Skip to main content

Full text of "Founders of Old Testament criticism; biographical, descriptive, and critical studies"

See other formats


Cornell University 

The original of this book is in 
the Cornell University Library. 

There are no known copyright restrictions in 
the United States on the use of the text. 


Cornell University Library 
BS1160 .C53 
Founders of Old TestarMnt ortB^m: bio 

3 1924 029 278 599 





Founders of 
Old Testament Criticism 


T. K. QHEYNE, M.A., D.D. 


Neto Horfe 



THE present, volume contains a series of pictures 
of eminent Old Testament critics from the beginning 
of the critical movement to the present day, with an 
attempt in each case to estimate the services of the 
subject of the picture. It is hoped that it may be 
not only interesting but instructive, and may-tend to 
remove some current mistakes and misconceptions. 
Let me mention a few of these. Criticism, it is said 
by some, is a recent invention ; it is arrogant to 
pretend that it has reached any final or even approxi- 
mate results. Criticism, say others, is of purely 
German origin ; it is foplish to import what has no 
roots in our own mental history. Criticism, says yet 
another school of writers, is purely rationalistic ; it 
has no interest in, and can be of no considerable 
service to, positive theological truth. Criticism, say 
a few other respected but isolated observers, is narrow 
in its methods ; it goes on grinding for ever at the 
same mill, and needs an almost complete recon- 
struction. In particular, according to these censors, 
it dreads archaeology, and it is time for sober English- 


men to strike out a new method, which will have the 
additional advantage of being theologically safe. 

All these statements are, I believe, based on un- 
fortunate misconceptions, which are best removed by 
throwing as much light as possible on the history of 
criticism. To do this adequately would of course be 
a work of immense labour, nor have I leisure to 
attempt it. But I venture to hope that the present 
series of studies may be a small contribution towards 
the future history, and that the personal elements in 
the studies may give them a certain value even after 
the history has been accomplished. For it is not un- 
important to notice how the intellectual phases and 
material surroundings of a writer have affected his 
criticism. We may see thus how natural and in- 
evitable his course was, and how pardonable were 
his errors ; we may also gather from his life both 
warnings and encouragements. I have taken special 
pains to make this clear in the cases of Ewald, who 
for a time almost seemed to have been annexed by 
liberal English theology, and of De Wette. And the 
whole series is concluded by a survey of the present 
state of Old Testament criticism, without which 
indeed the volume would have lacked- much of any 
practical helpfulness which it may possess. 

Let me explain. The last three chapters, though 
more predominantly critical than the preceding ones, 
are by no means an excrescence. The survey of 
criticism which they contain is not mechanically 
attached to the sketches of critics, but grows natur- 


ally out of a personal study of one of the most 
blameless and devoted of living scholars. It is an 
attempt to supply a want which is constantly being 
brought before me. Introductory works are happily 
multiplying among us, but on the whole they scarcely 
give an adequate idea of the actual position of Old 
Testament problems (especially outside the Hexa- 
teuch), and yet, if we all cautiously limit ourselves 
by the requirements of beginners, our students will 
be in danger of contracting a somewhat insular and 
provincial spirit. 

The series of studies, which I have thus endeavoured 
to round off, is far from being as complete as I could 
have wished. Historically indeed it is continuous, 
but from an international point of view some plausible 
complaints may be urged against it. There is but 
one Dutch critic who is sketched, viz. Kuenen ; but 
one French-writing critic, viz. Reuss ; nor are any of 
the actually living and working German critics (except 
Schrader, who has now quitted the field of the " higher 
criticism ") either described or criticized. The reasons 
for these omissions are however not far to seek. 
Some limitation of the range of the volume was 
necessary. Prof. S. I. Curtiss had already treated of 
the earlier precursors of criticism (including Simon 
and Astruc), and an able young French scholar, M. 
Alexandre Westphal, had given an equally accurate 
and interesting sketch of Hexateuch criticism. 1 With 

1 Les sources du Pentateuque, Tom. I. Le problfeme litt&aire. 
Paris, 1888, 

vill PREFACE. 

regard to German and Dutch critics, I must confess 
to a feeling of profound sadness at the losses of the 
last few years ; the unexpected deaths of Riehm, 
Kuenen, and Lagarde seemed to check my pen in 
its progress. It is true, a similar excuse cannot be 
offered to French critical workers. But I hope that 
scholars like Bruston, Piepenring, and Westphal (who 
work under conditions in some respects analogous 
to our own) will accept the assurance of my warm 
interest in their researches, and my expectation of 
happy results from them for international Biblical 
criticism. 1 

Friendliest greetings also to all British, American, 
and Australian fellow-workers ! Whether we will it 
or no, we must all be in some sense English, and it is 
one of our most characteristic features that we look 
to the practical results of scientific research. We 
cannot be mere historical or literary critics ; we feel 
that we must contribute, each in his degree, to the 
construction of an improved Christian apologetic for 
our own age. Happily, this is not now an exclusively 
English characteristic ; the same consciousness of 
Christian duty is visible in representative German 
critics, such as Hermann Schultz, author of Old 
Testament Theology. Let us see to it that, while our 
German kinsfolk are learning to be more practical in 
their theology, we on our side become not less apt 

1 For a list of continental as well as British and American 
critical writers, see part 6 of Appendix to Briggs's The Bible, the 
Church, and the Reason (T. & T. Clark, 1892). 


pupils in the spirit and in the methods of critical 
inquiry. For sound Biblical criticism is neither German 
nor English, neither Lutheran, nor Anglican, nor 
Presbyterian, but international and interconfessional. 
It has a great, history behind it, and a still greater one 
may, let us hope, be before it. 

Nov. 30, 1892. 


» * 

During my absence in Egypt the correction of 
the proofs has been kindly undertaken by Mr. G. 
Buchanan Gray, B.A., Lecturer in Hebrew and the Old 
Testament in Mansfield College, Oxford. 










AS A CRITIC AND AS A MAN ... ... 99 


VII. HUPFELD, DELITZSCH ... ... ... ... 1 49 




XI. DRIVER (i) 248 

XII. DRIVER (2) ... ... ... ... ... 293 

XIII. DRIVER (3) 334 





A WELL-KNOWN and honoured representative of 
progressive German orthodoxy (J. A. Dorner) has 
set a fine example of historical candour by admitting 
the obligations of his country to a much-disliked 
form of English heterodoxy. He says that English 
Deism, which found so many apt disciples in Ger- 
many, " by clearing away dead matter, prepared the 
way for a reconstruction of theology from the very 
depths of the heart's beliefs, and also subjected man's 
nature to stricter observation." * This, however, as it 
appears to me, is a very inadequate description of 
facts. It was not merely a new constructive stage of 

1 History of Protestant Theology, E. T., ii. 77. For the 
influence of Deism on Germany, see Tholuck {Vermischte 
Schriften, Bd. ii.) and Lechler {Gesch. des englischen Deismus). 


German theoretic theology, and a keener psychological 
investigation, for which Deism helped to prepare the 
way, but also a great movement, which has in our 
own day become in a strict sense international, con- 
cerned with the literary and historical criticism of 
the Scriptures. Beyond all doubt, the Biblical dis- 
cussions which abound in the works of the Deists and 
their opponents contributed in no slight degree to 
the development of that semi-apologetic criticism of 
the Old Testament, of which J. D. Michaelis, and in 
some degree even Eichhorn, were leading represent- 
atives. Transitory as the Deism of Toland and Collins 
was, it achieved the distinction, not only of calling 
forth Bishop Butler's Analogy, but of influencing or 
stimulating a number of eminent German scholars of 
various theological colours, among whom I must not 
omit to mention the earliest great New Testament 
critic, J. G. Semler (1725 — 1791). It is indeed 
singular that Deism should have passed away in 
England without having produced a great critical 
movement among ourselves. If Deuteronomy be, as 
M. Westphal rightly claims that it is, "Ariadne's 
thread in the labyrinth of Pentateuch criticism," it is 
strange that an English theological writer, who saw 
(for the first time) that this Book was a product of 
the seventh century, 1 should not have been prompted 

1 Parvish, Inquiry into the Jewish and Christian Revelations 
(Lond. 1 739), p. 324, referred to by Kleinert {Das Deuteronomium, 
&c, 1872, p. 2). De Wette's epoch-making dissertation on the 
origin of Deuteronomy was not published till 1805. 


by his good genius to follow up his advantage. But 
in point of fact there are but three isolated English 
scholars who appear to have shown any talent or 
inclination for a criticism of the Old Testament 
which is not merely concerned with various readings 
of the text — viz. Bishop Warburton, Bishop Lowth, and 
Dr. Alexander Geddes ; and of these the only one who 
can properly be called a founder of criticism is the 

I have first to speak of William Warburton and 
Robert Lowth. The former was a born pamphleteer 
and controversialist, and had neither the learning nor 
the seriousness requisite for the founder of a critical 
school ; he limited himself to throwing out hints on 
Job and on the Song of Songs in his correspondence 
with Lowth, which his friend rejected with disdain, 
but which so far as Job is concerned he himself 
manfully defended in his Divine Legation of Moses. 
The latter (Lowth) was, for his time, a considerable 
scholar, but in theology he clung (like Kennicott) to 
the traditional orthodoxy. Hence he felt constrained 
to insist on the allegorical character of the Song of 
Songs, and to maintain the extreme antiquity of the 
Book of Job. And yet even this circumspect bishop 
fully admits that the prophets spoke primarily to the 
men of their own time (see e.g. his exposition of Isa. 
vii. 14), 1 and this admission- contains the promise of 

1 Cheyne, Prophecies of Isaiah, ii. 277. In England the in- 
fluence of Lowth was chiefly felt in textual criticism (see 
Blayney's Jeremiah (17S4), and Newcome's Ezekiel (1788). The 


the cautiously bold criticism of Eichhorn and Ewald. 
Both the Isaiah (1778) and the Lectures De sacrdpoesi 
Hebrceorum (1753) were translated into German, and, 
enriched with Koppe's notes on the one and with 
those ofMichaelis on the other, were among the revo- 
lutionary influences of that unsettled age in Germany. 
The third member of our trio is, from any point of 
view, an interesting phenomenon. Alexander Geddes 
was born of Roman Catholic parents in Banffshire in 
1737, and studied at the Scottish College at Paris, 
his chief teacher of Hebrew being Ladvocat, Pro- 
fessor at the Sorbonne. For some years Geddes led 
a simple and studious life as priest of a Roman 
Catholic congregation near Aberdeen, and from 
Aberdeen University he received the honorary dis- 
tinction of a LL.D. degree. Difficulties having 
arisen from his liberal opinions, he came to London, 
where he became a notable figure in society, owing 
to his union of deep learning with wit and liberal 
opinions. Crabbe Robinson of course met him ; he 
speaks of Geddes's striking appearance, which re- 
minded him of Herder. 1 But again his liberal views, 
expressed with uncompromising frankness, brought 
Geddes into suspicion of heterodoxy, and without the 
help of his munificent patron, Lord Petre, he would 
scarcely have maintained his position. He himself, 

study of the literary aspects of the Old Testament T made no 
progress ; Lowth was a voxclamantis in deserto, so far as England 
was concerned. 
1 Diary, i. 113. 


however, never swerved from his allegiance to his 
ancestral faith, and promoted the cause of moderate 
and reasonable orthodoxy by a courteous letter to 
Dr. Priestley, in which he argued that the divinity of 
Jesus Christ was in some sense held by the ante- 
Nicene fathers. His great life-work, moreover, was 
one from which all Christian Churches might have 
profited — viz. the preparation of a new translation of 
the Bible with explanatory notes, and so much 
critical help as appeared necessary for educated and 
thoughtful readers. In 1786 he published a Prospectus 
of this work ; in 1787 a letter to the Bishop of 
London (Lowth) on the same subject, and in 1788 
(in folio) proposals for printing this new version by 
subscription. He had much support from influential 
clergymen (notably Lowth and Kennicott), and in 
1792 the first volume appeared, with a dedication to 
Lord Petre. 1 In the preface, however, he committed 
himself to critical views of the origin of the Pentateuch, 
and both Roman Catholics and Protestants opened 
their batteries upon him. He was, in fact, before his 
time, and knowing what he did of the temper of the 
Anglican bishops and the universities, 2 he should 
perhaps have seen the wisdom of reserving his critical 
views for a separate work. Vol. ii., continuing the work 
as far as Chronicles, appeared, under the patronage of 

1 The title is as follows : The Holy Bible, or the Books ac- 
counted sacred by Jews and Christians, faithfully translated 
from corrected Texts of the Originals, with Various Readings, 

Explanatory Notes, and Critical Remarks. 

2 See his letter to Eichhom (Appendix to Memoir). 


the Duchess of Gloucester, in 1797, but found no 
more friendly reception. The undaunted scholar, 
however, brought out a new work in 1800, entitled 
Critical Remarks on the Hebrew Scriptures, correspond- 
ing with a new Translation of the Bible, but paid the 
penalty. He was suspended from his ecclesiastical 
functions — a lighter penalty, at any rate, than a poor 
Bavarian priest (Isenbiehl) had paid in 1778 for 
offering a critical interpretation of Isa. vii. 14. He 
died in 1802, leaving a nearly-finished translation of 
the Book of Psalms, 1 and found a competent bio- 
grapher in John Mason Good, the highly-cultured 
translator of the Song of- Songs. 

The plan of Geddes's translation is admirable : as to 
its execution it would be ungenerous to make much 
of shortcomings which were inevitable a century ago. 
Even in the matter of style, one may venture to think 
that Geddes's ideal of a popular and comprehensible 
English was a better one than that of the learned 
Bishop Lowth. To say the least, he deserves to be 
had in honour as an early worker at the still unsolved 
problem of Bible-translation. But it is as a pioneer, 
and to some extent founder of criticism, that he 
chiefly interests us here. He was recognized by 
Eichhorn as " almost the only person " whose opinion 
on his own works he could listen to with respect, 2 

1 This was published in 1807. 

2 " Tu enim fere unicus es, quern, si liceret, judicem mihi ex- 
peterem ; quandoquidem tu in litteris biblicis habitas, in eodem 
stadio magna cum laude decurris, omnesque difficultates et 
molestias, quae talem cursum impediunt, ipsa experientia edoct- 


and his Critical Remarks were partly translated into 
German, partly expanded by J. S. Vater in his 
Commentary on the Pentateuch (1802-5), and so gave 
rise to what is commonly called the Geddes-Vater 
hypothesis. The following passages will probably 
interest the reader, as containing Geddes's chief 
critical conclusions. They are taken from the preface 
to vol. i. of his Bible (pp. xviii — xix). 

" It has been well observed by Michaelis that all 
external testimony is here of little avail : it is from 
intrinsic evidence only that we must derive our proofs. 
Now, from intrinsic evidence, three things to me seem 
indubitable. istly, The Pentateuch, in its present 
form, was not written by Moses. 2dly, It was 
written in the land of Chanaan, and most probably 
at Jerusalem. 3dly, It could not be written before 
the reign of David, nor after that of Hezekiah. 
The long pacific reign of Solomon (the Augustan 
age of Judaea) is the period to which I would refer 
it : yet, I confess, there are some marks of a posterior 
date, or at least of posterior interpolation. 

"But although I am inclined to believe that the 
Pentateuch was reduced into its present form in the 
reign of Solomon, I am fully persuaded that it was 
compiled from ancient documents, some of which were 
coeval with Moses, and some even anterior to Moses. 
Whether all these were written records, or many of 

us, nOsti, ut adeo nemo facile ad judicium tam asquius quam 
rectius ferendum cogitari possit." — Letter to Geddes (Memoir, 
P- 543)- 


them only oral traditions, it would be rash to deter- 
mine. . . . Moses, who had been taught all the 
wisdom, of the Egyptians, most probably was the 
first Hebrew writer, or the first who applied writing 
to historical composition. From his journals a great 
part of the Pentateuch seems to have been compiled. 
Whether he were also the original author of the 
Hebrew cosmogony, and of the history prior to his 
own days, I would neither confidently assert, nor 
positively deny. He certainly may have been the 
original author or compiler; and may have drawn 
the whole or a part of his cosmogony and general 
history, both before and after the deluge, from the 
archives of Egypt : and those original materials, 
collected first by Moses, may have been worked up 
into their present form by the compiler of the Pen- 
tateuch, in the reign of Solomon. But it is also 
possible, and I think more probable, that the latter 
was the first collector ; and collected from such 
documents as he could find, either among his own 
people, or among the neighbouring nations. 

" Some modern writers, indeed, allowing Moses to 
be the author of the Pentateuch, maintain that he 
composed the book of Genesis from two different 
written documents ; which they have attempted to 
distinguish by respective characteristics. Although I 
really look upon this as the work of fancy, and will 
elsewhere endeavour to prove it to be so, I am not so 
self-sufficient as to imagine that I may not be in the 
wrong, or that they may not be in the right. The 


reader who wishes to see the arguments on which 
they ground their assertion, may consult Astruc or 

Now, although this rejection of the "Document- 
hypothesis" of Eichhorn (the details of which 
Geddes proceeds to give) is not in itself a proof of 
sagacity, yet Westphal seems to me too warm in his 
invective against the " Geddes- Vater theory," or the 
" Fragment-hypothesis," as an ill-judged return to 
the crude ideas of Spinoza. The more correct view 
is certainly that given by Mr. Addis, whose words I 
have the more pleasure in quoting, because of the 
justice which he has done on an earlier page to Geddes, 
not only as a scholar but as a man. 

"The ' Fragment-theory' was in some respects an 
advance upon Astruc and Eichhorn. It extended 
the investigation from Genesis and the beginning of 
Exodus to the whole Pentateuch, and ceased to 
assume that the only documents in the Pentateuch 
were documents used by Moses. It argued, with 
justice, that the Pentateuch is composed of sections, 
some of which had no original connection with each 
other, and that even the documents which use the 
word Elohim or Yahweh may be, and are, of various 
origin. It failed to see that the supposed ' fragments ' 
might, on closer inspection, form themselves into two 
or three documents." x 

Nor can it be said that Vater was wholly blind to 

1 The Documents of the Hexateuch, vol. i. Introd. p. xxvii. 


the evidence which led Astruc and Eichhorn to form 
the Document-theory. Vater expressly says that 
though the fragments of which the Pentateuch is 
composed had originally no connection, yet it is not 
impossible that some fragments of the same book 
may come from the same author, and he is willing 
to group his fragments in two great families — 
the Elohistic and the Jehovistic. Ilgen too, whom 
Westphal praises at the expense of Vater, maintains 
(as we shall see) that the contents of the three 
documents of Genesis are derived from as many as 
seventeen different sources. Two more short quota- 
tions from Vater's inspirer Geddes may be added, to 
illustrate his criticism of the contents of Genesis. 

'' I will not pretend to say that [its history] is 
entirely unmixed with the leaven of the heroic ages. 
Let the father of Hebrew be tried by the same rules 
of criticism as Greek history." 

" Why might not the Hebrews have their mytho- 
logy as well as other nations ? and why might not 
their mythologists contrive or improve a system of 
cosmogony as well as those of Chaldsea, or Egypt, 
or Greece, or Italy, or Persia, or Hindostan ?" 

So then, in realistic as well as literary criticism 
Geddes is a convinced adherent of the principles of 
Eichhorn, from whom however, being a man of great 
intellectual independence, he does not scruple to 
differ upon occasion {e.g. on the meaning of Gen. 
iii.). That be has a claim to be reckoned among 
the founders of criticism, may be seen, not only 



from his influence on Vater, but by comparing him 
with our one eminent English pioneer of criticism, 
Thomas Hobbes. 1 It is painful to think that the 
seed which Geddes sowed fell, so far as England 
was concerned, on barren ground. What is the 
cause of this ? Geddes, as we have seen, was no 
Deist, and, though a Roman Catholic, was socially 
and intellectually on a level with the best English 
Protestants. Any one who would seek to answer this 
question would find — to apply some words of Mark 
Pattison — " that he had undertaken a perplexing but 
not altogether profitless inquiry." 2 

At any rate, whether we can explain it or not, 
there are no more Englishmen to mention among the 

1 Hobbes was the first modern writer who denied the Mosaic 
origin of the Pentateuch as a whole on critical grounds. The 
view expressed by Siegfried, that he borrowed from Spinoza, is 
not in itself unplausible, since the theologico-political system 
of the Leviathan has points of affinity with that of Spinoza's 
Tractatus theologico-politicus, but is opposed to chronology, the 
former work having been published in 165 1, nineteen years 
before Spinoza's great work appeared. That the English 
philosopher borrowed from Ibn Ezra (as seems to be suggested 
in Bacon's Genesis of Genesis, Introd. p. xxiv) is of course not 
absolutely impossible, but considering Hobbes's singular origin- 
ality, is hardly probable. That Spinoza borrowed from Hobbes 
is also possible, but most improbable, the indebtedness of the 
great Jewish thinker being rather to Jewish than to Western 
writers (putting aside Descartes). [The passages in Hobbes 
are — Leviathan, part 3, ch. xxxiii. ; and in Spinoza, Tract, 
theol.-polit., ch. viii., " De origine Pentateuchi " ; see also ch. 
vii., " De interpretatione Scripturae," and comp. Siegfried, 
Spinoza als Kritiker und Ausleger des Alten Testaments (Berl. 
i Essays and Reviews (ed.. 1869, p. 398). 


founders or precursors of Old Testament criticism 
until we come to our own time. Indeed, I have only- 
given these sketches of Warburton, Lowth, and Geddes 
because they were natives of Great Britain. Were I 
to linger over the continental pioneers of criticism— 
Baruch Spinoza, the lonely Jewish thinker of Amster- 
dam ; Richard Simon, the learned Oratorian of Paris ; 
Jean Leclerc, the French-Swiss Hebraist adopted by 
the Amsterdam Remonstrants ; and especially Jean 
Astruc, professor of medicine in various French 
colleges, — I should exceed the limits of this work, 
and enter into competition with an excellent American 
writer who has given us a monograph on the early 
critics of the Pentateuch, Dr. S. I. Curtiss of Chicago. 1 

1 See his " Sketches of Pentateuch Criticism,'' Bibliotheca 
Sacra, Jan. and Oct. 1884, and comp. the parallel portions of 
WestphaPs able work referred to in my preface. On Richard 
Simon see also Bernus, R. Simon et son histoire critique 
(Lausanne, 1869), and a resume" in the Revue des deux mondes. 



My own series of portraits of Old Testament critics 
begins with J. Gh Eiehhorn, whom, for reasons which 
I will give presently, I venture to call the founder of 
modern Old Testament criticism. I wish to show 
that he was not merely a "dry rationalist," as Mr. 
Addis represents, but a man of many-sided culture, 
and not without Church-feeling, a friend of science, 
and also a servant of religion, sensitive to the best 
influences of his time, though not in advance of his 
age. Eiehhorn was born Oct. 16, 1752, and was the 
son of a pastor in a small principality now absorbed 
in the kingdom of Wurtemberg. At Easter 1 770 he 
went to Gottingen, where the wise liberality of our 
George II., stimulated by his minister Miinchhausen, 
had founded (in 1734) the famous Georgia Augusta 
university. There it was only natural that he should 
be profoundly affected by the genius loci. The spirit 
of classical literature and of historical research, equally 
with that of a moderate orthodox theology, could not 
fail to pass into his sensitive mind. These were all 


subjects which Munchhausen as a statesman desired 
to foster, and they were cultivated with pre-eminent 
success in the old Gottingen university. In theology 
Eichhorn had among his teachers J. D. Michaelis, 
the Biblical scholar, and Walch, the not-yet-forgotten 
Church historian ; classical philology he studied under 
Heyne, who admitted him into his Seminar, and 
obtained for him in 1774 his first appointment as 
rector of the gymnasium at Ohrdruff, in the duchy of 
Gotha. How Eichhorn came to be smitten with the 
love of the East, it is not so easy to say. But the 
titles of his earliest works (from 1774 onwards) suffi- 
ciently prove that Mohammedan history; and Arabic 
and Syriac literature, were the favourite subjects of 
the young graduate, and this accounts for the fact that 
in 1775 he was appointed professor of Oriental lan- 
guages in the university of Jena, where in the preceding 
year he had already taken his doctor's degree. Hence 
it was not merely as a theologian (this he could not 
help being, for theology was then in the atmosphere) 
but as an Orientalist that he approached the study of 
the Old Testament. I would ask the reader to take 
special notice of this fact, because Eichhorn set the 
tone to his successors, by whom the Hebrew Scriptures 
were constantly treated, not merely as the vehicle of 
a revelation, but as in form Oriental books, to be 
interpreted in accordance with the habits of mind of 
Semitic peoples. (It is from Eichhorn and his more 
celebrated friend Herder that the custom of referring 
to the " Orientalism " of the Scriptures is mainly 


derived.) I must not pause here to defend or explain 
this " Orientalizing " of books which the traditional 
orthodoxy had been accustomed to regard as in all 
senses unique. The best defence and explanation is 
to refer, not to the first tentative and faulty efforts of 
Eichhorn and Herder, but to works of our own time 
(belonging to different schools), which may be "known 
and read of all men." It would be possible, no doubt, 
to gather from Eichhorn explanations of miraculous 
narratives, and of difficult passages of prophecy, which 
strike even critics who are no apologists as immature 
and arbitrary. But this only shows that he is a be- 
ginner in the arduous work of entering into the ideas 
and circumstances of the Biblical writers, and that 
he sometimes forgets that, on his own theory, there 
is a divine element in the Bible which no other litera- 
ture contains in anything like the same degree. And 
if Eichhorn was sometimes unjust to Biblical narra- 
tives and prophecies, not only in his books, but in 
his academical lectures, yet this was the error of a 
good and Christian man, who was in his own way 
an apologist, 1 and whose reverent spirit could not but 

1 Comp. Bertheau, art. " Eichhorn,'' in Herzog-Plitt, Real- 
encyclofiadie, Bd. iv. ; Westphal, Les sources, &c, i. 120. How 
great was the need of critical apologists may be gathered from 
the appendix to the Wolfenbiittel Fragments published after 
Lessing's death in 1787, in which, while admitting the Mosaic 
redaction of the Pentateuch, Reimarus inveighs passionately 
against the author or compiler. That Eichhorn was equal to the 
task> of defending Biblical religion against its foes, cannot indeed 
be maintained (see Bleek, Introduction (by Venables), § 8). His 


neutralize any evil influence from his intellectual 
mistake. An early biographer in fact assures us that 
" faith in that which is holy even in the miracles of 
the Bible was never shattered by Eichhorn in any 
youthful mind." * 

Eichhorn, as we have seen, went to Jena in 1775. 
It was an event of great importance, both for his 
theological and for his general culture. Seldom has 
there been a theologian of such a width of interests 
as Eichhorn, and we can hardly help ascribing this 
to the varied intellectual stimulus which Jena at that 
time supplied. In that very same year another young 
man of promise entered the little duchy of Saxe 
Weimar : it was Goethe. And in the autumn of the 
following year, a slightly older man, destined to great 
things, followed his friend Goethe : it was Herder, who 
had accepted the office of Court Preacher and General 
Superintendent at Weimar. That Eichhorn took a 
keen interest in the literary movement of the time, 
is certain from his later works on the history of 
literature. It was his hope to contribute to the 
winning back of the educated classes to religion, and 
he may well have thought that in order to do this 
he must drink full draughts of general culture. In 
this enterprise he found a natural ally in Herder, 
who was a theologian among the litterateurs, as 

pupil Ewald was at any rate better equipped, both critically and 
religiously ; for he too was proud to be an " apologist." 

1 H. Doring, in Ersch and Gruber's Allgemeine Encyclopddie, 
(I.) xxxi. (1838). 


Eichhorn was a litterateur among the theologians. 
The friends had their first meeting in the summer of 
1780. They saw each other often, and began a regular 
correspondence. In 1780 appeared one of Herder's 
most charming books (the contents of which have 
now happily become commonplace *) — the Letters on 
the Study of Theology ; in 1782-83 his still more 
important work, The Spirit of Hebrew Poetry. To 
both of these Eichhorn was able to give his hearty 
approval and admiration, and between the two ap- 
peared the first part of his own great work, the 
Introduction to the Old Testament (completed in 1783). 
It was a happy time of mutual intercourse and in- 
debtedness. I think it worth while to state this, 
because M. Westphal has considerably exaggerated 
the dependence of Eichhorn on Herder. It is true 
that Eichhorn in his letters is never weary of con- 
fessing that he lives upon Herder's ideas, but it 
seems to me that it was chiefly a general fertilizing 
influence which the Weimar divine exercised upon 
the Jena professor. Such ideas as Eichhorn took 
from Herder were subjected by him to the testing 

1 Herder's attitude towards the question of Bible inspiration, 
for instance, is that which all our best critical scholars now take 
up. " I take vastly more pleasure in winning a lively apprehen- 
sion of the divine in these writings," he says (Letter xii.), " than 
in racking my brains as to the exact manner in which it existed 
in the soul of the writers, or upon their tongue, or in their pen. 
We do not understand in what a number of human effects our 
soul displays itself, and shall we decide how manifoldly or how 
simply God works upon it ? We cannot get to the bottom of a 
single word of God in nature." 



of a cooler mind, and re-issued with the stamp of his 
own characteristic conceptions. On reading Eichhorn's 
third volume, Herder confesses in the frankest manner 
that his friend has anticipated him in a number of 
thoughts, as he himself had a few years before antici- 
pated Eichhorn. On the score of learning and critical 
power, M. Westphal would not deny that the superi- 
ority lies with Eichhorn, and Herder himself gener- 
ously admires the " treasures of knowlege, criticism, 
and taste " in his friend's work. What indeed would 
Herder have effected without such a helper as 
Eichhorn ? He could but give general ideas, and 
stir up an enthusiastic admiration for the "spirit of 
Hebrew poetry." But how few books were there 
that he could recommend for the study of details ! 
In the first edition of the Letters on Theology (1789), 
he has to admit that " we have not as yet a proper 
critical introduction to the Old Testament." In the 
second (1785) he appends to this the footnote, "We 
have it now in Eichhorn's valuable Introduction." 

But had Eichhorn no like-minded theological 
colleagues in Jena ? He had Griesbach, the famous 
New Testament text-critic, who could no doubt have 
cautioned him against attempting too much, and 
against neglecting accuracy in small things. Some- 
what later he had Doederlein, who was a bright, 
progressive scholar, remembered now chiefly by his 
Isaiah (1775), but in his own day noted as a reformer 
of the Biblical and other proofs of dogmatic theology. 
But Herder was all the more valuable to Eichhorn 


because he was not a professor; width of range, 
literary insight, and Church-feeling, were Herderian 
characteristics which Eichhorn needed to carry out 
his mission. Afterwards it was concentration and 
the minute study of details that were needed ; and 
then a crowd of illustrious workers appeared — the 
true " founders of criticism." But all these stand on 
the shoulders of Herder and Eichhorn, and even if 
but little of their historical construction should be 
left standing, Old Testament scholars will still be 
bound to respect them as pioneers. Well does the 
aged Goethe, in the notes to the West'dstlicher Divan, 
congratulate himself on having known the time when 
Herder and Eichhorn together opened up to himself 
and his contemporaries a new source of pure delight 
in the Biblical literature ! Would that he could have 
gone further, and expressed obligations of another 
and a still higher character. For Herder at any rate 
was a prophet. 1 

In 1788 Eichhorn's residence at Jena came to a 
close. He was invited back to Gottingen as an 
ordinary professor in the faculty of philosophy. He 
found his old professors, Michaelis and Heyne, 
still alive. With the former he had only three more 
years of intercourse, and this intercourse does not 
appear to have been altogether friendly. The great 
classical scholar Heyne, however (who died in 1812), 
must have welcomed him with open arms. For in 

1 Haym, Herder nach seinem Leben und seinen Werken, ii. 
(1885), pp. 185, 186. 


1789 came an official letter to Herder in Heyne's 
hand, in which the great poet and theologian was 
invited to Gottingen as professor of history and 
chief university preacher. One of the principal 
arguments urged by Heyne was this — that the theo- 
logical atmosphere in the university had completely 
changed, and that even those who had once been 
hostile to Herder (this was the second time that he had 
a chance of going to Gottingen) now regarded him as 
a pillar of the Church. 1 How would Eichhorn have 
rejoiced, if his friend could have joined him in the un- 
romantic and quarrelsome northern university ! But 
it was not to be — Herder, as his friends said, was " too 
good to be a professor," and was persuaded to remain at 
Weimar. Eichhorn, at any rate, was not discouraged. 
He lectured, we are told, twenty-four hours, or more, 
in the week, 2 and not only on the Semitic languages, 
but on the whole of the Bible, 3 and even on political 
history. Another Fach, moreover — that of the history 
of literature — was committed entirely to him. That 
he lectured thus widely, one cannot, in the interests 
of accurate study, help regretting. One thinks of 
Renan's dream of devoting one lifetime to Semitic 
philology, another to history, and so forth ; here is 
a scholar of such versatility and power, that he can 
do two or three men's work in one lifetime. How 
much of this work of Eichhorn's really influenced the 

1 Haym. 2 Bertheau. 

3 His Introduction to the N. T., which appeared in 1804 — 
1 814, may especially be mentioned. 


progress of science, is of course another question. 
He taught many things, and produced many works ; 
but did he attain many important results ? It may 
be doubted. On the other hand, he must have 
stimulated many younger men, and by his books and 
innumerable articles he opened many discussions, 
both on the Old and on the New Testament, which 
lasted for a long time afterwards. He had the 
privilege of dying in the midst of his work, full of 
honours, June 27, 1827. His son, K. F. Eichlio'rn, 
was the celebrated jurist and Prussian Minister of 
Worship, a friend and admirer of Schleiermacher, 
though rather on his practical than on his more 
strictly theological side. 

Let me then pass over all Eichhorn's minor works 
(with just a brief reference to his services as a re- 
viewer of contemporary literature, from which I have 
elsewhere derived profit myself), 1 and confine my 
attention to his Introduction to the Old Testament. 
The success of this work was phenomenal ; it went 
through four editions in the author's lifetime, be- 
sides two pirated editions, and exercised as much 
influence upon opinion in that day as Wellhausen's 
Prolegomena has done in our own time. A long list of 
books might be given in proof of the latter statement, 
instead of which I will simply quote the calm assur- 
ance of J. P. Gabler, " the father of Biblical theo- 
logy" (who in 1791-93 republished Eichhorn's early 

1 Cheyne, Job and Solomon, p. 260. 


work, Die Urgeschichte} with an introduction), that 
the analysis of Genesis into two documents " can in 
our day be regarded as settled and pre-supposed, with- 
out fear of any important opposition." 2 This remark 
of course only applies to Germany. In England the 
book only seems to have had one warm friend (besides 
Dr. Geddes) — the Regius Professor of Hebrew at 
Cambridge, H. Lloyd, who tried in vain to obtain 
church and university patronage for a translation. 

The style of Eichhorn's Introduction has been 
called rhetorical. Certainly it contrasts with the 
conventional style of seventeenth-century theology. 
But this was one chief element in its success ; it was 
written for Herder and for Goethe, as well as for 
Michaelis and the Zunfttheologen. As the author 
himself observes, a new writer is bound to make 
concessions to the fashionable literary tone, and, as 
one may add, this work was not only by a new writer, 
but was the first of its kind, for neither Carpzov nor 
even Michaelis can be said to enter at all into com- 
petition with Eichhorn. Let us listen to his own 
words — 

" My greatest trouble I had to bestow on a hitherto 

1 A critical examination of the narratives in the early part of 
Genesis, which first appeared anonymously in Eichhorn's 
Repertorium (for Biblical and Oriental literature) in 1779. 
Gabler was about th'e same age as Eichhorn, and was one of 
his earliest disciples at Jena, where he afterwards became a 
professor. Cf. Krummacher's sketch of him in his Autobio- 
graphy (Edinb. 1867), p. 68. 

2 Quoted by Dr. Briggs, Presbyterian Review, iv. 91. 


unworked field — on the investigation of the inner 
nature of the several writings of the Old Testament 
with the help of the Higher Criticism (not a new 
name to any humanist)." x By " higher criticism " 
he means the analysis of a book into its earlier and 
its later elements. He comes forward as a defender 
of the " genuineness '' of the books of the Old Testa- 
ment, but in order to prove this " genuineness," he 
claims the right to assume that " most of the writings 
of the Hebrews have passed .through several hands." 
This, he remarks, has been the fate of all ancient 
books, and he adds that — 

" Even the manner in which many of the writings 
of the Old Testament came into existence makes it 
necessary that there should be in them an alterna- 
tion of old and new passages and sections. Very few 
of them came from the hand of their authors in their 
present form." 2 

It is true that Eichhorn had been preceded, at least 
as a critic of Genesis, by Astruc. One might naturally 
infer from the similarity of their results that Eichhorn 
was indebted to his predecessor. In this case, the 
credit due to Eichhorn would still be great, for with- 
out him, it might be contended, Astruc's results would 
have been as completely lost to science as those of 
Ilgen were afterwards. But it has been proved by 
Boehmer and Westphal that Astruc's work was only 
known to Eichhorn at second hand. When therefore 

1 Preface to second edition. 2 Einleitung, i. 92. 


the latter makes the positive assertion that he has 
arrived at his results independently of Astruc, we 
have no reason for doubting his veracity ; and when 
he lays claim to being the first to observe the dupli- 
cate narrative of the flood in Genesis, we both may 
and must accept his statement (the article by Michaelis, 
which was one of Eichhorn's chief sources of informa- 
tion respecting Astruc, misrepresents that critic's 
view of Gen. vii.). 

And now as to Eichhorn's conclusions, more 
especially with regard to the Pentateuch. 1 The early 
history, he thinks, is made up chiefly of two docu- 
ments, Jehovistic and Elohistic, the former of which 
ends shortly before the death of Joseph (Gen. 1. 14), 
the latter with the first public appearance of Moses 
(Ex. iii. 25). These documents, according to him, were 
combined as they now stand at the end of the Mosaic 
age, or soon afterwards, though often in fragmentary 
form, and with not unfrequent glosses. 2 The lives of 
Abraham and of Isaac are almost entirely taken 
from the Jehovistic, those of Jacob and of Joseph 
from the Elohistic source. The four later " books of 
Moses " grew out of separate writings of Moses and 
of some of his contemporaries. Among the many 
features of this part of the Einleitung which deserve 

1 Einleitung, iii. (Mosaische Schriften). I have used the 
fourth edition (1823). 

! Eichhorn also admits certain separate documents, viz. ii. 
4 — iv. 24; xiv. ; xxxiii. 18 — xxxiv. 31 ; xxxvi. ; xlix. I — 27. He 
thinks too that chap. x. may have been borrowed by the Jehovist 
from the Phoenicians. 


notice are the thoughtful characterization of the 
documents (in which the Jehovist is rightly dis- 
tinguished from the Elohist by a diversity of ideas as 
well as of language), and the distinction between the 
priests' code of the middle books, and the people's 
law-book in Deuteronomy. Nothing, we are assured, 
hangs on the name of the compiler. 1 As to Eich- 
horn's analysis, it is surely a proof of his sagacity (as 
well as of the cogency of the evidence) that he has 
assigned to the Elohist almost all those passages of 
Genesis which are now unanimously assigned by 
analysts to the document commonly designated 
PC or P. These are better grounds for a favourable 
verdict upon Eichhorn's critical character than those 
apologetic tendencies which conciliated the regard of 
the late learned but uncritical Dr. Edersheim. 2 It is 
a defect and not a merit of Eichhorn that he still 
thinks the cause of true religion (or at any rate of the 
Bible) to -be to some extent bound up with the 
Mosaic origin of the Pentateuch. One may excuse 
him (having regard to the recent Deistic controversy), 
but one cannot help regretting that even he was touched 
by the polemical spirit. His other critical results 
need not be catalogued here. Suffice it to say that, 
compared with later critics, he is strikingly conserv- 

1 In the edition of 1790 Eichhorn says that Moses may have 
written, or compiled, the books of the Pentateuch. This state- 
ment was afterwards modified. 

s Prophecy and History, &c. (1885), pp. 194 — 196. Appendix 
I. gives Eichhorn's distribution of Genesis in three parallel 


ative, though even he has a clear perception of the 
Maccabsean date of Dan. vii. — xii. The religious con- 
tents of the several books do not, however, receive 
their due from this early critic, who was a child of 
the Aufklarung, though, partly through the influence 
of Herder, he strove to overcome its prejudices. In 
this respect, as we shall see later, he contrasts strik- 
ingly with his great disciple, Ewald. 

From Eichhorn it is natural to pass to Karl David 
Ilgen (1763 — 1834), who was Eichhorn's successor at 
Jena, and most effectually supplemented his critical 
work on Genesis. In Ilgen the school-master dwarfed 
the scholar ; he is now remembered chiefly as Rector 
of the scholastic foundation of Schulpforte (for which 
he did fully as much as Arnold did for Rugby), and 
as the teacher of the great classical scholar, Gottfried 
Hermann. A striking sketch of his appearance and 
character is given by Otto Jahn in his memorial 
sketch of Hermann, for every word of which there is 
authority in the short but interesting Latin biography 
of Ilgen by F. K. Kraft. That such a man should 
be an eminent Biblical critic, would be surprising in 
our day, but in the infancy of criticism, when all 
problems were new, and at any rate appeared simple, 
it was nothing extraordinary. Ilgen's classical 
scholarship was extensive, and due more to his own 
exertions than to his teachers ; he was not disposed 
to fall in with routine, and when duty or inclination 
called him to Biblical research, it was only to be 
expected that there should be some fair fruits of his 

ILGEN. 27 

studies. It was in 1789 (while Rector of the gym- 
nasium at Naumburg) that he made his first contri- 
bution to Old Testament criticism, entitled Jobi 
antiquissimi carminis Hebraici natura atque virtutes. 
I will not claim much merit for this early work, 
which, as Ewald remarks {Das Buck Ijob, 1854, 
" Vorrede," p. xx), nowhere touches solid ground, and 
actually propounds the hypothesis that the Book of 
Job is a pre-Mosaic, non-Israelitish work. The 
hypothesis has long since become antiquated, but 
seemed not improbable to many scholars of that 
period, 1 so that we need not wonder that its author 
was appointed to the professorship vacated by 
Eichhorn in 1788, and, as it would seem, not at once 
filled up. 2 While at Jena (1794 — 1802) Ilgen threw 
himself into the varied intellectual interests of the 
place — those were the palmy days when Fichte and 
Schelling, Wilhelm von Humboldt, and the Schlegels 
adorned its university. He lectured, we are told, 
both on the Hebrew Scriptures and on the history of 
philosophy, 3 and was strengthened in the resolution 
to practise Biblical criticism " with the same subtlety 
with which one is wont to practise Greek and Latin 
literature." In 1795 he brought out a Commentatio 

1 Cheyne, Job and Solomon, p. 97. 

2 I follow the very positive statement of Kraft ( Vita Ilgenii, 
1837, P- 49)- 

3 The famous rationalist Paulus, too, thought it a theologian's 
duty to follow the progress of philosophy (letter to Geddes in 
Good's Memoir of Geddes, p. 540), though he never became very 


de notione tituli Filii Dei (referred to by De Wette in 
his early work on Deuteronomy), and in 1799 a 
critical edition of Tobit (the only special treatise on 
that book mentioned by De Wette in his Introduction). 
Between these less important works falls one of which 
I give the title in full, — 

Die Urkunden des Jerusalem' schen Tempelarchivs in 
ihrer Urgestalt, als Beytrag zur Berichtigung der 
Geschichte der Religion und Politik aus dem Hebra^ 
ischen mit kritischen und erkldrenden Anmerkungen, 
auch mancherley dazu gekb'rigen Abhandlungen, von 
Karl David Ilgen, Prof, der Philosophic und der 
oriental. Literatur in Jena. ErsterTheil. Halle, 1798. 

The merits of this remarkable work were to some 
extent recognized by Ewald (at a time, as Ewald 
remarks, when his deserts were very generally over- 
looked) in the first volume of his History (ed. 1), but 
it is only of late years that his right place as a 
" founder of criticism " has been assigned to him. 
Although I have not been able myself to see the 
book on which his fame rests, 1 I venture to endorse 
the praise which it has lately received from others. 
It has evidently some rare merits, and its equally 
striking defects may easily be pardoned in consider- 
ation of its very early date. The thesis which it 
supports is briefly this. The Book of Genesis, as it 
stands, is composed of seventeen documents, which 
originally had a separate existence. They proceed, 

1 Ilgen's book is, in fact, rarer than Astruc's Conjectures. 

ILGEN. 29 

however, from (probably, or at any rate possibly) not 
more than three independent writers, whom Ilgen 
calls respectively Sopher Eliel harhhdn, Sopher Eliel 
hashsheni, and Sopher Elijah harishon (i.e. the first 
and second Elohist, and the first Yahwist), and 
whose dates he reserves for future consideration. To 
recognize and reconstitute these records is no doubt 
difficult, but this is simply owing to the mutilation 
which they could not help suffering at the hands of 
the redactor. Those who are acquainted with recent 
criticism will at once be struck by the modern air of 
Ilgen's theory, and will perhaps be surprised that its 
merits were so long overlooked. The reason is that 
the more cautious analysts who followed Ilgen and 
De Wette were startled by Ilgen's large concession 
to the adherents of the Fragment-hypothesis. They 
also took offence at his frequent and apparently 
arbitrary alterations of the divine names, his partiality 
for the readings of the LXX. and the Samaritan 
Pentateuch, and his breaking up of the text into 
minute fragments. More than fifty years afterwards, 
when the fair-minded Hupfeld read the book, he was 
repelled (as he informs us) by these characteristics, 
and it was only after he had himself rediscovered the 
" second Elohist " that he perceived how many points 
of contact his" own analysis had with Ilgen's, and how 
many delicate observations his predecessor had made 
on the linguistic usage of the documents. 1 In our 

1 Die Quellen tier Genesis (1853), " Vorrede,'' pp. viii — x. 


own day there are many critics of Genesis who trace 
the hand of a second Yahwist (the Yahwists were, in 
fact, perhaps a school of writers) ; and this too has 
been anticipated by Ilgen, who, as we have seen, 
designates one of the writers in Genesis, " the first 
Sopher Elijah." x No wonder that contemporary 
scholars are loud in their admiration of this neglected 
critic, whose achievements in Genesis, had he been 
able to continue his analysis of the Pentateuch, might 
have been followed up by others equally brilliant. 
But in 1802 Ilgen left Jena for Schulpforte, and so 
his work remained a torso ; Part II. never appeared. 

1 See especially Westphal, Les sources, &c, torn, i., who gives 
on pp. 140-41 a conspectus of Ilgen's analysis, and Cornill, 
Einleitintg,yp. 19-20. Both refer to Ilgen's admirable treatment 
of the composite story of Joseph, in which this early critic an- 
ticipates the best points of Wellhausen's analysis. 



To the same little German duchy, to which we are 
in some sense indebted both for Eichhorn and for 
Ilgen, we owe the subject of our next sketch — W. M. 
L. De Wette. This great theologian, whose life is so 
full of suggestiveness to thoughtful readers, was born 
at Ulla," near Weimar, Jan. 12, 1780. He was the 
eldest son of the pastor of the place, and was educated 
at the Weimar gymnasium. During his school-time 
he came into contact with Herder, whose pleasantness 
as an examiner and sweet seriousness as a preacher 
were printed deep in the lad's memory. In 1799 he 
went to the university of Jena, where for a time 
Gabler and Paulus converted him to their own cold 
and superficial rationalism, from the depressing 
effects of which he was rescued, as he tells us himself, 
through philosophy. His deliverer was, however, 
not Schelling (whom he heard with admiration but 
without conviction), but J. F. Fries, a too little known 
philosopher, brought up, like Schleiermacher, among 
the Moravian Brethren, and full of strong religious 
instincts, who sought to unite the criticism of Kant 


with the faith-philosophy of Jacobi. In 1805 De 
Wette took his doctor's degree and became privat- 
docent, offering for his dissertation a treatise on 
Deuteronomy, 1 in which this among other critical 
points is argued with much force — that on internal 
grounds Deuteronomy must be of later origin than 
the rest of the Pentateuch, and that the kernel of it 
was written in the reign of Josiah. Some of the 
critical views expressed or suggested in this work 
agreed with those of Vater in a famous dissertation 
appended to his commentary on the Pentateuch, 
but the generous interest displayed by this scholar 
in his young rival induced the latter to go on with the 
preparation of a larger work. This appeared in two 
duodecimo volumes in 1806-7 under the title of 
Contributions to Old Testament Introduction (I will 
call it henceforth the Beitrage), with a sensible but 
cautious preface to vol. i. by Griesbach. The opinions 
which it expressed were, it is true, modified in many 
respects in the author's later works, and not without 
cause. In vol. i. De Wette certainly deals too 
" rigorously and vigorously " (as Matthew Arnold 
would say) with the Books of Chronicles ; in vol. ii. 
he under-estimates the historical element in the 
narratives of the Pentateuch. His views on the 
composition of the Pentateuch are also of a highly 
provisional character ; he hovers between the Frag- 
ment- and the Document-hypothesis, and though he 

1 This tractate is reprinted in De Wette's Opuscula (Berlin, 


is evidently not hopeless of reconciling them, he 
cannot formulate a distinct theory of his own. Still 
the work is full of promise, and the youthful author 
deserves high credit for the large element of truth in 
all his theories. As Wellhausen remarks, he was the 
first who clearly felt the inconsistency between the 
supposed starting-point of Israelitish history and that 
history itself. And if in his present stage he is too 
severe both on Chronicles and on the Pentateuch, his 
predecessor Eichhorn was undeniably too lenient, and 
the particular critical hypothesis (known as the 
Supplement-theory) for which De Wette prepared 
the way, formed a necessary stage in the progress of 
Pentateuch-criticism. Against these merits must we 
set the demerit of undevoutness ? Let that harshest 
of contemporary critics, Lagarde, answer. " I re- 
member," he says, " how De Wette's Beitrage, against 
which Hengstenberg warned [every one], worked upon 
me. [I found in the author] a truthfulness and 
honesty beyond reproach, with but few results except 
that great one produced sooner or later upon all 
candid minds by him who walks before God." 1 

Let us pause a moment here. If it be true (with 
qualifications) that every earnest thinker passes 
through three stages — a stage of seeking, a stage of 
finding, and a stage of applying the truth found to 
practical life— in which of these stages is De Wette ? 
I think that he has already entered on the second. 

1 Mtttkeifangen, iv. (1891), p. 58. 


He has not indeed reached mature and definite critical 
views, but he is in advance of older workers in the 
same field, while theologically he has begun to scale 
the height, from which he hopes to look down on the 
lower hills of rationalism and orthodoxy. It may be 
true (see Griesbach's preface to Beitrage, vol. i.) that 
he is at present impeded in his studies by poverty. 
But his first publication will soon alter this : the com- 
pleted Beitrage will be his passport to a professorship. 
In fact, the university of Heidelberg borrowed rather 
largely at this time from Jena. Three eminent 
members, past or present, of the teaching body of 
Jena were appointed to chairs at Heidelberg — Fries 
the philosopher in 1805, De Wette in 1807, and 
Paulus in 181 1. The two friends, Fries and De Wette, 
were thus reunited, much to the advantage of the 
latter. A beautiful relation sprung up between them 
of which we have a fine monument in the dedication 
of De Wette's first book on Christian Ethics. De 
Wette had also at this time a growing consciousness 
that a Biblical critic should work, not merely for 
criticism's sake, but for the good of the Church. He 
saw therefore that he must not altogether neglect 
either historic or theoretic theology. The fruits of 
this expanded view of duty were not however at 
once apparent outside his lecture-room. His next 
work was an attempt to make the results of linguistic 
Bible-study accessible to the Church at large. It was 
a new translation of the Old Testament, undertaken 
by De Wette and J. C. W. August! together. This 


work appeared in 1809, and was completed by a 
similar version of the New Testament in 18 14 (by De 
Wette alone). 1 All honour to De Wette for the 
combination of frankness and considerateness which 
this noble work displays ! 

In 1 8 10 a great event occurred', which had important 
consequences for De Wette — the foundation of the 
university of Berlin. Schleiermacher was the first 
theological professor appointed, and through his 
influence De Wette and the speculative theologian 
Marheineke were called to Berlin from Heidelberg ; 
Neander (put forward by Marheineke) came from 
the same university later (1813). Here De Wette 
passed eight years full of delightful academical and 
literary work. 2 With a character deepened by the 
trials through which Germany had been called to 
pass, and a mind susceptible to all progressive ideas, 
he took his place among some of the noblest of 
scholars, and contributed to the success of that great 
creation of Stein and Humboldt — the Berlin university. 
It is during this period of his life that the third stage 
in De Wette's development becomes fully revealed. 
No one can any longer mistake the positiveness of 
his theology, and the practical character of his aims. 
Not that criticism is abandoned — far from it ; but it 

1 In the second edition of this version of the Bible (1831) the 
books originally rendered by Augusti were retranslated by De 
Wette.' The third edition appeared in 1838. 

2 A valuable record of this period exists in Lucke's memorial 
sketch of De Wette, Theol. Studien unci Kritiken, 1850, Heft 3, 
p. 497, &c. 


becomes more distinctly subordinate to the higher 
end of promoting the religious life of the Church. In 
1813 De Wette published the first part of his Christian 
Dogmatics, dealing with the Biblical division 1 (part ii. 
on Protestant theology, appeared in 18 16); in 1815 a 
smaller supplementary treatise, On Religion and 
Theology; in 18 19, his justly admired Christian 
Ethics (part iii., 1823), with the charming dedication 
to which I referred above. The last of these works 
does not concern us here, but the two former, in so 
far as they deal with the question of "Biblical 
myths," cannot be passed over. 2 Several of those 
who were students at that time have recorded the 
powerful impression which they produced. " De 
Wette,'' says one, " in his little work on Religion and 
Theology, a work breathing a youthful inspiration, 
placed before us a new theological structure corre- 
sponding to our wishes," i. e. a system which provided 
a via media between a repellent rationalism and a not 
very attractive orthodoxy. " Indeed," this writer 
adds, " we now believed that we had won back, in an 
ennobled form, that which had been torn from us, 
and only at a later period discovered the delusion 
(? illusion) by which we had been misled." 3 Such 

1 The full title of Part I. is, Biblische Dogmatik des A. und 
N. T; oder kritische Darstellung der Religionslehre des Hebrii- 
ismus, des Judentkums, und des Urchristenthums. 

2 For a sketch of the theory of religion contained in them, see 
Pfleiderer, Development of Theology, pp. 99 — 102. 

3 Krummacher, Autobiography (1869), p. 59 ; comp. Lticke, 
Theol. Stud. u. Krit., 1850, p. 502, who however only gave up 


is the honest verdict of a practical theologian, who had 
neither time nor ability to rectify the defects in De 
Wette's system, and who, finding it faulty, pronounced 
it an illusion, but would not deny the pleased surprise 
with which he had at first greeted it. Into the causes 
of De Wette's partial failure, this is not the place to 
enter. Suffice it to say that in some of his root- 
ideas he appears to have been before his time. Arch- 
bishop Benson has lately admitted the possibility 
that the Divine Spirit may have made use of " myths," 
and the influence of Ritschl and Lipsius proves that 
an unmetaphysical but not irrational theology is 
becoming more and more attractive in the land of 
Luther. As to the value of De Wette's third work, 
the Biblical Dogmatics, no doubt happily can exist. 
It not only forms, historically, a much-needed anti- 
thesis to the " naturalism " of Gramberg and his 
school, but, though somewhat painfully thin, presents 
many permanent results of criticism in a lucid form. 
The second edition is graced by a charming and 
memorable dedication to Schleiermacher. 

I remarked just now that criticism was not wholly 
abandoned by De Wette at this period. Two remark- 
able works are the proof of this — his Commentary on the 
Psalms (1811) and his Historico- Critical Introduction 
to the Canonical and Apocryphal Books of the Old 
Testament (1817). 1 The former work, disappointing 

De Wette's theology because Schleiermacher's suited him better, 
not because it was too radical. 

1 Six editions of the Introduction appeared in the author's 


as it is when judged by our present critical and 
linguistic standard, marks a turning-point in the exe- 
gesis of the Psalms. " He was the first," as Delitzsch 
observes, "to clear away the rubbish under which 
exposition had been buried, and to introduce into 
it taste, after the example of Herder, and gram- 
matical accuracy, under the influence of Gesenius." 
He does not however do justice to the religious origin 
and theological ideas of the Psalms, which he treats 
as merely so many national hymns. In his views of 
the dates of the Psalms, he represents a necessary 
reaction against the extravagant or at least prema- 
ture positiveness of Rudinger and Venema. He 
declines altogether to dogmatize on the occasions 
when the Psalms were composed, but speaks with 
no uncertain sound of the historical worthlessness of 
the so-called tradition. On this point his subsequent 
course is already foreshadowed in his Beitrage, where 
he frankly declares (i. 158) that "David is as much a 
collective name as Moses, Solomon, Isaiah." He also 
gives valuable hints on the marks of originality and 
imitation in the Psalms, but when he does venture on 
a positive opinion as to dates, he is not always equally 
critical ; for instance, he thinks that Ps. xlv. is a post- 
Exilic work, and that it is " most appropriately referred 
to a non-Jewish king." 1 This is in part certainly 

lifetime. The seventh (1852) was edited by Stahelin ; for the 
eighth (1869), the work was revised and partly recast by Prof. 
Schrader, then of Zurich. I may also mention De Wette's 
handbook to Hebrew Archaeology (1814). 
1 De Wette rejects the Messianic interpretation as " incon- 

De wette. 39 

correct, in part a plausible opinion. But the same 
De Wette actually thinks it possible that Ps. cxxxii. 
may be the work of Solomon, which Hitzig severely 
but not unjustly describes as a "critical curiosity." 
Long afterwards, De Wette sought to make good one 
of the chief defects of his book by a short tractate 
On the Practical (erbaulicti) Explanation of the Psalms 
(1836). The booklet is, naturally enough, in some 
respects meagre ; how indeed could a practical ex- 
planation of this monument of the Jewish Church be 
produced for the educated class without a much 
deeper insight into Biblical theology than even in 
1836 the author possessed? But on the subject of 
inspiration it contains hints which well deserve to be 
pondered by English students (see especially p. 12). 

One of De Wette's most striking faculties — that of 
condensation and lucid exposition — is specially notice- 
able in his second critical work of this period. What 
a pronounced opponent thought of the Introduction to 
the Old Testament, may be seen from these words of 
Heil on the posthumous Introduction of Bleek. 1 , 

" As our final judgment, we can only state that 
Bleek's independent conclusions have long since been 
published by himself in separate dissertations, while 
the remainder does but reproduce the well-known 
results of rationalistic criticism, which are put to- 

sistent with the Hebrew Christology.'' He is favourably inclined 
towards a conjecture of his friend Augusti, that the author of 
Ps. xlv. is Mordecai. 
1 Quoted by the editors of Bleek's Einleilung, p. 21. 


gether and developed in a much more acute, clever, 
thorough, tasteful, and complete manner in the Intro- 
duction of De Wette." 

I will not here question this " final judgment " on 
Bleek, but merely call attention to the earnest study 
of De Wette which the words of the old apologist 
imply, and the respect with which this study has in- 
spired him. Other voices, less friendly in tone, have 
also been heard ; the charge of instability has been 
freely brought against De Wette, on the ground of the 
variations of view in the successive editions of both 
his Introductions. Is the accusation justified ? It is 
an interesting question, because, should criticism some 
day be more largely represented in England, the same 
charge will doubtless be confidently brought against 
eminent English theologians. And one may reply 
that it is only justified, if it can be shown that De 
Wette never reached firm, definite, and consistent 
critical principles. Change of opinion on problems 
which from the nature of the evidence cannot with 
complete certainty be decided, can be no fault, and 
if due to honest, hard work is a subject for praise 
rather than blame. Constant development is the 
note of a great and not of a small character ; and he 
is a poor critic who does not criticize himself with 
even more keenness than he criticizes tradition. In 
his willingness to reconsider disputable points De 
Wette sets an example not unworthy of imitation. 
As one who knew him says, " he was free from all 
magisterial obstinacy and vanity, and it cost him 


nothing to give up even favourite opinions, when the 
truth was placed before him, and to accept without 
hesitation even from his junior that which he re- 
cognized to be better and more correct." 1 Into the 
details of De Wette's changes as an Old Testament 
critic, I cannot here enter. Suffice it to say that in 
the early editions of his Introduction his attitude was 
predominantly negative. However strongly he felt 
the difficulties of the traditional views, he could not 
readily accept the constructive criticism of bolder 
scholars. Whether he ever attained to a sufficiently 
positive standpoint of his own, whether in fact he 
ever gained a large and consistent critical theory, is 
a delicate question, upon which I may venture to 
offer an opinion at the close of this sketch. 

We have seen that De Wette began his career as a 
somewhat too pronounced negative critic, and that 
even when he had reconquered more than his old 
devoutness, he did not lay aside the sword of criticism. 
"Only the perfect in its kind is good," he said ; "there- 
fore let us venture into unknown fields, trusting to 
the Guardian of the Church to overrule all things for 
the best." 2 He had found a subjective reconciliation 
of reason and faith, and by his philosophy of religion 
and his symbolic view of Biblical narratives he sought 
to provide a similar reconciliation for others. This 

1 Liicke, "Zur Erinnerung an De Wette," Theol. Stud. u. 
Krit, 1850, p. 507. 

2 A paraphrase of the last two sentences of the Beitrdge 
(Bd. ii.). 


however was a thing hitherto unknown among theo- 
logical paradoxes. Devout philosophy was rare ; but 
devout criticism like De Wette's was unique. His 
philosophic theology and his symbolizing criticism 
were alike uncanny to certain devout but narrow- 
minded "pietists" at Berlin. And when to these 
two dangerous peculiarities was added a political 
liberalism, not less intense indeed than that of 
Schleiermacher, but less under the control of prudence, 
it will be clear that De Wette's path was not likely 
to be strewn with roses, for the pietists and the ultra- 
conservative politicians were allies. De Wette's chief 
comfort was in the new friendships which opened 
themselves to him at Berlin. Younger men found an 
attraction in his freedom from donnishness and youth- 
ful readiness to hear others, and preferred, if not his 
theories themselves, yet his lucid and intelligible way 
of expressing them, to the dark Heraclitean manner 
of his colleague Schleiermacher. It was one of these 
juniors (Lucke) who brought De Wette into closer 
contact with the latter, by inducing him to attend 
the church where Schleiermacher ministered; 1 as soon 
as De Wette discovered the deep religious basis of 
that great teacher, he gave himself up without reserve 
to one who was only too glad of his friendship. 

1 For specimens of his sermons, see Selected Sermons of 
Schleiermacher, by Mary F. Wilson (Hodder and Stoughton). 
Of course, the brief biographical sketch prefixed is only meant 
to excite an appetite for fuller knowledge. Lagarde's contempt 
for the piety of Schleiermacher (Mittheiluugen, iv. 5, 8, &c.) is 
surely not justified by the facts of his life and writings. 


Different as the two men were, they had one thing 
in common — a complexity of character which brought 
them for a time into some obloquy. In De Wette 
the keen literary and historical critic existed side by 
side with the devout religious thinker ; in Schleier- 
macher the analyst and dialectician made terms with 
the Christian and the constructive thinker. 1 The tree 
of friendship grew, and no storms of time could over- 
throw it. They had indeed one serious dissension ; 
Schleiermacher favoured the appointment of Hegel 
in 1816; De Wette (who wished to bring Fries from 
Jena) belonged to a minority of professors who 
opposed it. But this was soon forgotten, and when 
in 1 81 7 the position of De Wette seemed to be be- 
coming precarious, Schleiermacher (himself not free 
from suspicion) prefixed to one of his books 2 a 
dedication to De Wette which for generosity and 
for courageous speaking of the truth is unsurpassable 
in theological literature. 

Two years later, the storm which had long been 
gathering discharged itself upon De Wette under 
circumstances which no one could have anticipated. 
In 1 817 the prolific dramatist Kotzebue had been 
appointed a Russian State-councillor, with a salary 
of 1 5,000 roubles, and been "sent to reside in Germany, 
to report upon literature and public opinion." Natur- 

1 See a remarkable description of the latter reconciled anti- 
thesis in Bluntschli, Denkwiirdigkeiten (Bd. i.). 

2 It is the Critical Essay on the Writings of Luke, translated 
by (Bishop) Connop Thirlwall. 


ally enough, he incurred the displeasure of the 
Liberals, and especially of the young Liberal students, 
who were then counted by hundreds in Germany. 
One of these, named Sand, conceiving Kotzebue to 
be dangerous to freedom, murdered him, March 28, 
18 19. The event produced a sensation throughout 
Germany, and the cry arose among the reactionary 
party, "The professors and the students are Kotzebue's 
murderers." Among the most obnoxious Liberal pro- 
fessors were Arndt, Welcker, Schleiermacher, and De 
Wette. 1 It is almost incredible, considering the known 
activity of the secret police, that one of these professors 
actually wrote a letter to Sand's mother, expressing 
not only condolence but appreciation of the patriotic 
spirit in which the blameworthy act had been per- 
formed. " Only according to his faith is each man 
judged. Committed as this deed has been by a pure- 
minded, pious youth, it is a beautiful sign of the time," 
and, though not concealing his own abhorrence of as- 
sassination, De Wette referred in the postscript to Jean 
Paul's idealistic judgment on Charlotte Corday. 2 No 
one knew howthis letter fell into the hands of the police, 
but it was suspected that Baron von Kottwitz, the 
leader of the Berlin pietists, was foremost in urging 
the Prussian King (Frederick William III.) to take 
strong measures against the writer. Strange paradox ! 
A scoffer, who described Christianity brought to old 
Prussia as " a poisonous flower planted in the midst 

1 See Life and Adventures of Arndt (1879), P- 376. 

2 Frank, art. " de Wette," in Herzog-Plitt, Encycl, Bd. xvii. 


of the dry and dead cross," 1 becomes in death the 
protigt of devout ascetics, and the hireling of a foreign 
power dictates the expulsion of one of Germany's best 
patriots. A large part of the university keenly felt 
the irony of the circumstances.. The faculty of theo- 
logy, led by Schleiermacher, did all in its power to 
save one of its ablest members, and when De Wette's 
fate was irrevocably decided, the students presented 
him with a silver cup, bearing as an inscription the 
closing words of the great Reformation hymn — 

Nehmen sie den Leib, 
Gut, Ehr', Kind und Weib : 
Lass fahren dahin, 
Sie haben 's kein Gewinn ; 

Das Reich muss uns doch bleiben. 

