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civili, No. 49, representing the making of bricks. If this monumental device is a representation of the enslaved children of Israel at their labors, it is a relique equally important for ezegesis and for chronology. For exegesis, because it would be a striking proof of the high antiquity of the Mosaic writings and especially for the book of Exodus, the description in which, chs. 1, and 5, this monument most faithfully exhibits and illustrates, even down to subordinate matters. For chronology, because it belongs to the time of the eighteenth dynasty, and the reign of Thutmes-Moeris, about 1740 years before Christ, and would give fixed points and landmarks both for sacred and profane history. According to the inscriptions which stand as usual above the figures, it is the monument of an inspector of the royal edifices, of the name of Roscéré.” How manifold must the proof of the genuineness of the Pentateuch have before been to one who gives a hearing to this new witness but just out of his gravema witness whom the theologian would at once have given a rap on the mouth-like the negro, who, when one supposed to be dead raised himself up in his coffin, immediately pushed him back again, exclaiming, I have it in black and white that you are dead.'
After Heeren let us hear Johannes V. Müller. He has always been consistent with himself in admitting the genuineness of the Pentateuch. He maintained it even before his religious principles had become fixed. The historian had preceded the Christian in this conviction. He is open to internal proofs of genuineness, and if such exist, he knows how to set aside whatever else may appear to contradict them. Thus in his Allg. Geschichte, 3te Aufl. Th. I. S. 444, he says, “Every trait of the first book (Genesis) has relation to a state of things and to objects which accord only with Moses. When he makes mention of the head of his own race he shows the boldness of truth. The whole air and manner is peculiar to him. Even trivialities prove the genuineness. But it was the custom in the most ancient times, passing over details, to represent the more important occurrences in lofty terms as the will and work of the great first cause ; because the practical spirit and object of the narrators, filling their souls with an earnest solemnity, led them, unincumbered with theoretic technicalities, to urge upon their fellow-men dependence upon their Sovereign-Ruler and obedience to his ordinances as expressed to us in nature.” Theologians see in the ceremonial law a monument of refined priestcraft, a system of external religious rules, which originated in an age when the spirit of religion was unknown. See for example De Wette, Krit. S. 270 ff. To Müller it appears as entirely worthy of one sent of God, as perfectly according with the spirit of Moses, and with the character of his age. “He consecrated,” says he, S. 441," a great symbol, consisting entirely of ceremonies; so that while the simple fundamental law contained nothing but what their fathers had believed, with the addition of a few admonitions, the ritual law gave the people continual employment in rites which engaged the senses. There is a tradition the truth of which is made probable by some remaining vestiges, that Moses explained the meaning of these usages, and that these explanations were preserved among the elders : yet he might foresee that their substantial meaning would not, even without such explanation, escape men of understanding. In other places also he puts aside with little pains rocks of offence which theologians had cast in the way. “The repetitions,” says he in his Anmerkungen zu den Büchern Mosis (Remarks on the books of Moses) in the Appendix to the Blicken in die Bibel by bis brother J. G. Müller 2ter Band, Winterth. 1830, S. 476, “the repetitions are in the spirit of those ancient times.” Also, (ibid. S. 476,) “As soon as we think of the greatness of the object, no repetition is tedious every thing shows what it is for.” On the genealogies and list of nations in Gen. 10, to maintain still the historical character of which, is held by theologians, to be a ridiculous anachronism, he, the historian, who is not, like them, so credulous as to receive at once every new discovery as true, nor like them so unscientific as to regard facile etymologies as sufficient data for constructing histories and for overthrowing them, he says (ibid. S. 458), “The data are geographically entirely true. From this chapter universal history ought to begin.” These Remarks show also that his opinion as to the genuineness of the Pentateuch, cannot be explained as a prejudice originating in accident and maintained by ignorance, but that it is the result of fundamental and persevering study. If the Pentateuch has in fact such pitiful historical pretensions as theologians assert, then Johannes Von Müller must be struck out of the list of our great
Neither does Luden show any great desire to accept of these "Grecian presents without examination. He shows without disguise that the Pentateuch makes upon him a very different
impression from what it does upon the theologians.
And though he does not venture to take ground in decided and entire opposition to them, yet he very carefully avoids making any decided concessions ; thinking that the matter may easily take another turn, and then his admissions would only cause him regret. In his Geschichte des Alterthums, 2te Aufl. Jena, 1819, S. 60, he remarks, “If it is considered how and when those writings probably originated, and if the relation is never forgotten in which the Israelites supposed themselves to stand towards Jehovah, and that they relate their fortunes always in accordance with that relation, then to be sure some of the details may be matter of doubt, but on the whole the course of events is truly given us.” Id. S. 61 : “ Their great increase in Egypt in the course of more than four hundred years is in accordance with nature; the severe oppression which they were finally called to suffer is very conceivable ; and still more conceivable their longing after the never forgotten native land.” Id. S. 62: “ The forty years residence in the wilderness was a wise measure, and exhibits Moses in all his greatness.” Id. S. 63: “The law which God gave to Israel through Moses from time to time, under awful and terrible circumstances, is remarkable in the highest degree, and deserves profound investigation, not only because it is the oldest, or because it is distinguished by its great general principles, but also, and especially, because in it foreign (Egyptian) regulations are adapted with such wisdom to the manners and national character of the Israelites.” Id. S. 64: “But forty years in the wilderness with signs and wonders had not succeeded in training up and making holy to the Lord that degraded and stiff-necked people. The sublime songs of Moses did not secure devotion to Jehovah. The record of his miraculous providence in regard to them—the oldest monument of written history—held not the people in fidelity toward God.”
