible
that occasionally a grain of good corn may occur among the chaff,
but to be conscientious one must neglect this possibility of
exceptions, and give due honour to the probability of the rule.
For it is only too easy to deceive oneself in thinking that one
has come upon some sound particular in a tainted whole. To what
is said in 2Samuel v. 9, "So David dwelt in the stronghold (Jebus),
and he called it the city of David, and he built round about from
the rampart and inward," there is added in 1Chronicles xi. 8, the
statement that "Joab restored the rest of the city (Jerusalem)."
This looks innocent enough, and is generally accepted as a fact.
But the word XYH for BNH shows the comparatively modern date of
the statement, and on closer consideration one remembers also that
the town of Jebus at the time of its conquest by David consisted
only of the citadel, and the new town did not come into existence
at all until later, and therefore could not have been repaired by
Joab; in what interest the statement was made can be gathered from
Nehemiah vii. 11. In many cases it is usual to regard such
additions as having had their origin in a better text of Samuel
and Kings which lay before the Chronicler; and this certainly
is the most likely way in which good additions could have got in.
But the textual critics of the _Exegetical Handbook_ are only too
like-minded with the Chronicler, and are always eagerly seizing
with both hands his paste pearls and the similar gifts of the

It must be allowed that Chronicles owes its origin, not to the
arbitrary caprice of an individual, but to a general tendency of
its period. It is the inevitable product of the conviction that
the Mosaic law is the starting-point of Israel's history, and
that in it these is operative a play of sacred forces such as
finds no other analogy; this conviction could not but lead to
a complete transformation of the ancient tradition.
Starting from a similar assumption, such an author as C. F. Keil
could even at the present day write a book of Chronicles, if this
were not already in existence. Now, in this aspect, for the
purpose of appraising Chronicles as the type of that conception of
history which the scribes cherished, the inquiry into its "sources"
is really important and interesting. References to other writings,
from which further particulars can be learned, are appended as a rule,
to the account of each sovereign's reign, the exceptions being in
the cases of Joram, Ahaziah, Athaliah, Amon, Jehoahaz, Jehoiakim,
Zedekiah. The titles referred to in this way may be classed under
two groups:
(1.) The Book of the Kings of Israel and Judah, or of Judah and Israel
(in the cases of Asa, Amaziah, Jotham; Ahaz, Josiah, and Jehoiakim),
with which the Book of the Kings of Israel (in the cases of Jehoshaphat
and Manasseh; comp. 1Chronicles ix. 1) is identical, for the kingdom
of the ten tribes is not reckoned by the Chronicler.
(2.) The Words of Samuel the Seer, Nathan the Prophet, and Gad the Seer
(for David; 1Chronicles xxix. 29; comp. xxvii. 24; Ecclus. xlvi. 13,
xlvii. 1); the Words of Nathan the Prophet, the Prophecy of Ahijah
of Shiloh and the Vision of Iddo the Seer concerning Jeroboam
ben Nebat (for Solomon; 2Chronicles ix. 29); the Words of Shemaiah
the Prophet and Iddo the Seer (for Rehoboam; xii. 15); the words
of Jehu ben Hanani, which are taken over into the Book of the Kings
of Israel (Jehoshaphat; xx. 34); a writing of Isaiah the prophet
(Uzziah; xxvi. 22), more precisely cited as the Vision of Isaiah
the Prophet, the son of Amoz, in the Book of the Kings of Judah
and Israel (Hezekiah; xxxii. 32); the Words of the Seer in the Book
of the Kings of Israel (Manasseh; xxxiii. 18; comp. also ver. 19).
Following in the footsteps of Movers, Bertheau and others have shown
that under these different citations it is always one and the same
book that is intended, whether by its collective title, or by the
conventional sub-titles of its separate sections. /1/ Bertheau calls

1. In Ezra and Nehemiah also the Chronicler has not used so many
sources as are usually supposed. There is no reason for refusing
to identify the "lamentations" of 2Chronicles xxxv. 25, with our
Lamentations of Jeremiah: at least the reference to the death of
Josiah (Jos., Ant. x. 5, 1), erroneously attributed to them,
ought not in candour to be regarded as such.

attention to the fact that ordinarily it is either the one or the
other title that is given, and when, as is less usual, there are
two, then for the most part the prophetic writing is designated as
a portion of the Book of the Kings of Israel (xx. 34, xxxii. 32;
and, quite vaguely, xxxiii. 18). The peculiar mode of naming the
individual section-/1/-at a time when chapters and verses were

1 Romans xi. 2: )EN (HLLLA| TI LEGEI )H GRAFH i.e., How stands it
written in the section relating to Elijah?

unknown--has its origin in the idea that each period of the sacred
history has its leading prophet [)AXRIBHS TWN PROFHTWN DIADOXH;
Jos., c. Ap. i. 8), but also at the same time involves (according
to xxvi. 22, in spite of ix. 29, xii. 15, xiii. 22; 1Chronicles xxix.
29) the notion that each prophet has himself written the history
of his own period. Obviously, this is the explanation of the title
_prophetae priores_ borne by the Books of Joshua, Judges, Samuel,
and Kings in the Jewish canon, and of the view which led to the
introduction of 2Kings xviii. 18 seq. into the Book of Isaiah.
The claims of history being slight, it was easy to find the needful
_propheta eponymus_ for each section. Jehu ben Hanani, a northern
Israelite of Baasha's time, has to do duty for Asa, and also for
Jehoshaphat as well. Iddo the seer, who prophesied against Jeroboam
ben Nebat, is the anonymous prophet of 1Kings xiii. (Jos., Ant.
viii. 8, 5; Jer. on Zechariah i. 1); by this time it was possible,
also, to give the names of the wives of Cain, and of the patriarchs.

As regards a more definite determination of the date of the "Book
of Kings" which lies at the foundation of Chronicles, a
co-ordination of the two series of the Kings of Israel and Judah
can only have been made after both had been brought to a close;
in other words, not before the Babylonian exile. And in the
Babylonian exile it was that the canonical Book of Kings actually
came into existence, and the "Chronicles" of Israel and those of
Judah were for the first time worked together by its author; at
least he refers only to the separate works and knows of no
previous combination of them. It would seem, therefore, very
natural to identify the work alluded to in Chronicles with our
present canonical book, which is similar in title and has
corresponding contents. But this we cannot do, for in the former
there were matters of which there are in the latter no trace; for
example, according to 1Chronicles ix. 1, it contained family and
numerical statistics for the whole of Israel after the manner of
1Chronicles i.-ix. (chapters for the most part borrowed from it)
and according to 1Chronicles xxxiii 19, the Prayer of Manasseh.
From these two data, as well as from the character of the items
of information which may have been conjectured to have been derived
from this source, the conclusion is forced upon us that the Book
of Kings cited by the Chronicler is a late compilation far removed
from actual tradition, and in relation to the canonical Book of
Kings it can only be explained as an apocryphal amplification after
the manner in which the scribes treated the sacred history. This
conclusion, derived from the contents themselves, is supported by
an important positive datum, namely, the citation in 2Chronicles
xxiv. 27 of the Midrash [A.V. "Story"] of the Book of Kings, and
in xiii. 22 of the Midrash of the prophet Iddo. Ewald is undoubtedly
right when he recognises here the true title of the writing elsewhere
named simply the Book of Kings. Of course the commentators assert
that the word Midrash, which occurs in the Bible only in these two
passages, there means something quite different from what it means
everywhere else; but the natural sense suits admirably well and
in Chronicles we find ourselves fully within the period of the
scribes. Midrash is the consequence of the conservation of all
the relics of antiquity, a wholly peculiar artificial reawakening
of dry bones, especially by literary means, as is shown by
the preference for lists of names and numbers. Like ivy it
overspreads the dead trunk with extraneous life, blending old and
new in a strange combination. It is a high estimate of tradition
that leads to its being thus modernised; but in the process it is
twisted and perverted, and set off with foreign accretions in the
most arbitrary way. Jonah as well as Daniel and a multitude of
apocryphal writings (2Maccabees ii. 13) are connected with this
tendency to cast the reflection of the present back into the past;
the Prayer of Manasseh, which now survives only in Greek,
appears, as Ewald has conjectured, actually to have been taken
direct from the book quoted in 2Chronicles xxxiii. 19. Within this
sphere, wherein all Judaism moves, Chronicles also has had its
rise. Thus whether one says Chromcles or Midrash of the Book of
Kings is on the whole a matter of perfect indifference; they are
children of the same mother, and indistinguishable in spirit and
language, while on the other hand the portions which have been
retained verbatim from the canonical Book of Kings at once betray
themselves in both respects.


