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V. Meribath-Kadesh. 

Anciekt writings were written for a motive, and, however en- 
lightened the writer may have been, they are intended to portray 
events in the light- in which they were regarded in his time, either 
by himself or by the circle on whose behalf they were undertaken. 
They may or may not be absolutely credible, but it is necessary in the 
first instance to realize that the existence of a literary work implies 
some definite aim or object. Further, it is important for the critic to 
recognize the presence of the religious factor in the composition of 
history, for not only does every writer arrange his material in order 
to give effect to a special view, but he handles it from some specific 
religious standpoint. So, eveiy piece of writing bears the impress of 
its age, and has been subject to the manifold influences from which 
no record is free. It treats of the past in accordance with the 
requirements of the present, and will often prefer to represent the 
present in the past in order to furnish authority and precedent for 
that which is contemporary. As Kuenen has appositely remarked :— 
" In ancient time and specifically in Israel, the sense of his- 
torical continuity could only be preserved by the constant com- 
pliance on the part of the past with the requirements of the 
13 resent, that is to say its constant renovation and transformation. 
This may be called the law of religious historiography. At any 
rate it dominates the historical writings alike of the Israelites 
and of the early Christians 1 ." 

In dealing with records of remote events, therefore, many questions 
constantly arise : are the records contemporary, are they authentic, or 
do they depend upon sources which are not only not contemporary, 
but embody later tradition; if so, can the earlier traditions be re- 
covered ; do they show signs of redaction, and if so, for what purpose 
has the redaction apparently been made? Abundant illustration of 
growth and redaction of tradition is to be found in the account of the 
Exodus from Egypt and the entrance into the land of Canaan, and 
that portion which requires consideration in these notes may serve 

1 Kuenen, " The Critical Method," in the Modern Review, I (1880). p. 705. 


to exemplify methods which naturally were not restricted to the 

From the results of the critical analysis it will be obvious that 
many centuries intervened between the age to which these events are 
attributed and that in which the narratives reached their present 
form. It has been placed beyond all reasonable doubt that they 
extend down into the post-exilic period, and it is necessary to bear in 
mind that the final redaction was made subsequent to the religious 
regeneration of Israel after the return from the exile. The writings 
of a Nehemiah or of an Ezra throw only incomplete light upon the 
internal movements of this post-exilic age— at the epoch when most 
is to be expected, the relevant records are slight— but we may look 
for the Judaism of that period in the contemporary re-writing and 
redaction of the old traditions with as much confidence as we may 
treat the " Little Genesis " or Book of Jubilees as material for the 
internal thought of a few centuries later. Hence, it is found that, 
for the purposes of critical study, the post-exilic records and the 
post-exilic narratives of the Exodus and Conquest illustrate one 
another and are mutually supplementary. 

Now, if the return from the exile was fresh in the minds of 
post-exilic writers, this was only one of the great issues in the history 
of Israel which could exercise influence upon the course of tradition. 
Even within the body of P itself, there are signs of important 
modifications, and it is almost impossible to estimate with any 
certainty how many currents of thought had previously affected the 
traditions of the great national event. There is sufficient evidence 
that the founding of the nation was an epoch to which later ages 
ascribed the initiation of their institutions, so that the narratives 
became the vehicle for the views and ideals of later generations. 
Of earlier stages, the Deuteronomic reform is the one that can be 
most clearly traced, and one is thereby entitled to assume that earlier 
changes in Hebrew religion and thought must have left their mark 
someivhere upon the earlier writings. Thus, one is compelled to 
believe that the influence of such a movement as that associated 
with Elijah and Elisha would assuredly affect any records which 
existed in writing in their age. 

But it would be a mistake to suppose that it is only in religion and 
ethics that we are to expect modification and development. A con- 
siderable amount of fluctuation is to be found in the narratives 
(that is, in the history from the view-point of the writers) ; some 
of the variations in important details are very striking, and when one 
considers the differences between the Deuteronomic and post-exilic 
traditions it is scarcely likely that the many centuries which separate 
even the former (D) from the events themselves have not witnessed 


equally noteworthy developments. There was time enough for 
boundaries to shift, and for the familiar sites to be the scene of other 
movements, for tribes to grow and to die out, and for tribal traditions 
to be grafted on to one and the same national stock l . But when the 
attempt is made to investigate the traditions in their earlier pre- 
Deuteronomic form, many almost insoluble difficulties at once present 
themselves, and whilst we can utilize the evidence of Deuteronomy to 
estimate the work of the latest redaction (P), for the extent of earlier 
revisions we must depend upon internal evidence and general con- 
sideiations of continuity and the like. 

Now, one is so accustomed to consider the detour to the south of 
the Sinaitic peninsula as an integral stage in the Exodus from Egypt 
that many only half-concealed indications which point to a different 
tradition are often apt to be overlooked. The itinerary of forty stations 
in Num. xxxiii (agreeing with the number of the years of wandering) 
is so freely admitted by modern critics to be one of Ps lists that it 
cannot claim the attention which it has so often received, and any 
theory of the Israelite route, instead of relying upon the character- 
istically dry and lifeless enumeration (familiar enough in P's writings), 
should concern itself primarily with the older and more lively narratives 
with their description of the events of the march. A brief considera- 
tion of these is necessary 2 . 
The incidents, taken seriatim, comprise the following : — 
(a) Immediately after the destruction of Pharaoh's army in the 
Yam Siiph, the Israelites proceed to the wilderness of Shur and march 
three days without finding water. On reaching Mdrdh ("bitter") 
the waters were found to be undrinkable and were sweetened, and 
there (a change of source has been suspected) a statute and judgment 
(DETO) were given, and he (i.e. Yahweh) tested him (^03). This 
reference to Shur (Exod. xv. 22 sqq.) brings us at once to a familiar 
district, associated with Hagar (Gen. xvi. y) 3 and with Abraham 
(xx. 1) ; one which, from the parallel story of Isaac (xxvi. 1), at some 

1 The topographical questions alone are serious when one recalls the 
Goshen in Egypt and S. Palestine ; the Yam Suph in the Aelanite Gulf ; 
the possibility of the extension of the name Musri-Mizraim beyond tho 
borders of Egypt, and the surely not infrequent incursions of tribes from 
north Arabia. 

2 For full critical details reference must be made to recent critical 
literature ; special mention may be made of Addis, Doc. of Buxateuch ; 
Bacon, Triple Trad, of the Exodus; G. P. Moore, "Exodus "and "Numbers" 
(in Ency. Bib.) ; G. B. Gray, Numbers ; and Carpenter and Harford- 
Battersby, The Hexateueh (here referred to as Sex.). 

