MOSES, IS HE THE AUTHOR OF THE PENTATEUCH?
"Most so-called liberal theologians and commentators, along with not a few conservatives, have followed the theory that a number of unknown writers and editors, during the period of Israel's history from about the time of King Hezekiah to that of Ezra the Scribe, compiled and edited several old legends and traditions, verbally transmitted not only by their own Israeli ancestors but also by the Egyptians, Babylonians, and others, into the Book of Genesis. Presumably they then allowed the story to be circulated that these had come down from Moses, in order to invest them with the authority of their great Lawgiver. This is the 'Documentary Hypothesis,' and has been applied not only to Genesis but also to the other books of the Pentateuch and to Joshua, and in a lesser degree to many of the other books of the Old Testament. It is also called the 'J, E, D, P Hypothesis,' the letters standing for the supposed writers of the respective portions. The 'Jehovist Document,' supposedly dated about 850 B.C., was marked by the use of the divine name Jehovah; the 'Elohish Document,' about 750 B.C., was marked by use of the name Elohim; the 'Deuteronomist Document,' was supposed to be a further editorial emendation of the first two, dated about 620 B.C., containing especially most of the Book of Deuteronomy; and, finally, the 'Priestly Document,' represents supposed editorial revisions by a group of Jewish priests around 500 B.C."
[Evidence, cont., p. 476]:
"Archeology has recently provided us with two powerful supports for the early dating of the priestly writings. Kitchen describes the first find: 'Certain difficult expressions and passages in Leviticus could be solved only with cuneiform data of the eighteenth to fifteenth centuries B.C.... These were archaic and obscure by the postexilic period.' (Kitchen, AOOT, 129).The Ras Shamra tablets (1400 B.C.), which contain a large amount of Ugaritic literature, render the Wellhausen post-exilic concept void. Many of the technical sacrificial terms of Leviticus were discovered in far removed Canaanite-speaking Ugarit (1400 B.C.). [Such as]1) ishsheh - "offering made by fire"2) kalil - "whole burnt offering"3) shelamin - "peace offering"4) asham - "guilt offering."Archer is correct in concluding that "these terms were already current in Palestine at the time of Moses and the conquest, and that the whole line of reasoning which made out the terminology of the Levitical cultus to be late is devoid of foundation."]
II) INTERNAL EVIDENCE
A) WITNESS OF THE PENTATEUCH
Josh McDowell states, (EVIDENCE THAT DEMANDS A VERDICT, Vol II, Here's Life Publishers, San Bernardino, Ca., 1981, pp. 95-116):
"The Pentateuch itself clearly states that these portions of its contents were written by Moses:'''
1) THE BOOK OF THE COVENANT:
a) [Ex 24:4, 7]:
"And Moses wrote down all the words of the Lord. Then he arose early in the morning, and built an altar at the foot of the mountain with twelve pillars for the twelve tribes of Israel...
Then he took the Book of the Covenant and read it in the hearing of the people; and they said, 'All that the Lord has spoken we will do, and we will be obedient!'
2) RENEWAL OF THE COVENANT
a) [Ex 34:27 referring to Exodus 34:10-26]:
"Then the LORD said to Moses, 'Write down these words, for in accordance with these words I have made a covenant with you and with Israel.' "
3) DEUTERONOMIC CODE,
The Deuteronomic code comprises the bulk of Deuteronomy 5-30.
a) [Dt 31:9]:
"So Moses wrote this law and gave it to the priests, the sons of Levi who carried the ark of the covenant of the LORD, and to all the elders of Israel."
b) [Dt 31:24-26]:
"And it came about, when Moses finished writing the words of this law in a book until they were complete, that Moses commanded the Levites who carried the ark of the covenant of the LORD, saying, 'Take this book of the law and place it beside the ark of the covenant of the LORD...' "
4) GOD'S JUDGMENT OF AMALEK
a) [Ex 17:14]:
"Then the Lord said to Moses, 'Write this in a book as a memorial, and recite it to Joshua, that I will utterly blot out the memory of Amalek from under heaven.' "
5) ITINERARY OF ISRAELITES FROM RAMSES TO MOAB
a) [Nu 33:2]:
"And Moses recorded their starting places according to their journeys by the command of the LORD, and these are their journeys according to their starting places."
6) THE SONG OF MOSES IN DEUTERONOMY 32
"Now therefore write this song for yourselves, and teach it to the sons of Israel; put it on the lips, in order that this song may be a witness for Me against the sons of Israel.
"For when I bring them into the land flowing with milk and honey, which I swore to their fathers, and they have eaten and are satisfied and become prosperous, then they will turn to other gods and serve them, and spurn Me and break My covenant.
