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THE AMERICAN JOURNAL 


OF 


SEMITIC LANGUAGES AND LITERATURES 


(CONTINUING HEBRAICA) 


Votume XXV APRIL, 1909 NcumsBer 3 


THE ORIGIN OF THE WORSHIP OF YAHWE 
By Witi1am Hayes Warp 
New York City, N. Y. 

According to the biblical account, the name Yahwe, or Yahu, 
had its origin in the vision of Moses at the burning bush. He 
asked to be told who it was that was sending him on this momen- 
tous errand, that he might tell the people, and he was told that 
Ehyeh, ‘I am,’ was his name, which, put into the third person, 
is Yahwe, ‘He is.’ This was a sufficiently satisfactory deriva- 
tion of the name and account of its origin, for those to whom the 
written account of Exodus was held sacred; but it has not been 
regarded as final by scholars. Indeed, they have observed not 
only that Yahwe is spoken of previously to this vision, but that 


proper names anterior to this, as that of the mother of Moses, are 
found with the name of Yahwe. To be sure that fact is not seri- 
ous, for the critical view, since the names may not be historical, 
or might have been changed by the writer, just as Ishbaal has 
become Ishbosheth. It is one of the problems of students of 
Hebrew history to discover what was the origin of the sole worship 


of Yahwe. 

For the appearance of a true monotheism in Palestine, among 
a people not of the highest culture, is one of the most remarkable, 
if not inexplicable facts in human history, the most tremendous 
for its influence on religious history. If we cannot accept the 


175 








176 THE AMERICAN JOURNAL OF SEMITIC LANGUAGES 


assumption that from the creation of Adam there had been a suc- 
cession of worshipers of pure monotheism, we must seek the reli- 
gious source out of which came the worship of Yahwe, first as 
among other gods, then as a henotheistic deity, and finally as the 
God of monotheism ruling the universe. 

In a recent essay on evolution of monotheism, the late Profes- 
sor Baentsch, of Jena, has argued that inasmuch as the religions 
of Egypt and Babylonia were stellar religions, it was impossible 
that monotheism should originate with them, for were one to say, 
“The sun is the one God,” one would reply, ‘“‘ Why the sun alone? 
Why not also the moon?” But the original worship of Palestine 
or Syria, he says, was not stellar, but a sort of Baal-worship 
which more readily developed into the recognition of one God, at 
least for one nation. But this is hardly a true statement of fact. 
The identification of the Babylonian gods with the planets was a 
later philosophy of the priests; and even the worship of the sun 
and the moon does not seem to be any older than, if as old as, the 
worship of Anu, god of the sky, or Bél-IIlil, god of the earth, and 
Ea, god of the waters. It is true that the worship of the sun 
under various names, and of the moon, was very early, but no 
earlier than that of Bél or Ningirsu, or perhaps, Adad, and of one 
or two other goddesses who were later identified with Venus, even 
as Marduk was identified with the planet Jupiter. It would not 
seem any more difficult or unlikely for monotheism to originate 
out of these religions than in Palestine. Indeed, it did originate 
in Egypt, somewhat crudely under the Heretic King; and we have 
the approach to it in the worship in Assyria of Ashur, the solar 
disk, and in the worship of Ahura-Mazda under the prophet 
Zoroaster. 

The present and most prevalent theory of the origin of the 
Yahwe worship is that which accepts the kernel of the biblical story, 
and concludes that Yahwe was the tribal god of the Hebrews in 
the desert, and that they found the worship of Yahwe among the 
Midianites or, more definitely, the Kenites, with whom Moses 
sojourned before the Exodus. The Kenites are supposed: to have 
had their home in the neighborhood of Sinai, a special seat of 
Yahwe. Weare also told that the Rechabites, who helped Jehu in 














o\9 





THE ORIGIN OF THE WORSHIP OF YAHWE 177 


his zeal for Yahwe, were a nomad tribe of the Kenites. This is the 
substance of the evidence that the Kenites worshiped Yahwe, and 
that the Hebrews, while wandering in the desert, learned the 
Yahwe worship. It may be confessed that it is a very shadowy 
kind of evidence, for we have not a particle of historical or epi- 
graphic evidence that the Kenite or any other Midianite tribelet 
was a worshiper of Yahwe. 

It is now generally admitted that the Hebrews who entered 
from the desert found closely allied tribes who had long lived on 
the borders of Canaan, and had never been in Egypt. It is to be 
presumed that they worshiped the gods of the land; and the 
stories of the Book of Judges, and particularly that of Micah. and 
his ephod and teraphim and molten images carried to Dan by the 
Danites, are evidence that the Hebrews of that period worshiped 
the gods of the land. That there was also the worship of Yahwe, 
the writer would assure us; but certainly if such was the case, it 
was not as the one and only god ruling over the world or even 
over Canaan. 

On the face of the historical facts known to us, it would be 
likely that the worship of Yahwe grew out of that of some one of 
the deities general to the worship of the region. We are not to 
think of the time when the Hebrew people emerged into history 
as a time when tribes or nations were isolated one from another, 
each with its own god, or gods, having no relation to those of 
other nations or tribes. It was a time of long and thorough 
mingling of races and influences, through both trade and war. 
The Tel-el-Amarna tablets show us definitely how thoroughly 
Palestine was overrun and its civilization and worship modified by, 
and assimilated to, those of Egypt on the one hand, and of Baby- 
lonia and the intervening countries to the north and east, espe- 
cially of the Hittite empire. What we learn from this source we 
also learn from the art of the time, as found on occasional bas- 
reliefs, and on the more numerous seal cylinders with their figures 
of gods. 

The Egyptian religion was never imposed on Syria and Pales- 


tine. To be sure there was a temporary military control, but for the 
most part it came late with the Eighteenth Dynasty, and ended in 





178 THE AMERICAN JOURNAL OF SEMITIC LANGUAGES 


the Nineteenth; and while elements were then introduced into the 
art, such as the frequent use of the crux ansata, and occasionally 
figures of one or more Egyptian gods, and not a few Egyptian 
scarabs are found in Syria, yet the prevailing influence was not 
that of the invaders and temporary conquerors, but rather of the 
more permanent Asiatic neighbors, as we judge from the blending 
of the art of the period, mostly of cylinder seals, not a few of 
which have been excavated in the Hauran and elsewhere. And it 
is just this Hauran region that particularly interests us for the 
religion of the period at or before the Exodus; for out of the 
Hauran the Hebrews passed over into Canaan. 

For a study of the earliest character of the Yahwe worship we 
are driven to but a single source, that of the indications of it that 
remain in the Hebrew literature. We must consider in what fig- 
urative way the people had continued to represent to themselves 
their national God. Some of the ideas and expressions under which 
they pictured Yahwe to themselves are likely to have come down 
from a primitive source, while other expressions will have come in 
later. I regard that pictorial form which we now and then find 
by which Yahwe is represented with wings, as of a comparatively 
later period, that is, as having arisen considerably after the 
Exodus; because such expressions as ‘“‘under the shadow of thy 


35 


wings,” “healing in his wings,” have in view the figure of the 
winged solar disk. This design was modified from the Egyptian 
solar disk by the omission of the asps, and did not come into use 
in Syria until, I think, considerably, later than the conquest of 
Syria by Egypt and the Nineteenth Dynasty. This biblical repre- 
sentation of Yahwe is peculiar and quite apart from others, and is 
to be dismissed from our discussion. 

The following are the more general and special descriptions or 
attributes of Yahwe which seem to have come down from a primi- 
tive source. In the first place, he is a god of the mountains. So 


he is represented at Sinai and Horeb, and also often elsewhere. 
Abraham went to Moriah to sacrifice Isaac in the story which 
relates itself to the killing of the first-born. Elijah goes to Mount 
Carmel to contend with the priests of Baal, and later flees to 
Horeb, the Mount of God. The theophanies are related naturally 




















THE ORIGIN OF THE WoRSHIP OF YAHWE 179 


to mountains. “God came from Teman, the Holy One from 
Mount Paran.” We seem to have the definite statement that such 
was the view of Yahwe in the story of the defeat of the soldiers 
of Benhadad by those of Ahab. His advisers explained his defeat 
to the Syrian king by saying, “Their God is a god of the hills, 
but he is not a god of the valleys.” Historically and figuratively 
he was a deity of the mountains. 

The next point to observe is that he was particularly a god of 
storms, thunder, and lightning. This relates itself to the moun- 
tains which are the scenes of storm. So he appeared to Moses in 
Sinai, and to Elijah at Horeb. In the earliest bit of Hebrew 
literature that has come down to us we read: 

Yahwe, when thou wentest forth out of Seir, 

When thou marchedst out of the field of Edom, 

The earth trembled, the heavens also dropt, 

Yea the clouds dropt water, 

The mountains flowed down at the presence of Yahwe, 

Even yon Sinai, at the presence of Yahwe, the God of Israel. 

In the book of Job, in which the name of Yahwe is avoided, 
and El Shaddai so often takes its place, the name which we are 
told was the earlier name of Yahwe, God twice (38:1; 40:6) 
addresses Job from the whirlwind, even as Elijah was taken up 
into heaven in a whirlwind; and in 36:26-87 Elihu gives a long 
description of God as the ruler of lightning, storm, and rain. 
Indeed, it was the lightning and the tempest, and also the hosts 
of the Sabeans and Chaldeans, by which the wealth of Job was 
destroyed. Amos begins his prophecy (1:2): ‘“Yahwe shall roar 
from Zion, and utter his voice from Jerusalem; and the pastures 
of the shepherds shall moan, and the top of Carmel shall wither.” 
In 4:13 he it is that “formeth the mountains and created the 
wind,” “that maketh the morning darkness and treadeth upon the 
high places of the earth,” a God of both mountain and storm. 

Again we have the mountain and the storm in the theophany 


of Micah 1:3, 4: 


Behold the Lord cometh forth out of his place, and will come down 
and tread upon the high places of the earth. And the mountains shall 
be molten under him, and the valleys shall be cleft, as wax before the 
fire, as waters that are poured down a steep place. 








180 THE AMERICAN JOURNAL OF SEMITIC LANGUAGES 


Nahum’s prophecy begins with a similar theophany: 

The Lord hath his way in the whirlwind and the storm, and the 
clouds are the dust of his feet. He rebuketh the sea and maketh it dry, 
and drieth up all the rivers; Bashan languisheth and Carmel, and the 
flower of Lebanon languisheth. The mountains quake at him and the 
hills melt; and the earth is upheaved at his presence. Yea, the world 
and all that dwell therein. .... His fury is poured out like fire, and the 
rocks are broken asunder by him (1:3-6). 

Habakkuk’s theophany (3:3-13) develops the picture of storm, 
lightning, thunder, and earthquake, when Yahwe went forth to 
victory, “with the “light of his arrows” and ‘“‘the shining of his 
glittering spears,’ when “fiery bolts went forth at his feet.” 

And yet it is in the Psalms that we have the most numerous 
descriptions of Yahwe as God of storm, lightning, and rain. It 
is sufficient to call attention to Pss. 7:12, 13; 11:6; 18:6-15; 
29:3-10; 48:7; 50:3; 65:5-13; 68:7-17, 33; 81:7; 83:15; 
93:1-4; 97:3-5; 104:1-13, 32; 107:33-37; 147:15-18. Of 
these we may specify Ps. 29 which is entirely devoted to a 
description of thunder as ‘the voice of Yahwe.” 

Closely allied to the representation of Yahwe as the God of 
thunder and storm is that which makes him a fighting God, a God 
of battles. The lightnings are weapons; they are “arrows” and 
‘‘olittering spears” with which he confronts his enemies and those 
of his people. Accordingly one of the most common attributes 
given to him is that of “God of hosts,” that is “God of the armies 
of Israel,” I Sam. 17:45, not of the host of heaven which is N23, 
not MIN2S. In the song of Moses, Exod. 15:3 we are told: 

Yahwe is a man of war; 
Yahwe is his name. 

It was by the strong east wind that the waters had been driven 
away that the children of Israel might cross the Red Sea, and it 
was the return of Yahwe’s wind that overwhelmed the Egyptians. 

Thou didst blow with thy wind; the sea covered them; 
They sank as lead in the mighty waters — 
Who is like unto thee, Yahwe, among the gods? (vs. 10). 


Another of the more important indications as to the origin of 
the worship of Yahwe is to be found in the way he was represented 

















THE ORIGIN OF THE WORSHIP OF YAHWE 181 


in art. We are told that when Moses delayed to come down from 
the mount Aaron made a golden “calf,” that is, a young bull 
5a”, which represented their god to the people. Then, in some 
way the bull was the symbol of the god they worshiped. Also 
when Jereboam separated from the Southern Kingdom, in order 
to prevent the people from resorting to Jerusalem to worship 
Yahwe, he set up shrines in Bethel and Dan, and represented 
Yahwe by golden ‘“‘calves.” Whether the earliest worship at Dan 
with an image, ephod, and teraphim was with a calf we do not 
know. But the fact of the worship of the bull at Bethel and Dan 
is again and again substantiated in the denunciations of the proph- 
ets, especially in Hosea and Amos. In Hos. 13:2 we learn that 
the kissing of the calf was an act of worship. In Hos. 8:5, 6 the 
“calf of Samaria” is mentioned. It is generally recognized that 
the bull must have been from the earliest times related to the 
popular worship; and that the bull-god was supposed to have 
brought the children of Israel out of Egypt, and the representation 
by a bull could not have been derived from an Egyptian god, but 
belonged to an Asianic type of worship. We are not told what 
was the form of the “graven image and molten image”’ which, with 
the ephod and teraphim, were stolen by the Danites from the 
house of Micah and taken to Dan (Judges, chaps. 18 and 19); but 
from the fact that Dan was later the seat of worship of the calf it 
is likely that this was a bull. The 1,700 shekels of gold with which 
Gideon made an ephod in Ophrah in the land of Manasseh, which 


9 


became a snare to Gideon and his house,” must have gone for an 
image also, but we are not told what was its nature. 

These facts are patent in the story as to the figuration or sym- 
bolic worship of Yahwe: He was a god of mountains; he was a 
god of lightning, thunder, storm, and rain, and so necessarily a 
god of war, a god of armies who led the Israelites to battle; and 
he was figured as a bull. These are our data; and it is now our 


duty to see how these attributes agree with those of any of the 


ods of the region. 
We have no satisfactory figures of an early time of the gods of 
d too} 7 5 
Phoenicia or Palestine which would sufficiently identify them. In 
Egyptian monuments Resheph is figured as a Syrian deity. But 


o 
5 











182 THE AMERICAN JOURNAL OF SEMITIC LANGUAGES 


we know from a multitude of seals of which a number are known 
to have come from the Hauran or other neighboring regions, what 
were the gods worshiped. They are, whatever their names, prin- 




















Fic. 2.—Lajard’s Culte de Mithra, XXVII, 1. 


Fic. 1.—J, Pierpont Morgan Library. 


cipally three (and are all seen in the seal cylinder, Fig. 1), a digni- 
fied standing deity usually with no weapon, the god to the left in 
Fig. 1; a more active and militant deity as the one to the right in 
the same figure; and a goddess, who stands between them. These 
were worshiped under various names from the Tigris to the Medi- 
terranean, and apparently for many centuries beginning back even 
of the Twelfth Dynasty of Egypt, that is, long before the Exodus 
from Egypt. It is the second militant god whom I would com- 
pare with the primitive Yahwe or Yahu, or Yah. 

This deity was known under various names, but is the same 
under whatever name. He is Adad or Addu, or Ramman or 
Rimmon, under the Babylonians, Assyrians, and in Damascus. 

















Fic. 3.—Bibliothéque Nationale. Fic. 4.—J. Pierpont Morgan Library. 


He is Teshub among the Hittites and kindred peoples, and he was 
the Resheph of Humath. Whether he was one or more of the local 
Baals, or whether he was Moloch is by no means certain. He was 
also identified for his militant character, with the Egyptian Set 


or Sutekh. 




















ee 











THE ORIGIN OF THE WoRSHIP OF YAHWE 183 


It has been said that Yahwe is described as god of mountains, 
as the god of thunder, lightning, rain, and storm, and so a fighting 
deity; and that as an idol he was represented by the bull. These 
characteristics unite in Ramman-Adad-Teshub and in no other 
deity. 

In the first place he is the god of the mountains. So he is 
characteristically represented in Figs. 1, 2, 3,4. He stands or 
walks on mountains as his regular home. In the language of 
Micah, he “treads on the high places of the earth.” This does 
not resemble the cases in which in early Babylonian art we see the 
rising sun Shamash coming out of the gates of the east and step- 
ping on a mountain, or lifting himself up between two mountains 
by his hands, to indicate the rising of the sun, for they are Adad’s 
















WON 





ri Le D 
AMES 





Fig. 5.—J. Pierpont Morgan Library. Fic. 6.—British Museum. 


regular abode, as Olympus was the abode of the Hellenic deities, 
and particularly of Zeus, the god who wields the thunderbolt, and 
who is most closely related to Adad-Ramman. 