3 In the parallel narrative, Hagar is on the point of dying of thirst 
(Gen. xxi. 15 sqq.). 


period, at least, was regarded as belonging to the Philistines (contrast 
Exod. xiii. 17). Further, it is important to observe that the wilderness 
of Shur was evidently part of the district occupied by the Amalekites 
(1 Sam. xv. 7, xxvii. 8), and that the scene of the law-giving in 
question is evidently in the neighbourhood of Kadesh (see Gen. 
xvi. 7, 14), if not at Kadesh itself. For Kadesh, as its name 
En-mishpat ("well of judgment," Gen. xiv. 7) shows, seems to have 
been famous as an ancient centre of legislation, and the suggestion 
that, according to one tradition, the Israelites journeyed direct to 
Kadesh finds some support in Judges xi. 16, in the specific allusion 
to the " testing," and in a number of other points of detail which will 
be noticed below. This being so, it is noteworthy that the period of 
three days agrees precisely with the intention expressed in Exod. v. 3, 
viii. 27 (cp. iii. 18). 

(&) It is to P that Exod. xvi in its present form is due, but it is 
undeniably based upon old material, and provides an interesting 
example of the manipulation (and mutilation) of existing tradition. 
The fact that the manna was sent to test (HD3, ver. 4) the people to 
see whether they would walk in the Law presupposes a law-giving, 
and indirect allusions to the ark (vers. 32-34) and sanctuary (ver. 9 ; 
in ver. 10 for "wilderness") point to a later context. In fact, 
recent critics agree that the whole episode is based upon a dupli- 
cate of the incidents recorded in Num. xi, and should follow the 
Sinaitic covenant. The gift of manna belongs most naturally to 
the later wanderings in the desert (cp. Deut. viii. 3 and 16). See 
below (*'). 

(c) A similar displacement has been effected in the aoeount of the 
miracle performed at Massah and Meribah. P locates it at Rephidim, 
xvii. 1 a, whilst a glossator has anticipated by the insertion of 
"in Horeb," ver. 6. The whole passage is composite, and the problem 
is complicated by the veiy close relation to Num. xx. 1-13. In the 
latter story, however, the scene is Meribah, to be identified with 
Kadesh (Num. xx. 1, 13, xxvii. 14 ; cf. Meribath-Kadesh, Ezek. xlvii. 19, 
xlviii. 28), whereas the source incorporated in Deut. ix. 22 (cp. vi. 16) 
treats Massah as a distinct name. The union of the two names in 
Exod. xvii. 7 appears to have arisen from the fusion of two sources 
in which Massah in the one case, and Meribah in the other, were 
associated with a similar story. But whilst there can be no doubt 
that Meribah ("contention" or "striving") is properly a Kadesh 
locality, there is only a very strong presumption that Massah 
(" testing," " proving," &c.) belonged originally to the same district 1 . 

1 Note above in a the proving or "testing" associated with the 


For the present, however, it is at leasb clear from a comparison of 
Dent. ix. 22 with Num. xi that any allusion to Massah is out of 
p]ace in its present context. 

(d) The account of the defeat of Amalek in xvii. 8-16 is due to E — 
probably a secondary source 1 — and like the preceding episodes is 
marked by certain peculiarities which indicate a much later point in 
the narratives : Moses is no longer able to sustain the outstretched 
rod, and Joshua, formally introduced in xxxiii. 1 1 as a young man in 
attendance upon Moses, is now a trained captain. The relation 
between the two, therefore, represents a more advanced stage, af/er 
the institution of the Tent of Meeting. In addition to this, the 
mention of Amalek associates itself with Num. xiv, where the Israelites 
are at Kadesh. Not in the peninsula of Sinai or near the Gulf of 
Akabah, but to the immediate south of Palestine does this people 
belong, and whilst we might expect to find them in the wilderness of 
Shur (a above), many critics agree that they are out of place in their 
present context 2 . 

(e) Even the composite account of Jethro's visit to Moses (Exod. 
xviii) cannot belong rightly to its present context. Although the 
scene is apparently Rephidim (unidentified, xvii. 8, xix. 2), ver. 5 
places it at the " mount of God " (Horeb-Sinai, cp. already xvii. 6). 
But the narrative implies a settled encampment and the possession of ; its tenor suggests the last stage in the sojourn at Horeb, and 
it is significant that this is precisely the point at which the tradition 
in Deuteronomy (i. 9-17) assigns the institution of judges and officers 3 . 
So the usual critical view, but since the holy mountain was already 
near Jethro's home (iii. 1), his journey "unto the wilderness" (ver. 5) 
and his return "unto his own land" (ver. 27) seem to imply that the 
original scene of this visit was not Sinai-Horeb. See further below 
on Num. x. 29 sqq. (</). 

(/) The chapters that follow comprise the Sinaitic theophany, 
legislation, and covenant, continued by a great mass of material of 
post-exilic date, which extends (Exod. xxxii-xxxiv excepted) from 
Exod. xxv to Num. x. 28. It has already been seen (b) that P builds 
upon old material 4 , and it is important to bear in mind that even as 

1 Without the recognition of secondary sources in both J and E, the 
literary criticism of the Exodus can make no progress. 

2 In view of the repeated references to HE3 and rroo, there is a possi- 
bility that the name of the altar Yahweh-nissi ('B3) was thought to be 
connected with Massah. 

3 Note, however, the development of the tradition ; Deut., 1. c, makes 
no reference to the part played by Jethro. 

4 Cp. also P in Gen. xxxv, see J. Q. R., XVIII, 539 sq. 


P's laws and institutions are not all of post-exilic origin, so his 
narratives may be the development of early tradition. For example, 
Exod. xxxiii. 7-1 1 abruptly introduces us to the Sacred Tent, a dwelling 
which cannot possibly be the elaborate building already described 
by P. Together with Deut. x. 1-5 and Num. x. 33, it presupposes 
some old preliminary explanation of the tent and ark, on which 
account it is extremely probable that P's sources in the preceding 
chapters have taken the place of older matter dealing with similar 
topics. Thus it will be seen that although P gives us the post-exilic 
representation of the older traditions, and although it is not always 
possible to determine precisely how much of his material is applicable 
to the earlier ages, his sources can be of great assistance in any attempt 
to reconstruct the general trend and context of early tradition 1 . In 
these circumstances, it will evidently be important to observe how P's 
source continues after his account of the preparations for the 
sanctuary. (See below.) 