So De Wette sadly but proudly left his home, re- 
gretted by all who knew him, especially by Schleier- 
macher. From the Latin biography of Ilgen I learn 
that the chair which he thus vacated was offered to, 
but not accepted by, that acute critic of Genesis. 

De Wette retired to his native Weimar, nor can one 
help admiring the moral courage with which he bore 
his misfortune. To say, with an American biography, 
that he permanently suffered under a sense of in- 
justice, shows a want of psychological insight. His 
enemies did but act according to their nature ; how 
then should he accuse them of injustice ? That he 
felt the consequences of their act, need not be denied. 
But at first he did not even feel them as much as one 

1 Quoted in art. " Grundtvig," Herzog-Plitt, v. 462. 


might expect. It seemed to him as if God had called 
him to another important sphere of work, from which 
as a theologian he could not but derive profit — that 
of preaching the Gospel. And while waiting for a 
summons from the congregation he took up his pen 
to show that his old doubts had but issued in a firmer 
Christian character. In 1822 he published a "story 
with a purpose," called Theodore, or the Consecration 
of the Doubter, which, good in itself, had the additional 
merit of calling forth Tholuck's equally autobio- 
graphical story, The True Consecration of the Doubter} 
And as a fresh proof of his attachment to the principles 
of the Reformation, De Wette prepared a critical 
edition of the letters and other papers of Luther, 
which however only appeared in 1825 — 1828 (5 vols.). 
Once during this waiting period he had the pleasure 
of meeting his old friends Schleiermacher and Liicke 
at Nordhausen. Liicke has described to us the scene. 
Friends were coming together in Schleiermacher's 
room for breakfast. The host sat by himself correct- 
ing the proofs of the notes (most remarkable notes) 
to the new edition of his Reden iiber die Religion. The 
others listened to De Wette, as he fervently declaimed 
on the beauty of the preacher's office, and his own 

1 The full title is, Die Lehre von der Siinde Mid dem Ver- 
sohner, oder die wahre Weihe des Zweiflers (1823). Both stories 
had their mission to fulfil for that period. They reflected the 
different experiences of their respective writers, and therefore 
appealed to somewhat different audiences.' De Wette was the 
deeper thinker, but Tholuck had passed a more violent spiritual 
crisis, and consequently had a more Pauline fervour. 


joyful hope of studying theology under a new aspect 
as a minister of the Word. 

This hope was soon to be dashed to the ground, at 
least in the form in which De Wette had cherished it. 
He was elected shortly afterwards to the principal 
pastorate in Brunswick, but the reactionary govern- 
ment of our George IV., professedly on moral grounds, 
refused its sanction. Once more De Wette became a 
martyr of liberalism, but this time a free Swiss 
canton intervened in his favour. In spite of strong 
opposition both within and without the university, 
he was elected by the town council of Basel (who 
obtained the most authoritative opinions on the 
purity of his faith) to a professorship of theology. 
So, like many a scholar in the olden time, De Wette, 
for the sake of his life's work, passed into honourable 
exile. He became a true citizen of the noble little 
city of Basel, and an unwearied promoter of all its 
best interests, especially academical and ecclesiastical. 
Through him, the theological instruction was re- 
organized on the German model, and after many 
years a religious service with sermon was set up for 
the university. If Basel was but a narrow sphere of 
action compared with Berlin, De Wette's influence 
there was doubtless all the more intensely felt. And 
the democratic constitution of Switzerland gave so 
much theological and anti-theological liberty, that an 
accomplished and circumspect theologian like De 
Wette was perhaps more urgently wanted at Basel 
than at the headquarters of thought. 


And what is the effect of this involuntary migration 
on De Wette ? Does he cease henceforth to rank 
among the " founders of criticism," and pass over, if 
not to the apologists, yet to the party whose motto 
is, " Quieta non movere " ? Does he become hence- 
forth virtually "orthodox " ? It is a common opinion, 
but it is one which needs some rectification. It is 
certainly true that De Wette took alarm at many 
expressions of the newer rationalism ; true, that he 
attached more and more weight to many of the 
church-form ulse ; true especially, that he took every 
opportunity of practical co-operation with the or- 
thodox, and even with the " pietists," for whose heart- 
Christianity and good works he entertained a sincere 
respect. But it is also true, as one of his Swiss- 
German colleagues has said, that he only advocated 
old-Lutheran orthodoxy " conditionally and from the 
stand-point of his philosophical mode of thinking " ; x 
true, that while disapproving of Strauss the theo- 
logian, he assimilated much from Strauss the critic 
(who indeed had previously assimilated somewhat 
from him) ; true, that while rejecting Vatke's recon- 
struction of Israelitish history as a whole, he admitted 
that there was an element of truth in many of his 
views. Again, though it is true that De Wette 
(unlike Delitzsch) was opposed to the emancipation 
of the Jews, and would have had both mixed 
marriages and changes of religion made civil offences, 

1 Hagenbach, German Rationalism, E. T., p. 358. 


it is also true that in his most conservative pamphlet 
these striking words occur : " I have laboured with all 
my might for spiritual freedom, and to this freedom 
my last breath shall be devoted." It must never be 
forgotten that as a critic De Wette remained funda- 
mentally true to himself, and that even in those old, 
free days at Jena he expressed strong attachment to 
the Augsburg Confession. I must confess however 
that De Wette's later concessions to ecclesiastical 
conservatism appear to me to come perilously near to 
a compromise of liberal principles. 

Among De Wette's literary works of this period 
are those lucid text-books, the Introduction to the 
New Testament (1826), and the Compendious Exegeti- 
cal Handbook to the New Testament (1836 — 1848) ; 
also five volumes of sermons (1825 — 1849), a second 
didactic story {Heinrich Melchthal, 1829), and several 
treatises on Christian ethics, and on dogmatic and 
practical theology (besides new editions of older 
works). From one of his dogmatic works (published 
in 1846) it is clear that his attachment to the 
philosophy of Fries grew much weaker in his later 
years, but that he had no longer the energy to 
produce a reasoned justification for his "aesthetic" 
interpretation of dogmas. Altogether, one is led to 
regret that he gave so much time to subjects for which 
he had not nearly as much ability as Schleiermacher. 
Criticism was his strong point, and he would have 
done well to concentrate himself more upon this. 
For I must, however unwillingly, admit that De 


Wette as a critic never quite realized the promise 
of his early years. Extensive and useful as his 
critical work is, we cannot say that it is worthy of 
"the epoch-making opener of the historical criticism 
of the Pentateuch " (Wellhausen) ; in definite literary 
and historical results it is comparatively poor. And 
this remark applies to all De Wette's critical writings, 
alike on the Old Testament and on the New. 1 In 
both departments of study he begins with scepticism 
and negativism, and as a rule fails to attain to positive 
conclusions, much less to an assured historical syn- 
thesis. And the reason is that he has a theory of 
criticism which, though not unsound, is incomplete. 
He has but a scanty insight into the movement of 
ideas, and does not take sufficient pains to ascertain 
the historic background of literary phenomena. Lack- 
ing this insight, he could arrive at different critical 
conclusions, not merely on minor but on fundamental 
points, at different periods, though it is also possible 
that in his later years he was unconsciously biassed 
by his practical conservatism as a churchman. From 
the same deficiency he was unable to do full justice to 
specimens of historical synthesis like Ewald's History 
of the People of Israel and Vatke's Biblical Theology. 
It is obviously not enough to say of the former that 
it throws fresh light on many points in the historical 
books, and elaborate and respectful as De Wette's 

1 Cf. Bleek's judgment on De Wette as a New Testament 
critic, Introd. to the New Testament^. T., i. 29, with that of 
Baur, Gesch. der christl. Kirche, v. 418, 419. 


review of the latter may be, 1 it leads up to a re- 
jection of that able book on the simple ground that 
it is revolutionary — " its criticism has overthrown 
nearly all bounds," are the closing words. From this 
later utterance we turn with a sigh to De Wette's 
own early experiments in revolutionary criticism — 
the two little volumes of Beitrdge. 

Would the result of De Wette's work have been 
less disappointing, had he remained at such a centre 
of intellectual life as Berlin ? It is not impossible. 
There perhaps he might have had courage to antici- 
pate the conclusions of Vatke from the point of view 
(introduced by himself in the Beitrdge) of a realistic 
and historical criticism of the contents of the Hexa- 
teuch. Perhaps too he might have so far overcome his 
antipathy to Hegel as to absorb something from that 
philosopher's lu minous philosophy of history. Certain 
it is, that there was much to depress De Wette in his 
circumstances at Basel. Baron Bunsen, attending the 
Mission Festival in 1840, brings back a very melan- 
choly report of his state of mind. I will only quote 
his opening words — 

" Professor De Wette was present, closely attending 
to all that passed : his appearance is shrunk and 
withered, with deep furrows of reflection and of 
sorrow in his countenance, and the expression of 
high and spiritual seriousness. He has married a 
widow-lady of Basel, but stands alone in the place." 2 

1 Theolog. Studien und Kritiken, 1837, Heft 3. 
2 Memoirs of Bunsen, i. 576. 


The rest of Bunsen's report seems derived from some 
pitying but misunderstanding friend of De Wette. 
The great teacher may have been annoyed by foolish 
misconceptions of his character, and by the pre- 
valence of " pietism " among his own students, but he 
was not without true friends, such as his colleague 
Hagenbach (to whose defence of De Wette I have 
referred), and his gifted pupil Schenkel. And 
against Bunsen's gloomy sketch we can set this 
brighter picture by a much closer friend, Friedrich 
Liicke, in which the reader should especially note De 
Wette's magnanimous return for Ewald's rudeness 
(see p. 91). 

" I saw my friend," he says, " for the last time in 
the autumn of 1845 in Basel, still enjoying the 
cheerful youthfulness of a vegeta senectus. He had 
just finished his Representation of the Nature of 
Christian Faith, and was then preparing for a 
journey to Italy, with fresh and lively feelings. I 
was permitted once more to see in union all the 
beautiful traits of his amiable and lovely disposition. 
I especially recollect in what terms of recognition 
and kindness he spoke of Ewald, with whose Com- 
mentary on Job he had just been busied ; in his 
noble love of truth and in his modesty he was at 
no time led astray by the many sharp experiences 
which he had of being misapprehended, and of the 
hostility of others. At noon and in the afternoon he 
mingled, fresh and lively, in a larger circle of friends, 
in good humour at every stroke of pleasantry, full of 


joy in the beautiful nature and in all the intellectual 
life of conversation. So stands he now before my soul 
in earthly serenity and at the same time in heavenly 
brightness, along with Schleiermacher. I thank God 
that He has given me the blessing of having intimately 
known such men in life." 1 

In 1848 De Wette brought out the last volume of 
his Exegetical Handbook to the New Testament, and 
so, as Baur has said, worthily " closed his day's work 
as one of the most faithful labourers in the field of 
theology." He passed from earth, June 16, 1849, 
with high and holy words on his lips. What, let us 
ask, is the great lesson of his life — what was his 
guiding star in all his wanderings ? His old pupil 
Schenkel has told us. It was this — that " in none of 
the relations of life, least of all in theology and the 
Church, can truth exist without freedom, or freedom 
without truth." De Wette himself was, in the words 
of Neander, a " genuine Nathaniel-soul," — " in him 
was no guile " ; and in the midst of comparative 
failure, he succeeded in this — in presenting probably 
the best model of a keen but devout critic in his 

I have next to introduce the two great philological 
critics, whose names are still household words among 
us, Gesenius and Ewald. The former is the older, 
and indeed represents a phase of religious thought 
which Ewald from the first almost entirely passed 

1 Condensed from the late B. B. Edwards' translation from 
Lucke in Bibliotheca Sacra, 1850, p. 794. 


beyond. His range of study too was narrower, 
though within that range he attained more undis- 
puted success. It may be added that the idiosyn- 
crasies of the two scholars were as different as their 
scientific careers, and that they are worth studying, 
not only as critics, but as men. Wilhelm Gesenius 
was born at Nordhausen in the Harz district, Feb. 3, 
1785. He received his first academical training at the 
now extinct university of Helmstedt (in the duchy 
of Brunswick), and it was from the distinguished 
Helmstedt rationalist, Heinrich Henke, that he im- 
bibed his theology. This was the more unfortunate, 
because Gesenius's nature was a less devout one than 
his teacher's, and the young student instinctively 
fastened on the colder and more negative side of 
rationalistic thought. Henke himself appears to 
have been an excellent specimen of the rationalism 
of that day. There was a manly seriousness in his 
character, and the devoutness with which he traced 
a divine inspiration in the philosophy and poetry of 
Greece finds an echo in the breast of our own best 
orthodox thinkers. But Henke had little or no sense of 
the growth of ideas, and of the way in which thought 
is conditioned by the circumstances of an age, and he 
applied his own standard of 'common-sense rational- 
ism to all Christian periods indifferently. He might 
indeed have learned better things from Lessing, who 
was still at Wolfenbiittel when Henke began his 
career at Helmstedt, but he was evidently not as 
open as Eichhorn to non-professional influences, and 


Lessing was a lay-theologian. Such was the teacher 
who left an indelible mark on the future leader in 
Hebrew philology. He also made one other impor- 
tant convert among the students of Gesenius's genera- 
tion. This was Wegscheider, afterwards a colleague 
of Gesenius at Halle, whose Institutiones Theologies 
Christiana Dogmaticce had still a waning popularity 
forty years ago. 1 

From Helmstedt (which lost its university in 1810) 
Gesenius passed to Gottingen, where Eichhorn and 
Tychsen were his masters in Biblical and Oriental 
literature ; Ewald, as we shall find, had the same 
instructors later. There too (like so many other 
great scholars), he began his public career as a 
privatdocent and repetent ; by a singular fortune, he 
had Neander as his first pupil in Hebrew. In 1809 
he exchanged academical for scholastic work, but in 
the following year was transferred to the honourable 
position of a theological professor at Halle. And at 
this great seat of theological study he was content to 
remain. Twice only do we hear of the possibility of 
his moving elsewhere. The first occasion was in 
1827, when the chair of his master Eichhorn became 
vacant at Gottingen ; the second in 1832, when, 
according to Gesenius's statement to Vatke, Oxford 
would have gladly given him a position with an in- 
come of as many pounds sterling as Halle gave 
thalers. 2 It may surprise some to hear of Oxford 

1 The eighth edition was published at Leipzig in 1844, 
8 Benecke, Wilhelm Vatke, p. 83. 


offering a home to a German rationalist on the 
eve of the Tractarian movement, nor can I throw 
any light on the circumstances referred to. It is 
true that in the summer of 1820 Gesenius had paid 
a visit to Oxford (and to Paris) for learned purposes ; 
but what permanent office at the university was 
likely to be offered at that time to a foreigner ? 
And perhaps it is not less strange that the cause of 
Gesenius's momentary wish to go to Oxford was 
a sense of insecurity at Halle. Such however was 
the case. Two orthodox theologians — Otto von 
Gerlach (called the Wesley of Berlin) and Ernst 
Wilhelm Hengstenberg — had in a too famous Church 
paper (the Evavgelische Kreuzzeitung) published 
attacks upon Wegscheider and Gesenius which aimed 
at nothing less than a dismissal of these " dangerous " 
rationalists from their office. The attacks, as Bunsen 
remarked to Niebuhr at the time, 1 " were written 
without a wrong motive, but were ill contrived and 
little to the purpose." " An intellectual struggle," he 
added, " must be fought out intellectually ; or practi- 
cally, when one has to contend against men like 
Wegscheider, one course only remains — to appoint 
other individuals of sounder metal to lecture by the 
side of them, and fairly talk them down." This was 
exactly the course taken by Altenstein, the Prussian 
minister of worship ; 2 a more severe policy would 

1 Memoirs of Baron Bunsen, i. 362. 

2 See Tholuck's sketch of Altenstein, Herzog-Plitt's Real' 
encyclop., Bd. i, 


have been impossible without destroying that scien- 
tific freedom which is a fundamental principle of 
German universities. So Gesenius — the "Clericus 
redivivus," as Hengstenberg called him — remained, 
and continued to attract large audiences, while 
Wegscheider (was it worth while to persecute him ?) 
lectured to nearly empty benches. 1 Once only was 
his activity interrupted ; it was in 1813-14. He had 
had to close his lectures on Isaiah at the eleventh 
verse of the fourteenth chapter. On the reopening of 
the university, Gesenius mounted to his chair, and 
read aloud the famous ode of triumph which contains 
the words, " How art thou fallen from heaven, O 
Lucifer, son of the morning ! " He died at the early 
age of fifty-seven, Oct. 23, 1842. 2 Like Ewald, he 
visited England twice, in 1820 and in 1835. 

Before considering the published works of Gesenius 
let us ask what made this scholar such a power in 
his university even during the onward rush of neo- 
orthodoxy. That he was disrespectful to orthodox 
explanations of Old Testament problems, and that 
he indulged in mirth-provoking sallies in his lectures 
on Church history, is certain. On the other hand, he 
never sought to inculcate rationalistic doctrines, or to 

1 It should be remembered that Tholuck, a man of fascinating 
personality, and not narrow-minded like Hengstenberg, had 
been working at Halle since 1827, also that since the war of 
liberation a sense of the inadequacy of mere rationalism had 
become more and more prevalent. 

2 On the circumstances attending his death, cf. Benecke, 
WUhelm Vatke, pp. 391 — 395. 


foist them upon the Biblical writers, 1 and it appears 
that what the best students of that generation craved 
was, not a mere revived orthodoxy, but a theology 
which could adjust itself to a more rational and critical 
view of the Bible. Gesenius was at any rate accurate in 
his facts, acute in his criticism, and objective though 
superficial in his exegesis. The peals of laughter 
with which his rationalistic sallies were greeted were 
therefore no proof that Gesenius was injuring the faith 
of his students, or hurting their religious feelings. 
Exceptions of course there may have been. Harless 
appears to have been one of those who were painfully 
shocked by Gesenius ; Krummacher was another ; 
and the American student Hodge (afterwards such a 
pillar of Calvinistic orthodoxy in America) was a 
third. In fact, the theological and philosophical 
superficiality of the lively little man (as he is described 
to us by an admiring and yet critical student 2 ) was 
only too obvious. What he gave, was in its kind 
almost perfect — at least for that period ; and if he 
omitted much, there were other professors to be 
heard, other authors to be read. The description 
which the student gives of Gesenius, both in his 
lecture-room and among the members of his Semi- 
nar, proves conclusively that he was one of the 

i " Die Wissenschaft hatte ich erblickt in einer entschieden 
rationellen Behandlungsart, aber nicht rationalistische Lebens- 
fragen als Ausgangs- raid Zielpunkte aller wissenschaftlichen 
Untersuchung," says the student about to be referred to. 

2 See Gesenius : Zur Erinnerung filr seine Freunde (Berlin, 
1842 ; p. 45). 


most gifted teachers which Hebrew and Oriental 
studies have ever 'had, and that neither Halle nor 
Germany could have afforded to lose him. That 
lightness of tone which had the appearance of 
frivolity in a Church history lecture was precisely 
what made the dry details of linguistic science 
interesting ; that incapacity for broad philosophical 
views was but the reverse side of a philological 
accuracy akin to that exactitude and love of detail 
which we remark in all successful students of natural 
science. Gesenius no doubt inherited this from 
his ancestors. Though not himself a physician like 
Astruc, he came of a medical family, his father and 
his great-uncle having both been physicians of some 
repute, and authors of medical works. 1 And if 
Gesenius was not too devout, yet he had that absorp- 
tion in science which has a grandeur not unlike that 
of religion, and which excites in the devout man an 
involuntary regretful sympathy. 

If this view of Gesenius is correct, we cannot but 
reckon it as a great loss to Biblical criticism that no 
direct record remains of his fascinating lectures, which 
covered the whole range of Old Testament subjects. 
Had he written nothing, indeed, he would still have 
been one of the founders of criticism by his university 
teaching, for in not a few lectures he had over 400 
hearers. His works are without those flashes of wit 
and those instructive analogies which gave so much 

1 See Hirsch, Biographisches Lexikon der Aerzte. 


Anschaulichkeit to his oral discourse. 1 We are thank- 
ful for them, but we regret that more time was not 
given him to mature and to condense the contents of 
his lectures, and to continue in the path, on which 
we are assured that he had entered, of progress from 
mere empiricism to the study of the ideas which 
underlie phenomena. His first printed work was an 
essay on the Maltese language, in which he for the 
first time recognized a corruption of Arabic. In the 
same year he published vol. i. of his Hebrew- German 
Handwbrterbuch ; vol. ii. appeared in 1812. This 
work was translated into English by a pioneer of 
Hebrew studies in America, Josiah W. Gibbs, in 1824 
(from the edition of 18 15). The Lexicon Manuale, 
representing much riper study, was published in 1833 ; 
a translation of this was published by Edward Rob- 
inson of Andover (Mass.). A second edition of the 
former work appeared in 1834, and of the latter in 
1847 (translated by S. P. Tregelles). The printing of 
the Thesaurus philologicus criticus (3 vols. 4to) began 
in 1826, but was interrupted by the death of the 
author, whose learned friend Emil Rodiger completed 
it (1853 — 1858). Gesenius's hardly less important 
work as a grammarian began in 181 3, when his 
Hebrdische Grammatik first appeared (pp. 202). 
Fourteen editions appeared in his own lifetime, and 
since his death it has been seven times re-edited 
by Rodiger, and four times by Prof. Kautzsch of 

1 See Gemu'vs, &c, p. 32, 


Halle. 1 The Grammatik must be distinguished from 
the Ausfiihrliches grammatisch-kritisches Lehrgebdude 
der liebr. Sprache, which appeared in 1817. 

On these important and never-to-be-forgotten 
works much might be said in another context. They 
formed in part the basis of the best exegesis of the 
last generation, 2 and no subsequent Hebrew gram- 
mars or dictionaries can fail to be indebted to them, as 
has been sufficiently shown, from a lexicographical 
point of view, in the preface to the new Anglo- 
American Hebrew Lexicon (part i., Oxford, 1892). 
And though Professor Kautzsch in 1878 found himself 
obliged to put the Hebr. Grammatik into a new form, 
no disrespect to the Altmeister was intended thereby. 
Gesenius's own grammatical work was rooted in the 
past, and improved as it proceeded. The first edition 
(18 1 3) is separated by no deep chasm from those 
which preceded it, while the last owes something to 
Ewald, whose treatment of Gesenius was, I regret to 
have to confess, far less worthy than Gesenius's 
treatment of him. As I hope to show later, the two 
scholars really supplemented each other ; and we at 
any rate can afford to forget both the undevoutness 

1 The Ausfiihrliches grammat.-kritisches Lehrgebdude der 
hebr. Sprache, a separate work, appeared in 1817. 

2 De Wette says, in 1S31, in the preface to his Old Testament 
(ed. 2), " My explanation of the Old Testament agrees for the 
most part with that of Gesenius, so far as this is known from 
his Lexicon and from other sources ; indeed, from the first I am 
happy to have been in the greatest possible agreement with this 
excellent friend." 


of the one and the uncouthness and irritability of the 

Another valuable work of Gesenius is his History 
of the Hebrew Language (1815). The work can now 
only be read with caution, but it will be some time 
before a trained scholar has the boldness to resume 
this subject. In one point certainly Gesenius was 
but ill equipped for his task. This great Orientalist 
was not deeply versed in later Hebrew, though as he 
went on he bestowed much pains on utilizing the 
lexicographical works of the Rabbis. His great 
contribution to exegesis, the Commentary on Isaiah 
(1820-21, 2 vols.), furnishes many proofs of this. In 
fact, in all respects this work is a mine of accurate 
philological and historical information up to its date. 
Its Biblical theology, it is true, cannot receive high 
praise. And yet Gesenius's view of prophecy, im- 
perfect as it is in many respects, is superior to the 
merely aesthetic view often expressed by the older 
rationalists ; he seems to have learned something 
from De Wette, whom he so earnestly advised young 
Wilhelm Vatke to read, mark, and inwardly digest. 1 
The prophet, according to Gesenius, is not merely a 
" poet of nature," but a " herald and watchman of the 
theocracy and the theocratic faith." He repudiates 
equally the opinion that the " men of God " acted by 
calculation and with artfully arranged plans, and that 

1 Benecke, Wilhelm Vatke, p. 27. De Wette, on his side, 
owns obligations to Gesenius in his translation of Isaiah and in 
his criticism of Daniel. 


the oracles respecting the future are merely veiled 
historical exhibitions of the present or even of the 
past. He fails indeed to do justice to the prophetic 
ideas, and to trace the connexion of the prophets 
with the progress of the religion of Israel, but this is 
at any rate better than misrepresenting those ideas 
and that great progressive movement. Both in 
criticism of the text and in the higher criticism, the 
characteristic of Gesenius's Isaiah is moderation and 
circumspection — the very qualities which the keen- 
eyed student referred to above remarked in his 
lectures on critical " introduction." For these 
qualities one may justly praise Gesenius, having 
regard to the period when he lived. In the previous 
age there had been an epidemic of arbitrary emend- 
ation in the department of textual criticism, and a 
tendency (at any rate among some " higher critics " 
of the Pentateuch and Isaiah) to break up the text 
into a number of separate pieces, which threatened to 
open the door to unbounded caprice. With a view 
to sound and safe progress, and in order to bridge 
over the gulf between extreme parties, it was de- 
sirable that some eminent philologist should come 
forward as an advocate of moderate caution, and, 
while not denying the more obvious results of the 
last thirty years' work, should devote himself chiefly 
to a critical study of the linguistic side of the Old 
Testament, as handed down to us. No thoroughly 
trained critic can, in my judgment, now stand where 
Gesenius stood then, with regard either to the cor- 


rection of the text or to the " higher criticism." The 
Massoretic text is not as defensible as Gesenius, with 
his limited critical insight and too empirical gram- 
matical views, supposed, and, without in the least 
professing to defend the " fragmentists " in Pentateuch 
criticism, there can hardly be a doubt that there was 
a large element of truth in Koppe's disintegrating 
criticism of Isaiah. 1 It is very singular that a less 
exact scholar than Gesenius should have taken up a 
position which, from our present point of view, is 
more defensible than that of the Halle philologist. 
Eichhorn, who opposed the " fragmentists " in 
Pentateuch-criticism, fully (indeed, too fully) admitted 
the justification for Koppe's disintegration of Isaiah. 
But then, Eichhorn left his work not half done ; he 
ought to have produced a thorough commentary on 
Isaiah, showing that a considerable amount of disin- 
tegration was not uncalled for on exegetical and 
historical grounds. Now, it is true that Eichhorn did 
translate and comment on the Hebrew prophets, but he 
aimed more than was right at popularity. He had 
his reward, for he won the ear of Goethe, but he did 
not win that of deeper Hebrew scholars like Gesenius. 
Though the disciple of Eichhorn, Gesenius within his 
own range was far in advance of his old master. 
Another attempt had yet to be made to cover the 

1 Gesenius did not, happily, altogether deny the composite 
origin of Isa. xl. — lxvi., but his concessions were altogether too 
slight. I have written more at length on this in the Jewish 
QMart. Rev. for July 1891. 


same wide range of study which Eichhorn touched — 
an attempt which, if it did not succeed, yet deserves 
our admiration and respect. The goal was too 
distant even for one of the most gifted scholars of 
that or any age ; " quem si non tenuit, magnis tamen 
excidit ausis." To this great but faulty scholar, who 
is now in danger in England of a depreciation as 
excessive as the former worship of him, I now ask 
the reader to turn his attention. 



IT will, I hope, not be thought paradoxical if I 
associate the names of Butler and Ewald. Different 
as they are in many respects, I venture to trace a 
real historical connexion between them. To Queen 
Caroline's insight was due the promotion of Bishop 
Butler, and the influence of the same wise queen was 
not without weight in the foundation of the university 
of Gottingen. Of that renowned Hochschule, Ewald 
is one of the most typical representatives. History 
and philology were from the first the most favoured 
subjects in this emphatically statesmanlike institution, 
and history and philology constitute the field on 
which Heinrich Ewald has won imperishable fame. 
Butler, both as an ethical philosopher and a theo- 
logian, would have been at home in Gottingen, where, 
both in theology and in philosophy, observation and 
facts have always had the precedence over d priori 
speculation, and where theoretic theology in particular 

1 The two chapters on Ewald are mainly composed of two 
public academical lectures delivered by the author at Oxford, 
June 1886, and printed in the Expositor. 

EWALD. 67 

has ever had a moderate and so to speak Butlerian 
tinge. Ewald on his side would in some respects 
have been at home in England, at any rate in the 
more liberal England of to-day. He had always a 
tenderness for this country ; and even if we can 
partly justify our predecessors for the suspiciousness 
of their attitude towards him, we may nevertheless 
hold that, with all their defects, no books can be 
more important for advanced Bible-students than 
those of Ewald. He may indeed be as useful to us 
in our present stage as he was in his earlier period to 
Germany ; and if his influence is waning there, let us 
not be backward to accord him a friendly reception 
here. The Germans, it appears, would fain annex 
Richard Bentley ; let us retaliate by annexing or 
assimilating all that is best in the great, the faulty, 
but the never-to-be-forgotten Heinrich Ewald. 

I am not one of those who think it the duty of a 
biographer to idolize his hero, and shall have, alas ! 
to admit that Ewald failed in a serious degree to 
attain his high ideal. But he has been to many, 
thank God ! a source of truest inspiration, and the 
tragedy of his career diminishes in no respect their 
reverence for his memory. Suffer me to show you 
this childlike great man in his strength and in his 

He was born at Gottingen Nov. 16, 1803, and there 
most of his life was passed. A touch of provincialism 
was therefore native to Ewald, and this was not counter- 
acted by that variety of culture which many German 


students gain by a change of university. Ewald 
himself, it is true, saw no reason to desire a change. 
He was destined to set an example of concentration, 
and this object could nowhere be better secured than 
in Gottingen. Did he want recreation ? There was 
that ample library, then not less famous than the 
university itself. He had no time for that social 
intercourse of fellow-students which it is so sweet to 
most to look back upon, his laborious day being 
divided between his own studies and private tuition. 
He was never caught up, like even Michaelis, 1 into 
the contemporary aesthetic movement, nor did he 
ever, like Herder, pass under the spell of philosophy. 
He had indeed, as his works prove, a sense of poetic 
art, and even more a deep love of ideas, but art and 
ideas were to him but the historical manifestations of 
national life. By one of those strange impulses which 
so often occur in the history of genius, he chose the 
East for his field of study while still at the gymnasium. 
If he studied the classics, it was clearly not as the 
humanities, but as a necessary part of his historical 
apparatus ; for he well knew that no language or 
literature can be adequately studied by itself. His 

1 See J. D. Michaelis, Poetischer Entwitrf der Gedanken des 
Prediger-Buch Salomons (Gottingen, 1 7 5 1 ). In the preface he 
speaks of amusing himself with poetical composition. Ewald 
very rarely refers to German literature. Herder he only mentions 
as a writer on the Old Testament. Once he speaks of the good 
fortune of Eichhorn in working during the blossoming time of 
the national intellect, and once he highly eulogizes Klopstock 
in a characteristic note, omitted in the English translation of the. 
History (see the German edition, iii. 306, note 1). 

EWALD. 69 

Latin is not that of Bishop Lowth, but as a com- 
pensation even his early works show a deep know- 
ledge of Arabic literature. Eichhorn and Tychsen, 
both distinguished Orientalists, were his academical 
teachers ; for both of them he cherished feelings of 
piety, though he would not own that they had materi- 
ally influenced his opinions. And yet, though I can 
easily imagine that Ewald's mind was very early 
mature, I think he was influenced, especially by 
Eichhorn, to whom his own principles and career 
present several points of resemblance. Eichhorn, so 
generously eulogized of late by Dr. Edersheim, 1 was 
at least as many-sided though not as profound as 
Ewald. He loved the Bible as being a literature, as 
well as the record of a revelation ; I say the Bible, 
because, like Ewald, Eichhorn was not merely an Old 
Testament scholar. He was also, in the best sense 
of the word, like Ewald an advanced Biblical critic. 
And it must be added that, though like Ewald and 
every other great critic he stood aloof from theological 
quarrels, he yet retained an unflagging interest in the 
progress of religious thought. Like Ewald again, he 
was not merely a Hebraist but a Semitic philologist, 
and propagated that sound doctrine of the so-called 
Tenses, which is due especially to that patriarch of 
Semitic learning, Albert Schultens. He was, like 
Ewald in his best days, a popular and indefatigable 
lecturer, but not content with this, he acknowledged 

1 See above, p. 25. 


a responsibility to the world of scholars in general. 
For many years, 1 following the example of J. D. 
Michaelis, he published an Allgemeine Bibliothek filr 
biblische Litteratur (all his own work), and a Reper- 
torium fur morgenldndische Litteratur, which reminds 
us of the Biblische J ahrbiicher and the Zeitschrift fur 
die Kunde des Morgenlandes, the latter mainly founded 
by Ewald, the former entirely written by him, only 
that Eichhorn's style is far more lucid than Ewald's, 
and his tolerance as charming as Ewald's intolerance 
is painful. Lastly, the influence of Eichhorn on con- 
temporary thought was at least equal in extent, if not 
in intensity, to that of his great disciple. 

Do not think this a digression. Part of the great- 
ness of Ewald's life is its consistency. Such as he 
was at the opening of his career, such in all essentials 
he remained to its close. He found much to learn, 
but very little to unlearn. He tells us himself 2 that 
he never had to pass through circuitous paths of 
gloom, nor through grievous inward struggles ; that 
from the first he perceived that the fearful-seeming 
New is really nothing but the Old, better understood 
and farther developed. This consistency is not to be 
accounted for solely by tenacity of character ; it 
implies also that he fell in with wise and congenial 
teachers. He was consistent, because he lost no time 
through being badly taught, and because he found a 

1 I might have added that from Heyne's death to his own 
Eichhorn edited the well-known Gottmgische gelehrte Anzeigen. 

2 Die ■poetischen Biicher des A. T,, iv. (1837), p. 249. 

EWALD. 71 

work ready to his hand. He carried on the work of 
his teacher, Eichhorn, supplementing Eichhorn's de- 
ficiencies and correcting his faults, just as Eichhorn 
carried on that of Herder on the one hand, and 
Michaelis on the other. The portraits of Herder and 
Eichhorn, indeed, hung on the walls of Ewald's study 
as if to remind him of the aim and spirit of their 
common enterprise. That aim was nothing less than 
the recovery of the true meaning of the Bible, and the 
spirit in which it was pursued by these three great 
men was not less practical than scientific. Herder 
and Ewald especially had a full consciousness of the 
religious interests staked on the success of their work, 
and when Ewald speaks, in the History of Christ, of 
the " wondrous charm of a task which germinates out 
of a Divine appointment and necessity," 1 it is difficult 
to think that the words did not flow from the experi- 
ence of his youthful days. The Church-historian, 
Hase, has described Ewald, in language suggested 
perhaps by a famous saying of Hegel, as a prophet 
with backward gaze. 2 Ewald's style and manner are 
often in character with this function, and many a 
striking passage in his prefaces suggests an inner 
experience analogous to that of a prophetic call. 
" Truly/' he says in his Johannine Writings, " if God 
did not give us in youth a surplus of boldest enter- 
prise and cheerfullest faith, and thrust us, whether we 
would or no, into the midst of His truths and ever- 

1 Geschichte Christus, p. 183. 

2 Kirchengeschichte, p, 582^ 


lasting powers, O how should we find the force and 
the confidence amid tedious temptations and struggles 
always to be true to that which we have once for all 
recognized as the True in itself, and also in His 
goodness and His grace, as our undeniable duty." x 
Ewald, then, felt himself called to do a prophet's 
work for the history and literature of the prophet- 
people Israel, and called, first of all, to a more special 
preparation, to which the outer events of his life were 
to be made subservient. And the very first change 
which came was advantageous to the future expositor 
and historian. As a youthful graduate of nineteen, 
he became in 1823 a teacher in the gymnasium at 
Wolfenbiittel (in the duchy of Brunswick, thirty-seven 
miles from Hanover), with free access to that fine 
library of which Lessing had once been the keeper. 
There he occupied his leisure by studying and making 
extracts from Arabic MSS., feeling doubtless already 
the great importance of Arabic, both for the language 
and for the literature of the Hebrew race. On " this 
subject let me quote to you the words of Ewald in 
1831, "Linguae arabica;, semiticarum principis, cog- 
nitio diligentior ceterarum stirpis hujus linguarum, 
hebrsese potissimum, studio non utilissimum tantum est 
sed necessarium prorsus. . . . Tutoque contendas, 
qui cultissimam stirpis hujus linguam bene perspexerit 
hunc demum circa omnes semiticas haud caecutire in- 
cipere " ; 2 and for the other part of my statement 

1 Die Johanneischen Schriften, ii. " Vorrede," S. v. 
8 Grammatics critica lingua Arabiccs, Pref. p. iii. 

EWALD. 73 

those of one of Ewald's greatest pupils : " I have no 
doubt that the original gifts and ideas of the primitive 
Hebrews can most readily be understood by comparing 
Arabian antiquity." 1 

This is not the time to explain the sense in which 
these two statements are to be understood. Ewald 
himself used Arabic more for the purposes of philology 
than for those of what may be called comparative 
ethnic-psychology. And no doubt philological pur- 
poses are the most important from the point of view 
of exegesis and of theology. Ewald would therefore 
have hailed the recent institution of an Oriental 
School or Tripos in our two old English universities. 
Himself by taste, though not, I admit, equally by 
endowments, at once philologist and theologian, he 
would have insisted on the importance not only of 
Hebrew to the theologian, but of the other Semitic 
languages to the Hebraist. He was himself by no 
means a biassed advocate of the claims of Arabic, 
though circumstances early drew his special attention 
to it, and the richness and variety of its literature, 
combined with the exquisite refinement of its style, 
made it perhaps his favourite among the Semitic 
languages. His own position on the relationship 
between the Semitic languages is best seen from his 
A bhandlung uber die geschichtliche Folge der semitischen 
Sprachen (1871), with which compare his remarks in 
§ 7 of his Arabio Grammar. 

1 \Vellhausen, Skizzen unci Vorarbeiten, Heft 1. 


Ewald was now a schoolmaster. But he had no 
intention of remaining in this profession. He wished 
to think his own thoughts away from Eichhorn, and 
to make researches in a fresh library, preparatory to 
another book. To another book, you will say ? Yes ; 
for his first book, though published at Brunswick, was 
the fruit of his student leisure at Gottingen ; he must 
have begun to print almost as soon as he had arrived 
at Wolfenbuttel. It was called Die Composition der 
Genesis kritisch untersucht, and bears the date 1823. 
Ewald's acuteness and ingenuity are already abund- 
antly displayed in this volume ; he seeks to show that 
there is a unity in the Book of Genesis and a well- 
ordered plan which of itself forbids the literary 
analysis of Genesis, whether into documents or 
into fragments. " Critics," he says, " will no 
longer see different narrators where the greatest 
harmony displays itself, nor divide into separate 
fragments that which thousandfold bands both join 
and interlace with such exactness." It was certainly 
dangerous for so young an author to publish his 
results ; for how few are able to retract what they 
have once said in print ! Happily at this early period 
Ewald had still the power of self-criticism, and upon 
further reflection retracted the negative inference re- 
ferred to. His words are, " I gladly take the oppor- 
tunity of declaring that the book referred to has now, 
so far as this single point is concerned, only historical 
significance." This was in a review of Stahelin's 
Kritische Untersuchungen, published in the Theol. 

EWALD. 75 

Studien und Kritiken in 1831, the same year, it is 
not irrelevant to remark, in which he published his 
critical Arabic grammar. A deeper study of the 
phenomena of Genesis had shown him the complexity 
of the critical problem, and the inadmissibility of a 
simple and, from a purely Western point of view, a 
natural solution, and a wider acquaintance with the 
Arabic historians had revealed a process of compo- 
sition which made him repent his precipitate rejection 
of both the hitherto current critical hypotheses. It 
was in fact an epoch-making article — this review of 
Stahelin's now forgotten work. Some one had at 
last expressed what many others were privately 
meditating. A supplement-hypothesis had to be 
joined to the old document-hypothesis. Ewald him- 
self sought to make this evident in the first volume 
of his History, but his eccentric terminology and his 
too positive and dogmatic tone deprived him of the 
influence to which his great ability entitled him. 

Ewald, then, had to withdraw from one of the 
principal positions of his early book. Yet we may 
be glad that he wrote it. It helps us to refute the 
charge that he dealt merely in fancy-criticism. It 
shows that even in youth, when the fancy is generally 
at its strongest, he was fully aware of the dangers 
which beset critical analysis, and if at the age of 
nineteen he could not fully realize the nature of the 
problem of Genesis, much less solve it, yet he made 
one positive contribution of value to the critical con- 
troversy — he made it impossible henceforth to assert 


that the Book of Genesis, as it now stands, is without 
a plan. 1 It is pleasing to be able to say that, though 
the youthful Ewald freely criticized not only Vater 
but Eichhorn, the latter did not withhold his com- 
mendation, and in the following year (1824) procured 
Ewald's recall to Gottingen as repetent or Tutorial 
Fellow in the Theological Faculty. 

This, however, as might be expected, was only a 
transition ; in 1827 he was promoted to a professor- 
ship. Just as Eichhorn, when called to Gottingen, 
had three years and no more to work with Michaelis, 
so Ewald, in the like circumstances, had but the same 
space of time allotted him as the colleague pi Eich- 
horn. The veteran's work was done. He had sketched 
the main outlines of the right method of Biblical 
criticism, and had himself brought out by it not a 
few assured results ; but an infinite amount of Detail- 
forschung, of minute research, had yet to be gone 
through, before that historical reconstruction for 
which he longed could safely be attempted. The 
captious and arbitrary procedure and unrefreshing 
results of less able and less sympathetic critics than 
Eichhorn had disgusted very many with the Old 
Testament, and we hear Tholuck saying in his in- 
augural lecture at Halle in 1 821, that "for the last 
twenty or thirty years the opinion has been generally 
prevalent, that the study of the Old Testament for 
theologians, as well as the devotional reading of it 

1 Comp. Westphal, Les sources, &c, i. 182. 


for the laity, is either entirely profitless or at least 
promises but little advantage." 1 

The prejudice lingered on in Germany, and exercised 
a pernicious influence on the historical and theological 
views of such eminent personages as Schleiermacher, 
Hegel, and Baur, the Gnostics of modern times, as 
Ewald severely styles them. See how much hangs 
on the completeness of a theological professoriate ! 
If Halle and Tubingen had had Old Testament pro- 
fessors like Eichhorn, or if those three great men had 
finished their theological studies (for Hegel, as you 
know, began as a theolog) at Gottingen, upon how 
much sounder a basis in one important respect would 
their systems rest ! Would the youthful successor of 
Eichhorn be the man to destroy this prejudice ? He 
aspired to be this and even more than this ; we shall 
see later on what it was that hindered his complete 
success. But we shall do well to remember at this 
point that other chosen instruments were in course of 
training simultaneously with Ewald. I need only 
mention Umbreit, Bleek, and Hengstenberg, the 
former of whom became professor at Heidelberg in 
1823, and the two latter professors at Berlin in 1823 and 
1828 respectively. To all these men we in England 
are, in various degrees, directly or indirectly indebted. 
It would be unseemly for us to depreciate the merits 

1 Einige apologetische Winkef Urdus Studium des A. T.'s,den 
Studirenden des jetzigen, Decenniums gewidmet, translated under 
the title, " Hints on the Importance of the Study of the Old 
Testament," in Philological Tracts, edited by John Brown, D.D., 
vol. i. (Edinburgh, 1833). 


even of an ultra-conservative like Hengstenberg. 
Sixty years ago'the prospects of a renaissance of Old 
Testament studies in England seemed hopeless, and 
without the help of Protestant German scholars of 
different schools the- efforts of the friends of progress 
would have had but little success. 

I am now approaching the most important part of 
Ewald's life, and am anxious to show that the subject 
of my lecture has a living interest for English students. 
Ewald's success or failure in Germany meant, though 
few doubtless knew it at the time, the success or 
failure of the cause of the Old Testament in England. 
I appeal to our young students to regard the life and 
work of Ewald with something of the same gratitude 
with which they regard that of our own Lightfoot. 
Of the religious spirit in which Ewald entered on his 
career I have spoken already. That inner experience 
which I have referred to as a call, gave a sanctity, if 
I may say so, to the most abstruse questions of 
philological research. In 1825 Ewald published a 
small treatise on Arabic metres, the results of which 
were incorporated into his Arabic Grammar, and in 
1827 made his first incursion into the domain of the 
Aryan languages by an essay on some of the older 
Sanskrit metres. The young scholar, you will see, 
chafes already at restrictions ; he will not be outdone 
by the great English theologians of the seventeenth 
century ; he will be an Orientalist, and not merely a 
Semitic scholar. Soon you will see that he is not 
content with being in the bare sense an Orientalist ; 

EWALD. 79 

he will be a comparative philologist. And yet we 
cannot doubt that the religious interest animates all 
his philological work. He has a deep sense of the 
wonderfulness of " God's greatest gift " * — language, 
and none of the Biblical conceptions does he appre- 
ciate more than that of the Logos. He will delight 
ever afterwards to trace the resemblances and the dif- 
ferences of the Biblical and the other religions, and in 
his great series of annual Biblical reviews he is careful 
not to omit illustrative works on Oriental subjects. 
In all this he did but act in the spirit of his pre- 
decessor Eichhorn, who had a true presentiment of 
the future importance of the comparative study of 
sacred books. In 1826 this taste of his was strength- 
ened by a literary journey to Berlin, where he had 
fruitful intercourse with one of the older Sanskrit 
scholars, F. A. Rosen. One incidental result of his 
Sanskrit studies was the discovery (as it seemed to 
him) of the manifold use of Sanskrit for the correct 
explanation of Hebrew. It is, in fact, in this early 
period that he allowed himself the widest range. In 
1826, the year of his Berlin visit, he began to lecture 
on Sanskrit, to which he afterwards added Persian, 
Turkish, Armenian, Coptic: I need not mention 
specially the various Semitic languages. 2 It is as if 
he had taken to heart the saying of Bp. Pearson, 

1 Max Miiller, Science of Language, i. 3. 

2 Among the Orientalists who passed through the school of 
Ewald may be mentioned Schleicher, Osiander, Dillmann, 
Schrader, and, one of the latest, Stern the Egyptologist. 


"Non est theologus nisi qui et Mithradates." He 
even planned a work on the history and comparative 
grammar of the Semitic languages. 1 His taste, 
however, was chiefly for Arabic, though the only text 
which he published was that of Wakidt on the 
Conquest of Mesopotamia, in 1827. He once hoped to 
compose a history of the intellectual movement among 
the Arabs, closing with the death of Mohammed ; 2 
a task, it would seem, for which the materials are 
still too scanty. I should suppose that a vast number 
of ideas were continually arising in his fertile brain, 
and slowly taking shape in lectures, articles, and 
reviews. But none of them, I am sure, was allowed 
to obscure the master-project on which he said, in 
1859, that his mind had been working for far more than 
thirty years — the project of a history of the growth of 
true religion in the midst of the people of Israel. 

It is remarkable that the first Old Testament book 
to which Ewald devoted himself in the maturity of 
his powers, was one " in less direct connexion with 
lofty interests " — the Song of Songs. By selecting it, 
he not only evidenced his firm adhesion to the view 
of the Old Testament as a literature, established by 
Lowth, Herder, and Eichhorn, but took the first step 
towards ascertaining that frankly human basis of a 
sound and healthy popular life on which alone the 

1 Grammatica critica Ungues Arabiccz, vol. ii. Prsef. p. iii. ; 
comp. " Vorrede" to the Hebrew Grammar of 1827. 

2 Abhandlung iiber die geschichtliche Folge der Semilischen 
Sprachen (1871), p. 61, note - 

EWALD. 8 1 

superstructure of what he loves to call the true 
religion could possibly be reared. He is proof against 
the temptation to which a lamented Cambridge 
Orientalist (E. H. Palmer) succumbed, when he said, 
" If you would feel that Song of Songs, then join 
awhile the mystic circle of the Stiffs." The extra- 
vagant mysticism to which Tholuck had not long 
before introduced the European world x was alien to 
the thoroughly practical, and in this respect Jewish 
mind of Ewald. The Song of Songs is to him not 
the work of a theosophist — that is too high a view ; 
nor yet is it a mere collection of love-poems — that is 
too low a view ; it " is one whole, and constitutes a 
sort of popular drama, or, more correctly speaking, a 
cantata," describing the victory of true love, and thus, 
without the least sign of conscious purpose, promoting 
the highest ends of morality. This is not one of 
Ewald's greatest works, but it is one of the most 
pleasing from the delicacy of its tone, a quality in 
which Hitzig's work on the Song is lamentably 
deficient. The author is doubtless too ingenious in 
restoring what he thinks the proper form of the poem, 2 
and yet, though neither in this nor in any other book 
of Ewald has the last word of criticism been spoken, 
his very freshly written first edition marks a real step 
in the explanation of the Song. 

1 Ssufismus s. fheosophia Persarum pantheistica, 1821. Comp. 
Vaughan's Hours with the Mystics, vol. ii. 

2 Ewald's scheme of the poem is given, with some slight 
modifications, in Dr, Driver's Introduction, pp. 413 — 416. 



All this was most creditable work, but not enough 
for an aspirant to the chair of Eichhorn. There was 
an older scholar who had strong claims on the 
appointment, himself an old pupil of Eichhorn — need 
I mention Gesenius ? 1 The too general and aesthetic 
treatment of the Old Testament, introduced by 
Herder, was profoundly repugnant to this somewhat 
dry commentator, but most accomplished master of 
the Semitic languages. Herder was for soaring into 
the infinite ; Gesenius was perfectly satisfied with the 
finite. Ewald had in his nature something of both, 
reminding us of those lines of Goethe : 

Willst du in's Unendliche schreiten, 
Geh nur in's Endliche nach alien Seiten. 

Ewald might well expect that the chair of Eichhorn 
would be offered, as in point of fact it was in the first 
instance, to Gesenius, but he would also seek to 
strengthen his own claims by competing with that 
scholar on his own ground. Great as were the merits 
of Gesenius's Hebrew Grammar, or rather grammars, 
from the point of view of the learner — their clearness 
and simplicity, in fact, left nothing to be wished — 
there was still a demand for a grammar more in- 
dependent in its relation to the older systems, more 
philosophic in its explanations, more in harmony 
with the scientific principles of Franz Bopp and his 
distinguished colleagues. As an English friend and 
pupil of Ewald said in 1835, "The elements of a 

1 See p. 55. 

EWALD. 83 

further development of Hebrew grammar were already 
ripening in silence ; but the honour of effecting the 
reformation was reserved for Prof. Ewald." 1 The 
Kritische Grammatik (1827) at once drew all eyes 
upon its author, and it may safely be said that with 
this book in his hand he won his professorship. 
Gesenius himself had no mean jealousy of his young 
rival ; he was even in the habit of sending his most 
promising pupils to Gottingen to complete their 
studies under Ewald, who, he said, was " ein exquisiter 
Hebraer, auch ein selten gelehrter Araber." 2 In 
1828, hungry for fresh distinction, Ewald actually 
brought out a second Hebrew grammar, "in voll- 
standiger Kurze bearbeitet," which appeared in 1835 
in a second edition, thoroughly revised, as the preface 
states, and greatly improved. The most important 
addition consists of a treatise on the accents, based 
upon a previous essay of Ewald's published in 1832 
in his Abhandlungen zur Oriental, u. Bibl. Litteratur 
(part 1 ; a second part was never issued), in which 
the relationship of the Hebrew to the simpler Syriac 
accentuation is pointed out. Throughout his life 
Ewald continued to improve his grammar, to which 
in 1844 he gave the title Ausfiihrliches Lehrbuch der 
hebraischen Sprache des Alien Testaments. The 
earlier editions are however of much historical interest, 

1 Preface to the English translation of Ewald's Hebrew- 
Grammar, by John Nicholson (Lond. 1836), p. xi. 

2 See the sketches of Hitzig and Vatke, and cf. Benecke, 
Wilhelm Vatke, p. 27. 


and a few passages from the preface to Ewald's second 
Hebrew Grammar may be quoted, as illustrative not 
only of the views of the author, but of his modesty at 
this point of his career. He is speaking of the new 
period in the study of Hebrew grammar. " I myself 
may have only the merit of the first impulse to im- 
provement, if even that may be called a merit, since 
the idea of an improvement in this science is less 
owing to me than the claims of our time, and this idea 
has perhaps only been awakened somewhat sooner 
and more vividly in me. Even after the firmer form 
which I have been able to give the Hebrew grammar 
in this new work, there nevertheless remains, as I 
partly confidently believe and partly suspect, much 
for future inquirers, or, perhaps, for myself to add or 
to define more strictly, not only in the syntax, which 
follows logical laws and is therefore more easily 
thoroughly understood by a consistent thinker, but 
also in the doctrine of the sounds of the language." 1 

It is not, I think, superfluous in England to lay 
stress on the services of Gesenius and Ewald (but 
especially of Ewald) to Hebrew grammar. Quite 
recently an English bishop, addressing the clergy of 
his diocese, declined to recognize the supposed 
results of " higher criticism " until it could be shown 
that the Hebrew language was much better under- 
stood in our day than in the time of Ainsworth and 
Broughton. 2 And it is precisely from the want of a 

1 Nicholson's translation (see above), p. xii. 

2 Dr. Ryle, Guardian, Oct. 26, 1892. 

EWALD. 85 

philological exegesis such as Ewald and others have 
founded that our popular commentaries on the Old 
Testament are in many respects so misleading. The 
late Dr. Pusey at any rate thought differently from 
Bishop Ellicott. He cordially admitted 1 the " philo- 
sophical acuteness " with which " as a youth of 
nineteen (? twenty-four) he laid the foundation of the 
scientific treatment of Hebrew grammar," though I 
cannot see that in his own commentaries he made 
the most of Ewald's grammatical principles. This is 
not the place to estimate with precision the services 
of Ewald as a grammarian. The very interesting 
preface of Dr. John Nicholson to his translation of 
the second edition of the Grammatik, well describes 
some of the most valuable characteristics of the book, 
and the impression which they produced on acute and 
well-prepared students like himself. Other schools 
of grammarians have arisen since Ewald's time, and 
his successors can certainly not afford to imitate him 
in what Konig calls the style of assertion. Much 
that Ewald in his later years considered himself to have 
settled, has now become very properly a subject of 
debate. But the stimulus which he has given to the 
study of Hebrew grammar is immense, and a general 
indebtedness, visible in most if not all of his successors, 
is quite consistent with many differences on points of 
detail. 1 need not say more on this subject, because 
my friend, Prof. Driver, has given the best illustration 

1 The Minor Prophets (Oxf. 1879), p. iii. 


of what I have been urging in his beautiful text-book 
on the Hebrew tenses. 

Ewald has sometimes been reproached with being 
tco theological. But his interest in grammar at any 
rate was purely disinterested. He loved it for its own 
sake, as the most wonderful product of the human 
faculties. To Arabic grammar he devoted himself at 
first with almost as much zeal as to Hebrew grammar ; 
and the pages of his linguistic works 1 testify to his 
keen interest in the most outlying languages, from 
which indeed he often drew illustrations for Hebrew. 
The composition of his Arabic Grammar (vol. i. 1831 ; 
vol. ii. 1833) falls between the first and second editions 
of the second or smaller Hebrew grammars, and 
must have contributed greatly to the improvement of 
the latter work. The book is written in very clumsy 
Latin, but contains much interesting matter for a 
Hebraist or a comparative philologist, its object being 
not merely to register phenomena, but to give simple 
and consistent explanations. 

The author never had leisure for a second edition, 
in which perhaps he would have given more detailed 
criticism of the Arabic grammarians. Writing the 
book was a recreation. From Arabic grammar, from 
the Muallaq&t and the Qur'dn, he returned with 
renewed energies to Hebrew grammar, to the psalmists 
and the prophets of the Bible. 

I speak of this as a return, for you will remember 

1 See especially the two first of his Sprachwissenschaft^ 
lichen Abhandlungen, 1861-62. 

EWALt). 87 

that Ewald is already well known to Biblical scholars. 
Both on Hebrew grammar and on Hebrew poetry he 
has published results which have been found worth 
hearing. A grand ideal beckons him onward, but he 
has the self-restraint to listen to the warnings of an 
inner voice, which bids him proceed slowly, ohne Hast 
ohne Rast, trusting that God will grant him time 
enough to finish his work. In 1826 he began the 
investigation of the poetical books; in 1835 he 
resumes this by the publication of a book on the 
Psalms, which is followed in 1836 by Job, and in 1837 
by Proverbs and Ecclesiastes. These volumes form 
parts 2 — 4 of a series called Die poetischen Biicker des 
Alten Bundes ; the first part, containing introductory 
matter on Hebrew poetry in general and on the Book 
of Psalms in particular, did not appear till 1839. He 
takes, you see, a different line from that recommended 
by Abraham Kuenen. He thinks it safest to begin 
his Old Testament researches, not with the prophets, 
but with the poets, as bringing us nearer to the primi- 
tive spiritual forces at work amidst the people of 
Israel. Thus he hopes to gain a vantage-point for 
comprehending as well the far loftier speech of the 
prophets, as the recollections of the spiritual movement 
(using the word " spiritual " in a wide sense) of Israel's 
bygone times recorded in the historical books. 1 There 

1 See p. vi. of " Vorrede " to Die poetischen Biicker. Compare 
Ewald's view of the right plan for those who would read the 
Bible for instruction, Die Lehre der Bibel von Gott, i. 465-66. 
Here again note Ewald's consistency from youth to age. 


is something to be said for this plan. That peculiar 
spiritual state which we call inspiration is less dis- 
tinctly visible in the poetical than in the prophetical 
books ; not less truly, but less distinctly visible ; 
and it is perhaps a good exercise to study this 
phenomenon first of all as displayed upon the 
frankly human and popular groundwork of poetical 
compositions. The only danger is that such a 
course is liable to prejudice the investigator unduly 
in favour of an early date for the poetical books ; for 
if these books are very late, they seem to become a 
mere reflection of prophecy, a sort of substitute for the 
living oracle. It was, at any rate, very unwise of 
Ewald to hamper his future course as a critic by 
venturing thus early on a chronological rearrangement 
of the Psalms. It is however, in my opinion, much to 
his credit that he recognizes so fully a large captivity 
and post-captivity element in the Psalter. In fact, he 
stands aloof both from the extreme conservative and 
from the extreme liberal party, and foreshadows that 
via media for which the progressive conservatism of 
our day so ardently longs. The fault of the book is 
of course its fragmentariness. But as a supplement 
to other works, it still has its use. Ewald's view of 
the connexion of thought in the Psalms is always 
worth considering, and his emotional sympathy with 
the psalmists is altogether unique. 

But I think that his book on Job is, if not greater, 
yet more complete and freer from faults. If we look 
at the translation, how many brilliant examples of 

EWALD. 89 

grammatical tact occur to us ! while the commentary 
shows equal skill in tracing out the often subtle 
connexions between the speeches. The introduction 
is brimful of insight, and stimulates even where it 
fails to convince, and Ewald's " higher criticism " is 
here, I think, for once final and authoritative. The 
study of the wonderful character-drama of Job has, I 
trust, a great future before it, but only on condition of 
our starting from the point where Ewald has left it. 
I cannot stop to speak of his Proverbs and Ecclesi- 
astes — works less fruitful, as it seems to me, in 
suggestions of permanent value ; and of the opening 
volume of the series I can only give the general verdict 
of Biblical scholars, that, putting aside the meagre 
pages on the Psalms, strange to say, the only part 
accessible in English, 1 it is one of Ewald's most 
original and satisfactory works. 

But now to return to the personal history of the 
author. We have seen him in his greatness ; we are 
soon to sympathize with him in his trials and in- 
firmities. He has had the discipline of prosperity, 
but has shown a strong imaginative sympathy with 
those in the depths of affliction. The Book of the Trial 
of the Righteous One has found in him a congenial 
interpreter ; soon the question of the poem is to come 
back to him with a personal application, " Dost thou 
serve God for nought ? " Looking back on this early 

1 Dr. Nicholson's translation of the general introductory 
portion is buried in the Old Series of the Journal of Sacred 


period, Ewald was in the habit of idealizing it, just 
as the patriarch idealized the " months of old " in that 
most touching elegiac retrospect, the 29th chapter of 
Job. Still there is no doubt that Ewald was more 
firmly rooted in Gottingen, and his relations with 
scholars both in and out of Gottingen more agreeable 
at this time than afterwards. A truly noble band of 
professors, especially historical professors, illustrated 
the Georgia Augusta. There was Liicke the com- 
mentator and Church-historian, Gieseler the Church- 
historian, Dahlmann the historian of Greece, Ritter 
the historian of philosophy, Gervinus the historian 
of literature, Otfried Muller the archaeologist, Jakob 
Grimm the Germanist ; among others may be added 
the two friends, Weber the great electrician and Gauss 
the celebrated mathematician, the latter of whom in 
1830 became Ewald's father-in-law. None of these 
was more distinguished than Heinrich Ewald. 
Honours crowded upon him ; he had large classes, 
attracted by his enthusiasm and his thoroughness, and 
exercised a wide and salutary influence on the critical 

True, there was already a root of bitterness in his 
self-concentration. That same spiritual " recluseness " 
which, in the words of Edward Irving, led " that soul 
of every excellence, the glorious Milton," into " the 
greatest of all intolerance," 1 was the bane of Ewald. 
He had a noble and unselfish ambition, but he had it 

1 Miscellanies from the Writings of Irving, p. 153. 

EWALD. 91 

too absorbingly. It bade him " separate himself " from 
his kind and "intermeddle with- all wisdom," 1 for- 
getting that more than one prophet is wanted to 
accomplish a Divine purpose, and that he himself, no 
less than Eichhorn, needed the support of independent 
fellow-workers. At first there was only a vague 
danger that a naive self-confidence might develop into 
a tormenting intolerance. His expressions of feeling 
were too childlike to irritate, and as yet he left the 
world and its rulers to take care of themselves. 2 In 
1836 however there are indications of a change; the 
conclusion of the fourth part of Die poetischen Bucher 
contains, among much very interesting matter, full of 
rude but striking eloquence, a painful attack on that 
sweet-natured, conscientious, and gifted scholar, De 
Wette. Ewald had, it seems, been spending a holiday 
in Italy, but it was a holiday against his will ; his 
mind preyed upon itself, and even the historical 
treasures of the Eternal City gave out no balm for his 
wounded spirit. Ancient art scarcely speaks to him ; 
he writes epigrams in verse, 3 breathing a Luther-like 
scorn of the Romans and their Church, and of those 
who, tempted by false promises, have become converts 
to Rome. Except where his faith darts upwards, as 
for instance in the last lines, which remind us of 
Arthur Clough's " Say not the struggle nought 

1 Prov. xviii. 1, A. V. I need not criticize the translation. 

2 " Ich schrieb dort mit leichtem um die Welt bekiimmertem. 
Sinne" (Die poet. Bucher des A. £., Bd. i. " Vorrede," S. viii.). 

3 " Mussestunden in Italien," Ibid. iv. 231 — 246. 


availeth," his pen is dipped in gall, and he seeks a 
much-needed excuse in some wrong which has been 
done him at home. I cannot myself understand his 
obscure allusion to a " speech of tyrannous cruelty," 
but certain it is that in the following year a grievous 
wrong did befall him, which threatened for an inde- 
finite period to thrust into idleness — "in thatenlose 
Musse zu versetzen" — one whose spirit was wholly 
academical, and who viewed with perfect justice even 
his authorship as an outgrowth of his professional 
position. In 1833, as a consequence of the attempted 
revolution of 1831, King William gave his sanction to 
a Staatsgrundgesetz or Constitutional Statute ; in 1837 
King Ernest Augustus signalized his accession to the 
throne by refusing to recognize this as binding. It 
was an event which deeply stirred academic society, 
and not to Otfried Miiller alone may these words of a 
scholar-poet be applied : 

Und als der Dormer ziimend eingeschlagen, 

Wer hat den Muth mit tapferm Wort erregt, 

Dem Manneswort : " So wir uns selbst nicht fehlen, 

Wie mag uns Furcht vor Drang und Unbill qualen ? " * 

But what could academical teachers do, knights of the 
pen and not of the sword ? Seven at any rate found 
their duty clear ; they addressed a solemn protest to 
the curators of the university at Hanover. Their 
names deserve to be chronicled ; Dahlmann was the 
leader, the others were the two Grimms, Gervinus, 

1 From a memorial poem on Karl Otfried Muller, by Dr. 
Ellissen, Hellenist and Liberal politician. 

EWALD. 93 

Weber, Albrecht, and the subject of this sketch. The 
consequences were serious for themselves, for in 
December of the same year they were all dismissed 
from their office. Upon Ewald, not merely a patriot, 
but essentially a provincial, the blow fell with double 
force. No exile ever felt his banishment more. For 
the moment he found occupation in the English 
libraries ; 1 but it seemed at first as if the Guelphic 
ban were to exclude him and his friends from 
academical office anywhere. Fortunately indeed such 
fears were groundless ; the reputation of the seven 
professors was as much enhanced by a protest against 
arbitrary power as that of our own seven bishops, and 
Ewald was the first to receive an appointment. 