In the history of Hebrew literature, so full as it is of
unfortunate accidents, one lucky circumstance at least requires
to be specially mentioned. Chronicles did not succeed in
superseding the historical books upon which it was founded; the
older and the newer version have been preserved together. But in
Judges, Samuel, and Kings even, we are not presented with
tradition purely in its original condition; already it is
overgrown with later accretions. Alongside of an older narrative
a new one has sprung up, formerly independent, and intelligible in
itself, though in many instances of course adapting itself to the
former. More frequently the new forces have not caused the old
root to send forth a new stock, or even so much as a complete
branch; they have only nourished parasitic growths; the
earlier narrative has become clothed with minor and dependent
additions. To vary the metaphor, the whole area of tradition has
finally been uniformly covered with an alluvial deposit by which
the configuration of the surface has been determined. It is with
this last that we have to deal in the first instance; to
ascertain its character, to find out what the active forces were
by which it was produced. Only afterwards are we in a position
to attempt to discern in the earlier underlying formation the
changing spirit of each successive period.


VII.I.1. The following prologue supplies us with the point of view
from which the period of the judges is estimated.
"After the death of Joshua, the children of Israel did evil in the
sight of the Lord and forsook the Lord God of their fathers, who
brought them out of the land of Egypt, and followed other gods,
of the gods of the people that were round about them, the Baals
and Astartes. And the anger of the Lord was hot against Israel,
and He delivered them into the hands of spoilers, that spoiled
them and sold them into the hand of their enemies round about;
whithersoever they went out the hand of the Lord was against
them for evil, as the Lord had said, and as the Lord had sworn
unto them; and they were greatly distressed. Nevertheless the
Lord raised up unto them judges, and was with the judge, and
delivered them out of the hand of their enemies all the days
of the judge, for it repented the Lord because of their
groanings, by reason of them that oppressed them and vexed them.
And it came to pass when the judge was dead that they returned
and corrupted themselves more than their fathers, in following
other gods to serve them; they ceased not from their own doings,
nor from their stubborn way. And the anger of the Lord was hot
against Israel," &c. &c. (Judges ii.).

Such is the text, afterwards come the examples.
"And the children of Israel did evil in the sight of the Lord,
and forget the Lord their God, and served the Baals and Astartes.
Therefore the anger of the Lord was hot against Israel, and He
sold them into the hand of Chushan-Rishathaim, king of Mesopotamia,
and they served him eight years. And when the children of Israel
cried unto the Lord, the Lord raised up to them a helper, Othniel
b. Kenaz, and delivered the king of Mesopotamia into his hand,
and the land had rest forty years. And Othniel b. Kenaz died."
The same points of view and also for the most part the same
expressions as those which in the case of Othniel fill up the
entire cadre, recur in the cases of Ehud, Deborah, Gideon,
Jephthah, and Samson, but there form only at the beginning and at
the end of the narratives a frame which encloses more copious and
richer contents, occasionally they expand into more exhaustive
disquisitions, as in vi. 7, x. 6. It is in this way that Judges
ii.-xvi. has been constructed with the workman-like regularity it
displays. Only the six great judges, however are included within
the scheme; the six small ones stand in an external relation to it,
and have a special scheme to themselves, doubtless having been
first added by way of appendix to complete the number twelve.

The features which characterise this method of historical work are
few and strongly distinctive. A continuous chronology connects
the times of rest and their separating intervals, and thereby the
continuity of the periods is secured. In order justly to
estimate this chronology, it is necessary to travel somewhat
beyond the limits of Judges. The key to it is to be found in
1Kings vi. 1.
"In the four hundred and eightieth year after the children of
Israel were come out of the land of Egypt, in the fourth year
of the reign of Solomon, he began to build the house of the Lord."
As observed by Bertheau, and afterwards by Noldeke, who has still
farther pursued the subject, these 480 years correspond to 12
generations of 40 years each. Analogously in 1Chronicles v. 29-34
[vi. 2-8], 12 high priests from Aaron to Ahimaaz are assumed for
the same period of time, and the attempt was made to make their
successions determine those of the generations (Numbers xxxv. 28).
Now it is certainly by no means at once clear how this total is
to be brought into accord with the individual entries. Yet even
these make it abundantly plain that 40 is the fundamental number
of the reckoning. The wandering in the wilderness, during which
the generation born in Egypt dies out, lasts for 40 years; the
land has 40 years of rest under Othniel, Deborah, and again under
Gideon; it has 80 under Ehud; the domination of the Philistines
lasts for 40 years, the duration also of David's reign. On the
necessary assumption that the period of the Philistines
(Judges xiii. 1), which far exceeds the ordinary duration of the
foreign dominations, coincides with that of Eli (1Samuel iv. 18),
and at the same time includes the 20 years of Samson (Judges
xvi. 31), and the 20 of the interregnum before Samuel (1Samuel
vii. 2), we have already 8 x 40 accounted for, while 4 x 40 still
remain. For these we must take into account first the years of
the two generations for which no numbers are given, namely,
the generation of Joshua and his surviving contemporaries
(Judges ii. 7), and that of Samuel to Saul, each, it may be
conjectured, having the normal 40, and the two together
certainly reckoning 80 years. For the remaining 80 the most
disputable elements are the 71 years of interregna or of
foreign dominations, and the 70 of the minor judges. One
perceives that these two figures cannot both be counted in,--they
are mutually exclusive equivalents. For my own part, I prefer to
retain the interregna; they alone, so far as we can see at
present, being appropriate to the peculiar scheme of the Book of
Judges. The balance of 9 or IO years still remaining to be
applied are distributed between Jephthah (6 years), and Solomon
(down to the building of the temple), who claims 3 or 4 years, or,
if these are left out of account, 3 years may be given to

The main thing, however, is not the chronology, but the religious
connection of the events. The two are intimately associated, not
only formally, as can be gathered from the scheme, but also by a
real inner connection. For what is aimed at in both alike is a
connected view of large periods of time, a continuous survey
of the connection and succession of race after race, the detailed
particulars of the occurrences being disregarded; the historical
factors with which the religious pragmatism here has to do are so
uniform that the individual periods in reality need only to be
filled up with the numbers of the years. One is reminded of the
"Satz," `"Gegensatz," and "Vermittelung" of the Hegelian philosophy
when one's ear has once been caught by the monotonous beat with
which the history here advances, or rather moves in a circle.
Rebellion, affliction, conversion, peace; rebellion, affliction,
conversion, peace. The sole subjects of all that is said are
Jehovah and Israel; their mutual relation alone it is that keeps
the course of things in motion, and that too in opposite directions,
so that in the end matters always return to their original position.

"They did what was evil in the sight of Jehovah, they went
a-whoring after strange gods,"-such is the uninterrupted key-note.
Although Jehovistic monolatry is so potently recommended from
without, it yet takes no firm root, never becomes natural to the
people, always remains a precept above and beyond their powers.
For decennia on end indeed they hold fast to it, but soon their
idolatrous tendency, which has only been repressed by fear of the
judge during his lifetime, again finds expression; they must have
a change. Now this rebellion is indeed quite indispensable for
the pragmatism, because otherwise there would be nothing at all
to tell; it is on the unrest in the clock that the whole movement
depends. But at the same time this is of course no extenuation;
the conduct of the people is manifestly totally inexcusable,
the main actions, the deeds of the judges, are for this manner
of historical treatment always only proofs of Israel's sin and
of the unmerited grace of Jehovah that puts them to shame.