Adad-Ramman also was the god of thunder, lightning, wind, 
and rain. This appears frequently in the Babylonian inscriptions, 
for he is a western god imported into Babylonia at an early 
period. As a single example we may refer to the curse on the 
boundary stones asked for from him, praying that the harvests of 
any violator may be washed away. The derivation of Ramman 
is supposed to be from ramamu, to bellow, to thunder, and we 
find such expressions as that of “Ramman thundered in the 
heavens.” In a tablet giving the titles of the gods we have the 
following titles of Adad: ‘‘God of clouds; god of the storm cloud; 
god of earthquake (?); god of thunder; god of lightning; god of 
inundation; god of rain; god of storm; god of the Deluge.”” The 
latter, abibu is the great Deluge, which we learn from Genesis 








184 THE AMERICAN JOURNAL OF SEMITIC LANGUAGES 


was brought upon the earth by Yahwe. We also learn that under 
the names Sumukan, Martu, and Amurru, Adad was recognized 
as “god of lightning” and “god of mountains” (B. M., Cunei- 
form Texts, Part XXIV, pp. 7, 8). In Babylonian art he is 
represented as carrying a thunderbolt (see Figs. 5, 6), and not 
infrequently the bident or trident thunderbolt appears alone as 
his emblem ( Fig. {)), and, occasionally, is placed above his ashera. 
In the Syro-Hittite art the thunderbolt is not known, but various 
other weapons appear, as in the biblical descriptions of Yahwe. 
So in Figs. 1, 2, 4, 7, 8. 

Equally, and naturally, he is a god of war. The thunderbolt 


is itself a weapon, and Adad carries the weapons, the bow and the 





805 2 





Uh 











Fic. 8.—J. Pierpont Morgan Library. 


club and the ax. He is in the act of war in Fig. 3, swinging a 
foe by the hair of his head. 

There remains to be considered the bull which was the animal 
emblem of Yahwe. But the bull is the special animal belonging 
to Adad. When Adad is represented in his most complete form, 
as in Fig. 4, he stands on mountains, in one hand he lifts a weapon 
over his head and carries in the other hand a club, ax, serpent, or 
other weapon, and in the same hand holds a cord attached to a 
ring in the nose of bull. Ina multitude of cases of Babylonian 
seals we have the thunderbolt and the bull ( Figs. 5, 6), but in the 
case of the Syro-Hittite seals other weapons, with the bull, as in 
Figs. 4, 7, 8. Nor is the bull omitted in the inscriptions as the 
animal sacred to Adad. On the kudurru of Nazimaruttash, col. 
iv, 16, “the mighty bull of Adad” is appealed to. The reason 
why the bull belongs to him is plain; as he needs the zigzag 
weapon for lightning, so he needs the bull to provide him with 
































THE ORIGIN OF THE WORSHIP OF YAHWE 185 


the bellowing of the thunder. When the exigency of art requires 
the omission of the figure of the god, we may‘ have the figure of 
the bull with the thunderbolt above it, thus suggesting both 











tie 
mi 
: e 

















Fic. 9.—Metropolitan Museum. Fic. 10.—J. Pierpont Morgan Library. 


lightning and thunder, or the thunderbolt alone, as in Fig. 9. It 
was as the god of thunder that the Hebrews used the familiar 
representation of the bull, which was well known to every inhabi- 
tant of Palestine and all the region as far as Persia and Elam at 
the time of the emergence of the Israelite people. We have the 
bull alone as the emblem probably of the same god in Figs. 10, 11. 
As a herm ashera we see him in Fig. 12. 

We thus have every one of the distinguishing marks of the 
early character of Yahwe in the characteristics of Adad-Ramman 
I cannot help believing that he was the pagan Yahwe, before 
Yahwe emerged as the universal god of monotheism. 

If, then, we may presume that Yahwe was, in origin of worship, 
the god Ramman, or Adad, we get an easier explanation of one or 

















Fie. 11. 
J. Pierpont Morgan Library. Fic. 12.—J. Pierpont Morgan Library. 


two points in Hebrew history. Not only do we find an explana- 
tion of the representation of Yahwe in the Desert and later at 
Bethel, and Dan by the bull, but we may see how it was that Ahaz 
copied the altar at Damascus. We are told, II Kings 16:10-16, 
that when, after Tiglath-pileser had conquered Damascus, and 











186 THe AMERICAN JOURNAL OF SEMITIC LANGUAGES 


Ahaz had gone to Damascus to pay homage to the Assyrian king, 
he saw a magnificent altar there, of which he had Urijah, the priest, 
make a copy in the temple at Jerusalem for the worship of Yahwe. 
This altar at Damascus was with little doubt an altar for the 
worship of Adad, and the relation of Yahwe and Adad would have 
made it easier for Ahaz to make such an altar for Yahwe. 

Another more definite case we have in the story of Naaman. 
After he had been healed by Elisha of his leprosy, we are told, 
II Kings 5:17-19, that Naaman declared that henceforth he would 
worship only Yahwe, nevertheless ‘“‘when my master goeth into 
the house of Rimmon to worship there, and he leaneth on my 
hand and I bow myself in the house of Rimmon, Yahwe pardon 
thy servant in this thing. And he (Elisha) said unto him, Go in 
peace.” This is a surprising concession, and may be explained if 
there was supposed to be any relation between the god of Damascus 
and the God of Israel. 

As an evidence of the presence of the worship of Adad in 
Palestine before the entrance of the Israelites, it is to be observed 
that he is the principal deity of that land of whom we have evi- 

- dence from the Amarna letters. One of them, No. 149, 13, extols 
the king of Egypt, who “lifts up his voice like Addu, so that all 
the land trembles at his voice,” Addu being the usual and correct 
name for Adad, with the case-ending. ‘There are, I think, as many 
proper names in those letters composed of Addu as of all other 
gods combined. Thus we have A-Addu, Abd-Addi, Addu-.-ia, 
Addu-asharidu, Addu-daian, Addu-dan, Addu-mibir, Amar-Addi, 
Yadi-Addi(?), Yaha-Addi, Yapahi-Addu, Yapti-Addu, Natan- 
Addu, Pu-Addi, Shanu-Addu, and Shipti-Addi. The evidence 
seems clear that he was the prevailing deity of the country. As 
such the Yahwe worship would be likely to come from the worship 
of this god. 

As to the derivation of the name Yahwe, or more properly, 
Yahu, or Yah, I have nothing to add to the ignorance of all other 
scholars. Where Yahu is found in cuneiform theophorous names 
they are not properly Babylonian but western, if not Hebrew. 
Nor have I any theory to propound and defend for the derivation 


of El Shaddai which we are told was the earlier designation of 























THE ORIGIN OF THE WoRSHIP OF YAHWE 187 


Yahwe; which means, I suppose, that a god Shaddai was identified 
with, or even became developed into, the god Yahwe. Shaddai is 
connected by Babylonian scholars with Shadi, mountain, which 
might relate it with Adad. I venture to ask the question whether, 
remembering the ease with which an original shin passes into 
one of the breathings in kindred languages, Shaddai may not be 
an earlier form of Hadad and Adad, or more easily, of the Addu of 
the Amarna tablets, just as we have the shaphel, hiphil, and aphel 
conjugations, and in the personal suffixes the Babylonian -shu 
corresponding to the Hebrew 5 and 1; so may we have Shaddai 
corresponding to Hadad (with nominative case ending, Hadadu) 
and Adad (Adadu) and Addu. But this I leave to the linguists. 

My simple contention is that Yah, or, with the nominative 
termination, Yahu, or with its later development, Yahwe, or 
Yahweh, was one of the early tribal names under which the most 
popular of the Syro-Hittite gods was worshiped in the period when 
the Hebrews emerged into history, as he was certainly worshiped 
by them. I offer it as what appears to me a more probable theory 
than that which derives the worship from an utterly unknown god 
of the Kenites of Moses’ time, or from the ocean-god, Ea of the 


Babylonians. 








THE CHRONICLER AS EDITOR AND AS 
INDEPENDENT NARRATOR 
(Continued } 


By C. C. Torrey 


Yale University 
2. In Ezra-Nehemiah 


In the Chronicler’s history of the Jews after the exile we are 
obliged, unfortunately, to depend chiefly upon internal evidence 
for our conclusions as to the sources which he used. We have 
merely what he himself has given us, and from that and our 
knowledge of his habits in the pre-exilic history we must form our 
opinion of his editorial proceedings here. 

We know that he has used at least two documents; namely, an 
Aramaic story, Ezr. 4:8—6:18, written by one of his own school, 
and probably of his own generation; and the “‘Words of Nehe- 
miah,” including (as I have shown elsewhere) the greater part of 
the first six chapters of Nehemiah.” The methods which he 
employs, in incorporating these documents in his narrative, are, 
so far as we are able to judge, identical with those employed in 
the books of Chronicles. 

It certainly seems to be the case that ‘both documents have 
been left untouched throughout the greater part of their extent. 
I have already discussed elsewhere the traces of the Chronicler’s 
hand in the Aramaic story (loc. cit., pp. 229 ff.).. From Ezr. 4:8 
to 6:8, and again through 6:11-14, there is no sign of his pres- 
ence. It is quite possible that single words, or even phrases, 
may have been altered or added by him, here and there; just as 
we have seen him make insignificant verbal changes in some of 
the chapters in Sam. and Kings which he transcribes. But we 
may be sure that he has contributed nothing of importance to the 
Aramaic passages just named, and it is quite likely that he has 
not even changed a single word. Again, in Neh. 1:1-—2:6; 


18See my Composition of Ezra-Neh., pp. 35-49; and this Journal, XXIV, pp. 228-32. 


188 


























THE CHRONICLER AS EDITOR AND AS NARRATOR 189 


2:9b-20; 4:1—6:19, we seem to have solid blocks of the Nehe- 
miah narrative, transmitted with little or no editorial alteration. 
Here also we must conclude that if the Chronicler took any inde- 
pendent part, it was too slight to deserve consideration. In one 
place, 5:13, we seem to have one of those minor interpolations 
which he occasionally makes, namely the phrase: ‘* And all the con- 
A few other things, 


99:19 


gregation said, Amen, and praised Yahwe. 
here and there, appear to give evidence of his presence, but it is 
hardly possible to go beyond the mere suspicion. The language 
and style throughout these long sections are totally different from 
those of the Chronicler,” and it would be out of the question to 
think of him as the author of any extended passage. 

The way in which the Chronicler makes considerable 
editorial additions to these two documents in Ezra-Neh. 
corresponds exactly to his mode of proceeding in the books of 
Chronicles. The Aramaic story in its original form (as I have 
elsewhere argued; loc. cit., p. 232) probably began with the words: 
“In the days of Artaxerxes the king wrote Rehum the reporter 
and Shimshai the scribe,” etc., as in Ezr. 4:8. The Chronicler 
composed two introductory verses, 6, 7, at the same time 
altering slightly the beginning of the incorporated passage. This 
is just what he does over and over again, all through the earlier 
part of his history; see, for example, I Chron. 11:10, 13:1 ff., 
Il Chron. 1:1 ff., 2:1, 18:1 f., 24:4 £, 34:14. In the letter of 
Darius to Tattenai and his associates he has made one of his 
characteristic interpolations, Ezr. 6:9 f. This passage, brief as 
it is, is filled with the tokens of his presence, as I have elsewhere 
shown. It is not a case of revision, both verses are entirely his 
own. Brief passages of this sort are interpolated in many places 
in the pre-exilic history; with this particular instance cf. especially 
II Chron. 2:9, 14, observing the addition to the text of Kings. 
At the end of the Aramaic story, moreover, the Chronicler appends 
a passage of his own, Ezr. 6:15-18, filled to the brim with char- 
acteristic material. So with the additions to the Nehemiah story. 


19 Composition, p. 39. 


20This, of course, does not apply to the prayer, 1:5-11, which is built up of stock 
phrases, mostly Deuteronomic, and might as well have been written by the Chronicler as by 
anyone else. 











190 THE AMERICAN JOURNAL OF SEMITIC LANGUAGES 


Three verses, Neh. 2:7-9a, are interpolated at the point where 
the king grants his permission. The Chronicler saw a good 
opportunity to introduce one or two features in which he else- 
where shows great interest. Cf. especially I Esdr. 4:47b-56 
(and my notes on the passage, loc. cit., pp. 17 ff.), and see also 
my Composition, p. 36, where the numerous parallels are indicated. 
His always lively imagination shows itself here in the same vari- 
eties of embellishment with which we are familiar. He gives the 
name (his favorite “‘Asaph”!) of the keeper of the royal forest, 
and shows his customary interest in the buildings of Jerusalem; 
see above, p. 166. In chap. 3, vss. 1-32 are from the Chronicler’s 
hand. This passage appears to be an independent creation of his, 
not based on anything written by Nehemiah, and it will therefore 
be mentioned later. The immediately following passage, 3:33-38 
(English trans., 4:1-6), has always seemed to me to be at least 
in part the work of the Chronicler. I formerly thought (Comp., 
pp. 38, 50) that the most of it might be saved for Nehemiah, but 
further study has convinced me that the six verses are all from 
the Chronicler’s hand. The passage sounds like his writing 
throughout its whole extent, but the subject-matter is so unusual 
that characteristic words and phrases are not to be found. With 
mm, “restore,” in vs. 34 ef. I Chron. 11:8. The collocation of 
the two words 72 and ts occurs elsewhere only in II Chron. 
28:14. And what was the “army of Samaria,” before which 
Sanaballat made his speech (vs. 34) ?*'- The Chronicler’s imagi- 
nation pictured a standing army of hostile Samaritans; it is less 
likely that Nehemiah himself would have used the phrase on 
yaw. Later than this (4:2) he speaks of a coalition and 
the collecting of an army to come against Jerusalem, which is 
something different. It is to be observed, furthermore, that the 
three passages, 2:19 f., 3:33 ff., and 4:1 ff., repeat one another 
rather awkwardly, and that the awkwardness is very much in- 
creased when the Chronicler’s interpolation, 3:1—32, is removed. 
And finally, in regard to vss. 36 f. Siegfried, Comm., writes: 
‘‘Neh. bewegt sich durchaus in den Wendungen der nach- 


21 Of course it is probable, as I have said before, that the Sanaballat of the Elephantine 
papyri is the one mentioned by Nehemiah. 





























THE CHRONICLER AS EDITOR AND AS NARRATOR 191 


exilischen Psalmendichtung.” This is not altogether easy to 
believe of Nehemiah, but we know it to be true of the Chronicler; 
and to the latter it seems best, for every reason, to attribute the 
whole passage.” His purpose in inserting it is precisely the same 
which he had in inserting I Chron. 12:38-40, or IIT Chron. 
21:12-15, or the many other equally striking episodes; namely, 
the purpose of a first-class narrator to take full advantage of the 
most important situations. The passage 6:16-19 I am also 
inclined to attribute to the Chronicler for reasons which I will 
not take the time to discuss here.” 

Cases of thoroughgoing alteration of material are of 
course not to be found in Ezra-Nehemiah. It is not likely that 
any such alteration took place here; nor, if it had, should we be 
able to recognize it. The Aramaic story would never have been 
corrected in the interest of the Chronicler’s aim; its tendency, 
from beginning to end, was substantially the same as his own. 
There is nothing whatever to indicate that it has been either 
abridged or expanded by him, or that any change in it was made, 
aside from the few additions which have already been described. 
So also with the Nehemiah narrative. If there has been any 
more extensive editing than that which has just been pointed 
out, we have at least no evidence of the fact. It appears that 
Nehemiah’s own personal memoir ended either with 6:15 or with 
6:19. If the following chapters, 7, 11, 12, and 13,” are in any 
way based on material originally provided by Nehemiah, they at 
all events contain nothing to indicate the fact. On the contrary, 
they seem to be filled full with the Chronicler’s own familiar 
themes and materials (not at all like the things in which Nehe- 
miah himself shows interest!), and are couched throughout in 

221 formerly thought (Comp., pp. 35, 47) that the presence of the word B°™4%5, 
“Jews,” testified against the Chronicler’s authorship. This is not the case, however; he 
uses the word in I Esdr, 4:49, 50, as well as in Neh. 13:23. It is merely accidental that be 
does not use it oftener. 


231t is quite likely, further, that the prayer of Nehemiah, 1:5-lla, has at least been 
editel by the Chronicler, Among the occasional words and phrases which I have suspected 
of belonging to the latter writer are: the name, ‘“ Hanani,” in 1:2 (ef. 7:2); possibly 2:13 f.?; 
the last clause of 2:20; the ‘‘ Ashdodites” in 4:1; and the whole middle part of 5:14, from 


MIWS to MAW (cf. 13:6). The last-named passage is an important one. 


244s I have shown elsewhere, chaps. 8-10 originally belonged to the Ezra story, and 
were transferred to the book of Nehemiah through the error of a copyist. 











192 THE AMERICAN JOURNAL OF SEMITIC LANGUAGES 


his own language. Knowing, as we do, his method of writing 
the pre-exilic part of the history, where he originated by himself 
about as much material as he obtained from others (see below), no 
theory of editorial alteration in the last chapters of Nehemiah can 
have scientific value. 
Ill. THE CHRONICLER AS INDEPENDENT NARRATOR 
1. The Sources, Real and Imaginary, in I and IT Chron. 


The sixty-five chapters which make up the books of I and II 
Chron. occupy fifty pages in Kittel’s polychrome edition. Of 
this amount, nearly one half is printed in plain black and white 
by Kittel. That is, about one half of the material of this impor- 
tant document is known to us only as it comes from the hand of 
the Chronicler, being altogether independent of any other docu- 
ments with which we are acquainted. Whoever approaches the 
book with the idea that it is merely an edition of the canon- 
ical history (as it is sometimes styled) will be amazed to find 
out how much of this added matter there is. And the character 
of the matter, if anyone examines it carefully, will soon tell its 
own story in unequivocal fashion. It does not consist of mere 
appendages to the older history, if is itself the important part. 
The whole work was planned and executed for the sake 
of these independent chapters and paragraphs. Its author, 
as we have seen, was a man with a definite and important aim, 
and it was just here that his purpose was carried out. 

