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probably of a disaffected Jewish faction, joined the Samaritan community and established an exact reproduction of Jewish worship, he would have carried with him the Scriptures that regulated the temple worship, and were read in the services of the synagogue. Now, if the Canonical Scripture of the time consisted of the Torah alone, we have here an explanation of the fact that the Torah alone was adopted by the Samaritans to be their Scripture. They adopted that which the schismatic Jews brought with them. The Scriptures which were adopted by the Jews after the occurrence of the schism never found a place in the Samaritan Canon.”

After discussing this point more fully, the Professor concludes : The expulsion of Eliashib's grandson took place about the year 432 B.c.” (The italics are mine.) Here, then, we have a full discussion both of the origin and date of the Samaritan Pentateuch.

Without adding comment of my own to Professor Ryle's weighty words I would only ask whether the passage from which I have quoted does not furnish a sufficient answer to Dr. Wilson both as to the date of the Samaritan Pentateuch, and as to its relation to the Hebrew Torah, and whether it does not dispose altogether of the fancied incompatibility which Dr. Wilson finds between the fact of the existence of the Samaritan Pentateuch, and the views of critics as to the origin and dates of the Pentateuch, and the other books of the Old Testament Scriptures which form the record of God's progressive revelation to mankind ?

So far is it from being the case that the existence of such a document as the Samaritan Pentateuch is a "controlling fact" against the views taught by the Higher Criticism, and so far is this from being a point which has

never been stated, and cannot be answered or evaded,” that the fact of its existence is shown to be an argument in favour of those views, and its date is shown not to be earlier than the year 432 B.C., when the renegade priest Manasseh, the grandson of Eliashib, led a body of schismatic Jews to Samaria, and founded a copy of the temple worship on Mount Gerizim in the days of Nehemiah.

CHRONICLES.

No. I.

By Rev. A. C. JENNINGS, M.A. The advanced Biblical critics admit that “Kings" was practically completed about the time of the Prophet Jeremiah. Certain passages which “imply an exilic standpoint” were added later. Later still, other

passages

which seem to attest the existence in monarchical times of the controverted Mosaic institutions were worked in by the priestly redactor. With the merits of these theories of interpolation it will be needless for me to deal. For the purpose of the present paper I only assume that Kings, as we have it, was in

Ι general acceptance not long after the Restoration. The historian, as we all

know, surveys the monarchies of Judah and Israel from an ethical and religious standpoint. The calamities of the past are the result of apostasy. The break up of the northern kingdom is the consequence of a series of reigns “evil in the sight of Jehovah.” The great chastisement of Judah is a Divine sentence provoked by Manasseh's wickedness, and not averted even by the reforms of the devout Josiah. It is in similar strains that the later prophets speak; and it is undeniably from this point of view that the Jew henceforth surveyed this history from Solomon's time to Zedekiah's. Jesus ben Sirach (cir. B.c. 200) obviously has the Samuel-Kings accounts before him as he eulogizes the good men of old, and long before his time these books must have been widely read as religious no less than as literary works. I cheerfully admit with Kuenen that the older historians as yet possessed no “ Divine authority.” It may nevertheless be postulated that when the Chronicler wrote they were reverenced as the acknowledged historical authorities on sacred subjects, and that the later we put the date of the Chronicler, the greater and the wider was their recognition.

The later historical series, Chronicles-Ezra-Nehemiah, brings us face to face with problems of great interest. It is generally admitted that these three books proceed in the main from one compiler. I may speak of him as the Chronicler, using the term Chronicles restrictedly for the book so entitled in our Bibles. It is Chronicles that is the stone of stumbling to the modern critic, Ezra-Nehemiah passing somewhat inconsistently as having fair claim to historicity. By our estimate of Chronicles undoubtedly must our solution of many a tangled question in the department of Biblical criticism be influenced. It makes a great difference whether, as many conservative critics are prepared to admit, the Levitical institutions were really shaping themselves from the time of David and Solomon onward, or whether they were precipitately sprung upon the nation's acceptance by Ezekiel and Ezra. It is of great interest to know whether the national psalmody originated with David, as the Chronicler attests; or whether, as certain modern scholars prefer to think, his connection with the Psalter is as shadowy as that of King Alfred with Oxford University. And again, so varied in Chronicles is the tale of the ancient reigns when compared with the history it supplemented, that all who desire accurate knowledge of Israel's past should be concerned in its authenticity. The question of the date of the Chronicler need not detain us long. On the ground of internal evidences chiefly gathered from Nehemiah xii., the compiler is, we are told, to be dated at least as late as B.c. 332. In this paper I accept, for argument's sake, this estimate, premising that I am not satisfied the main narrative is not earlier. Annalistic work of this kind is often continued and brought up to date by subsequent insertions.

