International Standard Bible Encyclopedia
III. The Structure of the Individual Pericopes.
In this division of the article, there is always to be found (under 1) a consideration of the unity of the Biblical text and (under 2) the rejection of the customary division into different sources.
The conviction of the unity of the text of Genesis and of the impossibility of dividing it according to different sources is strongly confirmed and strengthened by the examination of the different pericopes. Here, too, we find the division on the basis of the typical numbers 4,7,10,12. It is true that in certain cases we should be able to divide in a different way; but at times the intention of the author to divide according to these numbers practically compels acceptance on our part, so that it would be almost impossible to ignore this matter without detriment, especially since we were compelled to accept the same fact in connection with the articles EXODUS (II); LEVITICUS (II, 2); DAY OF ATONEMENT (I, 2, 1), and aIso EZEKIEL (I, 2, 2). But more important than these numbers, concerning the importance or unimportance of which there could possibly be some controversy, are the fundamental religious and ethical ideas which run through and control the larger pericopes of the [toledhoth] of Terah, Isaac and Jacob in such a way that it is impossible to regard this as merely the work of a redactor, and we are compelled to consider the book as the product of a single writer.
1. The Structure of the Prooemium (Genesis 1 through 2:3):
The structure of the proemium (Gen 1:1 through 2:3) is generally ascribed to P. Following the introduction (Gen 1:1,2; creation of chaos), we have the creation of the seven days with the Sabbath as a conclusion. The first and the second three days correspond to each other (1st day, the light; 4th day, the lights; 2nd day, the air and water by the separation of the waters above and the waters below; 5th day, the animals of the air and of the water; 3rd day, the dry land and the vegetation; 6th day, the land animals and man; compare also in this connection that there are two works on each day). We find Exodus also divided according to the number seven (see EXODUS, II, 1; compare also Ex 24:18b through 31:18; see EXODUS, II, 2, 5, where we have also the sevenfold reference to the Sabbath idea in Ex, and that, too, repeatedly at the close of different sections, just as we find this here in Genesis); and in Lev compare chapters 23; 25; 27; see LEVITICUS, II, 2, 2; the VIII, IX, and appendix; and in Gen 4:17 ff J; 5:1-24 P; 6:9 through 9:29; 36:1 through 37 I (see under 2, 1,2,3,1).
2. Structure of the Ten Toledhoth:
The ten toledhoth are found in Gen 2:4 through 50:26.
1. The Toledhoth of the Heavens and the Earth (Genesis 2:4 through 4:26):
(1) The Biblical Text.
(a) Gen 2:4-25, Paradise and the first human beings; (b) 3:1-24, the Fall; (c) 4:1-16, Cain and Abel; (d) 4:17-26, the Cainites, in seven members (see under 1 above) and Seth. The number 4 appears also in 5:1 through 6:8 (see under 2); 10:1 through 11:9 (see under 4); and especially 11:27 through 25:11 (under 6). Evidently (a) and (b), (c) and (d) are still more closely connected.
(2) Rejection of the Division into Sources (Gen 1:1 through 2:4a P and 2:4b through 4:26 J).
Ch 2 does not contain a new account of creation with a different order in the works of creation. This section speaks of animals and plants, not for their own sakes, but only on account of their connection with man. The creation of the woman is only a further development of Gen 1. While formerly the critics divided this section into 2:4 through 4:26 J, they now cut it up into J1 and j2 (see under II, 2, 1 (c) (because, they say, the tree of life is mentioned only in 2:9 and 3:23, while in 2:17 and 3:3 ff the Divine command is restricted to the tree of knowledge of good and evil. But it is impossible to see why there should be a contradiction here, and just as little can we see why the two trees standing in the midst of the garden should no~t both have had their significance (compare 2:9; 3:3). It is further asserted that a division of J is demanded by the fact that the one part of J knows of the Fall (6:9 ff), and the other does not know of such a break in the development of mankind (4:17 ff). But the civilization attained by the Cainites could certainly have passed over also to the Sethites (see also 6:2); and through Noah and his sons have been continued after the Deluge. Then, too, the fact that Cain built a city (4:17), and the fact that he became a fugitive and a wanderer (4:12), are not mutually exclusive; just as the beginnings made with agriculture (4:12) are perfectly consistent with the second fact.