The Chronicler, as he wrote, had before him the Pentateuch, 
and the historical books of the Old Testament, from Joshua to 
II Kings; the books of Isaiah and Jeremiah, and probably all, or 
nearly all, of the other prophetical writings known to us; also the 
greater part of the Psalter. So far as we are able to judge, the 
form in which he had these books was substantially identical with 
the form in which we have them now. Against the probability 


that any other historical material of value was at his command 


stand some very potent facts, as many scholars have remarked. 
The Jews of the third century B.c. did not even have in their 
possession historical traditions regarding the first half of the 
Persian period (see above, p. 226), to say nothing of a still earlier 





(| 








c 








ap 











THE CHRONICLER AS EDITOR AND AS NARRATOR 193 


time. In the books of Samuel and Kings, which were given 
their present form some considerable time after the fall of Jerusa- 
lem, was embodied all that was known of the history of the 
Hebrew kingdoms; there is no likelihood whatever that other 
records, not used by the editors of Kings, were in existence and 
survived until the Chronicler’s day. 

Nevertheless the Chronicler, in a series of allusions scattered 
through his book, presents us with the names of a most impres- 
sive collection of historical works, of which certainly the most, 
and probably all, are otherwise unknown to us. These are the 
following: 

1. The Acts (27) of Samuel the Seer. I Chron. 29:29. 

2. The Acts of Nathan the Prophet. I Chron. 29:29, II 
Chron. 9:29. 

3. The Acts of Gad the Seer. I Chron. 29:29. 

4. The Prophecy of Aliijah the Shilonite. II Chron. 9:29. 

5. The Vision of Iddo the Seer concerning Jeroboam the son of 
Nebat. II Chron. 9:29. (The writings named thus far are said 
by the Chronicler to contain information regarding the deeds of 
David or of Solomon. ) 

6. The Acts of Shemaiah the Prophet and of Iddo the Seer. 
II Chron. 12:15. 

7. The Teaching (2772)” of the Prophet Iddo. II Chron. 
13:22. 

8. The Acts of Jehu the son of Hanani, “which are included 
in the Book of the Kings of Israel.” II Chron. 20:34. 

9. A book written by “Isaiah the son of Amoz, the prophet,” 
containing “the rest of the acts of Uzziah.” II Chron. 26:22. 

10. The ‘“‘acts of seers” who are not named. II Chron. 33:19." 
These are the seers who lived in the time of Manasseh, and are 
said by the Chronicler to have written down his acts. 

25 The precise meaning of the word, occurring here and in no, 15, is uncertain. It must 
at any rate be connected with the common use of the verb {3% in the meaning “search 
(for truth),” “inquire into,” and the like. Perhaps originally this noun formed with the 
prefix ma- denoted the “ place where the inquirer is to search,” and thence ‘‘ authoritative 
teaching.’ It is hardly safe to assume that the word in these two passages had the very 
same connotation as the later technical term, ‘* midrash.” 

26The text of the verse seems to be corrupt. MT and Jerome read “ Hozai,” a proper 


name. Theodotion probably had before him §°F (without the article), and this is 
the most likely rea ling; ef. vs. 18. The Syriac has ‘* Hanan the prophet.” 














194 THE AMERICAN JOURNAL OF SEMITIC LANGUAGES 


11. The Book of the Kings of Israel and Judah. I Chron. 
9:1,” II Chron. 27:7, 35:27. It is possible that in this and the 
three (or four) following numbers we have merely variations of 
the same title. It is plainly not owr Book of Kings to which 
reference is made; see especially I Chron. 9:1, II Chron. 20:34, 
27:7, 33:18, 26:8. 

12. The Book of the Kings of Judah and Israel. II Chron. 
16:11, 25:26, 28:26, 32:32. 

13. The Book of the Kings of Israel. II Chron. 20:34 (see 
the reference to this passage above, in no. 11). 

14. The Acts of the Kings of Israel. II Chron. 33:18. Said 
to contain the prayer of Manasseh, and the words of the seers who 
warned him. 

15. The Teaching (wT * of the Book of Kings. II Chron. 
24:27. 

The Chronicler nowhere expressly quotes from any one of 
these works; he does not even say that he himself made use of 
any of them as sources. But he plainly wishes to give the 
impression that he is writing with authority, and concerning 
matters which were well known, at least to the inner cir- 
cle in Jerusalem which preserved the true tradition. 
Obviously, some of these titles are a mere literary adornment, 
designed to give the impressiow just described, and any close 
study of the evidence leads to the same conclusion in regard to 
all the titles in the list. 

The material which has come to us only through the books 
of Chronicles is perfectly homogeneous, the work of a single hand. 
It is impossible to suppose that any part of it is excerpted, as 
the Chronicler habitually excerpts from the sources which we 
know him to have used. It is certainly not the case that Samuel, 
Nathan, Gad, Ahijah, Iddo, Shemaiah, Jehu, Isaiah, and the 
authors of the other ‘‘sources,” used all exactly the same language 
and style, and wrote with the selfsame tendency. But this is not 
all. The language, style, and tendency, throughout these long 


and important chapters and sections, are those of the Chronicler 


27So, of course, the verse must be punctuated, as in all the old versions. 


28 See no. 7, and the note there. 





2. 











—-~ 














THE CHRONICLER AS EDITOR AND AS NARRATOR 195 


himself and of no one else. This is well stated by Driver, Eneyel. 
Bibl, art. “Chronicles,” col. 772: “The style of the Chronicler 
has remarkable peculiarities. It is not merely that it presents 


characteristically late linguistic novelties, . . . . but it has also a 
number of special mannerisms. ... . So constant are [these 


marks | that there is hardly a sentence, not excerpted from Samuel 
or Kings,” in which they are not observable.” And yet Professor 
Driver, sharing the traditional disinclination to believe that the 
Chronicler himself invented any long passages—though he sup- 
expresses 





poses him very frequently to have invented short ones! 
himself as follows in his Introduction’, p. 493. After drawing the 
conclusion that all this added matter must be either the composition 
of the Chronicler or derived from a contemporary writing, he adds, 
in a footnote: ‘‘The former alternative is decidedly the more 
probable; but the latter cannot be absolutely excluded. The author 
of the ‘Midrash of the Book of Kings’ may, for instance, have 
used a style and diction similar to those of the Chronicler.” But 
this is lame reasoning. What logical value is there in the sug- 
gestion that some (why not all?) of the added matter may have 
been composed not by the Chronicler, but by another writer who 
wrote at the same time, with the same aim (7bid., p. 498), and 
employing the same peculiar language and style? This is really 
a reductio ad absurdum. It is time that scholars were done with 
this phantom “source,” of which the internal evidence is absolutely 
lacking, and the external evidence is limited to the Chronicler’s 
transparent parading of “‘authorities;” while the evidence against 
* It may be added, that the hypothesis of a 


it is overwhelming.” 
‘“‘midrashic” source, of which such very free conjectural use has 
been made by modern scholars, does not at all suffice to explain 
the Chronicler’s added matter. The latter does nof consist, for 
the most part, of moral and religious lessons, nor is it an expansion 
or explanation of an older text. It is motived history; and the 
one thing which is fundamental to it everywhere is the studied 
purpose of an earnest man. Nothing is included by accident, 
nowhere is any other aim than the Chronicler’s apparent. What 


29 The italics are mine. 
30 If Chronicles had not been a sadly neglected book, these manifestly untenable theories 
could not have held the field for so long a time. 





‘ 


196 THE AMERICAN JOURNAL OF SEMITIC LANGUAGES 


the Chronicler’s 





we have is a consistently altered picture 
own picture—of the whole history, every single portion sup- 
porting and supplementing every other portion. As has already 
been said, it was this added material that formed the all-important 
part of the work. 

The Old Testament writers, in their methods and practices, 
seem generally to have followed the traditions of their time; and 
in thus making an impressive (though equivocal) show of authori- 
ties, the Chronicler was doing what many ancient writers of note 
have done.” What he aimed at was partly literary adornment,” 
but partly also an apologetic advantage. He certainly could not 
count on the immediate success of his improved version of the 
sacred history, and it might be that even these allusions to ancient 
writings, presumably known in Jerusalem, would be of assistance 
against the rivals of the Jews. I believe, however, that the literary 
motive was the principal one. Be that as it may, the necessary 
conclusion as to the origin of the material of I and II Chron. not 
derived from our canonical books is this, that it was all freely 
composed by the Chronicler himself, in the pursuit of his apolo- 


getic aim. 


2, The Chronicler’s Characteristics as a Narrator 


So much has been said on this subject already, in the course 
of the preceding argument, that it is possible to be brief here. 
The Chronicler has some very strong points as a story-teller, though 
they have been generally overlooked because of the traditional 
view of him as a mere compiler. I have already given some 
examples of the way in which he occasionally ‘‘retouches”’ the 
older narrative by introducing into it local color and fresh incident 
(above, pp. 167, 169). The story of Ornan the Jebusite, as retold 
by him in I Chron. 21, furnishes a typical instance. His imagina- 
31 See, for illustration, Bernheim, Historische Methode, 272 ff.; James, Apocrypha Anec- 


dota ii, p. xevii. 
32T have no doubt that it is a purely literary embellishment when the latest editor of 
the Books of Kings speaks of ** The Book of the Acts of Solomon,” ‘* The Book of the Chron- 
icles of the Kings of Israel,” and **The Book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Judah,” as 
of works which at least had been in existence: ,‘*The rest of his acts, ... . were they not 
s not in the least likely that this editor had seen such chronicles, nor does 
But he wished to offset in this harmless way, so far as he could, the 


written, ete.?” Iti 
he say that he had 
humiliating effect of this extremely meager account of the Hebrew Kings. 



































THE CHRONICLER AS EDITOR AND AS NARRATOR 197 


tion is not the mere bondservant of his tendency. He very fre- 
quently creates new pictures and invents striking details with a 
dogmatic purpose, it is true, but perhaps quite as often with a 
purely literary aim. Few, if any, of all the narrators of the Old 
Testament could surpass him in vividness of imagination. Every 
scene stands out clearly before his eyes, as his thought creates the 
successive incidents. Everything is alive, and in movement. He 
is fond of putting things in the most concrete form, giving places, 
names, and dates, even when he is thus taking liberties with the 





older history. If his skill—or care—in telling the story were 
equal to his power of invention, he would stand among the first of 
Hebrew writers. But this is unfortunately not the case. In con- 
structing his narrative he is often careless, sometimes extremely 
so; his language is inelegant, even for the time in which he lived; 
and his style is slovenly to the last degree. 

The following instances, picked up at random, may serve to 
illustrate further his chief characteristics. IIL Chron. 22:116; 
the statement that Jehosheba was the wife of Jehoiada the 
priest is the addition of a true story-teller. This is perhaps a 
little more than a literary touch, to be sure, since by means of it 
the credit for the rescue of the boy king is given entirely to the 
priests and Levites. II Chron, 21:12—15; the introduction of the 
letter from the prophet Elijah to Joram of Judah is the same 
sort of lively editing which we have in the case of the Hiram- 
Solomon correspondence (mentioned above). Of a similar nature 
are the speeches which the Chronicler is so very fond of putting 
into the mouth of his characters.” Their purpose is simply to 
lend a certain dramatic vividness to the narration. A good exam- 
ple is I Chron. 12:18. In II Chron. 21:16 f. the Chronicler 
removes in a picturesque way all the sons of the wicked queen 
Athaliah, excepting only the one (the youngest) who afterward 
reigned. The inveterate fondness for furnishing a date is illus- 
trated in 16:12: “And in the thirty-ninth year of his 
reign Asa was diseased in his feet”’ (cf. I Kings 15:23). And it 
is with names as it is with dates; where the ordinary narrator 
merely tells the occurrence, the Chronicler gives the name of the 


33 See Driver, Encycl. Bibl., loc. cit., col. 772, and note 2, 








198 THE AMERICAN JOURNAL OF SEMITIC LANGUAGES 


man. Thus 14:8: “There came out against them Zerah the 
Ethiopian.” There is no reason for thinking of possible “ writ- 
ten sources,” inthe many cases of this kind. No one was better 
able to invent such names than the Chronicler himself. 

II Chron. 24:15-22 is a bit of narrative which illustrates both 
the Chronicler’s didactic habit and also his manner as a narrator. 
Vs. 20, in particular, is characteristic: “And the spirit of God 
came upon Zechariah the son of Jehoiada the priest; and he 
stood above the people, and said unto them, Thus saith God, 
Why transgress ye the commandments of Yahwé?” The motives 
which led the Chronicler to create this episode are obvious. The 
sad end of Joash (II Kings 12:17—21), who had done so many 
good things in his lifetime, needed some preparation in the pre- 
ceding history, and this was accordingly provided. Even after 
the death of Jehoiada (the narrator would say), the king and 
the princes were not left without admonition; the son of that 
famous priest began to rebuke them, but was slain by the com- 
mand of the king. This was all laid close at the narrator’s hand 
by the needs of the situation; but the enlivening touches, the 
spoken words, and the picture of the young priest “standing 
above” the people, are marks of the Chronicler’s individuality. 
II Chron. 16:7—-12 is another case which affords an excellent 
parallel. Here the good king who goes astray is Asa. The 
prophet who warns him is Hanani.” Asa, like Joash, is enraged, 
and puts the seer in a dungeon. Then this king also, like the 
other, comes to a mournful end (as told in I Kings 15:23). The 
story of Uzziah is another parallel. Here we are told in II Kings 
15:5 that the good king became a leper, and the Chronicler tells 
the reason why; II Chron. 26:16—-20. This time it is a priest 
who withstands the king and utters the rebuke which is quoted. 
Cf. further 20:14-17, and 28:9-138. 

The following are minor touches illustrating the Chronicler’s 
imaginative way of narrating. I Chron. 11:23: “In the Egyp- 
tian’s hand was a spear like a weaver’s beam” (cf. II Sam. 23:21). 
We might also expect the Chronicler to give the name of this 


34 Known in I Kings 16:1, 7 only by name, as the father of the prophet Jehu. The name 
Hanani(ah) is one of the Chronicler’s favorites, being introduced by him wherever there is 


opportunity. See for example II Chron. 26:11. 























> 





o 


THE CHRONICLER AS EDITOR AND AS NARRATOR 199 


Egyptian. 12:8: David’s Gadite warriors were men ‘whose faces 
were like the faces of lions, and they were as swift as the roes 
upon the mountains.” And among these same warriors were those 
(vs. 15) “who went over Jordan in the first month, when it had 
overflowed all its banks.” And in vs. 39, those who came to 
Hebron to make David king ‘‘were there with David three days, 
eating and drinking.” 28:2: “Then David the king stood up 
upon his feet, and said, Hear me, my brethren,” ete. IT Chron. 
13:4: “And Abijah stood upon Mount Zemaraim, . .. . and 
said, Hear me, Jeroboam and all Israel.” 16:14: When Asa was 
buried, “they laid him in a bed which was prepared with per- 
fumes and spices of many kinds”’ (Asa was one of the Chronicler’s 
favorite characters). 20:5: “And Jehoshaphat stood in the con- 
gregation of Judah and Jerusalem, in the house of Yahwe, before 
the new court.” Vs. 16, speaking of a coming encounter with the 
forces of Edom, Ammon, and Moab: ‘Ye shall find them af the 
end of the valley, before the wilderness of Jeruel.’”? The Chron- 
icler’s imagination locates the scene exactly, as usual. Vss. 18 f.: 
Jehoshaphat and all the people bowed down with their faces to the 
ground, ‘“‘and the Levites . . . . stood up to sing praises,” ete. 
26:16 ff., the story of Uzziah’s trespass: As the king stood there 
in his anger, ‘‘the leprosy broke forth in his forehead in the sight 
of the priests. .... And they thrust him out quickly from 
thence; yea, he himself hastened to go out.” 28:7: “And 
Zikri, a mighty man of Ephraim, slew Maaseiah the King’s son,” 
and others whose names are likewise invented with the sole pur- 
pose of giving life to the narrative. 29:3 f.: King Hezekiah, 
‘in the first year of his reign, in the first month, opened the doors 
of the house of Yahwé, and repaired them. And he brought in 
the priests and the Levites, and gathered them together into the 
broad place on the east.” 35:20, at the time when Josiah went 
out to meet Necho, the latter was marching to battle ‘‘at Carche- 


mish on the Euphrates.” 

All the embellishment of this kind, which is purely literary, is 
valuable for the light which it throws on the Chronicler’s qualities 
as a composer of narrative. It has received little attention hith- 
erto, for the obvious reason that it has beew customary to relieve 








200 THE AMERICAN JOURNAL OF SEMITIC LANGUAGES 


the Chronicler of the responsibility for this material, supposing 
him to have derived it from older writers, especially ‘“‘the mid- 
rashic source” and “the lost book of Kings.” But every particle 
of it bears the plain stamp of one man’s hand. 

Those independent contributions to the history which have 
been made by the Chronicler in the interest of the Levitical 
organization, and of the religious beliefs and practices of his day, 
have been treated often and well; though they have not been 
adequately studied from the literary side, and even those who have 
discussed them most fully have been content to leave open the 
bewildering possibility that they (or some of them) were not 
written by the Chronicler, but by another man who lived at about 
the same time, had the same views, and wrote in the same peculiar 
manner. Examples of narrative which originated in the Chroni- 
cler’s well-known prejudices may be passed over here, important 
as they are. But, as I have already shown, he was not a mere 
dealer in midrashim, but the champion of a great cause. His 
interest in the Levitical organization was only one feature (though 
a very important feature) of his interest in all the peculiarly 
Jewish religious institutions. And he repeatedly invents historical 
episodes in which his controversial purpose can be seen. 