* Ecclus. xlvii., xlviii. I may remark here that it may be safely assumed that it was our kings, not any variant of that work, that the Chronicler uses in the parallel passages.

? So Kuenen, Religion of Israel, iii., p. 70. For the evidences from style, cf. Driver's Introd., p. 502 seq.

With these postulates I wish to face the question, How far have the details which the Chronicler attaches to the story he borrows directly from Samuel-Kings a claim to authenticity? Can we regard his “supplement (I shall use this term throughout) in the pre-Exilic narrative as based on existent historical record ?

In approaching this problem (which I fear must long remain for many minds unsettled) we must, in fairness to all parties, shut our eyes to all but its literary aspect. Hallowed and venerable though the religious association is, we are bound, to the best of our ability, to at least divest our mind of all dogmatic prejudice as to what the result of so handling a canonical Scripture ought to be. It is possible, to say the least, that much of the destructive criticism of to-day rests upon foregone conclusions in regard to miracle and Divine intervention. Let not the Christian believer retort such unfairness by obstructive criticism in the provinces that are-as the above are not-fairly open to literary treatment. The time when such a work of discrimination as the present could have been approached as a task of special pleading, dictated by post-Reformation postulates as to book-inspiration, is now past. By no logical process can we arrogate infallibility for our Scriptures, either individually or en bloc; and the adversary can only too easily prove that the Church's judgments in that process of selection, on which all theory of limited book-inspiration really hinges, “have erred and may err.” It needs no showing that, for three centuries at least, much unauthentic literature was generally accepted by the Gentile Christians as Old Testament Scripture. And the history of the Canon should teach us that the reprobation of a book or a passage involves no more than the contents of that book or passage in their limited relation to the higher dispensation. Should Esther or should Chronicles share the fate, say, of Judith and Tobit, a serious blow might be given to a popular modern manner of teaching religion. But as against the "faith once delivered," the regula fidei of the primitive ages, the result should logically be nil. The true inspiration of Israel's national destiny remains unassailed and unassailable.

The extreme evolutionist school settles the question at issue by a sweeping sentence of condemnation. Chronicles, in its supplementary portions, is Midrash, Haggadah, religious romance. “The Chronicler,” says Kuenen, ,1 “when he stands alone, deserves no credit.”

“ Chronicles," says Wellhausen,? “ had no other sources for the period before the Exile than the historical books preserved to us in the Canon.” “It is the inevitable product of the conviction that the Mosaic Law is the starting-point of Israel's history. . . . . Starting from a similar assumption, such an author as C. F. Keil could, even at the present day, write a Book of Chronicles.” The indictment is at least expressed with sufficient bluntness. Nor can I pretend to enunciate the different conclusion which the book leaves on my mind with anything like the same confidence. The obscurity of the period and the

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1 Religion of Israel, p. 71. 2 Proleg., Contents xiv, and pp. 225, 226.

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paucity of surviving literary material seem to me obstacles which no amount of laborious literary analysis can really ever thoroughly surmount. The arguments on the conservative side will rest largely on analogies, on the general tendencies of human nature, on a charitable view of the Jewish national character. I must appeal to those “ degrees of probability ” which, as Canon Driver well observes in a different connection), are really the likeliest solvent of many a Scriptural problem. Is it presumptuous to suggest that the exigencies of a compact working theory, in regard to the Levitical cult and the Priestly Code, to some extent inspire the confidence of the great critics' adverse verdict ?

That Leviticism did not spring fully armed from the head of Moses has for many of us been sufficiently demonstrated. That its origin was as sudden, only in the age of the Captivity instead of that of the Exodus, is, I maintain, still but a hypothesis. I may add that it is a hypothesis which introduces with distressing frequency what conservatives may logically demur to as a petitio principii. Again and again are evidences on the other side quietly ruled out of court as “ interpolations," "mutilations," "corruptions."! It is a high aim to establish harmonious movement in the march of Jewish history. But must it be always the ancient writer who is to “ change step," and not occasionally the modern theorist ?