"Then it shall come about when many evils and troubles have come upon them, that this song will testify before them as a witness (for it shall not be forgotten from the lips of their descendants); for I know their intent which they are developing today, before I have brought them into the land which I swore."
B) THE TERM 'HAVING WRITTEN' SIGNIFIES AUTHORSHIP AND DOES NOT NECESSARILY MEAN ONE HAS ACTUALLY PENNED THE WORDS
...When we speak of Moses as having "written" the Pentateuch or being its "author," it should be noted as has previously been pointed out, that quite in accord with ancient Mesopotamian practice, this does not necessarily mean he himself wrote the words with his own hand, although such may have been the case. It is quite possible that the bulk of the Pentateuch was, like Hammurabi's Law Code, dictated to scribes. This in no way undermines the essential Mosaic authorship of the contents of the Pentataeuch.
C) THE LEGAL DOCUMENTS IN THESE PASSAGES ATTRIBUTE THEIR AUTHORSHIP TO MOSES IN EITHER THE SUPERSCRIPTION OR SUBSCRIPTION:
Exodus - 12:1-28; 20-24, 25-31, 34
Leviticus - 1-7, 8, 13, 16, 17-26, 27
Numbers - 1, 2, 4, 6:1-21, 8:1-4, 8:5-22, 15, 19, 27:6-23, 28, 29, 30, 35
Deuteronomy - 1-33
D) MOSES CERTAINLY WAS IN A POSITION TO WRITE THE PENTATEUCH
He grew up in Pharoah's house and was, as Stephen said,
a) [Acts 7:22]:
"Learned in all the wisdom of the Egyptians"
All now agree that his learning would have included the knowledge of writing.
Moses had the information necessary for the project. It is likely that records of pre-Mosaic history existed; and had they been in the possession of the Hebrews, they would have certainly become accessible to Moses, the champion of his people. Had they been kept in the Egyptian archives from Joseph's time, they would have likewise been available to Moses during his early adulthood.
Moses also had the time to record this history. He spent 40 years in Egypt and 40 years in Midian, and there was plenty of time in both of these periods to author Genesis. 53/93, 94
2) MOSES' QUALIFICATIONS
That Moses was pre-eminently prepared to author a work such as the Pentateuch is witnessed by the following qualifications:
Education - he was trained in the royal Egyptian court in their highly developed academic disciplines. This without a doubt included a knowledge of writing, for even the women's toilet articles of the time were inscribed.
Tradition - he undoubtedly received the Hebrew traditions of their early history and encounters with God.
c) GEOGRAPHICAL FAMILIARITY
Geographical familiarity - Moses possessed an intimate knowledge of the climate and geography of Egypt and Sinai as displayed in the Pentateuch.
Motivation - as the founder of the Commonwealth of Israel, he had more than adequate incentive to provide the nation with concrete moral and religious foundations.
Time - 40 long years of wandering in the Sinai wilderness easily allowed ample opportunity to write this work.
At a time when even uneducated slaves working at the Egyptian turquoise mines were inscribing their records on the tunnel walls, it is inconceivable that a man of Moses' background would fail to record the details of one of history's most significant epochs.
Kurt Sethe, one of the greatest authorities of this century on ancient Egypt, in attempting to find the father of one of the greatest contributions to the literary progress of civilization, the North Semitic script, mentions Moses as a possibility [Vom Bilde Zum Buchstaben, (1939), p. 56]. 46/23.
B) WITNESS OF THE OTHER OLD TESTAMENT BOOKS
1) OLD TESTAMENT VERSES RECORD THAT THE TORAH OF 'THE LAW' WAS FROM MOSES AND NOT SIMPLY AN ORAL TRADITION BUT AN ACTUAL WRITTEN 'LAW OF MOSES'
These Old Testament verses record that the Torah of 'the Law,' was from Moses:
a) Joshua 8:32 speaks of "The Law of Moses, which he had written."
b) Joshua 1:7, 8*; 8:31*, 34*; 23:6*
c) 1 Kings 2:3*
d) 2 Kings 14:6*; 23:25
e) 1 Chronicles 22:13
f) 2 Chronicles 5:10; 23:18*; 25:4*; 30:16; 33:8; 34:14; 35:12*
g) Ezra 3:2; 6:18; 7:6
h) Nehemiah 1:7, 8; 8:1*, 14*; 9:14; 10:29; 13:1*
i) Daniel 9:11, 13*
j) Malachi 4:4
*Refers specifically to an actual written 'Law of Moses'
C) WITNESS OF THE NEW TESTAMENT
The New Testament writers also held that the Torah of "The Law" came from Moses.