His defense of the sole authority of the church in Jerusalem, 
and his half-concealed polemic” against the Samaritans in partic- 
ular, make their appearance with emphasis as soon as he comes 
in his history to the dividing of the kingdom. The reason why 
the Northern Kingdom of Israel is generally left out of account by 
him is mainly because it lay outside the sphere of his chief pur- 
pose,” but is found also in the fact that in his own day rival 
Hebrew organizations, and especially the church on Mount Gerizim, 
were using the existence of this Northern Kingdom as a weapon 
against the pretensions of the Jews. At the very beginning of 

35 He was of course much too shrewd a man to introduce into his history any open 
polemic against the Samaritans, Anything resembling this must immediately have spoiled 
the effect of his whole work. If it could easily be recognized as a party document, he might 
as well have spared himself the trouble of writing it. His whole hope of success lay in giving 
it the appearance of history, built up out of material which antedated the Samaritan 


schism. 
imagine that the Chronicler, with his zeal for the glory of the Hebrew 





36 And yet we can 


people as over against the other peoples of the earth, might have been glad to make mention 
of the external prosperity of such reigns as those of Ahab and Jeroboam II, 





las 














a 








THE CHRONICLER AS EDITOR AND AS NARRATOR 201 


his account of the schism, in the story of Abijah and his war with 
Jeroboam, the Chronicler lays down his main thesis in a very 
conspicuous manner. The king of Judah delivers an oration, 
II Chron. 13: 4-12, in which, after showing that the men of the 
northern kingdom were apostates and idolaters (vss. 5-8), he utters 
these words: ‘“’Have ye not driven out the priests of Yahwé; the 
sons of Aaron, and the Levites, and have made for yourselves 
priests from the people of the land?" Whoever cometh to conse- 
crate himself with a young bullock and seven rams, he may become 
a priest to your false gods. “But as for us, Yahwé is our God, 
and we have not forsaken him. We have priests ministering to 
Yahwe, the sons of Aaron, and the Levites in their work, "And 
they [i.e., the priests |* burn unto Yahwé every morning and every 
evening burnt offerings and sweet incense; the showbread also 
is set in order on the pure table, and the golden candlestick with 
its lamps, to burn every evening. For we keep the charge of 
Vahwe our God, but ye have forsaken him.” The purpose of all 
this is as plain as day. It is precisely the main purpose of the 
whole book of Ezra, and of chaps. 7-13 of the book of Nehemiah; 
namely, to show that the Samaritans, who claimed to be the heirs 
of the Northern Kingdom, and a legitimate branch of the people 
of Yahwé, had no right to recognition. The Chronicler here, as 
elsewhere, insists on the pure blood, not contaminated by inter- 
marriage; and he enumerates the details of the orthodox forms of 
the worship, as it existed in his day in Jerusalem, but nowhere 
else, not even on Mount Gerizim. The Samaritan priests are men 
of the MIS"NT “sy, however near they may keep to the regula- 
tions of the Pentateuch.” So also with the rest of the officials 
and the apparatus of the temple. In the church which had its 
center at Shechem, the Levites of the Chronicler’s Jerusalem, 
with their important tasks and elaborate organization, did not 


37 Read PARANA 09%, following the Greek, é« tov Aaod Tis ys. 


38 The Chronicler, in his usual slovenly style, attaches the participle Dp “eps to its 


predecessor D°A AWD as though nothing had intervened. 
89 With the “young bullock and seven rams” of vs. 9 compare Exod, 29:1, 35, ete. Per- 


haps the Chronicler is not trying to be exact in these verses, but it may well be that we are 
to recognize in them both what was and what was not included in the official ritual of the 


Samaritan church in the Chronicler’s day. 














202 THE AMERICAN JOURNAL OF SEMITIC LANGUAGES 


exist.” Jerusalem preserved the true tradition of the cult; in 
departing from it these northern rivals were apostates. In the 
development of his theme the Chronicler composes here an elabo- 
rate narrative of 18 verses, containing the account of an ambush, 
the slaying of 500,000 men of the Northern Kingdom (thus the 
pure Hebrew stock there suffered a great diminution at the very 
beginning!), and the names of the cities which Judah captured on 
this occasion. 

Another instance of this nature is II Chron. 25:6-10, 13. 
Amaziah, in undertaking an important expedition against the 
Edomites, hires a large body of warriors from Israel. A prophet 
warns him that ‘Yahwé is not with” the people of the Northern 
Kingdom; so he sends the army back, and it returns home “in 
fierce anger.” Bent on revenge, it lays waste the cities of northern 
Judea. Similar in its motive, again, is the story told in 28:6-15. 
This is very lively, and full of incident. The principal scene is 
vividly sketched, two speeches are reported verbatim, and the 
names of nine characters, otherwise unknown, are given. This 
affords a very good example, in brief compass, of the Chronicler’s 
skill as a novelist. 

A considerable part of the Chronicler’s independent narrative 
is not controversial at all, but simply composed with a didactic aim. 
In the cases of this kind, as in the others, it is his habit to carry 
back into the history of earlier times the things which he either 
saw, or would like to see, in his own day. A very good 
example is furnished by the two passages, II Chron. 17:7—10 and 
19:4-11. King Jehoshaphat wished all his people to know the 
Pentateuch and be governed by it. He therefore in the third 
year of his reign appointed men to visit all the cities of Judah, 
teaching the law of Moses and acting as judges in accordance 
with it (17:7 ff.). This worked so well that “the fear of Yahwé 
fell upon all the kingdoms of the lands that were round about 
Judah, so that they made no war against Jehoshaphat” (vs. 10). 
Some years later, accordingly, after the king had become well 


40 The term “‘Levites”’ here of course includes “ porters”’ and “singers,” just as it does 
everywhere else in Chron.-Ezr.-Neh. where there is no special reason for distinguishing the 
separate classes. In the following narrative, vss. 12, 14, the priests appear with trumpets as 
in I Chron. 15:24, Ezr. 3:10, Neh. 12:35, ete. This occasion (actual battle!) would be no place 
Kittel, Comm., p. 130, writes without due consideration. 


for the “singers.” 











THE CHRONICLER AS EDITOR AND AS NARRATOR 203 


established in his kingdom, he renewed this appointment of judges 
and teachers, making the organization more formal and thorough, 
as well as more permanent (19:4ff.). The result was just the 
same as in the former case. Jehoshaphat and his people immedi- 
ately triumphed over a great hostile army, without the necessity 
é * of striking a single blow (20:1—-28). ‘And the fear of God was 
on all the kingdoms of the lands, when they heard that Yahwé 
fought against the enemies of Israel” (vs. 20). These judges 
and teachers are said by the Chronicler, in both cases, to consist 
of prominent men of Judah, priests, and Levites.“" Through 
their co-operation was made possible a uniform knowledge of 
the divine law, and a uniform administration of it, all through 
the land. Beside the local seats of justice there was the central 
seat, in Jerusalem (19:8). All this, as has often been remarked, 
corresponds closely to conditions which actually existed in the 
land at the close of the last century B. c. (see Josephus, Antt., iv, 
214-18, and Schirer, Geschichte’, II, 176-79), and probably also 
in the time of the Chronicler. He doubtless had in mind a still 
more thorough and efficient system, and hoped to see it extended. 
How fundamentally important it seemed to him may be seen from 
II Chron. 15:3, Ezr. 7:10, 25 f., 10:14. Ezra the priest was a 
judge and a teacher himself, administering the law of Moses, and 
he appointed others for the same important work. On the Levites 


OO 

~J 
~ 

= 
“ 


as judges and teachers, see also I Chron. 23:4, 26:29, Neh. 

and with II Chron. 19:11 cf. especially Neh. 11: 22-24." 
3. The “Ezra Memoirs” 

From what has been said, above, as to the character of the 

Chronicler’s work, that it is an elaborate historical apology for 

the Jewish institutions of his time, it is obvious that the center of 


41In 17:7f., “ princes, Levites, and priests,’ exactly as in Neh. 10:1, ete. 

42 Benzinger’s amazing comments on the two passages, II Chron. 17:7 ff. and 19:4 ff., 
are characteristic of the manner in which he has hastened through the books of Chronicles 
(Comm., p. 104): ** Das erbauliche Element in der Erzahlung fehlt ganzlich..... Sodann 
ist nicht einzusehen, wozu die Erfindung der Namen der obersten Beamten 17:7 gedient 
“y hatte. Bei einem Produkt freier Phantasie hatte sich Chr. resp. seine Quelle an den Pries- 

tern und Leviten geniigen lassen. .... Chr. und seine Zeit hatten die Verkindigung 
des Gesetzes den Leviten und Priestern allein tiberlassen, deren Amt das war; vgl. die 
Gesetzesverlesung Neh. 8, bes. v. 7,8” (and yet it is obvious that in Neh. 8:4 laymen are 
intended, and the most of the names are actually found, as names of “chief men of the 
people,” in Neh. 10:15-28 and Ezr. 10:25-43). And both Benzinger and Kittel find it notice- 
able that the laymen are mentioned first, in 17:7 f.! In 19:8 point of course 130". 














204 THe AMERICAN JOURNAL OF SEMITIC LANGUAGES 


gravity in it must lie in his account of the restoration. 
The one possible key to the situation which confronted him was a 
formal and thoroughgoing ‘restoration’ through the medium of 
the Babylonian captivity (see above, pp. 157, 161). There was 
no other way in which the primacy of the Jewish church, and the 
exclusion of its rivals, could be assured —now that those ill-fated 
verses, II Kings 24:14 ff., 25:8—12, 22, 25 f., had been written and 
widely circulated. It was absolutely necessary to show that the 
genuine old Hebrew church, both its men and its institutions, 
ame straight from Babylonia to Judea, and that the ancient 
stream of tradition had been kept uncontaminated. 

We should accordingly expect that the Chronicler, in passing 
on from the story of the kingdom to that of the Persian period, 
would begin to show the measure of his best work. That is, in 
fact, what we do see. The amount of the independent material 
which he contributes is proportionately but little greater here, it 
is true, than in the earlier sections. In I and II Chron., as we 
have seen, nearly one-half of the whole was composed by him; 
and here in Ezr.-Neh. his contribution amounts to about two- 
thirds, consisting largely of lists of names. But it is in some 
respects work done more thoroughly (not more carefully; the 
Chronicler never did anything with great care) than any of that 
which preceded it. So far as the author’s manner and his literary 
habits and devices are concerned, the Chronicler’s narrative in 
Ezr.-Neh. presents nothing at all that is new, excepting the (very 
natural) use of the first person in the story of Ezra, in imitation 
of the memoir of Nehemiah. But the opportunity which he had 
here to show his inventive ability and his constructive skill was 
much greater than any which he had had previously. He had 
before him, as usable material, two documents. The first was an 
Aramaic popular tale of the building of the temple, recently com- 
posed by one of his own way of thinking. It was dated, unmis- 
takably, in the reigns of Artaxerxes I and Darius II. The second 
was the memoir of Nehemiah, telling of the building of the city 
wall. This was dated in the reign of a certain ‘ Artaxerxes,” 
who, if the Aramaic story was right, must have been Artaxerxes IT. 
So the Chronicler evidently reasoned, on the basis of Ezr. 4: 19-24. 




















—_& 








THE CHRONICLER AS EDITOR AND AS NARRATOR 205 


Aside from these two documents, and the few data in the prophets 
Haggai, Zechariah, and Malachi, the whole Persian period was a 
blank, which he was free to fill as he saw fit. 

From his account of the last days of the kingdom of Judah 
and the destruction of the temple (nearly all of II Chron. 35, and 
36:13-21, being his own free composition) he proceeds directly 
to narrate the restoration at the beginning of the Persian rule. 
This is told in his well-known manner, with primary attention to 
all the details connected with the Jewish church, and the smallest 
possible amount of other narrative. There is no evidence, nor 
likelihood, that he had any written source, other than those 
already named. He tells of the proclamation of Cyrus (Ezra, 
chap. 1), and how the king restored the sacred vessels; he also 
gives (in I Esdras 4:47-56) the contents of the letters of Cyrus to 
his Syrian officials, with prescription for all the principal institu- 
tions and ordinances of the Jewish community as the Chronicler 
imagined it. He gives the date (of course!) of the great return, 
and the names and lineage of the leaders (I Esdras 5:4-6); and 
then the all-important list, outside of which there was no ecclesi- 
astical salvation. In Ezra 3 and 4:1—5 he narrates how the 
returning exiles settled in the land, restored the worship as far 
as possible, and began building the temple. In 3:12 f. we have 
one of those descriptive touches of which he is master. It is 
worthy of especial notice how in 4:1—5 he does the same thing 
which he had done in II Chron. 13:4—-11 (see above). Just as 
the speech of Abijah, made after the division of the kingdom, 
showed that the true tradition was in Jerusalem and not in north- 
ern Israel, so here, immediately after the return, the fact is stated 
with emphasis that the Samaritans (purposely called by the non- 
committal term, ‘adversaries of Judah and Benjamin”) have no 
part in the true worship of the God of Israel, although they 
claim to have it. 

But the story of Ezra is the episode of especial interest in this 
‘‘post-exilic” history, and the one which best illustrates the quali- 
ties which have been described. It is ‘‘the Chronicler’s master- 
piece” (Comp., p. 57). I showed in my former brief treatise 
that he is the sole author of this, and the proof there given, while 














206 THE AMERICAN JOURNAL OF SEMITIC LANGUAGES 


it might have been extended much farther, was more than suffi- 
cient.“ It is singular that the fact should have remained so long 
unrecognized. A generation or more ago, when it was still 
believed that there was a “post-exilic style” of Hebrew prose, it 
was easy to believe that these supposed three men, the Chronicler, 
Ezra, and Nehemiah, could all write in exactly the same way. But 
the time for such an easy-going theory is long past, now that we 
know that the authors of the books Joel, Haggai, Zechariah, 
Malachi, Jonah, Ruth, Nehemiah (in chaps. 1-6), Koheleth, 
Esther, Ezekiel, Daniel, and the writer of the ‘Priestly Narra- 
tive” in the Pentateuch—not to mention still others— wrote each 
in his own individual manner, and no one of them in a style 
which at all resembles that of the Chronicler. 

First. as to the fact that the whole of the “Ezra memoir” 
(especially Ezr. 7:27—10:44 and Neh. 7:70—10:40) is written 
in the Chronicler’s own words, whether created by him 
entire or merely rewritten. It is only necessary to ask three 
questions: (1) Is there such a thing as a characteristic style; 
i. e., a recognizable individuality in the use of words and phrases 
and in the manner of expressing ideas? (2) Did the Chronicler 
have a style which can be recognized? (3) In what passages or 
chapters of Chron.-Ezr.-Neh. is it to be found with certainty? 
The first of these questions must of course be answered affirma- 
tively. The answer to the second is, or ought to be, known to 
every student of Hebrew. There is no writer, in all the Old Tes- 
tament, whose peculiarities of language and style are so strongly 
marked, or who can so easily and certainly be recognized, as the 
Chronicler.“ In answer to the third question I make the follow- 
ing assertion, which is the assured result of a good deal of hard 
study: There is no portion of the whole work Chron.-Ezr.-Neh. 
in which the Chronicler’s literary peculiarities are more strongly 
marked, more abundant, more evenly and continuously distrib- 

43Muost of the reviewers of my Cumposition passed very hastily over the evidence of 
language and style, as though these wrre matters of minor importance! In nearly every 
case, however, they acknowledged the justice of the claim which I had made (p. 16), that 
my lists of words and usages were trustworthy so far as they went. One reviewer, Lohr, in 


the Theol. Rundschau, 1898, pp. 331f., asserted the contrary, with a succession of statements 
which are not only misleading but in part positively unfair. 


44See the statement of Professor Driver, already quoted (above, p. 195). 











a 














THE CHRONICLER AS EDITOR AND AS NARRATOR 207 


uted, and more easily recognizable, than in the Hebrew narra- 
tive of Ezr. 7-10 and Neh. 8-10. Sufficient proof of this can be 
seen by anyone even in the long “list of peculiar usages” pub- 
lished in Driver’s Introduction, or in that given in Geissler’s 
Litterar. Beziehungen der Esramemoiren, 1899, pp. 5-11,° with- 
out the necessity of going farther. How does it happen that the 
Chronicler, and ‘‘Ezra” (everywhere), and Nehemiah (every- 
where excepting in chaps. 1-6!) all write just the same very 
peculiar Hebrew? So far as this phenomenon has been noticed 
at all, it has been customary to explain it by saying that the 
Chronicler as editor gave the writings of Ezra and Nehemiah a 
stylistic revision: “weil ja der Verf. (Chroniker) die Denkschrift 
Jsra’s umgeschrieben und in sein Buch aufgenommen hat, wobei 
sich leicht seine Sprachfarbung dem Texte mittheilte’’ (von 
Orelli, in the Theol. Literaturblatt, 1895, p. 290). But those 
who attempt this explanation show that they neither realize the 
extent of this ‘‘revision” nor have an acquaintance with the 
Chronicler’s editorial methods. He also edited Neh., chaps. 1, 2, 
4-6, but left all this apparently untouched, saving a few verses 
which he added or inserted, and which contain the only sure 
marks of his hand. More important still, we know just how he 
has edited the multitude of long extracts from the books of Sam- 
uel and Kings. The material of which he has made use there has 
not been given his “Sprachfaérbung.” His peculiar words and 
usages, such as those given in the long list just mentioned, are 
almost never found in the chapters and paragraphs which he has 
transferred; and even in the comparatively few cases where he 
has revised or expanded the older narrative they are not at all 
common. The only passages in which his characteristics 
appear frequently, in successive verses and many times 


45Geissler’s investigation is industrious and useful, but his conclusions in the 
matters now under discussion are singularly at variance with the evidence which he pre- 
sents. After showing the enormous extent to which the literary stock-in-trade of * Ezra” 
coincides with that of the Chronicler, he goes on to discuss the words and phrases occurring 
both in ** Ezra’ and in the Hexateuch (pp. 12-21), presenting an array of evidence which 
proves nothing more than this, that the Chronicler wrote Hebrew and had read his Bible. 
He then presents (pp. 22f.) the linguistic material peculiar to the “ Ezra memoirs.” 
What is gained from th s very meager list, and from the remarks which follow it, is merely 
the certainty that a few words and phrases found in Ezra are not found in Chron., and vice 
versa; i.e., that the Chronicler really had at his command as large a vocabulary as he 


might be expected to have. 