Ewald's call to Tubingen in 1838 opens a fresh 
chapter in his history ; it brought him, we must add, 
face to face with his second great trial. Would the 
recluse scholar be enriched or impoverished by trans- 
plantation ? Would he catch something of the 
characteristic warmth of Wurtemberg religious life, 
and communicate in return that earnestness and 
questioning reasonableness which he had inherited 
from his fathers ? And looking to his new university 
relations, would the man who could so well give their 
due to the different types of teaching in the Bible show 
equal flexibility in dealing with a colleague so unlike 

1 This is strictly accurate. Blenheim could not tempt him 
from the Bodleian. Some of his Oxford acquisitions are to be 
found in vol. i. of Beitrdge zur altesten Auslegung des A. T., by 
Ewald and Dukes (Stuttgart, 1844). 


himself as Ferdinand C. Baur? It was a difficult 
position for Ewald. Even Karl Hase, as he has told 
us in his charming autobiography, found it a work of 
time to get thoroughly naturalized in Schwabenland. 
One so awkward as Ewald in social intercourse, and 
so conscious of his own merits, could not but experi- 
ence in some respects even greater hindrances than 
Hase. He was thus thrown back more than ever on 
himself, and his old infirmities gathered such a head 
that they made life a burden both to himself and to 
others. He had even before 1837 begun to express 
himself with unjustifiable positiveness on the errors of 
contemporary theologians, not indeed as a rule 
mentioning their names ; but after that date things 
went from worse to worse. The fundamental differ- 
ences between himself and Baur seemed to him to 
demand an ever-renewed protest on his part. 1 I need 
not say how painful such a feud between colleagues 
must have been, and I have no doubt that, even more 
than in the case of Ewald's quarrel with Gesenius, the 
fault was on Ewald's side. But indeed no one was 
safe from this self-appointed censor. The English 
nation came off best ; but our own Pusey, who never 
retaliated on Ewald, had the fortune to be joined with 
Hengstenberg and Delitzsch in the same unqualified 
condemnation. To Ewald, as a political martyr, 
political errors, too, were now equally obnoxious with 
theological. With unmeasured violence, but without 

1 Contrast the respectful language of Dorner and Ullmann to 
Baur at this same period. 

EWALD. 95 

any of that wit which redeems the violence of great 
satirists, he chastised by turns most of " the powers 
that be," and when no notice was taken, it was a proof 
to him that he was in the right. Alas for a true 
prophet who mistook his functions, to the injury 
not only of his own fame, but of the truth which it 
was his privilege to make known ! Alas, that instead, 
of gratefully learning wherever he could, and appre- 
ciating high moral purpose, when he could do no more, 
he at once rejected all but his own results, and imputed 
intellectual divergences to moral defects ! " Woe to 
that study," says the gentle Spenser's too fiery friend, 
Gabriel Harvey, "that misspendeth pretious Time, and 
consumeth itself in needlesse and bootlesse quarrels." 1 
For Ewald's " railing accusations " were fully avenged 
on Ewald himself. Had he but taken his proper place 
as an honoured member of Truth's household, how 
much more would he have effected, and how much 
more easily could we estimate the comparative value 
of his work ! 2 

I have omitted as yet to mention one great blow 
which befell Ewald, too great to be referred to in the 
middle of a paragraph. It removed from his side the 

1 Foure Letters, and certaine Sonnets, etc. (1592), p. 27. 

2 The controversial treatises of Carl Wex and August Knobel 
may be here mentioned, the one entitled Herr Prof. Ewald als 
Punier gewiirdigt (1843), the other Exegetisches Vademecum 

fiir Herr Prof. Ewald ( 1 844). Literature of this kind justifies 
the remark of a French-Swiss scholar, " Les philologues 
allemands du xix me siecle ont souvent le temperament aussi 
batailleur et la critique aussi apre que les erudits de la Renais- 
sance " (Pref. to Pictet's Les origines indo-europiennes). 


one softening influence which remained to him in his 
banishment. In 1840 his wife died, a more serious 
loss to him, as he himself says, than any of which 
his foes had been the cause. His only comfort wag 
in high ideas, and he became more and more sensitive 
to any supposed disparagement of them. He had 
quenched his burning thirst for religious truth at the 
fountain of the Bible, and it both grieved 1 and 
angered him when some critic of large gifts misused 
them, as he thought, to the detriment of the Bible 
— that is, of Ewald's opinions about the Bible. It is 
true that the grief in Ewald's mind was too commonly 
overpowered by the indignation. But, we may ask, 
have there been no instances of this confusion of 
truth with opinion, and of intellectual error with 
moral obliquity among critics of another school and 
divines of another Church ? If I had a right to be 
intolerant of the intolerant, I would quote those 
words of the ancient seer : 

O my soul, come not thou into their council ; 

Unto their assembly, O my glory, be not thou united. 2 

In Ewald's case, however, this inability to do justice 
to other workers detracts in only a slight degree from 
the comfort of the reader, for as a rule he confines 
controversial allusions to his prefaces. None of his 

1 "Ich mochte vergehen vor Schmerz, sehend dass ein so 
armseliger Zustand von Exegese von Mannern fortgesetzt wird, 
welche vielleicht Besseres leisten konnten " {Die poet. Biicher, 
iv. (1837), p. 253). 2 Gen. xlix, 6. 

feWALD. 97 

writings is more bathed in the peace and sanctity of 
the spiritual world than the two volumes on the 
Prophets, which appeared in the opening years of the 
bitter Tubingen period. What can I say that would 
be sufficient of this grand work, the treasures of 
which are still far from exhausted, and which, as a 
specimen of exegesis, has extorted the admiration of 
a critic who so much dislikes Ewald's believingness 
as Eduard Meyer ? x Full and free as is my own 
appreciation of other " founders of criticism," I can- 
not help noticing in Ewald's Die Propheten a power 
of sympathetically reproducing primitive experiences, 
Nachempfinden, as the Germans call it, in which his 
teacher Eichhorn and most of his contemporaries and 
successors are sadly deficient, and which I ascribe 
partly to Ewald's possession of a deep spiritual theistic 
religion, uncoloured and undistorted by non-Semitic 
formulae, partly to that peculiar personal experience 
which I have ventured to call, by analogy, prophetic. 
The first edition of the work appeared in 1840 and 
1841 ; the second only in 1867 — an instance of 
self-restraint and noble dissatisfaction which may 
mitigate our disapproval of the author's dogmatism. 
"Not as though I had attained," he seems to say, 
"either were already perfected." The two editions 
deserve to be compared ; , philologically, I am not 
sure that all Ewald's corrections are improvements ; 
though the study of the higher criticism is in some 

1 Geschichte des Alterthums, i. (1884), p. 204. 



respects advanced by the new edition. But let all 
theological students, however strong their prejudices 
against the critical analysis of ancient texts, read, 
mark, learn, and inwardly digest that noble intro- 
duction which, by what might seem a miracle, deals 
even-handed justice both to rational criticism and to 
the realities of faith. 



COULD that true prophet who saw Israel's past so 
much more clearly than his own life or his own time, 
have looked back with purged eyes on this point of 
his career, he might have taken up the words of a 
poet-prophet who went before him : " Midway the 
journey of our life, I found myself in a dark forest ; 
for the straight way was lost." Short though sharp 
was his mental agony, and then, like Dante, he saw 
the hill close by with its shining summit, for which 
all his life through he had been making. And as he 
"took his way on the desert strand," — for who was 
there that rightly shared his aim ? — and was now at 
the point to climb, three cruel forms appeared from 
the recesses of the wood, seeking to " drive him back 
to where the sun was mute." That is to say, arbitrary 
political power, blind theological conservatism, and 
recklessly destructive criticism, were agreed, as Ewald 
thought, in fearing and in seeking to oppose the 
regeneration of Old Testament studies. The story 


of Ewald's mistakes and half-mistakes is not on the 
outside indeed as poetic, but quite as tragic, as that 
of Dante's, and no one will form a right judgment of 
it unless he recognizes, first, that from Ewald's point 
of view his apprehensions were justified, , and next, 
that, however we may blame his arrogance towards 
man, we must admire and reverence his constant 
sense of dependence on God. The one was the 
source of his weakness ; the other, of his strength. 
But for his faith and his unworldliness, he could not, 
even with his great talents, have done as much and 
seen as clearly as he did. He was his own worst 
enemy; he would have attained, even as a scholar, 
more uniformly substantial results, had he worked 
more in concert with others. But his fidelity to the 
voice within was absolute, and I have no doubt that 
when he says that he will joyfully recant his whole 
system, if " a man of insight and of conscience " can 
prove it to be necessary, his profession is an honest 
one. But observe the qualification, "insight and — 
conscience'' He is not only a born critic, but a born 
" apologist " ; in one place he candidly says that 
though " Apologete " is a " Tubingischer Schimpf- 
name," he will accept the description. Ewald cannot 
tolerate in Biblical matters a perfectly dry criticism. 
In all his work upon the Old Testament he is partly 
thinking of the New, which he regards, too completely 
even for some orthodox critics, as the crown and 
climax of the Old. He cannot admit the usual 
division of the field of exegesis between professors of 

EWALD. 10 1 

the Old and professors of the New Testament. He 
must himself have a hand in the development of 
New Testament studies, not (as has been sometimes 
said) in opposition to Baur and Strauss, but because 
to him the New Testament forms the second part of 
the record of Israel's revelation. This can be proved, 
I think, by chronology. As long ago as 1828, before 
Baur had begun to touch the New Testament, Ewald 
published a Latin commentary on the Apocalypse. 
This work is at any rate more solid and significant 
than that of his old master, Eichhorn, and contributed 
to bring about that sound historical interpretation 
now so generally current. Writing it was Ewald's 
recreation amidst the serious linguistic studies which 
preceded his Hebrew Grammar : '' unter hundert 
Bedrangnissen jener Jahre wie in eiligen Neben- 
stunden verfasst." But not all the brilliant successes 
of F. C. Baur as an author and as a teacher could 
tempt his self-centred colleague to compete with him 
on the field of the New Testament. In 1850 Ewald 
did indeed break through the appointed order of his 
works, and express himself on the three first Gospels ; 
the book appeared in a second edition, which included 
the Acts of the Apostles, in 1871. But though its first 
appearance was opportune from the point of view 
of "apologetic" criticism, the bias of Ewald being 
distinctly " positive," i. e. inclining him to believe that 
we have firm ground beneath us in the Gospels in a 
higher degree than Baur could admit, it was neither 
Baur nor Strauss who forced him, almost, as he says, 


against his will, 1 to anticipate the time for speaking 
his mind on the Gospels. It was his concern for 
those ideal goods which Germany seemed to him to 
be losing. What Ewald dreaded, was the spirit of 
the revolution, and the chief reason why he so dis- 
liked Baur and Strauss was, that he thought their 
" Tendenz " revolutionary. Not, however, till 1861 did 
he touch the fourth Gospel, though the rejection of 
the traditional authorship of this Gospel rifled, as he 
thought, the " most attractive" product of the whole 
Biblical literature. Here, however, too, as in all 
Ewald's works, there is no direct controversial element. 
No one hates controversy more than this critic. Nach- 
empfinden (Ewald's own word) was his motto from 
the first. It was the spell with which, even as a 
youth, he conjured the monsters of extreme criticism; 
and though later on he somewhat changed his mind 
as to friends and foes, never did he cease to insist 
upon a direct relation between the expositor and his 
author, a relation so close and sympathetic as to 
exclude any great care for the opinions of others. 
If he feared radicalism more as represented by Baur 
than by Vatke, it was because he thought that there 
was a fatal, however undesigned, connexion between 
the conclusions of Baur and those of his too brilliant 
friend, David F. Strauss, and the revolutionary ex- 
cesses of 1848 ; for Vatke seemed sufficiently guarded 
against, as well by his heavy style and by the slight 

1 Die drei ersten Evangelien, " Vorrede," S. iii. 

EWALD. 103 

echo which he found in German universities, as by 
those general warnings given by our arch-dogmatist, 
not only in his prefaces, but, as it seems, also in his 
lectures. 1 Once begun, there was no intermission in 
his New Testament work. The Sendschreiben des 
Apostels Paulus appeared in 1857; the second volume 
of the Johanneischen Schriften in 1862 ; and ten years 
later we find the books of the New Testament com- 
plete in seven volumes, which, in spite of their defi- 
ciencies, will never quite lose their interest, from the 
peculiar character of the author, and from the 
Hebraistic eye with which, even when writing his first 
Grammar, he regarded the New Testament writings. 

Thus, while fully admitting that Ewald's New 
Testament work lost something through his antipathy 
to Baur, I am bound to deny that it was in any sense 
inspired by that too vehement feeling. So far as his 
researches on the Synoptic Gospels had any contro- 
versial reference, they may be said to have been his 
answer to the Revolution. It is true they were more 
than this, and in explaining my allusion, I resume 
the thread of my narrative. The publication of Die 
drei ersten Evangelien in 1850 was a sign that Ewald 
was thoroughly settled again in his old university. 
Much as he feared and hated the revolutionary move- 
ment, he had at least to thank what he somewhere 
calls the shipwreck year for bringing him back to 
port. Ill at ease, both on public and on private 

1 Benecke, Wilhelm Vatke, p. 613. In 1835, however, Ewald 
judged more favourably of Vatke's book. Ibid., pp. 168 — 175. 


grounds, and equally unable to assimilate the 
Biblical mysticism and the speculative rationalism of 
Tubingen, he had resigned his post in the great 
southern theological university. The senate of the 
Georgia Augusta supported an application which he 
himself made for his recall, and in September, 1848, 
Ewald resumed his old position at Gottingen. His 
reputation as a scholar had certainly not diminished 
during his absence. I have spoken of his Die Pro- 
pheten. On the completion of this work, he began 
one of much wider range, the greatest of all the great 
Gottingen histories ; need I mention the Geschichte 
des Volkes Israel? On two grounds this work is 
fitly described as epoch-making. It is in the highest 
degree original ; every line exhibits a fresh and 
independent mind, and mature and long-tested 
research. It is also, if you will allow the expression, 
in a scarcely less degree, unoriginal. In spite of 
many ideas which are the sole property of the author, 
it sums up to a considerable extent the investigations 
of a century, and closes provisionally that great 
movement which, beginning as it did with Lowth, 
ought to have been throughout Anglo-continental. 
Twenty years hence, when the next great history of 
Israel will be due, may we venture to hope for a 
native English Ewald ? Great is our need of him. 
The old Ewald must in England be for the most 
part the teacher's teacher ; peculiarities of style and 
of exposition, not unpleasing to those who are in- 
terested in the author personally, are real hindrances 

EWALD. 105 

to beginners. The new Ewald will be born into a 
world which is not so academical as that of Heinrich 
Ewald. He must be free at all costs from the moral 
drawbacks of his predecessor, and must have an 
English as well as a German training. A mere wish 
will not bring him into existence, but a strong enough 
wish will be the parent of action. Unless we see our 
goal, we shall never shake off our guilty torpor. 
Therefore — 

Flash on us, all in armour, thou Achilles ; 
Make our hearts dance to thy resounding steps. 1 

The reader will pardon this abrupt transition. 
The memory of Lowth, whose books made no epoch 
in England, but kindled a flame in Germany, pursues 
me, and doubtless many?of the younger generation 
who are no longer repressed by a needless dread of 
rationalism. Now to return. I am of course not 
asking any one to accept Ewald as a master. There 
was a time when Ewald was in some quarters almost 
an unquestioned potentate, the Ranke of Hebrew 
history. I have no wish to revive the belief in his 
infallibility. Over and over again we shall have to 
fight with him, but let us mind that we do so in his 
own spirit and with his own weapons. Does some 
one ask, What is Ewald's spirit ? " To be scientific " 
— he tells us himself — " is to have a burning desire 
to push on more and more towards the high goal 
which science has set up, and to come from certainty 

1 Browning, Paracelsus. 


to certainty." 1 But the goal with Ewald is the 
knowledge of a self-revealing God ("they go from 
strength to strength, and appear before God in 
Zion ") ; Delitzsch postulates this, Ewald works 
towards it. And if the question be added, Which are 
Ewald's weapons ? — I reply in the words of Niebuhr, 
" History has two means by which it supplies the 
deficiencies of its sources — criticism and divination." 
" Both 'are arts," continues this great historian, " which 
may certainly be acquired from masters, and which a 
man must himself understand before he can judge of 
their productions." 2 Niebuhr, I know, is superseded 
as a critic, and Ewald is in course of being superseded. 
But the man who finally supersedes him will only do 
so in virtue of a more penetrating criticism and a 
better regulated though not more intense divination. 
Lord Acton, in the Historical Review (No. I, p. 25), 
has lately said, " It is the last and most original of 
[Ewald's] disciples . . . who has set in motion '' in 
Germany the new Pentateuch controversy, and Julius 
Wellhausen himself inscribes his now famous work, 
"To my unforgotten teacher, Heinrich Ewald." 
Most certainly, this eminent critic cannot be appre- 
ciated without a true knowledge of the influences 
which formed him. In one sense he has no doubt 
broken with his master. He has identified himself 

1 Beitrage zur Geschichte der attest en Auslegung, by Ewald 
and Dukes, p. xviii. 

2 " Essay on the Study of Antiquities," in Niebuhr's Life and 
Letters, ii. 219. 

EWALD. 107 

with that " so-called criticism " (Ewald's phraseology) 
which has "given Up Moses and so much that is 
excellent besides," and which leads on directly to the 
contemptuous rejection of the Old Testament, if not 
also of the New (again, Ewald's phraseology). But 
in another he carries on his old teacher's work ; 
he stands where so fearless a critic as Ewald would 
stand, could he begin his career again. 

It is a proof of the moral and intellectual force of 
the History of the People of Israel that the most 
advanced critical hypothesis did not become a power 
in Germany thirty years earlier. Strauss's Leben Jesn 
coincides (as we shall see) in date of publication with 
more than one remarkable work which anticipates 
the theory of Julius Wellhausen. It was a subversive 
influence of the first order ; Vatke's Biblische Theologie 
des Alien Testaments was not. Vatke, it is true, had 
not the pointed pen of David F. Strauss ; still the 
Carlylian denunciations of Ewald's prefaces would 
have been a too ineffectual breakwater by themselves. 
Ewald dies, and Wellhausen sets all Germany in a 
flame, commits treason, as Lord Acton calls it, 
against his old master. In another sense, however, 
Wellhausen is a faithful disciple of Ewald, whose 
principles he does but apply more consistently, and 
therefore with different results. It would be well for 
students of Wellhausen to begin by learning some- 
thing from Wellhausen's " unforgotten teacher." 

It was inevitable that a reaction should set in 
sooner or later against Ewald as a historian. The 


range of his researches was too wide ; his self-con- 
fidence too strong ; his deficiency in dialectic power 
too complete. But never will his great historical 
work be out of date as a monument of the union 
of faith and criticism. From this point of view it 
deserves the attention of all theological students. 
Ewald's original idea was to bring the narrative down 
to the time of Christ. It took nine years to com- 
plete the publication on this limited scale, the first 
volume being published in 1843, the fourth in 1852 ; 
in 1848 a supplementary volume was given on the 
Antiquities of Israel. This work was an admirable 
introduction, worthy to be put by the side of the 
introduction to the Prophets. Our excellent apolo- 
gists who are defending ultra-conservatism against 
Julius Wellhausen, would have done well to practise 
their hand on such a work as this. Other men have 
been as distinguished as Ewald in the analytic depart- 
ment of criticism ; but no one yet has been his equal 
in the synthesis of critical material — he is an architect 
of the first order. I know that there are two great 
faults in that part of the Introduction which relates 
to the sources. One is common to Ewald with most 
of his contemporaries — it is the comparative neglect 
of the archaeological side of Pentateuch-research ; 
the other is a peculiarity of his own — it is his some- 
what arbitrary treatment of the component parts of 
the Hexateuch, and his perplexing nomenclature. 
But I also know that the literary analysis to which 
Ewald much confined himself has produced some 

EWALD. 109 

assured and permanent results, and that his analysis 
is not really so very divergent from that of his fellow- 
critics ; x his dogmatism in this particular is less 
misleading than might be supposed. 

I am unwilling to stir the ashes of smouldering 
controversies. But there is another serious fault, as I 
know but too well, which still attaches to Ewald in 
many minds. Undevout he cannot be said to be. 
Prof. Wilkins has rightly emphasized Ewald's piety 
as well as his profundity and eloquence. 2 Our critic 
never treats the Old Testament as if he were a 
medical student dissecting the dead. He believes 
that the religion of Israel was the " nascent religion " 
of humanity in quite another sense from that in 
which the philosophy of Greece was its "nascent 
philosophy." He reveres, nay loves, the great 
personalities of the Old Testament ; he even almost 
makes the anonymous historical writers live before 
us. But his treatment of the miracles has shocked 
some religious minds. Even Erskine of Linlathen 
speaks of Ewald in one of his letters as giving " the 
history of Israel divested of miracle, and (Israel) as a 
nation choosing God, not chosen by God." 3 All that 
is true, however, is that Ewald has no scholastic theory 
of miracles, and that to him as a historian the fact is 
not the miracle but the narrative of a miraculous 
occurrence. Those who wish to know more can now 

1 See Merx, Nachwort to the introduction of Tuch's Genesis, 
ed. 2 (1871), pp. cxvii, cxviii. 

2 Phoenicia and Israel, p. 148. 3 Letters, p. 407, 


refer to Ewald's own brief treatment of the subject of 
miracles in the second part of the third volume of his 
great work on Biblical Theology. There, however, 
he speaks predominantly as a theologian ; in his 
History of the People of Israel he speaks, and ought 
to speak, as a historian. 

Time forbids me to enter into a detailed examin- 
ation of Ewald's greatest work. I spoke in my last 
chapter of his love of high ideas. This is one source 
of the attractiveness which he possesses for young 
students ; it is not however without its dangers. It 
tempts him to idealize certain great periods of Israel's 
history, as for example the age of Moses and the 
age of David and Solomon. As Pfleiderer puts it, 
"when any historical figure impresses him, he is 
immediately carried away by his feelings, and ascribes 
to his heroes, forgetting the requirements of sober 
criticism, all the noble moral thoughts and feelings 
which he, the historian, entertains at the moment." 1 
This is why all recent investigators have turned aside 
from the paths of Ewald. Prof. Oort for instance 
has pointed out what a petitio principii it is to make 
the volume on the Antiquities of Israel an appendix 
to the history of the judges and the early kings, as if 
the customs and institutions, as well as the beliefs of 
the people, underwent no change in the following 
centuries. 2 But it is not a member of the Leyden 

1 Development of Theology (1890), p. 257. 

2 Oort, De tegenwoordige toestand der israelii, oudsheidskunde 
(Redevoering aan het Athenaeum illustre te Amsterdam den 31 
Maart, 1873). 

EWALD. 1 1 1 

critical school, it is the coryphaeus of the later 
orthodox theology, Dr. Dorner himself, who com- 
plains, perhaps too strongly, that " the internal and 
religious history of Old Testament development is 
not brought out by Ewald," and that " the religious 
matter of the Old Testament, the Messianic idea not 
excepted, dwindles in his writings into a few general 
abstract truths, devoid of life and motion," and that 
" he fails to perceive the progress of the history of 
revelation, and its internal connexion with that 
national feeling which prepared for it," x in short, that 
Ewald has not entirely thrown off the weaknesses of 
the eighteenth century. Dr. Dorner speaks as it 
were out of the soul of this generation ; it is some- 
thing to have welcomed the discoveries of Darwin 
and to have lived in the same capital with Leopold 
von Ranke. 2 

With his fourth volume (the fifth in the English 
translation) Ewald arrives at the original goal of his 
narrative. There is no period in the earlier history 
of Israel in which so much still remains to be done 
as that which extends from the Exile to the Birth of 
Jesus Christ. It is no discredit to Ewald that his 
volume, full of interest as it is, presents considerable 
lacuna. How imperfect for instance, in spite of its 
masterly grouping, is his treatment of Philo ! We 

1 History of Protestant Theology, ii. 437. 

2 " The historical spirit among the rising generation of German 
clergymen is chiefly due to his fostering care" (Max Miiller). 
May we some day be enabled to use such words of an English 
Dorner ! 


must henceforth look to the co-operation of Jewish 
and Christian scholars for the filling up of these gaps . 
Ewald was not as friendly as could be wished to 
Jewish scholars, and much work, not indeed of equal 
solidity, has been done in this field since Ewald's last 
revision of his fourth volume. 

By his Geschichte Christus, TLwald distinctly affirmed 
the view, which is not indeed the only tenable one, 
but which is the only possible one to a Christian, 
that Israel's history culminates in Jesus Christ. He 
showed in it that he was not inclined to withhold his 
opinion on the great and burning questions of our 
time. Great are its faults ; great also are its merits. 
Ewald as a historian reminds us here something of 
Maurice as a philosopher. It is an expository sermon 
on a grand scale that he gives us — not a history ; a 
luminous haze blurs the outlines of his picture. No- 
where is this scholar's literary criticism so disputable 
as in'the introduction to the Synoptic Gospels pub- 
lished in the second edition of Die drei ersten Evan- 
gelien, and presupposed in the Geschichte Christus. 
English readers, however, will perhaps not be severe 
upon him ; indeed, he shares some of his faults (so far 
as they are faults) with other respected German theo- 
logians of different schools, such as Neander and 
Karl Hase. I say, so far as they are faults ; for to 
me, as to Ewald, a strictly historical biography of the 
Christian Messiah is a thing which cannot be written. 
The sources are too incomplete, and Christian and 
non-Christian alike are driven to complete them by 

EWALD. 1 1 3 

divination. I will not therefore blame Ewald, except 
for venturing to call his book Geschichte Ckristus. 

Here let us take breath awhile. The History of 
the People of Israel was completed in 1859 ; the dream 
of the author's youth was fulfilled. Soon after this 
he took another holiday in England, when I believe 
he paid a visit to one who in some respects was very 
like him, and with whom he sympathized, Dr. Row- 
land Williams, at Broadchalke. It would have been 
well if Ewald could oftener have allowed himself 
these distractions. I like not to criticize his personal 
character. But that serene atmosphere which en- 
velops all his New Testament work did not penetrate 
his outward life as we could wish. Had he but 
enjoyed the same deep religious experience as 
Tholuck, for instance, or Franz Delitzsch, that most 
humble-minded of great critics ; had he, moreover, 
but shared their satisfied longing after the brotherly 
fellowship of the Church — how differently would his 
inward and consequently also his outward history 
have shaped itself! It is all the sadder, because of 
the noble words on the past, present, and future of 
the great rival Western communions contained in the 
appendix to Die poetischen Bucher (vol. iv. 1837). All 
the sadder, because there were in Ewald, as these 
passages seem to me to show, the germs of better things. 
Lucian Muller has remarked that the life of a German 
philologist is, by the necessity of the case, uneventful. 
I wish that Ewald's life had been more uneventful. 
He became in his latter years more irritable than ever, 


and more unwise in the expression of his opinions. 
His Hanoverian patriotism too led him 'astray. He 
had never forgotten nor forgiven the violent conduct 
of Prussia towards Hanover in 1801 and 1806, and on 
the annexation of Hanover in 1866 he refused, on 
conscientious grounds, to take the oath to the king of 
Prussia. For a long time no notice was taken of this 
privileged offender ; but after much provocation on 
Ewald's part, he was placed on the retired list, with 
the full amount of his salary for pension. There is a 
curious irony in the concatenation of events by 
which the very man whom a Guelph deprived, was 
now again dismissed from office for loyalty to the 
Guelphs. The truth is, however, that he was treated 
very leniently, but unfortunately became the tool of 
his party. He might have done almost as good work 
as ever ; he might perhaps have been alive now, 
had not his friends ("amici quam parum amici," as 
Casaubon says) formed the desperate resolution of 
sending this most unpractical, because most uncom- 
promising, 1 of men as the Guelphian representative 
of Hanover to the German Reichstag. Let us draw 
a veil over the melancholy issue of that ill-advised 
step, but respect the sense of duty which would not 
let him " brood over the languages of the dead," 

1 Heinrich Thiersch, indeed, sees nothing but good in the 
rigid consistency of Ewald : " Dieses seltenen Mannes, der in 
dieser Zeit des Verfalles der Charaktere, da die Vertreter der 
verschiedenen Partheien wetteifern, ihren Grundsatzen untreu 
zu werden, fest und ungebeugt dastand, unter der Menge der 
haltlosen ein christlicher Cato." 


when, as he thought, "forty millions of Germans 
were suffering oppression." 

The last short chapter in Ewald's life is at hand. 
But I must not open it without some inadequate 
lines, which I would gladly make fuller, on the most 
recent of his works, Die Lehre der Bibel von Gott, the 
first volume of which has been translated into English 
under the title, Revelation, its Nature and Record. 
The publication began in 1871, and the printing of 
the last volume was only finished after Ewald's death. 
It is not often that a man's time is so exactly propor- 
tioned to the life-work which he has set himself to do. 
This book too had to be written, if the depths of 
truth in the Holy Scriptures were to be fully ex- 
plored. In 1844 two young Oxford students, one of 
them named Stanley, called upon Ewald at Dresden. 
They never forgot the noble enthusiasm with which 
this dangerous heretic, as he was then regarded in 
England, grasped the small Greek Testament which 
he had in his hand, and said, " In this little book 
is contained all the wisdom of the world." 1 This 
was the spirit in which Ewald wrote his grandly 
conceived work on one of the subjects of the future, 
Biblical Theology. He wrote it at a time of much 
anxiety, both on public and on private grounds. The 
war with France stirred him greatly ; and much as 
he disliked the French, he had no confidence in the 
rulers of his country. Still he worked on, though 

1 Stanley, Jewish Church, vol. iii. Pref p. 17. 


the excitement of the time hindered consecutive 
thought and the clear expression of his ideas. 

But however faulty this work may be, as compared 
with the great History of Israel, it has special claims 
on the notice of all who are interested in theology. 
First, because its design is a practical one. Strange 
as it may seem, Ewald writes here for the great 
public. He thinks, poor dreamer, that the men of 
this world will attend to a system based on the 
historical study of the Bible. Like Maurice, he is 
persuaded that even in the Old Testament truths are 
contained which the world cannot afford to neglect. 
He does touch, however clumsily and ineffectually, 
on some of the great subjects of the day. He does 
not bury himself in his study, like too many German 
divines, but seeks to bring himself into relation with 
the people and its wants. He began in 1863, by co- 
operating with others, including the great theologian 
Richard Rothe, in founding the " Protestanten- 
Verein " ; he now, with his old prophet-like con- 
fidence, offers that which he has found in the Bible 
as "a banner because of the truth." And next, 
because the book suggests to us a new criterion of 
the relative importance of doctrines. Do they stand 
in a line of direct continuity with the Old Testament ? 
We may not altogether agree with Ewald's results, or 
with Ritschl's, 1 but they have both done good service 

1 Albrecht Ritschl, author of Die christliche Lehre von der 
Rechtfertigung, perhaps the most independent and influential of 
recent German theologians. 

EWALD. 117 

in pointing us back to the roots of theology in the 
Old Testament. Lastly, however weak as a theo- 
logical system — and remember that Ewald, almost 
alone among famous theologians, had no special 
philosophical training 1 — the book is full of suggestive 
exegetical details, combined with something of the 
old architectonic skill. The right hand of the veteran 
scholar has not forgotten its cunning; and on this 
and other grounds, I think that the translation of the 
first volume is of primary importance, not only to 
teachers, but to students. 

To the last Ewald remained in outward bearing as 
he had ever been. No one who has once seen it will 
forget that tall, erect form, and those eyes which 
seemed to pierce into eternity. His loss as an 
academical teacher was not greatly felt. His enthusi- 
asm indeed had not cooled, but it ceased to attract 
students. He was however to his very last semester, 
as I well remember, an eager and exacting lecturer 
on Semitic philology, and if in his Old Testament 
lectures he repeated himself too much, the few who 
came to them were doubtless repaid by the privi- 
lege of hearing Ewald. His death was the fitting 
close of a great scholar's career. Only four days 
before it occurred he sent in a paper on a Phoe- 
nician inscription, for a meeting of the Gottingen 
Gesellschaft der Wissenschaften. But his mind had 

1 He might almost pass for English in his repugnance to 
modern German philosophy (see e. g. Die Lehre der Bibel von 
Gott, ii. 45, note 1). 


other and higher occupations than this. His old 
child-like faith never left him. " There he sat," says 
one who visited him, " in his long grey fur-trimmed 
gown, in the little green upper chamber. On the 
walls hung, not only copies of two well-known 
modern paintings, but the Saviour of the World by 
Carlo Dolci." " His words " (so my author continues) 
" were full of a bold assurance that took no account 
of earthly opposition." * But the end was near. He 
passed to the land where faithful servants of Truth 
do not " strive nor cry," and where all problems are 
solved, May 4, 1875. We will neither praise nor 
blame him, but thankfully accept all that is good in 
his life's work. No one has better expressed the 
spirit of his life than Karl Hase in one of his ex- 
quisite vignettes of eminent theologians, 2 — "Nach 
Gesenius hat Ewald die Geschichte des alttesta- 
mentlichen Volkes aufgerollt, er ein riickschauender 
Prophet mit der orientalischen Zungengabe, kiihn 
und zu Opfern bewahrt fUr die Freiheit, nur durch 
seine sittliche Entriistung gegen jede abweichende 
Meinung leicht verstort." 

1 Einsame Wege (1881), an anonymous work by a leading 
Lutheran divine, pp. 300, 301. 

2 Kirchengeschichte, p. 582. 



The same year which is marked by the death of 
Ewald is also memorable for the decease of Ferdinand 
Hitzig, who passed away at Heidelberg, Jan. 22, 1875. 
Less known in England, he does not appear to claim 
so full a notice in these pages as Ewald, but it were 
shameful ingratitude to pass him by altogether, nor 
need I, in eulogizing his merits, show myself blind to 
his defects. He was born at Hauingen in the Baden 
Oberland, Jan. 23, 1807. Both in his home and in 
his scholastic and academical training he was subject 
to rationalistic influences, which were not corrected, 
as in the case of De Wette, by subsequent acquaint- 
ance with deeper philosophical systems. At Heidel- 
berg he heard the lectures of Paulus, but speedily 
moved to Halle, where Gesenius induced him to 
devote himself to the Old Testament with a view to 
an academical position. That he worked hard under 
such an exacting teacher, can be easily believed, but 
soon, at Gesenius's instigation, he went away to 
Gottingen to study under Ewald : we shall presently 
find Gesenius giving the same unselfish counsel to 
Vatke. The opinion which young Hitzig formed of 


Ewald may be gathered from the dedication of his 
Commentary on Isaiah : " To the founder of a new 
science of the Hebrew language, and thereby of the 
exegesis of the Old Testament, G. H. A. Ewald, in 
Gottingen, as a mark of recognition of manifold and 
great deserts." In 1829 Hitzig, as a young graduate, 
returned to Heidelberg, and became privatdocent of 
theology. His income however was so small that he 
was on the point of taking a small cure of souls, when 
at the last moment he received a call to a professor- 
ship in the young university of Zurich. Here for 
twenty-eight years he lived and worked happily, and 
of the many German scholars who found a home in 
Zurich about this time, few so thoroughly appreciated 
the peculiar character of the Swiss people. Still more 
gladly however would he have returned to Heidelberg, 
and on the death of Umbreit in 1861, the opportunity 
offered itself. 

At the time when I made Hitzig's acquaintance, 
the number of students of theology at Heidelberg was 
not large. It was otherwise in 1861, when he took 
the students by storm, and gathered a large class of 
interested hearers. No one indeed could see or hear 
Hitzig without feeling that there was a man behind 
the scholar, 1 and that his researches were controlled 
by a strong, manly character. I ventured to write 
thus of him on the news of his death : — 2 

1 Read the letters prefixed (with biographical sketch) to his 
posthumous Biblical Theology (1880). 

2 In the Academy, Feb. 6, 1875. 

HITZIG. 121 

" Great as an Orientalist, greater as a Biblical critic, 
he was greatest of all as a disinterested, truth-loving 
character. From first to last he never wavered in 
his adherence to that dry, but clear-cut, sternly moral 
Rationalism, which he had received from his uni- 
versity teachers, Paulus and Gesenius. He was not 
indeed without his faults. He could not be induced 
to learn from any other but himself. His love of far- 
fetched etymologies — not all of them, we may hope, 
intended seriously — makes his works, especially the 
later ones, unreadable — ungeniessbar — to a pure 
philologist. The application of that method of 
criticism, which seeks to determine the date of a 
book from internal characteristics alone, led him to 
many results, especially in his work on the Psalms, 
which are not likely to hold their ground. But he 
knew Hebrew well ; he had an exegetical tact far 
surpassing that of Ewald or any other scholar with 
whom we are acquainted, and the substance of his 
works has become the common property of critics. 
Two of these deserve special recognition — his sug- 
gestive and absolutely unrivalled commentary on 
Isaiah (Heidelberg, 1833), and his contribution to the 
Exegetisches Handbuch on Jeremiah (first edition, 
Leipzig, 1841), remarkable for its judicious treatment 
of the complicated question of the text. But his 
brilliant capacities were already fully displayed in a 
still earlier work, Begriff der Kritik am Alien Testa- 
mente praktisch erdrtert (Heidelberg, 1831). He also 
wrote on the Psalms, the Minor Prophets, Ezekiel, 


Daniel, Ecclesiastes, the Song of Songs, the Proverbs, 
and — but last year — Job. His History of the People 
of Israel (Leipzig, 1862) is in the highest degree 
stimulative, but too Hitzigian, if we may be allowed 
the term, to produce much effect on criticism. His 
raids on the New Testament had also too much 
divination in them to be successful. Nor will students 
of Cuneiform acquit him of arrogance and unscientific 
haste in his unfortunate essay on the Language of the 
Assyrians. But his faults were those of a generation 
accustomed to a less severe philology than the present. 
His virtues were his own." 

To this I venture to add some supplementary 
notes. (1.) Hitzig was not less wide in his range of 
study than Ewald : change of study was his re- 
creation. From his youth he delighted in classical 
studies, and sometimes (according to Redslob) even 
lectured in this department. An incomplete Turkish 
dictionary was found among his papers, and it is 
known that in his latter years he studied the Slavonic 
languages. That his imperfect acquaintance with 
Sanskrit and Zend led him astray in Old Testament 
research, is well known. On New Testament criticism 
too he ventured to offer new and ingenious sugges- 
tions (see e.g. Holtzmann, Kritik der Epheser und 
Kolosserbriefe, pp. 22, 33, 87, 158 — 160, 165 — 168, 306). 
(2.) As to Hitzig's services to Old Testament criticism. 
As a " higher critic " he errs, like Ewald, by attempting 
to solve too many obscure points of detail : he forgets 
the necessary limits of human knowledge. This fault 


can be traced even in his two earliest critical works. 
Thus (a) in the Begriff der Kritik he claims a number 
of psalms for Jeremiah, partly at least because certain 
expressions (prosaically interpreted) correspond with 
facts mentioned in the narrative chapters of the Book 
of Jeremiah. So too Ps. lxxii. is treated as referring 
to Ptolemy Philadelphus, not merely on the legitimate 
ground of a general correspondence between the back- 
ground of the psalm and the story of the early days 
of the Ptolemy, but on the illegitimate ground that 
parts of the psalm, when realistically interpreted, 
agree exactly with the narrative. And (b), in the 
dissertation called Des Propheten Jonas Orakel iiber 
Moab, he endeavoured to show, not only that that 
much-disputed passage, Isa. xv. 1 — xvi. 12, is not by 
Isaiah, but that, though almost without any historical 
allusions, it is certainly the work of Jonah ben-Amittai 
(2 Kings xiv- 25). There are many other instances 
of this same dogmatism in both his works on the 
Psalms. I do not deny that there is now and then 
much plausibility in his conjectures, and had they 
been brought forward much more sparingly, and with 
a due admission of their uncertainty, they would 
deserve praise rather than blame (assuming of course 
that on other grounds the period — I do not say, the 
year — to which Hitzig assigned the particular psalms 
was probably correct). There are also many startling 
conjectures in his History of the People of Israel, where 
Hitzig also complicates matters by his strange ideas 
of comparative philology. So startling indeed are 


some of them that they would infallibly have ruined 
the reputation of any other scholar. 

Happily there is much more to be said on the other 
side. On the larger critical questions Hitzig may not 
be conclusive, but what he says is always rich in 
stimulus, and even his excess of positiveness, when 
dealing with those problems of detail in which he 
delights, can be excused as a reaction against De 
Wette's scepticism. And probably no one has done 
so much for that accurate explanation of the text 
upon which, after all, the " higher criticism " must 
be largely based. He is, in the first place, under 
no illusion as to the state of the Hebrew text, and 
though his emendations require sifting, they are often 
really brilliant. Certainly he is never so ineffective 
as an emender as Ewald, from haste and inattention 
to his own grammatical rules, sometimes unfortunately 
is. And next, as a grammarian, Hitzig is not inferior 
to the master to whom in this field he has so fully 
owned his indebtedness, and though, as an exegete, 
he is not equally sensitive with Ewald to some psycho- 
logical phenomena, yet he seizes many delicacies 
of thought which that too eager commentator over- 
looks ; he may indeed sometimes be even too subtle, 
but this is one of the defauts de ses qualith, and is 
not likely to mislead many English readers. I will 
quote what another master of exegesis (Delitzsch) has 
said of Hitzig ; the passage is of much biographical 
as well as critical interest, and deserves respectful 

HITZIG. 125 

" In spite of the difference of our religious stand- 
point and the bitter words which we have often 
exchanged, I ever respected in Hitzig the extra- 
ordinarily gifted master of the art of exegesis, and 
there existed between us a sympathy which found 
various modes of manifestation. Hitzig himself gave 
hearty expression to this feeling, as lately as Jan. 6, 
1875, shortly before his decease, in a letter bearing 
his own tremulous signature." * Alas, that the 
religious difference here referred to should have 
been so strongly marked ! Both scholars indeed 
were sincere Christians (see, for Hitzig's position, 
Geschichte des Volkes Israel, p. 3), but Hitzig's view 
even of the higher religion of the Old Testament 
erred by meagreness as much as that of his friendly 
rival erred by exaggeration. But let us not censure 
either scholar. Fidelity was a leading feature in the 
character of both, and of Hitzig it may be said that 
he was loyally devoted to the clear but shallow 
rationalism of his parents. The effect was seen in 
his narrow view, not only of Hebraism, but of 
Christianity itself, as is well pointed out by a great 
Jewish scholar (J. Derenbourg) in a review of Hitzig's 
History of the People of Israel. 

" M. Hitzig est quelque peu de l'^cole de MM. 
Lassen et Renan. La race s6mitique est pour lui 
une race infdrieure, incomplete, dominie par les sens, 
priv^e de toute delicatesse morale, born^e du cdte' de 

1 Hiob (1876), " Vorwort," p. vi. 


l'esprit, une race sans aucune largeur de vue, pour 
laquelle Fame n'est que le souffle de ses narines, ou le 
sang qui coule dans ses veines, une race dont la langue 
elle-meme, par la pauvrete" de son fond et de ses 
formes, reflete 1'insuffisance et les imperfections. Le 
christianisme, pour cette ^cole, est avant tout un fait 
arien, un produit de l'esprit hell^nique ldgerement 
m&ange' d'61^ments hebraiques, a son detriment selon 
les uns, pour son profit selon les autres." * 

It is not surprising that the shallowness of Gese- 
nius and Hitzig, and the vagueness of Ewald, were 
profoundly obnoxious to those who resorted to the 
Scriptures simply and solely for supplies of spiritual 
life. 2 Even had the new exegesis been more free 
from rationalistic assumptions, it would have required 
unusual strength of faith to admit in practice (what 
most admit in words) that divine revelation is pro- 
gressive, and that the records of it are not free from 
earthly dross. '' It is not every interpreter who is 
able, like Luther and Calvin, to place his novel views 
in a light which shall appeal as strongly to the 
religious experience of the Christian as to the 
scholarly instincts of the learned. The rise of new 
difficulties is as essential to the progress of truth as 
the removal of old puzzles ; and it not seldom 
happens that the defects of current opinions as to 
the sense of Scripture are most palpable to the man 

1 Revue critique, 7 mai, 1870. 

2 Some passages here are taken from my Prophecies of Isaiah, 
ii. 280, 281. 


whose spiritual interest in Bible truths is weak. . . 
Thus the natural conservatism of those who study 
the Bible mainly for purposes of personal edification 
is often intensified by suspicion of the motives of 
innovating interpreters ; and even so fruitful an idea 
as the doctrine of a gradual development of spiritual 
truth throughout the whole course of the Bible 
history has had to contend, from the days of Calvin 
down to our own time, with an obstinate suspicion 
that nothing but rationalism can make a man un- 
willing to find the maximum of developed spiritual 
truth in every chapter of Scripture." x 

Only by such feelings as these can we account for 
the unvarying opposition of Hengstenberg (1802 — 1869) 
to the new criticism and exegesis — an opposition, I 
must add, intensified by his editorship of a Church 
newspaper, 2 which kept him in a continual atmo- 
sphere of party strife. Anxiety for his personal 
religion, which he had learned in the school of trial, 
and not of this or the other theologian, converted the 
youthful Hengstenberg into an ardent champion of 
revelation (as he conceived it), and a certain heaviness 
of the intellect (which no English reader of his works 
can fail to observe) made him regard any attempt, 
such as Bleek's, at a via media, as sophistry or self- 
delusion. Hengstenberg had no historical gifts, and 

1 Prof. W. Robertson Smith, British and Foreign Evangelical 
Review, July 1876, p. 474. 

2 To the attacks upon.Gesenius in this paper I have already- 
referred. Neander marked his disapproval of them by ceasing 
to write for it. Gesenius was not the only sufferer. 


never seems to have really assimilated that doctrine 
of development which, though rejected by Pietists on 
the one hand and Tridentine Romanists on the other, 
is so profoundly Christian. He was therefore indis- 
posed to allow the human element in inspiration, 
denied the limited nature of the Old Testament 
stage of revelation, and, as Dorner 1 has pointed out, 
made prophecy nothing but the symbolic covering 
of the doctrines of Christianity. These, even in the 
opinion of not unfriendly judges, are grave faults 
which seriously detract from the value of Hengsten- 
berg's work. It must be remembered, however, that 
the exegesis which he so earnestly opposed had been 
equally one-sided, and had still many infirmities to 
overcome. Even from a scientific point of view, it 
was desirable that the traditional theories should be 
once restated in a modern form, that they might be 
more completely overcome, and that justice might be 
done to any elements of truth which they might 

I need not say much respecting the outward life 
of this militant theologian, who would himself have 
been surprised at the company into which he has 
been thrown. It is fair to mention, however, that- at 
the university he studied Aristotelian philosophy 
under Brandis, and Arabic still more eagerly 
under Freytag (who somewhat later had our own 
Pusey for a disciple). From Bonn he passed to 

1 History of Protestant Theology, ii. 436-7. 


Berlin, to study theology under Neander and the 
youthful Tholuck. In 1825 he became licentiate of 
theology and privatdocent. The following year, 
Tholuck went to Halle, and Hengstenberg, partly 
through his learning, piety, and orthodoxy, partly 
through having married into an influential and only 
too zealous orthodox family, became the recognized 
head of the anti-rationalists of Berlin. In June 21, 
1827, he put forth an announcement of his newspaper, 
the Evangelische Kirchenzeitung, and in 1828 the first 
numbers appeared. The controversial spirit of this 
famous Church organ gained him many enemies, and 
Pusey would, I am sure, have disapproved of the 
unseemly tone of the articles, and of the unworthy 
means which were adopted to support their attack on 
the liberties of theological professors. But I do not 
think it is fair for such or similar reasons to condemn 
Hengstenberg as bitterly as one of those great 
scholars whom we have lately lost (Lagarde) has 
been impelled to do. Hengstenberg was a good and 
sincerely pious man, though not what Lagarde with 
his English tastes would call a " gentleman." And 
the fact that he endeavoured, so far as he could, to 
modernize orthodoxy, deserves to be mentioned in 
his favour. 

It is this fact which makes it possible to regard 
Hengstenberg as in a certain sense one of the "founders 
of criticism," especially for English and American 
students of the last generation. No one who looks 
into his various exegetical works can fail to see that 



he was not a Church father " born out of due time," 
but rather that he had sat at the feet of Gesenius and 
Ewald for grammar, and received some intellectual 
stimulus both from the older and from the newer 
rationalism. The latter point will be abundantly clear 
to any one who will examine the theories on prophecy 
expressed in his greater work, the Christologie des A. 
T. 1 The book is ill translated, but should not be 
altogether overlooked by students : it was a brave 
attempt (such as Pusey with his Church views could 
not have made) to save the citadel of orthodoxy at 
the cost of some of the outworks. Of his other 
works, I need only mention the Beitrdge zur Einleit- 
ung ins A. T. (3 vols., 1831 — 1839), of which vol. i. 
deals with Zechariah and Daniel, vols. ii. and iii. 
with the " authenticity of the Pentateuch," and 
the Commentar iiber die Psalmen? It is needless to 
say that on questions of the " higher criticism " 
Hengstenberg is almost uniformly conservative. 
Ecclesiastes indeed, unlike Pusey, he denies to 
Solomon, 3 and in explaining the Psalms he admits 
the representative character of the speaker so often 
as to damage the case for the Davidic authorship to 

1 First edition, 2 vols., '1829 — 1835; second, 4 vols. 1854 — 
1857 (recast). Translated in Clark's Theol. Library. 

2 First edition, 4 vols., 1842 — 1847; second, 1849— 1852. 
Translated in Clark's Library. 

3 The historical background, says Hengstenberg, can only be 
the period of the Persian rule ; the language is post- Exilic. 
The position of the book in the Canon confirms this view {Der 
Prediger Saldino, 1859, " Einleitung "). 

VATKE. 131 

a very serious extent. Among the English-speaking 
scholars whom he introduced to a modernized con- 
servatism (thus preparing the way for greater changes 
to come) is Joseph Addison Alexander, professor at 
Princeton Seminary, N.J., an accomplished linguist 
though not an original critic, known by two useful 
commentaries on Isaiah and on the Psalms, both of 
which (but especially the latter) are to a great extent 
a reproduction of Hengstenberg. 

On April 21, 1828, a young student arrived at 
Berlin from Gottingen, who was destined for many 
years to be a thorn in Hengstenberg's side. 1 This 
was Wilhelm Vatke (born March 14, 1806), the son 
of the much-respected pastor of Eehndorf, a village 
in the Prussian province of Saxony, not far from 
Helmstedt (in 1806 still a university town). His 
father (who was a near friend of the father of Gese- 
nius) was an earnest rationalist in theology and a 
Kantian in philosophy. It was in the orchards and 
woods of Behndorf that Vatke drank in that love of 
trees which, together with the love of music, con- 
tributed so much to his happiness throughout life. 
On his father's death (18 14), in the midst of war- 
troubles, the family moved to Helmstedt, where 
young Wilhelm received a good education, which was 
completed in the Latin school of the Waisenhaus at 
Halle. In 1824 Vatke began his university studies 
at Halle, and after four semesters spent in that 

1 I am much indebted here to the excellent memoir of Vatke 
by Benecke (1883). 


famous seat of philology and theology, and three 
at Gottingen, he came, with a modest supply of funds, 
to the still more brilliant though younger university 
of Berlin. Seldom has a theological student been 
better prepared for critical studies. At his schools 
Vatke had enjoyed a thorough classical training, and 
at his two former universities he had been well 
grounded in the Semitic languages (Gesenius had 
passed his pupil on to Ewald), and had been interested 
in history and historical criticism, while from De 
Wette, all of whose books (at Gesenius's instigation) 
young Vatke had devoured, he had adopted the 
principle that " every truth is better than even the 
most edifying error, and a faith which is inconsistent 
with the truth cannot possibly be the right one." 

Such was the young student who now came to 
Berlin to complete his theological studies. He had 
as yet no definite idea of becoming an Old Testa- 
ment scholar. Theology was a wide field, and he 
wished to take a survey of the whole before selecting 
a field of more special study. Gottingen had never 
been strong in philosophy, while Berlin at this time 
counted Schleiermacher, Hegel, and Marheineke 
among its philosophers and philosophic theologians, 
besides being well provided with teachers in every 
other fach except that of the Old Testament. Let 
us note at the outset that Vatke was on the look-out 
for a deeper philosophy than either Wegscheider or 
even Fries and De Wette could supply. Also that 
he took up the study of philosophy in good earnest, 

VATKE. 133 

and that he combined it with the study of historical 
theology in Neander's Seminar. Such a student of 
philosophy, if he ever returned to his first love (that of 
Old Testament research), was likely to throw some 
fresh light on the progress of religious thought and 
belief among the Israelites. But young Vatke was 
in no hurry to return. Hengstenberg, at that time a 
young, newly-appointed professor, failed entirely to 
attract him, not so much because he was not specu- 
lative (for Neander, whom Vatke liked, was not this), 
as because he had no historical sense, and barred the 
way of historical and philosophical inquiry. Vatke 
was therefore free to follow his own instincts, and told 
Neander that he should work longer at Arabic and 
Syriac and at the New Testament ; inwardly, how- 
ever, he had resolved to give his best time to the 
labour of fathoming the deepest philosophy of the 

We must bear in mind that Vatke was one of those 
born scholars who can combine difficult subjects of 
study without becoming mere dilettanti. Thus at this 
period of his life we find him turning from Hegel 
to Church history, and then to Rabbinic (in which 
he had the tuition of Biesenthal). But beyond 
question his dominant interest (putting aside music) 
was in Hegel (not in Schleiermacher, be it observed), 
and it is a noteworthy fact that, directly he had 
mastered Hegel's system, the Old Testament began 
to appear to him in a new light. Starting from De 
Wette's conclusions, he went with intuitive certainty 


far beyond his teacher, and his clue to the labyrinth 
of critical problems he derived from Hegel. It was 
not strange that he should now think of lecturing on 
Old Testament subjects, especially as, by the ex- 
change of Bleek 1 for Hengstenberg, the theological 
faculty was now without any representative of the 
" higher criticism " of the Old Testament. Vatke 
had no personal dislike to his slightly older rival, 
but could not abide the dangerous views and domi- 
neering spirit of one who so dreaded the light {ich 
denke nicht gem an den lichtscheuen jungen Mann). 
On public grounds, therefore, which even Neander 
could thoroughly estimate, it was needful for some 
one to oppose Hengstenberg on his own ground, and 
this was what Vatke did after his first semester as a 
lecturer. No doubt (as I have admitted) Vatke also 
obeyed the inner impulse of a pioneer. No sooner 
did the young Hegelian return to the Old Testament 
than the theory of his Biblische Theologie began to 
take shape. " Courageously he made a way for him- 
self through untrodden fields, and his pioneering 
boldness counted for much in the attraction which 
he exercised upon the academic youth." 2 

It was in Vatke's second year as a privatdocent 
that Hegel died (Nov. 14, 1831), and only too soon 
afterwards followed the decease of Schleiermacher 
(Feb. 12, 1834). Both events were misfortunes for 
Vatke, though not in the same degree. To the 

> See p. 143, s Benecke, p. 59. 

VATKE. 135 

former of these teachers he owed the best part of his 
intellectual possessions; to the latter, endless food 
for reflection, but no lasting satisfaction. For Vatke's 
own sake, one is tempted to wish that his relations to 
Schleiermacher could have been different. His inner 
life would, as one thinks, have been somewhat more 
normal in its devoutness, and, granting this, we might 
perhaps have received from him a more sympathetic 
treatise on the history and meaning of the higher Old 
Testament religion — I do not here merely mean, a 
more readable book, but one which appeals more to 
one's religious sympathies. And then, who knows ? — 
perhaps Schleiermacher himself might have been led 
to take a higher view of the best parts of the Old 
Testament than with all his devoutness he had been 
able to do. The wish, I say, is natural, but I am bound 
to add, that it is not one that could have been realized. 
It was probably impossible in those days to pick and 
choose among the treasures of Hegel — to receive 
stimulus and instruction from his Philosophy of 
History, 1 and there stop, without committing oneself 
to Hegelianism as a whole. And so Vatke suffered 
in some sort (if a non-speculative student may thus 
express himself) for the general good. The step 
which he was now about to take in' the constructive 
criticism of the Old Testament could only have been 
taken by a thorough Hegelian ; no other critic of his 

1 The fertilizing influence of Hegel on historical inquiry has 
been well pointed out by Pfleiderer, Development of Theology, 
p. 71. 


time would so intuitively have discerned order in the 
midst of conflicting phenomena. And I hasten to add 
that if Vatke suffered some loss, it was not in the 
sphere of his moral character. If in him religion was 
far too much overlaid by theology, its presence was 
sufficiently proved by the fruits which it alone could 
have put forth. What De Wette was to theologians, 
Vatke has become to a larger circle of students by 
, his exhibition of such truly Christian virtues as 
meekness under provocation, courtesy to opponents, 
friendliness to social or intellectual inferiors, con- 
tentment, unpretentiousness, inward collectedness, 
resignation. 1 

In the year 1835 appeared two remarkable books, 
one of which has passed through edition after edition, 
whereas the other may still be obtained new in its 
original edition — two remarkable books, the less 
successful of which, from a commercial point of view, 
commands much more general assent among com- 
petent students than its fellow. These books are — 
Strauss's Leben Jesu and Vatke's Die biblische Theo- 
logie wissenschaftlich dargestellt, Band i. 2 Into the 
relation of the two writers and their respective books 

1 See especially the tribute paid to Vatke in his lifetime by 
Delitzsch's friend and collaborator J. H. R. Biesenthal, author of 
Das Trostschreiben des Apostels Paulus an die Hebraer, 1878 
(who, as we have seen, instructed Vatke in Rabbinic), Benecke, 
p. 620. 

2 The second title-page calls the book Die Religion des 
Alien Testamentes nach den kanonischen Biichern entwickelt, 
Erster TheiJ. 

VATKE. 137 

it is not necessary to enter here. Suffice it to say 
that, while the Leben Jesu addressed itself to the 
thousands of ordinary educated readers, the Biblische 
Theologie appealed solely and entirely to professional 
theologians. This needs, I think, to be emphasized. 
The author even went to the extreme of refusing all 
readers but those who understood the Hegelian 
terminology. He thus lost many of the most 
qualified judges ; a glance at the table of contents 
was enough to deter Reuss, and of those who read 
the book we may conjecture that not half did justice 
to its underlying historical criticism. That this was 
an error in judgment, Vatke himself afterwards saw. 
It is true that his insight into the development of the 
higher religion of Israel was quickened by his 
Hegelianism, but his conclusions were not philo- 
sophical but historical, and could to a large extent 
have been justified without the help of an abstruse 
philosophizing. A convenient summary of these 
results will be found in Pfleiderer's Development of 
Theology, but the student will do well to glance at 
some of the pages of the book itself. Whether read- 
able or not, the treatise is at any rate admirably 
arranged, and the central idea, round which all the 
details group themselves, is one which is no longer 
the heresy of a few, — viz. that the religion of Israel, 
like all other movements of thought or belief, is 
subject (we need not at present ask for qualifications) 
to the law of development. Many of the details 
moreover are such as now commend themselves to an 


increasing number of students. Notice for instance 
the clear distinction drawn by Vatke between the 
religion of the Old Testament and nature-worship in 
all its forms ; he points out e.g. how even in such a 
relatively pure religion as Mazdeism the conception of 
creation differs in some points from that of Hebraism 
(p. 603). Vatke sees moreover that the true standard 
of Old Testament religion is that supplied by the 
prophets (p. 593), and for the first time forms an 
equitable judgment upon Jewish "particularism" (pp. 
614 — 617). For "higher criticism " too the book fur- 
nishes many valuable hints. Wilhelm Vatke in this 
work and Leopold George 1 (in his Die dlteren Jild- 
ischen Feste, 1835) independently put forward what is 
now becoming the prevalent view on the date of the 
Levitical legislation ; Vatke has also again and again 
extremely acute critical theories on the prophetical 
writings {e.g. on Joel's and on Isa. xxiv. — xxvii.) and 
on the Hagiographa. Surely to have produced such 
a book in 1835 entitles a man to a high place among 
the " founders of criticism." 

That the book has many faults, is not less obvious. 
Though the author admits the religious importance 
of highly gifted individuals (p. 645), it is doubtful 1 
whether he does justice to their intuitional origin- 
ality, and whether he recognizes at all adequately 

1 Von Bohlen too in the same year published his view that 
Deuteronomy was composed under Josiah, but the rest of the 
Pentateuch not before the Exile (Genesis historisch-kritisch, 
erlautert, 1835). 


the germs of New Testament religion contained 
in the Old Testament. It stands to reason more- 
over that a number of details have been rendered 
uncertain by subsequent critical and archaeological 
research. Vatke himself in his later years retracted 
his speculations on Saturn, and became willing to 
modify his statement on the symbolism of the 
temple. It is a still greater fault, from the point of 
view of the " higher criticism," that the sharp-sighted 
author gives no prolegomena on the critical analysis 
of the Hexateuch. Most important questions of 
analysis were still but half solved, and if Vatke would 
not contribute to solve them, how could he expect 
the literary critics to attend to his solution of the 
less pressing historical problems ? And yet from the 
most competent judges, such as De Wette, Nitzsch, 
and Ewald, 1 most gratifying words were heard, 
qualifying and mitigating an almost unavoidable 
rejection of the main positions of the book, while 
in our own day one critic vies with another 2 in ad- 
miration of a writer who was so much before his age. 
However little effect he may have had as an author, 
as a lecturer Vatke was among the most successful 
of his time till the fatal year 1849. I n l %37 he 
became extraordinary professor, and in 1841 published 
his second great work, called Human Freedom in its 
Relation to Sin and the Divine Grace. This is not 

1 Ewald however was not always so equitable. Both in 
books and in lectures he afterwards violently opposed Vatke. 
a See especially Wellhausen, History of Israel. 


the place to discuss this remarkable piece of con- 
structive speculation. One may remark however 
that Vatke's genius was clearly more synthetic than 
analytic, and that consequently we need not be 
surprised at his slowness to publish. Moreover after 
1849 various influences contributed to lessen Vatke's 
productivity. Fear of failing in their examinations 
through knowing too much kept away students from 
his lectures ; and within his own mind a change was 
going forward in his relation to Hegel, whom he no 
longer regarded as a philosophical Messiah. One 
may ask whether Vatke's critical attitude towards 
Hegel does not partly explain the change in his 
opinions on the origin of the Pentateuch. In his 
posthumous Introduction to the Old Testament (1886), 
published from the manuscript of his academical 
lectures, these striking sentences occur : — 

"In the year 1835 two writers came forward, who 
sought to prove that the Elohim-document cannot 
have been written before the Exile, viz. Vatke him- 
self and George. Graf adhered to this view, and 
Reuss in Strassburg has also asserted that there 
could be no rest for criticism till it had been proved 
that this legislation was the later. But it can be 
shown that those priestly laws proceed from the 
author of the Elohim-document, and that he is older 
than the Jehovist and the Deuteronomic writer . . . 
In order to explain the Elohim-document historic- 
ally, we must ascribe to its author the large plan of 
a reform of the entire life (of the nation), which 

VATKE. 141 

was probably occasioned by Hezekiah's partial 
reformation." x 

Elsewhere Vatke expresses his view thus : — 
" The priestly writer knew the second Elohist ; he 
therefore wrote after 716, towards the end of the 
eighth or at the beginning of the seventh century, 
probably in the last years of Hezekiah, and was 
perhaps one of those who brought about the reform 
of the cultus undertaken by that king." " The priestly 
supplementer of the Elohim-document (the author of 
Lev. xvii. — xx., xxvi., Num. xxxiii. 52 — 56) forms the 
transition from the older form of representation to 
Deuteronomy. . . . We shall have to place this 
writer immediately after the Jehovist, perhaps in the 
middle of the seventh century, so that the work 
which he closed consisted of the writings of the 
second Elohist, the Elohim-document, and of the 
Jehovist. This work was found in 624, and it was 
the supplementing additions (perhaps made with 
a view to publication) which produced such a deep 
impression on Josiah." 2 

This change of opinion shows, first, the comparative 
isolation in which Vatke lived, rarely quitting his 
beautiful Berlin domain ; secondly, his love of truth, 
and willingness to correct himself to the best of his 

1 Vatke, Einleitung, p. 402. 

2 Ibid. pp. 388-89. Vatke's view on the date of Deuteronomy 
(which he places in the last ten years of the kingdom of Judah) 
is the same in both his books. It is connected with his theory 
on the law-book found by Hilkiah in the temple (on which see 
Kuenen, Hexateuch, p. 216). 


ability. It does not however perhaps do much 
credit to his critical sagacity, and has been passed 
over in respectful silence by contemporary critics. 
It is of course possible that, had Vatke been able to 
work out his later theories for the press, he might 
have been led to question their soundness. But he 
put this off too long ; in his last days the requisite 
mental elasticity was wanting. His last great 
pleasure was the grateful recognition given to him by 
the theological faculties of Berlin and Jena, and by 
many of his old pupils, 1 on the occasion of his 
jubilee as an academical teacher. As long as he 
could, he amused himself with his favourite composer 
Bach, and died peacefully April 19, 1882. 

Our next " founder of criticism " was in many 
respects most unlike Vatke. Friedrich Bleek was an 
able, and truth-loving critic, but like Reuss strongly 
opposed to an d priori construction of history. Born 
in Holstein, July 4, 1793, he spent his first two years 
of academic study at Kiel. But more important for 
his development were his student-years at Berlin 
(18 14 — 1 8 17), where he came into close contact with 
De Wette, Neander, and Schleiermacher. By the 
influence of these friendly teachers he was appointed 
theological repetent (tutorial fellow), and succeeded 
so well as a teacher that he was nominated by the 

1 Among those who attended his lectures even after 1849 was 
the New Testament critic Heinrich Holtzmann, who in his 
Einleitung (1885, Pref. p. viii) ascribes his interest in criticism 
entirely to Vatke. 