(g) The older sources are resumed in Num. x. 29 sqq., where we 
once again meet with the father-in-law of Moses. This associates 
itself with the misplaced narrative, Exod. xviii (e), and it will be 
seen that if that chapter stood in the present context the internal 
difficulties (already noticed) would vanish. Both narratives agree in 
demonstrating the dependence of Moses upon his father-in-law, and 
the relative antiquity of Num. x. 29 sqq. shows itself most prominently 
when it is compared with Exod. xxxiii, where it is not a human 

1 Similarly, although the chronicler writes in accordance with the 
religious standpoint of his age to such an extent that his records are of 
little value for the study of religious life under the monarchy, it would 
be uncritical to reject the traditions he has re-written or incorporated 
without subjecting them first to careful and unbiassed investigation. 
And in criticizing his historical evidence it is necessary to bear in mind 
the scantiness of our earlier historical sources. The Book of Kings itself 
contains only a selection from the material accessible to the compilers, 
and there is no sound reason why certain portions of the Book of 
Chronicles should not be based upon or developed from equally reputable 
sources. If the conviction can be maintained that P, however un- 
historical in his present form, has developed rather than invented, it will 
be difficult to deny that the chronicler has proceeded upon the same 
lines. On general grounds, moreover, it seems unreasonable to suppose 
that a writer should take the trouble to invent, when a mass of tradition 
(whether oral or written) must have been in circulation. Not to 
pronounce upon the credibility of individual points of evidence, but 
to collect and classify all related material, must bo the first step in 
historical study, and it is, perhaps, too often assumed that the earlier 
books are necessarily more credible than the later. 


but a divine guide whose help is required. In spite of its brevity 
it is of unique value, since Hobab's clan is subsequently met with in 
Judges i. 16, whence it appears that in spite of his disinclination he 
was induced to accompany the wanderers. The passage is properly 
a torso ; it breaks off with tantalizing suddenness, and only allows us 
to infer that some account of Hobab's journey once existed in writing 
and that this record has been superseded in favour of another by 
some early editor 1 . The passage undoubtedly belongs to the same 
context as / (Exod. xxxii-xxxiv) and the scene must be Sinai-Horeb 
(ver. 33), but Hobab's proposal to depart to his own "land" and 
" kindred " (f^ ) agrees with Exod. xviii. 27, and tends to deepen 
the impression that the original scene was neither Sinai nor Horeb. 
Even P's narrative in Num. x. 12 2 states that the wilderness of Sinai 
had been left and that the Israelites were in the wilderness of Paran, 
and although this source seems to have located the latter to the south 
of Kadesh (but cp. xiii. 3 and 26), there are some indications that 
this is merely to give effect to a particular view which is not original. 
In point of fact, the narratives now under consideration are the result 
of a peculiarly complicated process ; it is not enough to agree with 
many recent critics that a-e are misplaced, it is also necessary to 
observe how persistently incidents are placed at a stage before Kadesh 
is reached when definite features suggest that their original position 
was at Kadesh itself. 

Several important events have been crowded into Num. xi. No 
details are preserved of Qi) the "burning" at Tab'erah ('TJJQW, Num. 
xi. 1-3), but the reference has every appearance of being based upon 
the meaning of the place-name. Such aetiological allusions (cp. 
Massah, Meribah and Marah) in other fields of historical investigation 
would naturally be treated with great reserve s . 

(*) In the composite narrative of the manna and quails, the 
institution of the seventy elders is to be kept quite distinct, its 
relation to portions of Exod. xxxiii being indisputable. The story 
(which serves to explain the name "Graves of Lust") is evidently 
akin to P's narrative in Exod. xvi, and both ignore the view that the 
Israelites were supplied with herds and flocks (Exod. xvii. 3, xix. 13, 

1 The meaning of the "three days" in Num. x. 33 is obscure, but 
cp. Exod. xv. 22 (see end of a). 

8 Vers. 13-28 being secondary (see Hex., p. 200), vers. 11, 12, or their 
original, once stood immediately before ver. 29. 

3 On the assumption that an early source recounted an appropriate 
incident one might be tempted to refer to the story of Nadab and Abihu 
(Lev. x. r-5), or of Korah's revolt (Num. xvi), but these are at present 
in a different context, and of post-exilic origin. See, however, below. 


xxiv. 5, xxxii. 6, xxxiv. 3, Num. xx. 19). The tradition in Deut. ix. 22 
refers to acts of provocation at Taberah, Massah and Kibroth-hattaavah, 
and since the last is clearly connected with the provision of quails it 
is extremely probable that the gift of manna was originally associated 
with Massah. That Exod. xvi. 4 contains a specific allusion to the 
testing or proving of Israel has already been seen \ 

(j) The next decisive incident is the sending of the spies (xiii. sq.), 
the scene of which is Kadesh (xiii. 26, Deut. i. 19, 46) 2 . This should 
hold good, also, of the revolt of Korah (xvi. sqq.), and is explicitly 
stated in the case of Num. xx (see k). But according to P, Kadesh 
is reached for the first time in xx. 1, and for this and other reasons 
some transposition of the narratives may be suspected. By placing 
the sending of the spies after the revolt and before xx. 14 sqq. a more 
natural sequence is obtained, and the account of the unsuccessful 
attempt to push northwards is thus followed by the preparations for 
the journey through Edom 8 . 

(k) In Num. xx is recorded a story of " striving," a duplicate of that 
in Exod. xvi. 1-7 (see c). In some obscure manner Moses and Aaron 
did not sanctify (BHp) Yahweh in the eyes of Israel, whence the 
place was called the " waters of Meribah " because the children of 
Israel "strove" (^1) with Yahweh, and he showed his holiness among 
them" (D3 B'1p' , 1)— an unmistakable allusion to the name Kadesh. It 
is difficult to determine from the narrative the nature of the sin of 
which Moses and Aaron were guilty. Comill has suggested that it 
was some act of open rebellion and takes the words "hear, ye rebels " 
in ver. 10 to have been addressed originally by Yahweh to the leaders. 
There is also a possibility that the story with its allusion to rebels 
(D^D) wa s associated with Marah ( l * l 1?, see above a), but in the nature 
of the case this cannot be proved i . However, there are other allusions 
to offences by Moses and Aaron, and on inspection it is found that all 
appear to be related in an extremely perplexing manner. For ex- 
ample, from Deut. i. 37 it seems that in one tradition Moses incurred 

1 Prom another nuance of the root comes the idea of " tempting," to 
which Deut. vi. 16 and Ps. Ixxviii. 18 refer. 

2 According to Deut. i. 22 the spies were sent at the request of the 
people ; contrast Num. xiii. 1. 

3 xxi. 1-3 (Israelite victory at Hormah) and the overtures to Edom are 
intimately connected as regards subject-matter with xiv. 41 sqq. {defeat 
at Hormah) and ver. 25. See also Bacon, p. 182 sq. The present posi- 
tion of k (before the attempt to pass Edom) finds a parallel in Exod. xvii, 
where its duplicate c precedes the defeat of Amalek. The relative value 
of these traditions is another question, on which see below. 

4 However, in Exod. xv. 23 sqq., the giving of the statute and judgment 
follows upon the miracle at Marah (where the waters are sweetened). 


the wrath of Yahweh on the return of the spies. Now since the latter 
event should probably be placed before xx. 14, it would thus occupy 
the same relative position as the story of Meribah in xx. 1-13. There 
is no hint of any offence of Moses in Num. xiv, as the narrative 
now stands, but it seems to imply that sentence had already been 
passed upon both Moses and Aaron. On the other hand, the chapter 
contains a fine description of his intercession on behalf of the 
rebellious people. The passage in question (Num. xiv. 11-24) has 
close literary contact with Exod. xxxii-xxxiv, and it is curious that 
the parallels oceur in the account of the intercession of Moses after 
Aaron made the calf. These scenes, like the above, precede the 
commencement of a journey (Num. x. 29 sqq.), and from Deut. ix. 19 
it would appear that, according to some tradition, the mediation was 
on behalf of Aaron. It may be that opinion was not settled regarding 
the specific occasion on which the divine displeasure was aroused, but 
there are evident signs that the traditions are not so widely separated 
as they at first appear. 