2) VERSES WHICH REFER TO MOSAIC AUTHORSHIP OF THE LAW
a) [Mk 12:19]:
"Moses wrote for us a law."
b) [Jn 1:17]:
"The Law was given through Moses"
c) [Rom 10:5]:
"For Moses writes that the man who practices the righteousness which is based on law shall live by that righteousness"
Other passages which insist on this include:
d) [Luke 2:22; 20:28]
e) [John 1:45; 8:5; 9:29]
f) [Acts 3:22; 6:14; 13:39; 15:1, 21; 26:22; 28:23]
g) [1 Cor 9:9]
h) [2 Cor 3:15]
i) Heb 9:19
j) Rev 15:3
3) VERSES WHICH RECORD THAT JESUS BELIEVED THE TORAH TO BE FROM MOSES
a) MARK 7:10; 10:3-5; 12:26
b) LUKE 5:14; 16:29-31; 24:27, 44
c) JOHN 7:19, 23
d) JOHN 5:45-47
Especially in John 5:45-47 Jesus states unequivocally his belief that Moses wrote the Torah:
"Do not think that I will accuse you before the Father; the one who accuses you is Moses, in whom you have set your hope."
"For if you believed Moses, you would believe Me; for he wrote of Me."
"But if you do not believe his writings, how will you believe My words?"
"The name used in the New Testament clearly with reference to the whole Pentateuch - the Book of Moses - is certainly to be understood as meaning that Moses was the compiler of the Pentateuch." 20/158
III) EXTERNAL EVIDENCE
A) JEWISH TRADITION
"R.H. Pfeiffer says:
"There is no reason to doubt that the Pentateuch was considered the divine revelation to Moses when it was canonized about 400 B.C." 85/133
2) ECCLESIASTICUS, ONE OF THE BOOKS OF THE APOCRYPHA WHICH WAS WRITTEN ABOUT 180 B.C., GIVES THIS WITNESS TO MOSES' AUTHORSHIP
a) [Eccl 24:23]:
"All this is the covenant-book of God Most High, the law which Moses enacted to be the heritage of the assemblies of Jacob"
3) THE TALMUD AND THE MISHNAH ATTRIBUTE THE TORAH TO MOSES
The Talmud, (Baba Bathra, 146), a Jewish commentary on the Law (Torah), dating from about 200 B.C., and the MISHNAH, (Pirqe Aboth, I, 1), a rabbinic interpretation and legislation dating from about 100 B.C., both attribute the Torah to Moses.
4) PHILO HELD TO MOSAIC AUTHORSHIP
Likewise, Philo, the Jewish philosopher-theologian born approximately 20 A.D. held to Mosaic authorship:
"But I will...tell the story of Moses as I have learned it, ... from the sacred books, the wonderful monuments of his wisdom which he has left behind him, and from some of the elders of the nation." 51/279
5) FLAVIUS JOSEPHUS TESTIFIES TO MOSAIC AUTHORSHIP
'''The first century A.D. Jewish historian FLAVIUS JOSEPHUS says in his Josephus Against Apion (11:8):
"For we have not an innumerable multitude of books among us, disagreeing from and contradicting one another (as the Greeks have ) but only 22 books [our present 39], which are justly believed to be divine; and of them, five belong to Moses, which contain his laws, and the traditions of the origin of mankind till his death." 39/609
B) EARLY CHRISTIAN TRADITION
Junilius, an imperial official in the court of Justinian I, Byzantine emperor from 527-565 A.D., held to the Mosaic authorship of the Pentateuch as can be seen from this dialogue between himself and one of his disciples, recorded in De Partibus Divinae Legis:
"Concerning The Writers Of The Divine Books
Disciple: How do you know who are the writers of the divine books?
Master: In three ways. Either from the titles and prefaces... or from the titles alone... or from the tradition of the ancients, as Moses is believed to have written the first 5 books of the History; although the title does not say so, nor does he himself write, 'the Lord spake unto me,' but as of another, 'the Lord spake unto Moses.' " 28/44, 45
2) LEONTIUS OF BYZANTIUM
LEONTIUS OF BYZANTIUM (sixth century A.D.) said in his treatise Contra Mestorianos:
"As for these five books, all bear witness that they are (the work) of Moses." 28/45
3) OTHER CHURCH FATHERS
Other church fathers attributing the Pentateuch to Moses in their lists of the Old Testament canon:
|1. Melito, Bishop of Sardis||175 A.D.|
|2. Cyril of Jerusalem||348-386 A.D.|
|3. Hilary||366 A.D.|
|4. Rufinus||410 A.D.|
|5. Augustine||430 A.D.|
4) OTHER EVIDENCE FROM THE EARLY CHURCH
The Pentateuch is ascribed to Moses also in the following canonical lists of the early church.
Dialogue of Timothy and Aquila
The Synopsis (revised by Lagarde)
List of the Apostolic Canons
Innocent I - 417 A.D.