208 THE AMERICAN JOURNAL OF SEMITIC LANGUAGES 





on a single page—as they appear all the time in the 
Ezra story—are the paragraphs and chapters which he 
has composed independently. This is a statement concern- 
ing which there can be no dispute. It can easily be verified by 
anyone who will take the trouble to study the books of Chron- 
icles in Kittel’s edition, with the aid of the lists already mentioned. 
As I said in my Comp., pp. 51f.: **The Chronicler incorporates 
his documentary sources entire, so far as practicable, not rewrit- 
ing them or working them over, but enriching them occasionally 
with an added clause or inserted paragraph.” I have now given 
sufficient illustration of this (see above), and it is a fact well 
known to those who have studied the books of Chronicles.” So 
when, for example, Kraetzschmar, in the Theol. Literaturzeitung, 
1897, col. 350, would make the concession, ‘‘dass der Chronist in 
die Esra-Memoire stairker eingegriffen hat, als man bisher im 
Allgemeinen annahm” (cf. also Geissler, op. cit., pp. 11 f.), he is 
proposing an explanation of the facts which is entirely inad- 
missible. 

Then, as to the significance of the fact that the Ezra story 
lies before us in the Chronicler’s own language. There is only 
one possible conclusion to be drawn from the abundant material 
which we have to guide us, namely this, that the story is entirely his 
own composition. Kraetzschmar, loc. cit., objects: “Es ware ein 
Leichtes, nach des Verfassers Methode auch diese Kapitel | I Chron. 
21 and II Chron. 28f.] und noch viele andere auf alteren Quel- 
len beruhende der Chronik als vom Chronisten frei erfunden und 
ganzlich ungeschichtlich hinzustellen.” Of course! That is the 
only treatment possible to one who knows the Chronicler and has 


any idea what a scientific method is. In the two chapters, II 


Chron. 28 f., and all others like them, whatever the Chronicler 


himself has written, in the way of either addition or alteration, is 
“frei erfunden und ungeschichtlich.” Since Kraetzschmar has 
pointed out these three chapters by way of illustration, it may be 
well to notice, in passing, what they really illustrate. In I] 
Chron. 28 f. there are no marks whatever of the Chronicler’s 


46 Thus Benzinger, Comm., p. 113, decides that the story of Joash’s repairing of the tem- 
ple, II Chron. 24:4-14, cannot come from the Chronicler, simply because the story told in 
King; has been thoroughly rewritten (and altogether changed in its contents, be it noted!). 


——————E 


Gy 





‘ 
| 
| 
} 
| 
| 








) | 


oe 








THe CHRONICLER AS EDITOR AND AS NARRATOR 209 


hand in any of the verses which contain material from II Kings. 
But in the remainder of the two chapters, where he cuts loose 
from his source and composes his own narrative, the characteris- 
tic words and phrases appear. In I Chron. 21, where he has 
merely made extensive superficial alteration, while retaining a 
good deal of the material of his source, no traces of his lan- 
guage and style appear (and this, as I remarked above, is the 
rule in such cases). This chapter, therefore, stands on an alto- 
gether different footing from those in the Ezra story. With the 
narrative which does not appear to have been written by 
the Chronicler we have at present nothing to do. 

Further, the narrative which gives evidence of coming from 
the Chronicler’s hand cannot possibly be treated as substantially 
representing an older source. It is not simply that we have no 
guarantee that in introducing his own form of words he has not 
altered the material contents of his source; we know with 
certainty that in all such cases he has altered them fundamen- 
tally. The evidence of I and II Chron. is conclusive on this 
point, as I have shown. Wherever he employs his own language, 
the substance also is his; and if the traces of his presence are 
numerous throughout any considerable piece of narrative, the 
overwhelming probability is that he had no written source at all 
for it. 

Now, as a matter of fact, there is nothing whatever to make it 
seem likely that the Chronicler had any source, written or oral, 
for his story of Ezra. If we have any definite knowledge at all 
of this “Ezra,” we know that he was a man precisely like the 
Chronicler himself: interested very noticeably in the Levites, 
and especially the class of singers; deeply concerned at all times 
with the details of the cult and with the ecclesiastical organiza- 
tion in Jerusalem; armed with lists of names giving the geneal- 
ogy and official standing of those who constituted the true 
church; with his heart set on teaching and enforcing the neg- 
lected law of Moses throughout the land (see above, pp. 202 f.) ; 
and—most important of all—zealous for the exclusion of the 
‘“‘neople of the land,” the condemnation of mixed marriages, and 


the preservation of the pure blood of Israel! There is not a gar- 





210 THE AMERICAN JOURNAL OF SEMITIC LANGUAGES 


ment in all Ezra’s wardrobe that does not fit the Chronicler 
exactly. To suppose that the latter could have rewritten the 
words, and twisted the ideas, of this kindred spirit, whose testi- 
mony was of such immense importance to all his own special 
interests, is out of the question; his intelligence was not of such 
a low order as this; and we know, besides, that his habit was 
directly opposed to any sach proceeding, even when the material 
was not exactly suited to his purpose. 

One literary feature of the ‘Ezra document” is referred to over 
and over again as conclusive proof of its genuineness, namely the 
occasional appearance of the first person. ‘I was strengthened” 
(Ezr. 7:38); “the princes drew near to me” (9:1); “and we cast 
lots” (Neh. 10:34). Such verses as these, it is said, must surely 
come directly from Ezra himself; for anyone else would have 
narrated in the third person—as is done in Ezr. 10 and Neh. 8, 
for example. Thus Orelli, in the Theol. Literaturblatt, 1898, 
p. 292, asks how it is possible to deny the authentic memoir— 
“ihr Vorhandensein bekundet deutlich genug noch das ungesuchte 
Auftreten der ersten Person des Erzahlers.” But surely no exten- 
sive acquaintance with ancient literature is needed in order to 
recognize this very transparent and very common literary device. 
Such touches as these, used often brilliantly, but hardly ever 
consistently, are the Chronicler’s regular stock-in-trade. If 
we had no direct proof that narratives written in the first person 
were known to him, we might hesitate a little to suppose that he 
(with all his power of living in the scenes which he depicts) 
had adopted this form of composition. But he actually had the 
Nehemiah memoir in his hands! As for the change from the 
first person to the third, and back again, which has so 
thoroughly mystified our Old Testament scholars, it is not even 
necessary to make it a special reproach to the Chronicler’s care- 
lessness, since it occurs, in precisely the same way, in many other 


ancient works of fiction. A good example is found in the fourth 
chapter of Daniel. I quote from Bevan’s Commentary, p. 87: 
“One peculiarity which cannot fail to strike the reader, is that in 
the middle of the narrative (4:25-30 | English trans., vss. 25—33 | ) 
the author, forgetting for the moment that he is writing in the 



































THE CHRONICLER AS EDITOR AND AS NARRATOR 211 


name of Nebuchadnezzar, speaks of the king in the third person, 
but afterwards returns to the first (vss. 31-34). Another 
instance, equally instructive, is furnished by the same book. From 
7:2 onward, to the end of the book, all of the narrative is given 
in the first person, with the exception of 10:1, where the third 
person is temporarily introduced. Are we to conclude that the 
authentic memoirs of Daniel begin at 7:2, and that 10:1 
has been “iiberarbeitet,” or inserted by the redactor? Excellent 
illustration is given by the book of Enoch, in more than one 
place. 12:3, for example, begins one of the “Ichstiicke” (observe 
vss. 1,2). Shall we not suppose that one of the extracts from 
the genuine personal memoir of Enoch begins at this point? And, 
again, there is the story of Tobit. Chaps. 1-3 (in both of the 
principal Greek recensions) are composed in the first person; but 
in chaps. 4-14 the narrator lapses into the third person. In the 
seventh chap. of the Book of Jubilees, where the narrative is in the 
third person, in vs. 26 it suddenly passes over, without any warn- 
ing, into the first person, and so continues to the end of the chap- 
ter (vss. 26-39), after which the third person is resumed.” A simi- 
lar thing happens in the ancient Protevangel of James, where a 
part of the narrative, told by Joseph, suddenly adopts the first 
person —simply because the writer’s imagination happened to work 
in that way. Excellent illustration from the Gentile narrative 
literature is afforded (for instance) in the various recensions of 
the Thousand and One Nights, in numerous places; also in the 
Arabic story of Sul und Schumil, ed. Seybold, p. 79, lines 14 f.; 
p- 85, line 16. In all these cases, and many similar ones, and in 


5 


the Chronicler’s change from “I” to “he” in telling Ezra’s story, 


the determining factor is the same: whether the narrator uses the 
first person or the third depends simply on the mood of his 
imagination; whether, as he sits down to write a fresh chapter, he 
happens to identify himself with his hero, or not.* 

47There are many illustrations of such sudden change, back and forth, in the Jewish 
apocalyptic literature. Thus, the “ Life of Adam and Eve," §33 (Kautzsch, Pseudepi- 
graphen, 524, bottom) ; the cases noted in James, Apocrypha Anecdota, ii, pp. lv, xc, xcii, 
xciv f., 124 ff.; also these same Cambridge Terts and Studies, II, 2, pp. 146 f.; further, 
Fleck, Wissenschaftliche Reise (Leipzig, 1837), ii, 3, and the trans. by Bornemann, Zeitschr. 
Wiss. Theol., 1844, 3. Heft, pp. 20f. 


481t cannot be insisted too often, that these writers were not trying to “forge docu- 
ments.’ The device of using occasionally the first person (like that of presenting fictitious 








Zz THE AMERICAN JOURNAL OF SEMITIC LANGUAGES 


It is a most significant fact, in this connection, that the very 
verses and passages which contain ‘‘Ezra’s” first person are often 
those which are most noticeably filled with the telltale signs of 
the Chronicler. Thus, the verses 7:27—8:1 which form the 
beginning of the first ‘‘memoir section’’ show a remarkable aggre- 
gation of such marks, including some of the most characteristic 
of all (see my Composition, pp. 16 f., 20 f.). Geissler, op. cit., 
p- 12, records his conclusion that the traces of the Chronicler’s 
hand are as numerous in 7:28-—9:15 (i. e., in the “Ichstiick’’!) 
as in chap. 10, and even more numerous than in Neh., chaps. 8-10. 
But if even these cherished “I” verses were composed by the 
Chronicler, where then can we hope to find traces of Ezra’s handi- 
work? Bertholet, Comm., p. xiv, in blissful ignorance of the true 
state of the case, writes as follows: ‘“‘Am leichtesten lasst sich 
herausschalen, was Chr von jenen Memoiren in unveriindertem 
Wortlaute | !!| mitteilt. Es ist von den Esramemoiren: 7:27 
8:34, 9:1-15.” But can Bertholet point out, anywhere in these 
sections, half a dozen consecutive verses which (after examining 
Geissler’s lists) he can confidently pronounce free of the suspicion 
of being at least “‘tiberarbeitet’’? On the contrary, the style is 
everywhere and unmistakably that of the Chronicler. And the 
whole argument for the genuineness of these ‘*Ichstiicke’’—the 
supposed /psissima verba—rests on the assumption that they 


have not been rewritten. 

To all this must be added, finally, that the literary qualities 
of the narrative in Ezr. 8-10 and Neh. 8-10 are exactly those 
of the independent narrative in I and II Chron. Reference has 
already been made, in the preceding pages, to some important 
material in the form of edicts and letters in full official dress; see XXIV, p. 220) was always 
adopted with a literary purpose, never chiefly in order to gain credence—though this 
aim may possibly also have been present in some cases. 

49In regard to the chapters in Neh., however, Geissler, like some of his predecessors, 
is strangely blind. He writes (loc. cit.) : ** Auffallig ist es, dass die Gebete Esr. 9:6-15, Neh. 
9:6-37 viel weniger Verwandschaft mit der Sprache von Ch verraten als die erzAhlenden 
Abschnitte.”” This shows how very slight his acquaintance with the Chronicler is. These 
prayers, like all the many,others which the Chronicler introduces into his history, consist 
chiefly of a tissue of quotations from Deut., which was the favorite devotional book of the 
Jewish community throughout the most of the Persian and Greek periods, until it was finally 


And it would be nothing short of a marvel if more than a very 


supplanted by the Psalms. 
few traces of his hand should appear, even in the unusually long prayer in Neh. Geissler 


speaks of the section Neh. 8-10 as ** considerably longer” (i. e., for the purposes of his linguis- 


But it is really shorter, when the lists of names and the 


tic investigation) than Ezr. 8-10, 
prayers are left out of account. 


























THE CHRONICLER AS EDITOR AND AS NARRATOR 213 


illustrations of this point. Both the subject-matter and the man- 
ner of treating it are the Chronicler’s own. The proportion of 
the material is just the same as usual; the same which we have 
remarked in the opening chapters of Ezr., for example; a great 
deal of space given to ecclesiastical matters and machinery, and 
the minimum of narrative. Levites are mustered, and temple 
vessels numbered and weighed; feasts are celebrated, and reforms 
instituted and accepted by “the congregation” on the basis of the 
law. The Chronicler’s omnipresent number twelve appears 
here also; thus, in 8:3-14, 24, 35 (cf. 6:17), 10:25-43 (in the 
original form; see the Greek of vss. 38 ff.), Neh. 9:4 f., twelve 
including Ezra; see the Greek text at the beginning of vs. 6; and 
probably also originally in Neh. 8:4, 7 (cf. Ezr. 2:2=Neh.7:7). 
The didactic utterance in Ezr. 8:22 is one of his especial favorites; 
see II Chron. 13:18, 14:7, 11, 15:2(!), 17:9 f., 20:6, 17, 20, 
24:20, 25:8 f. The usual short speeches are uttered, e. g., Ezr. 
8:28 f., 10:2 ff., 10 ff., Neh. 8:9 f., 11. Names and dates are 
given in the customary profusion. The style of the narration 
is as lively as ever. Observe the following very characteristic 
touches, which remind us at once of the flashes of life and local 
color which appear all through the independent narratives of 
ITand II Chron. Ezr. 8:15: “And I gathered them together at 
the river at Ahava, and there we encamped three days.” 
9:3: “I rent my garment, and pulled out the hair of my head 
and of my beard.” 10:6: “Then Ezra arose... . and went 
into the chamber of Jehohanan the son of Eliashib.”’ Vs. 9: 
“And all the people sat in the broad place before the house of 
God, trembling because of this matter, and because of the great 
rain” (see also vs. 13). Neh. 8:1: “And all the people gathered 
themselves together as one man into the broad place before the 
water gate” (see also vs. 16). Vs. 5: “And Ezra opened the 


book in the sight of all the people—for he was above all the 





people” (cf. vs. 4, and II Chron. 6:13!), “and when he opened 
it, all the people stood up.” 9:4: The Levites ‘‘stood up upon 
the stairs.” Cf. the passages cited above, pp. 198 f. 

The Chronicler’s “creation of the character” of Ezra is not an 
especially noteworthy achievement for him. His immediate pur- 








214 THE AMERICAN JOURNAL OF SEMITIC LANGUAGES 


pose drew the indistinct outlines. To what I wrote regarding 
this matter in my Comp., pp. 57-62, the following may be added, 
as to considerations which must have chiefly influenced him in 
fashioning the story. It was necessary that the sin of intermar- 
riage with foreigners—the thing which the Samaritans had done — 
should be severely scored. There was only one natural way to 
do this, namely, by telling how the returned exiles once fell into 
this evil way (in their partial innocence!),” were rebuked by one 
who had authority; and how they then gave solemn promise, in 
public assembly, to do so no more. Given the obvious neces- 
sities of the Chronicler’s aim, and the creation of “Ezra the 
scribe” just as he appears, and the general outline of the events 
in which he figured, follow as matters of course. Compare also 


what is said below, regarding the character of Nehemiah. 
4. The Chronicler’s Narrative of Nehemiah 


What has just been said in regard to the story of Ezra can 
also be said, mutatis mutandis, of the considerable addition to the 
Nehemiah memoir which the Chronicler has made; namely, Neh. 
7:1-69;" 11:1—13:31. These two passages, when joined together 
by the removal of the interpolated section 7:70—10:40, form a 
solid block of the Chronicler’s own very characteristic material, 
self-consistent, perfectly comprehensible in every part, and in the 
same order and extent which he himself originally gave it; 
excepting, of course, that the text has suffered some corruption. 
It is all the unaided work of his hand, and there is no part of it 
concerning which there can be any reasonable doubt when the 
evidence has been examined. I presented the argument briefly 
in my Comp., pp. 839-49, and the force of what was said there is 
much increased by the demonstration of the Chronicler’s aims and 
characteristics which I have given here. 

11:1 is the immediate and necessary continuation of 7:69. 
Just as soon as the statistics are finished, and the narrative is 


50As the narrative everywhere says or implies, the people had sinned grievously in 
neglecting the law; and yet they had the partial excuse that its use had for a long time and 
of necessity been suspended, and there had been no “ expert scribe’’ to teach it to them (cf. 
II Chron, 15:3!). 