This necessarily very brief survey will exemplify the intricate 
character of the narratives. There has been considerable adjustment 
and many stages in the growth of tradition have been preserved 
by the editors. Although a (p. 741, above) brings us at once to 
a law-giving in the wilderness of Shur, no covenant or legislation can 
reasonably be expected until Sinai-Horeb is reached. The narratives 
Exod. xvi-xix demand a position after the laws, and, although they are 
distributed along the route, Sinai is already the scene in xvii. 6 and 
xviii. 5. Subsequently it is found that although the spies are sent 
from Kadesh (Num. xiii. 26), this place is not yet reached in P (xx. 1), 
and although the incidents in Numbers (g, &c.) are placed either 
at Kadesh or on the journey thither, some points of contact with 
Exod. xxxii-xxxiv (apparently Sinai-Horeb) have already been found. 

Although it is more than probable that certain incidents have been 
misplaced, it is difficult to reconstruct the form of the sources before 
they suffered adjustment. Nevertheless, it is clear that the connexion 
between the allied passages was a close one : the rock in Exod. xvii. 6 
is that mentioned in Num. xx. 8 ; the hill in Exod. xvii. 10 finds its 
explanation in the allusions in Num. xiv. 40, 44, and P, in Exod. xvi, 
builds upon older material closely related to that which has survived 
in Num. xiV That these variants can supplement or illustrate each 

1 As a specimen of intricacy it may be noticed also that from Deut. 
viii. 3 and 16 one expects the manna to have been sent after the Israelites 
had left Kadesh and were in the "great and terrible wilderness," and 
certainly Num. xi is preceded by the account of the commencement of 
the journey (see g and above). But Exod. xxxii-xxxiv is apparently at 

VOL. xviii. 3 c 


other appears notably when it is remembered that before the 
incorporation of P's material, Exod. xxxii-xxxiv stood in close con- 
nexion with Num. x. 29-36, xi. sqq. The passages in the former 
which describe the reluctance of Moses to bear the burden of the 
people are of the same stamp as Num. xi. 12, 14 sq., and it is only 
necessary to observe how appropriately these verses follow upon 
Exod. xxxiii. 1-3 to admit the force of Bacon's reasoning that this 
was their original position 1 . This affords another example of the 
manner in which the account of the journey has been constructed, 
and it now becomes evident that many traditions have grown up 
around the commencement of this journey. The relation of Exod. 
xviii to Num. x. 29 has already been noticed (see e and g), and one 
is entitled to infer that the former must have been found in this 
context at some earlier stage in the literary history of the narratives. 
If it be transferred (allowance being made for redaction), not only do 
its difficulties disappear but we are in agreement with the tradition 
represented in Deut. i. 9-18, which has verbal points of contact with 
loth Exod. xviii and Num. xi 2 . Accordingly, we find that as 
a necessary preliminary to the journey, Moses requests the assistance 
of Hobab, that Jethro suggests steps to lighten the legislative duties 
of his son-in-law (note the special development of this in Deut. i), 
and that as tradition strikes a loftier note, Moses needs a divine 
guide, and, no longer the judge, but the recipient of the divine spirit, 
elects seventy elders s . 

All these appear to represent successive stages in the growth of 
tradition, and since traces of displacement have already been found 
it is possible that other passages originally stood in this context. 
The relation of Exod. xxiv. 1, 2, 9-1 1 to the election of the seventy 
elders in Num xi is not certain *, but the former appears to represent 
a more primitive version of the incident, and some support for this 
belief might be found if it could be shown that Nadab and Abihu 

Sinai- Horeb, and Kadesh is not reached until Num. xiii. And, finally, 
does the need for this food belong to the oldest traditions? See also 
the references above in i. 

1 See also Gray, p. 107. 

a See Driver, Deut., p. 10 ; Addis, ii. pp. 34 sq. 

3 Note, further, the general idea of the reluctance of the leader to 
undertake the task ; one may compare the account of Elijah at Horeb. 
The examples of development noticed above are especially instructive 
since elsewhere, where similar growth is to be expected, only isolated 
stages may have survived. Any narrative that happens to stand by itself 
may represent only one of perhaps several different views which were 
once current. 

* See Gray, p. 116. 


once had a place in the context of Exod. xxxii-xxxiv (see below, 

P. 754). 

Another incident that presumably belongs before the commencement 
of the journey is the story of the punishment of Miriam and the 
vindication of Moses (Num. xii) 1 . Notwithstanding its present 
position at Hazeroth (xi. 35, xii. 16), it associates itself with the visit 
of Jethro to Moses, and is characterized by that motive of jealousy 
which underlies the story of the seventy elders (xi. 28 sq.). The idea 
of election and of the vindication of authority is met with in other 
passages which appear to belong to the same cycle, and it seems 
probable that this markedly advanced narrative of the punishment 
and forgiveness of Miriam is to be connected with the statement in an 
older source that Miriam died at Kadesh (xx. 1). 

In like manner, it appears that although Aaron receives his punish- 
ment at Kadesh, one tradition knew of his narrow escape from death 
for his share in the matter of the golden calf, and even of Moses 
himself there is preserved in Exod. iv. 13-16 (at the mount of God) 
a curious allusion to the manifestation of Yahweh's anger in con- 
sequence of his reluctance to undertake the task imposed upon him 2 . 
It is singular that, although editors have succeeded in concealing 
the precise offence of which Moses was guilty in Num. xx, the 
tradition in Ps. cvi. 33 states that he was rash or indiscreet (SQD) at 
Meribah, whereas the passages which seem to hint at this are now in 
a context which points to Sinai. 

A number of independent considerations (of varying value) tend to 
the view that a fundamental adjustment of the oldest traditions has 
been effected. Some light is thrown upon this by a critical result of 
extreme importance. There is reason to believe that according to 
P the whole of the forty years' wanderings was spent away from 
Kadesh; in D, likewise, the greater part of the time is spent in 
the inhospitable desert, whereas in the earlier sources the Israelites 
have their centre in the fertile and well-watered oasis of Kadesh 
surrounded by pasture-grounds suitable for nomads. Many details 
are obscure, but the dominant fact is the conclusion that Kadesh 
was once regarded as the permanent centre of the people s . Hence 

1 Bacon, p. 175 ; Gray, pp. 98, 120. 

2 This reluctance and the promised help of Aaron the Levite may be 
associated with the selection of the Levites in general (Exod. xxxii. 
25 sqq.), which is now placed at Sinai-Horeb. On historical grounds the 
latter may be the more primitive, the choice of Aaron as the representa- 
tive of the Levites would mark a more advanced stage. 