BLEEK. 143 

minister Altenstein to an extraordinary professorship. 
But — who could have believed it ? — that same terrible 
police, which ruined De Wette, interfered to check 
De Wette's pupil, and it was not till the end of 1823 
that the official notice of his appointment was given. 1 
At Berlin Bleek remained till the end of 1828, when 
he moved to the new university of Bonn, thus leaving 
the field clear at Berlin for the two opposing powers 
— Hengstenberg and Vatke. There he worked with 
much acceptance for thirty years. He passed away 
suddenly in the midst of his devoted labours for the 
university and the Church, Feb. 27, 1859. 

Bleek had a more harmonious development than 
his master De Wette, and supplies an example of 
easier imitation. He was one of those divines who 
(to use his own words), "with all their susceptibility 
to the teaching of revelation, refuse to identify the 
Word of God and Holy Scripture, and regard it as 
their primary object to discern the Word of God in 
Holy Scripture." His essentially evangelical character 
cannot be denied, but the via media which he put 
forward failed to satisfy, not only Hengstenberg, but 
even such a sensible English churchman as Canon 
Venables, to whose only too balanced commendations 
we may partly ascribe the failure of the' English 
translation of Bleek's Introduction to the Old Testa- 
ment? Certainly few books of German origin were 

1 Kamphausen in Herzog-Plitt's Encycl. 

2 See preface to English edition (2 vols., 1 869). Probably, how- 
ever, the blame must be shared by Mr. Venables the translator. 


more fitted to succeed, and no English scholar being 
ready to provide a substitute, one would have thought 
that our Church leaders would have recognized the 
duty of pressing the claims of Bleek, as I ventured to 
do myself in 1870. 1 But it was not to be. Colenso's 
brave but ill-regulated criticism was not to be welcomed 
as the first step towards something better, but to be 
put down, and the Church has had to suffer the bitter 
consequences. It is right however to scan some of 
the features of the book which ought to have done so 
much for us. Let us notice then, (a) that Bleek's 
Introduction is not a mere handbook, but can be read 
with pleasure. Though it does not go deeply into 
disputable points, what it gives is full enough and 
clear enough to be taken in. (b) That its critical tone 
is not negative, but positive ; it avoids the faults of 
the early editions of De Wette's handbook, (c) It 
does not aim at giving a complete and consistent 
critical history of the Old Testament literature ; it 
does but make contributions to this (see preface of 
the German editors). The student therefore is not 
in danger of supposing that his teacher is " biassed." 
Of course, this attitude was somewhat easier in 
Bleek's time than it is in ours, (d) Though the book 
is in the main non-theological, the author does not 
disguise his own theological stand-point. Like all 
our leading critics, he has a positive theology (though 
not a theological system), to which upon due occasion 

1 Review of Schrader's edition of De Wette's Introduction. 
Academy (Aug. 13, 1870). 

BLEEK. 145 

(see e. g. § 193) he refers, and his theology is that 
genuine historical evangelical theology, which in the 
Anglican Church appears as yet to have only a few 
scattered representatives. 

May I not venture to say that by producing such 
a book (based as it is upon the academical teaching 
of many years) Bleek would have established his 
claim to be one of the " founders of criticism," even if 
he had done nothing more? One may cheerfully 
grant that many of the conclusions of the book are 
now out of date. In Pentateuch criticism, for instance, 
he now appears far too conservative. When for 
instance the venerable K. J. Nitzsch (one of the 
most earnest opponents of Vatke) reckons among 
Bleek's merits " the proof of the Mosaic age of funda- 
mental laws of the Pentateuch and of the historicity 
of the scaffolding of the patriarchal narrative," we 
hesitate to give full assent, knowing that there was 
much crudeness in the views of Bleek, and having 
lost that dread of an " attenuation " ( Verdiinnung) of 
Abraham and Moses x which beset the reviewers 
of Vatke's Biblische Theologie. But in his own day 
such conservative-liberalism as Bleek's was a whole- 
some element of thought. And plain, not to say 
self-evident, as his remarks on the Book of Daniel 
may now seem, we must not forget that by his early 
dissertation on " the authorship and object of Daniel " 
Bleek contributed much to make them so. Nor have 

1 See Nitzsch, in Benecke, Wilhelm Vatke,^. 216 ; cf. p. 551. 



all Old Testament scholars yet reached to the very 
moderate degree of critical progress indicated in 
Bleek's important paragraphs on the analysis of Isa. 
xl. — lxvi. Altogether, one may safely say that Keil's 
unfavourable judgment on Bleek's Introduction is not 

It has not yet been mentioned that the work 
referred to is a posthumous publication. The first 
edition came out in 1860, under the care of Johannes 
Bleek and Adolf Kamphausen. In 1878 the book 
appeared in a much altered form, which seemed to 
the publisher to be dictated by the altered aspect of 
critical problems. The editor was Julius Wellhausen, 
who re-wrote parts of it, and would doubtless have re- 
written more, but for the fear of seeming to anticipate 
the opinion of scholars on his own recent articles on 
the composition of the Hexateuch. This fourth 
edition is therefore virtually a criticism (and a 
valuable one it is) on Bleek's Introduction to the Old 
Testament} Nor is this the only posthumous work 
of Bleek. In 1862 his Introduction to the New 
Testament was published, 2 and in the same year his 
Synoptical Explanation of the Three First Gospels, 
and his Lectures on the Apocalypse; in 1865, his 
Lectures on Colossians, Philippians, and Ephesians, 

1 In ed. S (1886) much of the editorial element has been 

2 In the third and fourth editions (cared for by Mangold) the 
views given by Bleek have been considerably modified (see B. 
Weiss's review, Theol. Lit.-Ztg., Jan. 8, 1876. The English trans- 
lation (by Urwick) is made from the second German edition. 

BLEEK. 147 

and his Lectures on the Epistle to the Hebrews. And 
before passing on, I may remark that Bleek is even 
more important in the exegesis of the New Testament 
than in that of the Old. His great work on the 
Epistle to the Hebrews (1828-36-40) is neglected by 
none of our best scholars, and his second larger work, 
Contributions to the Criticism of the Gospels (1846), 
is especially important in the annals of the criticism 
of the Fourth Gospel. The latter book was dedicated 
to Bleek's old teacher De Wette, upon whom it 
evidently produced a deep impression. 1 - The positive 
tendency of Bleek on the Johannine question reminds 
us that he was a devoted pupil of Schleiermacher. 

In fact, the relations between De Wette and his 
younger friends Bleek and Liicke illustrate one of the 
most pleasing traits in the character of the former, viz. 
his willingness to receive suggestions from his juniors. 
He never himself reached such positive views either on 
the historicity of the Pentateuch or on the authorship 
of the Fourth Gospel as Bleek, but he let himself be 
impressed by Bleek's arguments. In 1822 the latter, 
at that time merely a theological repetent, published 
in Rosenmiiller's Repertorium 2 (Bd. i.) an article 
called " Some Aphoristic Contributions to Pentateuch 
Researches," which, as Westphal remarks, produced a 
sensation. "Bleek parut, sans hardiesse et sans 
passion : on l'ecouta." 3 De Wette was the foremost 

1 See quotations in Watkins, Bampton Lectures for 1890, p. 
309. 2 Cf. Bleek's Introd. § 74. 

3 Les sources du Pentateuque, i. 166. 


to admit the weight of Bleek's objections, and 
retreated (in the third edition of his Introduction) 
from his most advanced positions. Later on (in his 
fifth edition) the same candid critic accepted from 
Bleek and Tuch the famous Supplement-hypothesis, 
towards which he himself in his Beitrage had been 
unconsciously moving — i. e. the hypothesis that an 
Elohistic Grundschrift or " fundamental writing" (as 
Tuch first called it) was " worked over " and supple- 
mented by a second writer commonly called the 
Yahvist. For Bleek's view on this subject see (besides 
the Introd.) his De libri Geneseos origine atque indole 
historicA observations qucedam contra Bohlenium 1 
(1836). I part from this truly Christian scholar with 
sympathy, though as a critic I cannot think that he 
was sufficiently keen. Among his other works I would 
mention his epoch-making dissertation on the origin 
and composition of the Sibylline Oracles (Schleier- 
macher's Zeitschrift, 1819-20), and his inquiry into the 
origin of Zech. ix. — xiv. (Tkeol. Stud. u. Kritiken, 
1852, pp. 247 — 332 ; see also Bleek's Introd^), the 
results of which should be compared with those of De 
Wette in his Introduction. 

1 Bleek's criticisms of von Bohlen's Genesis illustrate the 
difference between himself and Hitzig. The latter also reviewed 
von Bohlen {Theol. Stud. 11. Krit. 1837) ; he found something to 
praise, but more to blame, or at least to reject. But whereas 
Bleek charges von Bohlen with protervia and arrogantta, Hitzig 
declares that the censure is unmerited ; he can only see the 
Keckheit of a young scholar rejoicing in his strength. 



It is natural to pass from Friedrich Bleek to 
Hermann Hupfeld, who stands in the same rank as 
a clear-headed, accurate, dispassionate, and funda- 
mentally devout scholar. 1 Looking at the early 
history of the latter as described by himself, one can 
see that it throws much light on his character as a 
scholar. He was born March 31, 1796, at Marburg. 
His father was a pastor who held the usual rational- 
istic views in no extreme form, but at the age of 
thirteen the lad passed into the house of an uncle, a 
pastor of "pietistic" views, who carefully superintended 
his studies, but was compelled to leave him for many 
hours alone. The consequence was that while on the 
one hand the inquisitive boy made great progress in 
his studies, on the other he became too thoughtful and 
critical for his years, and was without the stimulus 

1 A Lebens- und Charakterbild of Hupfeld was published by 
his pupil and friend Eduard Riehm (now himself deceased) ; 
Kamphausen's article in Herzog-Plitt contains a good summary 
of facts, with an appreciative estimate of Hupfeld as a man and 
a scholar. 


supplied to the imagination by history and poetry. 
From a religious point of view, he gained much from 
this residence with his uncle ; he became heartily 
attached to Christian truth, and desired nothing better 
than to become a pastor himself. So, after spending 
a year and a half at the gymnasium at Hersfeld, 
young Hupfeld matriculated at the Hessian university 
of Marburg. There he came under the influence of a 
decided supernaturalist, A. J. Arnoldi, who, though 
not famous in research, was an eminent teacher, 
and grounded him in Arabic and Syriac as well as in 
Hebrew philology. But it was entirely by his own 
efforts that, after leaving the university, he reached a 
view of the Old Testament, independent of modern 
theological theories, and equally satisfactory to his 
historical and to his religious sense. The charm of 
the view which thus opened itself to him was so great, 
that he felt that only as an academical teacher could 
he do his best work, and that, " cost what it might," 
he must obtain admission to this office. 

It became necessary therefore to resume his 
student life, and after a year and a half's quiet study, 
he went to Halle in 1824, not so much however, as it 
would seem, for training (for he only remained in 
Halle a year), as for stimulus. In 1825 he first 
lectured as privatdocent at Marburg, and as an extra- 
ordinary professor. In the same year he won his spurs 
as a grammarian. For more than a hundred years 
Ethiopic philology had been almost entirely neglected, 
and it was Hupfeld who, by his Exercitationes ALthi- 


optcce (published in 1825), gave the first impulse to a 
resumption of this study. Soon after, he became full 
professor, and the following years were the happiest 
of his life, not only because of his love for Marburg, 
but because they were the years of wedded happiness. 
In 1843 Hupfeld had the honour of being called to 
Halle as successor of Gesenius, and scarcely three 
months afterwards (Jan. 1844) he lost his "angelic" 
wife by low fever. 

There is little more to tell about Hupfeld's outward 
history. At Halle, where he had the illustrious 
Semitist Rodiger for a colleague, he exercised a wide 
and beneficial influence on theological students. 
Surely his path ought to have been a smooth one. 
How Gesenius was treated by Hengstenberg, we have 
seen ; but Hupfeld was very different religiously from 
his predecessor. It ' is therefore strange indeed to 
have to report that in 1865 he was delated to the 
Prussian government as an irreverent critic of divine 
revelation — a charge which the entire theological 
faculty of Halle university, including Tholuck and 
Julius Miiller, repelled on his behalf. Soon afterwards 
(April 24, 1866) this unweariable worker passed to 
" where beyond these voices there is peace." Some- 
thing must however be added on his philological and 
theological position. I have already compared him 
to Bleek. It is true, he did not belong like Bleek to 
a definite theological school. Bleek was and remained 
a disciple of Schleiermacher ; Hupfeld, on the other 
hand, came from the school of the old-fashioned 


supernaturalist Arnoldi, and when he ceased to think 
with his teacher, he does not appear to have put 
himself under another master. Now Hupfeld's own 
tendencies were, not philosophical, but philological. 
A historical view of the Biblical literature, and of the 
progress of the kingdom of God, gave him basis enough 
for his own personal theology. In practical Church 
matters he evinced a profound interest, but in a 
theological dispute he but once took part(i86i); it 
was to counteract the theosophic theology of Hof- 
mann of Erlangen (the friend of Delitzsch), which no 
doubt had an exegetical basis. 1 Hupfeld and Bleek 
moreover had somewhat different fields of work. The 
former concentrated himself more upon the Old Testa- 
ment, and was specially attracted by the problems 
of Old Testament philology and exegesis : he thus 
became the fitting successor of Gesenius. And though 
both agreed, as I have said, in certain high moral 
qualities, yet there was a sharpness in Hupfeld's 
manner from which Bleek was entirely free, and which 
is certainly no essential characteristic of a truth-loving 
man. To Hupfeld's inconsiderate condemnation of 
Delitzsch, that lovable scholar replied in the gentlest 
terms, which pricked the conscience of Hupfeld, and 
awakened echoes of happier days. 2 We must not 

1 As Baudissin says, " Die Erlanger ' Heilsgeschichte ' ist 
keine eigentliche Geschichte. Sie besteht darin, dass ein im 
Himmel von vornherein fertiges Gefiige in seinen einzelnen 
Gliedern allmahlich herniedersteigt in das Irdische " (review of 
Dalitzsch's Iris). 

* Preface to second edition of Delitzsch's Psalms. 


forget the great sorrow which had befallen the Halle 
professor in 1844, and also the intense dislike of 
Hupfeld to mysticism. 

By his special linguistic work, our scholar early won 
a deserved reputation. His Hebrew Grammar (1841) 
unhappily remained a torso, but again and again he 
returned to grammatical and lexicographical subjects, 
and once he resumed the study of Ethiopic. His dis- 
sertations on certain obscure and misunderstood pas- 
sages of the history of the text of the Old Testament 
{Theol. Stud. u. Krit. 1830, 1837) were also fruitful in 
important results. But his two great works are, 1. The 
Sources of Genesis, and the Mode of their Combination, 
investigated anew (1853), and 2 - The Psalms, translated 
and expounded (4 vols. 1855 — 1861). Of the former it 
is possible to speak in the highest terms. Ilgen's dis- 
covery of the second Elohist had (as we have seen) 
to be made over again, and it was Hupfeld's good 
fortune, or rather merit, to make it. He also showed 
clearly that each of the three documents of Genesis 
was originally an independent work, upon which, as 
Mr. Addis remarks, 1 the Supplement-hypothesis came 
to a natural end. Of the latter I find it more difficult 
to speak as I could wish. No doubt, upon its appear- 
ance it exercised on the whole a healthy influence 
both upon criticism and upon exegesis. \\ uttered a 
not unjustified protest against extravagances of all 
sorts, in linguistics, in Biblical theology, and in the 

1 See his sketch of Hupfeld's work, The Documents of the 
Hexateuch, Introd. pp. xxviii — xxix. 


" higher criticism," in which third department it con- 
tinued the work of De Wette. What it says is always 
worth reading; Hupfeld's eye was constantly directed 
on facts, and if he did not see all the facts, nor always 
explain or combine them aright, this does not render 
his laborious work superfluous. For my own part, 
I think that Hupfeld's conclusions are very often 
erroneous. He is far too unsuspicious in his attitude 
towards the received text, and is wooden in his 
exegesis. In his Biblical theology he is not profound 
or comprehensive enough, though only ignorance can 
excuse Dr. Binnie's suggestion that he is " incompetent 
in matters lying within the domain of spiritual 
religion." x And in the " higher criticism " he errs by 
defect even more than Hitzig errs by excess of daring. 
Nor does he, so far as I know, redeem his comparative 
failure as a critic of the Psalter by luminous sugges- 
tions on the " higher criticism " of other books (except 
indeed to some extent on that of Genesis). All that 
he says, for instance, about the origin of Joel is that 
the Book has not yet been understood, 2 though in all 
essentials Vatke already understood it in 1835. 3 Still, 
Hupfeld's historical position among critics is well 
assured. Not only did he contribute to the linguistic 

1 The Psalms, their History, Teachings, and Use (1886), p. 
144. Against Dr. Binnie, it is enough to refer to Riehm's 
decisive statements in his Lebensbild. I concur with this writer 
however in his unfavourable criticism upon Hupfeld's view of 
the Tora-psalms. 

3 Kamphausen in Herzog-PIitt vi. 383, note. 

3 Biblische Theologic, pp. 462-3. 


basis of criticism, not only did he seek to restrain 
some too eager spirits, not only did he write the 
Quellen der Genesis, but he manfully defended the 
rights of criticism within the Church in a time of 
theological and political reaction. 

There are still perhaps some theologians left who 
hesitate to recognize the " scientific " (wissensckaftlick) 
character of the work of Franz Delitzsch, 1 and I will 
candidly admit that just as there are many half- 
theologians, so Delitzsch is but a half-critic. 2 But 
that is no reason for excluding him from my series of 
" founders of criticism." Eichhorn too was only a 
half-critic, and yet he was a " founder " ; and no one 
more than Delitzsch has helped to win for critics their 
full rights of citizenship in the historic Christian 
Churches. Nowhere, too, can it be more clearly seen 
how largely investigation may be influenced by the 
idiosyncrasy of the investigator than in the life of 

1 Much of this chapter appeared in the Guardian, April 9, 
1890. About the same time (April 5) Prof. Graf. v. Baudissin 
published in the Theol. Lit.-Zeitung a most delicate character- 
sketch of his revered teacher, nominally as a review of 
Delitzsch's Iris. It has been translated in the Expositor, June 
1890. From a Jewish point of view we have a graceful sketch 
by Prof. Kaufmann, Jewish Quarterly Review, 1890, p. 386, &c. 
A short but trustworthy biography has been published by Dr. 
S. I. Curtiss (T. & T. Clark, 1891). The authoritative memoir 
by W. Faber is still delayed. 

2 As a literary critic of the Old Testament Delitzsch had 
certainly not reached the limit of his possible concessions ; 
a historical critic he never professed to be. Cf. Curtiss's article, 
" Delitzsch on the Pentateuch," Presbyterian Review, 1882, pp. 


Delitzsch. And lastly, I should be sadly wanting in 
gratitude if I did not recognize the bond of sympathy 
which (since 1871) united the old professor and myself. 
Delitzsch had an attraction for me, partly because he 
was so lovable, and partly because he was a psycho- 
logical puzzle. I noted with interest his strangely 
blended character and opinions — his insistence on 
spiritual experience as a condition of successful 
exegesis, his combination of mystical philosophy and 
sober, accurate philology, his fondness for relieving a 
too arid discussion by a flashing subtlety or paradox, 
his love for the ideas of the Bible, which to him were 
as much facts as the best attested external events. 
Nor must I forget to mention his tolerance (without 
which indeed he could not have been the virtuoso 
in friendship that he was), his love of the young (to 
whom he unbosomed himself more completely perhaps 
than to the old), and his passion for poetry and for 
flowers. Those who would form an idea of Delitzsch 
in his lighter moods would do well to read a volume 
of popular essays by him called Iris (1888), of which 
there exists a good translation. 

The story of Delitzsch's outward life is simple. 
He was born at Leipzig, Feb. 23, 1813. The reign 
of rationalism in that famous Protestant town was 
drawing to a close ; but it was not at the gymnasium, 
but at the university, that Delitzsch first came under 
evangelical religious influences. He says himself, 
" The person of Jesus Christ remained shrouded in 
mist for me till my university time began in 183 1. 


He remained so, as long as I sought truth and satis- 
faction in philosophy, through the fascination of 
Fichte." Friendship was already the blessing of his 
life, and some earnest-minded friends made evangelical 
religion, in the form which it assumed at that time, a 
reality to him. Delitzsch ever remembered the day 
and hour of his great spiritual change — one of those 
points in which he differed from mere traditional 
forms of religion. Even in old age he declared that 
he still loved to remember the days when the soul- 
struggles which he witnessed rendered scientific 
arrogance distasteful to him for ever. 1 In 1832 he 
became a student of theology. This was the year of 
the publication of Zunz's Die gottesdienstlichen Vor- 
trdge der Juden, and three years after appeared 
Vatke's Biblische Theologie {Die Religion des A. T.), — 
the former a work of immediate importance for his 
studies, the latter destined to influence him indirectly 
through Wellhausen. It is important to notice that 
young Delitzsch came under no great theologian's 
personal influence. At Berlin there were Schleier- 
macher, Marheineke (the disciple of Hegel in dogmatic 
theology), Neander, Hengstenberg. Who was there 
to match these great luminaries at Leipzig? There 
was, no doubt, Winer, a devout man and a specialist 

1 See " The Deep Gulf between the Old Theology and the 
New," an address delivered at a pastoral conference, and trans- 
lated in the Expositor, 1889 (1) ; and comp. the qualifications of 
Delitzsch's two fervid statements in my letter, Guardian, Jan. 9, 


of the best kind (see his Chaldee and Greek Testa- 
ment Grammars), and there was August Hahn, who 
not only met rationalism by argument, but penetrated 
Leipzig by a warm Christian spirit ; but neither of 
them had a faculty for the deepest problems. I think 
that this seeming misfortune was really a gain for 
Delitzsch. He was too original to be moulded ; 
himself was his best teacher, or rather, as we shall 
see, Providence guided him step by step, so that his 
life was a continuous self-education. Perhaps a more 
complete historical training in philosophy might not 
have hurt him. He was attracted by Heinroth, the 
psychologist, but a turn for mysticism and theosophy, 
fostered doubtless by his deep Jewish studies, seems 
to have interfered with his progress. At any rate 
the result in later years showed a singular absence of 
sound method in philosophical study. In one point, 
however, Leipzig had perhaps more to offer Delitzsch 
than Berlin. Fiirst was a greater Hebrew scholar 
than Biesenthal (afterwards a missionary to the 
German Jews and Delitzsch's fast friend), and in 
the young Arabist Fleischer Leipzig possessed the 
man whom all European scholars were to acknow- 
ledge as their leader. What Fiirst and Delitzsch 
were to each other may be learned from the preface 
to Furst's Hebrew Concordance (1840) ; what Fleischer 
was to Delitzsch appears from many philological 
notes marked Fl. in the commentaries of the latter, 
and from Delitzsch's Festgabe on the jubilee of his 
teacher, Jiidisch-arabische Poesieen aus vormohammed- 


anischer Zeit ; ein Specimen aus Fleischer's Schule 


Delitzsch had now a well-defined aim. He had 
begun to learn Hebrew at the gymnasium. But it 
was the apparent accident of his meeting two agents 
of the London Missionary Society for Promoting 
Christianity among the Jews which made him " draw 
all his cares and studies this way " — viz. to make the 
Old Testament better known to Christians, and the 
New Testament to Jews. Between 1835, when he 
became Dr. Phil., and 1842, when he became a privat- 
docent, he lived entirely for his studies and for religion. 
Oriental and religious books began to appear at 
frequent intervals. In 1836 came out a charmingly 
written book on the history of post-Biblical Jewish 
poetry (Zur Geschichte judischer Poesie); in 1837, M. 
Ch. Luzzatto's XS Viaa, a Hebrew adaptation of 
Guarini's Pastor Fido, edited from an Italian MS. ; in 
1838 Wissenschaft, Kunst, Judenthum ; Schilderungen 
und Kritiken, and Jesurun, seu Isagoge in grammaticam 
et lexicographiam Ungues Hebraiaz, in which, as a 
disciple of Fiirst, young Delitzsch expressed etymo- 
logical views which he afterwards found cause to 
abandon (see the criticism by his son, Friedrich 
Delitzsch, Studien uber Indogermanisch-Semitische 
Wurzelverwandtschaft, 1873, pp. 6, 7). I mention 
this, not to disparage Delitzsch, but as a proof that 
genius may shoot wildly at first, and yet afterwards 
hit the mark. In 1839, the year of the Reformation 
jubilee, the young doctor's heart was hot within him, 


and he openly joined the strict Lutheran party, to 
whose critical organ, edited by Rudelbach and Guerike, 
he shortly afterwards became a contributor (it was 
here that he printed those valuable Talmudic illus- 
trations of Greek Testament phraseology which so 
well deserve to be reprinted). The literary monument 
of this period bears the speaking title, Lutherthum 
und Lugenthum. Let us say at once that Delitzsch 
never wavered in his theological allegiance. I do 
not think he was ever tempted to do so. " By the 
banner of our Lutheran confession let us stand," he 
said in 1888 ; " folding ourselves in it, let us die." 

The year 1841 is marked by a singular book, 
dedicated to " the scattered confessors of the Lord," 
and entitled Philemon oder das Buck von der Freund- 
schaft in Christo. It consists of essays on Christian 
friendship, signed with initials which have since been 
interpreted — " c " = Fraulien von Klettenberg ; " x " = 
her younger sister, Marie Magdalena ; "p" = Frie- 
drich Carl von Moser, a statesman and author of the 
last century ; and "d" = the editor, Delitzsch himself. 
Grace of style there is none ; but as an expression of 
the inner life of the authors, especially of the schbne 
Seele, for whom Goethe had so tender a reverence, 
these fourteen essays have an interest of their own. 
How Delitzsch obtained the manuscripts is not stated, 
but I remember his telling me of his friendly relations 
with Walther von Goethe. In 1844 he published one 
of the most popular altar manuals of the Lutheran 
Church, for which special thanks were rendered to 


God by one of the speakers at the service of March 7 
— Das Sacrament des wahren Leibes und Blutes Christi. 
This shows how thoroughly he combined the High 
Churchman and the scholar. Meantime, in conjunc- 
tion with Fleischer, he had been cataloguing the 
Oriental manuscripts of the city library, at the con- 
clusion of which task he published some anecdota on 
the mediaeval scholasticism among Jews and Moslems 
(1841). He now (March 3, 1842) acquired the right 
of lecturing by a dissertation on the life and age of 
Habakkuk, which was followed in 1843 by an ex- 
haustive philological commentary on the same prophet, 
a companion volume to the Obadiah of his friend 
Caspari (better known to some by his elaborate work 
on Micah, and by his Arabic Grammar, which the late 
Professor W. Wright adopted as the basis of his own). 
But why was not Delitzsch a professor ? His call 
did not come till 1846, when he succeeded Hofmann 
at the small university of Rostock ; he had married 
the year before. But he was not to be long in this 
northern home. In 1850 he joined the author of the 
Weissagung und Erfullung and the Schriftbeweis at 
Erlangen. For sixteen delightful years the friends 
worked together. 1 The " Erlangen school " became 
almost as famous as that of Tubingen. It seemed as 
if the orthodoxy for the new age were about to be 
found. Hengstenberg's criticisms and apologetics 

1 The theological correspondence of the friends was published 
by Prof. Volck in 1891 (cf. Expositor, 1891 (i), pp. 241 &c> 
361 &c). 



were alike mechanical; Hofmann and Delitzsch agreed 
in rejecting them. They sought something better, 
but it must be confessed that not even Delitzsch 
(though, as he assures us, he had already " taken up 
the standpoint of free inquiry ") was at all a scientific 
critic when he went to Erlangen, and his theories of 
prophecy, not less than those of Hofmann, bear the 
stamp of immaturity. Hofmann's works I have 
mentioned ; Delitzsch had already entered the field 
with his Die biblisch-prophetische Theologie in 1845, 
the theosophic element in which, partly derived from 
Crusius, he must afterwards have greatly modified. 
Delitzsch's first Erlangen book had indeed nothing 
to do with prophecy. But it was not unconnected 
with Hofmann's prophetic theories. Hofmann's view 
of the Song of Songs was, if I understand right, that 
it had a typical or ^»<z.K-prophetic character, arising 
out of the contemporary historical situation. Delitzsch 
was dissatisfied with this view, and proposed another 
which, with more right than Hofmann's, may be 
called the typical. The work in which it appears, 
Das Hohelied untersucht und ausgelegt (1851), is not 
now on the list of Delitzsch's publications, but the 
view is still endorsed in his later book. In 1852 
appeared the first edition of his important work on 
Genesis. Important I may already call it, though 
Delitzsch himself thought but little of the early 
editions. There are no doubt startling peculiarities 
in his explanation of Gen. i. — iii., which brought upon 
him the sarcasms of less devout writers. But by his 


distinct assertion of the composite authorship of the 
book, Delitzsch thoroughly proves his own title to 
speak in the conclave of critics. In 1853 he ventured 
to touch the problem of the composition of the 
Gospels {Untersuchungen iiber die kanonischen Evan- 
gelien), but his comparison of the structure of the 
Pentateuch was not helpful. In 1855 he returned to 
philosophical speculations. The System of Biblical 
Psychology has interested and perplexed not a few 
English readers. This is not entirely the fault of 
the translator. There is a touch of Talmudic con- 
densation in much of Delitzsch's writing ; in the 
Psychology there was the additional rock of " newly 
coined words and daring ideas " (author's letter in 
the translator's preface). Still, wherever light pierces 
through, striking suggestions are seldom wanting. 
He attempts too much, of course, but there is more 
to be learned from Delitzsch when he is wrong than 
from ten ordinary men when they are right. 

The year 1857 saw the publication of two less 
brilliant but really more important works — the critical 
appendix to Drechsler's Isaiah (edited by Delitzsch 
and H. A. Hahn) and the commentary on Hebrews. 
The former is important for the subtle theory men- 
tioned below, the latter for its masterly treatment of 
a subject specially appropriate to a Hebraist. The 
suggestion of a work on Hebrews may have come 
from Hofmann. That eminently original theologian, 
in commenting on passages of Hebrews in his Schrift- 
bewris, had propounded a theory of the Atonement 


which gave rise to a trying controversy. Probably 
on this account Delitzsch wrote his commentary, at 
the end of which is a dissertation on the "sure 
Scriptural basis " of the ecclesiastical doctrine of 
vicarious substitution. In 1859-60 a still greater 
treasure was given to the Church by one who had 
more than most a natural affinity to the subject. It 
was fit that " aller Heiligen Buchlein " (the Psalter) 
should be commented upon by the loving hand of 
Franz Delitzsch, and one regrets that Hupfeld, a dry 
though not undevout scholar, should have accused 
the book of faulty taste and Rabbinic philology. 
That Delitzsch's later editions are the best both from 
a literary and from a philological point of view is 
certain, but the first edition (which I have never 
seen) cannot be so vastly inferior to the succeeding 
ones as to deserve such a criticism. One is glad that 
Hupfeld lived to repent it. In 1861-62 appeared 
Handschriftliche Funde, mit Beitrdgen von S. P. Tre- 
gelles, containing studies in the textual criticism of 
the Apocalypse and a notice of the Codex Reuchlini, 
which had been used by Erasmus in 1516, but had 
been lost for centuries, till it was rediscovered by 
Delitzsch himself. The Book of Job had its turn in 
1864, and Isaiah in 1866. To the latter commentary 
I was early under obligations which I am delighted 
once more to express. The subtle, poetic theory by 
which Delitzsch accounted for the Babylonian horizon 
of (speaking generally) the second half of Isaiah 
never seemed to me critical, but philologically I was 


conscious of a Grundlichkeit, a penetratingness, which 
no other commentator on Isaiah seemed to display. 
In 1867 a further proof was given of the same quality 
by the second edition of the Psalms, which is con- 
spicuous for the completeness with which all that is 
most worth referring to in the psalm-literature of the 
preceding seven years has been utilized, errors cor- 
rected, and exegesis made more definite. The preface 
is dated July 7, 1867. By the October semester of 
the same year he had said farewell to the old Bavarian 
university ; he had been recalled to his native city as 
the successor of Tuch. 

It is sad to think what havoc death has wrought in 
the faculty of which Delitzsch became such a dis- 
tinguished member. Luthardt indeed remains — a 
valiant and skilful champion, not only of Lutheranism, 
but of Christianity. But Lechler, G. Baur, and above 
all Kahnis, have all passed away — Kahnis, the brilliant 
dogmatic theologian, orthodox, but not of an unpro- 
gressive type, and sympathizing with Delitzsch in his 
willingness to meet Old Testament critics half-way. 
That Delitzsch enjoyed returning to his Vaterstadt is 
clear from the preface to his inaugural lecture, de- 
livered October 1867. Need I say how full of 
recondite learning the lecture is ? The subject is, 
" Physiology and Music in their Relation to Grammar, 
especially Hebrew Grammar," which reminds us that 
in the preface to his earliest book he expresses his 
intention to write on Jewish music. Delitzsch's first 
Leipzig book (if my dates are correct) was, however, 


not philological, but apologetic. The System der 
Christlichen Apologetik (1869) is full of a gentle per- 
suasiveness. And here, perhaps, I may mention the 
series of descriptive sketches, partly imaginative, of 
the times of Christ, most of which have been trans- 
lated— Jesus and Hillel and Artisan Life in the Time 
of Jesus (these came out at Erlangen), A Day at Caper- 
naum, Bind Jose and Benjamin (these are of the Leipzig 
period). The descriptions of Palestine are so vivid as 
to suggest that the author had travelled in the Holy 
Land. Many valuable essays from his pen might 
well be collected from Daheim and other periodicals. 
They would illustrate, not less than those in Iris, the 
versatility and wonderful productiveness of this gifted 
man. Nor can I pass over his earnest interest in the 
Jews. Jesus and Hillel was first published in Saat 
auf Hoffnung — one of the few missionary periodicals 
which have to some extent a critical interest. To- 
wards the close of his life Delitzsch regarded his 
work for Israelites as one of his greatest privileges. 
How he laboured on his Hebrew New Testament, he 
has told us himself in an interesting pamphlet called 
The Hebrew New Testament of the British and 
Foreign Bible Society (1883). The first specimen of 
his work was published as a separate work in 1870. 
It contained the Epistle to the Romans in Hebrew, 
with Talmudic illustrations which render the booklet 
indispensable to New Testament students. The New 
Testament has now received its definitive revision, 
through the loving help of G. H. Dalman ; it is (as 


Kaufmann says) " not an inspired masterpiece, but the 
matured fruit of learning, working and advancing 
step by step." Nor did Delitzsch give less attention 
to the Hebrew text of the Old Testament. Besides 
publishing those Complutensian Studies which will 
be mentioned presently, he entirely by his own 
exertions induced the great Massoretic scholar, S. 
Baer, to edit separate portions of the Old Testament 
in a revised text, to each of which Delitzsch prefixed 
a learned Latin introduction. 

The year 1870 was one of keen anxiety for Delitzsch. 
He lost a son in the war, and could not repress the 
mournful words addressed to his students, Ach, ick 
bin ein armer Mann geworden. In 1876 he lost 
another son, a promising young theologian, known 
by an able work on Thomas Aquinas. His son 
Friedrich was spared, and to him are due most of 
those Assyriological notices which adorn his father's 
more recent commentaries. 

It was in 1871 that I first saw Delitzsch. A work 
that I had published in 1870 on Isaiah at once opened 
his heart to me. Perhaps he judged the book from 
a German, not from a contemporary English, point 
of view. His Studies on the Origin of the Compluten- 
sian Polyglott began to appear in 1871 (Part II. in 
1878, Part III. in 1886); they are a model of minute 
research in many manuscript collections. His Pro- 
verbs came out in 1873, Song of Songs and Eccle- 
siastes in 1875, the second edition of Job in 1876, the 
third of Isaiah in 1879, tne fourth of the Psalms in 


1883. Nor must I omit Delitzsch's second article on 
Daniel in the second edition of Herzog's Encyclopedia 
(vol. iii. 1878), in which he concedes the Maccabsean 
date of the book as a whole, and takes much pains 
to show this to be consistent with devout reverence. 
Evidently his mind was at this time in a somewhat 
painful state of transition. In the summer semester 
of 1873 he had spoken confidently of the victories 
gained by Hengstenberg, Havernick, and Keil over 
the " higher critics." But during the long vacation 
of 1876 he began a more careful study of the newer 
criticism by a perusal of Kayser's recent work, Das 
vorexilische Buck in connexion with Graf's older 
book, Die geschichtlichen Bucher des A. T. " He 
had never," says his pupil and friend Dr. Curtiss, 
'' recognized the strength of the critics' positions until 
he came to study Kayser's little book." His change 
of view on the subject of Isaiah probably took place 
shortly afterwards. I cannot easily believe that he 
accepted the plural authorship of the book when he 
published the third edition of his commentary (July 
1879), in which the unity of authorship is still 
earnestly maintained. But it is certain that in the 
winter semester of 1879-80, when lecturing on Mes- 
sianic prophecy, he assumed that Isa. xl. — lxvi. was 
written at the close of the Exile. 1 Henceforth he 

1 See Messianic Prophecies : Lectures by Franz Delitzsch 
(ed. Curtiss, 1880) ; and cf. Old Testament History of Re- 
demption, p. 154, &c. ; Messianic Prophecies in Historical 
Succession, p. 197, &c. 


did not scruple to use the terms " deutero-Isaiah," 
" Babylonian Isaiah," though it was not till 1889 that 
he finished recasting his old book (not with perfect 
success) in accordance with his new views. 

Meantime Delitzsch began to take Church theo- 
logians into his confidence. In 1879 appeared vol. i. 
of Wellhausen's Geschichte Israels, arid it became 
necessary for such a trusted orthodox leader to state 
his position. This Delitzsch did in two series of 
articles called Pentateuch-kritische Studien and Ur~ 
mosaisches im Pentateuch in Luthardt's Zeitschrift. 
Students of Delitzsch's Commentary on Genesis (1888) 
ought certainly to look into these articles. They 
prepared the way for that great fifth edition of his 
Genesis which he justly regarded as a new work. 
For an estimate of the latter I would refer to the 
article in the Theol. Studien und Kritiken (1889 ; 
pp. 381—397) by Delitzsch's old pupil Kautzsch. 
The book is indeed open to much criticism, as this 
reviewer has indicated in the most tenderly considerate 
way. But it is both "stimulating and instructive, and ' 
is a proof not only of physical but of moral energy. 
Yes, this veteran required great moral energy so 
elaborately to revise his old opinions. English re- 
viewers could not easily understand his procedure 
(see a well-meant article in the Guardian) : he 
seemed to them to be untrue to himself, and to be 
playing with fire. It was a mistake on their part. 
Delitzsch had never identified himself with tra- 
ditionalism like Hengstenberg, and the alternative to 


critical progress was a violent theological crisis. It 
was natural, too, for a sympathetic teacher to enter 
into the thoughts of younger minds, Stade and 
Kautzsch, once members of Delitzsch's class, now 
convinced adherents of the newest critical school, 
though differing on many not unimportant points. 
And there were many more, troubled and perplexed, 
feeling that neither they nor the Church could put 
off a reasonable solution of pressing problems. One 
of Delitzsch's last printed utterances speaks of a 
compromise which the Church (as an educational 
institution) can safely make with criticism. Where 
shall we find this informal, provisional compromise 
better indicated than in his article on Daniel, his New 
Commentary on Genesis, and his fourth edition of 
Isaiah f 1 

The last-mentioned work, which shows no abate- 
ment of thoroughness, is a Keiy.r\\wv to Dr. Driver 
and myself, because of its gracious dedication. Of 
Dr. Driver the young-hearted old man always wrote 
to me in the warmest terms. The Oxford professor's 
delicate scholarship was of the utmost service in the 
revision of the Hebrew Testament, and Delitzsch 

1 I have tried to work out this idea in an address on reform 
in the teaching of the Old Testament delivered to a clerical 
audience, and published in a revised form in the Contemporary 
Review for August 1889 (see especially pp. 221 — 224). Professor 
H. Strack informs me that I might have quoted him as more 
decidedly in favour of the critical analysis of Isaiah than I have 
ventured to do. He, like myself, thinks Professor von Orelli's 
hesitating criticism (see The Prophecies of Isaiah, T. & T. Clark, 
1888) not even provisionally tenable. 


refers with evident pleasure in the new Isaiah to Dr. 
Driver's Hebrew Tenses and his handbook on Isaiah. 
The goodwill which Delitzsch showed to us, he 
showed to all honest and earnest students (witness 
his preface to a young Canadian professor's recent 
work on the text of Jeremiah). That he came at 
last to approximate so much to my own first book 
on Isaiah, and to Dr. Driver's work (both of which 
are relatively conservative), is an abiding satisfaction. 
Would that I could have seen him again ! But that 
erect form and those flashing eyes now live only in 
memory. Delitzsch was taken ill in September, but 
was enabled to carry his last work through the press 
— Messianische Weissagungen in geschichtlicher Folge, 
the preface of which is dated five days before his 
death. 1 The Hebrew text of Jeremiah, edited by 
himself and Baer, and published after his death, has 
a preface dated Jan. 1890. He died at Leipzig, 
March 3, 1890. "Jew and Christian alike mourn the 
loss of a great man : one must go back to old times 
to find his equal," are the words of a sympathetic 
Jewish scholar, to which I will add that those who 
value the love of truth even more than scholarship, 
will thank God for the bright example of this high 
quality given by the aged Delitzsch. 

1 Translated by Dr. S. I. Curtiss. 



THE group of Old Testament critics to which, by 
the date of his death, Franz Delitzsch belongs con- 
tains other eminent names besides his own. Riehm, 
Reuss, Lagarde, and Kuenen have all been snatched 
from us within the last few years. The youngest of 
these is Eduard Riehm, who was born in 1830 and 
died in 1888. A pupil of Hupfeld in his youth, he 
had the happiness of returning to Halle as the 
colleague of his old master in 1862, and upon Hup- 
feld's death in 1866 Riehm succeeded to the vacant 
chair. It is worth noticing that, like so many of our 
own professors of theology, Riehm had had the 
advantage of practical experience of pastoral work. 
For good or for evil this seems to have affected his 
work as a lecturer and a writer. For if there is one 
quality more striking than another in the writings of 
Riehm, it is that of sympathy with orthodox believers. 
He took an early opportunity of displaying this in 
an address to the Unionsverein of Halle on the 
special religious importance of the Old Testament 

RIEHM. 173 

for the Christian Church {Gemeinde)} in which he 
meets the objection that the adoption of the modern 
critical standpoint disqualifies a man for ministering 
to the congregation ; and shortly afterwards, in the 
Theologische Studien und Kritiken (1865 — 1869), he 
published three studies on Messianic Prophecy, which 
are not less effective from a church-theological than 
from a historico-critical point of view. 2 The same 
rare quality is conspicuous in his two posthumous 
works, the Introduction to the Old Testament (2 vols. 
1889-90) and the Old Testament Theology (1889). 
Sympathy with the orthodox seems to have become 
a part of Riehm's nature ; he could not, even in 
critical inquiries, divest himself of the preoccupations 
of a practical clergyman. Now, shall we be glad or 
sorry for this ? For my own part, though I fully 
appreciate Riehm's feeling, I regret the extent to 
which he has allowed it to influence him. Painful as 
it may be to one who would fain spare Church 
students the least distress of mind, there must be no 
compromise in " scientific " {wissenschaftlich) inves- 
tigation, since as De Wette said in 1807 "only that 
which is perfect in its kind is good," and true and 
pure religion cannot be subverted by any criticism. 

1 Die besondere Bedeutung des A. T., &c. (Vortrag gehalten 
am 13 Oct. 1863). 

2 These studies, which on their appearance taught me much 
of which I was ignorant, were republished in a volume in 1875. 
They are now accessible in the faithful translation of the Rev. 
L. A. Muirhead (1891), who bases his work on the second 
German edition (1885). 


Riehm's criticism was not, as I think, free from the 
spirit of compromise ; and the consequence is I. that 
he fails to reach a consistent view of the develop- 
ment of the religious literature of Israel, and 2. that 
in his tenderness towards orthodox prejudice he does 
not sufficiently consider the interests of that spiritual 
religion which is the " orthodoxy within orthodoxy." 

My judgment upon Riehm, both as a "higher 
critic" and as an interpreter of criticism to the 
Church, is therefore not entirely favourable. But I 
utter it, not as a censure, but as a criticism of some- 
thing which, under our present circumstances, must 
provisionally exist, both in Germany and in England. 
I never saw Riehm, but can easily believe that, with 
his " liebenswerthe Personlichkeit," he was incapable 
of such an heroic act of faith as De Wette with his 
cooler or rather more composite nature. Nor do I 
deny the relative excellence of Riehm's work both as 
a critic and as an interpreter of criticism. Compare 
him with Delitzsch and with Orelli, and his services 
appear in a specially favourable light. He has, I am 
sure, done better critical work than either, and been 
more effective in clearing up the views of orthodox 
students. His two posthumous works are specially 
valuable from the consideration which the author 
gives to the views of other critics, and I can well 
believe that some of the best of our coming theo- 
logians have been trained in his lecture - room. 
Among his other critical writings I may mention his 
early work, The Legislation of Moses in the Land of 

REUSS. 175 

Moab 1 (1854), and his articles in the Studien und 
Kritiken, especially the criticism of Graf's theory 2 
(1868), and the papers entitled respectively, "The so- 
called ' Grundschrift ' of the Pentateuch" (1872), and 
"The Conception of Atonement in the Old Testa- 
ment" (1877). Nor must I omit his exegetical work 
on the Epistle to the Hebrews (1858-59 ; ed. 2, 1867), 
his edition of Hupfeld's Psalms (already mentioned), 
and his contributions to the Dictionary of Biblical 
Antiquity, edited by him in 1875 — 1884. 

Eduard Reuss, the Nestor of Old Testament stu- 
dents in our own time, died quite recently (April 15, 
1 891), but was born as long ago as July 18, 1804 
(" 29 Messidor, xii."). His home, from youth to age, 
was at Strassburg. There he began his philological 
and theological studies, but according to the laudable 
custom of continental students, he sought further 

1 The Deuteronomic law-book is here assigned by Riehm to 
the second half of Manasseh's reign. In his posthumous Intro- 
duction the date is thrown even further back — to the time 
shortly before or at the beginning of the reign of Hezekiah 
(against both views, see Kuenen, Hexateuch, p. 219). I do not 
understand how Westphal can date the advent of historical 
Pentateuch criticism from the appearance of this book (Les 
sources die Petit., ii. Pref. p. xxiv). 

* To some extent this criticism is decisive against Graf, as 
that candid critic himself acknowledged (Merx's Archiv fiir 
wissenschaftliche Erforschung des A. T., i. 467). It appears 
however from a letter of Graf, printed by Kuenen (see Hexa- 
teuch, Introd. p. xxxiii), that it was really a friendly criticism 
of Kuenen that led Graf to revise his theory, and to admit that 
the ritual laws could not be separated from the narratives of 
the " Grundschrift." 


guidance at other seats of learning^first at Gottingen 
and Halle (1822— 1826), and then (as was natural) at 
Paris (1827-28), where De Sacy reigned supreme 
among Arabic scholars. He then returned to Strass- 
burg, and after proving his capacity as a lecturer, 
became in 1834 extraordinary and in 1836 ordinary 
professor of theology. So famous a Biblical critic 
and theologian hardly needs to be characterized. 
For his devoutness, none the less genuine because it 
finds a modern expression, it is enough to refer to his 
Addresses to Students of Theology (1878) ; for his 
capacity for hard work to his monumental edition of 
Calvin. Both these features in his character betoken 
his German origin, while his clear and sometimes 
witty style is explained by his long French connexion. 
To his residence in Elsass we may also attribute the 
width of his range as a theologian and the comprehen- 
sive character of many of his works. Protestantism 
in Elsass needed the infusion of a vigorous but not 
pedantic scholarship, and the great country to which 
that border-land was (till 1871) united deserved such 
religious help as a man like Reuss could give. This 
was why he edited (with Colani) the Revue de Mologie, 
and (with Baum and Cunitz) the first twenty volumes 
of the works of Calvin ; this was why he wrote in a 
clear and incisive style, sometimes in French, some- 
times in German, such works as the Geschichte der 
heil. Schriften N. T. (1842 ; ed. 5, 1874), the Histoire 
de la tke'ologie chre'tienne au siecle apostolique (1852; 
ed. 3, 1864), the Histoire du canon des saintes Ecri- 

REUSS. 177 

tures (1862 ; ed. 2, 1863), the new French translation 
of the Bible with commentary (1874 — 1880), and the 
Geschichte der heil. Sckriften A. T. (1881 — 1890). 

There was a time when Eduard Reuss narrowly 
missed becoming a hero of Old Testament criticism. 
It was in 1834, the year before Vatke's Biblical 
Theology and George's Die jiidischen Feste made a 
sensation in the theological world. Reuss (not as yet 
appointed a professor) was lecturing on Old Testament 
introduction at Strassburg. He had already come to 
results which were so much opposed to those generally 
received that he dared not put them forward sys- 
tematically. But what he did divulge then or after- 
wards fastened itself in the memory of two Alsatian 
students who were present — K. H. Graf and August 
Kayser. The germs grew, and we have the results in 
Graf's important work on the historical books of the 
Old Testament (1866) and Kayser's on "the pre- 
Exilic book of Israel's primitive history and its 
expansions" (1874). And what was the germ- idea 
deposited by Reuss in the minds of his students ? It 
came to him, he informs us, rather as an intuition 
than as a logical conclusion, and it was nothing less 
than this — that the prophets are earlier than the 
Law, and the Psalms later than both. From the 
first, we are told, his principal object was to find a 
clue to the development of Israelitish religious culture, 
so as to make its historical course psychologically 
conceivable. His early youth had seen the ex- 
travagant rationalistic exegesis of Paulus. But the 


most startling of all miracles, viz. the existence of the 
complete Levitical system in the first stage of the 
religious education of Israel, together with the 
absence of any sign that the greatest prophets, such 
as Samuel and Elijah, were acquainted with it, 
seemed to mock at explanations. The prevalent 
critical theories appeared in many points to run 
directly counter to psychology, nor should it be 
overlooked that among the young critic's difficulties 
were some connected with the Davidic authorship 
of psalms. The autobiographical passage in which 
Reuss has recorded all this will be found in the 
preface to the History of the Old Testament Scrip- 
tures (1881), and the twelve theses in which in 1833 
he formulated his conclusions in a volume of his 
great Bible-work (L'histoire sainte et la lot, 1 879, pp. 

23, 24). 

That Vatke's difficult work produced no effect 
upon a lover of clearness like Reuss, is not surprising. 
It was Grafs book, together with Kuenen's Religion 
of Israel, which stimulated him long afterwards to 
supplement and systematize his old ideas. The fact, 
however, that Reuss anticipated both Vatke and 
Kuenen is of some significance. For he was not a 
Hegelian philosopher like the one, nor did he take 
his starting-point in the historical books like the 
other. It was by studying the legal portions of the 
Pentateuch that the young Strassburg critic sought a 
way of escape from the unnatural hypotheses of the 
day. Three such men as Reuss, Vatke, and Kuenen 

REUSS. 179 

(to mention no more), reaching the, same result by- 
different paths, are not likely to have been entirely- 
mistaken. And now to return to Reuss's early 
studies. Later on, no doubt, he completed the de- 
tailed criticisms which for a time he broke off. 
But he completed them rather for himself than 
for the great world of critics : — upon the whole, we 
cannot say that Reuss has left a deep mark on 
the critical movement. What he has effected for 
the Old Testament is to sum up and popularize 
with a master's hand advanced critical results. No 
French student can afford to dispense with his great 
work on the Bible, and if German students (or 
English students who know German) can afford to 
disregard his critical history of the Old Testament 
Scriptures, they must be very clever indeed. His 
judgments may not always commend themselves to 
us (he puts Joel and the Song of Songs early), 1 but 
less than any one except Kuenen can he be called a 
rash and inconsiderate critic. His History is unique, 
and a necessary companion to Kuenen's masterly 

1 For instance, he makes Joel, Job, and the Song of Songs pre- 
Exilic, and sees no need for disintegrating either Micah or Isa. 
xl. — lxvi. His hypothesis on the Psalms, though right in some 
of its main features, seems not to presuppose much detailed 
criticism. It should be added that Reuss denied the existence 
of Davidic psalms as early as 1839 (i n a Halle periodical). 
Also that in 1888 he published a tasteful translation of the Book 
of Job, with a brief introduction, both well adapted for the 
wider public. 


The moral affinities of Reuss are rather with 
Kuenen than with Delitzsch. It was sad to see how 
despondent the latter became at last, and how regret- 
fully he looked back to the days of his youth. The 
concessions which he made to criticism were wrung 
from him by a sense of duty, and he seems to have 
had not much hope that his own synthesis of Church 
doctrine and modern criticism would be widely 
accepted. Reuss on the other hand had a keen 
sympathy with the younger generation ; he had 
nothing to "concede," for he had himself always 
been progressive. I saw him in the summer of 1890 
in his country home near Strassburg full of life and 
hope, though preparing to put off his armour. He 
believed that truth was sure to win, and looked for- 
ward with hope to the constant expansion of our 
knowledge. In this faith and hope Kuenen too lived 
and died, and it contributed to his remarkable 
serenity. Of a still greater scholar, though a less 
notable " higher critic " of the Old Testament, Paul de 
Lagarde, we cannot venture to say as much. He was 
not (to judge from appearances) happy, save in his 
work, which indeed was colossal. It was well for 
him that his more special work was linguistic and 
textual — studying languages and editing texts from 
manuscripts. As soon as he turned his eyes away 
to behold mankind and its perversities, he became 
subjective, and both conceived and excited number- 
less antipathies. He could not even register his 
linguistic facts and theories without falling into 


sarcasm and railing (see for instance that brilliant 
treatise, published in 1 889, the Survey of the Form- 
ation of Nouns in Aramaic, Arabic, and Hebrew); 
much less could he avoid this in speaking of things 
which lay even nearer to his heart — religion and the 
science (Wissenschaft) of religion. This being the 
case, it is not surprising that in his opinions both on 
the history of doctrine and on " higher " critical 
problems there is an unusually strong subjective and 
even eccentric element. He could not take much 
account of the opinions of others ; in the subjects 
referred to he may even appear to have rejected the 
scientific methods of others. How is this to be 
accounted for ? Lagarde was too great, too self-denying 
a man for us to impute anything like a mean motive, 
and his services to that " lower criticism " which is so 
essential to Biblical study (not now to mention his 
brilliant intuitions in " higher criticism ") are so 
important that we could not excuse ourselves for 
passing such painful facts over altogether. 

The true explanation may be that which has been 
earnestly advocated by the pro-Rector of Gottingen 
University. Lagarde's self-consciousness was ab- 
normal ; he felt and spoke as a prophet, in that wide 
sense of the term according to which our own Carlyle 
is admittedly a prophet. " He was often a vox 
clamantis in deserto ; but he did not allow this to 
disturb him. He belonged to the class of those who 
penetrate more deeply than others into the essence of 
a.11 that they see, but who are tied to one point qf 


view. Such men are powerful but subjective natures ; 
they awaken strong sympathies and antipathies. In 
all, there remains, the more closely we observe them, 
' ein Erdenrest, zu tragen peinlich.' In all, the point 
of view from which they regard the universe is in 
reality religious ; and — let -us be frank — the moral 
standard, which is valid for others, is incommensurable 
for the prophets. They are seldom happy ; ' der Blick 
der Schwermut ist ein furchterlicher Vorzug.' They 
have a keener eye for the hurts and pains of humanity ; 
therefore they call for a radical change : but as a 
compensation, they look through the mists of earth 
into the region of the sun and of eternal truth." 1 
There are many pages of Lagarde which must be read 
in the spirit of these words, if we are to think of him 
as highly as we could wish. With all his peculiarities 
there was an idealism in "him which deserves 
veneration ; and exaggerated as much of his writing 
on religion may be, there is often a kernel of truth in 
it which cannot safely be disregarded. He did well 
to emphasize the truth that now, as in the days of 
Luther and Calvin, Biblical criticism was a great 
reforming agency for theology and for the Church. 

Lagarde was born at Berlin, Nov. 22, 1827 ; he died 
at Gottingen, Dec. 1891. He studied at Berlin in 
1844 — 1846, and in Halle in 1846-47. From 1855 to 
1866 he carried on the deepest linguistic studies in 
the intervals of scholastic work ; at last, on Ewald's 

1 Rede gehalten am Sargedes Professors Dr. Patilde Lagarde 
am 25 Dec. 1891,1/0*1 lJlrich,von ]/Vilat?towits-Moellendorff,^.(>. 

LAGARDE. 1 83 

decease, he was appointed to a chair at Gottingen. 
How much he was to his pupils in Semitic philology, 
more than one of our best known Hebraists can testify ; 
he was, to prepared disciples, a great teacher. Was 
he under similar obligations himself to others ? 
Certainly not, so far as theology proper is concerned. 
He found a way for himself to the " original Gospel." 
But to some great scholars and teachers he owed 
much — to Friedrich Riickert his love for Eastern 
studies, to Jacob Grimm his patriotic romanticism, to 
Karl Lachmann his philological tastes and methods. 
What the last-mentioned scholar undertook for the 
text of the New Testament, Lagarde aspired to do for 
the Old. It was by far the harder task of the two ; 
it involved "the brave worker in those labours on 
the Septuagint text, in which, when struck by fatal 
sickness, he still persisted." 1 Much else he did by the 
way ; but this was his life's work. By this, as well as 
by much Hebrew philology, Lagarde well deserves 
to be styled a " founder of Old Testament criticism." 2 
Lagarde's judgments on points of " higher criticism " 
will be found chiefly in the Symmicta (1877 — 1880), 
the Semitica, i. (Critical Notes on the Book of Isaiah, 
&c, 1878), the Purim (1887), and the Mittheilungen 
(4 vols., 1884 — 1891). I content myself with quoting 

1 The last part of his Septuaginta Studien was published after 
his death by Dr. Rahlfs. 

2 In the Contemporary Review for March 1889 (p. 393, &c.) 
Prof, Driver has given a full and instructive account of some of 
lagarde's more recent philological works, 


an utterance of Lagarde on the origin of the Hexa- 
teuch, which proves (as Kuenen remarks 1 ) that he 
"had reached important points of agreement with the 
Leiden critics independently of their help " ; or to put 
it shortly, that, equally with Vatke and the others, 
he is one of the founders of the newer Hexateuch 
criticism. " I am convinced (and the conviction has 
stood the testing of years) that not a few portions of 
the Old Testament arose in the age of Ezra, who with 
incomparably better right than Moses may be called 
the creator of Judaism. I consider the Elohist, whose 
activity extends beyond the Pentateuch (as my pupils 
were aware as early as 1864), identical with the editor 
of the Pentateuch, and to be either Ezra himself or 
a priest of the second temple working under his 
direction. The abstract is everywhere later than the 
concrete ; therefore Elohim (as a singular) is later than 
Yahwe\ and indeed Elohim by itself (without suffix 
and without an accompanying Yahwe) occurs as good 
as never in prophets of admitted antiquity to designate 
the Supreme Being. Those Israelites who wrote the 
earlier Elohistic portions of the Old Testament, 
especially the Elohistic psalms composed during the 
Exile, are the spiritual fathers of those who pronounced 
Adonai where the text had Yhwh. If this ' perpetual 
Q'ri ' is a late expression of a false piety, so too is 
that dread of pronouncing the name of Yahwe" 

1 See Hexateuch (transl. Wicksteed), Introd. p. xxxiii. 
Kuenen also mentions similar statements of Merx, Prof. Kirchen- 
geitungiox 1865, No. 17, 

KUENEN. 1 85 

(transformed into the one God of the world). I have 
always been surprised that no one has yet thought of 
the parallel between 2 Kings xxii. 8, &c, and 2 Esdr. 
viii. 1, &c. If the former passage means that our 
Deuteronomy was written in the time of Josiah, the 
latter can only mean that the Tora as a whole 
proceeds from Ezra. Besides, the Pentateuch, or 
rather the Hexateuch (for the work includes the Book 
of Joshua), has its only raison d'etre in the idea of 
instructing the Jewish colony assembled under Ezra 
in the conditions of its reoccupation of the promised 
land. Those conditions are the same under which its 
ancestors had formerly conquered it ; hence too these 
ancestors are feigned to have had the same disposition 
— especially with regard to the ' conubium ' — which 
Ezra so rigorously exemplified in his community. 
The works of the Yahwist, a writer of the prophetic 
school, whose spirit doubtless agreed with that of the 
speech of Stephen (Acts vii.) ; of the older Elohist, 
presumably contemporary with the Elohistic psalms; 
and of the Deuteronomist ; together perhaps with 
other isolated passages, were worked up together in 
his own spirit by the younger (hitherto designated 
the older) Elohist, Ezra. Thus, for instance, we can 
explain the beginning of the Pentateuch as intended 
to contradict the Persian cosmogony." 1 

Kuenen, the last of this group of critics, resembles 

1 Symmicta, i. 55, 56. For Lagarde's developed views on the 
latter point, see his Purim (p. 44), and cf. my Origin of the 
Psalter, p. 283, note '", 


Lagarde in little except in his love of truth and his 
want of sympathy with traditional forms of Christian 
theology. His character was so pure and noble that 
I ask permission to dwell upon it ; if such are the 
fruits of criticism, we need not perhaps augur so much 
evil from its increased prevalence. To have known 
him, is a privilege ; and it is right to give the student 
(who alas ! cannot now see him in the flesh) some 
faint idea of what he was. He' was born, Sept. 16, 
1828, at Haarlem, where his father was an apothecary. 1 
At the age of fifteen, upon his father's death, his 
studies were interrupted ; but friends were at last 
found to restore him to his school, and in the autumn 
of 1846 he was already qualified to enter the university. 
It was Leiden which he then made his academic home, 
and at Leiden he remained to the day of his death. 
The names of Dutch theologians are less known in 
England than they ought to be, but that of Scholten 
the dogmatic theologian is not unfamiliar to students 
of the Fourth Gospel. 2 To Scholten the young student 
was more indebted than to any other member of the 
theological faculty ; through him Kuenen became a 
theologian, and not merely an exegete like van Hengel 
or an Orientalist like Juynboll. I have ventured to 

1 These facts are from C. P. Tiele's Levensbericht van 
Abraham Kuenen (Amsterdam, 1892), and P. H. Wicksteed's 
beautiful sketch in the Jewish Quarterly Review, July 1892. For 
a critical estimate of Kuenen's work, see Prof. Toy in the New 
World, March 1892. 

2 See Scholten, Het Evangelie naar Johannes (1864; in 
German, 1 867) ; and cf. Watkins, Bampton Lectures, p. 264, &c. 

KUENEN. 187 

say elsewhere that one of Kuenen's many merits is 
that he was a theologian : not altogether baseless was 
the dislike expressed by Delitzsch for a purely critical 
theology. We must remember however that the 
Scholten of those days was not, either in New 
Testament criticism or in dogmatic theology, as radical 
as he afterwards became : Scholten and his pupil went 
on developing side by side. In Semitic philology 
Kuenen was equally indebted to another luminary of 
that day — Juynboll. For his doctor's thesis (1851) he 
presented an edition of part of the Arabic version of 
the Samaritan Genesis (chaps, i. — xxiv.), and was soon 
after appointed to succeed Dozz as "adjutorinterpretis 
legati Warneriani." The next result of his researches 
in the Leiden library was an edition of the whole 
of Genesis, Exodus, and Leviticus in the same 
version (1854). 

But Kuenen's pleasant position on the Warner 
foundation was but like a temporary fellowship : his 
life's work as a teacher had yet to begin. In 1853 he 
became extraordinary professor of theology (retain- 
ing his "fellowship" till 1855). His inaugural 
lecture (on the theological importance of the study 
of Hebrew antiquity) contained this remarkable 
passage — 

" Nor do I myself believe that the opinions of von 
Bohlen, Vatke, and others concerning these books can 
be reconciled with the utterances of Jesus and the 
apostles. But — to say nothing of the fact that their 
ravings have already been rejected by all the critics of 


any note, to a man — the abuse of a thing should not 
prohibit us from using it." 1 

In 1855 Kuenen was appointed to an ordinary 
professorship, and that same year he married. 
Kuenen, like Lagarde, had a close intellectual 
companionship with his wife, and his bold venture in 
starting from the prophets of the eighth century in his 
researches into the religion of Israel was partly due 
to Mrs. Kuenen's sympathy. Henceforth there are 
few events to chronicle in this modest scholar's life. 
He took part in all academic and civic movements, 
preached (though but seldom), and lectured with 
ability (though, like Vatke, not with uniform success). 
In 1882 he visited England to deliver the Hibbert 
Lectures. In 1883, the year of the Oriental Congress 
at Leiden, he lost his wife ; in 1886, his attached and 
ever-helpful sister. These blows told upon him, and 
when in 1887 he was attacked by a distressing disease, 
he had great difficulty in resisting it. In 1891 he was 
again seized with painful illness, and on December 10 
he departed this life suddenly but peacefully at the 
age of sixty-three. 