Wachler in his Handbuch der Geschichte der Literatur (Manual of History of Literature), 2te Ausgabe, Th. I. S. 78, thus speaks: “Moses the author of the Hebrew constitution, was, as lawgiver, poet and historian, a model for after generations. The five books wbich bear his name are, with the exception of some small additions, of the greatest antiquity, and belong to the times of his glorious administration. They contain views on divine and human things-political reflectionsclear views into futurity--and the gushings forth of deep feel
ng.” Id. S. 79: “The oldest poetry of the Hebrews was pic, and celebrated the creation of the world and the first hisory of the human race with immediate reference to their naional history. It received its form from Moses, who also gave he first model for lyric poetry.
Schlosser in his translation of the Universal History, 1. 1. S. 237, expresses himself as follows: “ This (the composition of the greatest part of the Pentateuch by Moses) was so much the more probable and natural, as Moses had been educated in Egypt, where all transactions, even civil processes, were in writing, as he found characters for the sounds of his own language already among the Phenicians, and he himself instituted a numerous class of writers in the country, who were partly employed in the police, and partly in order to prevent controversies about the boundaries of lands, bad to keep the genealogies, and record important changes.”
Leo had formerly, in his Vorlesungen über Jüdische Geschichte (Lectures on Jewish History) submitted himself fully to the authority of the theologians, and was quoted by them with great triumph as one of their party. They had, indeed, reason to triumph, as he was in fact the first historian of any importance whom they had been able to allure into their snare. But Leo began afterwards to see more and more with his own eyes, and found that while he had been zealously searching out the traces of a pretended great priest-cabal in Israel, he had himself been taken in the net of a real priest-cabal in Germany, and at last openly renounced his obedience, and returned back to the sphere of history. In his Lehrbuch d. Universal schichte (Text-book of Universal History), Bd. I. Halle, 1835, S. 570, he thus speaks of the Pentateuch : “We have then, after examining what has recently been written on this subject, come to the decided conviction, that the essential parts of the law, as well as a great portion of the historical accounts, which form the groundwork of the Pentateuch, and cannot be entirely separted from the laws, as they show their import and design, were written by Moses himself; and that the gathering of the whole into one corpus, if not done by Moses himself, certainly took place soon after his time, perhaps during his life, and under bis own eye :—and that the obtaining of a different result from the critical investigations made on this subject, and which certainly in point of learning are very valuable, has its cause simply in the fact that men have not sufficiently distinguished between the East and the West, and between the infantile character of that ancient age with its phenomena and circumstances, and these modern times which by refined reflection and hyper-wisdom have got beyond all the natural modes of judging and acting."
Von Rotteck has surrendered himself so entirely to the spirit of the times from which the theologians have received their prejudices against the Pentateuch, that we could not wonder if we saw these prejudices in him in their greatest extent. And still this is not the case. Between him and De Wette for example
, there still remains a great difference. In his review of the sources of history for the first period, Allgem. Geschichte (Universal History), Th. I. 1lte Aufl. Freib. 1835, S. 57, he remarks : “ It cannot be denied that the narratives contained in the first book of Moses are distinguished above all these worthless accounts (on the origin of the earth and of man—by Sanchoniathon, Zoroaster, and in general all Oriental, Chinese, Thibetan, and Indian accounts and also those of Grecian bistorians and philosophers) as well by a mode of statement more agreeable to reason and the eternal laws of nature, as by their having come down to us uncorrupted; and therefore these Mosaic documents, which there is besides good ground for regarding as the oldest in the world, will always obtain approbation and respect even before the bar of a criticism purely scientific and having no reference to religious views. ... The same judg. ment is to be pronounced in regard to the original history of man. Here also the Mosaic accounts have such a manifest superiority over those of all the so-called profane writers, that we cannot deny them, at least comparatively, a high degree of probability.” In his review of sources for the history of the Hebrews, S. 73, he says: “For the history of no other people of this period do we possess so ancient, so circumstantial and such credible accounts. The above-quoted biblical writers were (leaving inspiration out of view) for the most part eye-witnesses and participators in the events recorded, or else were in a situation which enabled them to collect and compare original documents and traditions in regard to former national events. These traditions go back to the very cradle, to the very first origin of the Hebrew nation, and so far as regards the great chain of events, their credibility cannot be denied for as to the attendant circumstances and what is perhaps only figurative representation, the case is different."