That all this is no part of the original contents of the tradition,
but merely a uniform in which it is clothed, is admitted. _Numero
Deus impare gaudet_. It is usual to call this later revision
Deuteronomistic. The law which Jehovah has enjoined upon the
fathers, and the breach of which He has threatened severely to
punish (ii. 15, 21), is not indeed more definitely characterised,
but it is impossible to doubt that its quintessence is the
injunction to worship Jehovah alone and no other God. Now in this
connection it is impossible to think of the Priestly Code, for
in that document such a command is nowhere expressly enjoined,
but, on the contrary, is assumed as a matter of course.
Deuteronomy, on the other hand, has in fact no precept on which it
lays greater emphasis than the "Hear, O Israel-"-that Jehovah is
the only God, and the worship of strange gods the sin of sins.
This precept was apprehended much more clearly by contemporaries
than the moral demands in the interest of humanity and kindness
which are also insisted on in Deuteronomy, but are not new, being
derived from older collections; on this side alone, in so far as
it follows up the monotheism of the prophets into its practical
consequences within the sphere of worship, has Josiah's law-book
had historical importance, on this side alone has it continued to
act upon Ezekiel and those who came after him. If, then, the norm
of the theocratic relationship assumed in the redaction of the
Book of Judges is to be sought in a written Torah, this can
indubitably only be that of Deuteronomy. The decisive
settlement of the question depends in a comparison with the Book
of Kings, and must accordingly be postponed until then.

VII.I.2. As for the relation between this superstructure and that
on which it rests, there is a striking difference between the two
styles. The revised form in which the Book of Judges found its
way into the canon is unquestionably of Judaean origin, but the
histories themselves are not such,--nay, in the song of Deborah,
Judah is not reckoned at all as belonging to Israel. The one judge
who belongs to the tribe of Judah is Othniel, who however is not a
person, but only a clan. What is said of him is quite void of
contents, and is made up merely of the schematic devices of the
redactor, who has set himself to work here, so as to make the
series open with a man of Judah; the selection of Othniel was
readily suggested by Judges i. 12-15. Here again we have an
exception which proves the rule. More important are the inner
differences which reveal themselves. To begin with the most
general,--the historical continuity on which so much stress is
laid by the scheme, is in no way shown in the individual
narratives of the Book of Judges. These stand beside one another
unconnectedly and without any regard to order or sequence, like
isolated points of light which emerge here and there out of the
darkness of forgetfulness. They make no presence of actually
filling up any considerable space of time; they afford no
points of attachment whereon to fasten a chronology. In truth, it
is hardly the dim semblance of a continuity that is imparted to
the tradition by the empty framework of the scheme. The
conception of a period of the judges between Joshua and Saul,
during which judges ruled over Israel and succeeded one another
almost as regularly as did the kings at a later period, is quite
foreign to that tradition. It is impossible to doubt that
Judges i., xvii., xviii. have the best right to be reckoned as
belonging to the original stock; but these portions are excluded
from reception within the scheme, because they have nothing to
say about any judges, and give a picture of the general state
of affairs which accords but ill with that plan. /1/

1. The redaction, as is well knows, extends only from ii. 6 xvi. 31,
thus excluding both i. 1-ii. 5, and xvii. 1-xxi. 24. But
it is easy to perceive how excellently the first portion fits
into its place as a general introduction to the period between
Moses and the monarchy, and how much more informing and
instructive it is in this respect than the section which follows.
There exists besides a formal connection between i. 16 and iv. 11.
As regards chaps. xvii., xviii., this story relating to the
migration of Dan northwards is plainly connected with that
immediately preceding where the tribe still finds itself "in tbe
camp of Dan," but is hard pressed and obtains no relief even with
the aid of Samson. In the case of chaps. xix.-xxi., indeed, it
admits of doubt whether they were excluded from the redaction, or
whether they were not extant as yet; but it is worth noticing
that here also chaps. xvii., xviii. are assumed as having gone
before. The Levite of Bethlehem-Judah testifies to this, and
especially the reminiscence contained in xix. 1, which, as we
shall see, has nothing to rest on in chaps. xix.-xxi.
Compare further xx. 19 with i. 1 seq.

At the bottom of the spurious continuity lies an erroneous
widening of the areas in which the judges exerted their influence.
Out of local contiguity has arisen succession in time, what was
true of the part having been transferred to the whole; it is
always the children of Israel in a body who come upon the scene,
are oppressed by the enemy, and ruled by the judges. In reality
it is only the individual tribes that come into the action; the
judges are tribal heroes,--Ehud of Benjamin, Barak and Deborah of
Issachar, Gideon of Joseph, Jephthah of Gilead, Samson of Dan. It
was only for the struggle against Sisera that a number of tribes
were united, receiving on that account extraordinary praise in
the song of Deborah. It is nowhere said "at the time when the
judges ruled," but "at the time when there was yet no king over
Israel, and every man did what was right in his own eyes; " the
regular constitution of the period is the patriarchal anarchy of
the system of families and septs. And in chap. i, division and
isolation are made to appear not unclearly as the reason why the
Canaanites were so long of being driven out from the greater
cities; matters did not change until Israel became strong, that
is to say, until his forces were welded into one by means of the

But the unity of Israel is the presupposition upon which rests the
theocratic relation, the reciprocal attitude between Israel and
Jehovah, whereby according to the scheme the course of the
history is solely conditioned. In the genuine tradition the
presupposition disappears, and in connection with this the whole
historical process assumes an essentially different, not to say a
more natural aspect. The people are no longer as a body driven
hither and thither by the same internal and external impulses,
and everything that happens is no longer made to depend on the
attraction and repulsion exercised by Jehovah. Instead of the
alternating see-saw of absolute peace and absolute affliction,
there prevails throughout the whole period a relative unrest;
here peace, there struggle and conflict. Failure and success
alternate, but not as the uniform consequences of loyalty or
disobedience to the covenant. When the anonymous prophet who, in
the insertion in the last redaction (chap. vi. 7-10), makes his
appearance as suddenly as his withdrawal is abrupt, improves the
visitation of the Midianites as the text for a penitential
discourse, the matter is nevertheless looked at immediately
thereafter with quite different eyes. For to the greeting of the
angel, "Jehovah is with thee, thou mighty man of velour," Gideon
answers, "If Jehovah be with us, why then is all this befallen
us? and where be all His miracles, of which our fathers told
us ? "He knows nothing about any guilt on the part of Israel.
Similarly the heroic figures of the judges refuse to fit in with
the story of sin and rebellion: they are the pride of their
countrymen, and not humiliating reminders that Jehovah had
undeservedly again and again made good that which men had
destroyed. Finally, with what artificiality the sins which
appear to be called for are produced, is incidentally made very
clear. After the death of Gideon we read in chap. viii. 33,
"the children of Israel went a-whoring after the Baals, and made
Baal Berith their god." But from the following chapter it appears
that Baal or El Berith was only the patron god of Shechem and some
other cities belonging to the Canaanites; the redactor transforms
the local worship of the Canaanites into an idolatrous worship on
the part of all Israel. In other cases his procedure is still
more simple,--for example, in x. 6 seq., where the number seven
in the case of the deities corresponds with the number seven of
the nations mentioned in that connection. Ordinarily he is
content with "Baals " or "Astartes " or "Asheras," where the
plural number is enough to show how little of what is individual
or positive underlies the idea, not to mention that Asheras are
no divinities at all, but only sacred trees or poles.

In short, what is usually given out as the peculiar theocratic
element in the history of Israel is the element which has been
introduced by the redaction. There sin and grace are introduced
as forces into the order of events in the most mechanical way, the
course of events is systematically withdrawn from all analogy,
miracles are nothing extraordinary, but are the regular form in
which things occur, are matters of course, and produce absolutely
no impression. This pedantic supra-naturalism, "sacred history"
according to the approved recipe, is not to be found in the
original accounts. In these Israel is a people just like other
people, nor is even his relationship to Jehovah otherwise conceived
of than is for example that of Moab to Chemosh (chap. xi. 24).
Of theophanies and manifestations of the Godhead there is no lack,
but the wonders are such as to make one really wonder. Once and
again they interrupt the earthly nexus, but at the same time
they form no connected system; they are poetry, not prose and
dogma. But on the whole the process of history, although to
appearance rougher and more perplexed, is nevertheless in reality
much more intelligible, and though seemingly more broken up,
actually advances more continuously. There is an ascent upward
to the monarchy, not a descent from the splendid times of Moses
and Joshua (Judges i. 28-35, xiii. 5, xviii. 1).