IV) ANSWERS TO OBJECTIONS TO MOSES BEING THE AUTHOR
A) THE STYLE OF DEUTERONOMY IS TOO DIFFERENT FROM THE OTHER BOOKS OF THE PENTATEUCH TO HAVE BEEN WRITTEN BY THE SAME AUTHOR
The alleged differences in style and the contradictions between Deuteronomy and the rest of the Pentateuch are mainly caused by their respective standpoints. Leviticus, for example is a codified law book which the priests are to use, while Deuteronomy is made up of popular addresses. Therefore, we are not surprised to find that in Deuteronomy Moses uses an oratorical style, edits details, emphasizes practical issues and often includes directions regarding the entrance of the Israelites into Canaan. 53/113....
A final stylistic point is emphasized by Manley:
"The same style can to some extent be perceived in some of the earlier speeches of Moses recorded in the Pentateuch." 123/27
B) THE PHRASE "BEYOND THE JORDAN" IN DEUTERONOMY INDICATES THAT THE BOOK WAS WRITTEN IN AN AREA THAT MOSES DID NOT LIVE IN
The phrase "beyond the Jordan" [objectors claim refers only].... to the region east of the Jordan. It is contended that, since Deuteronomy claims to have been written in that region, "beyond the Jordan" could only refer to Canaan proper, on the western side then Moses could not have written it. However, it has been adequately demonstrated that this phrase was simply a technical term for that region, even as it was known as Paraea ("The Other-side Land") during the New Testament times and has more recently been known as Transjordania (even to its inhabitants). 11/244, 123/49
C) THE PHRASE "UNTIL THIS DAY"... INDICATES A GREAT LAPSE OF TIME [THUS RULING OUT MOSES AS AUTHOR]
In each instance of its usage, it is highly appropriate that Moses use this phrase in light of only the previous forty year period, to indicate that a situation has persisted until these final days of his life. 11/123
D) THE ACCOUNT OF MOSES' DEATH COULD NOT HAVE BEEN WRITTEN BY MOSES, THEREFORE DEUTERONOMY WAS NOT WRITTEN BY MOSES
It is quite reasonable to assume that Joshua included this account, just as often an obituary is added to the final work of a man of great letters. 11/124 And it is worthy of note here that the other events of the book cover all of Moses' life, and never transgresses that limit. 123/172.
E) CERTAIN TERMS IN LEVITICUS PUT THE BOOK'S DATE AFTER THE TIME THAT MOSES LIVED
Archeology has recently provided us with two powerful supports for the early dating of the priestly writings. Kitchen describes the first find: 'Certain difficult expressions and passages in Leviticus could be solved only with cuneiform data of the eighteenth to fifteenth centuries B.C.... These were archaic and obscure by the postexilic period.' (Kitchen, AOOT, 129).
The Ras Shamra tablets (1400 B.C.), which contain a large amount of Ugaritic literature, render the Wellhausen post-exilic concept void. Many of the technical sacrificial terms of Leviticus were discovered in far removed Canaanite-speaking Ugarit (1400 B.C.). [Such as]
1) ishsheh - "offering made by fire"
2) kalil - "whole burnt offering"
3) shelamin - "peace offering"
4) asham(?) - "guilt offering"
Archer is correct in concluding that "these terms were already current in Palestine at the time of Moses and the conquest, and that the whole line of reasoning which made out the terminology of the Levitical cultus to be late is devoid of foundation." 11/149, 150
F) OBJECTORS TO MOSES' AUTHORSHIP POINT TO SUPPOSED DIFFERENCES IN LANGUAGE AND STYLE AND REFERENCES TO CUSTOMS AND CULTURES WHICH THEY MAINTAIN RULE MOSES OUT IN FAVOR OF A NUMBER OF UNKNOWN AUTHORS
Henry M. Morris states, (The Genesis Record, Baker Book House, Grand Rapids, Mich., 1976, pp. 22-24):
"Adherents of this odd idea have attempted to justify it on the basis of supposed peculiarities of language and style, references to customs and cultures, and other internal evidences which seemed to them to warrant this patchwork approach to the study of the book's compilation...
EXCERPT FROM GENESIS CHAPTER ONE STUDY:
DIFFERENCES IN STYLE BETWEEN GENESIS CHAPTERS ONE AND TWO DEMAND NEITHER DIFFERENT AUTHORS, NOR CONFLICTING ACCOUNTS, NOR THE CONCLUSION THAT THE BIBLE IS NOT RELIABLE
Critics of God's Word advance their criticism of the Bible by making the grand assumption, with no substantive evidence, that there were a number of writer(s) / compilers of the book of Genesis who did not intend to make sense with what they "arrived at" despite contradictions which the critics allege are evident. So the critics' claim that the writer(s) / compilers circulated their work without any effort to reconcile anything. The critics maintain that this permitted what the critics view as irreconcilable contradictions, especially throughout Genesis chapters one and two. And these alleged irreconcilable contradictions could then be used to openly refute God's Word without any viable defense whatsoever.