2. The Toledhoth of Adam (Gen 5:1 through 6:8):
(1) The Biblical Text.
(a) Gen 5:1-24, seven generations from Adam to Lamech (see under 1, and Jude 1:14); (b) Gen 5:25-32, four generations from the oldest of men, Methuselah, down to the sons of Noah; (c) 6:1-4, intermingling of the sons of God and the sons of men; (d) 6:5-8, corruption of all mankind. Evidently at this place (a) and (b), (c) and (d) correspond with each other.
(2) Rejection of the Division into Sources (Genesis 5 P with the Exception of 5:29 (see II, 2, 2 (e)); 5:29; 6:1-8 J).
Genesis 6:7 J presupposes chapter 1 P; as, on the other hand, the fact that the generations that, according to chapter 5 the Priestly Code (P), had in the meanwhile been born, die, presupposes the advent of sin, concerning which only J had reported in chapter 3. In the case of the Priestly Code (P), however, in 1:31 it is said that everything was very good.
3. The Toledhoth of Noah (Genesis 6:9 through 9:29):
(1) The Biblical Text.
Seven sections (see 1 above) viz: (a) Gen 6:9-22, the building of the ark; (b) 7:1-9, entering the ark; (c) 7:10-24, the increase of the Flood; (d) 8:1-14, the decrease of the Flood; (e) 8:15-19, leaving the ark; (f) 8:22 through 9:17, declaration of a covenant relation between God and Noah; (g) 9:18-29, transfer of the Divine blessing upon Shem.
(2) Rejection of the Division into Sources (Genesis 7:1-5,7-10,12,16b,17,22 f; 8:2b,3a,6-12,13b,20-22; 9:20-27 J, the Rest from P).
In all the sources are found the ideas that the Deluge was the punishment of God for sin; further, the deliverance of the righteous Noah and his wife and three sons Shem, Ham and Japheth and their wives; the deliverance of the different kinds of animals; the announcement of the covenant relations between God and mankind after the Deluge; the designation of the Deluge with the term mabbul and of the ark with tebhah. In the Babylonian account, which without a doubt stands in some connection with the Biblical, are found certain measurements of the ark, which in the Bible are only in the Priestly Code (P), as also the story of the sending out of the birds when the flood was decreasing, and of the sacrifices of those who had been delivered, which in the Bible are said to be found only in J; and these facts are a very powerful argument against the division into sources. Further, the Priestly Code (P), in case the critics were right, would have contained nothing of the thanks of Noah for his deliverance, although he was a pious man; and in the case of J we should not be informed what kind of an ark it was into which Noah was directed to go (Gen 7:1 ff); nor how he can already in Gen 8:20 build an altar, as he has not yet gone out of the ark; and, further, how the determination of Yahweh, that He would not again curse the earth but would bless it, can be a comfort to him, since only P has reported concerning the blessing (9:1 ff). Even if the distinction is not always clearly made between clean and unclean animals, and different numbers are found in the case of each (6:19 f; 7:14-16 the Priestly Code (P), over against 7:2 f in J), yet this is to be regarded merely as a lack of exactness or, perhaps better, rather as a summary method of procedure. The difficulties are not even made any easier through the separation into sources, since in 7:8 f in J both numbers and the distinction between the two kinds of animals are used indiscriminately. Here, too, in J we find the name Elohim used. The next contradiction that is claimed, namely that the Deluge according to J lasted only 61 days, and is arranged in 40 days (7:4,12,17; 8:6) plus 3 X 7 = 21 days (8:8,10,12), while in P it continues for 1 year and 11 days (7:11,24; 8:3-5,14), is really a self-inflicted agony of the critics. The report of the Bible on the subject is perfectly clear. The rain descends for 40 days (7:12 J); but as in addition also the fountains of the deep are broken up (7:11 P), we find in this fact a reason for believing that they increased still more (7:24 P and 7:17 J). The 40 days in 8:6 J cannot at all be identified with those mentioned in 7:17; for if this were the case the raven would have been sent out at a time when the waters had reached their highest stage, and even according to J the Deluge covered the entire world. In general see above, II, 2, 1 (c).