3 See Gray, Ency. Bib., "Wanderings, Wilderness of," especially §§ 6, 
15 sq. 



it would be natural to assume that it occupied a very prominent 
place in the old sources, and it seems more likely that traditions 
would gather around it than around Sinai-Horeb, which was the 
scene of only a comparatively short stay. Now, if the old sources 
described the preparations for the commencement of the journey 
from Kadesh— and it is extremely probable on a priori grounds 
that they would— there is further presumption for the view that 
the stories of visits of a Jethro or Hobab, and of the reluctance of 
Moses, and all allied incidents were originally associated with this 
historic site and that the present adjustment was intended to 
magnify the importance of Sinai-Horeb and to treat Kadesh merely 
as one of the stages in this part of the journey (see below, p. 755). 

It is scarcely necessary to show that the Sinaitic covenant and 
legislation is more advanced that the germ of the old laws in 
Exod. xxxiv. The latter's theophany is more primitive than that in 
Exod. iii and there is a distinct stamp of antiquity underlying Exod. 
xxxii-xxxiv which is not without significance. At present, everything 
is made to depend upon the story of the golden calf : the apostasy is 
followed by the divine wrath, the choice of the Levites, and apparently 
a new covenant. But the offence must be understood in the light of 
the later polemics against calf-worship and on this account can 
scarcely be regarded as part of the original tradition \ At one time, 
however, some other motive must have existed, although when we 
consider the time that has elapsed between the date of the old 
account of the choice of the Levites and the latest redactions one 
can hardly expect to be able to recover the earliest details. 

The leading features are (a) Aaron's share in the offence, and 
(6) the institution of the sacred tribe Levi. The latter was evidently 
once narrated at some length, since in Deut. x. 10 2 it is associated 
with the making of the ark and thus presupposes an account which is 
not the existing one in Exod. xxviii sq. (cp. Lev. viii), but probably 
an earlier, from which P has been developed. Now, from the 
" Blessing of Moses " it seems that a tradition existed that Yahweh 
"proved" the Levites at Massah and "strove" with them at the 
waters of Meribah (Deut. xxxiii. 8-11). The passage is not free from 
obscurity, but since it alludes to the separation of the Levites 
from brother and son (ver. 9, cp. Exod. xxxii. 27, 29) and implies 
some creditable performance, it is remarkable that it should associate 
the account in Exod. xxxii with the present story of Meribah in 
Num. xx. It must seem extremely singular that Meribah, famous for 

1 Possibly the story is not earlier than the time of Hezekiah. 

2 Deut. x. 6-7 have come in from another source, but the effect of the 
insertion is to place the event after Aaron's death. 


some obscure offence of Moses and Aaron, should also be the scene of 
the institution of the Levites, and although the surviving traditions 
are incomplete they appear to be linked together by some definite 
bond. It is noteworthy that even in Exod. xxxii Aaron is blamed 
for the calf-worship and, according to Deut. ix. 20, would have 
perished but for the mediation of Moses. But the present narratives 
(Exod. 1. c.) treat it as the sin of the whole people, and in the account 
of the intercession of Moses there are literary points of contact with 
the story of the spies (see above). Further, in Deut. i. 36 sq. Moses 
incurs the wrath of Yahweh on the return of the spies. Already, 
on the strength of Deut. xxxiii alone, we could infer that parts at 
least of Exod. xxxii-xxxiv were originally located at Kadesh, and 
if this evidence associates Levites with Meribah, it brings them into 
a context before Num. xx. 14 sqq., and places them in the same 
relation to it as the story in Num. xiii-xiv ' ! It would seem that it 
is only on the assumption that cycles of tradition, of different dates, 
originally encircling Kadesh have been used to construct the present 
narratives and have been placed now at Sinai-Horeb and now at other 
stations along the route, that these phenomena admit of explanation. 
It will be seen that the considerations which go to support this 
view proceed from a study of the subject-matter— the purely literary 
questions are hopelessly intricate. Here and there one can trace 
fairly clearly the development of the literary material 2 , but it is 
extremely difficult to understand why D's account of the calf- worship 
(ix. 26 sqq.) should link together passages associated with the present 
stories of Korah's rebellion and the sending of the spies s . It may, 
indeed, be urged that this is the result of intentional rearrangement, 
or of mere reminiscence, or, again, it may be that in the early 
fluctuating state of tradition passages were connected now with one 

1 P, moreover, relates the death of Aaron in Num. xx. 24 sqq., and the 
result of the insertion of Deut. x. 6 sq. is to associate his decease with 
the separation of Levites. In Exod. iv. 13, when Moses had in some way 
aroused the wrath of Yahweh, Aaron is promised as a help, and in the 
story of the spies Caleb is the only one to escape punishment. To Caleb, 
later tradition adds Joshua, and in Exod. xvii the Massah and Meribah 
story (c) is followed by an event (d) in which Joshua, Aaron, and Hur 
(a Calebite, 1 Chron. ii. 19) play a prominent part. We shall find other 
cases of selection and rejection in the account of the revolt of Korah (see 
below), and it will be necessary subsequently to show that a relation 
subsisted between such apparently heterogeneous names as Caleb, Korah, 
Moses, Aaron, and the Levites. 

2 As in the insertion of Deut. x. 6 sq. (above). 

3 Num. xiv. 16, xvi. 13 ; see, for example, the table in Hex., p. 262 ; 
Driver, Deut., p. 112. 


and now with another of the events before the departure from 
Kadesh. At all events, whatever be the true cause, there is some 
reason for the supposition that the revolt of Korah was once intimately 
associated with the context of Exod. xxxii-xxxiv, and this story of 
rejection and selection seems clearly related to events which are 
located now at Sinai-Horeb, but originally in all probability belonged 
to Kadesh. 

The critical analysis of Num. xvi sqq. has brought to light a 
fusion of interesting narratives all marked by the same motive : the 
confirmation of authority or prerogative. The composite story of 
Dathan and Abiram was evidently known to the writer of Deut. xi. 6 
as a distinct incident, and a careful examination of the evidence 
shows that it deals with a dispute against the civil authority of Moses. 
With this has been woven an account of Korah's rebellion, also 
composite, with very clear evidence for the presence of two distinct 
views. In one (a), Korah and his followers protest against the 
Levitical rights enjoyed by Moses and Aaron; the malcontents 
themselves are not Levites (in Num. xxvii. 3, it is assumed that 
Manassites could have been included), and the sequel is intended to 
uphold the pre-eminence of the tribe of Levi against the rest of Israel. 
But in the other narrative (b), Korah and other Levites lay claim to 
serve as priests upon an equality with Aaron; the point at issue is 
not Levites versus laity, but the right to the priesthood, which 
is now secured for Aaron and his seed alone. 