51 As I have already said (p. 191), I suspect the passage 6:16-19. It seems to me safer, 
7:69 is 7:68 in Baer’s edition. 


however, to leave it with the Neh. memoir for the present. 


























THE CHRONICLER AS EDITOR AND AS NARRATOR 215 


resumed in 12:27 ff., it is the Chronicler, unmistakably, who is 
the narrator. The Nehemiah who told his story in chaps. 1-6 
was a man of affairs; truly religious, but giving no sign of any 
interest in the ritual of the temple. But the Nehemiah of 12:27— 
13:31 is simply Ezra (i. e., the Chronicler) under another name. 
Subject-matter, manner, language, and style, all bear the same 
witness in every paragraph; and here also, as in Ezra, it is pre- 
cisely the ‘“Ichstiicke’’ which are most characteristically and 
certainly the composition of the Chronicler. The current ‘‘analy- 
sis” of 12:27-43, which saves for Nehemiah every verse which 


5 


happens to contain “I” or “me,” and pronounces all the others 
“edited,” is a curious specimen of literary criticism. The fact is, 
there is no excuse for analysis here anywhere. In vss. 37 ff. we 
see once more the Chronicler’s ever-present interest in the topog- 
raphy and buildings of Jerusalem (above, p. 166), In chap. 13 
the main features of those orthodox institutions in the interest of 
which the whole history Chron.-Ezr.-Neh. was composed are 
brought forward for the last time. ‘‘Ezra” had recently given 
them his powerful support, and now Nehemiah is made to do the 
same—often in a remarkably similar form of words; adopting, in 
fact, the peculiar language of the Chronicler. There is the zeal 
for the pure blood of Israel, vss. 1-4, 23-28; the care for the 
perquisites of the temple officials, vss. 5-13, 30 (cf. especially 
10:35-40!); the rebuke of those who break the sabbath, and 
especially of those of the “people of the land” who bring wares 
to Jerusalem for sale on that day, vss. 15-22 (cf. especially 10:32!) ; 
and, most striking of all, the curious veiled allusion to the Samar- 
itan schism, in vss. 28 f. (see above, p. 200, and Comp., p. 48). 
The circumstantial manner of the narrative is the one with which 
we are familiar; see for instance 12:31 ff. (where the Chronicler’s 
personal leaning toward Ezra appears in vs. 36!), 13:8, 21, 24 f. 
In all this, again, as in the story of Ezra, there is nothing what- 


ever to indicate a written source. 
The lists in chaps. 7, 11, and 12 were very important, from 
the Chronicler’s standpoint. This was his final presentation of 


52It may be that the Chronicler believed Nehemiah to have been living at the time of the 
rupture with the Samaritans, but that he did not quite dare to connect him definitely with 
the event. Compare what is said, below, in regard to his chronology of Nehemiah. 





216 THE AMERICAN JOURNAL OF SEMITIC LANGUAGES 


the historical antecedents of the Jewish official church, bringing 
down ‘‘the true Israel” almost to his own day. In 7:5 Nehemiah 
is made to “gather together the nobles, and the rulers, and the 
people, that they might be reckoned by genealogy.”” The prin- 
cipal result of this gathering was the finding of the “book of 
the genealogy of those who came up,” which is evidently repre- 
sented as containing not only 7:6-69, but also 11:1-36. Further 
fruit of this effort on the part of Nehemiah is given in 12: 1-26. 
As has already been remarked, the Chronicler believed Nehemiah 
to have flourished under Artaxerxes II; he therefore would natu- 
rally have supposed him to survive until the time of Jaddua 
(12:11) and Darius III (12:22), and could easily represent him 
as the compiler of all these lists in chap. 12.” 

In his list of those who helped to build the wall, in the time of 
Nehemiah, Neh. 3:1-32, the Chronicler presents the usual names; 
and doubtless rejoiced the hearts of many of his contemporaries. 
For specific marks of his hand here, see Comp., pp. 37 f. 

The “great list,” 7: 6-69, had already been given in full by 
the Chronicler, in Ezr. 2:1-67. He repeats it here, partly 
because of its fundamental importance, and partly because 
it formed an integral part of the material the rest of which he 
wished to present in 11:1—12:26. It is entirely his own com- 
position, and (like everything else of his) is put together with 
insufficient care. Hence the great difficulties it has always pre- 
sented to those who have tried to take it seriously. See, for example, 
Bertholet, Comm., p. 8, where it is shown, on the best of modern 
authority, (1) that this cannot possibly be a genuine list of 
returning exiles; and (2) that it cannot ever have been intended 
as any other kind of a list!” 


53 As for the ** book of chronicles”’ referred to in 12:23, we have no reason to suppose 
that it was anything more than one of this writer's fictitious sources, like those which have 
received mention above. x 

54 As has already been observed, the names in these manifold tables of the Chronicler 
are largely or wholly those of his orthodox contemporaries. It would be interesting to know 
what lay beneath the express degradation of certain families, 7:61 f., 63 ff. It may be 
worth while to recall the fact that Delaiah (vs. 62) is given in the Elephantine papyrus as 
the name of Sanaballat’s elderson ; though the coincidence may be only accidental. Regarding 
the number of “the whole congregation,”’ 42, 360 (so in all the texts, and therefore pretty 
certainly original), the conjecture may be hazarded that it is the result of one of the Chron- 
icler’s computations. Josephus, Antt., x, 8,5, reckons 3,513 years from the creation down to 
the destruction of the temple. If we suppose the Chronicler to have reckoned the number 
at 3,530, his total number of the new congregation would have included twelve men for 
To show the possibility of some such computation: creation to 


each year of that period. 

















THE CHRONICLER AS EDITOR AND AS NARRATOR 217 


The Nehemiah of chaps. 7 and 11-13, as already observed, is 
in nearly all respects the same character as the Ezra of Ezr. 8-10, 
Neh. 8-10. One would expect that a writer of the Chronicler’s 
ability would at least have given the latter hero some pronounced 
characteristics (other than a mighty fondness for Levites and 
singers), and that he would have studied Nehemiah’s memoir for 
the very purpose of recognizing salient traits which he could then 
reproduce in his own added chapters. But the only thing of this 
kind which he has done is to introduce into chap. 13 several of 
the brief interjected prayers (vss. 14, 22, 29, 31) which are so 
striking a feature of the genuine narrative (3:36, 37, 5:19, 


6:14). 


In general, it is evident that the Chronicler became an editor 
more from necessity than from choice. By taste and gift he was 
a novelist. He would doubtless have preferred to give freer rein 
to his imagination in composing the story of the Jews and their 
antecedents. But he was now writing not to interest, but with 
an apologetic purpose. The support of the recognized history was 
indispensable; outside this, it was important that he should con- 
fine himself to what was necessary. In the pre-exilic period, he 
could not well avoid incorporating at least a part of the well-known 
history of every king of Judah. In the post-exilic period, he 
certainly seems to have made the most of the two documents which 
were available. And his view of the history ultimately 
gained general acceptance, though it seems to have made its 
way slowly. The evidence that he was an earnest and devout man 
is abundant and striking. No one ever believed more sincerely 
than he that human prosperity rests only upon the fear of God; 
and from time to time, throughout his history, he puts into the 
mouth of his characters some expression of his own conviction, 
that if the people, all through the land, could be thoroughly 
instructed in the divine truth, all their serious troubles would 


be over. 


Exodus = 2,666 years, according to MT; Exodus to building of temple =440 years, in the 
Greek version of I Kings 6:1; 36=remaining years of Solomon (I Chron. 3:2, 9:30); 
258 = synchronistic years of the two kingdoms, in MT; fall of Samaria to destruction of 
temple = 134 years, in MT. Total, 3,534 years. After deducting the four years which are 
counted twice, where these five periods overlap, final result, 3,530 years. Regarding the 
Chronicler’s infatuation for the number twelve, see above, pp. 172, 213. 








YEZIDI 'TEXTS (Continued)' 


By Isya JosEPH 
New York City, N. Y. 


TRANSLATION 


In the Name of the Most Compassionate God! 

With the help of the Most High God, and under his direc- 
tion, we write the history of the Yezidis, their doctrines, and the 
mysteries of their religion, as contained in their books, which 
reached our hand with their own knowledge and consent. 

In the time of Al-Muktadir Billah, a. H. 295,* there lived 
Mansar-al-Hallaj,” the wool-carder, and Seih ‘Abd-al-Kadir of 
Jilan.” At that time, too, there appeared a man by the name of 
Seih ‘Adi, from the mountain of Hakkari,” originally from the 
region of Aleppo or Baalbek. He came and dwelt in Mount 
Lalis,” near the city of Mogul, about nine hours distant from it. 
Some say he was of the people of Harran, and related to Marwan 
ibn-al-Hakam. His full name is Saraf ad-Din Aba-l-Fadail, ‘Adi 
bn Musafir bn Ismael bn Mousa bn Marwan bn Al-Hasan bn 
Marwan. He died 4.H. 558 (A.D. 1162-63). His tomb is still 
visited; it is near Ba‘adrei, one of the villages of Mosul, distant 
eleven hours. The Yezidis are the progeny of those who were the 
murids (disciples) of Seib ‘Adi. Some trace their origin to 
Yezid,” others to Hasan-Al-Basri.™ 


AL-JILWAH (THE REVELATION) 


Before all creation this revelation was with Melek Ta’us, who 
sent ‘Abd Ta’us to this world that he might separate truth from 
error and make truth known to his particular people. This was 
done, first of all, by means of oral tradition, and afterward by 
means of this book, Al-Jilwah, which the outsiders may neither 
read nor behold. 


1See the January issue of this Journal for the Arabic text. 


218 

















Yezipi Texts 219 


CHAPTER I 


I was, am now, and shall have no end. I exercise dominion 
over all creatures and over the affairs of all who are under the 
protection of my image. I am ever present to help all who trust 
in me and call upon me in time of need. There is no place in 
the universe that knows not my presence. I participate in all the 
affairs which those who are without call evil because their nature 
is not such as they approve. Every age has its own manager, 
who directs affairs according to my decrees. This office is change- 
able from generation to generation, that the ruler of this world 
and his chiefs may discharge the duties of their respective offices 
every one in his own turn. I allow everyone to follow the dic- 
tates of his own nature, but he that opposes me will regret it 
sorely. No god has a right to interfere in my affairs, and I have 
made it an imperative rule that everyone shall refrain from wor- 
shiping all gods. All the books of those who are without are 
altered by them; and they have declined from them, although 
they were written by the prophets and the apostles. That there 
are interpolations is seen in the fact that each sect endeavors to 
prove that the others are wrong and to destroy their books. To 
me truth and falsehood are known. When temptation comes, I 
give my covenant to him that trusts in me. Moreover, I give 
counsel to the skilled directors, for I have appointed them for 
periods that are known to me. I remember necessary affairs and 
execute them in due time. I teach and guide those who follow 
my instruction. If anyone obey me and conform to my com- 
mandments, he shall have joy, delight, and goodness. 


CHAPTER II 


I requite the descendants of Adam, and reward them with 
various rewards that I alone know. Moreover, power and domin- 
ion over all that is on earth, both that which is above and that 
which is beneath, are in my hand. I do not allow friendly asso- 
ciation with other people, nor do I deprive them that are my own 
and that obey me of anything that is good for them. I place my 
affairs in the hands of those whom I have tried and who are in 


accord with my desires. I appear in divers manners to those who 





220 THE AMERICAN JOURNAL OF SEMITIC LANGUAGES 


are faithful and under my command. I give and take away; I 
enrich and impoverish; I cause both happiness and misery. I do 
all this in keeping with the characteristics of each epoch. And 
none has a right to interfere with my management of affairs. 
Those who oppose me I afflict with disease; but my own shall not 
die like the sons of Adam that are without. None shall live in 
this world longer than the time set by me; and if I so desire, I 
send a person a second or a third time into this world or into 


some other by the transmigration of souls. 


CHAPTER III 

I lead to the straight path without a revealed book; I direct 
aright my beloved and my chosen ones by unseen means. All 
my teachings are easily applicable to all times and all conditions. 
I punish in another world all who do contrary to my will. Now 
the sons of Adam do not know the state of things that is to come. 
For this reason they fall into many errors. The beasts of the 
earth, the birds of heaven, and the fish of the sea are all under 
the control of my hands. All treasures and hidden things are 
known to me; and as I desire I take them from one and bestow 
them upon another. I reveal my wonders to those who seek 
them, and in due time my miracles to those who receive them 
from me. But those who are without are my adversaries, hence 
they oppose me. Nor do they know that such a course is against 
their own interests, for might, wealth, and riches are in my hand, 
and I bestow them upon every worthy descendant of Adam. Thus 
the government of the worlds, the transition of generations, and 
the changes of their directors are determined by me from the 
beginning. 

CHAPTER IV 

[ will not give my rights to other gods. I have allowed the 
creation of four substances, four times, and four corners; because 
they are necessary things for creatures. The books of Jews, 
Christians, and Moslems, as of those who are without, accept in a 
sense, i. e., so far as they agree with, and conform to, my statutes. 
Whatsoever is contrary to these they have altered; do not accept 


it. Three things are against me, and I hate three things. But 




















Yezip1 Texts 221 


those who keep my secrets shall receive the fulfilment of my 
promises. Those who suffer for my sake I will surely reward in 
one of the worlds. It is my desire that all my followers shall 
unite in a bond of unity, lest those who are without prevail against 
them. Now, then, all ye who have followed my commandments 
and my teachings, reject all the teachings and sayings of such as 
are without. I have not taught these teachings, nor do they pro- 
ceed from me. Do not mention my name nor my attributes, lest 
ye regret it; for ye do not know what those who are without 
may do. 
CHAPTER V 

O ye that have believed in me, honor my symbol and my image, 
for they remind you of me. Observe my laws and statutes. Obey 
my servants and listen to whatever they may dictate to you of 
the hidden things. Receive that that is dictated, and do not carry 
it before those who are without, Jews, Christians, Moslems, and 
others; for they know not the nature of my teaching. Do not 
give them your books, lest they alter them without your knowledge. 
Learn by heart the greater part of them, lest they be altered. 

Thus endeth the book of Al-Jilwah, which is followed by the 
book of Mashaf Res, i. e., the Black Book. 


MASHAF RES (THE BLACK BOOK) 


In the beginning God created the White Pearl out of his most 
precious essence. He also created a bird named Angar. He 
placed the White Pearl on the back of the bird, and dwelt on it 
for forty thousand years. On the first day, Sunday, God created 
Melek Azazil, and he is Ta’us-Melek, the chief of all. On Monday 
he created Melek Dardael, and he is Seih Hasan. Tuesday he 
created Melek Israfel, and he is Seih Sams [ ad-Din |. Wednesday 
he created Melek Mibael, and he is Sei Aba Bakr. Thursday he 
created Melek Azrael, and he is Sajad-ad-Din. Friday he created 
Melek Semnael, and he is Nasgir-ad-Din. Saturday he created 
Melek Nurael, and he is Yadin {Fabr-ad-Din]. And he made 
Melek Té’us ruler over all.” 

After this God made the form of the seven heavens, the earth, 
the sun, and the moon. But Fahr-ad-Din created man and the 














222 THE AMERICAN JOURNAL OF SEMITIC LANGUAGES 


animals, and birds and beasts. He put them all in pockets of 
cloth, and came out of the Pear] accompanied by the angels. Then 
he shouted at the Pearl with a loud voice. Thereupon the White 
Pearl broke up into four pieces, and from its midst came out the 
water which became an ocean. The world was round, and was not 
divided. Then he created Gabriel and the image of the bird. 
He sent Gabriel to set the fourcorners. He also made a vessel and 
descended in it for thirty thousand years. After this he came 
and dwelt in Mount Lali8s. Then he cried out at the world, and 
the sea became solidified and the land appeared, but it began to 
shake. At this time he commanded Gabriel to bring two pieces 
of the White Pearl; one he placed beneath the earth, the other 
stayed at the gate of heaven. He then placed in them the sun 
and the moon; and from the scattered pieces of the White Pear! 
he created the stars which he hung in heaven as ornaments. He 
also created fruit-bearing trees and plants and mountains for 
ornaments to the earth. He created the throne over the carpet.” 
Then the Great God said: “O Angels, I will create Adam and 
Eve; and from the essence of Adam shall proceed Sehar bn Jebr, 
and of him a separate community shall appear upon the earth, 
that of Azazil. i. e., that of Melek Té’us, which is the sect of the 
Yezidis. Then he sent Seih ‘Adi bn Muséfir from the land of 
Syria, and he came [and dwelt in Mount} Lalis. Then the Lord 
‘ame down to the Black Mountain. Shouting, he created thirty 
thousand Meleks, and divided them into three divisions. They 
worshiped him for forty thousand years, when he delivered them 
to Melek Taus, who went up with them to heaven. At this 
time the Lord came down to the Holy Land (al-Kuds), and com- 
manded Gabriel to bring earth from the four corners of the world, 
earth, air, fire, and water. He created it and put in it the spirit 


of his own power, and called it Adam. 