4. The Toledhoth of the Sons of Noah (Genesis 10:1 through 11:9):
(1) The Biblical Text.
(a) Gen 10:2-5, the Japhethites; (b) 10:6-20, the Hamites; (c) 10:21-32, the Shemites; (d) 11:1-9, the Babylonian confusion of tongues. Evidently (a) to (c) is to be regarded as in contrast to (d) (compare also 11:1,9 J in addition to 10:32 P).
(2) Rejection of the Division into Sources (Genesis 10:1-7,20,22 f,31 f the Priestly Code (P), the Rest Belonging to J).
The distribution of Genesis 10 between P and J is actually ridiculous, since in this case J does not speak of Japheth at all, and the genealogy of the Hamites would connect directly with the Priestly Code (P), a phenomenon which must have been repeated in 10:24 ff. The Jewish Midrash, in addition, and possibly correctly, counts 70 peoples (compare 46:27; Ex 1:5; Nu 11:16,25; Lk 10:1).
5. The Toledhoth of Shem (Genesis 11:10-26):
10 generations (see under II, 1).
6. The Toledhoth of Terah (Gen 11:27 through 25:11):
(1) The Biblical Text.
After the introduction (Gen 11:27-32), theme of the history of Abraham is given in Gen 12:1-4a (12:1, the promise of the holy land; 12:2, promise of many descendants; 12:3, announcement of the double influence of Abraham on the world; 12:4a, the obedience of Abraham's faith in his trust upon the Divine promise). In contrast to the first three thoughts which characterize God's relation to Abraham, the fourth is placed, which emphasizes. Abraham's relation to God (see under (d)). But both thoughts give complete expression to the intimate communion between God and Abraham. On the basis of these representations, which run through the entire story and thus contribute materially to its unification, this section can also be divided, as one of these after the other comes into the foreground. These four parts (12:4b through 14:24; 15:1 through 18:15; 18:16 through 21:34; 22:1 through 25:11) can each be divided again into four subdivisions, a scheme of division that is found also in Ex 35:4 through 40:38; Lev 11-15; 16 (compare EXODUS, II, 2, 7; LEVITICUS, II, 2, 2, III and IV; DAY OF ATONEMENT, I, 2, 1), and is suggested by Dt 12 through 26 (compare also my book, Wider den Bann der Quellenscheidung, the results of the investigation of which work are there reproduced without entering upon the details of the argument).
(a) Gen 12:4b through 14:24, in which the reference to the promised land is placed in the foreground; see 12:1, and the passages and statements in parentheses in the following: (i) 12:4b-8, Abraham's journey to Canaan (12:5 the Priestly Code (P), 6,7,8 J); (ii) 12:9 through 13:4, descent to Egypt from Canaan, and return (12:9,10; 13:1-4J); 13:5-18, separation from Lot (13:6 the Priestly Code (P), 7,9 J, 12a the Priestly Code (P), 14 f,17,18 J); chapter 14, expedition against Chedorlaomer, etc. (Abraham is blessed by the priest-king of the country, and receives as homage from the products of the country bread and wine (14:18 f), while he in return gives tithes (14:20)). The division of this section (12:4b through 14:24) is to be based on the similarity of the closing verses (12:8; 13:4; 13:18).