One narrative, it is true, apart from that relating to Othniel,
which is not to be reckoned here, is exactly what sacred history
ought to be in order to fit into the theoretical scheme,--I mean
Judges xix.-xxi. To appreciate it rightly it will be well first
of all to cast a glance upon the preceding narrative relating to
the migration of the tribe of Dan to the north. The Danites, 600
strong, fall upon the Canaanite town of Laish not because it lies
within the limits assigned to the people of God, and because its
conquest is a duty--though they inquire of the oracle, they are
nevertheless far from relying on the divine right so plainly made
known in the Book of Joshua--but because it is inhabited by a
peaceable and unsuspecting people, which is quite defenceless
against such a band of desperadoes; and they have as little
scruple in practicing the same treachery to Israelites such as
Micah. They take it that might is right, and recognise no
restraining consideration; their conduct is natural to the verge
of absolute shamelessness. And yet they are pious in their way;
how highly they value Jehovah they show by this, that they steal
His image out of the house of God, and the priest who keeps it
into the bargain. As for the religious usages mentioned in the
two chapters, hardly an abomination forbidden by the Law is wanting:
the private sanctuary in the possession of the Ephraimite Micah,
the grandson of Moses as priest in his service and pay, ephod
and teraphim as the requisite necessaries in the worship of Jehovah;
and yet all this is so recounted by the narrator as if it were all
quite regular and void of offence, although his purpose in doing so
is not to narrate temporary departures from rule, but the origin of
permanent institutions at a chief sanctuary of ancient Israel.
One is translated into another world on passing from this to the
narrative immediately following, about the shameful deed of the
Benjamites and their exemplary punishment; a greater or more
instructive contrast as regards religious history is hardly to be
found in all the Old Testament. In Judges xx.-xxi. it is not as
invariably elsewhere the individual tribes which act, not even
the people Israel, but the congregation of the covenant, which has
its basis in the unity of worship. The occasion of their action
is a sin committed in their midst which must be done away; it is
the sanctity of the theocracy which brings these 400,000 men to
arms and fills them at once with unction and with sanguinary
zeal. The clerical instincts have entirely taken possession of
this uniform mass, have passed into their flesh and blood, and
moulded them into a single automaton, so that all that takes place
is invariably done by all at once. No individuals come to the
front, not even by name, still less by deeds of velour; the
moral tone is anything but heroic. When the godless reprobates of
Gibeah seek to assail the person of the Levite who is passing the
night there, he hands over to them his wife in order to save
himself, and all Israel finds nothing objectionable in this
revolting act of cowardice, the opinion probably being that by
his conduct the holy man had kept the sinners from still graver
"Of the Mosaic law not a word is said in these chapters,
but who could fail to perceive that the spirit which finds its
expression in the law pervaded the community which acted thus?
Had we more narratives of similar contents we should be able to
solve many a riddle of the Pentateuch. Where under the monarchy
could we find an Israel so united, vigorous, earnest, so willing
to enter upon the severest conflict for the sake of the highest
ends? "Thus Bertheau, rightly feeling that this story has a
quite exceptional position, and contradicts all that we learn from
other quarters of the period of the judges or even the kings.
Only we cannot reckon it a proof of the historic value of the story,
that it gives the lie to the rest of the tradition in the Books of
Judges, Samuel, and Kings, and is homogeneous not with these books
but with the Law. On the other hand, the writer betrays himself
with a self-contradiction, when, unconsciously remembering the
preceding chapters, he laments the disorganisation of the time he
is dealing with (xix. 1, xxi. 25), and yet describes Israel to
us as existing in a religious centralisation, such as demonstrably
was never attained in the earlier life of the nation, but only
came about as a consequence of the exile, and is the distinctive
mark of Judaism.

As this narrative is not one of those included in the
Deuteronomistic scheme of the Book of Judges, there may be a
question whether it presupposes the Deuteronomic law only, or the
priestly law as well. Its language has most points of contact
with Deuteronomy; but one extremely important expression and
notion, that of "the congregation of the children of Israel,"
points rather to the Priestly Code. The same may be said of
Phinehas ben Eleazar ben Aaron (xx. 28). The latter, however,
occurs but once, and that in a gloss which forms a very awkward
interruption between "and the children of Israel inquired of
Jehovah," and the word "saying" which belongs to that phrase.
We have also to remark that there is no mention of the tabernacle,
for which there is no room in addition to Mizpeh (p. 256),
so that the principal mark of the Priestly Code is wanting.
It is only in preparation, it has not yet appeared: we are still
standing on the ground of Deuteronomy, but the way is being
prepared for the transition.

VII.I.3. Going a step further back from the last revision we meet
with an earlier effort in the same direction, which, however, is
less systematically worked out, in certain supplements and emendations,
which have here and there been patched on to the original narratives.
These may be due in part to the mere love of amplification or of
talking for talking's sake, and in so far we have no further
business with them here. But they originated partly in the
difficulty felt by a later age in sympathising with the religious
usages and ideas of older times. Two instances of this kind occur
in the history of Gideon. We read (vi. 25-32), that in the night
after his call Gideon destroyed, at the commandment of Jehovah,
the altar of Baal in Ophra, his native town, as well as the
Ashera which stood beside it; and that in place of it he built an
altar to Jehovah, and burned on it a yearling bullock, with the
wood of the Ashera for fuel. The next morning the people of Ophra
were full of indignation, and demanded that the author of the
outrage should be given up to them to be put to death; his
father, however, withstood them, saying, "Will ye contend for Baal?
Will ye save him? If he be a god, let Baal contend (Heb. Jareb
Baal) for himself." In consequence of this speech Gideon received
his second name of Jerubbaal. This conflicts with what is said in
an earlier part of the chapter. There Gideon has already made an
altar of the great stone under the oak of Ophra, where he saw
Jehovah sitting, and has offered upon it the first sacrifice, which
was devoured by flames breaking out of themselves, the Deity
Himself ascending in the flames to heaven. Why the two altars
and the two stories of their inauguration, both tracing their
origin to the patron of Ophra? They do not agree together, and
the reason is plain why the second was added. The altar of a
single stone, the flames bursting out of it, the evergreen tree,
the very name of which, Ela, seems to indicate a natural
connection with El, /1/--all this was in the eyes of a later

1. )LH, )LWN, in Aramaic simply tree, in Hebrew the evergreen,
and in general the holy tree (Isaiah i. 29 seq.) mostly without
distinguishing the species. Not only are oaks and terebinths
included, but also palms. For the )LWN DBWRH at Bethel is
elsewhere called TMR; Elim derives its names from the 70 palms,
and the same may be the case with Elath on the Red sea.

generation far from correct, indeed it was Baal-work. A desire
that the piety of Gideon should be above suspicion gave rise to
the second story, in which he erects an altar of Jehovah in place
of the former altar of Baal. How far this desire attained its end
we may best judge from the kindred effort to remove another
ground of offence, which lies in the name Jerubbaal. In accordance
with the occasion out of which the name is said to have arisen it
is said to mean, "Let Baal contend." Etymologically this
derivation is extremely far-fetched, and from every point of
view impossible: the name of a god is only assumed by those who
are his worshippers. In Hebrew antiquity Baal and El are
interchangeable and used indifferently; Jehovah Himself is spoken
of up to the times of the prophet Hosea as the Baal, i.e., the
lord. This is distinctly proved by a series of proper names in
the families of Saul and David, Ishbaal, Meribaal, Baaljada, to
which we may now add the name Jerubbaal given to the conqueror of
Midian. If then even in the time of the kings Baal was by no means
simply the antipode of Jehovah, whence the hostile relation of the
two deities, which Jerubbaal displays by the acts he does, although
he praises the great Baal by wearing his name? The view, also,
that the Ashera was incompatible with the worship of Jehovah,
does not agree with the belief of the earlier age; according to
Deuteronomy xvi. 21, these artificial trees must have stood often
enough beside the altars of Jehovah. The inserted passage itself
betrays in a remarkable manner that its writer felt this sort of
zeal for the legitimate worship to be above the level of the age
in question. We receive the impression that the inhabitants of
Ophra do not know their worship of Baal to be illegitimate, that
Gideon also had taken part in it in good faith, and that there had
never been an altar of Jehovah in the place before.