Now, both a and b are clearly due to P and it does not need 
to be shown that b is merely a later development of a in accor- 
dance with the development of hierarchical institutions. But the 
very circumstance that a post-exilic writer has supplemented a in 
order to find a precedent for the degradation of the Levites is a 
noteworthy sign, inasmuch as it is by no means improbable that a 
itself represents the results of previous development. The study of 
the Levitical institutions, taken with the internal features of the 
Levitical genealogies, is enough to show that there were many stages 
before the schemes reached their present finished state, and since 
it has been found that the traditions of the wanderings have developed 
upon definite lines, we are perhaps entitled to argue that if the late 
narratives have so much to say in Num. xvi sq. regarding the Levites 
of the later ages, the earlier records were not silent regarding their 
earlier fortunes. Moreover, since it has been seen that related 
subjects were treated in the same context and have subsequently 
suffered rearrangement and adjustment, there is a strong presumption 
that the existing narratives in Num. xvi sq. should be closely 
connected with the account of the Levites in Exod. xxxii. In point 
of fact, it is found that Num. xvi sq. stands in a position locating the 


incident at Kadesh 1 , and that this was also the scene of Exod. 
xxxii. 25 sqq. can be argued on independent grounds (see Deut. 
xxxiii. 8 sq.). 

When, further, we proceed to consider the general trend of P's 
complete narratives we find an interesting analogy. The post- exilic 
passages, it must be remembered, are not of one strain, and whilst 
they appear to represent the normal development of earlier traditions 
in some cases, in others they show signs of specific modification in 
accordance with post-exilic ritual. Now, the first seven chapters 
of Leviticus form a group by themselves and interrupt the connexion 
between Exod. xxxv-xl and Lev. viii (itself an expansion), and 
the main thread of P, which ceases in Exod. xxix, is resumed in 
Lev. ix. * Accordingly, if we confine ourselves to the self-contained 
post-exilic cycle, we find the following sequence : the arrangements 
for the tabernacle 3 , the sacred vestments for Aaron and his sons and 
the consecration of the priests. Next, the original account of the 
construction of the tabernacle and of the consecration of the 
Aaronites has been replaced by an amplified account, of secondary 
origin, and upon this follows the offering of the first sacrifices 
(Lev. ix). Finally, immediately after this the two eldest sons offend 
against the ritual by offering unhallowed fire in their censers and 
are consumed by Yahweh's flame (Lev. x). 

There is no doubt that this continuous record presents another 
stage in the history of the priesthood. It is no longer the supremacy 
of Levites over laity or of Aaronites over Levites, but of the younger 
of Aaronite divisions over the older "sons." Aaron's position is 
assured, and the conflicts which mark the subsequent (but earlier) 
narratives are virtually presupposed. It is only necessary to observe 
the sequence and to consider the relative position of allied incidents 
to infer that this record has been based upon older sources re- 
ferring to events before the journey was undertaken. "We have 
already seen that the older description of the tent of meeting and the 
account of its construction (there presupposed) was in close connexion 
with the old account of the institution of the Levites, and it seems to 
be not improbable that as the hierarchy developed, the traditions 
developed simultaneously. Hence, if we can assume a number of 
traditions (of different ages) proceeding upon the same general lines, 

1 P's theory, that the Israelites had not reached Kadesh (see Num. 
xx. 1) does not affect the argument. 

2 See Addis, ii. 290 sq. ; Hex. p. 152 ; Q-. F. Moore, Ency. Bib., col. 2777. 

3 Its ark, table, and candlestick remind us of the equipment of the 
ordinary chamber ; cp. 2 Kings iv. 10 (but that the ark was originally 
a throne or seat, like neo in the passage in Kings, is far from certain). 


•we may conjecture that the story of the two sons of Aaron and 
also that of Korah occupied the same relative position. In fact, 
Bacon has already suggested that Nadab and Abihu were the original 
offenders in the story of the election of the Levites, and since the 
names occur in an old source it is extremely probable that some older 
and fuller record of them existed l . 

It is at least interesting that when the two sons were devoured by 
the divine fire, Moses quotes the words of Yahweh : " I will show 
myself holy (^t!i?£) in them that are nigh unto me" (Lev. x. 3). 
These words find an echo in Num. xx. 12 sq. on the occasion of the 
punishment of Moses and Aaron at Kadesh, and that the writer in 
that passage is playing upon the name is beyond dispute. Since the 
story of Nadab and Abihu belongs to a context which appears 
originally to have belonged to Kadesh, it is not improbable that the 
words of Moses are another play upon the name. Further, the nature 
of the offence of the Aaronites associates itself with the revolt of 
Korah in the fact that when Yahweh distinguishes the holy and 
chooses those who may approach him, Korah and his company are 
ordered to offer fire in their censers. The allusion to the selection 
and the sequel of the incident imply that there was some test whereby 
the Korahites were severed from the rest of the people, but the 
sources are incomplete, although the evident importance of the censers 
(Num. xvi. 36 sqq.) suggests some closer connexion with Lev. x. 1-5 
at an earlier stage 2 . 

It will now perhaps be clear that we possess a complex of stories, 
some of a distinct prophetic stamp (Num. xi. 24-29, xii), whilst 
others are associated more closely with priestly standpoints. To give 
these passages the attention they deserve would necessitate a complete 
survey of the history of Israel. What is important for the present 
purpose is to lay emphasis upon the unmistakable and orderly 
progress of tradition in conformity with the actual development 
of Israelite institutions. As already indicated, the superiority of 
Levites over the people gives expression to an historic fact, and in the 

1 Accordingly there would be some support for the view that Exod. 
xxiv. 1, 2, 9-1 1 (where they are brought before God) is the account of 
their election, corresponding to the election of the Levites (see also above, 
pp. 748 sq.). It is possible, moreover, that when the account of the wan- 
derings was constructed, some such story as this was associated with 
the " burning " at Taberah (see h above). 

2 This would explain the insertion of Num. xv, with its laws on burnt- 
offerings, &c, and since the position of Eleazar (xvi. 37) presupposes the 
death of his elder brothers, it might be intelligible why this event 
is not noted here, but is duly mentioned elsewhere ; see iii. 4, xxvi. 6p 
(cp. also 1 Chron. xxiv. 2). 


supremacy of Aaronites over Levites, and in the elevation of certain 
Aaronite divisions over others, we are able to recognize that later 
changes in the hierarchy have been reflected in the story of the 
nation's birth. On the analogy of the Levitical genealogies we are 
entitled to expect an earlier stage where Mosaic divisions were 
supplanted by Aaronite, and evidence for this is actually found. 
Accordingly, we are entitled to consider further whether there could 
not be found other early stages which would illustrate the Mosaic 
divisions and the origin of the Levites 1 . 

For the present, there seems to be sufficient evidence for the 
conclusion 2 that Kadesh was the original objective of the wanderings 
of the Israelites, not after the digression to Sinai, but after crossing 
the Yam Suph ; it was also the original scene of the legislation, and 
of the incidents (at all events in their oldest form) now distributed 
over the route. 