(b) Gen 15:1 through 18:15, unfolding of the promise of descendants for Abraham by this announcement that he is to have a son of his own; compare 12:2 and what is placed in parentheses in the following: chapter 15, Yahweh's covenant with Abraham (15:2,3 JE, 4 J, 5 E, 13,14,16,18 J). The promise is not fulfilled through Eliezer, but only through an actual son (15:3,1); 16:1-16, Hagar gives birth to Ishmael as the son of Abraham. Hagar's son, too, namely Ishmael, is not the genuine heir, notwithstanding the connection between 16:10 and 12:2 (compare 17:18-20 P); chapter 17 the Priestly Code (P), promise of the birth of Isaac given to Abraham (17:2-17,19,21); 18:1-15, Sarah also hears that Isaac is promised (18:10,12-15).
(c) Gen 18:16 through 21:34, the double influence of Abraham on the world; compare 12:3 and what is in parentheses in the following: 18:16 through 19:38, the pericope dealing with Sodom; (i) 18:16-33, Abraham's petition for the deliverance of Sodom; (ii) 19:1-11, the sin of the Sodomites, while Lot shows some of the characteristics of Abraham; (iii) 19:12-28, story of the destruction, in connection with which Lot receives the benefit of his relation to Abraham (19:16,19,21,22); (iv) Lot ceases to be a part of this history after this destruction; 20:1-18, Abraham with Abimelech (20:6,9 E, 18 R, punishment; 20:7,17, intercession); 21:1-21, Ishmael ceases to be part of this history (21:13,18,20 E); 21:22-34, Abraham's agreement with Abimelech (the latter seeks Abraham's friendship and fears his enmity, 21:27,23 E).
(d) Gen 22:1 through 25:11 ff, Abraham's faith at its culminating point; compare 12:4a and what is in parentheses in the following: (i) 22:1-19, the sacrifice of Isaac (22:2,12 E, 16,18 R); (ii) chapter 23, purchase of the place to bury the dead, which act was the result of his faith in the promised land; (iii) chapter 24 is introduced by 22:20-24, which has no independent character. With the twelve descendants of Nahor compare the twelve sons of Jacob, the twelve of Ishmael (25:12 ff; 17:20), and on the number 12 see Ex 24:18 through 30:10, under EXODUS, II, 2, 5; Lev 1-7 under LEVITICUS, II, 2, 2, i, and under EZEKIEL, I, 2, 2. Ch 24 itself contains the story of how a wife was secured for Isaac from among his relatives (the faith in the success of this plan is transmitted from Abraham to his servant); (iv) 25:1-11, the sons of the concubine of Abraham (J and R) cease to be a part of this history; transfer of the entire inheritance to the son of promise (Jahwist); burial in the ground bought for this purpose (P) (all of these concluding acts stand in close connection with Abraham's faith). In reference to the force of the names of God in connecting Gen 11:27 through 25:11, see above under II, 2, 2 (d).
(2) Rejection of the Division into Sources (Genesis 11:27,31 f; 12:4b,5; 13:6a,11b,12a; 16:1a,3,15 f; 17; 19:29; 21:1b,2b-5; 23; 25:7-11a P; 14 from an unknown source; 15:6; 20:1-17; 21:8-32; 22:1-13,19 E; 15:1-3; 21:6 JE; 20:18; 22:14-18; 25:6 R; all else belongs to J).
Through the passages ascribed to P breaks are caused in the text of J in Gen 11:28 f; 12:4a (Lot); in chapter 16, where the conclusion is lacking; in 18:1 (the reference of the pronoun); in 24:67 (Sarah's death); in 25:1 ff (no mention of Abraham's death). On the other hand P presupposes the text of J in 11:31 f; 12:4b; 16:1b; 19:29. In the case of E we need mention only the abrupt break in 20:1; and, finally, the text of the Priestly Code (P), leaving out of consideration the larger sections (chapters 17 and 23), is entirely too meager to constitute an independent document.