Let me mention some of the moral qualities which 
distinguished Kuenen as a scholar. Love of truth, 
thoroughness in work, freedom from vanity and 
personal ambition, generosity in praise, considerate- 
ness in censure, willingness to reconsider opinions — 
all these can be traced in Kuenen's writings. Nor was 

1 Quoted by Wicksteed in his sketch. 

KUENEN. 189 

his religion of a commonplace type. Though not 
fervid like that of Delitzsch, his faith was firm, serene, 
and most truly reverent. Reverence indeed was one 
of his leading characteristics. In his most contro- 
versial work, he asserts the claims of the prophets to 
our reverence, and in reviewing Steinthal's Ethics he 
regrets the omission of reverence in that philosopher's 
definition of the religious sentiment. 1 Turning now 
to his three critical works, I notice first of all that, 
when rightly understood, he is not so alien in spirit to 
progressive Church theologians as has been repre- 
sented. " Take the first edition of that monument 
of critical scholarship, the Historico-critical Inquiry 
(1861 — 1865), and see how moderate its results are. 
And now compare the second (part 1, 1885 — 1887 ; 
part 2, 1889). Can it be said that there is any real 
extremeness in his conclusions ? No ; Kuenen is still 
as moderate and as circumspect as ever, but his eye 
for facts has become keener. I know that he opposed 
the old supernaturalism, and that he himself admits 
that his theological convictions may have reacted on 
his criticisms ; but I know that he also assures us that 
neither his method nor his main results were the 
outcome of his theological principles. It was through 
critical exegesis that he came to the conviction that 
a dogmatic supernaturalism was untenable, and the 
canons of critical exegesis are independent of theo- 
logical dogma." 2 

1 Theologisch Tijdschrift, 1886, p. 307. 

2 From my notice of Kuenen, Expositor, Jan. 1891. 


Nor can it be said that Kuenen's second great 
work, the Religion of Israel (published in Dutch in 
1869-70) is in any bad sense "naturalistic." No 
doubt he considered on critical grounds that the 
religion of Israel was but one among other religions 
{Religion of Israel, i. 5). But he would have fully 
admitted that the difference in their respective degrees 
of spiritual nobility between the higher religion of 
Israel and the best of the other religions of antiquity 
was so great as to amount practically to a difference 
of kind. All that was good both in the religion of 
Israel and in the other religions he would have 
ascribed to the same divine source. If this is to be a 
" naturalist," then Kuenen may be so called. I should 
myself have preferred to call him a psychologist, and 
with him I cannot help grouping such respected 
Church theologians as Lightfoot and Westcott, Bruce 
and Davidson, who are unqualified psychologists in 
exegesis, whatever may be their attitude towards the 
results of the psychological method in criticism. 

I am not however writing as an apologist of this 
able book. As a whole, it is simply unique as a 
specimen of the right historical method in such studies. 
But in details one may often differ from it. Thus, 
Kuenen's explanation of the rise of spiritual prophecy 
seems to others besides Matthew Arnold inadequate. 
But Kuenen was perfectly justified in offering it. 
He also appears to me deficient in insight into the 
higher religious ideas of the Israelites ; one may still 
turn for stimulus from the Religion of Israel to Ewald 

KUENEN. 191 

on the Prophets and on the Poets. And if we pass 
to Kuenen's third work (which owes its inception to 
the late Dr. John Muir), called The Prophets and 
Prophecy in Israel (1877), the same incomplete 
comprehension of religious ideas is visible. As a 
controversial treatise, however, the work has merits of 
the highest order. The only question is, whether the 
doctrine which he opposes might not have been left 
to fall of itself, or rather to be superseded by some- 
thing far higher and deeper, to which no progressive 
theologian would withhold his assent. More than 
this I cannot say here. Nor can I venture to discuss 
either the Hibbert Lectures for 1882 1 or the long 
series of articles (both critical investigations and 
reviews of books) contained in the Theologisch 
Tijdschrift. The Lectures show how lightly Kuenen 
bore his learning, while the articles show how utterly 
removed from rashness he was, and (so far as they 
deal with the opinions of others) how mild and 
gracious he could be to those from whom he differed. 
One delights to think of the latter characteristic. 
Fairness one expects from an opponent, but gracious- 
ness — how nearly unknown is this Christ-like temper 
among critics ! 

Lastly, as to Kuenen's place in the critical move- 
ment. There is in many respects a striking contrast 
between the first edition of the Inquiry (Onderzoek) 

1 A competent estimate of the Hibbert Lectures has been given 
by Prof. Tiele in his short life of Kuenen, and by Prof. Toy in 
his article on Kuenen in the New World. 


and the second. 1 In Pentateuch criticism in particular 
Kuenen's position changed greatly between 1861 and 
1885. Upon the whole, in 1861 he adhered to what 
was then the prevalent school of criticism. He found 
in the Pentateuch three independent writers, all pre- 
Exilic, though he admitted post-Deuteronomic re- 
vision of the Levitical legislation, and he doubted 
whether the Levitical laws were written down by the 
same hand which penned the connected narratives. 
But in 1 862, the year after the publication of Kuenen's 
first volume, appeared Part I. of Bishop Colenso on 
the Hexateuch, and the detailed criticism of the data 
of the Grundschrift contained in that work led 
Kuenen to re-examine his own just published critical 
theories. It was not the only cause, but it was not 
the least important one, of a complete change in 
Kuenen's opinion. 2 Another attack on the Grund- 
schrift (with special regard to Ex. xxxv. — xl.) was 
made in 1862 by the Jewish scholar Dr. J. Popper, 
and again a third in 1866 by K. H. Graf in his 
''epoch-making" work on the historical books. In 
1868 appeared a dissertation by W. H. Kosters of 
Leiden, which showed inductively that the Deutero- 
nomist was not acquainted with the priestly 
narratives. In 1869-70 Kuenen thoroughly com- 

1 Of the three portions already published, only one is acces- 
sible in English {The Hexateuch, by P. H. Wicksteed) ; all have 
however appeared in a German version by C. Th. Miiller. 

2 See The Hexateuch, Introd. p. xiv, &c, Theol. Tijdschrift, 
1870, p. 398, &c. 


mitted himself in the Religion of Israel to a 
Grafianism revised by its author at the instance 
of Kuenen, and subsequently, in the Theologisch 
Tijdschrift, published a series of papers, which are 
models in their kind, on special points or aspects of 
the new theory. Finally, in 1885 appeared the first 
portion of the new edition of the Inquiry. This was 
as great an event as the publication of the Religion 
of Israel. Many who, like myself, were fascinated 
with the view of Jewish literature and history given 
in the latter work must have felt, with me, that there 
were unexplained difficulties in Kuenen's theory. In 
the revised form of his views given in the second 
edition of the Inquiry these difficulties were much 
less striking, and through Kuenen and Wellhausen 
together it became possible even for cautious English 
critics to come over to the " advanced " school. 

Of the second edition of this critical masterpiece 
three portions have as yet appeared. The changes 
of opinion indicated in the second and third of these 
are less striking than those in the first, but careful 
students will notice Kuenen's great increase of 
critical sensitiveness in dealing with the prophetic 
literature. A survey of the results of the third 
portion (called Part II.) has been given by Mr. 
Montefiore in the Jewish Quarterly Review, 1890, 
pp. 311 — 321. I have a keen regret in learning that 
the fourth portion (part 3), dealing with the gnomic 
and lyric poetry, was not fully prepared by Kuenen 
for the press. The Religion of Israel is disappointing 


in its treatment of this section of the Old Testament, 
and Kuenen's revised opinions, with the full justifica- 
tion which he would have given to them, would have 
been of the greatest interest. On the Psalter par- 
ticularly one could have wished for the counsel of 
this wise scholar. Nor can one help deploring that 
there can now be no revised and corrected edition of 
his noble work on the religion of Israel. Pendent 
opera interrupta. 

Kuenen, more than any one else of his own 
generation, pointed the way for future inquiry. In 
particular, he saw, first of all, the right order in 
the stages of Israelitish religion, and secondly, the 
necessity of digging deeper foundations of criticism 
in archaeological research. Wellhausen and Robert- 
son Smith (leaders and representatives of Kuenen's 
juniors) have therefore lost more than can be said in 
this prince of critics. But at this point I must break 
off. Gladly would I have treated, even if less fully, 
of Dillmann, and of the younger German and Dutch 
scholars. But time and space are wanting. 



We have already seen that at the end of the 
eighteenth century a Cambridge professor (H. Lloyd) 
attempted to obtain episcopal and academical 
sanction for a translation of Eichhorn's Introduction 
to the Old Testament. To his great surprise (but not 
to ours) the attempt failed. We will not be hard on 
the simple-hearted professor's rude episcopal corre- 
spondents ; they did but carry out the policy of 
restriction which then prevailed in all departments 
of life, and which had many and various causes. 
But we may regret the consequences, one of which 
was the failure of Lowth and Kennicott to produce 
a succession of eminent Hebrew scholars. What, in 
fact (so all but a few born linguists would feel), was 
the good of profound researches into the text of the 
Old Testament, when historical and theological 
inferences were precluded ? And though contact 
with German thought began the regeneration of 


English theology long before 1862, yet neither Hare, 
nor Arnold, nor Jowett, nor even Stanley, could (for 
want of Hebrew scholarship and other things) be the 
predestined champion of reform in the study of the 
Old Testament. At length, in 1862, the hour came, 
and the man ; and, strange to say, the champion was 
a bishop — and though neither a great Hebrew scholar, 
nor a critic trained in historical investigations, he was 
at any rate free from the influences adverse to history 
which proceeded from the philosophy of Coleridge. It 
was John William Colenso who reopened the suspended 
intercourse between the critical students of England 
and the continent ; for I shall hardly be called upon 
to admit that the timid adhesion of Dr. Samuel 
Davidson in 1859 to the critical analysis of the 
Pentateuch in some not very clearly defined form 
entitles him to a higher title (at least in the present 
connexion) than that of precursor. How a South 
African bishop was enabled to become more than this, 
is a matter of history. I must, however briefly, 
record the striking facts. It would be unjust to pass 
over this brave man, who in the teeth of opposition 
made himself a genuine critic, and who won his 
battle more completely for others than for himself. 

We owe this iconoclast, reformer, and critic to 
Cornwall : he was born at St. Austell's, Jan. 24, 18 14. 
It would have been strange if he had not been 
religious ; from first to last no cold, sceptical breath 
ruffled the surface of his soul. Early- difficulties 
awakened a sense of responsibility and strengthened 


his moral energy. Through friends (whose help he 
repaid) he entered Cambridge university, where he 
took all but the very highest mathematical honours, 
and in 1837 became fellow of St. John's College. 
From 1836 to 1841 he filled the post of mathematical 
master at Harrow (under Longley), and then returned 
to his college as tutor. In 1841 — 1843 ne brought out 
his very successful treatises on algebra and arithmetic, 
and in 1846 retired to the village-cure of Forncett 
St. Mary's, Norfolk, where he divided his time 
between his parishioners and his pupils. In 1853 he 
was appointed first Bishop of Natal, and shortly 
before his consecration dedicated a volume of village- 
sermons to F. D. Maurice, avowedly doing so as a 
protest against the blows levelled at his friend by 
the Record. It may be well to quote the words in 
which Maurice expressed his thanks. 

" I should convey a very inadequate impression of 
my own feelings of the generosity and courage which 
your words manifest, and of the strength and hope 
which they imparted to me. I could have wished that 
you had stifled all your regard for me rather than 
run this risk. Nevertheless, I do so thoroughly and 
inwardly believe that courage is the quality most 
needed in a bishop, and especially a missionary 
bishop, that I did at the same time give hearty 
thanks to God that He had bestowed such a measure 
of it upon you." 1 

1 Life of Maurice, ii. 185. 


To send such a " strong, simple-hearted " Cornish- 
man as Colenso to Natal might seem wise to the 
Colonial Secretary of that day, and the Bishop's 
devoted educational work among the Zulus might 
appear to justify the appointment. Colenso how- 
ever had a deep repugnance both to oppression and 
to formulae (whether of thought or of action), and 
here lay one of the possible germs of difficulty in his 
relations to others. Soon afterwards came the disputes 
respecting Kafir polygamy, which I refer to here, be- 
cause the state of things with which Colenso had to 
deal helped to give him a historic sense of some 
primitive usages in ancient Israel. In a published 
letter to the Archbishop of Canterbury he took a 
comprehensive survey, from a historical, Biblical, and 
practical point of view, of the question of the position 
of polygamists with regard to Christian baptism. He 
argued with great force in favour of toleration. The 
laws of the Church and the sayings of Christ Himself 
ought, he said, to be interpreted, and their letter if 
need be transgressed, in accordance with Christ's 
spirit. This view was opposed by Canon (afterwards 
Bishop) Callaway, who considered Christianity to be 
a " sacred deposit of doctrine," and the Church to be 
a " divine corporation with explicit regulations which 
cannot be modified." Bishop Colenso made up his 
mind after he had been only ten months in the 
colony. This rapidity in forming a conclusion was 
characteristic. Colenso was, as his subsequent oppo- 
nent Bishop Gray said, *' impetuous," but he was not 

colenso. 199 

incapable of revising his decisions (as his Pentateuch 
criticism proves), and his opinion of Kafir polygamy 
was at any rate supported by the high authority of 
Mr. (since Sir Theophilus) Shepstone. 1 

The deep questions suggested to Colenso by his 
Zulu friends followed. " To these poor lads the 
Bishop was emphatically Sobantu, the 'father of the 
people/ but as he was their teacher and guide, so 
in turn he was stimulated by their questions to the 
most momentous inquiries." "He was now trans- 
lating the Book of Genesis for human beings with 
the docility of a child, but with the reasoning powers 
of mature age, and he was met at every step by the 
point-blank question, ' Is all that true ? ' ' My heart,' 
he says, ' answered in the words of the prophet, Shall 
a man speak lies in the name of the Lord ? I dared 
not do so.' These questions had set him free." 2 

It is easy to scoff at Colenso for giving way to a 
Zulu — easy, upon condition that we know all that 
the Bishop learned through his Zulu, and ought to 
have been taught long ago by his professors at 
Cambridge ; easy, upon condition that we do not 
realize the deep gulf which at that time existed 
between English and German theologians. But even 
the scoffers must admire the energy with which the 
Bishop set himself to study Biblical criticism in a 

1 Comp. my article, " Polygamy in Relation to Christian 
Baptism," Mission Life, April 1880. 

2 Sir G. W. Cox, Bart., in Diet, of Nat. Biography, art. 


distant colony. For him it was no merely academic 
question, but one of intense practicalness, and he 
cherished the belief that those who taught the Bible 
in our towns and villages would more readily listen 
to a working clergyman like himself than to an 
academic recluse. He cannot, I think, have fully 
counted the cost at first, but he never withdrew from 
the work because of its increasing magnitude, and 
the obloquy which it brought upon him. He con- 
tinued his examination of the Hexateuch, and between 
1862 and 1865 came to conclusions which, though 
from one point of view startlingly negative, were yet 
from another moderate even to a fault. 

These earlier results of Bishop Colenso are con- 
tained in Parts I. — V. of his great work. 1 The sensation 
which they produced is now a thing of the past, and 
one can do full justice to Colenso without being harsh 
to his adversaries. Looking back upon the contro- 
versy one can see that he had greatly the advantage 
in dignity of bearing ; Colenso never lost his temper. 
On the other hand, there was much both in the facts 
which he made known, and in the suddenness and 
utter frankness with which he published them, that 
could not help irritating so prejudiced a body as 
the Anglican clergy of that day. It was probably 
unwise in Colenso to bring out the first part of his 

1 A reply to Part V. was published by Dr. Kay under the 
rather absurd title Crisis Hupfeldiana (1865). Kay was a 
learned man and an able Hebraist, but did not know the 
superiority of Hupfeld. , 

COLENSO. 20 1 

work separately ; it would have caused but a brief 
delay to have combined with it a portion of his more 
technical criticism, which was already in the press. 
He might thus have strengthened his case with many 
fair-minded readers, and stopped the mouth of many 
objectors. But iconoclasm seemed to Colcnso the 
more immediately necessary course, and it may be 
questioned whether a born reformer such as Luther 
would not have justified him. This policy cost him 
however the good opinion of many friends (including 
even Maurice), who did not feel the necessity of nega- 
tive as a preliminary to sound positive criticism, and 
as the Bishop of Natal was famous for his arithmetic, 
the materials for many a caustic gibe lay ready to 
hand. It is now time, however, to speak frankly and 
seriously respecting Colenso's work. To critics of 
this generation Parts II. — V. present little of special 
interest ; the details may be had elsewhere in a better 
and more critical form, and the positive conclusions, 
always too moderate and in some points eccentric, 
are now antiquated. But Part I. will remain histori- 
cally important, because it directed the attention of 
the most progressive critic of the day to difficulties 
in the prevalent theory which he had failed to reckon 
with. Colenso, as Kuenen somewhat bluntly ex- 
presses it, "showed that the very documents which 
most expressly put themselves forward as authentic, 
and make the greatest parade of accuracy, are in reality 
the most unhistorical of all. In other words, it is just 
the narratives of the ' Grundschrift ' or ' Book of 


Origi as 'which turn out to be the most helpless before 
his criticism. . . . Colenso himself did not perceive 
the legitimate inferences that flowed from his demon- 
strations; for in Parts II. — V. he accepts the current 
opinion as to the date and character of the ' Grund- 
schrift.'" 1 

Colenso's sixth part appeared in 1871, and the 
seventh in 1879. In these he takes his place as a 
critic side by side with the continental scholars, whose 
works in distant Natal he sedulously but critically 
studied. In the former he definitely adopts the theory 
of Graf, assigning the Levitical legislation to the post- 
Exilic period, while still regarding the " Elohistic 
narrative " as a work of the age of Samuel, if not 
written by Samuel himself. In the latter he examines 
the origin of a large part of the Old Testament out- 
side the Hexateuch, and considers the bearings of 
the results on the question of the Canon. It cannot 
however be said either that the author has entirely 
thrown off the weaknesses which marked his early 
attempts at critical analysis, or that he shows a high 
degree of capacity for special historical criticism. 2 
He is a genuine but not an eminent critic, and misses 
the truth on that very important point, on which 

1 The Hexateuch, Introd. pp. xv— xvii. 

2 Cf. Maurice, Life, ii. 510: " It should be observed that 
Colenso has not the least studied under Niebuhr. He belongs . . . 
to the later and merely negative school of Sir G. C. Lewis, who 
scorned Niebuhr for supposing that any discoveries could be 
made about the history of a nation, unless there were contem- 
porary, or nearly contemporary, testimony." 


Graf himself finally gave way — the unity of the laws 
and narratives of the Grundschrift} And yet, as we 
have seen, he helped Kuenen at a turning-point in 
his path. Must we not remember Lessing's fine say- 
ing that, if by an error he has led another to the 
discovery of a truth, he has deserved as well of the 
cause of truth as the discoverer himself ? 

Of the brave Bishop's later history I need not say 
much. Though by no means a negative critic, he 
was not qualified to do thoroughly sound constructive 
work either in historical criticism or in theoretic 
theology. Let us be thankful for all that he did 
in breaking up the hard soil, and not quarrel with 
him for his limitations. 2 To have borne so. many 
burdens at one time would have overpowered any 
one but this impetuous and yet long-enduring Cornish- 
man. For he had not only upon him the cares of a 
reformer of Bible-study in England, but those of a 
missionary bishop. To the last he protected the 
interests of his Zulu friends, and by his zealous and 
conscientious advocacy, in the cases of Langalibalele 
and Cetshwayo, of a policy which was unpopular in 
the colony, he lost many of those whom his simple, 
noble character and earnest piety had brought to his 
side among the colonists. But at last all these cares 

1 In Part VII. Preface, p. xxxi, however, he expressly reserves 
his final judgment in graceful deference to Kuenen. 

2 Among his other works his work on Romans (1861), and his 
New Bible Commentary Critically Examined (1871 — 1876), have 
a claim to be mentioned. Also a pamphlet entitled Wellhausen 
on the Composition of the Hexateuch (Lond. 1878). 


and anxieties (especially those which have just been 
mentioned) began to tell upon the strong man. After 
a brief illness, he passed away at Bishopstowe, Natal, 
June 20, 1883, in the same faith in which he had 
lived — a faith which could not be shaken by any 
discoveries of criticism, because it was directed to 
the great spiritual realities. 

It was one of Colenso's deficiencies, as a historical 
critic that his insight had not been quickened by 
philosophical study. For his special work as a re- 
former this may indeed have been no disqualification ; 
he approached a " momentous " subject with a plain, 
practical, characteristically English mind. That was 
not the case with an eminent scholar, who by long 
residence had become English, but who could never 
(even had he wished it) have disowned his German 
training, M. M. KaliscL In the preface to Part I. of 
his Leviticus this writer expresses the hope " that he 
has aided in supporting by arguments derived from 
his special department of study the philosophical 
ideas which all genuine science at present seems eager 
to establish," and, so far from wishing to become a 
popular reformer, dissuades all who cling to theological 
prejudice from reading his books. That Kalisch 
has helped to " found " criticism in England cannot 
however be doubted. As a learned Jew, he com- 
manded the respect of many who disparaged the 
self-trained Colenso, and he has undoubtedly pro- 
moted the naturalization of foreign critical theories. 
We may claim him therefore as to some extent an 


English scholar, and the fine qualities of his character 
may make us even proud to welcome him. And 
who was Kalisch ? That he came to this country as 
a political refugee in 1848, that his literary labours, 
facilitated by the munificence of the Rothschilds, 
were bravely continued to the last amidst the 
drawbacks of impaired health, and that he died in 
1885 at the somewhat early age of fifty-seven, are 
the only facts of his outward life known to me. But 
his inner life is revealed to us in his books. We see 
there that he was more than a scholar, more than a 
Jewish theologian — that he studied deeper questions 
than the criticism of the Pentateuch, and had wider 
interests than those even of his own CEcumenical 
Jewish Church. This is especially clear in the latest 
of his books {Path and Goal), published in 1880, 
which, in the form of a conversation between friends, 
discusses the old problems of the "highest good." 
To a student the value of Path and Goal is great 
from its sympathetic exhibition of opposing points 
of view. 

No object was so dear to Kalisch as the growth of 
mutual respect and sympathy among religionists of 
different schools, and we cannot doubt that the host 
at whose house the interlocutors of the conversation 
assemble, and who appreciates and adopts all their 
highest thoughts, represents Kalisch himself. He is 
therefore not a " dry, cold rationalist," as one of the 
newspapers in 1885 described him, but has an ideal 
akin to that which Prof. Max Miiller describes at the 


close of his eloquent Hibbert Lectures} Such a man 
cannot be altogether an unsympathetic commentator 
on the Old Testament. 

Kalisch had a mind sensitive to all intellectual 
influences, and passed through several stages of 
development as an exegete. His Exodus (1855) 
would now be reckoned orthodox and conservative ; 
his Genesis (1858) distinctly recognized the principles 
of analytic criticism. The latter work in particular 
displays a fine sympathetic spirit towards the nar- 
ratives of Genesis which reminds one of Eichhorn 
and Ewald. In his Leviticus however (2 vols., 1867 — 
1872) Kalisch took up the most " advanced " position 
both in criticism and in theology. With his later 
theology I have here no concern, but on the critical 
questions I may say with Kuenen that he shows 
" great vigour and independence." His conclusion is 
expressed thus : — 

" We trust we have succeeded in demonstrating 
that the laws of Leviticus in reference to every 
particular subject are of later origin than the corre- 
sponding enactments of Deuteronomy. We have at 
least spared no pains to establish this point ; for 
upon it hinges the true insight, not only into the 
composition of the Pentateuch, but into the entire 
history of Hebrew theology. ... In every case, 
Leviticus, as compared with Deuteronomy, manifests 
a most decided progress in hierarchical power and 

1 Cf. Expositor, 1885 (2), pp. 390 — 393. 


organization, in spiritual depth and moral culture ; 
but it manifests on the other hand a no less decided 
decline in freedom and largeness of conception. . . . 
Therefore Leviticus must be placed later than the 
seventh century — the date which critics almost un- 
animously assign to Deuteronomy." 

" The laws which Ezekiel, in delineating the 
restored commonwealth, propounds with respect to 
the rights and duties of priests, the sacrificial service, 
and the festivals, are greatly at variance with those of 
Leviticus. ... If, in the prophet's time, the com- 
mands of Leviticus had existed, or had been known 
as a part of the holy " Book of the Law," he would 
assuredly not have ignored and overthrown them by 
substituting others devised by himself. We must 
therefore conclude that the Book of Leviticus did 
not exist, or had at least no divine authority, in the 
earlier years of the Babylonian captivity." 

" The destruction both of the northern and of the 
southern kingdom, and the misery of the people 
scattered in the countries of the Euphrates and the 
Tigris, are in one of the last chapters (xxvi.) vividly 
and most accurately described. This part of the 
book therefore leads us on to an advanced period of 
the Babylonian rule." 

" The contemporaries of Nehemiah (about B.C. 
440) were unacquainted with the Law of Moses. 
When the people heard it read, they wept, exactly as 
about- 200 years before, King Josiah had wept when 
portions of Deuteronomy were read to him ; and they 


were grieved for the same reason — because they had 
not lived in accordance with the precepts of that 

" Leviticus contains ordinances respecting several 
institutions, the existence or full development of 
which cannot be proved until long after the captivity 
— such as the sin-offerings and the high-priesthood, 
the Day of Atonement and the Year of Jubilee, 
institutions of all others the most characteristic or 
most important. Now . . . the Day of Atonement 
was unknown in the time of Nehemiah ; and as the 
Year of Jubilee was associated with the Day of 
Atonement, the compilation of the book must fall 
later than that date ; and we shall probably be near 
the truth if, considering the spirit of the concluding 
chapter on votive offerings and tithes, we place the 
final revision of Leviticus and of the Pentateuch at 
about B.C. 400." x 

It seemed only fair to give this record of a modest 
scholar who is in some danger of being overlooked, 
partly because he was an Israelite, and partly because 
his style of philology is not altogether that to which 
we are accustomed. 2 As a companion I will give 
him Dr. Samuel Davidson, who has also had his 
phases of opinion, and is not perhaps now estimated 
according to his deserts. This venerable scholar 
(born in 1807) has been severely handled by a recent 

1 Leviticus, Part II., pp. 637 — 639. 

2 Kalisch's other works are his well-known Hebrew Grammar, 
and his Bible Studies on Balaam (1877) and Jonah (1878). 


writer, whose contention is that Dr. Davidson's 
change of critical position was the unfortunate effect 
of his expulsion from his professorship. 1 I confess 
I do not see why Davidson, like Kuenen and like 
Delitzsch, should not, upon sufficient cause, change 
his opinions, and the charge of bias seems to me one 
which might reasonably be retorted against all who 
hold any educational office, for no bias perhaps can 
be greater than that insensibly produced by the 
endeavour to enter sympathetically into the minds of 
pupils. So much in defence of one whom as a writer 
I certainly cannot admire, and in whom as a re- 
searcher I cannot see that independence which, as I 
imagine, is among the signs of a first-rate critic. 2 
But Dr. Davidson has in times past been so able a 
theological interpreter between Germany and England, 
and to an advanced age has shown such zeal for 
truth, that I cannot omit his name or ignore his 
services. If in his later years he has felt the bitter- 
ness of isolation, I would rather give him pity than 
censure. Of his earlier work on the Old Testament, 
Mr. (now Bishop) Westcott wrote thus to the author 
(in 1857 ?) : " No one can question the great value of 
your Introduction. I know no English work on the 
subject which can be compared with it ; and I doubt 

1 Watkins, Bampton Lectures, p. 272, &c. 

2 Among Dr. Davidson's works are, The Text of the Old 
Testament Considered; with a Treatise on Sacred Interpretation 
and a brief Introduction to the O. T. Books and the Apocrypha, 
1856 (ed. 2, 1859), and An Introduction to the Old Test., critical, 
historical, and theological, 3 vols., 1862-63. 



whether any German Introduction is equally com- 
plete." 1 

We have now almost reached what I may call the 
modern age in English Bible-study, but a few names 
of men and books seem still to require mention. First, 
that of Rowland Williams (1817 — 1870), whom Ewald, 
as we have seen, visited at Broadchalke. The story 
of the life of this eminent divine is " the history of an 
epoch in English thought," and it is noteworthy that 
the chief literary production of his later years is a 
work on the Hebrew prophets (2 vols., 1866 — 1871), 
which, in its object, as Ewald remarked in reviewing 
it, 2 was up to that time quite unparalleled in English 
literature. That object was, not merely to give a 
better translation, but to ascertain the period of each 
separate prophetic writing, and to study the prophetic 
ideas, with which it may fairly be said that he had 
a natural affinity. The author's rearrangements are 
chiefly due to Ewald, but he has now and then strik- 
ing critical ideas of his own ; in philology, he is weak. 
Of Dr. E. H. Perowne, on the other hand, it may be 
said that his excellent translation of the Psalms with 
commentary (first ed., 1864 — 1868) is more advanced 
in its philology than in its criticism ; how indeed 
should it have been otherwise at that date ? I trust 
that no subsequent critics will forget the debt 
which England owes to Dr. Perowne, not only for 

1 See the passage in full, Facts, Statements, and Explanations, 
by Samuel Davidson, D.D., 1857, pp. 123-4. 
s G'ott. gel. Anzeigen, Jan. 23, 1867. 


this useful student's book, but for his timely criti- 
cisms of Pusey's Book of Daniel {Contemporary Re- 
view, Jan. 1866), and in more "modern" times for his 
defence of a moderate Pentateuch-criticism {Contem- 
porary Review, 1888), of which indeed he had him- 
self in Smith's Bible Dictionary given a fragmentary 
suggestion. Recognition is also due to this scholar's 
learned and critical but inconclusive article "Zech- 
ariah " {Bible Dictionary), in which more than once 
the Exilic origin of Isa. xl. — lxvi. is assumed. Mr. 
A. B. Davidson, author of vol. i. of a learned philo- 
logical commentary on Job (Edinb. 1862), deserves 
grateful recognition ; the reader will meet him again. 
Lastly, Mr. Russell Martineau, by his (too few) 
critical articles in the old Theological Review and in 
the translation of Ewald's History showed his acumen 
and fine scholarship, and contributed to prepare the 
way for the modern period. 1 

1 Dean Stanley can alas ! only be mentioned in a footnote. 
It was his main work to excite an interest in the picturesque 
accessories, and permanent moral interest, of Biblical history. 
In doing this he availed himself largely of Ewald's results. 
Even his most original work, the Sinai and Palestine (1856), 
has numerous references to this great scholar. 



The modern period may be opened here with the 
name of W. Robertson Smith, who from the first 
gave promise of becoming the most brilliant critic of 
the Old Testament in the English-speaking countries. 
Aberdeen university never turned out a keener 
intellect, and with admirable forethought his friends 
there bade him complete his training under A. B. 
Davidson (recently appointed professor) at the Free 
Church College at Edinburgh, and under the most 
learned and exacting of professors, Paul de Lagarde 
at Gottingen. Physical science however long strove 
with theology for this able student, and perhaps it 
was only the definite offer of a professorship of 
Oriental Languages and the Old Testament at the 
Free Church College at Aberdeen that prevented 
him from being finally enrolled among Scottish 
academical teachers of physics. At any rate, it was 


a great advantage for Robertson Smith both as 
a special Biblical critic and as a theologian to have 
obtained so good an insight into the methods of 
physical science, and among other things into the 
right use of hypothesis according to such men as 
Thomson and Tait. Bold, but wisely bold, were 
those who appointed so young a man (he was then 
twenty-four) to a professorship. But our Scottish 
friends know when to be bold, and when cautious. 
The young professor came of a good stock ; attach- 
ment to evangelical religion might safely be presumed 
in his father's son. It was true that he could not 
have passed under the influence of Albrecht Ritschl 
at Gottingen without having modified some of his 
ideas as to what constituted orthodoxy, nor under 
that of Lagarde (who said that he " accepted every- 
thing that was proved, but nothing else") without 
having become increasingly strict in criticizing tra- 
ditional narratives. But the directors of the Free 
Church colleges were aware of the necessity of 
strengthening the scientific (wtssenschaftlick) portion 
of Scottish theology, and' a policy of generous trust 
in the rising generation supplanted that of obscur- 
antism and distrust. The Bible needed to be re- 
examined in the light of historical research (here 
Lagarde's training would show itself), and both 
dogmatics and apologetics required reinterpretation 
and revision (here the profoundly positive Ritschl 
would not be unhelpful). In other words, not Heng- 
stenberg but Tholuck was the model of these liberal- 


conservative directors — Tholuck, whom another Free 
Church student heard say shortly before his death, 
" The more liberal view of inspiration can be safely 
introduced among the laity, only on condition that 
the theologians first show that they can hold it with- 
out losing the power and purity of their religious life." 
From 1870 to 1881 Prof. Robertson Smith worked 
at Aberdeen. Those years of his life now appear so 
far off, and the evidence relative to the activities 
which filled them has become so historical, that I can 
venture to speak of them. As a lecturer, he not only 
benefited his students intellectually, but "settled 
them in the Bible, in their faith, in their doctrines " ; 
as a helper in popular education, he won the grateful 
regard of young men in business ; as a preacher, he 
confirmed his hearers in evangelical religion. This 
was not his whole work, however. In 1875 he began 
writing for the ninth edition of the Encyclopedia 
Britannica. The first of his articles is headed 
" Angel " ; the second " Bible." The former shows 
his mastery of the historico-exegetical problems of 
Biblical theology ; the second, the comprehensiveness 
of his learning and his deep critical insight. The 
composition of the articles " Canticles " and " David " 
also comes into this period — the latter of which in 
particular is a model of sympathetic Biblical criti- 
cism. Nor must I forget contributions to the British 
Quarterly and the British and Foreign Evangelical 
Review^ and to the old series of the Expositor, all of 
which impress one with the singular steadiness and 


rapidity of this scholar's development, and, not least, 
with the security of his theological position. In fact 
were we to name a scholar of this period who was 
qualified to be professor both of Old Testament 
subjects and of theology in its broadest aspects, it 
would be Prof. Robertson Smith. 

In 1878 this very scholar was charged with serious 
offences against sound doctrine with regard to the 
Scriptures. It was a historical event of no less 
moment than the proceedings against Bishop Colenso 
in England. Into the various phases of the trial 
(which was of course a purely ecclesiastical one) I 
will not enter. 1 They were followed with keen 
interest by the friends and foes of criticism both in 
the English-speaking countries and in Germany. It is 
said that Delitzsch, though not as far advanced criti- 
cally as Robertson Smith, heartily wished him success. 
But the wish was not to be gratified. The Professor 
won his battle for others, but not for himself. Undis- 
turbed by this, he determined to appeal to the 
Scottish laity, and in the winter of 1880 delivered intro- 
ductory popular lectures on Old Testament criticism 
to large audiences at Edinburgh and Glasgow. These 
lectures were then published in a volume, of which in 
fifteen months 6,500 copies were sold. In the follow- 
ing winter the experiment was repeated with the 

1 The various publications connected with the trial are, to a 
great extent, of permanent interest. See especially the Pro- 
fessor's Answer to the Form of Libel now before the Presbytery 
of Aberdeen (Edinb., David Douglas, 1878), 


same success, and these lectures too appeared in 
book-form. Need I say that these two volumes are 
those well-known books, The Old Testament in the 
Jewish Church and The Prophets of Israel, the former 
of which has lately (1892) been republished in a 
second, enlarged edition ? 

It is probable that the trial instituted in 1878 was 
not wholly unconnected with the appearance in the 
same year of that brilliant and incisive but, as English 
readers cannot help thinking, here and there irreverent 
book, Wellhausen's Geschichte Israels (vol. i.). How- 
ever that may be, it is no secret that the two writers, 
Robertson Smith and Wellhausen are (in spite of their 
different idiosyncrasies) close friends, 1 and that they 
have exchanged many suggestions which have borne 
abundant fruit. In Hexateuch criticism, no doubt, 
the indebtedness is chiefly on the side of Robertson 
Smith, who has been (if I may say so) the most 
brilliant exponent of his friend's theory, not of course 
because it is Wellhausen's theory, but because it is 
truth. It ought however to be remembered that, 
taking this scholar's work as a whole, with all the 
minute details often stowed away in notes or in 
special journals (like the Journal of Philology), it is 
distinctly original work of a high class. When 
Robertson Smith began .to devote himself more 
especially to Arabic studies, it was for the immediate 
present (not in the long run) the greatest possible loss 

1 The preface to the English edition of Wellhausen's book was 
written by Prof. W, R, Smith. 


to our native Biblical criticism. He has but given us 
specimens of what he can do. Excellent as the 
Encyclopedia articles are, they are but very full 
summaries, and the two volumes of lectures are after 
all in the main popular introductions. That well- 
deserved eulogy which a conservative writer in the 
Church Quarterly Review (Oct. 1892) has given to one 
of the latter would certainly not be repeated, were 
Prof. Robertson Smith to publish a work of minute 
research, from the point of view actually reached by 
advanced critics. 

Still, in spite of the regrets which I have expressed, 
we must all congratulate Cambridge on its adoption of 
so eminent a scholar. It was in 1883 that Robertson 
Smith became the colleague of Wright as a professor 
of Arabic, at the same time continuing the editorial 
labours on the Encyclopedia Britannica which he began 
in 1 88 1. Apart from his Biblical articles in this work 
(note especially "Messiah," 1883; "Psalms," 1886; 
and the latest of all, "Zephaniah," 1888), the results 
of his studies are mainly embodied in two important 
books, which prove not only his interest in Semitic 
research in general, but also his sense that future Old 
Testament studies will be largely affected by archaeo- 
logical investigations. These works are — Kinship and 
Marriage in Early Arabia (1885), and Lectures on the 
Religion of the Semites (first series, 1889). It would 
carry me too far to discuss the theories of these 
brilliant and original volumes. From the point of 
view of an Old Testament scholar, who has not made 


the same special studies as the author and Wellhausen, 
what has to be said has been put forward with due 
modesty by Karl Budde in a review of the latter 
work. 1 If the author has sometimes based a bold 
theory on evidence of uncertain value, this cannot 
obscure the many results which are in a high degree 
probable, and if he now and then gives us a glimpse 
of his own theological system, those who believe in 
the undying importance of a sound theology, and in 
its close connexion with historical facts, cannot blame 
him for this. Nor can I criticize him severely for 
taking no account of Assyriological researches. It was 
best to attack the subject from the side of non-Assyrio- 
logical Semitic study ; here the author was at home, 
and his necessary onesidedness can in due time be 
corrected. It is of course quite another thing when, 
as in the Prophets of Israel (pp. 377, 401), Prof. 
Robertson Smith betrays a degree of distrust of 
Assyriology which further study of the subject would 
even in 1882 assuredly have dissipated. 2 

1 Theol. Literaturzeitung, Nov. 1, 1890 ; cf. the review (by Mr. 
Lang?) in the Speaker, No. 1. 

2 " Perhaps with an extreme of scepticism " is too gentle an 
expression to use of Gutschmid's attack on the Assyriologists, 
considering the elaborate and conclusive reply of Schrader 
{Keilinschriften und Geschichtsforschung, 1878). Nor is it 
reasonable to doubt the correctness of Schrader's Assyriological 
explanation of the names of deities in Am. v. 26. We may of 
course, with Wellhausen {Die Kleinen Propheten, 1892), obelize 
the verse, but if the passage is genuine, the northern Israelites 
in the time of Amos worshipped Assyrian deities. We may 
suppose that they sought to appease the anger of those powerful 
gods, comparing Isa. x. 4 (if Lagarde's reading be adopted). 


It was a great satisfaction to receive in June 1892 
one's old favourite, The Old Testament in the Jewish 
Church, in a revised and enlarged form. The addi- 
tions are most conspicuous in that part of Lecture 
V. which treats of the historical books ; a new lecture 
(XIII.) is also introduced, containing a general sketch 
of the results of Hexateuch criticism, and the greater 
part of the lecture on the Psalter has been rewritten. 
Besides this, there are two fresh appended notes of 
much interest, — one relating to the text of 1 Sam. 
xvii., the other to the question of Maccabaean psalms 
in Books I. — III. of the Psalter. The first of these 
I shall pass over, referring to a record of my first 
impressions on reading the note in the Expositor, 
Aug. 1892, pp. 156-7. On the second, I venture to 
offer some criticisms, because in my work on the 
Psalter (1891) I professed myself unsatisfied with 
the theory put forward to account for psalms like 
the 44th in the very able article "Psalms" (Enc. 
Brit) which is reproduced in Lect. VII. of this 

I am, I think, in no danger of being an unfair critic 
of Prof. Robertson Smith's theories on the Psalms, 
for two reasons. 1 First, because in my own conclu- 
sion as to the period of the Psalms, I have to a large 
extent his support. Secondly, because supposing 
that his theory of Pss. xliv., lxxiv., and lxxix. is 
correct, I am thereby enabled to strengthen my own 

1 The following criticisms are taken, with but little alteration, 
from my art. in the New World, Sept. 1892. 


published view 1 as to the date of Isa. lxiii. 7 — lxvi. 
Let me then heartily recommend, not only Lect. 
VII., but also Note D on pp. 437—440, in which the 
theory is again advocated that Pss. xliv., lxxiv., and 
lxxix. were written during the oppression of the Jews 
by Artaxerxes Ochus (about 350 B.C.). According 
to Professor Robertson Smith, this oppression in- 
cluded one important event of which no direct record 
has survived, viz. the burning of the temple (see Ps. 
lxxiv. 7, and cf. lxxix. 1). He remarks that our 
notices of Jewish history during the Persian period 
are extremely fragmentary, and that Josephus, though 
he does not mention the burning of the temple (as 
indeed he does not speak of the Jewish captivity 
under Ochus), certainly does mention a " defilement " 
of the temple by Bag6ses under (as it seems) 
Artaxerxes II. (Ant. xi. 7, 1). Professor Robertson 
Smith says : " It seems to me that the objection to 
placing these psalms in the reign of Ochus comes 
mainly from laying too much weight on what Josephus 
relates about Bagdses. That Bagdses forced his way 
into the temple, and that he laid a tax on the daily 
sacrifices, is certainly not enough to justify the 
language of the psalms. But for this whole period 
Josephus is very ill informed, . . . and the whole 
Bag6ses story looks like a pragmatical invention 
designed partly to soften the catastrophe of the Jews, 
and partly to explain it by the sin of the High Priest. 

. a See " Critical Problems of the Second Part of Isaiah," part 
2, in the Jewish Quarterly Review, October 1891. 


The important fact of the captivity to Hyrcania 
stands on quite independent evidence, but comes to 
us without any details. The captivity implies a 
revolt, and the long account given by Diodorus (xvi. 
40 ff.) of Ochus' doings in Phoenicia and Egypt 
shows how that ruthless king treated rebels. In 
Egypt the temples were pillaged and the sacred 
books carried away [ibid. c. 51). Why should we 
suppose that the temple at Jerusalem and the 
synagogues fared better? Such sacrilege was the 
rule in Persian warfare ; it was practised by Xerxes in 
Greece and also at Babylon. I have observed in the 
text that a rising of the Jews at this period could not 
fail to take a theocratic character, and that the war 
would necessarily appear as a religious war. Certainly 
the later Jews looked on the Persians as persecutors ; 
the citation from Pseudo-Hec. in Jos. c. Ap. i. 22, 
though worthless as history, is good evidence for this ; 
and it is also probable that the wars under Ochus 
form the historical background of the Book of Judith, 
and that the name Holophernes is taken from that 
of a general of Ochus, who took a prominent part in 
the Egyptian campaigns " (p. 439). 

It will be seen that three assumptions are made 
here. The first is that Bag6ses is the same as 
Bagoas,— -the name of the ruthless general of the not 
less ruthless king, Artaxerxes Ochus. (This is a very 
easy one, though the character of Josephus's Bag6ses 
does not agree with that of Bag6as.) The second is 
that Josephus almost completely transforms the true 


story of the events, out of regard for the prejudices of 
the Jews, who could not understand how God could 
have permitted His own faithful people to fall into 
such misery, and His own temple to be a second time 
polluted and burned by a heathen enemy. The third 
is that the rising of the Jews (the reality of which is, 
I think, disputed by Professor S. R. Kennedy only) 
had a " theocratic character " and a religious sanction. 
A few remarks may be offered on these assumptions. 
It is too strong a statement that " sacrilege was the 
rule in Persian warfare," and the Jewish temple had 
no images in it to irritate a faithful worshipper of 
Mazda. I admit, however, that the second and third 
Artaxerxes were " reactionary kings," who, both 
morally and religiously, " compromised the purity of 
Mazda-worship " {Bampton Lectures, p. 292) ; and if 
I am right in assigning a number of persecution 
psalms (such as vi., vii., x., xi., and xvii.) to the 
period of Persian oppression under one or the other 
of these kings, it is not a great step further to assign 
Pss. lxxiv. and lxxix. to that dark time. Even the 
consciousness of legal righteousness in Ps. xliv. is 
perhaps not much keener than that in Pss. vii. and 
xvii. It is true that in Isa. lxiv. 5 — 7 (which very 
probably comes from the same period) the very 
deepest contrition for sin is expressed, but the great 
confession of sin to which this passage belongs may 
have been written in a greater depth of misery than 
these psalms. To the references to Pseudo-Hecataeus 
and to Judith not much weight can be attached ; but 


on other grounds I think it not impossible that after 
glutting his revenge on Sidon, Ochus sent his general 
Bag6as to chastise the Jews (cf. Judeich, Kleinasia- 
tische Studien, p. 176), and that the temple was not 
only desecrated but destroyed. I should be inclined 
at present to hold out as regards Ps. xliv., for I can 
scarcely believe the Jews had taken so prominent a 
part in the general rebellion as to account for Ps. xliv. 
9. But as regards Pss. lxxiv. and lxxix., the objection 
to the theory of Ewald (ed. 1) and Professor Smith, 
which I expressed in Bampton Lectures, pp. 91, 92, 
102, has grown much feebler. 

It may be said that Professor Smith's theory is 
bold and imaginative. So it is ; but it is not on this 
account to be rejected. Unimaginative critics like 
Hupfeld are also very insipid, and do not greatly 
promote a vivid comprehension of the meaning of 
the Psalms. It cannot of course be proved, and 
Hitzig's view (suggested by a passage in Solinus, 
xxxv. 6, Mommsen) that it was Jericho, not Jeru- 
salem, which suffered so much under Ochus, is not 
unworthy of attention. But it would be a great boon 
to be able to explain Ps. lxxiv. 7, lxxix. 1, and Isa. 
lxiv. 12, without having to suppose that the liturgical 
poems to which these passages belong were written 
to commemorate more than one catastrophe. On 
Professor Smith's other critical remarks (directed 
against theories of my own) I may be brief. 1 He 
appears to me to be too much a prey to the love of 

1 Comp. Expositor, Aug. 1892, p. 159. 


simplicity ; why psalms of the Greek age should not 
have found their way into Books I. — III. is not to me 
obvious, in spite of Professor Smith's remark (p. 437) 
on my " complicated hypothesis." That my view of 
Pss. xlii., xliii. is " fanciful," should be no objection to 
a historical student like the author. There are, as 
Milton has told us, two kinds of fancy : the nobler 
kind some of us prefer to call " imagination." 
Professor Smith, as we have seen, is himself not 
devoid of this priceless gift, without which there is no 
piecing together the scattered fragments of history, no 
vivifying the lifeless conclusions of a cold criticism. 
And surely it is hardly right to dismiss a critical 
theory too positively if you have no better substitute 
to propose. I myself cling less to my own views on 
Pss. xlv. and lxxii. than to many other parts of my 
system. But I cannot see much force in the prejudiced 
arguments brought against them ; nor can I believe 
that Ps. lxxii. can be " a prayer for the re-establish- 
ment of the Davidic dynasty under a Messianic king 
according to prophecy " (why not call it at once a 
purely imaginative royal psalm ? ) ; nor that Ps. xlv. 
is most easily viewed " as a poem of the old kingdom.'' 
Nor can I see my way to explain Ps. lxviii. of the 
hopes created by the catastrophe of the Persian 
empire. Verse 30 seems clearly to show that when 
the psalmist wrote, Egypt was a powerful empire, 
from which danger to Palestine might be reasonably 
apprehended. 1 These however are but minor points, 
1 For my own present view of the passage, see Journal of 

A. B. DAVIDSON. 225 

compared with those large ones on which this scholar, 
more completely and definitely than Prof. Driver, is 
on my side. And Prof. Robertson Smith cannot go 
back, he is still in the vanguard of critics. 

Of Prof. A. B. Davidson this can perhaps hardly 
be said ; and yet no one has done more to " found " 
criticism, at least in Scotland, than this eminent 
teacher. It is a noble but a difficult position — that 
of a professor of Biblical study in one of the great 
Scottish schools of theology, — noble, because he has 
access to the keenest and most inquisitive theological 
students in our island, and difficult, because until of 
late evangelical warmth has in Scotland been com- 
bined with singularly strong dogmatic prejudices. If 
conservative reviewers will permit me to say so, I 
venture to think that Dr. Davidson was specially 
prepared by nature and by training for this great 
position. Of his natural gifts, I will not speak now, 
because my small personal acquaintance with him, 
though enough to give me a special interest in all 
that he writes, is not sufficient for me to do so as I 
could wish. Moreover, one of Prof. Davidson's pupils, 
who has since gone to a higher school, has already 
given a delicate psychological study of his old master, 
and to thjs I can refer the reader. 1 But I am glad to 
have been able to verify to some slight extent much 

Biblical Literature (Boston, U.S.A.), June 1892, and cf. Aids 
to Study of Criticism, p. 341. A possible historical situation is 
suggested by Jos., Ant., xii. 3, 3. 
1 See Elmslie's study, Expositor, Jan. 1888. 



of what Elmslie has said. I see that modesty, that 
sense of the many-sidedness of truth and of the 
difficulties inherent in all systems, that disintegrating 
criticism, that latent heat which corrects the criticism, 
that love of great spiritual ideas. I see too — and I 
delight to see — that Prof. Davidson has a theology ; 
it is not indeed any one of the current theologies, it 
is not systematic, nor shut up in formulae, but it 
colours his thinking, and if all his too few sermons 
are like the single one which I have read (not heard), 
I can believe that he can sway the souls of all who 
are not mere church-goers but in earnest like himself. 
Prof. Davidson is evidently a great teacher, and the 
effect which he has produced proves that he has been 
seconded by generations of great-minded students. 

These Scottish students, who have owed so much 
to their teacher, have, as it seems, partly repaid their 
debt. What else can be the reason of the strange 
fact which I am about to mention ? His early 
unfinished work on Job (1862) showed a thorough 
philology and a power of dramatic presentation which 
justified the highest hopes. But not until 1881 did 
Prof. Davidson give any help to critical students at 
large (I refer to the article " Job " in the Encyclopedia 
Britannicd), and not until 1884 did he publish his 
excellent volume on Job in the modest Cambridge 
Bible-series. Then, as it would appear, he became 
bolder, and felt sure enough about some solutions to 
express them in notices of books (see the now extinct 
theological review published by Free Church students, 

A. B. DAVIDSON. 227 

and the very useful Critical Review, edited by Prof. 
Salmond). And only last year we have received a 
commentary on Ezekiel in the same series, which is a 
worthy companion to its predecessor. Must we not, 
to some extent, thank the students of New College 
(from Robertson Smith's time onwards) for this 
diminished suspense of judgment? It was clearly 
impossible for such a teacher to let himself be dis- 
tanced by his pupils. His pupils, in fact, had, to 
adopt Niebuhr's figure, become his " wings." 

That in his hesitativeness Prof. Davidson has been 
true to his nature, I do not doubt. But it is scarcely 
possible for all of us to accept the justification of his 
teacher which Elmslie has given at one point of his 
sketch. 1 From a " higher critic's " point of view, Prof. 
Davidson sacrifices too much to the Philistines in 
that humorous and somewhat cavalier declaration 
which Elmslie quotes on p. 42 of his sketch. There 
is not a little of the Philistine in every untutored 
student even at New College, and those teachers who 
are more sensitive than Prof. Davidson to the less 
conspicuous data of criticism may be pardoned -for 
regretting a gibe which in almost any other person 
they would meet with as dry and cavalier a retort. 
There is however much to be said in favour of the 
book on Job as a whole. The commentary is as 
thorough as under the limitations of the series to 
which it belongs it could well be, and the introduction, 

1 See Expositor, pp. 41 — 43. 


in dealing with " higher criticism," puts forward, in an 
excellent form, some of the best suggestions which 
have been made. The objection which I shall have 
to raise, in speaking of Prof. Driver's views of Job, 
does not in the least affect my general estimate 
of the book. And similarly high praise is due to 
the Ezekiel. Both works are based upon accurate 
philology, though the text critical element may be 
hardly advanced enough for some. In the Ezekiel 
however the writer shows his grasp of a subject 
which, though closely connected with, is theoretically 
separate from the " higher criticism," viz. Biblical 
theology. And upon the whole, we may say that the 
best results of modern study have been passed 
through a cool and critical mind, and have come out 
in a form such as all students can appreciate. There 
can be no harder book than Ezekiel for the com- 
mentator, and if the last three pages of the introduction 
do but graze the surface of difficult critical problems, 
this is of course justified by the nature of the com- 
mentary. One only asks why this able scholar has 
not sought more opportunities of helping forward 
critical study. He is himself the loser by his ex- 
cessive caution. For how can that introduction to 
Biblical theology, which we are eagerly expecting 
from him, be produced without the aid of a wisely 
bold " higher criticism " ? 1 

1 Prof. Davidson's other works are — Outlines of Hebrew 
Accentuation (1861) ; An Introductory Hebrew Grammar (ed. 
i, 1874) ; The Epistle to the Hebrews (a dry but very able work ; 


Another eminent Biblical theologian, who may 
justly claim to be moderate in the use of the " higher 
criticism," is Prof. C. A. Briggs. A more eager 
worker than Prof. Davidson, he fills (one may 
believe) a place specially marked out for him in his 
own land. We on this side of the Atlantic may 
however be allowed to adopt him, since his books 
appeal in part to a British public, and he contributes 
to the Oxford-printed Anglo-American Hebrew Lex- 
icon. His two best -known books — Biblical Study 
(1883) and Messianic Prophecy (1886) — display a 
grasp of the religious as well as historical significance 
of the Old Testament, for the want of which no 
learning or critical keenness could atone. And with 
him I am bound to group another American critic of 
another school, Prof. C. H. Toy, author of Judaism 
and Christianity, and of some fine critical articles on 
the early traditions of Israel and cognate subjects in 
the Journal of Biblical Literattire. Both these are 
Berlin students, and worthily promote the cause of 
international Bible-criticism. 

Of individualities there is happily no end. This 
is the pledge to Old Testament critics that their 
science will constantly renew its youth. How 
different is Gesenius from Ewald, Davidson from 
Robertson Smith, Schrader from Sayce ! Of the 

1882). I may add that Prof. W. R. Smith has also written 
articles on Hebrews in the old Expositor. See also Prof. 
Davidson's articles in the Expositor on Hosea (1879), the 
Second Isaiah (1883-84), Amos (1887), and Joel (i£ 


two latter I have now to speak ; for Sayce needs a 
companion, and I can find none of English race. 
Both are eminent Assyriologists, though the scrupulous 
sobriety of the former hinders him from the often 
happy divinations of the latter. And lastly, both 
have been compelled to drop behind as Old Testa- 
ment critics, so eager and rapid has been the 
advance of recent criticism. In Schrader's career 
two stages may be noticed. Like Dillmann, he was 
a scholar of Ewald, and was early drawn to the 
study of Ethiopic, on which he printed a prize 
dissertation in i860. In 1863, at the age of twenty- 
seven, he succeeded Hitzig at Zurich, and published 
some valuable critical studies on Gen. i. — xi. After 
this the second stage begins. From Ethiopic studies 
he not unnaturally passed to Assyrian. In 1869 he 
brought out a revision of De Wette's Old Testament 
Introduction, and the accuracy of his statements 
respecting Assyrian matters was not less a special 
feature of that work than his development of the 
older Hexateuch criticism. In 1870 he passed to 
Giessen, and in 1873 to Jena, as professor of theology. 
But his zeal for Assyrian studies could not be 
restrained. In 1872 he replied convincingly to 
Alfred von Gutschmid's attack upon Assyriology, 
and in 1875 had the proud distinction of becoming 
the first professor of that subject in Germany, passing 
to Berlin university as the colleague of Dillmann. 
His best known work, Die Keilinschriften und das 
Alte Testament (ed. I, 1872; ed. 3, 1883), has been 

SAYCE. 231 

translated by Prof. Whitehouse, whose introduction 
contains a full account of Schrader's former critical 
theories on the Hexateuch. 

Of such an old friend as Prof. A. H. Sayce I could 
not speak in the tone of criticism, but for serious 
reasons. In the past I, like many others, have 
derived much stimulus from him, and in obtaining a 
working acquaintance with Assyrian philology his 
advice was invaluable. His high merits are incon- 
testable. He has been an Assyriologist from his 
youth, and though he is ten years younger than 
Schrader, he was able in 1871-72 to discuss with 
him on equal terms the question of the name of the 
besieger of Samaria. 1 He is probably unsurpassed 
in his knowledge of the data of the inscriptions, and 
I am sure that no living scholar can excel him in his 
imaginative sense of history, and in his use of the 
imagination as the handmaid of discovery. For the 
latter habit I have heard him blamed, but it would be 
not less futile to blame Schrader for his sobriety. If 
Sayce's intuitions are hasty, they are also brilliant. 
His most daring hypotheses have again and again in 
various degrees pointed the way to truth, and when 
this has not been the case, he has generally corrected 
his own error. And yet I fear that there is one 
important point on which, not for the first time, I 
must remonstrate with him. It is too frequently his 
habit to appeal, not to Caesar, but to the people. 

1 See articles by Sayce and Schrader, Theol. Studien tend, 
Kritiken, 1871-72. 


In his historical inferences from the inscriptions he 
often stands, for good or for evil, alone. In spite of 
this, he constantly popularizes his results, without 
indicating whether they are peculiar to himself or 
not, and through the attractiveness of his style and 
the concessions which he makes to traditional Biblical 
orthodoxy, these results have obtained such a currency 
in the English-speaking countries that they are at 
present practically almost incontrovertible. The con- 
sequence is that our popular literature on the Old 
Testament is (as it seems to me) becoming an obstacle 
to progress. Bad as the old books on the Hebrew 
Scriptures were, they at any rate did not lay claim to 
any special degree of archaeological accuracy. Now 
however all this is changed. I hear of Prof. Sayce 
everywhere as a pillar of traditional views of the 
Bible. Not to quote the American Sunday School 
Times, the Newbery House Magazine, the Expository 
Times, and the publications of the Religious Tract 
Society, I find it confidently stated that Prof. Sayce's 
Assyriological discoveries on the one hand and Prof. 
Margoliouth's Hebraistic and metrical "discoveries" 
on the other, were " recognized at every hand at the 
late Church Congress" (of 1892) as having brought 
about " a complete turn of the tide against the views 
of the higher critics." x 

Now I do not for a moment accept the parallelism 
put forward in this quotation. To compare his 

1 Letter by W. W. Smyth, Spectator, Oct. 15, 1892. 

SAYCE. 233 

results in the mass with those of Prof. Margoliouth's 
inaugural lecture and subsequent essays, is absurd. 
The present Laudian Professor is a Hebraist from 
whom brilliant results may be expected, but these are 
as yet in the future, whereas Prof. Sayce can look 
back upon a long series of services to the study of 
the Bible. It is a pleasure to feel that one is at all 
a fellow-labourer with him — a pleasure to express a 
general assent to much that he has lately written 
(see e. g, his article in the Contemporary Review, Sept. 
1890). But one must regret, not less for his own 
sake than for the cause of progress, that he should 
popularize so many questionable theories, and that 
in doing so he should make so many concessions to 
a most uncritical form of traditional theology. 
There was a time when he was not ashamed to be 
called a friend by the unpopular Bishop Colenso j 1 a 
time when he tried his skill on problems of the 
" higher criticism " ; a time, not so far distant, when 
he delivered the Hibbert Lectures. Now however 
I find him coupled as an orthodox apologist with one 
of the most uncritical of living theologians. Now 
too I find him repudiating any favour for the long- 
tested methods of "higher criticism," and adopting 
that unfortunate error of conservative theologians 
which identifies the " higher criticism " with the con- 
clusions of this or that writer, perhaps even of one 
who lived many years since. This course Prof. 

' See Colenso, The Pentateuch, &c, Part VI., Pref. p. xxxii. 


Sayce has taken, for instance, in two articles in a 
journal which discharges in many respects useful 
functions, the Expository Times (Dec. 1891, Oct. 
1892). He may tell me that he was not writing for 
scholars, but he was writing for those who may yet 
become scholars, who at any rate claim to express an 
opinion, and have it in their power to hinder progress. 
I may seem to be too fond of qualifying ; but 
positive and peremptory assertions, even when speak- 
ing pro dotno, are not to my taste. I fully admit that 
until Schrader and Sayce arose, Old Testament 
critics did not pay much attention to Assyriology. 
This however was not because they held a narrow 
theory of criticism. From the time of Graf (1866) 
onwards the necessity of archaeological detail-criticism 
has been fully admitted by Hexateuch critics, and 
this admission implies a gradual change in the habit 
of mind of Old Testament critics in general. Not 
that literary analysis is in the least disparaged, but 
the time has come, as even Colenso, quite apart from 
Graf, dimly felt in 1862, for a greater infusion of 
historical " realism " into the critic's work. Since 
1866, every ten years has shown an increase of this 
spirit, and though a vast amount of work remains to 
be done (we want the help of friendly and critical 
archaeologists), a good beginning has been made. No 
single worker has helped so much as Prof. Robertson 
Smith (working on Wellhausen's lines), and if Prof. 
Sayce had more time, and could and would co-operate 
with the "higher critics," he might himself give 

SAYCE. 235 

invaluable assistance. In 1873-74 he was still 
friendly to critical analysis, though he very rightly 
desired the analysts to revise and, if necessary, 
modify their results in accordance with Assyriological 
data. He himself offered provisional critical con- 
clusions with regard to Isa. xxxvi. — xxxix., and the 
Deluge-narratives and the " Ethnological Table " in 
Genesis. 1 I fear that his suggestions on Gen. x. have 
not been considered by the analysts (at least in any 
published work), while those which he put forward 
on the two other passages have failed to win accept- 
ance. And Prof. Sayce himself has no doubt by 
this time given up his old view on the date of the 
Hebrew Deluge-stories. 

What Prof. Sayce should, in my opinion, have 
done in the semi-popular articles referred to, was to 
place himself frankly where he stood in 1873-74, and 
admit once more that Assyriology "demonstrated 
the untenability of the traditional view of Genesis," 
and " confirms the [main] conclusions of scientific 
criticism." If he had further said that some critics 
needed to be stirred up to greater zeal for archaeology, 
— that Kuenen for instance had not given enough 
attention to Assyriology, and that Wellhausen and 
Robertson Smith had in former years (like other Sem- 
itic scholars) displayed an excessive distrust of that 
study, I should have had no objection. But to bring 
such unfair charges against the " higher critics," and 

1 See Theological Review, 1873, pp. 15 — 31, 364 — 377 ; 1874, 
pp. 59—69- 


to speak so disparagingly of their (supposed) methods, 
and moreover to make such ill-founded statements 
as to the relation between Assyriology and the Book 
of Genesis as he has of late years done, conduces to 
the spread of theological prejudice and historical error. 
To oppose Prof. Sayce (not indeed as an Assyri- 
ologist, nor as an archaeological student, but as a 
popularizer of questionable theories and unfair 
accusations) is at present, I know, a difficult task, 
so far as England and America are concerned. Not 
merely for theological reasons, but because the 
archaeological interest among us has become so 
strong. As Prof. Sayce knows, I have always been 
on the side of archaeology. But I conceive that one 
ought not to favour archaeology at the expense of 
criticism. Old Testament criticism' is a genuine 
historical movement, and those who have produced 
it have gone on constantly widening their range and 
improving their methods. To speak as disparagingly 
of Old Testament critics as Prof. Ramsay has lately 
done of Homeric critics, 1 is, I venture to submit, 
highly unjust, and calculated to produce a quite 
unnecessary partisanship. That very able explorer 
may or may not be altogether right in drawing a line 
between the non-archaeological Homeric criticism of 
the past and the archaeological of the future. But 
even if he be right, there is no true analogy between 
this case and that of Old Testament criticism. 

1 See his art., " Mr. Gladstone on Homer," The Bookman, 
j 892 ; cf. Gardner, New Chapters in Greek History (1891). 

SAYCE. 237 

Much evil has been wrought by the mistaken use of 
analogy, and for the sake of historical truth let those 
who read Prof. Sayce be on their guard. 