However, this alleged problem with the Bible's reliability is resolved with an honest, obective reading of Genesis chapters one and two - strictly in accordance with the normative rules of language, context and logic .. For an honest reading of God's Word reveals a wholly reliable, consistent meaning that completely upholds itself as reliable - without contradiction, error, or lose ends. And all the while an honest reading of God's Word completely refutes what the critics have continually claimed against the Bible, such as what they assert Genesis chapters one and two convey that is contradictory. So the problem lies not with the words of God's Word but with how the critics or anyone interprets those words.
The context of Genesis chapter one is panoramic, and broad. The context of Genesis chapter two is a close up view of a person in a particular timeframe which was presented in Genesis chapter one - namely the sixth day of Creation and the man Whom Jehovah God created, Adam. And this view includes minutia detail, such as the names and locations of four river tributaries; a specific garden which God planted and then placed into it the man he had formed; the fact that Adam needed a mate, the naming of specific animals and birds. The critics incorrectly assume that both chapters attempt to present the same events but use different styles to do this.
The critics' claim that the style of chapter one is "stereotyped, measured, and precise" with "recurring formulae" such as the repetitive use of the verb 'to create,' is correct. This is because the subject matter and perspective of chapter one IS more stereotyped, measured and precise with recurring formulae such as the repetitive use of the verb 'to create'. And since chapter two's subject matter and focus is more diversified and picturesque, a more "diversified, picturesque" style "without recurring formulae" would be the most appropriate style for Moses to use. Another writer would not be needed to write chapter two because of the different style. God just simply inspired Moses to utilize the appropriate style to correspond to changes in the context. Most accomplished writers do this today when the context dictates it. Refer to a local newspaper, a favorite novel, even a history book. On the other hand, many of the other claims of the critics, such as
1) Chapter two is notably fresher, more spontaneous and primitive as compared to chapter one are imaginary. Only in one's imagination could a claim be substantiated that chapter one is not spontaneous or fresh or primitive. What could be more spontaneous, primitive and fresh than chapter one of Genesis 1 which begins,
(Gen 1:1 NKJV) "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.
(Gen 1:2 NKJV) The earth was without form, and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.
(Gen 1:3 NKJV) Then God said, "Let there be light"; and there was light... etc."
The style differences have no weight as an argument and simply reflect changes in subject matter.
2) Critics claim that anthropomorphic references to God described as exemplifying human behaviorisms in Genesis 2 Who 'fashions,' 'breathes,' 'plants,' 'takes,' 'sets,' 'brings,' 'closes up,' 'builds,' 'walks' contradicts the God of Genesis chapter one.
But the critics have quite a superficial argument. Man in his finite mind cannot express ideas about God in anything but through anthropomorphisms. Furthermore, chapter one of Genesis [also] expresses God in such equally anthropomorphic terms as, 'called,' 'saw,' 'blessed,' 'deliberated' (verse 26 'let us make'), God 'worked' for six days then He 'rested.' "
3) Chapter two's lack of a reference to man being created in the image of God, contradicts chapter one. But the critics assume beforehand that chapters one and two are two separate accounts of the overall creation process which someone attempted to 'hook' together. They ignore the simplest and most obvious interpretation that chapter two is just a continuation of chapter one by the same author, providing more detail in a narrower and more focused area of what chapter one has already presented - from a panoramic to a close up and detailed account. The narrower and close focus often demands a change in verb tenses and person, and more details; but without having to replicate details covered. A change of authors is not needed to be made to do this.
If this is the case, (and it is), then chapter two, being a continuation of what was already stated in chapter one, does not need to repeat what was just stated in chapter one relative to such things like man being created in the 'image of God'.
(Gen 2:4b) THE NAMES FOR GOD DIFFERING BETWEEN CHAPTERS ONE AND TWO BEGINNING AT GEN 2:4b INDICATE A CONTEXT CHANGE NOT A CONTRADICTION OR A CHANGE IN AUTHORS, AS SOME CONTEND. THE NAME CHANGE SIGNIFIES AND CORROBORATES THE BEGINNING OF CHAPTER TWO TO BE AT GEN 2:4b
(Gen 2:4a HOLMAN) "[These are] the [accounts] of the heavens and the earth when they were created, (Gen 2:4b HOLMAN) "In the day that the LORD God [Heb., "yehw‚ elOhÓm"] made earth and [the heavens]." =
God is referred to in Genesis 1:1-2:4a, i.e., throughout chapter one, as "elOhÓm" rendered "God;" and as "elOhÓm yehw‚" rendered "LORD God" or "Jehovah God" from Genesis 2:4b on throughout Genesis chapter two. Its presence in Gen 2:4b signifies and corroborates the beginning of chapter two at that point.