We will here discuss also the so-called duplicates (see under II, 2, 1, a and c). The different stories concerning the danger in which the wives of Abraham and Isaac were involved in Gen 12:9 ff J; 20:1 ff E; 26:1 ff J directly presuppose each other. Thus, in 20:13, the Elohist (E), Abraham regards it as a fact that such situations are often to be met with, and consequently the possibility of an occurrence of such an event could not have appeared so remarkable to an Oriental as it does to a modern critic; chapter 26:1 suggests the story in 12:9 ff. The words used here also show that the three stories in question did not originate independently of each other (compare 26:7; 20:5; 12:19 through 26:7; 20:11; 12:12 through 26:10; 20:9; 12:18 through 26:3; 20:1; 12:10 (gur); see under II, 2, 1, c). The two Ishmael pericopes (chapters 16 J and P and 21 E) differ from each other throughout, and, accordingly, are surely not duplicates. The two stories of the conclusion of a covenant in chapters 15 J and 17 P are both justified, especially since in 17:7 the author speaks of an "establishment" of the covenant which already existed since chapter 15. Gen 17 P and 18:1 ff J are certainly intended to be pendants, so that it is impossible to ascribe them to different authors; compare the analogous beginning of theophanies of Yahweh in 17:1 and 18:1 (even the pronoun referring to Abraham in 18:1 J, unless taken in connection with chapter 17 the Priestly Code (P), is without any context), also the laughing of Abraham and of Sarah (17:17; 18:12 f; see under II, 2, 1 (c)), the prominence given to their age (17:17; 18:11 f), and the designation of the time in 17:11; 18:10,14.
Nor can we quote in favor of a division into sources the passage Gen 21:14 f E, on the ground that Ishmael is described here as being so small that he could be laid upon the shoulder of his mother and then be thrown by her under a shrub, while according to the Biblical text he must have been 15 years of age (16:16; 21:5 P). For the original does not say that he was carried on her shoulders; and in Mt 15:30 it is even said of adults that they were thrown down. On the other hand, also according to E, Ishmael could not have been so small a child, for in Gen 21:18b he is led by the hand, and according to 21:9 he already mocks Isaac, evidently because the latter was the heir of the promise.
Sarah's age, too, according to Gen 20 E, does not speak in favor of a division into sources. That she was still a beautiful woman is not claimed here. Evidently Abimelech was anxious only for a closer connection with the powerful Abraham (compare 21:23,17). Then, too, all the sources ascribe an advanced age to Sarah (compare 21:6 J and E; 18:12 f J; 17:17 P).
7. The Toledhoth of Ishmael (Genesis 25:12-18):
Twelve princes descended from Ishmael (see under 6 (d)).
8. The Toledhoth of Isaac (Genesis 25:19 through 35:29):
The correct conception of the fundamental thought can be gained at once in the beginning of this section (Gen 25:22 f): Yahweh's oracle to Rebekah, that the older of the twins, with whom she was pregnant, should serve the younger; also in Rom 9:10 ff with reference to Mal 1:2 f; and finally, the constant reference made to Esau in addition to Jacob until the former ceases to be a factor in this history in Gen 36. Accordingly in the end everything is made dependent on the one hand on Jacob's election, notwithstanding his wrongdoings, on the other hand, on Esau's rejection notwithstanding his being the firstborn, or in other words, upon the perfectly free grace of God; and all the different sources alike share in this fundamental thought. But in dividing between the different parts of this section, we must particularly draw attention to this, that in all of these parts both thoughts in some way or other find their expression.
(1) The Biblical Text.