Of a somewhat different form is a correction which is to be found
at the close of the history of Gideon (viii. 22 seq.). After
the victory over the Midianites the Israelites are said to have
asked Gideon to be king over them. This he declined out of regard
to Jehovah the sole ruler of Israel, but he asked for the gold
nose-rings which had been taken from the enemy, and made of them
an image of Jehovah, an ephod, which he set up in Ophra to be
worshipped. "And all Israel went thither a-whoring after it, and
it became a snare to Gideon and to his house." Now the way in
which such a man acts in such a moment is good authority for the
state of the worship of Israel at the time, and not only so, but
we cannot impute it to the original narrator that he chose to
represent his hero as showing his thankfulness to the Deity by
the most gratuitous declension from His worship, as in fact crowning
His victory with an act of idolatry. This is seen to be the more
impossible when we consider that according to the testimony of
Hosea, Isaiah, and Micah, such images were even in the Assyrian
period a regular part of the belongings of the "houses of God"
not only in Samaria but in Judah as well. We have also to
remember that the contradiction between a human kingship and the
kingship of Jehovah, such as is spoken of in these verses, rests
upon theories which arose later, and of which we shall have more
to say. /1/ Studer will thus be correct in his assertion that the

1. "The words of Gideon are only intelligible on the presupposition
that the rule of Jehovah had a visible representative prophet or
priest. But this was not the case in the period of the judges,
as Gideon's own history shows us." Vatke, p. 263. We see besides
from ix. 1 seq. that Gideon really was the ruler of Ephraim and

old tradition could not see anything in Gideon's refusing the gold
for himself and dedicating it to God but a fine proof of his
unselfishness and piety, and that in viii. 22-27 we have a
secondary product, in which the original features of the story
are distorted so as to make them suit later tastes. The second
hand has unfortunately supplanted in this instance the work of
the first. The older narrative breaks off (viii. 21) with the
words: "Gideon took away the ornaments that were on the necks of
the camels of the kings." What he did with them we do not learn,
but naturally we must suppose that it was of them that he made
the ephod. According to the secondary passage, which begins
immediately after viii. 21, he used for this purpose the
nose-rings which the whole of Israel had taken from all the
Midianites, amounting in weight to 1700 shekels, besides the
ornaments of the kings and of their camels. The proportion is
similar to that between the 600 Danites in chap. xviii. and the
25,700 Benjamites in chap. xx., or between the 40,000 men of
Israel in v. 8, and the 400,000 in xx. 2.

VII.I.4. In the last place it is possible to trace even in the
original narratives themselves certain differences of religious
attitude which indicate to us unobtrusively and yet clearly that
tendency in the development of the tradition which reached its
end in the revision and ornamentation of which we have hitherto
been speaking. This is especially the case with regard to those
narratives which are preserved to us in a double form. These are
not frequent in Judges, but they do occur. A very simple case
of the kind is seen on comparing chap. iv. with chap. v.

The Canaanites again lift their heads under their great king
Sisera, and from their towns in the plains harass the hill
villages of the new settlers. Deborah unites the Hebrew tribes
for the contest. From the North and from the South the hosts of
Jehovah descend before our eyes towards Jezreel, the prophetess
Deborah at their head, the warrior Barak at her side. The conflict
takes place at the brook Kishon, and ends with the defeat of the
kings of Canaan. Sisera himself is killed in the flight by Jael,
the wife of a nomad Kenite. Such are the contents of the song in
chap. v. In the preceding narrative (chap. iv.) we should
expect to find a historical commentary on the song, but we find a
mere reproduction in which the special features of the story are
blurred and falsified. Instead of the kings of Canaan we have the
king of Canaan, as if Canaan had been a kingdom. Sisera, the head
of the Canaanite kings, is transformed into a mere general; the
oppression of the Hebrews is made general and indefinite. Jael
murders Sisera when he is Iying in a deep sleep by driving a
tent-peg into the ground through his temples. There is nothing
of this in the song: there he is drinking when she strikes the
blow, and is conceived as standing at the time, else he could
not bow down at her feet and fall, and lie struck dead where
he fell (ver. 27).

In the song the campaign is prepared with human means.
Negotiations are carried on among the tribes, and in the course of
these differences crop up. The lukewarmness or the swelling words
of some tribes are reproved, the energetic public spirit and
warlike courage of others praised. In the narrative, on the
contrary, the deliverance is the work of Jehovah alone; the men of
Israel are mere dummies, who show no merit and deserve no praise.
To make up for this, interest is concentrated on the act of Jael,
which instead of being an episode becomes the central point of the
whole narrative. Indeed it is announced as being so, for Deborah
prophesies to Barak that the glory of the conflict will not be his
but a woman's, into whose hand the enemy is to be sold; it is not
the hero, not human strength, that accomplishes what is done:
Jehovah shows His strength in man's weakness. And Barak's part in
the work is depreciated in yet another way. Deborah summons him
to go not to the battle, but to the holy hill of Tabor, where
Jehovah will bring about what is further to happen; he, however,
objects to this, and insists that the prophetess herself shall go
with him. This is regarded as a caprice of unbelief, because the
prophetess is thought to have exhausted her mission when she
transmitted the command of the Deity to His instrument: she has
appeared for no end but to make it known through her prophecy that
Jehovah alone brings everything to pass. In the song this is
different. There Barak is not summoned against his will; on the
contrary, he has a personal motive for taking up arms: "Arise,
Barak; take captive thy captors, thou son of Ahinoam." And the
prophetess has not only to prophesy; she works in a more
psychological manner; she is part of the battle, and inflames with
her song the courage of the fighting battalions: "Awake,
Deborah, awake, sing the song!" /1/ Throughout these variations of

1. Ver. 12 is a summons to begin the battle, and Deborah cannot
here be singing the song of triumph which celebrates its happy
issue. For a similar reason the translation given above, "take
captive thy captors," is the more natural and correct.

the prose reproduction we feel that the rich colour of the events
as they occurred is bleached out of them by the one universal first
cause, Jehovah. The presence and energy of Jehovah are not wanting
in the song; they are felt in the enthusiasm which fills the Hebrew
warriors, and in the terror and panic which confound the prancing
vigour of the foe. But in the prose narrative, the Divine action
is stripped of all mystery, and mechanic prophecy finds no
difficulty in showing distinctly and with sober accuracy what the
part of the Deity in the history has been. But the more special
the intervention of Deity, the further is it from us; the more
precise the statements about it, the less do we feel it to be there.

There is another instance in the Book of Judges of the occurrence
of the same historical material in two different forms; it is the
story of Gideon of the Manassite house of Abiezer. Studer saw
that there is a break between viii. 3 and viii. 4, and that the
two stories, from the one of which we pass to the other at that
point, have to be understood separately; viii. 1-3 is the
conclusion of the first story. We have been told how, after the
success of the first attack on the Midianites, Gideon raised the
levy of all Israel for the pursuit, and how then the Ephraimites
seized the fords of the Jordan before the arrival of the flying
nomads and got the two leaders of the Midianites into their hands.
Now we hear in conclusion that the Ephraimites, elated by their
success began to find fault with Gideon, but that he pacified
their wrath by saying, "What have I done now in comparison of
you? Is not the gleaning of the grapes of Ephraim better than the
vintage of Abiezer? God hath delivered into your hand the princes
of Midian, and what was I able to do in comparison of you?"
A domestic contention like this about the respective shares in
the victory could only arise when the victory had been gained,
when the strife with the enemy was fought out; the metaphor of
harvest and gleaning shows that the victory was complete and
all the fruits of it gathered in. Chapter viii. 1-3 concludes
the business, and the following narrative is not a continuation
of what has gone before, but a second version of the story in
which many of the circumstances are quite different. According
to vii. 23 seq. there was a great army on foot, but in viii. 4
seq. Gideon has only his own three hundred men with him. In
viii. 1-3 the vintage and the gleaning are over and the object
of the fighting is attained; but in viii. 4 seq. Gideon pursues
the enemy without any interruption, and when he asks the men of
Succoth and Penuel for bread for his wearied and hungry troops,
they inquire sarcastically whether he is already certain of
success, so that it should be necessary for them to espouse his
cause. The two chiefs who in the former account are called the
princes Oreb and Zeeb, and are already taken, are here called
the kings Zebah and Zalmunna, and are not taken yet. Unfortunately
the beginning of viii. 4 seq. is not preserved, and we cannot make
out whether the pursuit in which we find Gideon here engaged was
preceded by an action. Such a supposition is not exactly impossible,
yet the distance to which the nomads had carried their booty, and
their carelessness in camp, make it more likely that the occurrence
was like that in 1Samuel xxx. This, however, makes no difference as
to the particulars with regard to which the two narratives conflict
with each other.