This compound name for God, "elOhÓm yehw‚" combines the most sacred, holy and personal name for God "yehw‚" with "elOhÓm," the Absolutely Sovereign Creator God Who was involved in every minute detail of His creation - a creation which He had in chapter one repeatedly stated as "good" and "very good," (Gen 1:4, 10, 12, 18, 21, 25, 31). It is clear that author Moses, (cf. Mt 19:7-8; Jn 7:19), changed from a focus upon the Sovereign God Who created the heavens and the earth in a panoramic and distant view in chapter one to a close up of His relationship with that creation - especially Adam - in chapter two. The evidence of this includes close up details of what God had created during the six days of Creation. It is a legitimate and a common literary practice for an author to utilize terms and names which reflect a different point of view to a previous context he has written. For example, a man might address a woman by her formal name at first and then, after a while, begin to call her by a nickname indicating that a friendship has been established. This may then evolve into a close, intimate husband and wife relationship wherein endearments are used to address one another. When Moses was inspired by God to write the Hebrew word "elOhÓm" throughout chapter one, this established that there was one Sovereign, Almighty, Creator God; Who, all by Himself, created the heavens and the earth. Then, when the focus was to be narrowed to provide more detail, especially on man himself, God inspired Moses to use the compound name for God, "yehw‚ elOhÓm" which conveys an Almighty, Sovereign, Creator God "elOhÓm," Who as "yehw‚," is involved in every detail of His universe in a close personal relationship with it - especially man. Later on, when the account begins to settle in on man himself, (chapter 4), Moses was inspired by God to use the term "yehw‚" alone in order to emphasize God's holiness as well as His personal involvement with mankind.
[Henry Morris states, op. cit., p. 83)]:
"In this section, [chapter two] the most distinctive vocabulary difference is the use of the divine name LORD God ("yehw‚ elOhÓm") instead of God ("elOhÓm") [chapter one]. In Genesis 4, however, LORD ("yehw‚") is used almost exclusively (the name God occurs in 4:25). The different names for God were used in order to portray the absolute sovereignty of God in creating the heavens and the earth, (chapter one: "elOhÓm"), the ongoing detail that a personal yehw‚ yet almighty God was involved with in His creation, (chapter two: "yehw‚ elOhÓm"), and the personal involvement that yehw‚ maintained in an ongoing manner with His creation, especially man, (chapter 4 on: "yehw‚")."
OBJECTORS ALLEGE THAT THERE IS NO INTENDED TRANSITION AND CONTINUATION BETWEEN CHAPTERS ONE AND TWO - THAT IT IS THE IRRECONCIABLE WORK OF TWO DIFFERENT AUTHORS. BUT THERE IS A CLEAR TRANSITION AND A CLEAR CONTINUITY BETWEEN GENESIS CHAPTERS 1 AND 2 - THE CONSISTENT, NON-CONTRADICTORY WORK OF ONE AUTHOR
(Gen 2:1-3) GENESIS 2:1-3 (AS WELL AS GEN 2:4a EXAMINED BELOW
ACTUALLY CONCLUDE CHAPTER 1. VERSES 1 AND 2 STIPULATE THE COMPLETION OF GOD'S CREATION WORK BY THE 7TH DAY. VERSE 3 BLESSES THAT 7TH DAY AND SANCTIFIES IT TO COMMEMORATE THE CESSATION OF HIS CREATION WORK
(Gen 2:1 NKJV) "Thus the heavens and the earth, and all the host of them, [are] finished, [imperfect tense]. (Gen 2:2 YLT) and God [completed] by the seventh day His work which He [had] made, and [rested on] the seventh day from all His work which He [had] made. (Gen 2:3 NASB) Then God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because in it He rested from all His work which God had created and made [lit., to make]." =
Gen 2:1-3 and Gen 2:4a are the conclusion of Genesis chapter one. Note that verse numbers are not part of the original text, but a later addition beginning in the 13th century for convenience sake; and they have not always been correctly configured - as is the case in Genesis chapters one and two.
Genesis 2:1 "Thus the heavens and the earth, and all the host of them, [are] finished, [imperfect tense]," stipulates the completion of elOhÓm's work delineated in Genesis chapter one of the creation of the heavens, the earth and the "host of them" - the last phrase referring to heavenly bodies, especially the stars (e.g., Deut. 4:19).