Containing 10 parts (see under II, 1), namely (a) Gen 25:19-26, the birth of Esau and Jacob; (b) 25:27-34, Esau despises and loses his birthright; (c) 26:1-35, Isaac receives the blessing of Abraham, which afterward is transmitted to Jacob, while Esau, through his marriage with heathen women, prepares the way for his rejection (26:34 f) ; (d) 27:1-40, Jacob steals the blessing of the firstborn; (e) 27:41-45, Jacob's flight out of fear of Esau's vengeance; (f) 27:46 through 28:9, Jacob is sent abroad out of fear of his brother's bad example; (g) 28:10 through 32:33, Jacob in a strange land and his fear of Esau, which is overcome in his contest of prayer in Peniel on his return: 28:10-22, the ladder reaching to heaven in Bethel when he went abroad; 29:1 through 30:43, twenty years with Laban (see 31:38); 31:1-54, Jacob's departure from Mesopotamia; 32:1-33, his return home; (h) chapter 33, reconciliation with Esau, who returns to Seir (verse 16; compare 32:4), while Jacob becomes the owner of property in the Holy Land (33:19 f); (i) 34:1 through 35:22, Jacob remains in this land, notwithstanding the slaughter made by his sons Simeon and Levi (compare 34:30; 35:5); the new appearance of God in Bethel, with a repetition of the story of the changing of Jacob's name, with which the story of Jacob's youth is closed, and which presupposes the episode at Bethel (compare 35:1,6b,9-15 with 28:10 ff), and which is not in contradiction with the first change in the name of Jacob in chapter 32 (compare the twofold naming of Peter in Jn 1:43 and Mt 16:18). Esau is yet mentioned in Gen 35:1,7, where there is a reference made to Jacob's flight before him; (j) 35:23-29, Jacob's 12 sons as the bearers of the promise; while Esau is mentioned only as participating in Isaac's burial, but inwardly he has no longer any part in the history of the kingdom of God, as is seen from chapter 36, and in 32:4; 33:16 is already hinted at. In this section, too, evidently there are groups, each of two parts belonging together, namely (a) and (b) describing the earliest youth; (c) and (d) in which Isaac plays a prominent part; (e) and (f) both of which do not exclude but supplement each other in assigning the motives for Jacob's flight; (g) and (h) Jacob's flight and reconciliation; (i) and (j) Jacob both according to family and dwelling-place as the recognized heir of the promise.
(2) Rejection of the Division into Sources.
As Gen 25:29 f,26b; 26:34 f; 27:46 through 28:9; 29:24,29; 31:18; 35:6a,9-12,15; 35:22b-29; 36:6-30,40-43 are ascribed to the Priestly Code (P), it is clear that these are in part such ridiculously small extracts, that we should be justified in attributing them to a sensible author. The whole sojourn in Mesopotamia is ignored in the Priestly Code (P), according to the critics, except the brief notices in 29:24,29; 33:18. Further, the parts of the rest of the text cannot in many cases be dispensed with; as, e.g. we do not know in 25:26b who was born; nor in 26:34 f who Esau was; nor in 27:46 who Jacob was; nor in 29:24 who Laban was; nor in 29:24,29 in what connection and for what purposes Leah and Rachel are mentioned. P makes no mention of any promise given to Isaac, which is, however, presupposed in 35:12 and later in Ex 2:24. In Gen 28:1 ff P is most closely connected with J (compare 12:1-3, the blessing of Abraham, and chapter 24). It is, further, impossible to separate the sources E and J in chapter 28 (ladder reaching to heaven); compare 28:10-12,17 f,20-22 E; 28:13-16 J; 28:19, and the name of God in 28:21 R, and this proposed division actually becomes absurd in chapters 29 f in the story of the birth of Jacob's children, which are said to be divided between the sources J and E.
9. The Toledhoth of Esau (Genesis 36:1 through 37:1):
In 7 divisions (see under 1), namely (a) Gen 36:1-5 R, Esau's family; the different names for Esau's wives, as compared with 26:34 f; 28:7-9 the Priestly Code (P), are doubtless based on the fact that oriental women are apt to change their names when they marry; and the fact that these names are without further remark mentioned by the side of the others is rather an argument against the division into sources than for it; (b) 36:6-8, Esau's change of abode to Seir, which, according to 32:4; 33:14,16, already took place before Jacob's return. Only in case that Esau (35:29) would have afterward remained for a longer period in Canaan, could we think of a new separation in this connection. It is more probable that at this place all those data which were of importance in connection with this separation are once more given without any reference to their difference in point of time; (c) 36:9-14, Esau as the founder of the Edomites (in 36:9 the word [toledhoth] is repeated from verse 1, while the narrative of the descendants of Esau begins only at this later passage in so far as these were from Seir; compare 36:9 with 36:5, and above, under II, 1); (d) 36:15-19, the leading line of the sons of Esau; (e) 36:20-30, genealogy of the original inhabitants of the country, mentioned because of their connection with Esau (compare 36:25 with 36:2); (f) 36:31-39, the elective kingdoms of Edom; (g) 36:40-43, the Edomites' chief line of descent, arranged according to localities. We have here accordingly geographical accounts, and not historical or genealogical, as in 36:15 ff,20 ff (30); compare also 36:40,43, for which reason we find also names of women.