But how did the difference arise? This we shall best learn by
comparing the beginnings of the two stories. We remarked that the
second, as it stands, wanted a beginning, but what is wanting may
be to some extent supplied from what follows. According to viii.
4 seq., Gideon's aim is to get hold of the two kings of the
Midianites: these appear all through as the particular enemies
whom he is pursuing: as to the rest of the Midianites he is more
or less indifferent. And the reason, as we learn from viii. 18
seq., is that the two kings had slain his brothers at Tabor; it
is to take vengeance for them that he sets out to pursue the
slayers, and does not rest till they are in his hand. It is the
duty of blood-revenge which causes him to take the war-path with
his household, unconcerned by the disproportion in numbers
between his followers and theirs: it is the powerful sentiment of
family which sets him in motion and causes him to become, as it
were incidentally, the liberator of Israel from the spoilers. In
the first account (vi. 11-viii. 3) these natural motives have
completely disappeared, and others have taken their place which
are almost of an opposite character. Before anything has
happened, before the Midianites have made their yearly incursion,
Gideon, who expects nothing of the kind, is summoned by a
theophany to battle against them. When they arrive he is seized
by the Spirit and sets out against them. What is human in him
has no part in the act he is called to do; flesh and blood set
themselves against it. He is impelled by the direct impulse of
Jehovah, and here, of course, he goes forth in behalf of the
public interests of Israel, against the Midianites, not against
their princes personally. And accordingly everything possible is
done to cast the man into the shade behind the Deity. Gideon,
according to the second account a distinguished and royal man,
is in the first of a poor house and family; in the second story
he is remarkable for irrepressible energy, but here he is timid
and shrinking up to the last moment, and new miracles have
constantly to be wrought to encourage and strengthen him.
The 32,000 men with whom he takes the field he is ordered by
Jehovah to send away all but l,000 and again all but 300, "lest
Israel vaunt themselves against Me, and say, Mine own hand hath
saved me." The weapons with which the nocturnal attack of the 300
is made are torches, pitchers, and trumpets; the men have not a
hand left to hold swords (vii. 20); and the hostile army has
accordingly to do itself the work of its own destruction (vii.

Few of the deviations of the religious version from the natural one
are not transparent; one of these few is the removal of the scene
to this side of the Jordan. Most of them are at once recognisable
as due to the process of glorification, illumination, and
religious inflation, by which the body of the tradition is
etherealised and the story lifted up into the region of the air.
For example, the company of Gideon at the main action, the attack
on the hostile camp, consists of 300 men in chap. vii. as well
as in chap viii.; but in chap. vii., to draw out the
significance of the small number, they are treated as the last
residuum of what was at first quite a considerable army; and this
gives rise to a long story. We may also remark that chap. vi.
begins with the relation in which the judge stood to the sanctuary
of his native town, while chap. viii. closes with this. In the
one case he discovers by a theophany, like the patriarchs in
Genesis, the sacredness of the altar-stone under the oak; in the
other he sets up, in far more realistic fashion, the plated image
(ephod) he has made of the golden ornaments of the Midianite
kings. History has to take account principally, if not
exclusively, of the natural version, which is dry in tone and lets
things speak for themselves, not overlaying the simple story with
the significance of its consequences. The relation, however, is
somewhat different from that which we found existing between
Judges iv. and v. Chapter vi. seq. is not based directly on
chap. viii., but was probably formed from independent oral
material Though the local colour is lively, the historical
reminiscences are extremely vague, and there has been a much
freer growth of legend than in Jud. iv., producing pictures of
greater art and more naivete. But in the field of miracle poetry
is manifestly earlier than prose.

In the case of those narratives which have come down to us in
double form, the difference of standpoint is unmistakable; but it
may also be perceived in cases where we have no direct parallels
to compare. How noticeably does the story of Abimelech differ,
say from that of Jephthah which follows it, in the rich detail of
its facts, and in the spontaneous interest it shows in the
secondary and subordinate links in the chain of events! There is
no gilding with a supernatural nimbus; facts are simply and
plainly set down such as they are; the moral is left to speak
for itself as the story goes on. In the Samson legends again we
find two souls united, as it were, in one body. Traits belonging
to the rough life and spirit of the people are wrought, especially
at the beginning and end of the narrative, into a religious
national form; yet the two stand in an inner contrast to each other,
and it is scarcely probable that the exploits of this grotesque
religious hero were at first conceived in the Spirit of Jehovah,
of which, in the story as we have it, they are the product. More
probably the religious way of telling the story was preceded
by a way considerably more profane; but we cannot now separate
the older stage from that which is more recent. We may also
remark that the contrast of historical and unhistorical is
obviously inapplicable to this case, and, moreover, is
unessential for the end we have in view. Only it may stand
as a general principle, that the nearer history is to its
origin the more profane it is. In the pre-Deuteronomic narratives,
the difference is to be recognised less in the _kind_ of piety than
in the _degree_ of it.


VII.II.1. The comprehensive revision which we noticed in the Book
of Judges has left its mark on the Books of Samuel too. As, however,
in this case the period is short, and extremely rich in incident,
and really forms a connected whole, the artificial frame- and
net-work does not make itself so much felt. Yet it is by no
means wanting, as the dates of themselves indicate, whose place in
the chronological system was shown above. It is worthy of notice
how very loosely these are fitted into their context. In 1Samuel
iv. 18 seq. we read:
"And when the messenger made mention of the ark of God, Eli fell
backwards off his seat, and his neck brake, and he died, for he
was an old man and heavy, and _he judged Israel forty years_;
and when his daughter-in-law, the wife of Phinehas, who was with
child, heard the tidings," etc.
The statement of the date is not altogether inappropriately
dragged in, indeed, yet it is easy to see that it is dragged in.
In 2Samuel ii. 8-13 we read:
"Abner, the captain of Saul's host, took Ishbaal the son of Saul,
and brought him over the Jordan to Mahanaim, and made him king
over Gilead and Geshur, and Jezreel, and Ephraim, and Benjamin,
and all Israel. _Ishbaal was forty years old when he began to
reign over lsrael, and he reigned two years_. But the house of
Judah followed David. And the time that David was king in
Hebron was seven years and six months. And Abner and the servants
of Ishbaal went out from Mahanaim to Gibeon, and Joab with the
servants of David went out to meet him."
The words in italics <_..._> manifestly interrupt the connection;
and with regard to Ishbaal's dates we have also to remark that from
what we learn of him elsewhere he was, in the first place, still
in the years of pupilage, and in the next must have reigned as long
in Mahanaim as Oavid in Hebron. The number two connected with his
reign is to be explained as in the case of Saul (1Samuel xiii. 1):
_Saul was...years old when he began to reign, and he reigned two
years over Israel_. In this verse, which is not found in the LXX,
the number for the years of his life is wanting; and originally
the number for the years of his reign was left out too: the _two_
is quite absurd, and has grown out of the following word for year,
which in Hebrew has a somewhat similar appearance.