Then he commanded Gabriel to escort Adam into Paradise, 
and to tell him that he could eat from all the trees but not of 
wheat.” Here Adam remained for a hundred years. Thereupon, 
Melek Taé’us asked God how Adam could multiply and have 
descendants if he were forbidden to eat of the grain. God 


answered, “I have put the whole matter into thy hands.” There- 





























Yezip1 TExtTs 223 
upon Melek Ta’us visited Adam and said, ‘“‘ Have you eaten of the 
grain?” He answered, “No, God forbade me.” Melek Ta’us 
replied and said, ‘‘Eat of the grain and all shall go better with 
thee.” Then Adam ate of the grain and immediately his belly 
was inflated. But Melek Ta’us drove him out of the garden, and 
leaving him, ascended into heaven. Now Adam was troubled 
because his belly was inflated, for he had no outlet. God there- 
fore sent a bird to him which pecked at his anus and made an out- 
let, and Adam was relieved. 

Now Gabriel was away from Adam for a hundred years. And 
Adam was sad and weeping. Then God commanded Gabriel to 
create Eve from under the left shoulder of Adam. Now it came 
to pass, after the creation of Eve and of all the animals, that Adam 
and Eve quarreled over the question whether the human race 
should be descended from him or from her, for each wished to be 
the sole begetter of the race. This quarrel originated in their 
observation of the fact that among animals both the male and the 
female were factors in the production of their respective species. 
After a long discussion Adam and Eve agreed on this: each should 
cast his seed into a jar, close it, and seal it with his own seal, and 
wait for nine months. When they opened the jars at the comple- 
tion of this period, they found in Adam’s jar two children, male 
and female. Now from these two our sect, the Yezidis, are 
descended. In Eve’s jar they found naught but rotten worms 
emitting afoul odor. And God caused nipples to grow for Adam 
that he might suckle the children that proceeded from his jar. 
This is the reason why man has nipples. 

After this Adam knew Eve, and she bore two children, male 
and female; and from these the Jews, the Christians, the Moslems, 
and other nations and sects are descended. But our first fathers 
are Seth, Noah, and Enosh, the righteous ones, who were de- 
scended from Adam only. 

It came to pass that trouble arose between a man and his wife, 
resulting from the denial on the part of the woman that the man 
was her husband. The man persisted in his claim that she was 
his wife. The trouble between the two was settled, however, 
through one of the righteous men of our sect, who decreed that at 











224 THE AMERICAN JOURNAL OF SEMITIC LANGUAGES 


every wedding a drum and a pipe should be played as a testimony 
to the fact that such a man and such a woman were married legally. 
Then Melek Taé’us came down to earth for our sect [i. e., the 
Yezidis |, the created ones, and appointed kings for us, besides 
the kings of ancient Assyria, Nisroch, who is Nasir-ad-Din; 
Kamush, who is Melek Fahr-ad-Din, and Artamis, who is Melek 
Sams-[ad-]Din. After this we had two kings, Sabur (Sapor) 
First (224-272 a. p.) and Second (309-379), who reigned one 
hundred and fifty years; and our amirs down to the present day 
have been descended from their seed. But we hated four kings. 
Before Christ came into this world our religion was paganism. 
King Ahab was from among us. And the god of Ahab was 
called Beelzebub. Nowadays we call him Pir Bub. We hada 
king in Babylon, whose name was Bahtnasar; another in Persia, 
whose name was Ahsuras; and still another in Constantinople, 
whose name was Agrikalus. The Jews, the Christians, the Mos- 
lems, and even the Persians, fought us; but they failed to subdue 
us, for in the strength of the Lord we prevailed against them. 
He teaches us the first and last science. And of his teachings is: 
Before heaven and earth existed, God was on the sea, as we 
formerly wrote you. He made himself a vessel and traveled in it 
in kunsiniyat® of the seas, thus enjoying himself in himself. He 
then created the White Pearl and ruled over it for forty years. 
Afterward, growing angry at the Pearl, he kicked it; and it was 
a great surprise to see the mountains formed out of its cry; the 
hills out of its wonders; the heavens out of its smoke. Then God 
ascended to heaven, solidified it, established it without pillars. 
He then spat upon the ground, and taking a pen in hand, began 
to write a narrative of all the creation. 
In the beginning he created six gods from himself and from 


his light, and their creation was as one lights a light from another 
light. And God said, ‘Now I have created the heavens; let some 
one of you go up and create something therein.” Thereupon the 
second god ascended and created the sun; the third, the moon; 
the fourth, the vault of heaven; the fifth, the farg (i. e., the 
morning star); the sixth, paradise; the seventh, hell. We have 
already told you that after this they created Adam and Eve. 




















YeEzIpI TExtTs 225 


And know that besides the flood of Noah, there was another 
flood in this world. Now our sect, the Yezidis, are descended 
from Na‘umi, an honored person, king of peace. We call him 
Melek Miran. The other sects are descended from Ham, who 
despised his father. The ship rested at a village called “Ain Sifni,” 
distant from Mosul about five parasangs. The cause of the first 
flood was the mockery of those who were without, Jews, Christians, 
Moslems, and others descended from Adam and Eve. We, on the 
other hand, are descended from Adam only, as already indicated. 
This second flood came upon our sect, the Yezidis. As the water 
rose and the ship floated, it came above Mount Sinjar,” where it 
ran aground and was pierced by a rock. The serpent twisted 
itself like a cake and stopped the hole. Then the ship moved on 
and rested on Mount Judie. 

Now the species of the serpent increased, and began to bite 
man and animal. It was finally caught and burned, and from its 
ashes fleas were created. From the time of the flood until now 
are seven thousand years. In every thousand years one of the 
seven gods descends to establish rules, statutes, and laws, after 
which he returns to his abode. While below, he sojourns with 
us, for we have every kind of holy places. This last time the god 
dwelt among us longer than any of the other gods who came 
before him. He confirmed the saints. He spoke in the Kurdish 
language. He also illuminated Mohammed, the prophet of the 
Ishmaelites, who had a servant named Mu‘awiya. When God 
saw that Mohammed was not upright before him, he afflicted him 
with a headache. The prophet then asked his servant to shave 
his head, for Mu‘awiya knew how to shave. He shaved his master 
in haste, and with some difficulty. As a result, he cut his head 
and made it bleed. Fearing that the blood might drop to the 
ground, Mu‘awiya licked it with his tongue. Whereupon Moham- 
med asked, “What are you doing, Mu‘awiya?’’ He replied, “I 
licked thy blood with my tongue, for I feared that it might drop 
to the ground.” Then Mohammed said to him, ‘‘You have sinned, 
O Mu‘awiya, you shall draw a nation after you. You shall oppose 
my sect.’”” Mu‘awiya answered and said, “Then I will not enter 


the world; I will not marry.” 














226 THE AMERICAN JOURNAL OF SEMITIC LANGUAGES 


It came to pass that after some time God sent scorpions upon 
Mu‘awiya, which bit him, causing his face to break out with 
poison. Physicians urged him to marry lest he die. Hearing 
this, he consented. They brought him an old woman, eighty 
years of age, in order that no child might be born. Mu‘awiya 
knew his wife, and in the morning she appeared a woman of 
twenty-five, by the power of the great God. And she conceived 
and bore our god Yezid. But the foreign sects, ignorant of this 
fact, say that our god came from heaven, despised and driven 
out by the great God. For this reason they blaspheme him. 
In this they have erred. But we, the Yezidi sect, believe this 
not, for we know that he is one of the above-mentioned seven 
gods. We know the form of his person and his image. It is 
the form of a cock which we possess. None of us is allowed to 
utter his name, nor anything that resembles it, such as Seitdn 
(Satan), kaitan (cord), sar (evil), sat (river), and the like. 
Nor do we pronounce mal‘tin (accursed), or la‘anat (curse), or 
na‘al" (horseshoe), or any word that has a similar sound. All 
these are forbidden us out of respect for him. So hass (lettuce) 
is debarred. We do not eat it, for it sounds like the name of our 
prophetess Hassiah. Fish is prohibited, in honor of Jonah the 
prophet. Likewise deer, for deer are the sheep of one of our 
prophets. The peacock is forbidden to our Seib and his disciples, 
for the sake of our Ta’us. Squash also is debarred. It is for 
bidden to pass water while standing, or to dress up while sitting 
down, or to go to the toilet room, or to take a bath according to 
the custom of the people.” Whosoever does contrary to this is an 
infidel. Now the other sects, Jews, Christians, Moslems, and 
others, know not these things, because they dislike Melek Ta’us. 
He, therefore, does not teach them, nor does he visit them. But 
he dwelt among us; he delivered to us the doctrines, the rules, 
and the traditions, all of which have become an inheritance, 
handed down from father to son. After this, Melek Taéa’us 


returned to heaven. 

One of the seven gods made the sanjaks™ (standards) and gave 
them to Solomon the wise. After his death our kings received 
them. And when our god, the barbarian Yezid,“ was born, he 


























Yezip1 TExtTs Dat 


received these sanjaks with great reverence, and bestowed them 
upon our sect. Moreover, he composed two songs in the Kurdish 
language to be sung before the sanjaks in this language, which is 
the most ancient and acceptable one. The meaning of the song 
is this: 
Hallelujah to the jealous God. 

As they sing it, they march before the sanjaks with timbrels and 
pipes. These sanjaks remain with our emir, who sits on the 
throne of Yezid. When these are sent away, the kawwdls assem- 
ble with the emir, and the great general, the seth, who is the 
representative of Seih Nasir ad-Din, i.e., Nisroch, god of the 
ancient Assyrians. They visit the sanjaks. Then they send each 
sanjak in.care of a kawwdl to its own place; one to Halataneye, 
one to Aleppo, one to Russia, and one to Sinjar. These sanjaks 
are given to four kawwdls by contract. Before they are sent, 
they are brought to Seib ‘Adi’s tomb, where they are baptized 
amid great singing and dancing. After this each of the contrac- 
tors takes a load of dust from Seih ‘Adi’s tomb. He fashions it 
into small balls, each about the size of a gall nut, and carries them 
along with the sanjaks to give them away as blessings. When he 
approaches a town, he sends a crier before him to prepare the 
people to accept the kawwd@l and his sanjak with respect and 
honor. All turn out in fine clothes, carrying incense. The 
women shout, and all together sing joyful songs. The kawwdl is 
entertained by the people with whom he stops. The rest give him 
silver presents, everyone according to his means. 

Besides these four sanjaks, there are three others, seven in all. 
These three are kept in a sacred place for purposes of healing. 
Two of them, bowever, remain with Seib ‘Adi, and the third 
remains in the village of Bahazanie, which is distant from Mosul 
about four hours. Every four months these kawwéls travel about. 
One of them must travel in the province of the emir. They travel 
in a fixed order, differing each year. Every time he goes out, 
the traveler must cleanse himself with water made sour with 
summak (sumac) and anoint himself with an oil. He must also 
light a lamp at each idol that has a chamber This is the law that 


pertains to the sanjaks. 








228 THE AMERICAN JOURNAL OF SEMITIC LANGUAGES 


The first day of our new year is called the Sersdlie, i. e., the 
beginning of a year. It falls on the Wednesday of the first week 
in April.” On that day there must be meat in every family. 
The wealthy must slaughter a lamb or an ox; the poor must kill a 
chicken or something else. These should be cooked on the night 
the morning of which is Wednesday, New Year’s day. With the 
break of day the food should be blessed. On the first day of the 
year, alms should be given at tombs where the souls of the dead lie. 

Now the girls, large and small, are to gather from the fields 
flowers of every kind that have a reddish color. They are to make 
them into bundles, and, after keeping them three days, they are 
to hang them on the doors" as a sign of the baptism of the people 
living in the houses. In the morning all doors will be seen well 
decorated with red lilies. But women are to feed the poor and 
needy who pass by and have no food; this is to be done at the 
graves. But as to the kawwdls, they are to go around the tombs 
with timbrels, singing in the Kurdish language. For so doing 
they are entitled to money. On the above-mentioned day of 
Sersalie no instruments of joy are to be played, because God is 
sitting on the throne (arranging decrees for the year),” and com- 
manding all the wise and the neighbors to come to him. And 
when he tells them that he will come down to earth with song and 
praise, all arise and rejoice before him and throw upon each other 
the squash of the feast. Then God seals them with his own seal. 
And the great God gives a sealed decision to the god who is to 
come down. He, moreover, grants him power to do all things 
according to his own will. God prefers doing good and charity 
to fasting and praying. The worship of any idol, such as Seyed- 
ad-Din or Seih Sams is better than fasting. Some layman is to 
give a banquet to a kéchak after the fasting of the latter 40 days, 
whether it be in summer or in winter. If he (the kéchak) says 
this entertainment is an alms given to the sanjak, then he is not 
released from his fasting. When it comes to pass that the yearly 
tithe-gatherer finds that the people have not fully paid their tithes, 
he whips them till they become sick, and some even die. The 
people are to give the kéchaks money to fight the Roman army, and 
thus save the sect ( Yezidis) from the wrath of the man of the year. 
































YeEziIp1I TExTs 229 


Every Friday a load of gifts is to be brought as an offering to 
an idol. At that time, a servant is to call the people aloud from 
the roof of a kéchak’s house, saying, it is the call of the prophet 
to a feast. All are to listen reverently and respectfully; and, on 
hearing it, every one is to kiss the ground and the stone on which 
he happens to lean. 

It is our law that no kawvdl shall pass a razor over his face. 
Our law regarding marriage is that at the time of the wedding a 
loaf of bread shall be taken from the house of a kéchak and be 
divided between the bride and the bridegroom, each to eat one- 
half. They may, however, eat some dust from Seib ‘Adi’s tomb 
instead of the bread for a blessing. Marriage in the month of 
April is forbidden, for it is the first month of the year. This rule, 
however, does not apply to kawwdls; they may marry during this 
month. No layman is allowed to marry a kéchak’s daughter. 
Every one is to take a wife from his own class. But our emir may 
have for a wife any one whom he pleases to love. A layman may 
marry between the ages of ten and eighty; he may take for a wife 
one woman after another for a period of one year. On her way to 
the house of the bridegroom, a bride must visit the shrine of every 
idol she may happen to pass; even if she pass a Christian church, 
she must do the same. On her arrival at the bridegroom’s house, 
he must hit her with a small stone in token of the fact that she 
must be under his authority. Moreover, a loaf of bread must be 
broken over her head as a sign to her that she must love the poor 
and needy. No Yezidi may sleep with his wife on the night the 
morning of which is Wednesday, and the night the morning of 
which is Friday. Whosoever does contrary to this commandment 
is an infidel. If a man steal the wife of his neighbor, or his own 
former wife, or her sister or mother, he is not obliged to give her 
dowry, for she is the booty of his hand. Daughters may not 
inherit their father’s wealth. A young lady may be sold as an 
acre of land is sold. If she refuses to be married, then she must 
redeem herself by paying her father a sum of money earned by 
her service and the labor of her hand. 

Here ends Kitab Re8, which is followed by several stories, 
some of which are told secretly, some openly. 








230 THE AMERICAN JOURNAL OF SEMITIC LANGUAGES 


APPENDIX 

They say our hearts are our books, and our Seibs tell us every- 
thing from the second Adam until now and the future. When 
they notice the sun rise, they kiss the place where the rays first fall; 
they do the same at sunset, where its rays last fall. Likewise they 
kiss the spot where the moon first casts its rays and where it last 
casts them. They think, moreover, that by the multiplication of 
presents to Seibs and idols they keep troubles and afflictions away. 

There is a great difference among the kéchaks; they contradict 
one another. Some say, ‘‘Melek Ta’us appears to me and reveals 
to me many revelations.’”’ Others say, ‘‘We appear to people in 
many different ways.” Some believe that Christ is Seih Sams 
himself. They say that they have had prophets in all times; the 
kéchaks are the prophets, One of the kéchaks says in one of his 
prophecies: “I was in Jonah’s ship, where a lot was cast in my 
presence. It fell on Jonah; and he was thrown into the sea, 
where he remained forty days and nights.” Another said: “I 
was sitting with the great God, who said ‘I hope the time will 
come when I shall send Christ to the world.’ I said to him, 
‘Yes.’ Then he sent him. After making a sign in the sun, 
Christ came down to the earth.” He appeared to our sect only, 
and made for us seven circles, which are at Seib ‘Adi. Now he 
appeared to us because we observe the necessary order, which the 
other sects do not observe. Their origin and race are unknown; 
ours are known. We are emirs and sons of emirs; we are Seibs 
and sons of Seihs; we are kéchaks and sons of kéchaks, etc. But 
Christians and Moslems make priests and mullas for themselves 
out of those who had none of their kindred in those offices before, 
and never will have afterward. We are better than they. We 
are allowed to drink wine; our young men also may desire it when 


they, in company with women, engage in religious dancing and 
playing. Some of the kéchaks and Seibs, however, are not allowed 
to drink it. When one is about to die, he is visited by a kéchak, 
who places a bit of Seib ‘Adi’s dust in his mouth. Before he is 
buried his face is anointed with it. Moreover, the dung of sheep 
is placed on his tomb. Finally, food is offered on behalf of the 
dead. The kdchaks pray for the dead at the graves, for which 











— 














ao ee ERR RA 











Yezip1 Texts 231 


service they are paid. They tell the relatives of the dead what 
they see in dreams and visions, and the condition of their dead, 
whether they have been translated to the human or to the ani- 
mal race. Some people hide silver or gold coins that they plan 
to take out in case they are born the second time in this world. 
Some believe that the spirits of many righteous persons travel in 
the air. Those spirits make revelations to the kéchaks, who are 
acquainted with the world of mysteries and secrets. Life and 
death are in their hands. Hence the fate of the people depends 
on the gratitude and honor which they show the kéchaks. 
According to Yezidis, hell has no existence. It was created in the 
time of the first Adam, they say, when our father, [brik al-Asfar, 
was born.” By reason of his generosity and noble deeds, Ibrik 
had many friends. Now, when he viewed hell he became very 
sad. He had asmall bakbik asfar,” into which, as he kept weep- 
ing, his tears fell. In seven years it was filled. He then cast it 
into hell, and ail its fires were put out that mankind might not be 
tortured. This incident relates to one of the noble deeds of our 
first father, Ibrik-al-Asfar. They have many more such upright 
men of noble deeds. Such an one is Mohammed RaSan, whose 
resting-place is behind the mount of Seib Mattie.” He (RaSan) 
is exceedingly strong, so that the most sacred oaths are sworn by 
him. If any one becomes sick, he takes refuge in making vows to 
hasin, i.e., pillars of idols. Now there is a place of religious 
pilgrimage which is called Sitt Nafisah. This place is a mulberry 
tree in the village of Ba‘aSika. Another such place is called ‘Abdi 
RaSan, and is in the village of Karabek. A third place of pil- 
grimage is in the village of Bahzanie, which is called Seib Baka. 
Nearby is a spring, and beside this is a mulberry tree. Whoever 
is afflicted with fever, goes to that tree, hangs on its branches a 
piece of cloth from his clothes, and casts bread in the spring for 
the fish. All this he does that he may be cured. They entertain 
the belief that whoever unties or shakes off one of the shreds of 
cloth will catch the disease with which the man was afflicted when 
he hung it up. There are many such trees in the village of 
Ba‘asika, and in some other places. There is also a spring of 
water, called in the common language ‘Ain as-Safra (Yellow 





232 THE AMERICAN JOURNAL OF SEMITIC LANGUAGES 


_ 


Spring). The Yezidis call it Kani-Zarr."” In this swim those 
who are afflicted with the disease of abi-safar (jaundice). But 
those who are troubled with dropsy go for cure to the house of 
the Pir that lives in the village of Man Res. 