The sources of the Chronicler's “supplement are professedly documentary. The most conspicuous source for the reigns after Solomon is the familiar “Book of the Kings of Judah and Israel.” ? I shall discuss in another paper the theories in regard to this work. I premise here that apart from the faults which we find in Chronicles itself, there is no reason for regarding it as other than a historical composition. Hostile criticism, however, lays hold of two citations which primâ facie would indicate two other sources open to the Chronicler, independent alike of each other and of this “ Book of Kings.” They are the “ Midrash of the Book of Kings," and the “Midrash of the Prophet Iddo" (2 Chron. xxiv. 27, xiii. 22). Midrash in later Rabbinical Hebrew is a pious amplification of history. It is assumed first that the word (unknown save here to Biblical literature) had this, the late meaning, 4 in the Chronicler's time. And, secondly, that the references are not, as we should at first think, to Midrash, one or more, outside the Chronicler's “ Book of Kings,” but to that work itself under a different nomenclature. Thus is the conclusion reached that “the Book of Kings cited by the Chronicler is a late compilation far removed from actual tradition. In relation to the canonical Book of Kings it can only be explained

"I may instance such passages as Sam. ii. 22, vi. 15; 2 Sam. xv. 24; 1 Kings viii. 4, xü. 31-33.

? Or “of Israel and Judah.” It is an open question whether this sépher is distinct from the "dib're of the kings of Israel” referred to in Manasseh's case, 2 Chron. xxxiii. 18.

3 Or rather homily based on history. Haggadah rather than Midrash would express the view of Chronicles here taken.

* A favourite line of argument with critics of this school, yet one leading to very strange conclusions in the case of words of the non-Semitic language if similarly pressed.

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as an apocryphal amplification, after the manner in which the scribes treated the sacred history.

Thus whether one says Chronicles or Midrash of the Book of Kings is, on the whole, a matter of perfect indifference."l

I cannot myself think that an unprejudiced study of the literature before us warrants this contemptuous treatment. Doubtless there is much in Chronicles that is unhistorical " setting.” There is apparent a freedom of embellishment and a play of fancy such as we have long relegated to the province of poetry rather than history. Evidently our literary canons are not yet enthroned. Side by side with wearisome minuteness in details which a modern historian would relegate to footnotes and appendices, there is palpable expansiveness (to use no harsher term) just where our literary taste prescribes exactness. I admit, too, that there is here (as in ancient literature generally) a free fabrication of suitable speeches where a modern writer would let the situation rather speak for itself. And even assuming, which I do not, that there is no proleptic introduction of Levitical usage, it is undeniable that everything that can enhance the sacerdotal interest is done full justice to. Why not? The age of Macaulay and Lingard and Froude did not initiate the practice of writing ecclesiastical history with a purpose. We may admit all this, I think, and yet find reason to hold that the Chronicler is citing substantial documentary sources which his readers would recognize as good authorities; in fact, that he had access to records not used by the compiler of our canonical Kings. For me, the alternative, when I consider the many striking but purposeless deviations in the supplement, attributes to post-Exilic Israel a state of puzzle-headedness or indifference in regard to its past national history that is scarcely conceivable. Why, after all, should not Jewish readers have demanded historicity in the accounts of their bygone sovereigns as much as people of other countries ?

It is only justice to the Chronicler to repeat that he is pretty certainly the compiler of the main story of Ezra Nehemiah. In the post-Exilic portion of what we may practically treat as a continuous narrative, the general verdict is that the work (though unscientific and confused in arrangement) is at all events honest historical treatment. It is true there is a difference here in the compiler's method. The “memoirs," as they are called, of Ezra and Nehemiah are quoted directly; sometimes in the first person. Difference of dialect or peculiarity of idiom disintegrates often the original document from the products of the recasting hand. In Chronicles, on the other hand, where we have not Samuel-Kings, we have, not direct citation, but the Chronicler's own phraseology, with its awkward, sometimes almost unintelligible, peculiarities of idiom. But is this sufficient evidence to differentiate a history from a Midrash? Is the painstaking redactor of Ezra-Nehemiah to be transformed as Chronicler into a mere fabulist plus the books Samuel-Kings?

The alleged grounds of indictment may be treated under three counts :

| Wellhausen, Proleg., p. 226.

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