In company with the chronological formulas, we find also the
religious (1Samuel vii. 2-4).
"While the ark abode in Kirjath-jearim, it was twenty years;
and all the house of Israel came together after Jehovah. And
Samuel spake unto the whole house of Israel, saying: 'If ye do
return to Jehovah with all your hearts, then put away the strange
gods and the Astartes from among you, and prepare your hearts unto
Jehovah, and serve Him only; and He will deliver you out of the
hand of the Philistines.' And the children of Israel did put away
the Baals and Astartes, and served Jehovah only."
We are not told, in what precedes this passage, of any act of
declension from Jehovah, and according to chap. iv. the Israelites
showed no want of faith in Jehovah in the unfortunate battle with
the Philistines. This taking for granted that the yoke of a
foreign rule was laid on them as a punishment for their sins is
characteristic. A further example occurs in the speech of Samuel
(1Samuel. xii.), which, as the introduction to the time of the
kings, may be compared with Judges ii., the introduction to the
time of the judges. "Stand still that I may reason with you before
Jehovah of all the righteous acts of Jehovah with which He did
right to you and to your fathers! When Jacob was come into
Egypt, your fathers cried to Jehovah, and He sent Moses and Aaron
and brought your fathers out of Egypt and made them dwell in this
land. And when they forget Jehovah their God, He sold them into
the hand of Sisera, captain of the host of Hazor, and into the
hand of the Philistines, and the Moabites, and they fought
against them. And they cried unto Jehovah, and said, We have
sinned, because we have forsaken Jehovah and have served Baal and
Astarte, but now deliver us out of the hand of our enemies and we
will serve Thee. And Jehovah sent Jerubbaal, and Barak, and
Jephthah, and Samuel, and delivered you out of the hand of your
enemies on every side, and ye dwelled safe. And when ye saw that
Nahash the king of the children of Ammon came against you, ye said
unto me, Nay, but a king shall reign over us, when Jehovah your God
is your king. Now therefore behold the king whom ye have desired;
behold, Jehovah has set a king over you. If ye will hear Jehovah
and serve Him and obey His voice, and not rebel
against the commandment of Jehovah, good: but if ye rebel against
the commandment of Jehovah, then shall the hand of Jehovah be
against you as it was against your fathers."
It is the familiar strain: rebellion, affliction, conversion,
peace, Jehovah the keynote, and the first word and the last.
The eye does not dwell on the details of the story; the gaps in
the tradition are turned to account as well as its contents, which
are concentrated at so few points. Details are regarded only as
they bear on the whole; the periods are passed in review in a broad
and general style, and the law enunciated which connects them with
one another. In doing this Samuel seems to presuppose in his
hearers a knowledge of the biblical history in a distinct form;
and he even speaks without hesitation of his own historical
significance. The hearers are bidden to look back upon a period
in the living movement of which they themselves are standing, as
if it were a dead past. As they are thus lifted up to the height
of an objective contemplation of themselves and their fathers,
in the end the result which was to be expected takes place:
they become conscious of their grievous sin. Confronted with
the Deity they have always an uneasy feeling that they deserve
to be punished.

VII.II.2. The Deuteronomist revision asserts itself, it is true,
only in these two places, or rather this one place; but this
is the principal epoch in the book--the transition to the monarchy
which is associated with the name of Samuel. And on this account
the revision here acts the more trenchantly; it is not only an
addition to give a new flavour to the older tradition; it changes
the nature of the tradition entirely. For the passages we have
just quoted from it are merely fragments of a considerable
connected historical scheme. The first piece of this scheme, vii.
2-17, first claims our attention. After summoning the children of
Israel to repentance (vii. 2-4), Samuel convokes an assembly of
them at Mizpeh, near Jerusalem, in order to entreat for them that
the Philistine affliction may be turned away. This measure is of
course closely connected with the previously-mentioned abolition
of idolatry: for, after the guilt has ceased, the punishment also
must be removed. They assemble, draw water to pour it out before
Jehovah, fast, and confess their sins, at Mizpeh. When tbe
Philistines hear this, they are on the spot the very same day
and fall upon the assembly at its prayers. Samuel, however,
sacrifices a sucking lamb and cries for help to Jehovah, and the
engagement takes place while he is so occupied. Jehovah thunders
terribly against the Philistines and throws them into disorder, so
that they are forced to yield, and are pursued to a great
distance. And the Philistines, this is the end of the narrative,
were humbled and came no more into the coasts of Israel; and the
hand of Jehovah was against the Philistines all the days of
Samuel, and the cities which the Philistines had taken from Israel
were recovered; Ekron and Gath and their coasts did Israel take
from the Philistines, and there was peace between Israel and the

The mere recapitulation of the contents of this narrative makes us
feel at once what a pious make-up it is and how full of inherent
impossibilities: to think of all that is compressed into the
space of this one day! But we have also to remark the utter
contradiction of the whole of the rest of the tradition. In the
history which follows we find the domination of the Philistines
by no means at an end; not only do they invade the Israelite
territory several times in Samuel's lifetime, they are in
possession of the land of lsrael, and one of their governors lives
at Gibeah in the midst of Benjamin. The struggle with them is the
true and real origin and task of the monarchy. The writer had no
idea that Samuel had discharged this labour and won this victory
already, and had even "restored " Ekron and Gath. On the contrary,
the yoke of the Philistines lay most heavily on Israel just in
his days. There cannot be a word of truth in the whole narrative.
Its motives, however, are easily seen. Samuel is a saint of the
first degree (Jeremiah xv. 1), and in the theocracy, i.e., in the
religious community such as ancient Israel is represented to have
been, cut to the pattern of Judaism, such a man must take his
place at the head of the whole. His influence must have prevailed
to exclude idolatry and unfaithfulness to Jehovah on the part of
the people; and the general character of the time must on the
whole have answered to the type he set before it. But here a very
unpleasant difficulty suggests itself. If the fact of Samuel being
at the head is sufficient guarantee that all was as it should be
within the state, how can there have been such great pressure
externally, so as to endanger the very existence of the people?
If men do their part, how can Jehovah fail to do His? On the
contrary, it must be believed that the righteousness which
prevailed within had its counterpart in the external vindication
of His people by Jehovah. Even under Samuel the Philistines were
with God's help driven across the border, and as long as he lived
they were not seen within it again. The piety of a praying
assembly was suitably acknowledged by Jehovah, who dropped into
its lap a success such as in after times the sword of warlike
kings sought long and in vain to achieve.

But this example of history corrected does not stand alone, and
becomes completely intelligible only when taken in connection
with the similar pieces which belong to it. 1Samuel vii. is
continued in chap. viii., and chap. viii. again in x. 17-xii.
25. Samuel, after setting the land free from foreign tyranny,
conducts a quiet and successful reign till old age comes upon him.
His sons, however, whom he has made his assessors, do not walk in
his steps; and the elders of Israel make this the occasion to ask
him to give them a king. But this is a mere pretext for their
sinful desire to shake off the divine rule and to be like the
heathen round about them. Samuel is extremely indignant at their
ingratitude, but is directed by Jehovah to comply with their
"They have not rejected thee, but they have rejected
Me, that I should not reign over them; according to all the works
that they have done since the day that I brought them up out of
Egypt, wherewith they have forsaken Me and served other gods. so
do they also unto thee."
It is in vain that Samuel exhibits to them an alarming catalogue
of the rights of the king: they are not to be moved from their
determination, and he accordingly summons a general convention of
the people at Mizpeh (viii. 22, x. 17). There, after the
opening lecture, lots are drawn for the king, and Saul is chosen,
whereupon Samuel has still to write down the law of the kingdom and
lay it up before Jehovah. The people are then dismissed; "and
Saul also went home to Gibeah, and with him the warriors whose
heart God had touched, but the children of Belial despised him,
and said 'How shall this man save us!'"

But Saul is at this point only king _de jure_; he does not become
king _de facto_ until after he has proved himself, chap. xi. After
an interval of a month (x. 27 LXX) the men of Jabesh, besieged by
the Ammonites and in great straits, send messengers throughout
Israel to implore speedy assistance, since in seven days they
have to surrender to their enemies and each of them to lose his
right eye. The messengers come to the town of Saul, Gibeah in
Benjamin, and tell their message before the people; the people
lift up their voices and weep. Saul meanwhile comes from the
field with a yoke of oxen, and, observing the general weeping,
asks what has happened. The story is told him, and at once the
Spirit of God comes upon him and his anger is kindled greatly;
he hews in pieces his oxen and sends the pieces throughout Israel
with the summons: Whoever does not come forth to the battle, so
shall it be done to his oxen! And the fear of Jehovah falls on
the people, and they go out as one man and relieve the besieged
town. Hereupon "the kingdom is renewed" for Saul at Gilgal, and
only now does Samuel abdicate his government, in the long speech
(chap. xii.) a considerable portion of which was given above.