Let me take a crucial instance. " Recent dis- 
covery," says Prof. Ramsay, " is bringing home to us 
the possibility that after all Agamemnon may once 
have lived. . . . We may prefer to explain the 
origin of the ' tale of Troy divine ' in some other way, 
and not as the history of actual events ; but we must 
now treat the view that it is a fundamentally true 
tale as conceivably right ; and there is a widely- 
spread and growing feeling that in the immediate 
future the attitude towards the Homeric poems which 
is least erroneous and most likely to lead to further 
discovery is that they preserve a picture of a period 
of history which did once exist." It would be natural 
for an unwary student to assume that the same 
possibility or probability exists in the case of the 
story of Abraham. Prof. Sayce, in his well-known 
work Fresh Light from the Ancient Monuments (pp. 
53 — 59), even speaks as if those details in the story to 
which he refers were, beyond doubt, strictly historical, 
and as if " the whole account " of the campaign of 
Chedorlaomer and his allies, and the surprise of the 
invaders by Abraham and his confederates, were 
" extracted from the Babylonian archives." He also 
gives " an approximate date for the rescue of Lot by 
Abraham, and consequently for the age of Abraham 
himself." Still more recently he has even assured us 
that "in every point the history of Melchizedek in 


Gen. xiv. receives confirmation." 1 I confess that I 
am astonished at this. So far as regards the facts 
mentioned in Fresh Light, pp. 55-56, they have long 
since been absorbed by Old Testament critics, by 
moderate critics like Dillmann in one way, by ad- 
vanced critics like Kuenen in another. 2 And what 
difficulty need be caused by the facts derived by 
Prof. Sayce from the priceless Tell el-Amarna 
tablets ? A distinction must however be drawn 
between the certain and the uncertain facts. The 
reported "discovery of transcendent importance" 
relative to Gen. xiv. 18 sinks upon examination into 

1 Expository Times, Oct. 1892, p. 18 ; cf. also Records of the 
Past, v. 60 — 65, and articles by Sayce in Hebraica and the 
Newbery House Magazine. The Guardian, in a review of 
Fripp's Genesis (Nov. 16, 1892) unsuspiciously adopts Prof. 
Sayce's results and inferences. I have no controversial animus, 
and simply desire a critical treatment of the facts. Comp. 
Winckler's translations in Zt.f. Assyriologie, Sept. 1891. Comp. 
also Halevy, Recherches bibliques, last fascicule, p. 727 ; Morris 
]ssXxow,Zt. f. Assyriologie, 1892, heft 3, and Journal of Biblical 
Literature, 1892, Part I. (regretting that this distinguished 
" scholar " should be " doing a mischief of incalculable extent "). 

2 Dillmann is of opinion that the narrative in Gen. xiv. (vv. 
18 — 20 excepted) contains facts derived from a foreign source. 
But this must be qualified by what he says of the Abraham of 
Genesis elsewhere (see introd. to Gen. xii. &c). The Melchize- 
dek-story is a justification of the practice of paying tithes to the 
priestly tribe, but the figure of Melchizedek is probably derived 
from some popular legend. Kuenen thinks that Gen. xiv. is a 
fragment of a post- Exilian version of Abram's life, a midrash, 
such as the Chronicler likewise had among his authorities 
(2 Chron. xxiv. 27), and adopts E. Meyer's view that the historical 
facts of the setting of the story were obtained by the author of 
the midrash in Babylon. Cf. Cheyne, Origin of the Psalter, pp. 
42, 165, 270. 

SAYCE. 239 

an interesting and valuable fact about Jerusalem 
which is of no direct importance for Genesis-criticism. 
I do not think that we can at present grant that 
Uru-Salimmu was anciently shortened into Salimmu, 
nor (though I inclined to this view myself in 1888) * that 
Salimmu is the name of a god, much less that his 
priest was the king of Jerusalem. But in any case 
there is ample room both in Dillmann's theory and in 
Kuenen's (which is my own) for these facts, if proved, 
I am afraid that Prof. Sayce's defence of the narrative 
in Gen. xiv. is not very successful. And neither by 
him, nor by any one else, has it yet been made 
probable that there was a historical individual among 
the ancestors of the Israelites called Abram, or that 
the picture of " the times of Abraham " in Genesis is 
(to adopt Prof. Ramsay's phrase) a " fundamentally 
true tale '' (except indeed so far as it reflects the 
times of the narrators). 

Another chapter of Genesis, the historical characters 
of which Prof. Sayce is popularly supposed to have 
vindicated against the "higher critics," is Gen. xxiii. 
Was there, as he himself stated in 1888, a " Hittite 
population " in the south of Palestine, " which 
clustered round Hebron, and to whom the origin of 
Jerusalem was partly due " ? 2 It is at any rate 
proved by the Tell el-Amarna tablets, which Prof. 

1 The present writer himself favoured this view before Sayce 
had published either his views on Melchizedek or even his 
Hibbert Lectures (see Cheyne, Book of Psalms, p. 213). 

2 The Hittites (R.T.S.), p. 13. 


Sayce and others are studying, that the Hittites made 
conquests in Canaan in the fifteenth century B.C., 
and even threatened Jerusalem. But this admission 
does not carry with it the historical character of the 
narrative in Gen. xxiii., which states that Abraham 
brought a " field " and a sepulchre of " the people of 
the land, even the children of Heth " (Gen. xxiii. 7). 
The historical fact of the Hittite conquest has come 
down to the writer symbolized as P in a meagre and 
scarcely recognizable form, and has become the 
setting of a tradition of uncertain date. There is 
much more that might be added. How strange it is 
that even Prof. J. Robertson refers quite seriously to 
Prof. Sayce's theories on the names of Saul, David, 
and Solomon. 1 One could wish that Franz Delitzsch 
were still alive, to write another powerful protest 2 
against the audacities of a free lance. 

I am aware that Prof. Sayce guards himself now 
and then against being supposed to be a pure con- 
servative. He declines (in Expository Times) to 
make any concession to the "historical" theory of the 
narratives in Daniel, he believes (unlike M. Halevy) 
that there are documents in Genesis, 3 and even that 

1 Early Religion of Israel, pp. 178-179. So a reviewer of my 
Aids to the Devout Study of Criticism (letter in Guardian, Oct. 
5, 1892) not less seriously appeals to Prof. Sayce as a critical 
authority. Against Sayce, see Tiele's review of the Hibbert 
Lectures in the Theologisch Tijdschrift, 1890, p. 96. 

2 Zt.f. kirchlicke Wissenschaft, 1888, pp. 124 — 126. 

3 For HaleVy's opinions, see his strange review of Kautzsch 
and Socin's Genesis, Revue critique, 14 — 21 sept. 1891. 

SAYGE. 241 

a good deal of the Old Testament in its present form 
is composite in character, though nothing definite 
beyond that has been established. 1 But these con- 
cessions to criticism cannot obtain the same wide 
currency as his other statements, and even were 
it otherwise, they come far short of justice. From a 
layman they would be an interesting proof of the 
gradual filtration of critical views, but from one who 
is well known to have been long interested in theology 
they are only an additional obstacle to progress. I 
cannot help deploring this state of things. Need it 
continue ? Why should not this " versatile and 
Protean scholar" (as Prof. Ramsay calls him), who 
has, by his own admission, " not paid much attention 
of late years to Biblical criticism," and speaks of 
" the school of Wellhausen " from hearsay, repair this 
omission, and seek the assistance of the critics in 
questions on which he and they are equally concerned ? 
To the services of Assyriology they are by no means 
blind ; why should not he on his side once more 
recognize them as fellow-explorers with himself of 
the dark places of antiquity ? It is at any rate as 
such an explorer that I venture to include him among 
English " founders of criticism." 

Last, not least, in the present group is another 
colleague of the writer, Prof. S. R. Driver. His 
merits however are too great to be dealt with 
adequately in the space which remains in this chapter. 

1 Christian Commonwealth, Oct. 22, 1891 (a report of Prof. 
Sayce's opinions which has evidently been carefully corrected). 



I will therefore reserve this subject, and pass on to 
some younger scholars who are now winning their 
way to the front. Prof. A. F. Kirkpatrick, in his hand- 
books to I and 2 Samuel {Cambridge Bible, 1880-81), 
showed himself a careful Hebraist and an able teacher, 
but his point of view was non-critical. Since then, 
in The Divine Library of the Old Testament (1891) 
and in his commentary on Book I. of the Psalms 
(same series, 1891), he has shown that he has come 
over to the critical side. The moral and intellectual 
energy presupposed by this step deserves cordial re- 
cognition. One can only welcome so true, so earnest,, 
so reverent a scholar. His two earliest critical or 
semi-critical works are deficient (naturally enough) in 
maturity of judgment and in grasp of the large and 
complicated questions before him. But he has time 
yet to spare, and if he should prefer rather to follow 
Davidson than Robertson Smith — rather to be an 
exegete and a Biblical theologian than a historical 
critic, one can but rejoice, assuming that he too has 
an equally friendly feeling towards those who, for the 
sake of exegesis and Biblical theology, feel bound to 
prosecute a keener criticism. 1 Nor can one hope 
anything less from his younger colleague, Prof. H. E. 
Kyle. This scholar appears to have specialized 
rather late, and to this we may attribute a certain 
hesitatingness in his thoughtful and learned hand- 
book on the Canon (1891). But he too is a careful 
Hebraist (as his own and Mr. James's work, The 
1 His Warburton Zfttf»n?.r have not as yet appeared (Nov. 1892). 


Psalms of the Pharisees, proves), and his popular 
studies on the Early Narratives of Genesis (1892) 
show that he is assimilating the best results of 
literary and archaeological criticism. His expected 
(November 1892) volume on Ezra and Nehemiah 
{Cambridge Bible) will no doubt confirm this view of 
his capacities and attainments. Very much light has 
been thrown upon these books by recent study, and 
no one can adapt this new knowledge to English 
wants better than Prof. Ryle. 

Nor must one overlook two rising American 
scholars, who, by their linguistic training and early 
adhesion to the critical point of view, justify the 
highest hopes — Prof. Francis Brown and G. F. Moore. 
The former has given special attention to the 
relations between Assyriology and Old Testament 
studies, the latter to critical exegesis ; and both 
seem to be more completely at home in the " higher 
criticism " than their Cambridge colleagues. Circum- 
stances and individualities differ, nor must we com- 
plain if America should for a short time surpass 
Great Britain in the maturity of its " higher critics." 
Prof. Moore's articles in American and German 
periodicals are models in their kind, and one looks 
forward with eagerness to a philological commentary 
from his pen. Prof. Brown's promised handbook to 
the contemporary history (Zeitgeschichte) of the 
Old Testament in Clark's new International Library 
will fill a gap which is every day more painfully felt. 
His lecture on the use and abuse of Assyriology in 


Old Testament study (1885), and his articles on the 
Hittites and on Babylonian religion {Presbyterian 
Review, 1886, 1888), will repay an attentive perusal. 
Above all, the Hebrew Lexicon, of which he is the 
principal editor, will, when completed, ensure a sound 
basis for Old Testament criticism for many a long 
day. An Episcopalian scholar, Dr. J. P. Peters, a 
trained Hebraist and Assyriologist, should also be 
mentioned with honour. 

The name of Prof. Francis Brown naturally 
suggests that of Prof. Owen C. Whitehouse, a careful 
student of Assyriology, who has translated Prof. 
Schrader's important work, The Cuneiform Inscrip- 
tions, with learned additions. This scholar has 
moved but slowly from a more conservative critical 
point of view as regards the Hexateuch. In 1888 he 
attempted to revive the theory of Ewald that the 
" Grundschrift " dated from the time of Solomon ; x 
from more recent articles I gather that he has seen 
reason to give up this view, but that he has not yet 
obtained many fixed points in Old Testament criti- 
cism. Prof. G. A. Smith was probably trained in a 
freer atmosphere. Of his popular exposition of 
Isaiah (1889-90) I have often spoken with no lack of 
warmth. Why I cannot assent to his views on the 
dates of the later portions of Isa. xl. — Ixvi., I have 
explained elsewhere. 2 Prof. Archibald Duff's Old Tes^ 
tament Theology, vol. i. (1 891), is a work conceived 

1 Expositor, 1888 (1), p. 144. 

2 Ibid. 1891 (1), pp. 150—160. 


in a free, evangelical spirit, and carried out with 
delicate insight and a sometimes almost too ingenious 
scholarship. Both Duff and G. A. Smith have 
suffered somewhat as writers from the effects of 
over-much preaching, but if by their books preachers 
can be induced to study the root-ideas of Biblical 
religion in their historical development, the Church at 
large will be the gainer. But has pure criticism been 
neglected? Certainly not. The year 1891 saw the 
appearance of two new writers, Mr. E. J. Fripp with 
his truly practical edition of Genesis according to 
advanced criticism (not without some more or less 
original views of his own), and Mr. W. E. Addis (a 
ripe theological and Semitic scholar and follower of 
Kuenen and Wellhausen) with the first volume of his 
translation and chronological arrangement of the 
documents of the Hexateuch. The latter book has 
useful notes, and an introduction as lucidly expressed 
as it is full of matter. Mr. Addis was already known 
to specialists by his brave attempt to familiarize 
Roman Catholic readers with the facts revealed by 
the "higher criticism" of the Old Testament. His 
work, being based on more prolonged studies, has a 
scholarly ripeness which Mr. Fripp's work, bright 
and keen as he is, can hardly possess. Mr. C. G. 
Montefiore's Hibbert Lectures for 1892 have not yet 
(November 1892) appeared, but his articles in the 
Jewish Quarterly Review sufficiently prove how 
steadily and surely he is ripening into a fine critic. 
Returning to America, one chronicles with pleasure 


Mr. B. W. Bacon's The Genesis of Genesis (1892). 
This, as the title-page tells us, is a study of the docu- 
mentary sources of the first Book of Moses in accord- 
ance with the results of critical science, illustrating the 
presence of Bibles within the Bible. It is, as Prof. 
G. F. Moore says in his introduction, the fruit of long 
and thorough study of the text, and of intimate 
acquaintance with the literature of recent criticism. 
Mr. Bacon strikes me as the ablest of our younger 
critics of the Hexateuch ; his articles in Hebraica 
and in the Journal of Biblical Literature well deserve 
to be studied. Nor is he the only contributor to 
these two periodicals who would have a claim to 
recognition in a more complete record than this. From 
the editor himself (Prof. Harper) we may expect some 
solid work in Prof. Haupt's expected translation 
of the Old Testament. 

The last of the younger English critics whom I 
can mention at present 1 is Mr. A. A. Bevan. It is 
true that he has been chiefly attracted by the 
linguistic side of the Old Testament. His emen- 
dations 2 of the text of Isaiah and of Daniel may not 
commend themselves to one's judgment, but they are 
evidence of his critical acumen. His Short Com- 
mentary on tlie Book of Daniel (1892), though critically 

1 Scholars like Prof. Bennett, Prof. A. R. Kennedy, Prof. 
Davison, and Dr. John Taylor (author of The Hebrew Text of 
Micah) will pardon me if I wait for published evidence of what 
I do not in the least doubt, their ability to deal from their 
respective points of view with critical problems. 

2 See Journal of Philology, and The Booh of Daniel. 

BEVAN. 247 

incomplete, aims at a high philological standard, not 
without success, and the frankness with which he 
adopts and defends the best current solution of the 
problem of Daniel, without looking about for a com- 
promise, deserves high praise. It is, I confess, the 
spirit of compromise that I chiefly dread for our 
younger students. Many of them are now in influ- 
ential posts, and are listened to with respect. But 
under present circumstances it is perhaps difficult for 
them to avoid extending the sphere of compromise 
from education to scientific inquiry. May they have 
firmness and wisdom to meet their ofttimes con- 
flicting responsibilities ! 


DRIVER (i). 

THE much fuller adhesion of Professor Driver to 
the still struggling cause of Old Testament criticism 
is an event in the history of this study. That many 
things indicated it as probable, can doubtless now be 
observed ; but until the publication in the Con- 
temporary Review (February 1890) of a singularly 
clear and forcible paper on the criticism of the 
historical books, it was impossible to feel quite sure 
where Dr. Driver stood. Up to the year 1882, he 
was known through various learned publications 
(notably that on the Hebrew Tenses) as an honest 
and keen-sighted Hebrew scholar, but in matters of 
literary and historical criticism he had not as yet 
committed himself, except of course to the non- 
acceptance of any such plainly unphilological view 
as the Solomonic authorship of Ecclesiastes. 2 In 
1882, to the great benefit of Hebrew studies, he 
succeeded Dr. Pusey at Christ Church, and began at 

1 Chaps, xi. — xiii. originally appeared in the Expositor for 
Feb., March, and April 1892. They have however been carefully 
revised, and in some parts expanded, condensed, or otherwise 
modified. 2 Hebrew Tenses, § 133 (ed. 2, p. 151). 

DRIVER. 249 

once to improve to the utmost the splendid oppor- 
tunities of his position both for study and for teaching. 
He now felt it impossible to confine himself within 
purely linguistic limits, however much from a 
conscientious regard for the "weak brethren" he 
may have desired to do so. It is true that in his 
first published critical essay, he approached the 
" higher criticism " from the linguistic side {Journal 
of \ Philology, 1882, pp. 201 — 236), but there are 
evidences enough in the pages of the Guardian and 
of the Expositor that he was quietly and unobtrusively 
feeling his way towards a large and deep com- 
prehension of the critical and exegetical problems of 
the Hexateuch. Nor must the old lecture-lists of 
the university be forgotten. These would prove, if 
proof were needed, that his aspirations were high, and 
his range of teaching wide, and that the sketch of his 
professorial functions given in his excellent inaugural 
lecture was being justified. To the delightful obliga- 
tion of lecturing on the Hebrew texts, we owe a 
singularly complete and instructive volume on the 
Hebrew of Samuel (1890), the earnest of other 
volumes to come. And that Dr. Driver did not 
shrink from touching the contents of the Old Testa- 
ment, the outsider may divine from a small and 
unostentatious work, 1 which forms an admirable 
popular introduction to the reverent critical study of 

1 Critical Notes on the International Sunday School Lessons 
from the Pentateuch for 1887 (New York : Charles Scribner's 
Sons, 1887). 


certain chapters of Genesis and Exodus. In i! 
came the excellent though critically imperfect hand- 
book on Isaiah (in the " Men of the Bible" Series), 
which very naturally supersedes my own handbook 
published in 1870. 1 In 1891 we received the valuable 
introduction which forms the subject of this notice, 
and some time previously we ought, I believe, to 
have had before us the articles on the books of the 
Pentateuch which Dr. Driver had contributed to the 
new edition of Smith's Dictionary of the Bible. 

So now Dr. Driver's long suspense of judgment is 
to a great extent over. The mystery is cleared up, 
and we know very nearly where he now stands. If 
any outsider has a lingering hope or fear of an 
imminent counter-revolution from the linguistic side, 
he must not look to Dr. Driver to justify it. The 
qualities which are here displayed by the author are 
not of the sensational order, as a brief summary of 
them will show. First, there is a masterly power of 
selection and condensation of material. Secondly, a 
minute and equally masterly attention to correctness 
of details. Thirdly, a very unusual degree of insight 
into critical methods, and of ability to apply them. 
Fourthly, a truly religious candour and openness of 
mind. Fifthly, a sympathetic interest in the difficulties 
of the ordinary orthodox believer. Willingly do I 

1 It is only just to myself to say that this work is in no sense, 
as a hostile writer in the Guardian states, " a youthful pro- 
duction," but was written at an age when some men nowadays 
are professors, and both was and is respectfully referred to by 
German critics. 

DRIVER. 25 1 

mention these points. Dr. Driver and I are both 
engaged in a work 

" Too great for haste, too high for rivalry," 
and we both agree in recognizing the law of generosity. 
But I must add that I could still more gladly have 
resigned this privilege to another. For I cannot 
profess to be satisfied on all really important points 
with Dr. Driver's book. And if I say what I approve, 
I must also mention what I — not indeed disapprove — 
but feel obliged to regret. But why should I take up 
the pen ? Has not the book had praise and (pos- 
sibly) dispraise enough already ? If I put forward my 
objections, will not a ripe scholar like Dr. Driver have 
an answer from his own point of view for most of 
them ? Why should I not take my ease, and enjoy 
even the less satisfactory parts of the book as 
reflections of the individuality of a friend ? And the 
answer is, Because I fear that the actual position of 
Old Testament criticism may not be sufficiently 
understood from this work, and because the not incon- 
siderable priority of my own start as a critic gives me a 
certain vantage-ground and consequently a responsi- 
bility which Dr. Driver cannot and would not dispute 
with me. I will not now repeat what I have said 
with an entirely different object in the introduction to 
my Bampton Lectures, but on the ground of those 
facts I am bound to make some effort to check the 
growth of undesirable illusions, or, at any rate, to 
contribute something to the formation of clear ideas 
in the popular mind. 


I must here beg the reader not to jump to the 
conclusion that I am on the whole opposed to Dr. 
Driver. As I have already hinted, the points of 
agreement between us are much more numerous 
than those of difference, and in many respects I am 
well content with his courage and consistency. The 
debt which Dr. Driver owes to those scholars who 
worked at Old Testament criticism before him he has 
in good part repaid. He came to this subject theo 
logically and critically uncommitted, and the result is 
that, in the main, he supports criticism with the full 
weight of his name and position. There is only one 
objection that I have to make to the Introduction. It 
is however threefold: i. the book is to a certain 
extent a compromise ; 2. the (partial) compromise 
offered cannot satisfy those for whom it is intended ; 
3. even if it were accepted, it would not be found to 
be safe. Let us take the first point. My meaning is, 
that Dr. Driver is free in his criticism up to a certain 
point, but then suddenly stops short, and that he 
often blunts the edge of his decisions, so that the 
student cannot judge of their critical bearings. I will 
endeavour to illustrate this from the book, and, in 
doing so, never to forget the " plea " which Dr. Driver 
so genially puts in to be "judged leniently for what 
he has not said" (Preface, p. ix). At present, to 
clear the ground for future "lenient" or rather 
friendly criticisms, let me only remark that I am not 
myself opposed on principle to all " stopping short," 
i.e. to all compromise. In June and August 1889, I 

DRIVER. 253 

submitted to those whom it concerned a plan of 
reform in the teaching of the Old Testament, which 
included a large provisional use of it. 1 My earnest 
appeal was indeed not responded to. Even my friend 
Dr. Sanday passes it over in a well-known work, 2 
and praises the waiting attitude of our more liberal 
bishops. But I still reiterate the same appeal for a 
compromise, though I couch it differently. It is not 
at all hard to find out what results of criticism are 
most easily assimilated by thinking laymen, and most 
important for building up the religious life. Let 
those results be put forward, with the more generally 
intelligible grounds for them, first of all for private 
study, and then, with due regard to local circum- 
stances, in public or semi-public teaching. To 
practical compromises I am therefore favourable, but 
this does not bind me to approve of scientific ones. 
The time for even a partly apologetic criticism or 
exegesis is almost over ; nothing but the " truest 
truth" will serve the purposes of the best con- 
temporary students of theology. This indeed is 
fully recognized in the preface of the editors of the 
" Library " to which this book belongs, the object of 
which is defined as being " adequately (to) represent 
the present condition of investigation, and (to) indicate 
the way for further progress." 

I regret therefore that Dr. Driver did not leave the 
task of forming a distinctively Church criticism (of 

1 See Contemporary Review, August 1889. 

2 The Oracles of God (1 891 ). 


which even now I do not deny the value for a certain 
class of students) to younger men, 1 or to those 
excellent persons who, after standing aloof for years, 
now begin to patronize criticism, saying, " Thus far 
shalt thou come, but no farther ! " I heartily sympa- 
thize with Dr. Driver's feelings, but I think that there 
is a still " more excellent way " of helping the better 
students, viz. to absorb the full spirit of criticism 
(not of irreligious criticism), and to stand beside the 
foremost workers, only taking care, in the formulation 
of results, frankly to point out their religious bearings, 
of which no one who has true faith need be afraid. 
I know that this might perhaps have involved other 
modifications of Dr. Driver's plan, but I cannot help 
this. I do not feel called upon to sketch here in 
outline the book that might have been, but I could 
not withhold this remark, especially as I am sure 
that even Dr. Driver's very "' moderate " textbook 
will appear to many not to give hints enough 
concerning the religious value of the records criticized. 
And forcible, judicious, and interesting as the preface 
is, I do not feel that the author takes sufficiently high 
ground. I am still conscious of an unsatisfied desire 
for an inspiring introductory book to the Old Testa- 
ment, written from the combined points of view of a 
keen critic and a progressive evangelical theologian. 
Next, as to the second point. Can this com- 

1 A popular semi-critical book on the origin of the Old 
Testament Scriptures might be of great use for schools and 

DRIVER. 255 

promise (or, partial compromise) satisfy orthodox 
judges ? It is true that Dr. Driver has one moral 
and intellectual quality which might be expected to 
predispose such persons specially in his favour — the 
quality of caution. The words "moderation" and 
" sobriety " have a charm for him ; to be called an 
extreme critic, or a wild theorist, would cause him 
annoyance. And this "'characteristic caution" has 
not failed to impress a prominent writer in the most 
influential (Anglican) Church paper. The passage is 
at the end of the first part of a review of the 
Introduction?- and the writer hazards the opinion that, 
on the most " burning " of all questions Dr. Driver's 
decision contains the elements of a working com- 
promise between the old views and the new. But 
how difficult it is to get people to agree as to 
what " caution " and " sobriety " are ! For if we turn 
to the obituary notices of the great Dutch critic, 
Abraham Kuenen, we find that he strikes some 
competent observers as eminently cautious and sober- 
minded, not moving forward till he has prepared the 
way by careful investigation, and always distinguishing 
between the certain and the more or less probable. 
And again, it appears from the recent Charge of 
Bishop Ellicott that this honoured theologian (who 
alas ! still stands where he stood in earlier crises) sees 
no great difference between the critical views of 
Kuenen and Wellhausen on the one hand, and those 

1 Guardian, Nov. 25, 1891. 


of Dr. Driver and " the English Analytical School " 
on the other. If the former have " lost all sense of 
proportion " and been " hurried " to extreme results 
by an " almost boundless self-confidence," the latter 
have, by their " over-hasty excursions into the 
Analytical," prepared the way for "shaken and 
unstable minds " to arrive at results which are only 
a little more advanced. 1 And in perfect harmony 
with Bishop Ellicott's denial of the possibility of 
" compromise," I find a writer of less sanguine nature 
than Dr. Driver's reviewer warning the readers of the 
Guardian that the supposed rapprochement will not 
" form a bridge solid enough to unite the opposite 
sides of the chasm " between the two schools of 
thought. 2 

This is in my opinion a true saying. Some of 
those to whom Dr. Driver's compromise is addressed 
will (like Bishop Ellicott) be kept aloof by deep 
theological differences. Others, whose minds may 
be less definitely theological, will place their hope in 
a critical " counter-revolution " (see p. 250), to be 
effected either by an induction from linguistic facts, 
or by means of cuneiform and archaeological dis- 
covery. I do not speak without cause, as readers of 
popular religious journals will be aware. The limits 
of Dr. Driver's work did not permit him to refer to 
this point ; but considering the avidity with which a 

1 Christus Comprobator (1891), pp. 29, 59. I cannot help 
respectfully protesting against the title of this work. 

2 Gttardian, Dec. 2, 1891. 

DRIVER. 257 

large portion of the public seizes upon assertions 
backed by some well-known name, it may soon 
become necessary for him and for others to do so. 
Upon a very slender basis of reason and of facts an 
imposing structure of revived and " rectified " * tra- 
ditionalism may soon be charmed into existence. 
We may soon hear again the confident appeal to the 
" common sense " of the " plain Englishman " — that 
invaluable faculty which, according to Bishop Ellicott, 
is notably wanting, " if it be not insular prejudice to 
say so" in all recent German critics of the Old 
Testament. Critical and historical sense (which is 
really the perfection of common sense, trained by 
right methods, and assisted by a healthy imagination) 
may continue to be treated with contempt, and Dr. 
Driver's book may receive credit, not for its sub- 
stantial merits, but for what, by comparison, may 
be called its defects. These are real dangers ; nay, 
rather to some extent they are already facts which 
cannot but hinder the acceptance of this well-meant 

And, lastly, as to the third point. Is even a 
partial compromise like this safe ? I am afraid that 
it is not. It implies that Biblical criticism must be 
pared down for apologetic reasons. It assumes that 
though the traditional theory of the origin and (for 
this is, in part, allusively dealt with) the historic 
value of the Old Testament books has been over- 

1 I borrow the word from Bishop Ellicott. 



thrown, yet we must in our reconstruction keep as 
close to the old theory or system as we can. This, at 
the present stage of intellectual development, is un- 
safe. Dr. Driver's fences are weak, and may at any 
moment be broken down. Nothing but the most 
fearless criticism, combined with the most genuine 
spiritual faith in God, and in His Son, and in the 
Holy Spirit, can be safe. I do not of course judge 
either friends or foes by their expressed theories. If 
it should be made decidedly the more probable view 
that St. John did not originate the Fourth Gospel as 
it now stands, I am sure, in spite of Dr. Sanday's 
recent words, 1 that all truly religious students would 
believe, with heart and with head, as strongly as ever 
in the incomparable nature and the divine mediator- 
ship of Jesus Christ. 2 They would do so on the 
ground of the facts which would still be left by the 
historical analysis of the Gospels, and on the cor- 
respondence between a simple Christian view of 
those facts and the needs of their own and of the 
Church's life. And so I am sure that without half 
so many qualifications as Dr. Driver has given, the 
great facts left, not to say recovered, by advanced 
Old Testament criticism are quite sufficient to justify 
the theory of Hebrews i. 1, which is, I doubt not, of 
permanent importance for the thinking Christian. 
Before passing on, let me crave permission to make 

1 Contemporary Review, Oct. 1891, p. 530. 

2 See Hermann's article, " The Historical Christ the Found- 
ation of our Faith," in the Zl. f. Theol. u. Kirche, 1882, p. 232. 

DRIVER. 259 

two remarks, which may perhaps take off any undue 
sharpness from previous criticisms. The first is, that 
in criticizing the author, I am equally criticizing 
myself. There was a time when I was simply a 
Biblical critic, and was untouched by the apologetic 
interest. Finding that this course cramped the moral 
energies, I ventured to superadd the function of the 
" Christian Advocate " (of course only in the modern- 
sense of this indispensable phrase). The plan to 
which I was led was to adapt Old Testament criticism 
and exegesis to the prejudices of orthodox students 
by giving the traditional view, in its most refined 
form, the benefit of the doubt, whenever there was a 
sufficiently reasonable case for doubt. This is what 
the Germans call Vermittelung, and I think that as 
late as ten or twelve years ago Vermittelung was 
sorely needed. But now, as it seems to me, we have 
got beyond this. Vermittelung, when practised by 
the leaders of study in works of a scientific character, 
will prove a hindrance, not only to the progress of 
historical truth, but to the fuller apprehension of 
positive evangelical principles. The right course for 
those who would be in the van of progress seems to 
be that which I have faintly indicated above, and too 
imperfectly carried out in my more recent works. 
A perfectly free but none the less devout criticism is, 
in short, the best ally, both of spiritual religion and 
of a sound apologetic theology. 

The second is, that in Dr. Driver's case the some- 
what excessive caution of his critical work can be 


accounted for, not merely by a conscientious regard 
to the supposed interests of the Church, but by his 
peculiar temperament and past history. In the 
variety of temperaments God has appointed that the 
specially cautious one shall not be wanting ; and this, 
like all His works, is no doubt "very good." Caution, 
like other useful qualities, needs to be sometimes 
represented in an intensified degree. And Hebrew 
grammar in England urgently needed a more 
cautious, more exact treatment. This Dr. Driver 
felt at the outset of his course, and all recent Hebrew 
students owe him a debt of gratitude. But what was 
the natural consequence of his long devotion to the 
more exact, more philological study of the Hebrew 
Scriptures ? This — that when he deliberately en- 
larged his circle of interests, he could not see his way 
as far nor as clearly as those critics of wider range, 
who had entered on their career at an earlier period. 
Indeed, even apart from the habits of a pure philo- 
logist, so long a suspension of judgment on critical 
points must have reacted somewhat upon Dr. Driver's 
mind, and made it at first very difficult for him to 
form decisions. These have been real hindrances, and 
yet to what a considerable extent he has overcome 
them ! How much advanced criticism has this 
conscientious churchman — this cautious Hebraist — 
been able to absorb ? And how certainly therefore 
he has contributed to that readjustment of theology 
to the general intellectual progress which is becoming 
more and more urgent ! 

DRIVER. 26l 

I now proceed to such a survey of the contents of 
the work as my limits render possible. The preface 
states, in lucid and dignified language, though not 
without an excess of caution, the author's critical and 
religious point of view, which is that of all modern- 
minded and devout Old Testament critics. Then 
follows an introduction on the Old Testament Canon 
according to the Jews, which gives multum in parvo, 
and is thoroughly sound. It was desirable to prefix 
this because of a current assertion that critical views 
are in conflict with trustworthy Jewish traditions. So 
now the student is free, both in a religious and in a 
historical respect, to consider the proposed solutions 
of the literary problems of the Old Testament, and 
the accompanying views respecting the objects of the 
several records. The books are treated in the order 
of the Hebrew Bible, beginning with those of the 
Hexateuch, and ending with Ezra, Nehemiah, and 
Chronicles. To the Hexateuch one hundred and fifty 
pages are devoted — a perfectly fair allotment, con- 
sidering the great importance of these six books. The 
plan adopted here, and throughout the composite 
narrative books, appears to be this : after some pre- 
liminary remarks, the particular book is broken up into 
sections and analyzed, with a view to ascertain the 
documents or sources which the later compiler or re- 
dactor welded together into a whole. 1 The grounds of 

1 Note especi ally the care bestowed on the composite 
narrative of Korah, Dathan, and Abiram in Num. xvi.-xvii. 
(p. 59), and cf. Robertson Smith, The Old Testament zVz the 
Jewish Church (ed. 2), pp. 402-3. 


the analysis are given in small print, without which 
judicious arrangement the book would have outrun 
its limits. A somewhat different plan is necessary for 
Deuteronomy, which is treated more continuously, 
special care being taken to exhibit the relation of the 
laws to the other codes, and to trace the dependence 
of the two historical retrospects in chapters i., iii., and 
ix.-x. on the earlier narrative of " J E." Then follows a 
very important section on the character and probable 
date of the " prophetical " l and the " priestly " narra- 
tives respectively, followed by a compact synopsis of 
the priestly code. As regards the analysis of the 
documents, it would be difficult, from a teacher's point 
of view, to say too much in praise of the author's 
presentation. Multum in parvo is again one's inevit- 
able comment. The space has been utilized to the 
utmost, and the student who will be content to work 
hard will , find no lack of lucidity. No one can 
deny that the individuality of the writer, which is in 
this part very strongly marked, fits him in a special 
degree to be the interpreter of the analysts to young 
students. One only asks that the cautious reserve, 

1 On the so-called " Book of the Covenant " (i. e. Ex. xx. 22 — 
xxiii. 33) excellent remarks are given (p. 33). Cornill, Budde, 
and Baentsch have lately given much attention to the study 
of this record, and its position in the " Mosaic " legislation. 
There is, as Baentsch shows, no trace of a Mosaic kernel in the 
Book of the Covenant, nor of its owing anything to the attempt 
to adapt Mosaic ordinances to a later time. It has however 
been much edited. Originally, it may only have contained the 
so-called "judgments," which may (cf. Gen. xxxi. 38—40) have 
once been fuller than they are now. 

DRIVER. 263 

which is here not out of place, may not be contrasted 
by that untrained " common sense," which is so swift 
to speak, and so slow to hear, with the bolder but 
fundamentally not less cautious procedure of other 
English or American analysts. Such remarks will, I 
am sure, be disapproved of by the author himself, 
who willingly refers to less reserved critics. And 
Dr. Driver's fellow-workers will, on their side, have 
nothing but respect for his helpful contributions. It 
should be added that whatever is vitally important is 
fully granted by Dr. Driver. The documents J, E, D, 
and P are all recognized ; and if the author more 
frequently than some critics admits a difficulty in 
distinguishing between J and E, yet this is but a 
formal difference. Moreover, no one doubts that J 
and E were combined together by an editor or 
(Kuenen) "harmonist," so that we have three main 
records in the Hexateuch — the prophetical (J E), the 
Deuteronomic (D), and the priestly (P). On the 
limits of these three records critics of different schools 
are practically agreed. 1 

And now, will the author forgive me if I say that 
neither here nor in the rest of the Hexateuch portion 
does he, strictly speaking, verify the description of the 
object of the " Library " given by the general editors ? 
The book, as it seems to me, does not, upon the 
whole, so much " represent the present condition of 
investigation, and indicate the way for future progress," 

1 On Klostermann's original, not to say eccentric, contribu- 
tions to Hexateuch criticism, see Driver, Expositor, May 1892. 


as exhibit the present position of a very clear-headed 
but slowly moving scholar, who stands a little aside 
from the common pathway of critics ? For the many 
English students this may conceivably be a boon ; but 
the fact (if it be a fact) ought to be borne in mind, 
otherwise the friends and the foes of the literary 
study of the Old Testament will alike be the victims 
of an illusion. There is a number of points of con- 
siderable importance for the better class of students 
on which the author gives no light, though I would 
not impute this merely to his natural caution, but 
also to the comparative scantiness of his space. For 
instance, besides J, E, D, P, and, within P, H (2. e. 
the " Law of Holiness," Lev. xvii. — xxvi.), I find now 
and then recognized both D 2 and P 2 , but not J 2 and 
E 2 , though it is impossible to get on long without 
these symbols, which correspond to facts. Nor do I 
find any mention of the source and date of Genesis 
xiv., upon which so many contradictory statements 
have been propounded. 1 Nor is there any constructive 
sketch of the growth of our present Hexateuch, 
though this would seem necessary to give coherence 
to the ideas of the student. It would however be 
ungracious to dwell further on this. On the dates of 
the documents J and E, Dr. Driver is unfortunately 
somewhat indefinite. It is surprising to learn that " it 
must remain an open question whether both (J and E) 

1 See above, p. 238. On no question would a few clear and 
frank statements of facts, and of the critical points which are 
really at issue, be more useful than on this. 

DRIVER. 265 

may not in reality be earlier " (i. e. earlier than " the 
early centuries of the monarchy "). I can of course 
understand that, had the author been able to give a 
keener analysis of the documents, he would have 
favoured us with a fuller consideration of their period. 
But I do earnestly hope that he is not meditating a 
step backwards in deference to hostile archaeologists. 
One more startling phenomenon I seem bound to 
mention. On p. 27 we are told that " probably the 
greater part of the Song is Mosaic, and the modifi- 
cation, or expansion, is limited to the closing verses ; 
for the general style is antique, and the triumphant 
tone which pervades it is just such as might naturally 
have been inspired by the event which it celebrates." 

I greatly regret this. To fall behind Ewald, 
Dillmann, and even Delitzsch and Kittel, 1 is a mis- 
fortune which I can only account for on the theory 
of compromise. I hesitate to contemplate the con- 
sequences which might possibly follow from the 
acceptance of this view. 

This naturally brings me to the pages on the 
authorship and date of Deuteronomy. There is here 
very much which commands one's entire approbation, 
especially with an eye to English readers. Candour 
is conspicuous throughout, and whenever one differs 

1 See, besides the works cited by Dr. Driver, Lagarde, 
Semitica, i. 28 ; Kuenen, Hexateuch, p. 239 ; Wellhausen, 
Prolegomena, p. 374 [352] ; Cornill, Einleitung, pp. 68, 69 ; 
Kittel, Geschichte, i. 83, 187 ; and my Bampton Lectures (which 
give my own view since 1881), pp. 31, 177. 


from the author, it is reluctantly and with entire 
respect. The section begins thus — 

" Even though it were clear that the first four books 
of the Pentateuch were written by Moses, it would be 
difficult to sustain the Mosaic authorship of Deuter- 
onomy. For, to say nothing of the remarkable 
difference of style, Deuteronomy conflicts with the 
legislation of Exodus-Numbers in a manner that would 
not be credible were the legislator in both one and 
the same " (p. tj~). And in particular " when the laws 
of Deuteronomy are compared with those of P such a 
supposition becomes impossible. For in Deuteronomy 
language is used implying that fundamental insti- 
tutions of P are unknown to the author? x Sufficient 
specimens of the evidence for these statements are 
given with a reference for further particulars to the 
article " Deuteronomy " in the belated new edition of 
Smith's Dictionary. I look forward with eagerness 
to the appearance of this article, and meantime 
venture to state how I have been struck by the 
author's treatment of the question of date. Whatever 
I say is to be taken with all the qualifications arising 
from my high opinion of the author, and demanded 
by a fair consideration of his narrow limits. 

In the first place, then, I think that on one impor- 
tant point Dr. Driver does not quite accurately state 
the prevailing tendency of recent investigations. No 
one would gather from p. 82, note 2, that criticism is 

1 Here, as always in quotations, the italics are those of the 

DRIVER. 267 

more inclined to place the composition of the original 
book in the reign of Josiah than in that of Manasseh. 
Such however is the case. Delitzsch himself says 
regretfully, " It will scarcely be possible to eradicate 
the ruling critical opinion that Deuteronomy was 
composed in the time of Jeremiah." 1 

If this view of the tendency of criticism is correct, 
it would have been helpful to state the grounds on 
which the reign of Josiah has been preferred. May I 
venture to put them together briefly thus ? Let the 
student read once more, with a fresh mind, the 
famous narrative in 2 Kings xxii., which I for one do 
not feel able to reject as unhistorical. He can hardly 
fail to receive the impression that the only person 
who is vehemently moved by the perusal of " the 
law-book " (more strictly, " the book of torah ") is 
the king. How is this to be accounted for ? How is 
it that Hilkiah, Shaphan, and Huldah display such 
imperturbability ? The easiest supposition is that 
these three persons (to whom we must add Ahikam, 
Achbor, and Asaiah) had agreed together, unknown 
to the king, on their course of action. It may be 
thought strange that all these, except Hilkiah and 
Huldah, were courtiers. But they were also (as we 
partly know, partly infer) friends of the prophet 
Jeremiah, and therefore no mere courtiers. Huldah, 
moreover, though the wife of a courtier, was herself a 

1 Preface by Delitzsch to Curtiss's Levitical Priests (1877), 
p. x. The latest introduction (that of Cornill) verifies this 


prophetess. We must suppose, then, in order to 
realize the circumstances at once historically and 
devoutly, that to the priests and prophets who 
loved spiritual religion God had revealed that now 
was the time to take a bold step forward, and accom- 
plish the work which the noblest servants of Jehovah 
had so long desired. The " pen of the scribes " Qer. 
viii. 8) had been recently consecrated to this purpose 
by the writing down of the kernel of what we now 
call Deuteronomy. This document consisted of 
ancient laws adapted to present purposes, and com- 
pleted by the addition of recent and even perfectly 
new ones, framed in the spirit of Moses and under 
the sacred authority of priests and prophets, together 
with earnest exhortations and threatenings. It had 
apparently been placed in a repository beside the 
ark (comp. Deut. xxxi. 9, 26), 1 and there (if we may 
so interpret the words "in the house of Jehovah") 
Hilkiah professed to Shaphan " the secretary " to 
have " found " it. One of these seeming " chances " 
which mark the interposing hand of God favoured 

1 Deut. xxxi. 9 belongs to the main body of Deuteronomy, 
whereas ver. 26 (as a part of vv. 24 — 30) belongs to the 
editor. According to Dillmann, however, vv. 24 — 26a (down to 
''Jehovah your God") originally stood after vv. 9 — 13, and 
belong to Deuteronomy proper. But in any case it is certain 
that the editor rightly interpreted the " delivering " of the Torah 
to the " Levitical priests," when he made Moses say, "Take 
this law-book, and put it beside the ark." For of course the 
persons addressed were to carry both the ark and the " bag '' or 
"box" (argaz, see 1 Sam. vi. 8, 11, 15) which contained the 
most sacred objects of religion. 

DRIVER. 269 

the project of Hilkiah. Repairs on a large scale had 
been undertaken in the temple, and with his mind 
set on the restoration of the material " house of God," 
Josiah was all the more likely to be interested in the 
re-edification of His spiritual house. So Shaphan 
reported the " finding," and read the book in the ears 
of the king. The king recognized the voice of 
Moses ; this was not one of those law-books which 
Jeremiah ascribed to " the lying pen of scribes." The 
result is matter of history to all at any rate but the 
followers of M. Maurice Vernes. 

It may doubtless be urged against this view of the 
circumstances that we have enlisted the imagination 
in the service of history. But why should we not do 
so ? Of course, we would very gladly dispense with 
this useful but dangerous ally, but is there a single 
historical critic, a single critical historian, who is not 
often obliged to invite its help ? Certainly in the case 
of 2 Kings xxii., which is an extract from a larger and 
fuller document, 1 it is impossible not to endeavour to 
fill up lacuna with the help of the imagination. The 
alternative view — that the " law-book " was written in 
the reign of Manasseh — is not one which commends it- 
self to the historic sense. Even supposing that some 
ardent spirit conceived the idea of a reformation by 
means of .a "law-book," yet there is a gulf between 
such an idea and its successful accomplishment. No 
prophecy pointed to the advent of a reforming king 

1 This has, I think, not been sufficiently considered by Prof, 
Ryle in his work on the Canon, when referring to 2 Kings xxii. 


(i Kings xiii., as consistent critics agree, is of very 
late origin) ; we cannot therefore appeal to the 
analogy of Ezekiel's ideal legislation. The hopeful 
and practical spirit which pervades the book is in- 
consistent with a time of reaction, when it seemed to 
a prophet that the " good man " had " perished out of 
the earth," and that there was " none upright among 
men " (Mic. vii. 2). I admit that the prophecy from 
which I have just quoted (Mic. vi. 1 — vii. 6), and which ... 
was probably written under Manasseh, reminds us 
somewhat, at the outset, of Deuteronomy, but the 
gloomy and indignant tone which predominates in it 
is entirely alien to the great " law-book." The asser- 
tion that the date of Deuteronomy must be pushed 
up a little higher to allow time for literary style to 
sink to the level of Jeremiah is a doubtful one. Cer- 
tainly Jeremiah's style is less pure than that of 
Deuteronomy (as Kleinert has well shown). But who 
would maintain that in all the different literary circles 
of Jerusalem at the same period an equally pure 
style was in vogue ? Proverbs i. — ix. is placed by 
critics, with whom Dr. Driver (p. 382) seems inclined 
to agree, in the reign of Josiah, and here at least we 
have an elevated, oratorical diction, with very little 
Aramaism. Jeremiah himself was too emotional to 
be either a purist or an artist. What is the most 
obvious conclusion from all the facts and indications ? 
Surely this — that while the heathenish reaction under 
Manasseh, by knitting the faithful together and forc- 
ing them to meditate on their principles and on the 

DRIVER. 271 

means of applying these to practice, created some of 
the conditions under which alone " Deuteronomy " 
could arise, and while it is not impossible that a 
Deuteronomic style began to form itself a little before 
the time of Josiah, the reign of Manasseh is never- 
theless not the period in which the Book (z. e. its 
kernel) can have been composed. Instead of saying, 
"not later than the reign of Manasseh" (p. 82), it 
would have been truer to the actual state of critical 
study to say (against M. Vernes), " by no possibility 
later than the eighteenth year of the reign of 

Indeed, the sole advantage of Dr. Driver's present 
theory is that it will enable popular writers to defend 
Hilkiah the more easily from the charge (which con- 
servative scholars sometimes imagine to be involved 
in the other theory) of complicity in a '' forgery." J 
But may it not be questioned whether even for 
popular writers it is not best to approach as near as 
they can to the truth ? The test of a forgery sug- 
gested by Mr. Gore, viz. to find out whether the 
writer of a particular book could have afforded to 
disclose the method and circumstances of his pro- 
duction, can be successfully stood by the writer of 

1 I quite enter into the dislike of reverent Bible-readers for 
the theory of " pious fraud." I think that dislike an exaggerated 
one. No student of Oriental life and history could be surprised 
at a pious fraud originating among priests. But I do not 
adopt that theory to account for 2 Kings xxii., and have sought 
to be somewhat clearer and more explicit than my friend Prof. 
Robertson Smith in his CW Testament in the Jewish Church. 


Deuteronomy. Hilkiah, as representing this writer, 1 
could well have afforded to make such a disclosure to 
literary students familiar with the modes of thought 
of priestly and prophetic writers. But was Josiah 
such a student, and even if he were, was this a time 
for any such minute explanation ? Practical wisdom 
required that the account given to Josiah should be 
the same which would have to be given to the people 
at large. The Book was " the torah of Moses," and 
the basis of the legal portion of it (viz. the " Book of 
the Covenant ") had no doubt been kept in the temple 
archives. What, pray, could be said of it, even by a 
religious statesman, but that it had been " found in 
the house of Jehovah " ? Such conduct as that of 
Hilkiah is, I maintain, worthy of an inspired teacher 
and statesman in that age and under those circum- 
stances. It is also not without a distant resemblance 
to the course of Divine Providence, so far as this can 
be scanned by our weak faculties. Indeed, if we 
reject the theory of " needful illusion," we are thrown 
upon a sea of perplexity. Was there no book on 
Jeremiah bringing home the need of this theory to 
the Christian conscience, to which Dr. Driver could 
have referred ? 

But no doubt the student will here ask, How can 

1 Hilkiah may possibly (in spite of Deut. xviii. 6 — 8) have had 
to do with the composition of the book. He was certainly con- 
cerned in its publication, and, as Baudissin remarks, was 
probably above the narrow class-feelings of his corporation. 
To say that he was " the forger of Deuteronomy " is of course a 
gross misrepresentation of my opinion. 

DRIVER. 273 

the kernel of the Book of Deuteronomy be justly 
described as the " torah of Moses " ? Dr. Driver 
devotes what space he can afford to this most 
important question (see pp. 83 — 85). He begins by 
drawing the distinction (on which great stress is also 
laid by Delitzsch) that "though it may seem para- 
doxical to say so, Deuteronomy does not claim to be 
written by Moses. Wherever the author speaks him- 
self, he purposes to give a description in the third 
person of what Moses did or said. The true ' author ' 
of Deuteronomy is thus the writer who introduces 
Moses in the third person ; and the discourses which 
he is represented as having spoken fall in consequence 
into the same category as the speeches in the his- 
torical books, some of which largely, and others 
entirely, are the composition of the compilers, and 
are placed by them in the mouths of historical 
characters. . . . An author, therefore, in framing 
discourses appropriate to Moses' situation, especially 
if (as is probable) the elements were provided for him 
by tradition, could be doing nothing inconsistent with 
the literary usages of his age and people." 

This hardly goes far towards meeting the diffi- 
culties of the student. In a footnote (p. 84) there is 
a list of passages of Deuteronomy describing in the 
third person what Moses did or said, which closes 
with Deuteronomy xxxi. 1 — 30. I do not forget the 
demands on Dr. Driver's space, but in this closing 
passage there occur two statements, "And Moses 
wrote this torah" (ver. 9), and "When Moses had 


made an end of writing the words of this torah in a 
book, until they were finished" (ver. 24), which 
demanded special consideration. Let us listen to 
the candid and devout Delitzsch. " If the statement, 
'And Moses wrote/ were meant to be valid for the 
whole of Deuteronomy as it stands, Deuteronomy 
would be a pseudepigraphon " {Genesis, p. 23). In 
the sequel Delitzsch communicates his own explana- 
tion of the difficulty. Now should not Dr. Driver 
have given two or three lines to a mention of the 
difficulty, and a particularly full reference to the 
sentences in Delitzsch's Genesis, which contain that 
scholar's solution, if he was not prepared to give one 
of his own ? What Dr. Driver tells us in the text is, 
that ancient historians (including those of Israel) 
habitually claimed the liberty of composing speeches 
for the personages of their narratives. But where, it 
may be replied, is there any instance of this liberty 
being used on such a large scale as in the discourses 
of Deuteronomy ? If indeed Ecclesiastes had been 
introduced by the words, " And Solomon said," and 
inserted in the Book of Kings, an Old Testament 
parallel would not be wanting. But Ecclesiastes 
bears no such heading, and was presumably designed 
by the unknown writer for the narrow circle of his 
friends or disciples. The licence appealed to by Dr. 
Driver will hardly bear the weight which he puts 
upon it. Josiah certainly did not conceive that it 
was used in the composition of the Book, which he 
received with alarm as the neglected law-book written 

DRIVER. 275 

of old by Moses. As for the statement that the 
elements of the discourses in Deuteronomy were 
provided for the writer by tradition, if it means that 
the writer reproduces the substance of what Moses 
really said, somewhat as the writer of the Fourth 
Gospel is held to reproduce sayings or ideas of the 
Lord Jesus, I should think this, historically, a very 
difficult position. This does indeed appear to have 
been the belief of Delitzsch, but the principles which 
underlie it are not those which Dr. Driver would, as I 
think, deliberately desire to promote. 

Dr. Driver's second argument in justification of the 
writer of Deuteronomy relates to the legislative 
portion of the book. He says, " It is an altogether 
false view of the laws in Deuteronomy to treat them 
as the author's ' inventions.' Many are repeated 
from the Book of the Covenant; the existence of 
others is independently attested by the ' Law of 
Holiness ' : others, upon intrinsic grounds, are clearly 
ancient. . . . The new element in Deuteronomy is 
thus not the laws, but their parenetic setting. Deuter- 
onomy may be described as the prophetic re-formu- 
lation and adapatation to new needs of an older legis- 

Dr. Driver does almost too much honour to a view 
which is only worthy of some ill-instructed secularist 
lecturer. The statement that " the laws in Deuter- 
onomy" are "the author's inventions/' is, of course, 
utterly erroneous. But Dr. Driver's statement of his 
own opinion may possibly bear amendment. He at 


any rate appears to identify himself with the view of 
Kleinert that Deuteronomy consists of " old statutes 
worked over and adapted to later circumstances," 1 
and as an instance of a law which has an ancient 
kernel, he proceeds to adduce the so-called " law of 
the kingdom " (Deut. xvii. 14 — 20). But the former 
view seems to have been refuted by Kuenen, and on 
the latter I may appeal to Dillmann's judgment that 
" the law is new and purely Deuteronomic." It seems 
to me even possible that Kleinert and Stade may 
be right in regarding this law as a later Deuteronom- 
istic insertion. Dr. Driver refers next to the " law of 
the central sanctuary " (Deut. xii. 5, &c). He states 
distinctly that it " appears, in its exclusiveness, to be 
of comparatively 2 modern origin," but seems to 
weaken the force of this remark by saying that " it 
only accentuated the old pre-eminence [of the sanc- 
tuary where the ark for the time was placed] in the 
interests of a principle which is often insisted on in 
J E, viz. the separation of Israel from heathen influ- 
ences." Surely the important thing to know is that 
the law itself is not old but new, and that even Isaiah 
does not appear to have conceived the idea of a single 
sanctuary. " The one and essential point," says Dr, 
G. Vos, " which we wish the higher criticism to estab- 

1 Das Deuteronomium und der Deuteronomiker,^. 132. 

2 I understand the qualification. But in view of the want of 
any confirming evidence from Isaiah, one may, with Stade, 
doubt whether Hezekiah did indeed formally and absolutely 
abolish all the local sanctuaries throughout his kingdom, as 2 
Kings xviii. 4 appears to state. 

DRIVER. 277 

lish, is this, that the (Deuteronomic) Code does not 
fit into the historical situation, by which, according to 
its own testimony, it was called forth." l Dr. Driver 
should, I think, have had some regard to this, even 
though he was not directly speaking of the date of 
the law-book. And in order more fully to represent 
the strictly critical point of view, he should (if he will 
excuse me for seeming to dictate to him) have 
mentioned other laws besides that of the central 
sanctuary, which, even if more or less developments 
of ancient principles, are held by consistent critics to 
be of modern origin. 2 

Upon the whole I desiderate a larger theory to 
account for, and therefore to justify, the statements 
in Deuteronomy, "And Moses said," "And Moses 
wrote." May we perhaps put the whole matter thus ? 
The book is at once legal, prophetic, and historical. 
Under each of these aspects a fully instructed Israelite 
might naturally call it " Mosaic." In so far as it was 
legal, it could be said that the author belonged to the 
" Mosaic," or, as we may describe it (in opposition to 
certain "lying pens," Jer. viii. 8), the "orthodox" 
school of legalists. Its priestly author claimed, 
virtually at any rate, the name of Moses (just as the 
school of the prophet-reformer Zarathustra, not only 
virtually, but actually, called itself by its founder's 
name), because he " sat in Moses' seat," and con- 
tinued the development of the antique decisions of 

1 The Mosaic Origin of the Pentateuchal Codes (1886), p. 90. 

2 Cf. Dillmann, Num.-Deut.-Jos., g. 604. 


the lawgiver. That Deuteronomy xii. — xxvi. was 
intended as a new edition of the old "Book of the 
Covenant," admits of no reasonable doubt. It was 
possibly in the mind of the author a " legal fiction," 
like similar developments in English, and more 
especially in Roman law, 1 though this may not have 
been understood by Josiah. In so far as the book 
was prophetic, it was a " Mosaic " work, because its 
author summed up the religious ideas of that 
prophetic succession of which Moses, as the writer 
fully believed, was the head. 2 And ' in so far as it 
was historical, it was "Mosaic,'' because the facts 
which it recorded were based on traditional records 
which the author believed to have come from Moses 
or his circle. Yes ; even the statement that Moses 
delivered laws to the people in the fortieth year of 
the wanderings, has very probably a traditional basis. 
In JE, as it stands, both the Book of the Covenant 
(Exod. xx. 22 — xxii.) and the Words of the Covenant 
(Exod. xxxiv. 10 — 28) form part of the Sinaitic 
revelation. But Kuenen has made it in a high 
degree plausible that in the original JE they were 
revealed indeed at Sinai, but not promulgated by 

1 Cf. W. R. Smith, The Old Testament in the Jewish Church 
(ed. 1), p. 385. 

2 See Deut. xviii. 18, "A prophet will I [from time to time] 
raise up unto them . . . like unto me.'' Note the emphasis laid 
upon the truthfulness of the prophet : how could the writer of 
such a passage be — a " forger " ? Even M. Darmesteter holds 
that the ideas of the Book are derived from the great prophets 
(review of M. Renan's Histoire d'Israel in Revue des deux 
mondes, 1 avril 1891). 

DRIVER. 279 

Moses till just before the passage of the Jordan. It 
was, as he has sought in a masterly way to show, the 
Deuteronomic writer of JE who transposed the scene 
of the promulgation from Moab to Sinai, thus making 
room in the narrative of the fortieth year for the new 
edition (as Kuenen well calls it) of the Book of the 
Covenant (i. e. Deut. xiii. — xxvi. with the " parenetic 
setting"). 1 

Dr. Driver's treatment of the other problems of 
Deuteronomy shows learning, but no special critical 
insight. In dealing with the date of Deuteronomy 
xxxii., no arguments are adduced from the religious 
contents of the Song. Indeed, it is here once more 
shown how unsatisfactory it is to treat the lyric 
products of the old Hebrew poetry separately. But 
let us pass on to the Priestly Code. Here the 
evidence of date is abundant, though complicated, 
and Dr. Driver's treatment of it shows him at his very 
best. I should say that this portion (pp. 118 — 150) is 
the gem of the whole book. Here too at any rate 
there is no deficiency of courage. The author is 
strong in the confidence that all that orthodoxy 
really requires is, that the chief ceremonial institutions 
referred to in P should be " in their origin of great 
antiquity," and that the legislation should be based 
on legal traditions which, though modified and 
adapted to new circumstances from time to time, 

1 See Kuenen, Hexateuch, pp. 258 — 262, and (especially on 
Exod. xxiv. 4) cf. Cornill, Einleitung, p. 75 ; Montefiore, Jewish 
Quarterly Review, Jan. 1891, p. 280, &c. 


were yet in unbroken connexion with Israel's prime. 
This he believes that a patient criticism can show. 
He is therefore free to admit (frankly and without 
reserve) that P in its completed form is later than 
Ezekiel, who was the first to introduce the radical 
distinction between priests and Levites which we 
find in P (see Ezek. xliv. 6 — 16). The arguments for 
a later date are so fully and clearly presented, that I 
can hardly conceive any fresh mind resisting their 
force. I can only here refer to the linguistic argu- 
ment. Dr. Driver has, I observe, made progress since 
1882, when he subjected the not sufficiently exact 
philological argument of Giesebrecht (in Stade's 
Zeitschrift for 1881) to a somewhat severe criticism. 1 
It is obvious that the writer was still feeling his way 
in a complicated critical problem, and did not as yet 
see distinctly the real value of the linguistic argument. 
His criticism of Giesebrecht's details is indeed upon 
the whole sound, but, for all that, Giesebrecht was 
right in his general principles. It was Ryssel (in a 
somewhat earlier treatise, praised by Dr. Driver in 
1882) and not Giesebrecht who overrated the value 
of the linguistic argument, and Giesebrecht has in the 
article referred to already, put forward what Dr. 
Driver, in 1891, expresses thus : "The phraseology of 
P, it is natural to suppose, is one which had gradually 
formed ; hence it contains elements which are no 

1 See reference, p. 249 ; and comp. Kuenen, Hexateuch, p. 291. 
Cornill (Einleitung, p. 66) is slightly too eulogistic towards 

DRIVER. 28l 

doubt ancient side by side with those which were 
introduced later. The priests of each successive 
generation would adopt, as a matter of course, the 
technical formulae and stereotyped expressions which 
they learned from their seniors, new terms, when they 
were introduced, being accommodated to the old 
moulds" (p. 148). 

It is possible, indeed, that Dr. Driver, writing in 
1 891, would assert the presence of a larger tra- 
ditional element in the phraseology of P than 
Giesebrecht did, writing in 188 1. But whatever 
difference there may now exist between the two 
scholars must be very small, and not of much im- 
portance, except to those who attach an inordinate 
value to proving the archaic origin of Jewish ritual 
laws. To Dr. Driver's excellently formulated state- 
ment I only desire to add the remark of Kuenen : 
" Linguistic arguments do not furnish a positive or 
conclusive argument. But they do furnish a very 
strong presumption against the theory that the 
priestly laws were written in the golden age of 
Israelitish literature. As long as P 2 [Dr. Driver's P] 
is regarded as a contemporary of Isaiah, the ever- 
increasing number of parallels [to later writers] must 
remain an enigma. A constantly recurring pheno- 
menon . . . must rest on some general basis." 

On linguistic arguments I may find space to speak 
later on. It is, at any rate, not unimportant to know 
that an "induction from the facts of the Hebrew 
language " cannot prevent us from accepting a post- 


Deuteronomic (i.e. post-Josian) date for P, indeed 
that it furnishes good presumptive evidence in its 

I do not, however, forget, nor does Dr. Driver, that 
the Priestly Code contains many very early elements. 
Leviticus xi. for instance, which is virtually identical 
with Deuteronomy xiv. 4 — 20, is, no doubt, as Kuenen 
says, " a later and amplified edition of those priestly 
decisions on clean and unclean animals, which the 
Deuteronomist adopted." 1 And above all, Leviticus 
xvii. — xxvi., when carefully studied, is seen to contain 
an earlier stratum of legislation (known as H, or P 1 ), 
which " exhibits a characteristic phraseology, and is 
marked by the preponderance of certain characteristic 
principles and motives " (p. 54). That the greater 
part of this collection of laws dates from a time 
considerably prior to Ezekiel, may now be taken as 
granted. But what is the date of the writer who 
arranged these laws in the existing " parenetic frame- 
work " ; or, in other words, the date of the compila- 
tion of H ? Dr. Driver replies that he wrote shortly 
before the close of the monarchy ; but this relatively 
conservative conclusion hardly does justice to the 
natural impression of the reader that the predicted 
devastation of the land of Israel is really an accom- 
plished fact. It appears safer to hold that H as 
it stands was arranged by a priestly writer in the 
second half of the Babylonian exile. On the 

1 The Hexateuch, p. 264. 

DRIVER. 283 

question, When was H absorbed into P ? and, indeed, 
on the larger question of the later stages of our 
present Hexateuch, Dr. Driver still holds his opinion 
in reserve. No reference is made to the important 
narrative in Nehemiah viii., which seems the counter- 
part of that in 2 Kings xxii. 

And now as to the character of the Priestly 
Narrative. The view of things which this narrative 
gives seems, according to our author, "to be the 
result of a systematizing process working upon these 
materials, and perhaps, also, seeking to give sensible 
■expression to certain ideas or truths (as, for instance, 
to the truth of Jehovah's presence in the midst of 
His people, symbolized by the ' Tent of Meeting,' 
surrounded by its immediate attendants, in the centre 
of the camp)," p. 120. 

And in a footnote he says that " it is difficult to 
escape the conclusion that the representation of P 
contains elements, not, in the ordinary sense of the 
word, historical" \e.g. especially in his chronological 
scheme, and in the numbers of the Israelites. — See 
Numbers i. — iv.]. 

Similarly, in speaking of P's work in the Book of 
Joshua, he says that, " the partition of the land 
being conceived as ideally effected by Joshua, its 
complete distribution and occupation by the tribes 
are treated as his work, and as accomplished in his 
life-time " (pp. 108, 109). 

Let me honestly say that these views, though 
correct, present great difficulties to those whose 


reverence is of the old type ; and that in order to 
understand, and, if it may be, to justify the author or 
compiler of P, careful historical training is necessary. 
Dr. Driver's book does not give any of the hints 
which the religious study of criticism appears at this 
point to require. But, no doubt, he was hampered 
equally by his want of space and by his plan. 