10. The Toledhoth of Jacob (Genesis 37:2 through 50:26):
(1) The Biblical Text.
The key to the history of Joseph is found in its conclusion, namely, in Gen 50:14-21, in the confession of Joseph, in the light of his past, namely, that God has ended all things well; and in 50:22 ff, in his confidence in the fulfillment of the Divine promise in the lives of those God has chosen; compare also Ps 105:16 ff. According to the two viewpoints in Gen 50:14-26, and without any reference to the sources, this whole pericope (37:2 through 50:15) is divided into two halves, each of five subdivisions, or a total of ten (see under II, 1). In the exact demonstration of this, not only the contents themselves, but also regard for the different names for God will often render good service, which names, with good effect, are found at the close and in harmony with the fundamental thought of the entire section, namely, (a) 37:2 through 39:6a, Joseph enters Potiphar's house (4 pieces, see under 6, 1, namely 37:2-11, the hatred of the brethren, 37:12-36, selling Joseph, 38:1 ff, the Yahweh-displeasing conduct in the house of Judah, compare 38:7,10, 39:1-6, Yahweh's pleasure in Joseph, in contrast to; (b) 39:6b-23, Joseph is cast into prison, but Yahweh was with him (39:21,23); (c) 40:1 through 41:52, the exaltation of Joseph, which at the end especially is shown by the naming of Ephraim and Manasseh as caused by God, but which for the present passes by the history of his family (4 pieces, namely, 40:1, interpretation of the dreams of the royal officials, 41:1-36, interpretation of the two dreams of Pharaoh, 41:37-46a, the exaltation of Joseph, 41:46b-52, Joseph's activity for the good of the country); (d) 41:55 through 46:7, Joseph becomes a blessing to his family; compare the promise of God to Jacob in Beersheba to be with him in Egypt in 46:2 ff with 45:6-9 (in four pieces, namely, 41:53-57, the general famine, 42:1-38, the first journey of the brothers of Joseph, 43:14 through 4:34, the second journey (in four subdivisions, (i) 43:1-14, the departure, (ii) 43:14-34, the reception by Joseph, (iii) 44:1-7, final trial of the brethren, (iv) 44:18-34, the intercession of Judah); 45:1 through 46:7, Joseph makes himself known and persuades Jacob to come to Egypt); (e) 46:8 through 47:26, Joseph continues to be a blessing to his family and to Egypt (in 4 subdivisions, of which the 4th is placed in contrast to the first 3 exactly as this is done in 10:1 through 11:9 and 11:27 through 25:11, namely, (46:8-27, list of the descendants of Jacob, 46:28-34, meeting with Joseph, 47:1-12, Jacob in the presence of Pharaoh, 47:13-26, the Egyptians who have sold themselves and their possessions to Pharaoh laud Joseph as the preserver of their lives). From this point on the attention is now drawn to the future: (f) 47:27-31, Jacob causes Joseph to take an oath that he will have him buried in Canaan (compare 47:30 J with chapter 23 P) ; in (e) and (f) there is also lacking a designation for God; (g) chapter 48, Jacob adopts and blesses Ephraim and Manasseh (compare also the emphasis placed on the providential guidance of God in 48:8 f,11,15 f, especially 48:16 and 20 ff); (h) 49:1-27, Jacob blesses his 12 sons and prophesies their future fate (here, 49:18, appears the name of Yahweh, which had disappeared since chapter 40; see under II, 2, 2 (d), and other designations for God, 49:24 f); (i) 49:28-33, Jacob's death after he had again expressed the wish, in the presence of all his sons, that he should be buried in Canaan; (j) 50:1-13, the body of Jacob is taken to Canaan. In these 10 pericopes again we can easily find groups of two each, namely, (a) and (b), Joseph's humiliation (sold, prison); (c) and (d), Joseph becomes a blessing to Egypt and to his family; (g) and (h), blessing of the, grandchildren and the sons of Jacob; (i) and (j), Jacob s death and burial; here too the name of God is lacking as in (e) and (f).