That chap. xi. is now an integral part of this version of the
history is clear from xii. 12, and also from xi. 12-14. But it
was not originally designed for this connection. For we hear
nothing of the warriors who according to x. 26 were in company
with Saul; it is not on his account that the messengers of Jabesh
came to Gibeah. When the supposed king comes home from ploughing,
nothing is done to indicate that the news concerns him specially:
no one tells him what has happened, he has to ask the reason of
the general weeping. He summons the levy of Israel not in virtue
of his office as king, but in the authority of the Spirit, and it
is owing to the Spirit acting on the people that he is obeyed.
Only after he has showed his power and defeated the Ammonites do
the people make him king (xi. 15); the "renewal" of the kingdom
(xi. 14), after a month's interval, is a transparent artifice of
the author of viii. 10, 1) seq. to incorporate in his own narrative
the piece which he had borrowed from some other quarter: the verses
xi. 12-14 are due to him.

Chapter xi. stood originally in connection with the other
narrative of the elevation of Saul (ix. 1-X. 16). Hero Saul
first appears engaged in searching for strayed she-asses. After
a vain search of several days he arrives in the neighbourhood
of Ramah, and at the suggestion of his servant applies for
information as to the asses to a seer there, to Samuel. His
approach has been announced to the seer by Jehovah the day
before: "To-morrow I will send to thee a man out of the land of
Benjamin, and thou shalt anoint him to be ruler over My people
Israel; he shall save them from the Philistines." He was
accordingly expecting him, and had instituted a sacrificial feast
on the bamah for him even before he arrived. At this moment
Samuel has gone down to the town between the sacrificial act and
the meal which followed it, and just as he is going back to his
guests he meets in the gate Saul, who is asking for him, and at a
whisper from Jehovah he recognises in him his man. He takes him up
with him to the bamah, reassures him about the asses, and then at
once tells him to what high things he is called, and gives him
convincing proofs that he had reckoned on his presence at the feast
as the guest of the occasion. He then gives him lodgings for the
night, and accompanies him on his way next morning. The servant is
sent on a little way before, Samuel stands still and anoints Saul,
for a sign that he is chosen by Jehovah to be the king and deliverer
of Israel, and in conclusion instructs him that, when the opportunity
for action comes, he is to use it, in the consciousness that God
is with him. On his way home three signs come to pass which the
seer had announced to him. He is thus assured that all that was
said to him was true; his heart is changed by degrees till he
cannot contain himself; on his arrival at Gibeah his acquaintances
are struck with his strange demeanour, but he does not disclose
even to his most intimate friend at home what Samuel had said to
him, but waits for the things that shall come to pass.

This is the point arrived at in x. 16. It is clear that thus far
no conclusion has yet been reached: the seed that is sown must
spring up, the changed spirit must produce its effects. And this
requirement is abundantly satisfied if chap. xi. is regarded as
immediately continuing the story from x. 16. After about a
month, the opportunity presents itself for Saul to act, which
Samuel had bidden him to look for. While others are weeping at
the disgrace which threatens an Israelite town at the hands of
the Ammonites, he is filled with the Spirit and with rage,
the arrow is still in his heart from that conversation, and he
now does "what his hand finds to do." The result is a great
success; the word of the seer finds its fulfilment in the most
natural way in the world.

If chap. xi. belongs originally to the narrative of ix. 1.-x. 16,
it follows at once that the other sections are dependent and
later. But what is the inner relation of the one version to the
other? They coincide in their ideas here and there. In the one
story Saul seeks the asses and finds the crown, in the other he
hides himself among the stuff and is drawn forth king. In the one
he is called by the seer, in the other he is chosen by lot--the
divine causality operative in both cases. But how the idea is
exaggerated at the later stage, and how nakedly it is put forward!
And if there is this similarity of view, yet the deviation of the
secondary version from the original is much more striking than
the resemblance. For its tendency we are prepared by chapter
vii. Samuel has set his countrymen free from their enemies, and
ruled over them afterwards in righteousness and prosperity; why
then should they desire a change in the form of government? They
have just as much and as little reason for desiring this as for
the falling away from Jehovah, which also is a periodical
craving on their part, whenever they have had some years' rest:
it is the expression of the deep-seated heathenism of their nature.
That is the account of chapter viii. with what belongs to it.
Chapter ix. seq., however, gives quite a different account. Here,
at the end of the period of the judges, Israel is not at the
summit of power and prosperity, but in a state of the deepest
humiliation and the means of saving the people from this state is
seen in the monarchy alone. And this difference is closely
connected with another as to the view taken of the authority of
Samuel. In chap. viii. as in chap. vii. he is the vicegerent
of Jehovah, with unlimited authority. He feels the institution of
the monarchy to be his own deposition, yet the children of Israel
by no means rebel against him; they come to him to ask him for
a king. He might have refused the request; he might also have
given them a ruler according to his own good pleasure, but as a
correct theocrat he leaves the decision to Jehovah. At the end he
solemnly lays down the government he has hitherto carried on, and
hands it over to his successor. The latter is superior to him in
point of title, but not in point of power: indeed in the latter
respect he is rather inferior to Samuel, being a mere earthly
prince (xii. 23 seq.). But how do matters stand in chap. ix. seq.?
Here Samuel is quite a stranger to Saul, who knows neither his
name nor his residence. Only his servant has heard of Samuel,
who enjoys a high reputation as a seer in his own neighbourhood.
What we are to think of when we read of a seer of that period,
we are clearly and circumstantially informed: for Samuel is
consulted as to the whereabouts of strayed she-asses, and a fee
of a quarter of a silver shekel is tendered to him for his advice.
This seer stands, it is clear, above the average of those who
practiced the same calling; yet his action on the history is quite
within the limits of what was possible, say to Calchas: it
exhibits not a trace of the legislative and executive power of
a regent of the theocracy. He does not bring help; he only
descries help and the helper. The very event which, according
to chap. viii. seq., involved the removal of Samuel from his
place and his withdrawal to the background of the history, is
here the sole basis of his reputation: the monarchy of Saul,
if not his work, is his idea. He announces to the Benjamite his
high calling, interpreting in this the thoughts of the man's own
heart (ix. 19). With this his work is done; he has no commission
and no power to nominate his successor in the government.
Everything else he leaves to the course of events and to the
Spirit of Jehovah which will place Saul on his own feet.

In the great difference which separates these two narratives we
recognise the mental interval between two different ages. In the
eyes of Israel before the exile the monarchy is the culminating
point of the history, and the greatest blessing of Jehovah. It
was preceded by a period of unrest and affliction, when every man
did what was right in his own eyes, and the enemies of Israel
accordingly got everything their own way. Under it the people
dwell securely and respected by those round about; guarded by
the shelter of civil order, the citizen can sit under his own
vine and his own fig-tree. That is the work of the first two
kings, who saved Israel from his spoilers, and gave him power
and rest. No difference is made between them in this respect:
the one commenced the work which the other completed (1Samuel
ix. 16, xiv. 48; 2Samuel iii. 18, xix. 9). Before them there was
no breathing space left in the hard work of fighting, but now
there is time to think of other things. Even Deuteronomy,
which was written not long before the exile, regards the period
before the monarchy as a time of preparation and transition,
not to be counted complete in itself: Israel must first acquire
fixed seats and a settled way of living, and then Jehovah also
will choose a seat for Himself and make known His desires with
regard to the cultus. David brought things so far that the
people had room and struck firm roots into the ground, and
ceased to tremble before their enemies, who had kept them on the
strain from the beginning, and all the days of the judges; and
under his successor the time came when the temple could be built
and higher interests receive attention. That Hebrew antiquity
knew nothing of any hostility or incompatibility between the
heavenly and the earthly ruler is plain from the title Anointed
of Jehovah, and from the hope of the prophets, whose ideal future
would be incomplete without a human king. The ancient Israelites
were as fully conscious as any other people of the gratitude
they owed to the men and to the institutions by whose aid they
had been lifted out of anarchy and oppression, and formed into an
orderly community, capable of self-defence. Of this the Books of
Samuel afford the most eloquent testimony. /1/

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