The present prominence of Sinai-Horeb must be connected, it 
would seem, with the insertion of the body of laws in Exod. xx-xxiii. 
Misplaced incidents lead up to the relatively advanced material there 
incorporated, whilst heavily redacted passages (comprising relatively 
ancient theophany, laws, and institutions), have the appearance of 
belonging to the same context, but in reality belong to Kadesh. 
So far from assuming that Sinai-Horeb 3 is to be located in the 
immediate neighbourhood of Kadesh, the evidence of Exod. xiii. 17 
seems to point conclusively in another direction. According to this 
verse, the Israelites did not journey by the land of the Philistines lest 
they should repent at the sight of war, and this must imply some 
detour (to the south of the Sinaitic peninsula or to Midian), since 
no sooner did they reach the wilderness of Shur (in the district of 
Kadesh) than they were in the very region to be avoided and conflicts 
actually ensued (a above). This suggests that when the secondary 
tradition with its later laws (on Sinai-Horeb) found a place in the 
history, it was introduced by means of Exod. xiii. 17 sq., and that 
incidents and passages originally relating to Kadesh were used 

1 That certain of the Levitical divisions were derived from names 
associated with Moses is clear (see Ency. Bib., col. 1665). Now in Exod. 
iv. 13-16, before Moses receives the promise of the help of Aaron the 
Levite, he incurs in some obscure manner the wrath of Yahweh. The 
latter detail associates itself, as has been seen; with the pre-eminence of 
Caleb (Deut. i. 36 sq.), and again with the institution of the Levites. 
It will be necessary, therefore, to consider whether, on independent 
grounds, any relation can be found between Caleb, Moses, and the Levites. 

2 Already urged by Wellhausen (Prolegomena, p. 343), H. P. Smith 
(0. T. Hist., pp. 62, 69), and others, but here developed. 

3 The possibility that there were two distinct places must be allowed. 


to build up the account of the detour from the Yam Sftph to Sinai 
and from Sinai to Kadesh. To argue that the holy mountain was 
near Kadesh is difficult in the face of Exod. xiii. 17, and the data 
by which the view has been supported are far from conclusive. If 
a people whose goal lay northwards from Egypt marched in any 
other direction it seems safer to admit conflicting traditions than 
to attempt to reconcile them x . 

Several instructive lessons regarding the methods of editors can be 
gleaned from a consideration of the foregoing narratives 2 , but the 
chief point which it is desired to emphasize in this section is the 
great prominence of Kadesh, and its stories of "striving" in early 

1 A distinction should properly be drawn between events originally 
located at Kadesh and those which are due to the secondary tradition 
and rightly belong to Sinai-Horeb. But it is not easy to see how 
much really belongs to the latter. The "priests which come near to 
Yahweh " (Exod. xix. 22) imply an institution originally at Kadesh ; 
on Exod. iv. 13-16, see above (p. 749). Deuteronomy, it will have been 
noticed, at times refers to traditions which are not those actually 
preserved in Exodus or Numbers, but Very closely allied to them. Its 
isolated details prove how continuous was the work of redaction, and 
render the attempt to sketch the stages of development almost an 
impossibility. There has been too much action and reaction of traditions 
upon each other, and from these adjustments Deuteronomy itself is not 
free. It may be conjectured that one of the first steps was to represent 
Horeb or Sinai as the scene of events at Kadesh, and so, whilst Moses, 
Aaron, and Miriam suffer punishment or death at Kadesh, this is already 
anticipated by offences at Horeb or Hazeroth. The account of the journey 
from Horeb to Kadesh was then built up by borrowing narratives be- 
longing to Kadesh, and so we find that Massah (properly associated with 
Meribah, i. e. Kadesh) becomes one of the stations. This form of the 
tradition lay before the author of Deut. ix. 22, but in his time the story 
of the calf differed from the present narrative in one remarkable detail 
(ibid. ver. 20). Along with this, there grew up the tradition of the 
dangers and perils of the wilderness which the Deuteronomic tradition 
places at one time between Horeb and Kadesh (i. 19) and at another 
time after the departure from Kadesh (viii. 15). Prom Deut. i. 9-17 it 
is evident that the narrative of the journey from Egypt to Horeb had not 
reached its present form (on Exod. xviii, see above, p. 748), and although 
xxv. 17-19 knows of the Amalekite hostility as Israel came out of Egypt, 
it mentions fresh details (ver. 18), does not appear to know of Israel's 
victory, and on internal grounds can hardly be due to the compiler. 

2 There are no a priori reasons why such methods should have been 
confined to the Pentateuch. 


It has been concluded that the place where Jethro or Hobab 
came to visit Moses and the Israelites was evidently somewhat distant 
from his "land" and "kindred," and, therefore, was neither Sinai 
nor Horeb, but in all probability Kadesh. The commencement of the 
journey from Eadesh as narrated in Num. x. 29 sqq. is only a fragment, 
and has to be considered in the light of other related passages. Now 
in Num. xxi. 1-3, it is found that the journey has been continued 
successfully as far as Hormah, that is, about half-way from Kadesh to 
Beersheba. But at this point there is a sudden diversion, and hence- 
forward the journey becomes a long detour round to the east of the 
Jordan. The traditions here become somewhat confused and contradic- 
tory. In the story of the spies, Caleb alone, in the oldest narrative, 
proves his faith, on which account he and his seed receive the promise 
of inheritance (Num. xiv. 24, cp. Leut. i. 36). But the rest of the people 
incur the displeasure of Yahweh and are punished, and when in 
defiance of his word and without the presence of the ark the attempt 
is made to press onwards, a severe defeat is inflicted upon them in 
the district of Hormah (xiv. 41-45). Next, an attempt is made to 
pass Edom, and a composite passage narrates (a) an unsuccessful 
embassy from Kadesh to the king of Edom, and (b) an armed 
resistance on the part of the Edomites apparently after Israel had 
started (xx. 14-22). At this stage, it is found necessary to turn back 
to the Yam Suph (here obviously the Gulf of 'Akabah), and in agree- 
ment with the command already given in the story of the spies 
(xiv. 25), the journey is taken by the south end of Edom. The 
fluctuation of tradition already manifest is emphasized when it is 
observed that according to Deut. ii. 4, 9 Edom and Moab were passive, 
and that P seems to have supposed that Israel crossed the northern 
end of Edom 1 , It is important, therefore, to bear in mind the two 
main lines of route to Moab, the one from Kadesh, the other from the 
Yam Suph. Even in Num. xxi, although the Israelites pass over 
the Anion and reach Pisgah (vv. 16-20), in another representation 
they keep outside Moab (ver. lib); it is evident that the interpre- 
tation of these passages, as also of the defeat of Sihon the Amorite, 
depends upon the history of Moab and the known variation of its 
boundaries. The historical background, however, need not be con- 
sidered here, and it is unnecessary to determine whether opportunity 
has not been seized in the chapters which follow to represent 
conditions of much later date. On the other hand, it is to be 
observed that the growth of the literary tradition of the Exodus 
is exemplified in the fact that the Balaam narratives (Num. xxii- 
xxiv), and P's supplementary material, partly based upon them break 

1 See Num. xxxiii, and Gray, Numbers, p. 282. 


the connexion between the accounts of the conquest of the country 
east of the Jordan now preserved in Num. xxi and xxxii 1 . These 
events bring us to Shittim, the prelude to Joshua's conquest of 
Palestine from the east, where again a fresh cycle of tradition becomes 
prominent (XVIII, 539 above). 