Genesis 2:2, "and God [completed] by the seventh day His work which He [had] made, and [rested on] the seventh day from all His work which He [had] made," refers to elOhÓm having completed His work of creating the heavens, the earth and all the heavenly bodies "by the seventh day," in the sense that His work was finished through the sixth day and He rested, i.e., ceased His creative work on the seventh day. Hence there were created no other universes, nor more parts of the one universe, as some contend. On the other hand, this is not to say that God ceased working. For the contexts that follow throughout Scripture indicate that God gave Himself to a new work of upholding His Creation, (cf. Col 1:17), and carrying out His plan of redemption through His Son, (cf. Jn 5:17). So God [elOhÓm] rested on the seventh day from His creative work - a day which it is implied is of the same duration as each of the previous six days. For no distinction is specifically made that the seventh day is any different with respect to duration than the six previous 24 hour days of creation work . Later, God commanded His people Israel to set this day apart and dedicate it to worshipping Him - which limits that day to a 24 hour day, like the six days of creation, (cf. Ex 20:11), (Gen 2:2).
In verse 3, "Then God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because in it He rested from all His work which God had created and made [lit., to make]," God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it in the sense of setting it apart from the six days of Creation to commemorate the completion / cessation of His creative work. Four times throughout Gen 2:1-3 it is noted, hence emphasized, that God finished / completed / rested from His creative work. Hence this commemoration was to bring attention to God's perfect Creation and to its Perfect Creator, (Gen 2:3).
(Gen 2:4a) THE HEBREW WORD TRANSLITERATED "TOLEDOTHS," RENDERED "GENERATIONS" IN THE SENSE OF "ACCOUNTS OF" IS THE PIVOTAL WORD IN GENESIS 2:4a WHICH - BY WAY OF A SUMMARY STATEMENT - CONCLUDES THE CONTEXT OF THE SIX DAYS OF CHAPTER ONE - AFTER WHICH CHAPTER TWO BEGINNING WITH GEN 2:4b TURNS TO DETAILS OF WHAT HAD ALREADY OCCURRED IN CHAPTER ONE
(Gen 2:1 NKJV) "Thus the heavens and the earth, and all the host of them, [are] finished, [imperfect tense].
(Gen 2:2 YLT) and God [completed] by the seventh day His work which He [had] made, and [rested on] the seventh day from all His work which He [had] made.
(Gen 2:3 NASB) Then God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because in it He rested from all His work which God had created and made [lit., to make].
(Gen 2:4a HOLMAN) "[These are] the [accounts] of the heavens and the earth when they were created, ... in the day that the LORD God made earth and [the heavens]." =
[Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament, 'TWOT,' vol 1, op. cit., p. 380, states]:
"Toledoths. Generations, birth... ...derivative of yalad 'to bring forth'...
...As used in the OT, toledoths refers to what is produced or brought into being by someone, or follows therefrom..."
The first phrase of verse 4, (Gen 2:4a), "[These are] the [accounts] of the heavens and the earth when they were created," refers back to and concludes Genesis chapter one. It does not refer, as some contend, to what follows - such as a contradictory account of the six days of creation. Note that the language in chapter two does not stipulate that it starts at the beginning of all creation; nor does it portray a rigid chronological sequence as in Genesis chapter one. Nor does chapter two refer to generations of humankind; because:
(1) The phrase "These are the generations of the heavens and of the earth..." includes the word "heavens," which does not procreate humans.
(2) No generations coming from man appear in Genesis until well into chapter 4 - far from the specific context of chapters 1 & 2 to which this word might refer.
Keep in mind that non-living things can be correctly described using the word "generations" = "toledoths" as well as living things. For example, 'a fourth generation Ford Thunderbird.' When the word "generations" = "toledoths" does refer to generations of mankind, there are names of specific men linked to it, not so in Genesis chapter two - the only Progenitor stipulated there is "elOhÓm" = "God."
Therefore Gen 2:4a, "toledoths" refers back to what was produced or brought into being by God - namely the heavens and the earth in the 6 days of creation, (Gen 1:1-2:4a).
(Gen 2:4b) THE SECOND PHRASE OF GENESIS 2:4, (GEN 2:4b), REFERS TO THE DAY IN THE SENSE OF THE TIME OF THE SIX DAYS OF CREATION DELINEATED IN GENESIS CHAPTER ONE. HENCE GEN 2:4b MUST BE READ AS THE ACTUAL BEGINNING OF GENESIS CHAPTER TWO. THE VERSES PRECEDING GEN 2:4b ARE PART OF GENESIS CHAPTER ONE
(Gen 2:1 NKJV) "Thus the heavens and the earth, and all the host of them, [are] finished, [imperfect tense]. (Gen 2:2 YLT) and God [completed] by the seventh day His work which He [had] made, and [rested on] the seventh day from all His work which He [had] made. (Gen 2:3 NASB) Then God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because in it He rested from all His work which God had created and made [lit., to make]. (Gen 2:4a HOLMAN) [These are] the [accounts] of the heavens and the earth when they were created."