(2) Rejection of the Division into Sources.
Here, too, the separation of P from the rest of the text as a distinct source is untenable, since in the section from Gen 37:2 through 46:34, after 37:2, only the following fragments are attributed to this source, namely, 41:46a; 46:6 f (according to some also to 46:27). In the same way P abruptly sets in at 47:5,27b; 49:28b. Further, 48:3 ff knows nothing of Ephraim or Manasseh, of whom P reports nothing, so that 50:13 f are the only verses that could naturally connect with the preceding statements of P. In 47:5 ff P reports entirely in the manner of ordinary narratives, and there is no sign of any systematic arrangement. But the separation between J and E cannot be carried out either. In the first place, when these two sources are actually separated by the critics, innumerable omissions in the story arise, which we cannot at this place catalogue. The contradictions which are claimed to exist here are the products of the critics' imagination. It is claimed that according to J it is Judah who plays a prominent role, while according to E it is Reuben; but in 37:21 Reuben is mentioned by J, and the role played by Judah in chapter 38 J is anything but creditable. Why cannot both of these brethren have played a prominent role, as this was also the case with Simeon (42:24,36; 43:14) and Benjamin (42:13,10,32 ff,36,38; 43:3 ff; 44; 45:14)? Just as little are the Midianites in 37:28,36 E and the Ishmaelites of 37:25,27,28; 39:1 J mutually exclusive or contradictory, since the Midianites in the Gideon story, too, in Jdg 7 f; 8:24 are called Ishmaelites (compare in the German the name Prager for traveling musicians, whether they are from Prague or not). In J it is further claimed that Joseph's master was a private gentleman (Gen 39:1 ff), while in E he was the captain of the bodyguard (Gen 40:3 f). But in this instance the documentary theory can operate only when it calls in the assistance of R in Gen 39:1. The fact that in chapter 39:1 the name of the nationality is added to that of the office, is explained on the ground of the contrast to the Ishmaelites who sold Joseph. Finally, it is claimed to have been caused by the combination of the different sources in such a way that Benjamin in 43:8,29; 44:30,31,33 J is described as a boy, but in 46:21, R or the Priestly Code (P), as the father of ten children. But evidently the author of chapter 46 has in view the number 70 (compare verse 27; see Ex 1:5; Nu 11:16,25; Lk 10:1; Ex 15:27; Jdg 12:13; and in Gen 10 above, under 4,2); and for this reason, e.g. in Gen 46:17, he mentions only one grand-daughter of Jacob; and for this he mentions all of the descendants of Jacob, even those who were born later in Egypt, but who already, as it were, had come to Egypt in the loins of their fathers, according to the view of the author. It certainly would be remarkable if no more grandchildren had been born to Jacob in Egypt, since Nu 26 does not mention a single son of any of the sons of Jacob later than those reported in Gen 46. In 46:27 Joseph's sons, too, who were born in Egypt, are included in the list, entirely in harmony with Dt 10:22. For such an arrangement and adjustment of a genealogy compare the 3 X 14 generations in Mt 1. From this point of view no conclusions, as far as the documentary theory is concerned, can be drawn from the ten sons of Benjamin.
Orr, James, M.A., D.D. General Editor. "Definition for 'genesis, 3'". "International Standard Bible Encyclopedia". bible-history.com - ISBE
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