As to the ascription of the laws to Moses, on the 
other hand, the author is really helpful. He points 
out the double aspect of the Priestly Code, which, 
though Exilic and early post-Exilic in its formulation, 
is "based upon pre-existing temple-usage" (p. 135). 
In taking this view he is at one with critics of very 
different schools, so that we may hope soon to hear 
no more of the charge that, according, to the critics, 
the translation of P was " manufactured " by the 
later priests. Dr. Driver would rather have abstained 
altogether from touching on Biblical archaeology, his 
object (an impossible one) being to confine himself 
to the purely literary aspect of the Old Testament. 
But, as Merx long ago said, a purely literary criticism 
of the Hexateuch is insufficient. To show that there 
is a basis of early customary law in later legal 
collections, we are compelled to consider historical 
analogies. In spite of Kuenen's adverse criticism of 
Mr. Fenton's explanation of the law of "jubilee" 
(Lev. xxv. 8 — 55), I still feel that there may be a 
kernel of truth in it ; and much more certainly the 
sacrificial laws have a basis of pre-Exilic priestly 
ordinance. But can those institutions and rites be 

DRIVER. 285 

traced back to Moses ? Dr. Driver feels it necessary 
to satisfy his readers to some extent on this point. 
What he says is, in fact, much the same as Kuenen 
said in the Godsdienst van Israel in 1870. 1 It is 
however from an orthodox point of view, startling ; 
and considering that Kuenen became afterwards 
more extreme in his views, 2 Dr. Driver may fairly lay 
claim, not merely to courage and consistency, but 
also to moderation and sobriety. Certainly I fully 
approve what Dr. Driver has said. It is " sober," i. e. 
it does not go beyond the facts, nor is its sobriety 
impaired by the circumstance that the few facts at 
his disposal have had to be interpreted imaginatively. 
How else, as I have said already, can the bearing of 
these few precious but dry facts be realized ? I am 
only afraid that some readers will think that Moses 
was more systematic, more of a modern founder and 
organizer than he can really have been ; but I sus- 
pect that a fuller explanation would show that there 
is no real difference between Dr. Driver and myself. 
I am in full accord with him when he says (in tacit 
opposition to Kuenen's later view) that " the teaching 
of Moses on these subjects (civil and ceremonial 
precepts) is preserved in its least modified form in the 
Decalogue and the Book of the Covenant." It be- 
comes any one to differ from Kuenen with humility, 
but my own historical sense emphatically requires 

1 Kuenen, Godsdienst van Israel, i. 278 — 286 ; ii. 209 (E.T. i, 
282 — 290, ii. 302). 

2 Kuenen, Onderzoek, i. 238 {Hexateuch, p. 244). 


that from the very beginning there should have been 
the germ of the advanced " ethical monotheism " of 
the prophets ; and if only it be admitted that even 
the shortened form of the Decalogue proposed by 
Ewald x has probably been modified (we have no 
right to equalize Moses with Zoroaster), 2 we may not 
unreasonably suppose that the " Ten Words " are 
indeed derived from " Moses, the man of God," and 
that the other similar " decads " 3 were imitated from 
this one. That Dr. Driver has made no reference in 
this important passage to Exodus xv. (in spite of his 
conservative view on the authorship of the Song), 
deserves recognition. 

There is only one other point which I could have 
wished to see stated. I will express it in the words 
of Kuenen : " It is Moses' great work and enduring 
merit — not that he introduced into Israel any par- 
ticular religious forms and practices, but — that he 
established the service of Jahveh among his people 
upon a moral footing." 4 

This surely ought to satisfy the needs of essential 
orthodoxy. For what conservatives want, or ought to 

1 Ewald, Geschichtc, ii. 231 (E.T. ii. 163). Comp. Driver, 
Introduction, p. 31, with the accompanying discussion of the two 
traditional texts of the Decalogue. A conjectural but histori- 
cally conceivable revision of Ewald's form of the Decalogue 
has been given by Mr. Wicksteed, The Christian Reformer, 
May 1886, pp. 307—313. 

2 See my article in Nineteenth Century, Dec. 1891. 

3 See Ewald, Geschichte, I.e. ; and cf. Wildeboer, Theolog. 
Studien, 1887, p. 21. 

4 Kuenen, Religion of Israel, i. 292 [Godsdienst, i. 289). 

DRIVER. 287 

want, is not so much to prove the veracity of the 
Israelitish priests, when they ascribed certain ordi- 
nances to Moses, as to show that Moses had high 
intuitions of God and of morality. In a word, they 
want, or they ought to want, to contradict the view 
that the religion of Israel — at any rate, between 
Moses and Amos — in no essential respect differed 
from that of "Moab, Ammon, and Edom, Israel's 
nearest kinsfolk and neighbours." 1 Their mistake 
has hitherto been in attributing to Moses certain 
absolutely correct religious and moral views. In 
doing so, they interfered with the originality both of 
the prophets of Israel and of Jesus Christ, and they 
have to avoid this in future by recognizing that 
Moses' high intuitions were limited by his early place 
in the history of Israel's revelation. 

I am most thankful that in this very important 
matter (which, even in an introduction to the Old 
Testament literature, could not be passed over) Dr. 
Driver has not felt himself obliged to make any 
deduction from critical results. The second chapter 
is one which makes somewhat less demand than the 
first on the patient candour of orthodox readers. It 
may also appear less interesting until we have learned 
that the narrative books are of the utmost importance 
for Hexateuch students, as supplying the historical 
framework for the Hexateuch records. In fact, all 
the Old Testament Scriptures are interlaced by 

1 Wellhausen, Sketch of the History of Israel and Judah 
(1891), p. 23- 


numberless delicate threads, so that no part can be 
neglected without injury to the rest. Undoubtedly, 
the criticism of Judg.-Sam.-Kings has not reached 
such minute accuracy as that of the Hexateuch, and 
it was a disadvantage to Dr. Driver that he had to 
write upon these books before the researches of 
Budde and Cornill (to whom we may now add 
Kautzsch and Kittel) had attained more complete 
analytical results. Still one feels that, with the 
earlier pioneering works to aid him (including Budde's 
and Cornill's earlier essays), Dr. Driver could have 
been much fuller, with more space and perhaps with 
more courage. At any rate, the most essential 
critical points have been duly indicated, and I 
welcome Dr. Driver's second chapter, in combination 
with his work on the text of Samuel, as materially 
advancing the study of these books in England. 1 
A valuable hint was already given in chapter i. 
(pp. 3, 4). With regard to Judges and Kings we 
are there told that "in each a series of older 
narratives has been taken by the compiler, and fitted 
with a framework supplied by himself" ; whereas in 
Samuel, though this too is a compilation, " the 
compiler's hand is very much less conspicuous than 
is the case in Judges and Kings " (pp. 3, 4). Of the 

1 The opening chapter of my own Aids to the Devout Study 
of Criticism (1892), which contains Kittel's analysis of 1 and 2 
Samuel (in the German translation of the Old Testament edited 
by Kautzsch), together with notes on the eleven pairs of 
" doubtlets," will, I hope, be useful as a supplement to this part 
of the Introduction. 

bRlVER. 289 

work of the compiler in Kings, we are further told in 
chapter ii. that it included not only brief statistical 
notices, sometimes called the " Epitome," but also the 
introduction of fresh and "prophetic glances at the 
future " and the " amplification " of already existing 
prophecies (see pp. 178, 184, 189). He judges 
historical events by the standard of Deuteronomy, 
and his Deuteronomizing peculiarities receive a 
careful description, which is illustrated by a valuable 
list of his characteristic phrases (with reference to 
Deuteronomy and Jeremiah). We are introduced, in 
fact, to what Kleinert calls the Deuteronomistische 
Schriftstellerei, and realize how great must have 
been the effect of that great monument both of 
religion and of literature — the kernel of our Deuter- 
onomy. * 

On the historical value of Judges, the author speaks 
cautiously, following Dr. A. B. Davidson, who has re- 
marked {Expositor, Jan. 1887) on the different points 
of view in the narratives and in the framework, and 
who finds in the latter, not, strictly speaking, history, 
but rather the "philosophy of history." To this 
eminent teacher the author also appeals as having 
already pointed out the combination of different 
accounts of the same facts — a striking phenomenon 
which meets us in a still greater degree in the first 
part of Samuel. It was surely hardly necessary to 
do so. Support might have been more valuable for 
the ascription of the Song of Hannah to a later period, 
though here Dr. Driver is relatively conservative. 



The other poetical passages in Samuel have no 
special treatment. Still a generally correct impres- 
sion is given of the composition of our Samuel, and 
the praise given to " the most considerable part which 
appears plainly to be the work of a single author '' 
(2 Sam. ix. — xx., to which 1 Kings i.-ii. in the main 
belongs) is not at all too high. 

It strikes me however that in this chapter Dr. 
Driver does not show as much courage as in the pre- 
ceding one. Not to dwell on the cautious reserve 
with which he alludes to questions of historicity, I 
must regret that the duplicate narratives in Samuel 
are so treated, that some of the chief critical points 
are missed, and that the true character of the record 
does not fully appear. 

And how strange it is to read of 1 Samuel xxiv. 
and xxvi., that " whether the two narratives really 
relate to two different occasions, or whether they are 
merely different versions of the same occurrence, is a 
question on which probably opinion will continue to 
be divided" 1 (p. 171) ! 

Nor is anything said either of 1 Samuel xvi. 1 — 13 
(the anointing of David), 2 or of the prophecy of 
Nathan (2 Sam. vii.), except that the latter is included 
among the " relatively latest passages" (p. 173), where 
I am afraid that the reader may overlook it. The 
former passage was no doubt difficult to treat with- 

1 See Budde, Die Biicher Richter und Samuel, p. 227. 

2 It is less important that nothing is said on the " doublets," 
1 Sam. xxxi., 2 Sam. i. 1 — 16. 


out a somewhat fuller adoption of the principles which 
govern, and must govern, the critical analysis of the 
Hebrew texts. Nor can I help wondering whether 
there is the note of true " moderation " in the remark 
on 1 Kings xiii. 1 — 32, that it is "a narrative not 
probably of very early origin, as it seems to date 
from a time when the names both of the prophet 
of Judah and of the ' old prophet ' were no longer 
remembered" (p. 183). I turn to Klostermann, 
whom Professor Lias at the Church Congress of 1891 
extolled as the representative of common sense 
in literary criticism, and whose doctrinal orthodoxy 
is at any rate above suspicion, and find these 
remarks : — 

" The following narrative in its present form comes 
in the main from a book of anecdotes from the 
prophetic life of an earlier period with a didactic 
tendency, designed for disciples of the prophets. . . . 
It is probable that the reminiscence of Amos iii. 
14 ; vii. 16, 17 ; ix. 1, &c, influenced this narrative, 
as well as the recollection of Josiah's profanation of 
tlie sanctuary at Bethel" (2 Kings xxiii.). 

So then this narrative is later than the other Elijah 
narratives ; is, in fact, post-Deuteronomic. To the 
original writer of 2 . Kings xxii., xxiii., it was un- 
known. Obviously it occasioned the later insertion 
of 2 Kings xxiii. 16 — 18 (notice the apologetic interest 
in Lucian's fuller text of the Septuagint of v. 18). 
Why not say so plainly ? 

And why meet the irreverence of the remarks of 


Ewald and of Wellhausen on 2 Kings i. 1 (an irrever- 
ence which is only on the surface,' and is excused by 
manifest loyalty to historical truth) by the some- 
thing less than accurate statement that this chapter 
" presents an impressive picture of Elijah's inviolable 
greatness" (p. 185) ? 

I know that Dr. Driver will reply that he desired 
to leave historical criticism on one side. By so doing 
he would, no doubt, satisfy the author of the Impreg- 
nable Rock of Holy Scripture, who, if I remember 
right, tolerates literary, but not real historical, criti- 
cism. But Dr. Driver has already found in chapter i. 
that the separation cannot be maintained. Why 
attempt what is neither possible, nor (if I may say 
so) desirable, in chapter ii. ? Here let me pause for 
awhile ; the first section of my critical survey is at 
an end. But I cannot pass on without the willing 
attestation that the scholarly character of these two 
chapters is high, and that even the author's com- 
promises reveal a thoughtful and conscientious mind. 
May his work and mine alike tend to the hallowing 
of criticism, to the strengthening of spiritual faith, 
and to the awakening in wider circles of a more 
intelligent love for the records of the Christian 

1 See Ewald, History, iv. 112; Wellhausen, Die Composition 
des Hexateuchs, &c, pp. 284-5. The fundamental reverence 
of all Ewald's Biblical work is, I presume, too patent to be 
denied. He would not have spoken as he did on 2 Kings i. 
without good cause. 


DRIVER (2). 

I VENTURE by way of preface to express the hope 
that whatever I say here may be read in the light of 
the introductory pages of chapter xi. The book before 
us is not only full of facts but characterized by a 
thoroughly individual way of regarding its subject. 
This individuality I have endeavoured to sketch with 
a free but friendly hand. If the reader has not 
followed me in this, he may perhaps misinterpret the 
remarks which this part of my study contains. It is 
only worth while for me to differ from Dr. Driver 
because at heart I am at one with him, and on many 
important points we agree. And I am reconciled to 
a frequent difference of opinion both as a critic and 
to some extent as a theologian by the thought that 
in our common studies it is by the contact of trained 
and disciplined " subjectivities " that true progress is 

In the first two chapters of the Introduction, a part 
of which I have called " the gem of the book," Dr. 
Driver takes the student as near as possible to the 


centre of the problems. I do not think that this is 
equally the case throughout the remainder of the 
work. But I am very far from blaming the author 
for this relative inferiority of the following chapters. 
His narrow limits, which he refers to in the preface, 
go a long way towards accounting for this. And if 
I add another explanation which seems here and 
there to be applicable, it is not in the spirit of oppo- 
sition. Let me confess, then, that some problems of 
not inconsiderable importance are neglected, possibly 
because Dr. Driver's early formed linguistic habits of 
mind hinder him from fully grasping the data for 
their solution. The reader will see what I mean 

Let us now resume our survey. Chapter iiL 
relates to the very important Book of Isaiah. I need 
not say that it is a very careful and solid piece of 
work ; and yet nowhere, as it seems to me, do the 
limitations of Dr. Driver's criticism come more clearly 
into view. How inadequate, for instance, is his treat- 
ment of chap, i., the prologue, presumably, of a 
larger collection of Isaiah's prophecies ! Has it, or 
has it not, more than a literary unity ? The question 
is not even touched. And what is the date of its 
composition or redaction ? Two dates are mentioned, 
but without sufficient explanation, and no decision 
between them is made. 1 Is this a laudable "sobriety" 

1 The reference (p. 196, foot) to Gesenius, Delitzsch, and Dill- 
mann as having advocated this date is hardly correct. Gesenius 
says (Jesaia, i. 148), " For Jotharn I find no grounds, adduced," 

DRIVER. 295 

and "judicial reserve"? It would be an illusion to 
think so. And yet, even here there is an indication 
that the author has progressed since 1888. The 
curiously popular reason offered (but "without any 
confidence") in Isaiah, p. 20, for assigning this 
prophecy to the reign of Jotham is silently withdrawn. 
And just so (to criticize myself as well as the author) 
I have long ago ceased to assign Isaiah i. to the time 
of a supposed invasion of Judah by Sargon. I might 
of course fill many pages were I to follow Dr. Driver 
through the Book of Isaiah step by step. This 
being impossible, I will confine myself to the most 
salient points of his criticism. There is much to con- 
tent even a severe judge ; how excellent, for instance, 
are the remarks on the origin of Isaiah xv.-xvi.! Nor 
will I blame the author much for not alluding to 
what some may call hypercritical theories ; it is 
rather his insufficient reference to familiar and 
inevitable problems which I am compelled to regret. 
Nothing, for instance, is said of the difficult problem 
of Isaiah xix. 16 — 25. It may be urged by the author 
that Kuenen himself pronounces in favour of the 
integrity of the chapter, 1 and that such a careful 
scholar as Prof. Whitehouse has recently expressed 

Delitzsch (/«., p. 68), " The date of this first prophecy is a 
riddle," but at any rate it seems, he thinks, to belong to " the 
time after Uzziah and Jotham." Dillmann (Jes., p. 2) refers Isa. 
i. to the Syro-Ephraimitish war, but he states emphatically (p. 
63) that though the hostilities began under Jotham, they were 
not very serious till the reign of Ahaz, 
1 Qmiergoek, ii. 71, 72, 


his surprise at the continued doubts of some critics. 1 
That is true, but it should be added that Kuenen fully 
admits the strength of the critical arguments on the 
opposite side, and that Prof. Whitehouse pronounces 
judgment before he has fully heard the case. 

Nor can I help being surprised (in spite of the 
anticipatory "plea" offered in the preface) at Dr. 
Driver's incomplete treatment of Isaiah xxiii., and 
for the same reason, viz. that its problems are 
familiar ones. I will not here argue the case in 
favour of the theory of editorial manipulation. But 
among the stylistic phenomena which point to another 
hand than Isaiah's I may at least mention ^^^ 
(v. 11), a"*? and &*?? nTD 1 ; («,. I3 ), nMB (J. '18). 
And why should the unintelligent ridicule directed 
against so-called " divination " and " guesswork " 
prevent me from attaching weight to the impression 
of so many good critics that Isaiah never (if I may 
use the phrase) " passed this work for publication " ? 
Verses 15 — 18 are doubtless a post- Exilic epilogue 2 
(" doubtless " from the point of view of those who 
have already satisfied themselves of the existence of 
much besides that is post-Exilic in pre-Exilic works). 
Verse 13 is written by one who has both Isaiah's 
phrases and those of other writers in his head ; it may 
of course even be an Isaianic verse recast. Verses 

1 Critical Review, Jan. 1892, p. 10. The case for disintegra- 
tion is much stronger than this writer supposes, nor are the 
familiar arguments adduced by him conclusive. 

2 My own original view (in Isaiah Chronologically Arranged), 
from which I ought not to have swerved, 

DRIVER. 297 

i — 12, 14 are too fine (such is my own impression) for 
Jeremiah, and now that it is certain (see Niese's text 
of Josephus) that Menander, quoted in Jos., Ant. ix. 
14, 2, referred to Shalmaneser by name (SeAd/ni/ray) 
as the besieger of Tyre, there seems good reason to 
believe that Isaiah really wrote Isaiah xxiii. 1 — 14, 
but in a form not entirely identical with our present 
text. 1 

Thus much on Dr. Driver's treatment of the 
generally acknowledged prophecies of Isaiah. With 
a word of hearty praise to the useful criticism of 
chaps, xxxvi. — xxxix. (in which I only miss a reference 
to the debate as to the Song of Hezekiah), I pass on 
to that large portion of the book which is of disputed 
origin. Here I have been specially anxious to notice 
any signs of advance, for it is Dr. Driver's treatment 
of these chapters in his earlier book which prevents 
me from fully endorsing Dr. Sanday's eulogy of that 
work in the preface to Tlte Oracles of God. First of 
all, however, I must make some reference to a passage 
on which I have myself unwittingly helped to lead 
the author astray. It is one which most critics have 
denied to Isaiah and grouped with xiii. 1 — xiv. 23, but 
which, following Kleinert, I thought in 1881 might be 
reclaimed for that prophet by the help of Assyriology 
— the " oracle on the wilderness by the sea " (xxi. 

1 The adaptation of Isaiah's prophecy to post- Exilic readers 
will be like Isaiah's adaptation of an old prophecy on Moab in 
chaps, xv., xvi. (if Dr. Driver is right in agreeing with me, p. 203, 
which is, however, questionable). 


I — 10). Dr. Driver mentions (p. 205) the chief reasons 
for thinking that the siege of Babylon referred to in 
this passage is one of the three which took place in 
Isaiah's lifetime, and tells us that in his earlier work 
he followed me in adopting this theory, but adds that 
it has not found favour with recent writers on Isaiah. 
With these " recent writers " I myself now fully 
agree. I adopted Kleinert's (or, more strictly, George 
Smith's J ) theory as a part of a connected view' of a 
group of prophecies of Isaiah (including x. 5 — 33 and 
xxii. 1 — 14), and I understood the words " O my 
threshed and winnowed one" (xxi. 10) to refer to 
Sargon's supposed invasion of Judah. A change in 
my view of these prophecies, however, naturally led 
me to reconsider the date of the prophecy xxi. 1 — 10, 
which I now understand as written at the close of the 
Exile (" Elam " in v. 2 — " Anzan," of which Cyrus 
was king before he conquered Media). The strange 
thing to me is that Dr. Driver should ever have 
agreed with me : 1. because, as I warned the student, 
there were " reasons of striking plausibility " for not 
separating this prophecy from the other prophecies on 
Babylon which were undoubtedly not of Isaiah's age ; 
2. because Dr. Driver differed from me as to the reality 
of Sargon's supposed invasion, and had therefore a 
much less strong case to offer for the new theory. 
The truth is that the author was biassed by a false 
apologetic and an imperfect critical theory. Isa. xxi. 
I — 10 could hardly refer to the capture of Babylon 

1 Transactions of the Society of Biblical Archceology, ii. 329. 

DRIVER. 299 

in 538. Why? Because, "firstly, no intelligible 
purpose would be subserved by Isaiah's announcing 
to the generation of Hezekiah an occurrence lying 
nearly 200 years in the future," &c. {Introd. 205). In 
other words, Dr. Driver quietly assumes (inconsist- 
ently, I gladly admit, with his own words on Isaiah 
xiii. 2, &c.) that Isaiah xxi. 1 — 10 must be Isaiah's 
work, or, at least, that any other view is too improbable 
to mention. And in order to interpret the prophecy 
in accordance with an isolated part of Kleinert's and 
of my own former theory, he is forced to interpret " O 
my threshed one" in d. 10 as a prediction ("he 
foresees the sufferings which the present triumph of 
Assyria will entail upon them," &c, p. 205), whereas 
the only natural view of the words is that which 
explains them as descriptive of past sufferings. It is 
important to add that Dr. Driver seems now inclined 
to retreat from his former position (which was in the 
main my own), though he does not mention the 
mixture of Isaianic and non-Isaianic phenomena in 
the passage. Bishop Ellicott may perhaps be severe 
on our supposed changeableness. But if he will refer 
to my own Isaiah (ed. 3, vol. i. p. 127), he will find 
these words, " I gladly admit that a further knowledge 
of the circumstances of the Jews might conceivably 
enable us to reconcile the prophecy with a date at 
the close of the Exile." Here there was no dog- 
matism, no determination to treat the point as finally 
settled. And undue dogmatism is, I am sure, not less 
abhorrent to Dr. Driver than to myself. 


Next with regard to the more commonly contro- 
verted prophecies in Isaiah i. — xxxix. The remarks 
on Isaiah xiii. I — xiv. 23 are excellent. If they 
appear to any one somewhat popular and obvious, let 
it be remembered that this section is the first of those 
which are written from an Exilic point of view. It 
was therefore specially needful to be popular ; I only 
regret not to find it pointed out that whatever you 
say about the prophecy, to assign an ode like that in 
Isaiah xiv. 4 — 21 to Isaiah is the very height of un- 
reason. Dr. Driver's treatment of the other prophecies 
shows increased definiteness and insight. Chapters 
xxxiv. and xxxv. were not expressly dated in the 
Isaiah; they are now referred to the period of the 
Exile, and grouped with Isaiah xiii. 2, &c, and 
Jeremiah 1., li. This however is not a sufficient step 
in advance. Long ago (see Isaiah i. 194) 1 I ventured 
to maintain that these chapters are post-Exilic works 
of the imitative school of prophecy, and ten years 
have only deepened my convictions. Dr. Driver may 
indeed claim for his own view the high authority of 
Dillmann, who thinks that the phenomena of these 
chapters "bring us at any rate to the close of the 
Exile," but would it not have been well to give the 
grounds of that cautious critic's significant qualifi- 
cation {jedenfalls') ? Let us pass on now to chaps. 

1 See Ency. Brit., art. "Isaiah" (1881) ; Jewish Quarterly 
Review, July 1891, p. 102 ; Jan. 1892, p. 332 ; and cf. Dillmann, 
Jesaja, p. 302 ; Kuenen, Onderzoek, ii. 91 — 93 ; Gratz, Jewish 
Quarterly Review, Oct. 1891, pp. 1 — 8, 


xxiv. — xxvii. — a dangerous hunting-ground for young 
scholars in search of distinction, as Mr. W. E. Barnes 
has lately proved by his elaborate defence of Isaiah's 
authorship of these chapters against all modern critics 
(including among these even Delitzsch). 1 Dr. Driver 
himself, though not a young scholar, was led astray 
for a time by the same spirit of compromise which 
has so often injured him as a critic. In 1888 he was 
" disposed " (as he remarks, p. 209) " to acquiesce in 
the opinion that it might have been written on the 
eve of the Exile," a most unfortunate and scarcely 
critical opinion which isolated the author from his 
natural allies. The consequences of this violation 
of all historical probability has since then become 
visible to the author, who remarks that this prophecy 
" differs so widely from the other prophecies of this 
period (Jer. Ezek.) that this view can scarcely be 
maintained. There are features in which it is in 
advance not merely of Isaiah, but even of Deutero- 
Isaiah. It may be referred most plausibly to the 
early post-Exilic period" (p. 210). Well, perhaps it 
may— for the present. At any rate, Dr. Driver grants 
that a post-Exilic writing has found its way into the 
Book of Isaiah. I am not without hope that further 
study of the later prophetic writings and of the post- 

* Delitzsch, it is true, had not made himself fully at home in 
the results of that criticism to which he was so late a convert. 
He can only satisfy himself that the author is " not Isaiah him- 
self, but a disciple of Isaiah who here surpasses the master." 
But he is not only a disciple of Isaiah, but of other prophets too 
(see Dr. Driver's selection of allusions). 


Exilic period in general may convince him that he is 
still somewhat too cautious, and that the ideas of 
this singular but most instructive prophecy can only 
be understood as characteristic of the later Persian 
age. Far be it from any one to disparage this period. 
The Spirit of the Lord was not suddenly straitened ; 
the period of artificial prophecy (artificial from a 
literary point of view) was not without fine monu- 
ments of faith and hope and religious thought. But 
to carry this subject further would compel me to enter 
into the history of religious ideas, 1 and to exceed the 
limits of this review. 

And now we can no longer avoid applying to the 
author one of the crucial tests of criticism, and ask, 
How does he stand in relation to the critical problems 
of Isaiah xl. — lxvi. ? That Dr. Driver neither could nor 
would assign these chapters to Isaiah was indeed well 
known from his Isaiah, nor need I stint my eulogy of 
the general treatment of Isaiah xl. — lxvi. in that book 
as compared with most other popular works on the 
subject. Very heartily do I wish the Isaiah a long 
career of usefulness. For though unsophisticated 
common sense may recognize at once that these 
chapters can no more have been written by Isaiah 
than Psalm cxxxvii. can have been written by David, 
there are still, I fear, not many persons like " my 
friend A, who, reading more than twenty years ago 
the Book of the Prophet Isaiah, and passing without 

1 Comp. my Bampton Lectures, pp. 120, 133, 402, 403. 

DRIVER. 303 

pause from the 39th to the 40th chapter, was suddenly 
struck with amazement and the conviction that it was 
impossible that one man should have written both 
chapters." 1 In such a brilliantly intellectual paper 
as the Spectator it is still possible to read vehement 
defences of the unity of authorship, and who can 
wonder that less literary Bible-students, in spite of 
their " English common sense," cling to the same 
belief? It is very necessary therefore for some com- 
petent scholar like Dr. Driver to remedy, so far as he 
can, what may be called the sophistication of our 
native good sense. Still an older student of Isaiah 
xl. — lxvi. may be permitted to regret the imperfection 
of Dr. Driver's work. To treat Isaiah xl. — lxvi. as a 
"continuous prophecy," written from the same his- 
torical and religious standpoint, and dealing through- 
out with a common theme, is a retrograde policy 
which I cannot help lamenting. As long as this 
theory was advocated in a semi-popular work, it was 
possible to hold that Dr. Driver adopted it from 
educational considerations. There is, of course, no 
competent teacher who does not sometimes have to 
condescend to the capacities of his pupils. It is no 
doubt easier for a beginner to take in the view of 
what I have heard called the " dual authorship of the 
Book of Isaiah " than a more complicated, even though 
a sounder theory. But when the statements of Dr. 
Driver's Isaiah are repeated in a work which aims at 

2 From a letter signed " Hope " in the Times, Jan. 7, 1892. 


" representing the present condition of investigation," 
it becomes more difficult to account for them. For 
the progress of exegesis has revealed the fact that 
there are several striking breaks in the continuity, 
changes in the tone and the historical situation, modi- 
fications of the religious ideas. " Revealed " may seem 
a strong word, but the truth is that though some early 
critics had a glimpse of these facts, the knowledge 
was lost again in a very natural rebound from the 
pernicious extreme of the fanatical disintegrators. It 
was Ewald who rectified the new error of Gesenius 
and Hitzig, and the example of moderate disintegra- 
tion set by him was followed, not of course without 
very much variety of view, by Bleek, Geiger, Oort, 
Kuenen, Stade, Dillmann, Cornill, Budde, and in 
England by myself in 1881, and by Mr. G. A. Smith 
in 1890. The principal exegetical facts which require 
disintegration will be found in my own commentary 
on Isaiah (1880-1881), my own latest explanation of 
them in two published academical lectures. 1 I have 

1 See Jewish Quarterly Review, July and Oct. 1891. Budde 
approaches very near to me, confirming his view by his re- 
searches into the "elegiac rhythm" (Stade's Zt, 1891, p. 242). 
Those who wish for bolder theories may go to Kuenen and 
Cornill. The gradualness of Kuenen's advance adds special 
weight to his opinions. I will not deny the plausibility of his 
arguments, especially in the light of a more advanced view of 
the date of Job. But I can only write according to the light 
which I have at the time. [Duhm's masterly treatment of Isa. 
xl. — lxvi. in his commentary, which has lately appeared, will 
surely force a reconsideration of the subject, and put an end to 
the indifference of English critics. Nov. 1892.] 

DRIVER. 305 

no feverish anxiety to make converts ; I am perfectly 
willing to be converted to other theories by more 
acute and thorough critics than myself. But what is 
desirable is this : that the exegetical facts which so 
many trained critics have noticed should be recognized 
and critically explained by all earnest scholars, and 
that some credit both for priority among recent 
analysts and for caution and moderation should be 
awarded where it is due. Such remarks as these 
ought to be impossible in the principal literary organ 
of Anglican Churchmen : " We think that there is at 
present in some quarters [' another professor ' had 
been already indicated] a readiness to break up works 
on utterly insufficient grounds, which is almost wan- 
tonly provoking, and we are heartily glad that Dr. 
Driver gives no countenance whatever to such a 
proceeding." J 

The pretension here and elsewhere set up on behalf 
of Dr. Driver is doubtless most repugnant to that 
candid scholar, but it is, I fear, his own imperfect 
exhibition of the " present condition of investigation " 
which has produced the serious errors and illusions of 
a conscientious but ill-informed writer. 

I will now advance a step. It is in the interests, 
not only of criticism, but also of that very view of 
the " prophecy of restoration " which Dr. Driver him- 
self values so highly, that I venture to criticize his 
treatment of Isaiah xl. — lxvi. For although there is 

1 Guardian, Dec. 2, 1891 (p. 1953). 


much in these chapters which, as conservative scholars 
admit, may be taken to favour an Exilic date, there 
are also, as they rightly maintain, other phenomena 
which seem inconsistent with this date. Dr. Driver 
has, of course, an explanation for those phenomena 
which do not altogether suit him, and so, too, have 
his conservative opponents for those which do not 
suit them. It is impossible therefore that either side 
should gain an undisputed victory. 1 Seeing this, the 
moderate disintegrating critics intervene with an 
eirenicon ; why should not Dr. Driver join them, and 
claim for himself a share in the blessing of the 
peace-makers ? There is room enough for the 
linguistic and the rhythmical keys, as well as for that 
which I myself chiefly applied to these problems. 
But I will not dwell longer on this thorny subject. 

The next prophets in order are Jeremiah and 
Ezekiel. On these the " higher criticism " has less to 
say than on the Book of Isaiah. With regard to 
Jeremiah x. i — 16, Dr. Driver tells us that either it 
belongs to the latter part of Jeremiah's career, or it 
is the work of a prophet at the close of the Exile. 
But why hesitate ? Surely the two theories are not 
equally probable, and interesting as the linguistic 
remarks on the interpolated Aramaic verse (v. n) 

1 Even if it be granted that Isaiah xl. — lxvi. is not Isaiah's 
work, there is no absolute necessity to adopt Dr. Driver's view. 
For it may be asked, May not the prophecy be a work of the 
restoration-period t (So not only Seinecke but Isidore Loeb, 
Revue des e"tudes juives, juillet-sept. 1891.) My own answer, of 
course, is ready ; but what can Dr. Driver say ? 

DRIVER. 307 

may be, are they not somewhat out of place ? At 
any rate the facts want a little more theory to 
illuminate them. Nor are they complete. If NfDN 
occurs in x. 1 1 a, is not the ordinary form NSTM found 
in x. 11 b ? And does not the less usual form occur 
in the Midrashim (e. g. Ber. R. 13)? Moreover, 
does not the suffix Din deserve mention ? It agrees 
with the Aramaic part of Ezra, but not with that of 
Daniel 1 (which always gives pn). I do not (as the 
reader will see later) undervalue linguistic data ; but 
would not these particular facts have been more in 
place in the great forthcoming Hebrew Dictionary ? 
And why is there no reference to Mr. Ball's somewhat 
elaborate discussion of chap. x. in his contribution to 
the Expositor's Bible ? 2 Consider how much else 
has been " crowded out.'' For instance, though 
perhaps enough is said of the two texts of Jeremiah 
(Dr. Driver, on the whole, prefers the Hebrew ; 
Cornill the Greek text), there is no sufficient dis- 
cussion of the method and plan of Jeremiah's editor, 
rior are any hints given with regard to possible inter- 
polations other than those to which the Septuagint 
can guide us (e.g. xvii. 19 — 27). Another interesting 
question (raised by Schwally) is that of the authorship 
of Jeremiah xxv. and xlvi. — li. Though Jeremiah 
l.-li. is fully admitted (on grounds which supplement 

1 Mr. Bevan omits to notice this point in his excellent work 
on Daniel (p. 36). 

2 Mr. Ball's Jeremiah has escaped the notice of the author, 
who takes such pleasure in recognizing English work. 


those given in 1885 in my Pulpit Commentary) to 
be Exilic, the larger problem is not referred to. On 
the contents of Ezekiel, too, much more might have 
been said. There are difficulties connected with the 
question of Ezekiel's editorial processes — difficulties 
exaggerated by a too brilliant Dutch scholar (A. 
Pierson), and yet grave enough to be mentioned. 
But of course a difference of judgment as to the 
selection of material is occasionally to be expected. 
At any rate, valuable help is given on Ezekiel xl. — 
xlviii., which, by an instructive exaggeration, some 
one has called " the key to the Old Testament." * It 
remains for some future scholar to rediscover this 
great pastor, patriot, and prophet. 2 

The Minor Prophets are by no means all of them 
either of minor importance or of minor difficulty. 3 
In some cases, it is true, the date and authorship are 
on the whole free from difficulty. Hence in treating 
of Hosea, Amos, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, 
Haggai, and Malachi, it is the contents and special 
characteristics of the books to which Dr. Driver 
mainly directs his attention. Not that there are no 
critical questions of any moment {e.g. the question of 

1 J. Orth, ap. Wellhausen, Prolegomena, p. 447. 

2 Prof. Davidson's Ezekiel (in the Cambridge Biblical series) 
has not yet (November 1892) come into my hands. 

3 I venture to regret that no mention is made of Renan's 
interesting study on the Minor Prophets in the Journal des 
savants, Nov. 1888. Renan may have great faults, but cannot 
be altogether ignored. Taylor's Text of Micah (1891) might 
also claim mention. [Wellhausen's small but important work, 
Die kleinen Propheten, has just come to hand, Nov. 1892.] 

DRIVER. 309 

interpolations or later insertions), but, as a rule, 
they are of a class in which the author is not as yet 
much interested. It were ungracious to touch upon 
them here, except in the case of Habakkuk iii. In 
omitting all criticism of the heading of this ode, or 
psalm, Dr. Driver seems to me inconsistent with 
himself; for though he leaves the authorship of the 
" Song of Hezekiah " unquestioned, he has no scruple 
in holding that the psalm in Jonah ii. was not the 
work of Jonah. 1 In the " present state of critical 
investigation " it has become almost equally difficult 
to defend tradition in any one of these cases. 
Certainly neither the expressions nor the ideas of 
Habakkuk iii. agree with those of Habakkuk i., ii. ; 
they favour a post-Exilic rather than a pre-Exilic 
date. The most reasonable view is that both the 
psalms of Hezekiah and that of Habakkuk once 
formed part of a liturgical collection (cf. Hab. iii. 19, 
Isa. xxxviii. 20). 2 Had Dr. Driver omitted the 
reference on page 283 to a bold conjecture of Prof 
Sayce, 3 he would have gained more than enough space 
for some mention of this important critical point. 
He might also have gracefully referred to Mr. Sinker's 
Psalm of Habakkuk (1890). I venture to add that 
caution is carried too far when the date of Nahum is 

1 On the date of this psalm, cf. my Bampton Lectures, p. 127. 

2 So Stade and Kuenen ; see also my Bampton Lectures, pp. 
125 (top), 156, 157, 210, 214, and Isaiah, i. 228-9. 

3 For which, besides Dr. Driver's references, see Babylonian 
and Oriental Record, ii. iS — 22. 


placed between B.C. 664 and 607. The prophecy 
must, it would seem, have been written either circa 
B.C. 660 (as, following Schrader, Tiele and myself 
dated it in 1888), or circa 623, the date of the first 
campaign of Cyaxares against Assyria (as recently 
both Kuenen and Cornill). 

The other Minor Prophets are considerably more 
difficult. Obadiah, for instance, well deserves a 
closer investigation. Dr. Driver's treatment of the 
book is, as far as it goes, excellent. On Obadiah 
1 — 9 he adopts the most critical view, viz. that 
Obadiah here takes for his text a much older 
prophecy, which is also reproduced with greater 
freedom in Jeremiah xlix. 7 — 22. But he makes no 
attempt to fix the period of the prophecy more 
precisely. I will not presume to censure him for this. 
But if the book was to carry out the promises of the 
programme, I venture to think that the two views 
which are still held ought to have been mentioned, 
viz. (1) that Obadiah wrote soon after the destruction 
of Jerusalem by Nebuchadrezzar (Schrader, Riehm, 
Meyrick) ; and (2) that his date is some time after 
the re-establishment of the Jews in their own land 
(Kuenen, Cornill). 1 The latter view seems to me to 
be required by a strict exegesis. 

There is also another omission of which I would 

1 Schwally's view should also perhaps have been, however 
briefly, referred to. See his study on Zephaniah, in Stade's 
Zt., x. 225, note. He makes vv. I — 18 Exilic, vv. 19 — 21 post- 

DRIVER. 3 1 1 

gently complain. Dr. Driver undertakes to give 
some account of the contents of the several books. 
But here he omits one most important feature of 
Obadiah's description, which I venture to give from a 
critical paper of my own (printed in 1881) which has 
escaped the notice of Dr. Driver. 

" One very singular feature requires explanation. 
The captives of the northern kingdom are not to 
settle in their old homes ; their kinsmen of the 
southern tribes have expanded too much for this. 
They are therefore compensated by the gift of that 
border-land, which had never as yet been thoroughly 
conquered, ' the cities of the Canaanites as far as 
Zarephath ' (this is the most probable view of the 
first half of v. 20) — they became, in fact, the guardians 
of the northern marches just as the captives of Judah 
are the keepers of the southern. Tyre is excepted, 
for a great future is reserved for Tyre (Isa. xxiii. 17, 
18). But in speaking of the captives of Judah we 
must draw a distinction. The guardians of the 
' south-country ' (the Negeb, or ■ dry land ') are, not 
the mass of the captives of Israel, but those ' who are 
in Sepharad.' " * 

Now, what is " Sepharad " ? If this had nothing to 
do with the date of the book, Dr. Driver might 
simply have referred to a dictionary of the Bible. 
But it has very much indeed to do with it, and Prof. 
Sayce may justly complain of the author for this 

1 "The Book of Obadiah," Homiletic Quarterly, Jan. 1881, 
pp. 114— 117. 


neglect of archaeological evidences. I am aware of 
the diversity of opinion which exists among scholars 
as to the locality of " Sepharad " ; the evidence and 
the arguments lie before me. But it is clear that if 
the prophecy, as it stands, is post-Exilic, we can 
hardly help identifying " Sepharad " with Cparda, the 
name of a province of the Persian empire, which 
stands between Cappadocia and Ionia in the inscrip- 
tion of Darius at Naksh-i-Rustam. 1 What now 
becomes the most natural view of the date of the 
prophecy ? When can there have been a captive- 
band from Jerusalem in Phrygia or Lydia ? The 
earliest possible time known to us is about B.C. 351, 
when Artaxerxes Ochus so cruelly punished the 
participation of the Jews in the great revolt. I have 
remarked elsewhere that this was " the third of Israel's 
great captivities," 2 and have referred various psalms 
to the distress and embitterment which it produced. 
It is very noteworthy that the prophet nowhere 
mentions either the Chaldeans or Babylon. Also that 
Joel iii. 6 refers to " children of Judah and of Jeru- 
salem" as having been sold to the "sons of the 
Javanites" (Ionia was close to Cparda = Sepharad). 
Now Joel, as Dr. Driver and I agree, is post-Exilic, 

1 See Records of the Past, v. 70 (where however " Sparta " is 
an incorrect identification of " Q parda "). On " Sepharad," 
Lassen, Spiegel, Oppert, Sayce, but especially Schrader, have 
learnedly discoursed. See the latter's The Cuneiform Inscrip- 
tions, &c. (by Whitehouse) on Obad. 20, and his Keilschriften 
und Geschichtsforschung, pp. 116 — 119. 

2 Bampton Lectures for 1889, p. 53 ; cf. p. 229. 

DRIVER. 313 

and appears to refer in ii. 32 to Obad. 17. Is all this 
of no importance to the student ? I cannot think so, 
provided that the critic also points out the religious 
elements which give vitality to this little prophecy. 

Here let me remind the reader that I am no 
opponent of Professor Driver. Most gladly would I 
have given him unmingled thanks for all the good 
that is in his book. I am only hindered from doing 
so by those very serious misapprehensions of the 
public, which I have endeavoured to combat, and to 
which, in one respect, the editors of the " Library " 
have unintentionally contributed. It was perhaps 
specially difficult for Professor Driver to explain the 
prevailing tendency of critical opinion on the Minor 
Prophets because of the attention naturally directed 
in the Anglican Church to the successor of Dr. Pusey, 
a scholar who not only worthily summed up and 
closed a philological period, but represented a school 
of orthodoxy which is still powerful among us. Dr. 
Driver would not, I believe, say that he has as yet 
given us all that he hopes to know about Joel. This 
little book is one of those which suffer most by a 
separate treatment, and every advance which we make 
in our study of the other post-Exilic writings must 
react (as I have shown in one case already) on our 
view of Joel. But what Dr. Driver does give us is 
excellent ; I only miss the definite statement (which 
is surely a necessary inference from the facts pro- 
duced) that the Book of Joel is at any rate hardly 
earlier than the age of Nehemiah (i. e. the second half 


of the fifth century). 1 It might also have been 
mentioned that the early Jewish doctors were rather 
for than against a late date for Joel. 2 

I now come to a book which, by the common 
consent of sympathetic readers, is one of the most 
beautiful in the Old Testament Canon — the Book of 
Jonah. It is also however one of the most contro- 
verted, and one cannot but admire the quiet dignity 
with which Dr. Driver sets forth his own free but 
devout critical views. In the first place, as to the 
date. By four (or rather five) 3 arguments uncon- 
nected with the extraordinary character of the story, 
it is shown that the book finds its only natural home 
in the post-Exilic period. I think myself that we 
might go further, and that from a fuller study of the 
literature and history of the post-Exilic period, and 
also (if I may say so) of psalm-criticism, Dr. Driver 
may obtain a still more definite solution of the 
critical problem. But the main point has been settled 
beyond dispute. It remains however to determine 

1. What the didactic purpose of the book is, and 

2. Whether, or to what extent, the narrative is 
historical. On the latter point Dr. Driver says that 
" quite irrespectively of the miraculous features in the 
narrative, it must be admitted that . . it is not strictly 
historical," but also that — " No doubt the materials 

1 So Merx, Kuenen, Cornill, and Prof. Robertson Smith. On 
the linguistic argument see further on. 

2 See Rosenzweig, Das Jahrhundert nach dem bob. Exile, 
p. 45. 3 See Note i, p. 301. 

DRIVER. 3 1 5 

of the narrative were supplied to the author by 
tradition, and rest ultimately upon a basis of fact : no 
doubt the outlines of the narrative are historical, and 
Jonah's preaching was actually successful at Nineveh 
(Luke xi. 30, 32), though not upon the scale repre- 
sented in the book " (p. 303). 1 

May I be allowed gently to criticize the latter 
statement, which yields too much to stationary 
thinkers like Bishop Ellicott ? The author speaks 
here as if, whenever the Saviour "referred in appear- 
ance to historical individuals, He necessarily believed 
Himself that the persons named were actually his- 
torical. This in Sir Philip Sidney's time appears to 
have been commonly held ; for in mentioning the 
story of the rich man and Lazarus 2 he apologetically 
refers to " the learned divines " who account the 
narrative to be a parable. But what necessity is 
there for this view with regard to Christ's words in 
Luke xi. 30, 32 ? Considering how temporary and 
therefore how superficial the " repentance " of the 
Ninevites (if historical) must have been, and how 
completely different was the repentance which Christ 
demanded, it becomes surely the most natural view 
that Jesus Christ interpreted the story as an instructive 
parable. We cannot indeed prove this ; and even if 
He did, with His wonderful spiritual tact, so interpret 
it, we cannot be sure that He would have communi- 

1 So Prof. A. B. Davidson calls this book "a historical 
episode" (Expositor, v. 161). 

2 An Apologie for Poetrie (Arber), p. 35. 


cated His interpretation to His dull disciples, on 
whom probably the distinction between history and 
quasi-historical didactic fiction would have been lost. 
I venture also to object that Dr. Driver's reference 
to the New Testament will give offence to many 
young men who, without being in the least undevout, 
desire to study the Old Testament historically. He 
who would guide this best class of students must not 
even seem to be biassed by a disputable theological 
theory respecting the knowledge of the Saviour. To 
me it appears in the highest degree probable that 
the story of the Book of Jonah is not merely not in 
all points, but not in any point, historical, and I have 
on my side such a moderate and orthodox critic as 
Riehm. 1 The romantic form of literature which 
flourished among the later Jews must have had a 
beginning ; Tobit cannot have been its first specimen. 
It also appears to me more than probable that 
there is a mythic element in the story of Jonah. I 
do not mean that this story is itself a popular myth, 
but that, as I showed in 1877, 2 the author of " Jonah '' 
(like the writer of Jeremiah li. 34, 44) adopted a well- 
known Oriental mode of expression, based upon a 
solar myth. 3 Bishop Ellicott, whom I meet with 

1 Riehm, Einleitung, ii. 167 (" eine reine Dichtung "). 

2 See Theological Review, 1877, pp. 211 — 219. 

3 The late Prof. Elmslie once expressed the hope that Boehme's 
theory of the combination in the book of Jonah of divergent 
versions might be established, and so put out of court the 
notion that the Book is a pure allegory {Expositor, vii. 399). 
It is, as most good critics agree, a narrative in the style of the 

DRIVER. 317 

regret as an opponent, thinks this view dishonouring 
to the Bible. To the younger generation however 

midrash, attached to the name of the prophet mentioned in 2 
Kings xiv. 25. Budde indeed has ably supported the conjecture 
that it is a fragment of the midrash of the Book of Kings, 
which forms the chief source of Chronicles (Stade's Zt., 1892, 
p. 37, &c). My own contribution consists in pointing out the 
mythic element in the story. I do not mean that the story is 
itself directly mythical. As H. Zimmern has lately said, the 
school which professed to discover in every form of early legend 
the reflection of a natural phenomenon has had its day ; Gold- 
ziher, I am certain, would now abandon the greater part of his 
Hebrew Mythology. But just as Zimmern maintains that the 
poet who composed the Blessing of Jacob (Gen. xlix.) utilized 
material which was ultimately of mythic origin, so I hold that 
the form of the story of Jonah was partly suggested by a 
Babylonio-Israelitish expression of mythic origin. That the 
writer of the Book of Jonah knew the mythic meaning I do not 
assert. Neither is it at all necessary to suppose that the Second 
Isaiah and the author of Job knew the meaning of the mythic 
expressions which they have used. 

I venture to refer here to Jer. li. 3 1, 44, which possibly furnished 
the author of " Jonah " with the basis of his story, and " supplies 
a missing link between the Jonah-story and the original myth." 
" Like the latter, it describes the destroyer as ' the dragon ' ; like 
the former, it converts both destroyer and destroyed into symbols '' 
(article "Jonah," Theological Review, 1877, p. 217). Israel, in 
short, is swallowed up by Nebuchadrezzar as by "a dragon." 
For the Babylonian myth of the Serpent, who in the fight with 
Marduk devoured the tempest, see Transactions of Soc. of 
Biblical Archeology, vol. iv. part 2, appendix, plate 6 ; and for 
a translation of part of it, my Pulpit-comm. on feremiah (1885), 
ii. 293. Comp. also Smith's Chaldcean Genesis, ed. Sayce, pp. 
112 — 114, and my fob and Solomon, pp. 76, 77; also H. C. 
Trumbull, "Jonah in Nineveh," Journal of Biblical Lit., vol. 
xi. part 1, where the story of Jonah is regarded as providentially 
arranged so as to seem credible to believers in the fish-god 
Oannes (=Jonah). 


who have felt the fascination of myths, the word 
which has dropped from the Bishop's pen in con- 
nection with myself J will appear strangely misplaced. 
They will be well pleased at the discovery that the 
story of Jonah (like that of Esther) contains an 
element of mythic symbol. They will reverence its 
writer as one of those inspired men who could 
convert mythic and semi-mythic stories and symbols 
into vehicles of spiritual truth. Dr. Driver, it is true, 
is not on my side here. He timidly refers to the 
allegoric theory, without himself adopting it, and 
even without mentioning how I have completed the 
theory by explaining the allegoric machinery. Still, 
what Dr. Driver does say (p. 302) as to the aim of 
the Book of Jonah is in itself excellent, and may, 
without violence, be attached to the mythic-allegoric 
theory. The story of Jonah did in fact teach the 
Jews " that God's purposes of grace are not limited to 
Israel alone, but are open to the heathen as well, if 
only they abandon their sinful courses, and turn to 
Him in true penitence." And I think these words 
may be illustrated and confirmed by a passage from 
my own discussion of the relation of the Jewish 
Church to heathen races. " The author [of Jonah] 
belongs to that freer and more catholic school, which 
protested against a too legalistic spirit, and he fully 
recognizes (see Jonah iv. 2) that the doctrine of Joel 
ii. 12 applies hot merely to Israel, but to all nations. 

1 Christus Comprobator, p. 186. 

DRIVER. 319 

He is aware too that Israel (typified by Jonah ' the 
dove') cannot evade its missionary duty, and that 
its preaching should be alike of mercy and of 
justice." 1 

There still remain Micah and Zechariah. Both 
books are treated with great fulness, and with results 
which fairly represent the present state of opinion. I 
would gladly quote from both sections, but especially 
from that on Micah. On Micah iv. 10 the author 
agrees with me that the words, "and thou shalt go 
even to Babylon," are an interpolation. This is a 
brave admission, though the author does not 
recognize the consequence which follows from this 
for the criticism of Isaiah xxxix. 6, 7. 2 On Micah 
vi., vii. (later additions), able as the author's criticisms 
are, they are lacking in firmness. In the Zechariah 
section, the great result is attained, that not only 
Zechariah i. — viii., but also Zechariah ix. — xi., and xii. 
— xiv., come to us from post-Exilic times. Not that 
Dr. Driver, like another able philologist, Professor G. 
Hoffmann, 3 goes back to the old view of the unity of 
authorship — a plurality of authors is evidently implied 

1 Bampton Lectures for 1889, pp. 294-5. Why is Israel 
called Jonah ? Because Israel's true ideal is to be like, not the 
eagle, but the dove. See my note on Ps. Ixviii. 14 (end), and 
comp. a beautiful passage in Links and Clues, p. 113. 

2 Nothing in Dillmann's note on Isaiah, I.e., affects the main 
points urged in my own commentary. For my matured opinion 
on Micah iv. 10, and a vindication of its essential reverence, 
see my note in the small Cambridge edition of Micah. 

3 Hiob ( 1 891), p. 34, note. 


by his remarks ; nor yet that he accepts the some- 
what radical theory of Stade, published in his 
Zeitschrift in 1881-82. He holds that in Zechariah 
ix. — xi. we have a post-Exilic prophecy, which was 
modified in details, and accommodated to a later 
situation by a writer who lived well on in the post- 
Exilic period. This is substantially the view which I 
have already put forward, and to which Kuenen has 
independently given his high authority. Nor ought 
I to pass over the fact that though Stade has done 
more than any one for the spread of a similar view, 
my own theory was expounded at length by myself 
in 1879, in a paper read before the Taylerian Society, 
and briefly summarized in the same year in print in 
the Theological Review}- Dr. Driver is so kind as to 
refer to this paper, which only lately reached publi- 
cation. For this I thank him. There is too little 
recognition of work done by Englishmen in darker 
days, before criticism began to be fashionable. But 
the greater becomes my regret at Dr. Driver's 
neglect of similar work of mine, which also stands 
chronologically at the head of a movement, on Isaiah 
xl. — lxvi. 2 

1 See Theological Review, 1879, p. 284 ; Jewish Quarterly 
Review, 1889, pp. 76 — 83. I must add that Professor Robertson 
Smith said in 1881 that he had long held Zechariah xii. — xiv. 
to be post-Exilic, and that Stade had convinced him that 
Zechariah ix. — xii. was of the same period ( The Prophets of Israel, 
p. 412). 

2 I ought however to add that my articles receive a bare 
mention in the addenda to Dr. Driver's second edition. 

DRIVER. 321 

The remaining six chapters of the Introduction 
relate to the Kethubim or Hagiographa. May they 
be widely read, and stir up some students to give 
more attention to these precious monuments of the 
inspired Church-nation of Israel ! Prefixed are some 
excellent pages on Hebrew poetry, in which some 
will miss a reference to Budde's important researches 
on the elegiac rhythm (the omission is repaired on p. 
429). After this, we are introduced to the first of the 
Hagiographa, according to our Hebrew Bibles — the 
Book of Psalms. Surely there is no book in the 
Canon on which an Anglican Churchman and a 
member of a cathedral chapter may more reasonably 
be expected to throw some light than the Psalter. 
It must however be remembered that Dr. Driver's 
space is limited. He has only twenty-three pages — 
all too few to expound the facts and theories to 
which the Christian apologist has by degrees to 
accommodate himself. Let no one therefore quarrel 
with the author, if on the religious bearings of his 
criticism he withholds the help which some students 
will earnestly desire ; and let it be also remembered 
that Dr. Driver is one of a band of scholars who 
supplement each other's work, and that every good 
special work on the Psalms which in any large degree 
deviates from tradition supplies (or should supply) 
some part of the apologetic considerations which are 
here necessarily omitted. He had only twenty-three 
pages ! But how full these pages are of accurate and 
(under the circumstances) lucidly expounded facts ! 


Nor is this all. His critical argument, though as a 
whole far less cogent than it might have been, opens 
up instructive glimpses of the actual condition of 
investigation. How difficult his task was, I am 
perhaps well qualified to judge, and the regret which 
I feel at some undue hesitation in his criticism is 
as nothing to my pleasure at the large recognition of 

For there is in fact no subject on which it is so easy 
to go wrong as in the criticism of the Psalter. It is 
to be feared that English scholars in general do not 
take up the inquiry at the point to which it has been 
brought by previous workers. 1 Other persons may 
find, in facts like these, nothing to regret. I confess 
that I do myself regret them very much. Criticism 
appears to me a historical and a European movement, 
and I am sure that this view is endorsed by the editors 
of this " international and interconfessional " series. 
But let me hasten to add that I do not feel this regret 
in reading Dr. Driver on the Psalms. He does not, 
indeed, tell us much about his method of research ; 
the plan of his work forbade him to exhibit his results 
genetically. But on pages 360 — 362 he gives hints of 
great value to students, on which I will only offer this 
remark — that with all his love for the Hebrew 
language he cannot bring himself to say that the 

1 I am thinking of Profs. Kirkpatrick and Sanday, and many 
recent reviewers. In contrast to these stands Prof. Robertson 
Smith, whose article " Psalms " (Enc. Brit, 1886) is still the best 
general introduction to the subject. [This has been reproduced 
in the new edition of OTJC ; see above, pp. 219 — 224.] 

DRIVER. 323 

linguistic argument is a primary one (to this point I 
may return later). One thing at least is certain, that 
the author is not in that stage represented provision- 
ally by Professor Kirkpatrick, when "internal evidence, 
whether of thought, or style, or language," seems to 
be "a precarious guide," and when the student who 
has become sceptical of the titles of the Psalms feels 
that he is " launched upon a sea of uncertainty." 1 

But to proceed to details. One of the most 
important things for Dr. Driver to bring out was the 
composite origin of the Psalter. At the very outset 
we are met by the fact that in the Hebrew Bible 
(comp. the Revised English Version) the Psalter 
is divided into five books. Four of these books are 
closed by a doxology, which Dr. Driver explains by 
the custom of Oriental authors and transcribers to 
close their work with a pious formula (p. 345). But 
how strange it is, on this theory, that the Psalter itself 
is not closed by such a formula, but only certain 
divisions of the Psalter ! If the doxologies are 
expressions of personal piety, the fact that Psalm cl. 
is a liturgical song of praise constitutes no reason for 
the omission of a closing doxology. And when we 
examine the doxologies more closely, we find that 
they all have a pronounced liturgical character. 2 This 
is of some consequence for the controversy with 
traditionalistic writers on the Psalms. Next comes 

1 Kirkpatrick, The Psalms : Book /., Introd. p. xxxi. 

2 See Bampton Lectures for 1 889, p. 457, and cf. Abbott, Essays 
on the Original Texts (1891), p. 222. 


the great fact of the existence of internal groups, 
marked by the headings ; Dr. Driver sums up the 
best that has been said in a small space. On the 
titles he is somewhat tantalizing; a disproportionate 
amount of space is given to the demolition of the 
historical value of the title " To David " as a record of 
authorship. At least, my own feeling is that the 
small-print illustrations on pp. 353 — 355 could have 
been omitted, and that the author should have trusted 
to the natural impression of an honest reader of the 
Psalms. At any rate, no one who has followed Dr. 
Driver thus far can doubt that, in Prof. Robertson 
Smith's words, " not only are many of the titles 
certainly wrong, but they are wrong in such a way 
as to prove that they date from an age to which 
David was merely the abstract psalmist, and which 
had no idea whatever of the historical conditions of 
his age." 

There are three points which I should have been 
specially glad to see mentioned. First, that the 
Septuagint differs considerably from the Hebrew text 
in its psalm-titles. A careful study of the Greek 
titles would be most illuminative to the ordinary 
student. Secondly, that in order properly to criticize 
the ascription of any particular psalm, the student 
must first of all obtain a historical view of the picture 
of David in different ages, beginning with that 
disclosed by a critical study of the Books of Samuel, 
and ending with that in the Books of Chronicles. 1 

1 To what absurdities an uncompromising defence of the 

DRIVER. 325 

More especially he must to some extent assimilate a 
free (but not therefore undevout) criticism of the two 
former books. Dr. Driver's work does not give as 
much help as could be wished in this respect, but his 
results on the " Davidic " psalms really presuppose 
a critical insight into the David-narratives. And 
thirdly, something should, I think, have been said 
about the titles of Psalms vii. and xviii.; — of the 
former, because conservative scholars maintain that 
the mention of the otherwise unknown " Cush " proves 
the great antiquity of the title, or at any rate of the 
tradition embodied therein, 1 and of the latter, because 
of its unusual fulness, and because the psalm occurs 
again in a somewhat different recension with almost 
exactly the same title near the end of the second 
Book of Samuel, which latter circumstance has been 
supposed greatly to increase the probability of the 
accuracy of the title. 2 With regard to the former title, 
it ought to be admitted that " Cush " is no Hebrew 
proper name ; there must be a corruption in the text. 3 

psalm-titles can lead, will be seen from M. de Harlez's article on 
the age of the Psalms {Dublin Review), July 1891. 

1 So Delitzsch, followed by Prof. Kirkpatrick. 

2 M. de Harlez thinks that " if we choose to look upon the 
testimony of 2 Kings (Sam.) xxii. as false, then the whole Bible 
must be a gigantic falsehood, and there is no use troubling 
ourselves about it " (Dubl. Rev., July 1891, p. 76). 

3 Cornill {EM,, p. 208, proposes to read " Cushi " (following 
Sept.'s Xouctei) ; but the episode of " Cushi " (see 2 Sam. xviii.) 
was surely most unlikely to have been thought of. The 
corruption must lie deeper. " A Benjamite " certainly looks as 
if intended to introduce a person not previously known (other- 


With regard to the latter, it can hardly be doubted 
that it comes from some lost narrative of the life of 
David, which on critical grounds can hardly be placed 
earlier than the reign of Josiah. 1 (There seems to be 
no reason for thinking that the editor of the " Davidic " 
psalter took it from Samuel.) 

The result of the argument against the universal 
accuracy of the title " To David " is thus summed up 
by Dr. Driver — "Every indication converges to the 
same conclusion, viz. that the ' Davidic ' psalms spring, 
in fact, from many different periods of Israelitish 
history, from the period of David himself downwards ; 
and that in the varied moods which they reflect . . . 
they set before us the experiences of many men, and 
of many ages of the national life '' (p. 355). 

It is however scarcely possible to say that this 
inference is logical. It is, of course, an idea which 
involuntarily suggests itself at the point which Dr. 
Driver's argument has reached, but it is not a 
legitimate " conclusion " from the data which have 

wise, as Delitzsch remarks, we should have "■the Benjamite "). 
But such a person would be sure to have his father's or some 
ancestor's name given. The Targum substitutes for Cush, 
" Saul, the son of Kish." But Saul is a well-known person, and 
elsewhere in the titles has no appendage to his name. Shimei, 
who reviled David, might be thought of, but he is called (2 Sam. 
xix. 16) "Shimei, son of Gera, the Benjamite." The conjecture 
adopted in Bampt. Led., pp. 229 — 243 alone remains. " Targum 
sheni " on Esther expressly credits David with a prevision of 
Mordecai (cf. Cassel, Esther, p. 299). I hesitate between this 
conjecture and the preceding one. 
1 Cf. Bampton Lect., p. 206 (foot). 

bfclVER. %2'J 

as yet been brought forward, and to dally with it 
disturbs the mind, which henceforth has to contend 
with a conscious or unconscious bias. The author 
however still strives hard to reason fairly. " The 
majority of the ' Davidic' psalms," he says, "are thus 
certainly not David's ; is it possible to determine 
whether any are his ? " (p. 355.) 

He then examines the evidence respecting David's 
musical and poetical talents. Here he is less tender 
to conservatism than I should have expected. He 
gives no testimony to David's composition of religious 
poetry earlier than the Chronicler 1 (about 300 B.C.) ; it 
is only later on, in connexion with criteria of David's 
poetical style, that the poems in 2 Samuel xxii. ( = Ps. 
xviii.) and xxiii. 1 — 7 are referred to. He says, too, 
that even if David did compose liturgical poems, this 
would not account for his authorship of more than a 
very few of the " Davidic " psalms, most of the psalms 
ascribed to David not being adapted (at least in the 
first instance) for public worship. This remark seems 
not very cogent, especially when limited by what 
is said afterwards respecting the " representative 
character " of many psalms. What we really want, 
is something that Dr. Driver could not, consistently 
with his plan, give us ; viz. a statement of the grounds 
on which psalms similar to those which we possess 
can (or cannot) be supposed to have existed prior 

1 At first I wrongly inferred from this that Dr. Driver regarded 
the poems in 2 Sam. xxii. and xxiii. as post-Exilic, which is at 
least a plausible view (see Cornill, Einl, p. 1 19). 


to the regenerating activity of Isaiah and his fellow- 
prophets (if indeed they can historically be imagined 
at all in the pre- Exilic period). 1 Prof. A. B. Davidson 
will, I presume, endeavour to supply the omission irj 
his eagerly expected Old Testament Theology. 

One group of interesting facts is relegated by the 
author to a footnote (pp. 356, 357). Among the 
Jews who returned from Babylon in B.C. 536, the con- 
temporary register (Neh. vii. 44= Ezra ii. 41) includes 
148. (128) "sons of Asaph, singers" (they are dis- 
tinguished from "the Levites"). On the other hand, 
there is no allusion whatever to a special class of 
temple-singers in the pre-Exilic narratives. It seems 
to follow that the official singers cannot have been 
very prominent before the Exile. I should like to 
have seen this more developed ; the footnote will be 
obscure to some readers. But of course the strength 
of the argument for the late date of the Psalms is 
wholly apart from " doubtful disputations " respecting 
pre-Exilic music and singing. I will only add that 
Jeremiah xxxiii. 1 1 ought hardly to have been quoted 
as an evidence for the early existence of a class of 
singers (for those who blessed Jehovah were not 
necessarily temple-officers), but in relation to the 
probable contents of pre-Exilic psalms. 

-Dr. Driver's remarks on Ewald's cesthetic criteria of 
really Davidic psalms are on the whole very just. 

1 That there are no psalms of Jeremiah has lately been shown 
afresh by W. Campe (1891). Dr. Driver's judgment (p. 360) 
might be more decided. 

DRIVER. 32$ 

But how strange it is that after admitting that we 
have no tolerably sure standard for David's poetry 
outside the Psalter except 2 Sam. i. 19 — 27 and iii. 
33, 34, he should close the paragraph thus — "On the 
whole, a non liquet must be our verdict ; it is possible 
that Ewald's list of Davidic psalms is too large, but it 
is not clear that none of the psalms contained, in it 
are of David's composition." 

■ Surely here Dr. Driver is not untouched by the 
spirit of compromise. The reader will, I hope, not 
misunderstand me. I mean that in his desire to help 
those whose spiritual faith is (unfortunately) bound 
up with an intellectual belief in Davidic psalms he 
sometimes sympathizes with them more than is good 
for his critical judgment, and I wish, not that his 
desire to help were diminished, but that he could 
adopt a " more excellent way " of helping. Dr. 
Sanday works, I imagine, in the same spirit, and 
consequently " rests for the moment in temporary 
hypotheses and half-way positions, prepared to go 
either forwards or backwards as the case may be," 
and disposed to idealize Dr. Driver's hesitations and 
inconsistencies as "the combined openmindedness 
and caution which are characteristic of a scholar." 1 I 

1 The Oracles of God, pp. 141, 143. Prof. Sanday explains 
himself very fully in his little book, Two Present Day Questions 
(1892), pp. 25 — 35. To much that he says I can apply Goethe's 
words — 

Ungefahr sagt das der Pfarrer auch, 
Nur mit ein bischen andern Worten. 