[ENDING STATEMENTS OF GENESIS CHAPTER ONE ARE ABOVE]
[BEGINNING STATEMENTS OF GENESIS CHAPTER TWO ARE BELOW]:
(Gen 2:4b HOLMAN) "In the day that the LORD God made earth and [the heavens], (Gen 2:5 CBL INTERLINEAR) And all the shrubs of the field they were not yet [in the sense of grown] on the earth, and all the plants of the field were not yet sprouted because the LORD God had not made it rain on the earth, and there was no man to work the ground [lit., soil]. (Gen 2:6 NKJV) but a mist went up from the earth and watered the whole face of the ground." =
The second phrase of verse 4, (Gen 2:4b), "In the day that the LORD God made earth and [the heavens]" in the Holman Standard Version is the beginning phrase of Genesis chapter 2. It refers not to just one 24 hour day, but to a period of time: the "day" of the six days of Creation delineated in Genesis chapter one. It must be read as the beginning phrase of Genesis chapter two.
THE CULTURE OF MOSES WAS FALSELY CLAIMED NOT TO BE ADVANCED ENOUGH TO ATTRIBUTE MOSES AS THE AUTHOR OF GENESIS OR ANY OF THE PENTATEUCH
The original 'higher critics,' as such scholars were called (to distinguish them from the scholars known as 'textual critics,' whose work it is to try to determine as accurately as possible, from all the old manuscripts, the original text of Scripture) were convinced that man had not evolved to the state of culture described in Genesis until much later than the time of Moses and that, in fact, Moses could not have written any part of Genesis or the rest of the Pentateuch, since writing was unknown in his day.
These higher critics maintained that some of Genesis, especially the material in the first eleven chapters, had been derived from myths of the ancient Babylonians. These evolutionary presuppositions were quite false, however; and most of them have been thoroughly repudiated by modern archaeological excavations. Today it is beyond question that writing was practiced widely, and in many forms, long before the time of Moses. This is acknowledged even by evolutionary anthropologists. One of the leaders in this field, Ralph Linton, says:
'Writing appears almost simultaneously some 5000-6000 years ago in Egypt, Mesopotamia, and the Indus Valley.'2
The time of Moses, of course, was only around thirty-five hundred years ago. Similarly, archaeologists now recognize that the cultural indications in Genesis, at least from the time of Abraham onward, are exactly what should be expected of eyewitness records from those times. Dr. Nelson Glueck, generally acknowledged as the leading Palestinian archaeologist of our times, has said, for example:
'As a matter of fact, however, it many be stated categorically that no archaeological discovery has ever controverted a Biblical reference. Scores of archaeological findings have been made which confirm in clear outline or in exact detail historical statements in the Bible.'3
In the context of this statement, Glueck was speaking particularly of archaeological discoveries having to do with the general time and place of Abraham, hundreds of years before Moses.
'In similar fashion, linguistic studies by numerous first-rate Biblical scholars have repeatedly shown that there is no real substance to the claims of the higher critics that the language of Genesis was much later than the time of Moses."
11 Blackman, E. C. "Jesus Christ Yesterday: The Historical Basis of the Christian Faith," Canadian Journal of Theology. April, 1961. Vol. 7, No. 2, pp. 118-127.
28 Cadbury, Henry J. "Some Foibles of N.T. Scholarship," Journal of Bible and Religion. July, 1958. Vol. 26, pp. 213-216.
39 Dodd, C. H. About the Gospels, The Coming of Christ. Cambridge: at the University Press, 1958.
46 Filson, Floyd V. "Form Criticism," Twentieth Century Encyclopedia of Religious Knowledge. Vol. 1. Edited by Lefferts A. Loetscher. Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1955.
51 Fuller, Reginald H. The New Testament in Current Study. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1962.
53 Grant, Frederick C. The Growth of the Gospels. New York: The Abingdon Press, 1933.
85 McNeile, A. H. An Introduction to the Study of the New Testament. London: Oxford University Press, 1953.
123 Wallace, H.C. "Miracle as a Literary Device," The Modern Churchman. April 27, 1961. Vol. 4, No. 3, pp. 168-171.
2Ralph Linton, The Tree of Culture (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1955), p. 110.
3Nelson Glueck, Rivers in the Desert (New York: Farrar, Strauss & Cudahy, 1959), p. 31.
4 Oswald T. Allis, The Five Books of Moses (Philadelphia: Presbyterian & Reformed, 1947).