It is natural to infer that since so much emphasis is laid upon 
Caleb's faith, the traditions hardly made him share the punishment 
inflicted upon the rest of the people. Subsequently we find traces 
of independent efforts of Caleb (the clan) to settle in the neighbour- 
hood of Hebron, and the clan of Hobab, who was invited to accompany 
Israel (from Kadesh) actually captures Zephath and gives it the new 
name of Hormah (Judges i). Hence there is a very strong probability 
that the successful start from Kadesh and the victory at Hormah led 
to a direct movement northwards, and that the clans or tribes which 
succeeded in reaching the stage mentioned in Num. xxi. 1-3 did not 
take any part in the journey round to the Jordan (see XVIII, 352 sq. 

It is not impossible that the fact that an initial reverse occurred at 
Hormah supplied the motive for the account of the disaster which is 
narrated in xiv. 41-45 ; although it might be preferable to regard 
the aim of the whole chapter as an attempt to furnish an explanation 
of the lengthy detour. On the other hand, the tradition of the 
detour round by the Gulf of 'Akabah does not stand alone, and the 
intricacy of the literary evidence makes the problem of the forty 
years' delay almost hopeless. Kadesh could naturally be the starting- 
point for a journey northwards into Judah, or around the south end 
of the Dead Sea to the land of Moab, but a deliberate movement 
from Kadesh towards the Yam Sfiph does not appear likely. Perhaps 
it may be suggested that it is an attempt to reconcile the above 
traditions (with Kadesh as centre) with the independent account of 
a journey from the Gulf of 'Akabah northwards into Moab. 

The two leading traditions which underlie the history of Israel 
are those of an entry into Palestine, one from the south and the 
other from the east. With the former we can at present associate 
Caleb and the Kenites, in the latter Joshua is evidently the leading 
figure. These two views seem to have grown up separately, and there 
is evidence that each underwent a considerable amount of develop- 
ment. It is clear that the prevailing view of the conquest (cp. also 

1 Old fragments have been preserved in xxxii. 39-42. These deal with 
clans of Manasseh, and the same tribe comes to the fore in the post-exilic 
xxvii. The rest of xxxii narrates the request of Reuben and Gad to 
settle in the pasture-lands of Gilead. In view of the possible dependence 
of late passages upon earlier sources these contents are worthy of notice, 
and will be referred to later. 


Judges i) represents independent movements as part of a common 
undertaking after Gilgal had been reached. Whatever may be the 
original traditions of individual tribes or clans, when these become 
incorporated with other tribes which have their own traditions, many 
fundamental changes must ensue. Conflicting views are fused, 
attempts are made to effect a reconciliation, and several stages are 
traversed before final results are reached. The traditions of X may 
adapt themselves to Y, or the reverse ; in the case of Caleb, the 
traditions of the less have simply become merged into that of 
the greater. In the traditions of the invasion of Palestine from the 
east we have a finished scheme, one which combines conflicting views 
and endeavours to harmonize them. But of the invasion from the 
south only isolated indications have survived and even these have not 
escaped rigorous treatment \ However, when it is related in Num. 
xxi. 1-3 that " Israel" took part in the capture of Hormah, it seems 
possible that the attempt was even made to generalize the " Calebite " 
tradition, and this tendency may appear again when Joshua finds 
a place in the story of the spies and takes part in the overthrow 
of Amalek (Ex. xvii. 8-16, a pale reflection of Num. xxi. 1-3) 2 . 

It remains now to consider the provisional epithet "Calebite" 
which has been attached to the tradition of the journey into Judah. 
What evidence is there for the constitution of the tribes or clans 
which made this journey? Already it has been seen that Caleb, one 
of the spies, appears later in the negeb of Judah, and the clan of 
the father-in-law of Moses, the nomad Kenites, are subsequently 
found, now in Judah and now in the north of Palestine at Kadesh- 
Naphtali. In P's narrative in Exod. xxxi. 2, we find that Bezalel 
ben Uri ben Hur takes part in the construction of the tabernacle. 
We have found that P"s material cannot be wholly ignored, and 
on a priori grounds it could be conjectured that the notice is derived 

1 Observe the scantiness of Num. x. 29 sqq., and the treatment of 
Calebite traditions in Joshua xiv. 6-15, xv. 14-19 (above$ XVIII, 352 sq.). 

2 On the relation between (1) Num. xxi. 1-13 followed by the successful 
movement northwards (xxi. 1-3), and (2) the parallel story in Exod. xvii. 
1-7 followed by the defeat of Amalek, see above, p. 746. In Num,.xxi. 
1-3 the idea seems to be, not that Caleb entered from the east (as in 
Judges i), but that Israel accompanied Caleb northwards into Judah. 
In Num. xiv the inclusion of Joshua admits, naturally enough, of other 
explanations, although if it was thought that the future loader of the 
Israelites did not incur guilt when the spies were sent, it was forgotten 
that he evidently suffered the punishment of the forty years' delay. 
Some allowance must always be made for the possibility that passages 
were revised at a period when the "Calebite" tradition as a distinct 
movement had been suppressed or forgotten. 


from an older source '. It must be admitted that many of P's names 
are worthless as evidence for the period to which they are attached, 
but since Bezalel in 1 Chron. ii. 19 sq. is said to belong to the 
Calebites it seems extremely probable that P is trustworthy in this 
instance. For, it is not easy to see why the genealogist should 
invent this information ; nay rather, his aim is obviously to incorporate 
Calebites among the descendants of Judah, and consequently the 
probability is that he is manipulating his evidence, and not fabricating 
it. There is no apparent reason why he should make Uri a grandson 
fo Caleb unless the belief prevailed that Bezalel was a Calebite, and 
since P itself calls Bezalel a Judaean (in agreement with the aim of 
I Chron. ii), it seems justifiable to conclude that an earlier source 
(in agreement with the earlier representation) would have regarded 
the famous artificer as a member of the southern clan. That this 
would be extremely appropriate in the account of a "Calebite" 
migration is at once obvious. As regards his partner Aholiab the 
Danite, the evidence is more complicated, and must be viewed in 
the light of all the available evidence bearing upon the relations of 
Calebites and Kenites to other clans 2 . 

Stanley A. Cook. 

1 Cp. the case of Nadab and Abihu. 

* See, in the meanwhile, XVIII, 354 above. 

(To be concluded.)