The archaeological stage of the higher criticism began nearly 


respect Dr. Sanday very highly, but I have an 
uncomfortable suspicion that his language helps to 
foster the " undesirable illusions " to which I referred 
in chap. xi. I hope that it may not be thought un- 
reasonable if I decline either to " go backwards " or to 
adopt a " half-way position " until it has been shown 
that the hypothesis of D'avidic elements in the Psalter 
has any practical value. Unless Books I. and II. 
date from the age before Amos, any Davidic elements 
which they contain must have been so modified as to 

thirty years ago, and there is, as I have said elsewhere, a vast 
amount of work to be done with the help of archaeology. Mr. 
Joseph Jacobs however has suggested to Dr. Sanday that the 
Old Testament critics are sadly at fault for want of archaeology 
and " institutional sociology." I have read the article to which 
Dr. Sanday refers and two other very interesting ones on 
"junior right" in the Book of Genesis. I welcome Mr. Jacobs' 
help, but I confess that he is a little too confident both in his 
criticisms of great scholars, and in his own theories. Mr. 
Fenton, to whom Mr. Jacobs refers, and whom I have 
mentioned myself in chap, xi., erred (as Mr. Jacobs would, I 
fear, be likely to err) from insufficient recognition of critical 
results. Literary criticism has been carried on so long, and by 
such eminent persons, that we cannot disregard its results 
without becoming ourselves unhistorical and insular. It is a 
singular alliance — that of Prof. Sanday and Mr. Jacobs. Both 
utter judgments of much interest, though amateur-judgments, 
which are liable to be unfair or inaccurate. Prof. Sanday, 
however, from the fact that he is a professed New Testament 
critic, may do more harm to the cause of international Biblical 
criticism than Mr. Jacobs. I must ask in conclusion, Is it 
really true that " the state of New Testament study " in England 
is "almost wholly hopeful"? There is no doubt much good 
work being done, but for want of a disposition to learn from the 
" higher critics " of the Old Testament, it appears to me to be, 
however fruitful up to a certain extent, singularly onesided. 


be practically unrecognizable. To analyze the Psalms 
with the view of detecting Davidic passages would be 
the most hopeless of undertakings. David may have 
indited religious songs ; but how far removed was 
David's religion from that of the Psalms ! The Song 
of Deborah is perhaps not above the highest thoughts 
of David ; but can it be said that the tone of this poem 
approaches the spirituality of the Psalms ? I think 
therefore that Dr. Driver's verdict is premature. It 
would have been safer from his point of view to say, 
" It is not clear that some of the psalms may not be 
pre-Exilic, and that even post-Exilic psalms may not 
contain unrecognizable Davidic fragments." 

But why all this eagerness to rescue a small 
Davidic Psalter within the undoubtedly much larger 
non-Davidic one ? Was it David who founded the 
higher religion of Israel ? Surely, as Professor 
Robertson Smith in his article on the Psalms has 
remarked, " whether any of the older poems really are 
David's is a question more curious than important." 
For the question of questions is, To what period or 
periods does the collection of tlte Psalters within the 
Psalter belong? For what period in the religious 
history of Israel may we use the Psalter as an 
authority? This was what I had chiefly in view 
when I prefixed an inquiry into the origin of the 
Psalter to a sketch of the theology of the psalmist. I 
cannot find that any help is given to the student of 
this subject in the Introduction, and this is one of the 
points in which this valuable chapter appears to me 


to fail. Nor can I express myself as satisfied with 
Dr. Driver's remarks on the means which we have of 
approximately fixing the periods of the Psalms. I 
can divine from it that there is much which enters 
into a full discussion of this subject upon which Dr. 
Driver and I would at present differ. Nor can I 
content myself either with the author's neutrality on 
Psalm cxviii., or with his vague remarks on Psalm ex., 
that " though it may be ancient, it can hardly have 
been composed by David," 1 and that "the cogency 
of [Christ's] argument (in Mark xii. 35 — 37) is un- 
impaired, as long as it is recognized that the psalm is 
a Messianic one," or with the remark (p. 367) on the 

1 These words are from the footnote on pp. 362, 363. In the 
text it is said that Psalm ex. "may be presumed to be pre- 
Exilic." I cannot but regret the misplaced moderation of the 
words " can hardly have been composed by David," and the 
deference to a tradition admitted to be weak in the extreme 
which expresses itself in the " presumption " that the psalm 
is pre-Exilic. I can enter into the reasoning so skilfully indicated 
in the reference to Jer. xxx. 21, but what this naturally leads up 
to is — not that the psalm refers to an actual pre-Exilic king, but 
that it is a thoroughly idealistic lyric prophecy of the early post- 
Exilic period, when both psalmists and prophets devoted them- 
selves largely to the development of earlier prophetic ideas. 
The author follows Riehm in the stress which he lays on Jer. 
xxx. 21, but significantly omits Riehm's second reference 
{Messianic Prophecy, pp. 121, 284) to Zech. iii. vi. I must also 
express my regret at his useless attempt to soften opposition 
by a necessarily vague description of the contents of the psalm. 
The whole footnote, in its present form, seems to me out of 
place ; it fosters unfortunate illusions. One result is that Dr. 
Driver is praised for his weak as well as for his strong points 
and another that many theologians will not give a patient 
hearing to a scholar who cannot adopt Dr. Driver's manner. 

DRIVER. 333 

accommodation of individualistic psalms to liturgical 
use by slight changes in the phraseology. 1 

On the other hand I am much gratified to find that 
Dr. Driver accepts the theory that Psalm li. is " a 
confession written on behalf of the nation by one who 
had a deep sense of his people's sin." That he adds 
" during the Exile " is comparatively unimportant ; 
on the main point he accepts my own view already 
expressed in The Book of Psalms (1888). His 
arguments are identical with those which I have 
myself repeatedly urged. 2 The only objection which 
I have to make relates to his treatment of verse 5, 
but as I have put it forward already in the Expositor, 
1892 (2), p. 398, I will here only express the con- 
viction that the Church-nation theory can, without 
violence, be applied throughout the psalm. I know 
how much untrained English common sense has to 
say against it, but I think it quite possible by a few 
historical and exegetical hints to make common sense 
agree entirely with the experts. We must however 
make it perfectly clear that the person who speaks 
in the 51st and other psalms is not a mere rhetorical 
collective expression for a number of individuals 
but that complete living organism of which Isaiah 
said, " The whole head is sick, and the whole heart 
faint." 3 

1 Similarly Stekhoven, on whom see Bampton Led., p. 277. 

2 Most recently in sermon-studies on Ps. li., in Aids to the 
Devout Study of Criticism. 

3 See Bampton Led., pp. 261—265, 276 — 278, 


DRIVER (3). 

I SAID in chap. xii. that Dr. Driver would have done 
well to make his non liquet refer, not to Davidic, but 
to pre-Exilic psalms. There are in fact, as it appears 
to me, two tenable (though not two equally tenable) 
views. According to one, we may still have some 
pre-Exilic psalms (including those which refer to a 
king, and some at least of the persecution-psalms), 
a few Exilic (e.g. Pss. xxii., li., cii.), and also a con- 
siderable number of post-Exilic Psalms (including a 
few Maccabsean psalms, and at any rate Pss. xliv., 
lxxiv., Ixxix.). 1 This was the view which I adopted 
not as critical truth but as a working hypothesis, when 
preparing that commentary on the Psalms (1888) 

1 Some of those who have reviewed my Bamfiton Lectures 
have accused me of having treated the external evidence which 
has been thought to be adverse to the theory of Maccabsean 
psalms and the objections drawn from the Septuagint Psalter 
too slightly. . The view which these scholars take of the present 
position of Psalm criticism is however entirely different from 
my own and from that taken by competent scholars abroad (see 
Miihlmann, Zur Frageder makk. Psalmen, 1891, p. 3). Nor, so 
far as I can judge, is it that of Prof. Driver. 

DRIVER. 335 

which has been so strangely overlooked by nearly 
all the reviewers of my Bampton Lectures. It is the 
very view now independently adopted by Dr. Driver, 
which indicates that in his more special study of the 
Psalms he has now reached the point which I had 
reached in 1888. At this I rejoice, for I am confident 
that the view which was only a working hypothesis 
to me in 1888 is no more than this to Dr. Driver in 
1891. He cannot go backward — this were to deny 
facts ; he can only go on to the second of the two 
views mentioned, viz. that the whole of the Psalter, in 
its present form, with the possible exception of Ps. 
xviii., is post-Exilic. Just as Cornill thought in 1881 
that the 24th and probably other psalms were Davidic, 
and that Psalms Ixxxiv., lxxxv., xlii., xliii., were of 
the reign of Jehoiakim, but by 1891 had come to see 
that the whole Psalter (except perhaps Psalm lxxxix.) 
was post-Exilic, 1 so it will probably be with Dr. 
Driver, however much he may modify his view by 
qualifications. 2 It is the latter theory of which I 

1 Cf. his essay in Luthardt's Zeitschrift, 1881, pp. 337 — 343, 
with § 36 of his Einleitung (1891). 

2 I do not think that he will find that much is gained by in- 
sisting on an ancient basis which has been obscured by editors. 
If it helps any one to believe in such a basis, by all means let 
him do so ; it is more harmless than in the case of the Book of 
Daniel. But the chief object of the criticism of the Psalms is to 
determine the date when they became known in substantially 
their present form. It appears to me that in all probability the 
editors mainly concerned themselves with the omission of 
passages which had too temporary a reference. In two (pre- 
sumably) Maccabasan psalms — Ixxiv. and ex. — there certainly 


have myself for the first time offered a comprehensive 
justification. Caution and sobriety were as much 
needed for this as for any other critical task, nor 
would the want of ability to enter into the feelings 
of a psalmist (nachempfinden) and to realize his his- 
torical situation have been at all a helpful qualifica- 
tion. The result is doubtless capable of large improve- 
ment in detail, but in the fundamental points can 
hardly be modified. 1 

Does this latter theory differ essentially, or only in 
secondary points, from that of Dr. Driver ? Only in 
secondary points. I made no leap in the dark when 
I prepared my Lectures, nor will Dr. Driver be con- 
scious of any abrupt transition, when he finds oppor- 

seem to be some omissions ; in Psalm lxxiv. there may also be a 
fresh insertion {vv. 12 — 17). 

1 It is difficult to reply as one would wish to a series of 
criticisms made from a different and perhaps a narrower point 
of view, especially when such criticisms deal largely with sub- 
ordinate points which are not essential to the main theory. 
When the next English dissertation on the origin of the Psalter 
appears, it will at any rate be compelled to make considerable 
use of hypothesis, or it will be a failure. Prof. Davison (in the 
Thinker, Feb. 1892) does not seem to recognize this. To him 
and to Prof. Kennedy (two -of the most courteous of my critics) 
I have given an imperfect reply in the Thinker for April ; to 
Prof. Kennedy also in the Expository Times for the same month. 
I am most thankful for any assistance in the work of self- 
criticism, though English critics, through their unprogressive- 
ness, make it rather difficult for me to learn from them. Among 
the criticisms to which I have been forced to reply are those of 
Mr. Gladstone in the Nineteenth Century, Oct. 1891 (answered, 
Dec. 1891), and Mr. J. H. Moulton, in the Thinker, May and 
July 1892 (answered, Aug. 1892). In the interests of progress 
some reference to. these answers seems desirable. 

DRIVER. 337 

tunity to advance further. The essential of both 
views is the recognition of the impossibility of proving 
that any psalm in its present form is pre- Exilic. " Of 
many psalms," adds Dr. Driver, " the Exilic or post- 
Exilic date is manifest, and is not disputed ; of others 
it is difficult to say whether they are pre- or post- 
Exilic" (p. 362). Whichever view be adopted, it 
must be allowed that even Books I. and II. were put 
forth after the Return. This is not expressly men- 
tioned by Dr. Driver, and, as I have said, it seems to 
me a regrettable omission. But though not mentioned, 
it is not, nor can it be, denied. I venture to put this 
before those theological reviewers who, in their need- 
less anxiety for the ark of God, have hurried to the 
conclusion that the author has " rejected Dr. Cheyne's 
sweeping criticism of the Psalms," and that the " net 
result" set forth by the author on pp. 362, 363 is 
" very different from that which Dr. Cheyne has given 
us," x and to express the hope that they may perceive 
the error into which they have fallen, and begin to 
suspect that it is not the only one. 

We are now come to Proverbs and Job, and no- 
where perhaps does one feel more strongly the 
imperfection of Dr. Driver's plan. It is true, what 
was most desirable was not yet feasible — a thorough 
and comprehensive study of the contents and origin of 
the Wisdom-literature, which would furnish results at 
once surer and more definite than the old-fashioned 

1 See Church Quarterly Review, Jan. 1892, p. 343 ; Guardian 
Dec. 2, 1891, p. 1953. 



Introductions can give. But I think that more might 
have been done than has been done to show the 
threads which connect the products of this style of 
writing, and to anticipate the results which a critic of 
insight and courage could not fail to reach. But alas! 
Dr. Driver has not thrown off that spirit of deference 
to conservatism which, if I am not mistaken, injures 
his work elsewhere. At the very outset the tradition 
respecting Solomon in I Kings iv. 29 — 34 receives 
no critical examination, and though the headings in 
Proverbs x. i,xxv. I 1 are not unconditionally accepted, 
Dr. Driver speaks notwithstanding as if some of the 
Proverbs in two of the greater collections might 
possibly be the work of Solomon. This is hardly 
the way to cultivate the critical spirit in young 
students, and (against the author's will) may foster 
an unjust prejudice against critics not less careful, 
but perhaps less compromising than the author. As 
to the conclusions here offered, I feel that while 
censure would be impertinent, praise would be mis- 
leading. The " present condition of investigation " is 
only indicated in a few lines of a footnote (p. 381), 
and the " way for future progress " is not even allu- 
sively mentioned. It appears to me that criticism 
ought to start not from the worthless tradition of 
Solomonic authorship, but from the fact that the 
other proverbial books in the Old Testament are with 
increasing certainty seen to be later than 538 B.C. 

1 Note that Sept. does not give the former heading at all, and 
has no " also " in the latter. 

DRIVER. 339 

Now what does Ben- Sira tell us about his own 
work ? 

" I, too, as the last, bestowed zeal, 
And as one who gleaneth after the vintage ; 
By the blessing of the Lord I was the foremost, 
And as a grape-gatherer did I fill my winepress." 

(Ecclus. xxxiii. 16.) 

Who were Ben Sira's predecessors, and when did 
they live ? The writers of Proverbs xxx. and xxxi. 
I — 9 and 10 — 31, and of the gnomic sayings (or some 
of them) in Koheleth maybe among them; but surely 
there were more productive writers or editors than 
these (so far as we know them from their writings). 
The force of the arguments against a pre-Exilic date 
for the final arrangement of our composite Book of 
Proverbs seems to me to be constantly increasing, 
and were I to resume the work laid aside in 1887, 
I feel that my results would be nearer to those of 
Reuss and Stade (adopted by Mr. Montefiore) than 
to those of Delitzsch. 1 I am not indeed prepared to 
give up a large antique basis 2 for chaps, xxv. — xxvii., 

1 In my article " Isaiah" {Ency. Brit., 1889) I expressed the 
view that the "Praise of Wisdom" is either Exilic or post- 
Exilic; in my Job and Solomon (1887) I dated it earlier. But, 
as Bamplon Led., p. 365, shows, I have been coming back to my 
former view of Prov. i. — ix., and taking a survey of Proverbs 
from this fixed point, I see that the difficulties of Reuss's and 
Stade's view (when duly qualified) are less than those of my own 
former and of Dr. Driver's present theory. Comp. Mr. Monte- 
fiore's thorough and interesting article on Proverbs, Jewish 
Quarterly Review, 1890, pp. 430 — 453. 

2 The heading in xxv. 1 reminds one of Assyrian library notes. 
Isa. xxxviii. 9 may rest on a tradition of Hezekiah's interest in 


the proverbs in which, as Prof. Davidson has pointed 
out, differ on the whole considerably in style from 
those in x. i — xxii. 16. But not only chaps, xxx. 
and xxxi., but the passages forming the " Praise of 
Wisdom," and the introductory verses of the redactor 
(i. I — 6), are altogether post-Exilic (not of course 
contemporary), and so too, probably, is much of the 
rest of the book. Indeed however much allowance is 
made for the tenacity of the life of proverbs, and for 
the tendency to recast old gnomic material, one must 
maintain that in its present form the Book of Proverbs 
is a source of information, not for the pre-Exilic, but 
for various parts of the post- Exilic period. 1 I will 
only add that Dr. Driver may perhaps modify his 
view of the gradual formation of Proverbs in deference 
to recent researches of Gustav Bickell. 2 

The chapter on Job is a skilful exhibition of views 
which are well deserving of careful study. It is 
evidently much influenced by a book of which I too 
have the highest appreciation — Prof. Davidson's 
volume on Job in the Cambridge series (comp. his 
article "Job" in the Encycl. Brit). If therefore I 
object to it, it can only be in the most friendly 
manner, and on the same grounds on which I have 
already criticized that beautiful textbook. 3 I must 

1 In this connexion I may refer to my notes on the Persian 
affinities of the "Wisdom" of Prov. viii., Expositor, Jan. 1892, 


2 See the Wiener Zeitschr. f. d. Kunde des Morgenlandes, 
1891-92 (chiefly important for the metrical study of Job, Proverbs, 
and Ecclesiasticus). 3 Academy, Nov. I, 1884 


however add that I think Dr. Driver should have 
taken some steps in advance of a book published in 
1884. Both he and Dr. Davidson have a way of 
stopping short in the most provoking manner. At 
the very outset, for instance, they compromise rather 
more than is strictly critical on the subject of the 
historical existence of Job. 1 It is true, we ought not, 
without strong grounds, to presume that the plot of 
the poem is purely romantic, Semitic writers pre- 
ferring to build on tradition as far as they can. But 
to use the words "history" and "historical tradition'' 
of the main features of the Job story is misleading, 
unless we are also bold enough to apply these terms 
to the pathetic Indian story of Harischandra in vol. i. 
of Muir's Sanskrit Texts. No doubt there were cur- 
rent stories, native or borrowed, of the sudden ruin 
of a righteous man's fortunes ; but if we had them, 
we should see that they were not historical, but 
simple folk-tales, which, to a student of natural 
psychologies, are surely better than what we call 
history. On this however I have said enough else- 
where ; 2 so I will pass on to one of the great critical 
questions — that of the integrity of the book. 

Here Dr. Driver is not very satisfactory. It is 

1 Among minor matters connected with the Prologue, these 
may be noted. I see no explanation of the name of Job, and 
for the meaning of the " land of Uz " miss a reference to W. R. 
Smith, Kinship in Arabia, p. 261. A hint might also have been 
given of the appearance of a legend of " three kings " from the 
East (Job ii. 11, Sept.). 

2 Job and Solomon, pp. 62, 290, 


true, he thinks it "all but certain" (why this hesi- 
tation ?) that the Elihu-speeches are a later insertion, 
which, considering his conservatism on Isaiah xl.-lxvi., 
is a concession of much value. But he unfortunately 
ignores even the mildest of those critical theories, of 
which a wiser critic (in my opinion) speaks thus in an 
American review 1 - — ■" If we are not mistaken, a 
much better case could be made out for a theory of 
many authors than for the theory of one [or of two]. 
As the name of David attracted successive collections 
of psalms, and the name of Solomon successive 
collections of proverbs, why may not the name of Job 
have attracted various treatments of the problems of 
suffering righteousness ?"• 

Why not, indeed, if the evidence points, as it does, 
in this direction ? And my complaint is not that Dr. 
Driver does not adopt this or that particular theory, 
but that he fails to recognize a number of excgetical 
facts. He approaches the Book of Job, as it seems 
to me, with the preconceived idea that it left the 
author's hand as a finished and well-rounded com- 
position. This idea is no doubt natural enough, but 
is hardly consistent with the results of criticism in 
other parts of the Old Testament and in other 
literatures. As has been well said by the authors of 
the Corpus Poeticum Boreale, " The great books of old 
time are accretions ; our Psalter is such a one, Homer 
is such a one, the Sagas are such a one." Ewald, who 

1 Review of Genung's Epic of the Inner Life in The Nation, 
Aug. 27, 1 89 1, 

DRIVER. 343 

began by believing in the unity of Genesis, found out 
that this unity was factitious ; may it not very natur- 
ally be so with a poem, which, like the dialogues in 
Job, prompted to imitation and to contradiction ? Dr. 
Driver's able forerunner has indeed justified his own 
reluctance to disintegrate by his desire to enjoy the 
poem as much as he can. He can sympathize, he 
tells us, with those persons who are " so intoxicated 
with the beauty of a great creation, that they do not 
care a whit how it arose." 1 But he forgets that the 
true critic is not a mere dissector, but analyzes in 
order to reconstruct, and that there are disintegrating 
critics (take for instance Dr. Walter Leaf 2 ) who are 
in no respect hindered by their criticism from the 
fullest aesthetic enjoyment of the work of art which 
they criticize. 

I may indeed venture to go further and ask, Is 
the Book of Job, as it now stands, really such a great 
work of art ? I know all that can be said on the 
difference between Eastern and Western art, and 
between Eastern and Western pyschology ; but the 
difference must not be pressed to an extreme. I am 
willing to admit — indeed, I did in 1887 expressly 
admit — that the six accretions indicated in my Job 
and Solomon (pp. 67 — 69) need not have come from 
as many different writers. The Elihu-speeches, how- 
ever, which are the most obvious of the accretions, 
cannot have come from the writer of the Dialogues 

1 Davidson, Expositor, 1883, p. 88. 

2 See Leaf, Companion to the Iliad, p. 18. 


(though Kamphausen once thought so). Nor, as it 
would seem, can the Epilogue. I grant that the 
author of the Dialogues prefixed to his work not only- 
chap, iii., but also chaps, i. and ii. But I cannot 
believe that he meant xlii. 7 — 17 to be the dJno&ment 
of the story ; — that hypothesis at least no ingenuity 
can render plausible. "The only possible close of 
the poem, if the writer is not untrue to his deepest 
convictions, is that the Satan should confess before 
Jehovah and the court of heaven that there are 
1 perfect and upright ' men who serve God without 
interested motives." 1 Such at least is still my own 
opinion. That we do not now find such a close, only 
proves either (what we knew before) that the original 
poem has not come down to us intact, or that the 
Book of Job, like that of Koheleth, was left in an 
unfinished state by the author. 

Whether the other passages were, or were not, 
added by the author is to some extent an open 
question. It seems to me extremely hazardous to 
suppose that the writer went on retouching his own 
work, but this is the only possible course for those 
who hold out against the view, which for some at 
least of the added passages I cannot help advocating. 
But at any rate one thing is certain, viz. that even 
after removing the speeches of Elihu, the Book of 
Job does not form a genuine whole — that some of 
the original passages have been retouched and new 

1 Critical Review, May 1891, p. 253 (the present writer's 
review of Hpffmann's Hiob). 

DRIVER. 345 

ones added. That eminent critic Dillmann, who in 
spite of himself continually makes such gratifying 
concessions to young scholars, is in the main point on 
my side, 1 and so are all the chief workers in this 
department. Against me, as I have good cause to 
know, there stands arrayed the host of English 
theological reviewers. But how many of these have 
made a serious critical study of the Book of Job ? 
How many have even read carefully — much less 
worked at — any critical work in which the unity of 
Job is denied, and have assimilated the positive side 
of a disintegrating theory ? I complain of my friend 
Dr. Driver because, with the best intentions, he has 
made it more difficult for ordinary students to come 
to the knowledge of important facts, and made it 
possible for a thoroughly representative, and in some 
respects not illiberal, writer in a leading Anglican 
review to use language which must, I fear, be qualified 
as both unseemly and misleading. 2 

And what has the author to say on the date of the 
poem, or rather since the poem has, by his own 
admission, been added to, on the date of the original 
work and of the Elihu-speeches ? To answer that 
the latter were added by " a somewhat later writer " 
is, I think, only defensible if the original poem be 
made post-Exilic. For surely, if anything has grown 
clearer of late years, it is that the language and ideas 

1 See Dillmann, Hiob (1891), EinL, p. xxviii, and cf. his 
emarks on the controverted passages in the course of the book; 
"Guardian, Dec. 2, 1891. 


of " Elihu " are those of some part of the post-Exilic 

The new edition of Dillmann's Hiob may be taken 
as evidence of this. He still makes the original 
poem pre-Exilic (though nearer to B.C. 586 than 
formerly), but whereas in 1869 he thought that the 
Elihu-speeches " might have been written in the 
course of the sixth century" {i.e. possibly before the 
Return), in 1891 he tells us that they are probably to 
be assigned to the fifth century. As to the original 
poem, our author states (as I did myself in 1887) 
that " it will scarcely be earlier than the age of 
Jeremiah, and belongs most probably to the period of 
the Babylonian captivity." : 

Both Dillmann and Dr. Briggs favour the former 
date; Umbreit, Knobel, Gratz, and Prof. Davidson 
the latter. Gesenius also prefers an Exilic date, 
but will not deny the possibility of a still later 
one. And it is a post-Exilic date which many critics 
{e.g. Kuenen, Wellhausen, Stade, Hoffmann, 2 Cornill) 

1 Prof. Bissell, I observe, hopes to prove a considerably 
earlier date by the help of Glaser's discoveries in Arabia {Pres- 
byterian and Reformed Review, Oct. 1891). He refers to Prof. 
Sayce. I trust that Prof. Whitehouse will be more cautious 
(see Critical Review, Jan. 1892, p. 12). 

2 Prof. G. Hoffmann's arguments {Hiob, 1891) do not perhaps 
materially advance the discussion, though his book ought to 
have been referred to by our author. His linguistic proposals 
are too violent, and his references to Zoroastrianism do not 
show enough study. Nor am I sure that he has added much of 
value to the argument from parallel passages. On the latter I 
venture to add these remarks for comparison with Dr. Driver's 
valuable section (p. 408). On the parallels between Job and the 

DRIVER. 347 

are in our day inclined to accept. Ought not this to 
have been mentioned ? I feel myself that in the 
present position of the criticism of the Hagiographa 
a post-Exilic date has acquired a greater degree of 
plausibility. 1 If, for instance, the Book of Proverbs 
is in the main a composite post-Exilic work, it 
becomes at once in a higher degree probable that the 
Book of Job is so too. It is still of course a question 
to be argued out in detail ; there is no escaping from 
the discipline of hard and minute investigation. But, 
so far as I can see, the evidence collected, when 
viewed in the light of general probabilities, and of 
the results attained and being attained elsewhere, 
justifies us in asserting that the whole of the Book 
of Job belongs most probably to the Persian period. 

probably or certainly Exilic parts of ii. Isaiah it is difficult to 
speak confidently. Nor need we perhaps consider the Prologue 
of Job to be indebted to Zech. iii. ; the modes of representation 
used were " in the air " in the post-Exilic period. And as to 
the parallel adduced by Cornill {EinL, p. 234) between Job 
xlii. 17 and Gen. xxxv. 29, xxv. 8 (both P), this, if admitted as 
important, will only affect the date of the Epilogue. Then we 
turn to the Psalms, the Song of Hezekiah, and the Lamenta- 
tions. It would be difficult indeed to say that Isa. xxxviii. 10 — 
20, or that Pss. xxxix. and lxxxviii. were not written in the same 
period as Job, and these works can, I believe, be shown to be 
post-Exilic. If this seems doubtful to any one, yet Ps. viii. 5 
" is no doubt parodied in Job vii. 17 " (Driver), and there is no 
reason for not grouping Ps. viii. with the Priestly Code. I 
admit that Lam. iii. is, by the same right as Ps. lxxxviii., to be 
viewed as in a large sense contemporary with Job (see Delitzsch, 
Hiob, p. 24). But what is the date of the Lamentations ? See 
farther on. 

1 Comp. Bampton Led., p. 202, 


On linguistic grounds 1 I should like to put the main 
part of the book in the first half of this period, and 
the Elihu-speeches in the second, but these grounds 
are not by themselves decisive. 

A word must here be said on a subject which will 
be in the mind of many readers. These critical 
results must have some bearing on theories of 
inspiration. But what bearing ? I have an uneasy 
feeling that the remark on page 405 — that " precisely 
the same inspiration attaches to [the Elihu-speeches] 
which attaches to the poem generally " — is hardly 
penetrating enough, and that by such a half-truth 
Dr. Driver has unwisely blunted the edge of his 
critical decision. Of course, the Elihu-speeches are 
inspired ; they are touched by the same religious 
influences which pervade all the genuine Church 
records of the Exilic or post-Exilic period which are 
contained in the Hagiographa. But it can hardly be 
said that these speeches have the same degree of 
inspiration as the rest of the Book of Job, at least if 
the general impression of discriminating readers may 
be trusted. The creator of " Elihu " may have some 
deeper ideas, but he has not as capacious a vessel to 
receive them as the older poet. 2 And though it may 
be true that he had a good motive, and that the 
course which he took was sanctioned by the religious 

1 These grounds are briefly indicated by Dr. Driver on p. 404 
(§ 8) and p. 406 (top) ; cf. my Job and Solomon, pp. 291 — 295. 
Besides Budde's Beitrage, Stickel {Hiob, 1842, pp. 248 — 262) still 
deserves to be consulted on the Elihu-portion. 

' l See Job and Solomon, pp. 42 — 44. 

DRlVfifi. 349 

authorities of the day, yet it is certain both that he 
has defects from which the earlier writer is free, and 
that he has for modern readers greatly hindered the 
beneficial effect of the rest of the poem. We must 
not, in short, force ourselves to reverence these two 
poets in an equal degree. 

I admit that the difficulties which theories of 
inspiration have to encounter in the Song of Songs, 
Ecclesiastes, and Esther are still greater, and I think 
that Dr. Driver would have facilitated the reception 
of his critical results on these books if he had at once 
taken up a strong position with reference to these 
difficulties. It might even have been enough to 
quote a luminous passage from a lecture by Prof. 
Robertson Smith, 1 the upshot of which is that these 
three books " which were still disputed among the 
orthodox Jews in the apostolic age, and to which the 
New Testament never makes reference," 2 and, let me 
add, which do not seem to be touched by the special 
religious influences referred to above, are not for us 
Christians in the truest sense of the word canonical. 8 
These books however are intensely interesting, and a 
" frank and reverent study of the texts '' shows that 

1 The Old Testament in the Jewish Church, pp. 174, 175 ; cf. 
Wildeboer, Die Entstehung des alttest. Kanons (1891), pp. 150, 

2 See however Trench, Seven. Churches of Asia, pp. 225, 226. 

3 Of the Song of Songs, Lowth, writing to Warburton in 
1756, says : " If you deny that it is an allegory, you must ex- 
clude it from the Canon of Holy Scripture ; for it holds its place 
there by no other tenure " (Warburton's Works, by Hurd, xii. 


they " have their use and value even for us," and 
my only regret is that in Esther and Ecclesiastes, at 
any rate, Dr. Driver is slightly more "moderate" 
than was necessary, and that he does not make it 
quite as easy as it might have been for some of his 
readers to agree with him. 

I pass to a book in which I have long had so 
special an interest that it will require an effort to be 
brief — the glorious Song of Songs. Our author 
rejects the old allegorical interpretation as artificial 
and extravagant (p. 423), but does not regard 
Delitzsch's modification of it as untenable, provided 
it be admitted that there is nothing in the poem 
itself to suggest it. His meaning, I presume, is this 
— that the Song is only allegorical in so far as all 
true marriage to a religious mind is allegorical, 1 but 
that we cannot suppose the poet to have thought of 
this allegory when he wrote, and that, his own mean- 
ing being so beautiful, it is almost a pity to look 
beyond it. Dr. Driver's treatment of the Song is 
marked by much reserve. He does indeed commit , 
himself to the lyrical drama theory, without consider- 
ing whether the poet may not to some extent have 
worked up current popular songs (just as Poliziano 
did in Medicsean Florence) ; and though he puts two 
forms of this theory (Delitzsch's and Ewald's) very 
thoroughly before the reader, he evidently prefers the 
latter, with some modifications from Oettli. Still one 

1 Cf. Julia Wedgewood, The Moral Ideal (1888), pp. 269, 

biuVER. 35 1 

feels after all that he has not given us a thorough 
explanation of the Song. This was perhaps justifiable 
in the present state of exegesis. For though the 
poem has not been altogether neglected by recent 
scholars, with the exception of Gratz and Stickel 
none of them has seriously grappled afresh with the 
problem of its origin. To Gratz (in spite of his many 
faults as a scholar) and Stickel the student should 
have been expressly referred ; 1 the mention of the 
former on p. 423 seems to me far from sufficient. 
Help may also be got from Prof. Robertson Smith's 
able article in the Encyclopedia Britannica (1876), 
and by the section relative to the Song in Reuss' 
French edition of the Bible. 

For determining the date of the Song the linguistic 
argument is of more than common importance. 
Here I must complain that such a thorough Hebraist 
as Dr. Driver hesitates so much. The only fresh 
ground for uncertainty is the discovery of a weight on 
the site of Samaria, ascribed to the eighth century, 
with ba? as in Song i. 6 (viii. 12), iii. 7. Apart from 
this, a linguist would certainly say that this pleonastic 
periphrasis proved the late date of the poem as it 
stands, but now it seems permissible to Dr. Driver 
to doubt. That I reluctantly call an unwise com- 
promising with tradition. In 1876 (the date of Prof. 
Robertson Smith's article) we did not see our way in 
the post-Exilic period as we do now. If there is 

1 Stickel's book appeared in 1888, and was ably reviewed by 
Prof. Budde (Theol. Lit.-ztg., 1888, No. 6). 

3$2 Founders of old testament CRiTitiisM. 

anything in the contents of the Song which expresses 
a pre-Exilic date, let it be pointed out. Meantime 
all the facts as yet elicited by exegesis can be ex- 
plained quite as well on the assumption of a late date 
as of an early one. Let us then (failing any fresh 
exegetical evidence) hear no more of the Song of 
Deborah and the early north-Israelitish dialect. It 
is certain that the use of w for -ffi>N is specially cha- 
racteristic of late writings ; certain, that np r ?B' Song i. 
7 is analogous to V?$ Jon. i. 7, and also to "W$ ?$3 
Eccles. viii. 17, and n»^ if$ : Dan. i. 10 (the fuller 
relative used as in Jon. i. 8 1 [contrast ver. 7], in a 
carefully expressed speech) ; certain, too, that some 
at least of the loan-words mentioned on pp. 422, 423 
(note 3 ) point definitely to the post-Exilic period 
(even one or two Greek words seem highly probable). 
Kuenen in 1865, in spite of his preconceived theory 
of an early date, admitted that "the language seemed, 
at first sight, to plead for the Persian period " ; 
Gesenius and M. Sachs — a great Christian and a 
great Jewish Hebraist — have expressed themselves 
still more strongly on the "modern Hebrew" of the 
Song of Songs. It is also highly probable that a 
careful study of the names of plants in the Song 
would favour a post-Exilic date. Nor can the 
parallelisms between this book and that " song of 
loves " (or, love), the 45th Psalm, be ignored. If that 
psalm is post-Exilic, so also presumably is the Song 

1 I do not take the fuller phrase in ver. 8 to be a gloss (cf. 
the four lines added by Dr. Driver on p. 301 in 2nd edition). 

DRIVER. 353 

of Songs. 1 But Dr. Driver's researches on the Psalms 
have not yet perhaps led him to see what to me is 
now so clear, and I am therefore content to have 
shown that, quite apart from this, the facts admitted 
by Dr. Driver point rather to a late than to an early 
date, and that we cannot therefore safely assume, 
with our author, that the poem has a basis of fact. 
Readers of Delitzsch's delightful essay on " Dancing, 
and Pentateuch-Criticism" 2 do not need to be 
assured that the post- Exilic period was not without 
the enlivenment of secular dancing and song. 

And now comes another little disappointment — 
another little compromise with conservatism, which I 
should prefer to glide gently over, but for the illusion 
which is growing up among us that paring down the 
results of criticism is necessary for a truly Christian 
teaching. The Book of Ruth, according to our 
author, is a prose idyll, similar, I presume, to that 
which may have lain in the mind of the author of 
that idyllic group of quasi-dramatic tableaux — the 
Song of Songs, and based, like the Song (according 
to Dr. Driver), on tradition. We are told that 
"the basis of the narrative consists, it may reason- 

1 See Bampton Lectures, pp. 167, 179 (cf. p. 298). On p. 167 
(foot), read " can be better accounted for." I do not see where 
to find a situation for either of these poems before the Greek 
period. One of the early and fortunate reigns must of course be 
selected. But I hold myself open to correction. 

2 Delitzsch, Iris (E. T.), pp. 189—204. The Mishna ( Taanith, 
iv. 8 ; see Wiinsche, Talm., i. 473) tells how Song iii. 11 was 
sung in the vineyard dances. 



ably be supposed, of the family traditions respecting 
Ruth and her marriage with Boaz. These have been 
cast into a literary form by the [pre-Exilic] author, 
who has, no doubt, to a certain extent idealized both 
the characters and the scenes. Distance seems to 
have mellowed the rude, unsettled age of the Judges " 
(pp. 427, 428). 

This description seems to soften the facts a little 
too much. It is not merely a " mellowed " picture 
that we have before us, but, as Mr. Cobb has re- 
marked, 1 complete " contrariety of spirit, style, social 
life, and public affairs." Nor is anything gained by 
postulating an uncertain amount of traditional 
material ; the story of Ruth is practically as imagin- 
ative as that of Tobit, and is none the less edifying 
on this account. But let us see how the acute and 
learned author endeavours to prove a pre-Exilic date. 
The genealogy, as he admits, " appears to suggest 
an Exilic or post-Exilic date," but this "forms no 
integral^ part of the book," while, in spite of many 
isolated expressions 2 which, taken together, seem at 
first sight to point to the post-Exilic period, the 

1 Bibliotheca Sacra, Oct. 1891, p. 662. 

2 \rh, "Qfc». D»p are, I think, decisive. I incline to add '"W. 
which before the'-Exile is poetical (see Bampton Lectures, p. 84) 
Dr. Driver regards Ruth iv. 7 (B*p) as a gloss, cf. 1 Sam. ix. 9, 
But the latter passage is embedded in a pre-Exilic section, 
whereas Ruth iv. 7 occurs ex hyp. in a post-Exilic narrative, 
The narrator tries to throw himself back into early times, but 
has to explain a custom unknown to his post-Exilic readers 
Nor is there any special reason to regard jrt? as a word of the 
early northern dialect (p. 427), 

DRIVER. 355 

"general beauty and purity of the style of Ruth 

point decidedly to the pre-Exilic period." We are 

not told whether the book was written before or after 

Deuteronomy (which is referred on p. 82 to the reign 

of Manasseh), but it is pointed out that the peculiar 

kind of marriage referred to in chapters iii. and iv. is 

not strictly that of levirate (Deut. xxv. 5), and that 

the reception of Ruth into an Israelitish family 

" appears to conflict with Deuteronomy xxiii. 2." 

In reply, it may be said (1) that in order to give the 

" present condition of investigation " it was important 

to give a much fuller statement of the grounds on 

which " most modern critics consider Ruth to be 

Exilic (Ewald) or post-Exilic (Bertheau, Wellhausen, 

Kuenen, &c.) " ; (2) that by Dr. Driver's very candid 

admission "the style of the prose-parts of Job ['most 

probably ' Exilic, p. 405] is not less pure " ; (3) that 

the religious liberality of the writer and the family 

relations which he describes in the book are perfectly 

intelligible in the post-Exilic period (cf. on the one 

hand the Book of Jonah, and on the other Kuenen's 

remark on Leviticus xviii. and xx., Hexateuch, p. 268) ; 

and (4) there is clearly no necessity to suppose the 

genealogy to have been added in a later age. In fact 

the one excuse for giving this book an earlier date 

than that of Jonah is the greater flavour of antiquity 

which it possesses (notice the points of contact with 

Samuel given by Bertheau in the Kurzgef. Handbuch, 

p. 286). 1 Its real design is, not to glorify the Davidic 

x See Dr. Driver, p. 302, and cf. Bampton Lectures, p. 306. 


house, but to show the universality of God's love. 
Just as our Lord exhibits a Samaritan as the model 
of practical piety, so the unknown writer of this 
beautiful little book brings before us a Moabitish 
woman as the model of an affectionate daughter who 
receives the highest earthly reward. 1 

The five Lamentations deserve attention, not only 
for some classic beauties of expression which have 
endeared them to the Christian heart, but as (perhaps) 
the earliest monuments of the piety of regenerate 
Israel, and as (perhaps) supplying presumptive evi- 
dence of the cultivation of religious lyric poetry long 
before the Exile. Nowhere perhaps does Dr. Driver's 
individuality show itself more strikingly than here. 
What pains he takes to soften the prejudices of old- 
fashioned readers, and give the principal result of 
criticism in its most moderate form! To unprejudiced 
students, however, he may seem timid, and it is 
certainly strange to hear that " even though the 
poems be not the work of Jeremiah, there is no 
question that they are the work of a contemporary 
(or contemporaries)." Nagelsbach long ago saw that 
at any rate Lamentations ii. implies an acquaintance 
with the Book of Ezekiel, and, to Dr. Driver, the 
affinities between all the Lamentations and the 
prophecies of Jeremiah ought surely to suggest that 
the author (or authors) had made a literary study of 
that book. A considerable interval must therefore 

1 Comp. Talm. Bab., Sanhedrin, 96 b (Wunsche, iii. 188), where 
still bolder flights are taken. 

DRIVER. 357 

have elapsed between B.C. 586 and the writing of the 
Lamentations, 1 and the language used in Lament- 
ations v. 20 (comp. Isa. xlii. 14, lvii. 11) points rather 
to the end than to the beginning of the Exile. This 
period is, moreover, the earliest which will suit the 
parallelisms between Lamentations iii. and the Book 
of Job (referred in this work to the Exile), which are 
more easily explained on the supposition that the 
elegy is dependent on Job than on the opposite 
theory. 2 It ought however to be mentioned that 
there are plausible grounds for giving a still later 
date to the third elegy, in which Jerusalem is not 
once mentioned, and which it is difficult not to asso- 
ciate with the Jeremianic psalms. If Psalm xxxi. is 
post-Exilic (and any other theory seems to me ex- 
tremely improbable), so also is Lamentations iii., and 
of course we must add, if the poem of Job (as a 
whole) is post-Exilic, so also is Lamentations iii. 
And though I do not for a moment deny that lament- 
ations were indited during the Exile (the Books of 
Ezekiel and of ii. Isaiah sufficiently prove this), yet 
the mere fact that the authors of Lamentations i., ii., 
iv., and v. refer so prominently to the fall of Jerusalem, 
is no conclusive proof that these lamentations too 
were not written in Judah after the Return. The 
dramatic imaginativeness of the psalmists has, I 
believe, been proved, 3 and the peculiar rhythm called 

1 See Prof. W. R. Smith's excellent article in Encycloptzdia 

2 See my Lamentations {Pulpit Comm.), Introd. p. iii. 

3 Cf. my commentary on Pss. lxxiv. and cxxxvii. The Second 


" elegiac " has been traced by Budde (though not 
with certainty) in many productions of the post- 
Exilic age. It seems to me far from impossible that, 
just as the Church of the Second Temple composed 
its own psalms, so it preferred to indite fresh elegies 
for use on the old fast-days. 1 

The next section is one of the very best in this 
part of the volume' — it is on Ecclesiastes. I will not 
occupy space with summarizing it, but urge the 
student to master its contents. I quite agree with 
Dr. Driver that the work may possibly be a work of 
the Greek period. The language, as I remarked in 
1887, favours (though it does not absolutely require) 
a later date than that suggested by Ewald (close of 
the Persian period). The objection that if the bpok 
be of the Greek period, we have a right to expect 
definite traces of Greek influence, I now see to be 
inconclusive; the Wisdom of Jesus the Son of Sirach 
contains none, and yet belongs to the Greek period. 2 

Isaiah, too, describes imaginatively in "elegiac rhythm" (if 
Budde may be followed) the state of captured Jerusalem (Isa. li. 
17 — 20). 

1 Discussion of this delicate question I must here renounce. 
Since these chapters were written Dyserinck has favoured us 
with some valuable remarks of Kuenen on the possibility of a 
post-Exilic date for these poems {Theol. Tijdschr. July 1892). 
It was his, wish that the book might be studied anew from a 
linguistic point of view. But he admitted the difficulty caused by 
the alphabetic form of the poems and their similarity to certain 
psalms. Dyserinck himself proposes to publish an elaborate 
treatment of the subject. 

2 On supposed Greek influences, see, besides Menzel, Qohelet 
und die nacharistotelische Philosophic, von August Palm (1885). 

DRIVER. 3 59 

Moreover, Hellenism must have influenced very many 
who did not definitely adopt Greek theories. Certainly 
the work is very un-Jewish. Very probably Kuenen 
is correct in dating it about 200 B.C., i. e. about forty 
years before the great Maccabsean rising (so too Mr. 
Tyler). Dr. Driver admits the force of his reasoning, 
though he still not unreasonably hesitates. He is him- 
self strongest on the linguistic side of the argument ; 
see especially his note on the bearings of Prof. Mar- 
goliouth's attempted restorations of Ben Sira (p. 447). 
I cannot equally follow him in his argument against 
a theory which I myself hold, viz. that the text of 
Ecclesiastes has been manipulated in the interests of 
orthodoxy. As was remarked above, the book is not 
in the strictest sense canonical, and we have therefore 
no interest in creating or magnifying difficulties in a 
theory which is intrinsically probable, and is supported 
by numerous phenomena in the later period. 

The section on Esther is also in the main very 
satisfactory. But why are we told that this narrative 
(which was not canonical according to St. Athanasius, 
and which, fascinating as it is, we can hardly venture 
to call inspired) cannot reasonably be doubted to have 
a historical basis ? Is it because of the appeal to 
Persian chronicles (Esth. ii. 23 ; x. 2 ; cf. ix. 32) ? 
But it is of the essence of the art of romance not to 
shrink from appeals to fictitious authorities. One 
may however admit that a story like Esther, which 
professed to account for the origin of a popular 
festival, probably had a traditional, though not a 


historical, basis. On this point reference may be 
made to Kuenen's Onderzoek (ed. 2), p. 551, and 
Zimmern in Stade's Zeitschrift, 189 1, p. 168. The 
latter thinks (and both Jensen and Lagarde agree) 
that the Feast of Purim may be derived ultimately 
from a Babylonian New Year's Feast, and that the 
story of the struggle between Mordecai and Haman 
was suggested by a Babylonian New Year's legend 
of the struggle between Marduk and Tiamat. This 
coincides curiously with the views proposed above to 
explain the origin of the Jonah-narrative. Of course, 
the story may have been enriched with Persian 
elements (on which see Lagarde and Kuenen l ) before 
it was Hebraized by a Jewish story-teller. 

Dr. Driver's linguistic argument for placing Esther 
in the fourth or third century B.C. is excellent. But 
there is one important omission in his brief discussion. 
If the date is so early, how is it that the earliest 
independent evidence for the observance of Purim in 
Judaea is in 2 Maccabees (see p. 452) ? Moreover, 
there is no mention of Mordecai and Esther 2 in Ben 
Sira's " praise of famous men '' (Eccles. xliv. — xlix.), 
which would be strange if Purim and its story were 
well known in Judaea in B.C. 1 80. May not the festival 
have been introduced into Judaea, and the Book of 

1 Lagarde's treatise Purim (1887) is important ; Dr. Driver's 
reference gives no idea of this. See also his Mittheilungen, ii. 
378 — 381, iv. 347. On Persian legendary elements, see also 
Kuenen, Ond., ed. 2, ii. 551, and cf. Cornill, Einl., p. 253. 

2 Cf. Ben Sira's silence as to Daniel (see/od and Solomon, 
p. 194). 

DRIVER. 3 61 

Esther have been written some time after the Macca- 
hraean War (so Reuss, Kuenen, and Cornill)? Or, 
though this seems less probable, the book may have 
been written by a Persian Jew in the third century, 
but not brought to Palestine till later. Dr. Driver 
ought perhaps to have mentioned this theory (Mr. 
Bevan, Daniel, p. 29, notes two significant words 
which Esther has in common with Daniel). He 
might also have added to his " literature" my article 
" Esther " in Enc. Brit. (1878) ; Cassel's Esther 
(1888) ; and Dieulafoy, " Le livre d'Esther et le 
palais d'AssueVus" in Revue des ttudes Juives, 1888 
(Actes et Conferences). 

Nor can I help giving hearty praise to the sections 
on Chronicles, Ezra, and Nehemiah. The details, 
especially on style, are worked out with great care. 
The only objection that I shall raise relates to the 
sketch of the method and spirit of the Chronicler, 
which I could have wished not less reverent, but 
bolder and more distinct in expression. We are all 
familiar with the attacks to which writers like Dr. 
Driver are exposed ; some of the most vigorous 
passages of Bishop Ellicott's recent Charge are 
directed against that strangest of all theories — " an 
inspiration of repainting history " — to which these 
reverent-minded writers are supposed to have com- 
mitted themselves. If Dr. Driver had only been a 
little clearer on the subjects of inspiration and of 
the growth of the Canon, how much simpler would 
have been his task, especially in dealing with the 


Hagiographa ! Of course, the Chronicles are in- 
spired, not as the prophecies of Isaiah and Jeremiah, 
but as even a sermon might be called inspired, i. e. 
touched in a high degree with the best spiritual 
influences of the time. Dr. Driver says (preface, p. 
xvi) — " It was the function of inspiration to guide 
the individual [historian] in the choice and dis- 
position of his material, and in his use of it for the 
inculcation of special lessons.'' 

But clearly this can be true of the Chronicler only 
with those limitations, subject to which the same 
thing could be said of any conscientious and humble- 
minded preacher of the Christian Church. And if 
these limitations cannot be borne in mind, it is better 
to drop the word altogether, and express what we 
mean by some other term. That there are some 
passages in Chronicles which have a specially inspir- 
ing quality, and may therefore be called inspired, is 
not of course to be denied. But upon the whole, as 
Prof. Robertson Smith truly says, 1 the Chronicler " is 
not so much a historian as a Levitical preacher on 
the old history." The spirit of the Deuteronomistic 
editor of the earlier narrative books has found in him 
its most consistent representative. He omits some 
facts and colours others in perfect good faith accord- 
ing to a preconceived religious theory, to edify 
himself and his readers. He also adds some new 
facts, not on his own authority, but on that of earlier 

1 The Old Test, in the Jewish Church, ed. 1, p. 420. 

DRIVER. 363 

records, but we dare not say that he had any greater 
skill than his neighbours in sifting the contents of 
these records, if indeed he had any desire to do so. 
Dr. Driver's language (p. 501) respecting the "tra- 
ditional element" used by the Chronicler seems 
therefore somewhat liable to misunderstanding. 1 

The only remaining section of the book relates to 
the Book of Daniel, and upon this, as might be 
expected, Dr. Driver's individuality has left a strong 
impress. It is needless to say that the student can 
fully trust the facts which are here stored up in 
abundance, also that the conclusions arrived at are 
in the main judicious, and the mode of their pre- 
sentation considerate. And yet helpful, very helpful, 
as this section is, it does not fully satisfy a severely 
critical standard. Far be it from me to blame the 
author for this ; I sympathize too deeply with the 
conflict of feelings amid which he must have written. 
I would speak frankly, but (on the grounds already 
mentioned) without assumption of superiority. First 
of all, I think it a misfortune that the sketch of the 
contents of the book could not have been shortened. 
I know the excuse ; there existed in English no 
commentary on Daniel sufficiently critical to be 
referred to. But on the other hand, there was the 
most urgent need for more preliminary matter, 

1 To the "literature'' of Ezra I should add Nestle, "Zur 
Frage nach der urspriinglichen Einheit der Biicher Chronik, 
Esra, Neh.," in Studien u. Kritiken, 1879, pp. 517 — 520 ; van 
Hoonacker, " Ndhemie et Esdras ; nouvelle hypothese," in Le 
Musdon, 1890. 


especially on the characteristics of this book. Or- 
dinary readers simply cannot understand Daniel. 
Modern culture supplies no key to it, as the late Mr. 
Gilbert's interesting paper in the Expositor for June 
1889 conclusively shows. I do not undervalue the 
judicious remarks on pp. 480 — 482, but on "apoca- 
lyptic" literature something more was wanted than 
bare references to various German authors, one of 
whom (Smend) ought, as I think, to have been made 
much more prominent. 1 Secondly, I think that a 
freer use should have been made of the cuneiform 
inscriptions, especially considering the unfriendly 
criticisms of Prof. Sayce. In this respect I believe 
myself to have long ago set a good example, though 
my article on Daniel {Enc. Brit., 1876) of course 
requires much modification and expansion. 2 And 
here let me repair an omission in chap. xi. Dr. 
Driver should, I think, in dealing with Hexateuch 
criticism, have taken some account of Assyrian and 
Egyptian investigations. Even if he thought it safer 
not to speak too positively on the bearings of these 
researches on the question of the dates of documents, 
he ought, I think, to have " indicated the way for 
future progress " (editor's preface), and so have pre- 
vented (so far as in him lay) the vehement but 

1 Dr. Wright's work on Daniel in the Pulpit Commentary 
will, I am sure, be full of learned and honest discussion. But 
when will it appear? Mr. Bevan's Short Commentary on 
Daniel (1892) is so good that we may even ask him for some- 
thing more complete, though not more careful and critical. 

2 See also Bampton Led., pp. 105 — 107 (cf. 94, 296). 

DRIVER. 365 

erroneous criticisms of Prof. Sayce. 1 But on the 
relation of cuneiform research to the criticism of 
Daniel no reserve was called for. It would have been 
quite right to say that the statement respecting 
Belteshazzar in Daniel iv. was erroneous, and that 
the names Ashpenaz, Shadrach, and Meshach could 
not have been put forward as Babylonian in Exilic 
times ; 2 also that Hamelsar (probably) and Abed- 
nego (certainly) are ignorant deformations of Baby- 
lonian names, and that though Arioch is doubtless 
Eri-aku, yet this name was probably obtained from 
Genesis xiv. 1. And much more might, I think, have 
been made of the writer's slight acquaintance with 
Babylonian ideas and customs. Above all, while on 
" the Chaldseans " and on Belshazzar very just re- 
marks are made, on " Darius the Mede " we get this 
unfortunate compromise between criticism and con- 
servatism (p. 469 ; cf. p. 479, note 2 ) — " Still the 

1 I referred to this at the Church Congress in 1883 (Job and 
Solomon, p. 6), and Prof. Robertson Smith wrote an acute 
paper on " Archaeology and the Date of the Pentateuch " in the 
Contemp. Rev. for October 1887. Against the coloured state- 
ments of Prof. Sayce's paper in the Expository Times for 
December 1881 I have already protested. The Tell-el-Amarna 
tablets introduce a fresh element, not of simplicity, but of 
complication (" development " is, alas ! not such a simple 
matter as theorists used to suppose). But E. Meyer's critical 
inference from Egyptian history in Stade's Zt., 1888, pp. 47 — 
49 (cf. his Gesch. des Alt., i. 202), appears to be worth a corner 
even of Dr. Driver's limited space. 

2 Few probably will accept Kohler's suggestions on "the 
Chaldean names of Daniel and his three friends," in the Zt, 

fiir Assyriologie, 1889, pp. 46— 51. 


circumstances are not perhaps such as to be absolutely 
inconsistent with either the existence or the office of 
' Darius the Mede ' ; and a cautious criticism will 
not build too much on the silence of the inscriptions, 
when many certainly remain yet to be brought to 

Now it is quite true that in the addenda to the 
second edition it is stated, in accordance with the 
contract-tablets published by Strassmaier, that 
neither " Darius the Mede " nor even Belshazzar bore 
the title of king between Nabuna'id and Cyrus. But 
it is not the very venial error in the original state- 
ment on which I lay stress, but the attitude of the 
writer. Out of excessive sympathy with old- 
fashioned readers, he seems to forget the claims of 
criticism. The words of Daniel v. 31 should be in 
themselves sufficient to prove the narrative in which 
they occur to have been written long after B.C. 536. 1 

Thirdly, against the view that chap. xi. contains 
true predictions, the author should, I think, have 
urged Nestle's certain explanation of the so-called 
" abomination of desolation " in Stade's Zeitschrift 

1 That Mr. Pinches should have come forward on the side of 
conservatism at the Church Congress in 1891 is, I presume, of 
no significance. He is far too modest to claim to have studied 
the Book of Daniel critically. The same remark probably 
applies to Mr. Flinders Petrie (see Bampton Led., pp. 9, 10). On 
" Darius the Mede," compare Meinhold (Beitrage, 1888), and 
Sayce, Fresh Light, &c. (1884), p. 181, who however unduly 
blunts the edge of his critical decision. See also my own 
article " Daniel," for an incidental evidence of the confusion 
between Cyrus and Darius Hystaspis from 1 Kings x. 18, Sept. 

DRIVER. 367 

for 1883 x (see Bampton Lectures, p. 105). That an 
Exilic prophet should have used the phrase explained 
by Nestle, Bishop Ellicott himself will admit to be 
inconceivable. I will not blame Dr. Driver for his 
remark on p. 477 (line 28, &c), but I believe that it 
is not quite critical, and that Nestle's discovery 
supplies the last fact that was wanted to prove to the 
general satisfaction that Daniel xi., xii. (and all that 
belongs to it) was written in the reign of Antiochus 
Epiphanes. I say " the last fact," because a faithful 
historical explanation of Daniel xi., xii., such as is 
given by the great Church-Father Hippolytus in the 
lately discovered fourth book of his Commentary, 2 
forces on the unprejudiced mind the conclusion that 
this section was written during the Syrian persecution. 
Hippolytus, it is true, did not draw this conclusion, 
but who can wonder that the Neoplatonic philosopher 
Porphyry did ? And should we not be ready to learn 
even from our foes ?. 

Fourthly. (The reader will pardon this dry ar- 
rangement under heads with a view to brevity.) I 

1 Dr. Driver mentions this explanation in the addenda to ed. 
2. But, like Mr. ■ Bevan {Daniel, p. 193, who also refers to 
Nestle), he thinks the " abomination " was an altar. Surely, as 
Bleek saw, it was (primarily at least) a statue. The statue 
of Olympian Zeus bore the Divine name, and the altar was 
presumably erected before it. 

2 Fragments of the Syriac version of this fourth book were 
given by Lagarde, Analecta Syriaca (1838), pp. 79 — 91. 
Georgiades discovered, and Dr. E. Bratke edited the complete 
work in Greek in 1891. [In June 1892 Dr. Salmon gave an 
article on Hippolytus's commentary in Hermathena, No. 18.] 


notice on p. 479 the same confusion which occurs 
elsewhere between " tradition " and history. I do 
not think that any critic who agrees on the main 
point with Dr. Driver would maintain that " Daniel, 
it cannot be doubted, was a historical person " except 
the newly-converted Delitzsch, who, as his article in 
the second edition of Herzog's Encyclopedia shows, 
had not worked his way to perfect clearness. Listen 
to the late Prof. Riehm, who is now just obtaining 
recognition among us. " The material of his narra- 
tives the author may partly have taken from folk- 
tales {ecus der Volkssage), though at any rate in part 
he invented it himself. . . . And even if there was 
a folk-tale {Volkssage), according to which Daniel 
was a prophet living during the Exile and dis- 
tinguished for his piety, yet the historical existence 
of an Exilic prophet Daniel is more than doubtful." J 

One must, I fear, add that the two statements 
mentioned in note 2 as resting possibly or probably 
on a basis of fact are, the one very doubtful, the 
other now admitted to be without foundation. 

Fifthly, as to the date of the composition of the 
book. Dr. Driver states this to be at earliest about 
BC. 300, but more probably B.C. 168 or 167 (p. 
467). Delitzsch is bolder and more critical ; he says 
about B.C. 168. But to be true to all the facts, we 
ought rather to say that, while some evidence points 
to a date not earlier than B.C. 300, other facts point 

1 Einleitung in das A. T., ii. 329. 

DRIVER. 369 

to the reign of Antiochus Epiphanes, and perhaps 
more definitely still to the period between the end of 
Dec. 165 (the dedication of the temple, which is 
mentioned in Daniel viii. 14) and June 164 (the end 
of the seventieth year-week, when the writer of 
Daniel expected the tyrant Antiochus to " come to 
his end "). 1 

It was a pity that so little could be said on the 
composition of the book. Reuss and Lagarde both 
held that the book was made up of a number of 
separate "fly-sheets," and Dr. C. H. H. Wright main- 
tains that it is but an abridgment of a larger work. 
The theories of Lenormant, Zockler, and Strack also 
deserved a mention. On Meinhold's theory a some- 
what too hesitating judgment is expressed (p. 483), 
which should be compared with Mr. Bevan's more 
decided view in his Daniel. From the form of the 
opening sentence of par. 3 on page 482, I conjecture 
that something on this subject may have been omitted. 
But if by so doing the author obtained more room for 
his linguistic arguments, I can but rejoice. Gladly 
do I call attention to the soundness of the facts on 
which these are based and the truly critical character 
of his judgments, and more particularly to what is 
said on the Aramaic of the Book of Daniel, and the 
eminently fair references to Prof. Margoliouth. 2 

1 The fullest justification of this is given by Cornill, Die 
siebzig Jahrwochen Daniels (Konigsberg, 1889) ; cf. Einleitung, 
p. 258. This little treatise deserves a fuller criticism than it 
has yet received. 

1 Mr. Bevan's mainly linguistic commentary on Daniel and 


But the treatment of the language of Daniel is but 
the climax of a series of linguistic contributions. To 
any one who has eyes to see, the special value of the 
book consists in its presentation of the linguistic evi- 
dence of the date of the documents (cf. p. 106). I do 
not say that I am not sometimes disappointed. No 
wonder; did not a good scholar like Budde, in 1876, 
claim the Elihu-speeches for the original Book of Job 
on grounds of language ? Often I could have wished 
both that more evidence were given and a more 
definite conclusion reached (e. g. on Joel) ; but I 
recognize the difficulties with which Dr. Driver had 
to contend, arising partly from his limited space, 
partly from the unfamiliarity of the reader with this 
style of argument. With Dr. Driver's remark in the 
Journal of Philosophy, xi. 133 (note 1 ), I agree, and 
when Dr. Briggs suggests that in my researches on 
the Psalms " the argument from language is not 
employed with much effect," x I feel that if not quite 
as firm as I might have been, I have been at least as 
bold as Dr. Driver would have been ; indeed, I am 
indebted to my colleague for criticisms of my " Lin- 
guistic Affinities of the Psalms," which tended rather 
to the limiting than to the heightening of their 
" effect." I think that I should now be able to put 

Mr. Brasted's study on the order of the sentences in the Hebrew 
portions of Daniel {Hebraica, July 1891, p. 244, &c.) appeared 
after the completion of Dr. Driver's work. 

1 In a very generous notice of Bampton Lecture, North 
American Review, Jan. 1892, p. 106, 

DRIVER. 371 

forward a few somewhat more definite conclusions 
(positive and negative), but Dr. Driver's self-restraint 
on p. 361 will perhaps show Dr. Briggs that if I erred, 
it was in good company. Let me add that the author 
himself has not lost the opportunity of giving some 
sufficiently definite conclusions on the development 
of Hebrew style. It is on a paragraph which begins 
by stating that " the great turning-point in Hebrew 
style falls in the age of Nehemiah " (p. 473). The 
result thus indicated is based upon much careful 
observation. It agrees substantially with the view 
of H. Ewald {Lehrbuch, p. 24), which is a decided 
improvement upon Gesenius's (Gesck. der hebr. Spr), 
but must however, as I believe, be qualified, in accord- 
ance with the great variety of Hebrew composition. 

In bringing this review to an end, let me say once 
more how much more gladly I would have echoed 
the words of that generous-minded eulogist of this 
book — Prof. Herbert E. Ryle. 2 I have written because 
of the illusions which seem gathering fresh strength 
or assuming new forms among us, and if I have shown 
some eagerness, I trust that it has been a chastened 
eagerness. The work before us is a contribution of 
value to a great subject, and if the facts and theories 
which it so ably presents should influence the higher 
religious teaching, no one would rejoice more than 

1 Cf. Bampton Lecture, pp. 460 — 463 ; Geiger, Urschrift, pp. 
40, 41. I need not say that I am by no means a disciple of this 
brilliant but too hasty critic. 

2 §ee Critical Review, Jan. 1892, 


myself. But solid, judicious, and in one place brilliant 
as it is, it requires much supplementing as a sketch 
of the present state of criticism — not merely in the 
sense in which this must be true of even the best 
handbooks, but for reasons which have, as I hope, 
been courteously stated. The author appears to have 
thought that criticism of the Bible was one of those 
shy Alpine plants of which it has been well said that 
" we can easily give our plants the soil they require, 
but we cannot give them the climate and atmosphere ; 
the climate and atmosphere are of as much import- 
ance to their well-being as carefully selected soil." 
I venture, however, to hope that he is unduly fearful, 
and that the mental climate and atmosphere of 
England is no longer so adverse as formerly to a 
free but reverent Biblical criticism. Indeed, one of 
my chief grounds for advocating such a criticism is 
that it appears to me to be becoming more and more 
necessary for the maintenance of true evangelical 
religion. It is, therefore, in the name of the Apostle 
of Faith that one of the weakest of his followers 
advocates a firmer treatment of all parts of the grave 
historical problem of the origin of our religion. 1 

1 On the relation of the criticism of the Gospels to faith see 
some wise remarks of Herrmann in the Zt.f. Theol. u. Kirche, 
1892, p. 258.