When they assemble at Seih ‘Adi’s, no one is allowed to cook 
anything. Everyone is to eat from Seib ‘Adi’s table. As to the 
kéchaks, every one of them sits on a stone, as one sits in prayer. 
To them the laity go, seeking succor. They give them money 
while making their petition, and vow to the stone on which the 
kéchak sits sheep and oxen, everyone according to his means. 
Now, at the New Year the places are given in contract. When 
they assemble at the New Year, they dance and play with instru- 
ments of joy. Before eating the kabdas, i. e., the vowed ox, they 
swim in the water of Zamzam, a spring coming from beneath the 
temple of Seih ‘Adi. Then they eat in haste, snatching meat 
from the pot like fanatics, so that their hands are frequently 
burned. This practice is in accordance with their rules. After 
eating, they go up the mountain, shooting with their guns, and 
then return to Seib ‘Adi. Everyone of them takes a little dust 
and preserves it for the times of wedding and death. They wear 
entwined girdles which they call the ties of the back (belt). 
They baptize these and the sanjaks with the water of Zamzam. 
He who is called Jawis” wears a stole which is woven from the 
hair of a goat. It is nine spans in length and around it are 
sanstils (tinsels). 

When the gathering comes to an end, they collect the money 
from the kéchaks and the contractors, and bring it to the emir. 
After everyone has taken according to his rank, the remainder goes 
to the emir. 

They have another gathering which takes place at the feast of 
Al-Hijajj. At this pilgrimage they go up to the mountain which 
is called Jabal al-'Arafat.” After remaining there an hour, they 
hasten toward Seib ‘Adi. He who arrives there before his com- 
panions is praised much. Hence everyone tries to excel. The 


one who succeeds receives abundant blessings. 
They still have another assembly. This is called “the road of 
the kéchaks,” when each, putting a rope around his neck, goes up 





























YezipI TEXxTs 233 


the mountain. After collecting wood they bring it to Seih ‘Adi, 
carrying it on their backs. The wood is used for heating pur- 
poses and for the emir’s cooking. 

During these assemblies the sanjaks are passed around. In 
the first place they are washed with water made sour with sumac 
in order to be cleansed from their rust. The water is given away 
in drinks for purposes of blessing. In return money is taken. In 
the second place, the kéchaks go around with the sanjaks to col- 
lect money. 

In their preaching, the Seibs tell the people that all kings have 
come from their descent, such as Nisroch,’* who is Nasr-ad-Din, 
and Kamu3 who is Fabr ad-Din, and Artamis, who is Sams ad- 
Din, and many others, as Shabur and Yoram; and many royal 
names of the ancient kings, together with their own (Yezidi) 
kings, are from their seed. The sign of the Yezidi is that he 
wears a shirt with a round bosom. It differs from that of the 
other people, the bosom of whose shirts are open all the way 
down. 

There is one occasion when no Yezidi will swear falsely, viz., 
when one draws a circle on the ground, and tells him that this 
circle belongs to Ta’us-Melek, Seib ‘Adi, and Yezid, and bary- 
shabakei.” He places him in the middle of the circle, and 
then tells him that Melek Taé’us and all those who were mentioned 
above will not intercede for him after his death, and that the shirt 
of the Jewish Nasim™ be on his neck, and that the hand of Nasim 
be on his neck and eye, and that Nasim be his brother for the 
next world, and let him be to him for a Seih and a pir if he does 
not tell the truth. Then if he swears to tell the truth, he cannot 
conceal anything. For an oath made under such conditions is 
considered greater than that made in the name of God, and even 
than that made in the name of one of their prophets. 

They fast three days in a year from morning till evening. The 
fast falls in December, according to the oriental calendar. They 
have no prayer” except what is mentioned above, such as that 
referring to the sun and the moon, and asking help from geibs 
and holy places when they say, ‘““O Seih ‘Adi, O Seih Sams,” and 
the like. They are all forbidden to teach their children anything, 





934 THE AMERICAN JOURNAL OF SEMITIC LANGUAGES 


with the exception of two stanzas which they teach their children 
out of necessity and because it is traditional. 

A story is told about them by reliable people. Once when 
Seih Nasir was preaching in a village at Mount Sinjar, there was 
a Christian mason in the audience who, seeing the house filled 
with people, thought they were going to pray. He then pretended 
to take a nap, that he might amuse himself with what he should 
hear. He knew the Kurdish language. When the Christian 
seemed to be asleep, but was really awake and listening, Seib 
Nasir began to preach saying: “Once the great God appeared to 
me in vision. He was angry at Jesus because of a dispute with 
him. He therefore caught him and imprisoned him in a den 
which had no water. Before the mouth of the den he placed a 
great stone. Jesus remained in the den a long time, calling upon 
the prophets and the saints for help and asking their aid. Every 
one whose succor Jesus asked went to beg the great (God to 
release him. But God did not grant their requests. Jesus there- 
fore remained in a sorrowful state, knowing not what to do.” 
After this the preacher remained silent for a quarter of an hour, 
and thus a great silence prevailed in the house. Then he went 
on to say: ‘*O poor Jesus, why are you so forgotten, so neglected ? 
Do you not know that all the prophets and all the saints have no 
favor with the great God like unto Melek Ta’us? Why have you 
forgotten him and have not called upon him?” Saying this, the 
preacher again remained silent as before. Afterward he again 
continued: “Jesus remained in the den till one day when he 
happened to remember Melek Taé’us. He then sought his aid, 
praying, ‘O Melek Ta’us, I have been in this den for some time. 
I am imprisoned; I have sought the help of all the saints, and 
none of them could deliver me. Now, save me from this den.’ 
When Melek Ta’us heard this, he descended from heaven to 
earth quicker than the twinkling of an eye, removed the stone 
from the top of the den, and said to Jesus, ‘Come up, behold I 
have brought thee out.’ Then both went up to heaven. When 
the great God saw Jesus, he said to him, ‘O Jesus, who brought 
thee out of the den? Who brought thee here without my permis- 
sion?’ Jesus answered and said, ‘Melek Ta’us brought me out of 











YezipI Texts 235 


the den and up here.’ Then God said, ‘Had it been another, I 
would have punished him, but Melek Ta’us is much beloved by 
me; remain here for the sake of my honor.’ So Jesus remained 
in heaven.” The preacher added, ‘Notice that those who are 
without do not like Melek Ta’us. Know ye that in the resurrec- 
tion he will not like them either, and he will not intercede for 
them. But, as for us, he will put us all in a tray, carry us upon 
his head, and take us into heaven, while we are in the tray on his 
head.” When the congregation heard this, they rose up, kissed 
his clothes and feet, and received his blessing. 

Now the views of the Yezidis regarding the birth of Christ and 
the explanation of the name of the Apostle Peter, are found in one 
of their stories, which runs thus: ‘‘Verily Mary the Virgin mother 
of Jesus, begat Jesus in a manner unlike the rest of women. She 
begat him from her right side,” between her clothes and her body. 
At that time the Jews had a custom that, if a woman gave birth, 
all her relatives and neighbors would bring her presents. The 
women would call, carrying in their right hand a plate of fruits 
which were to be found in that season, and in the left hand they 
would carry a stone. This custom was a very ancient one. There- 
fore when Mary the Virgin gave birth to Jesus, the wife of Jonah, 
who is the mother of Peter, came to her; and, according to the 
custom, carried a plate of fruit in her right hand and a stone in 
her left. As she entered and gave Mary the plate, behold, the 
stone which was in her left hand begat a male. She called his 
name Simon Cifa, that is, son of the stone. Christians do not 
know these things as we do.” 

They have a story explaining the word heretic. It is this: 
When the great God created the heavens, he put all the keys of 
the treasuries and the mansions therein in the hands of Melek 
Ta’us, and commanded him not to open a certain mansion. But 
he, without the knowledge of God, opened the house and found a 
piece of paper on which was written, ‘Thou shalt worship thy 
God alone, and him alone shalt thou serve.” He kept the paper 
with him and allowed no one else to know about it. Then God 
created an iron ring and hung it in the air between the heaven 
and the earth. Afterward he created Adam the first. Melek 





236 THE AMERICAN JOURNAL OF SEMITIC LANGUAGES 


Ta’us refused to worship Adam when God commanded him to do 
so. He showed the written paper which he took from the man- 
sion and said, “See what is written here.’”’ Then the great God 
said, “It may be that you have opened the mansion which I for- 
bade you to open.” He answered, “Yes.” Then God said to him, 
“You are a heretic, because you have disobeyed me and trans- 
gressed my commandment.” 

From this we know that God speaks in the Kurdish language, 
that is, from the meaning of this saying, ‘‘Go into the iron ring 
which I, thy God, have made for whosoever does contrary to my 
commandment and disobeys me.” 

When one criticizes such a story as this by saying that God 
drove Melek Ta’us from heaven and sent him to hell because of 
his pride before God the most high, they do not admit that such 
is the case. They answer: “Is it possible that one of us in his 
anger should drive out his child from his house and let him wait 
until the next day before bringing him back? Of course not. 
Similar is the relation of the great God to Melek Té’us. Verily 
he loves him exceedingly. You do not understand the books 
which you read. The Gospel says, ‘No one ascended up to heaven 
but he who came down from heaven.” No one came down from 
heaven but Melek Té’us and Christ. From this we know that the 
great God has been reconciled to Melek Taé’us, who went up to 
heaven, just as Christ came down from heaven and went up 
again.” 

The following is a story told of a kéchak: It is related that at 
one time there was no rain in the village of Ba‘aSika. In this 
village there was a Yezidi whose name was Kochak Bera. There 
were also some saints and men of vision dwelling there. They 
(people) gathered to ask Beri to see about the rain. He told 
them, * Wait till tomorrow that I may see about it.” They came 
to him on the next day and said, ‘What have you done concern- 
ing the question of rain? We are exceedingly alarmed by reason 
of its being withheld.” He answered: “I went up to heaven last 


night and entered into the divan where the great God, Seib “Adi, 


and some other Seihs and righteous men were sitting. The priest 
Isaac was sitting beside God. The great God said to me, ‘What 














YeEzipI TExTs 237 
do you want, O Kéchak Beri; why have you come here?’ I said 
to him, ‘My lord, this year the rain has been withheld from us 
till now, and all thy servants are poor and needy. We beseech 
thee to send us rain as thy wont.’ He remained silent and 
answered me not. I repeated the speech twice and _ thrice, 
beseeching him. Then I turned to the Seis who sat there, ask- 
ing their help and intercession. The great God answered me, 
‘Go away until we think it over... I came down and do not know 
what took place after I descended from heaven. You may go to 
the priest Isaac and ask him what was said after I came down.” 
They went to the priest and told him the story, and asked him 
what was said after Kéchak Beri came down. This priest Isaac 
was a great joker. He answered them, “After the héchak came 
down, I begged God for rain on your behalf. It was agreed that 
after six or seven days he would send it.” They waited accord- 
ingly, and by a strange coincidence, at the end of the period it 
rained like a flood for some time. Seeing this, the people believed 
in what they were told, and honored the priest Isaac, looking 
upon him as one of the saints, and thinking that he must have 
Yezidi blood in him. For more than twenty years this story has 
been told as one of the tales of their saints. 

Once Seih ‘Adi bn Musafir and his moiids were entertained by 
God in heaven. When they arrived, they did not find straw for 
their animals. Therefore Seih “Adi ordered his murids to carry 
straw from his threshing floor on the earth. As it was being 
transported, some fell on the way, and has remained as a sign 
in heaven unto our day. It is known as the road of the straw 
man. 

They think that prayer is in the heart; therefore they do not 
teach their children about it. And in their books neither is there 
any rule regarding prayer, nor is prayer considered a religious 
obligation. 

Some assert that at one time Sei “Adi, in company with Sei 
‘Abd-al-Kadir, made a pilgrimage to Mecca, where he remained 
four years. After his absence Melek Taé’us appeared to them (the 
two Seibs) in his symbol. He dictated some rules to them and 
taught them many things. Then he was hidden from them. Four 











238 THE AMERICAN JOURNAL OF SEMITIC LANGUAGES 


years later Seih ‘Adi returned from Mecca; but they refused him 


and would not accept him. They asserted that he had died or 


ascended to heaven. He remained with them, but was without 
his former respect. - When the time of his death came, Melek 
Ta’us appeared to them and declared, “This is Seib ‘Adi himself, 
honor him.”” Then they honored him and buried him with due 


veneration, and made his tomb a place of pilgrimage. In their 


estimation it is a more excellent spot than Mecca. Everyone is 
under obligation to visit it once a year at least; and, in addition 
to this, they give a sum of money through the Seihs to obtain sat- 
isfaction (that Seib ‘Adi may be pleased with them). Whoever 
does this not is disobedient. 

Moreover, it is said that the reason why the pilgrimage to his 
tomb is regarded as excellent by us and by God is that in the 
resurrection Seib ‘Adi will carry in a tray all the Yezidis upon 
his head and take them into paradise, without requiring them to 
give account or answer. Therefore they regard the pilgrimage 
to his tomb as a religious duty greater than the pilgrimage to 
Mecca. 

There are some domes, huts, around the tomb of Seib ‘Adi. 
They are there for the purpose of receiving blessings from the 
tomb. And they are all attributed to the great Seibs, as the 
hut of ‘Abd-al-Kadir-al-Jilani;” the hut of Seib Kadib-al-Ban; 
the hut of Seih Sams-ad-Din; the hut of Seib Manstr-al-Hallaj, 
and the hut of Seih Hasan-al-Basri. There are also some other 
huts. Each hut has a banner made of calico. It is a sign of 
conquest and victory. 

Eating of deer’s meat is forbidden them, they say, because the 
deer’s eyes resemble the eyes of Seib ‘Adi. Verily his virtues 


are well-known and his praiseworthy qualities are traditions 


handed down from generation to generation. He was the first to 
accept the Yezidi religion. He gave them the rules of the religious 
sect and founded the office of the Seih. In addition to this, he 
was renowned for his devotion and religious exercise. From Mount 
Lalis, he used to hear the preaching of “Abd-al-Kadir-al-Jilani 
in Bagdad. He used to draw a circle on the ground and say to 
the religious ones, ‘‘Whosoever wants to hear the preaching of 




















YEZIDI TExTS 239 


Al-Jilani, let him enter within this circle.’ The following cus- 
tom, which we have, began with him: If we wish to swear to any- 
one, a Sei) draws a circle, and he who is to take an oath, enters 
into it. 

At one time, passing by a garden, Seib ‘Adi asked about 
lettuce; and, as no one answered, he said, “Huss” (hush). For 
this reason lettuce is forbidden and not eaten. 

As regards fasting, they say about the month of Ramadan that 
it was dumb and deaf. Therefore, when God commanded the 
Moslems to fast, he likewise commanded the Yezidis, saying to 
them in the Kurdish language, ‘‘sese,” meaning ‘“‘three.” The 
Mohammedans did not understand it; they took it for “se,” “thirty.” 
For this reason, they (Yezidis) fast three days. Moreover, they 
believe there are eating, drinking, and other earthly pleasures in 
the next world.” Some hold that the rule of heaven is in God’s 
hands, but the rule of the earth is in Seih ‘Adi’s hands. Being 
exceedingly beloved by God, he bestowed upon him according to 
‘Adi’s desire. 

They believe in the transmigration of souls. This is evinced 
by the fact that when the soul of Mansfr-al-Hallaj parted from 
his body when the Caliph of Bagdad killed him and cast his head 
into the water, his soul floated on the water. By a wonderful 
chance and a strange happening, the sister of the said Manstr 
went to fill her jar. The soul of her brother entered it. Without 
knowing what had happened, she came with it to the house. 
Being tired, she felt thirsty and drank from the jar. At that 
moment the soul of her brother entered her, but she did not per- 
ceive it until she became pregnant. She gave birth to a son who 
resembled Sei Manstr himself. He became her brother accord- 
ing to birth and her son according to imputation. The reason 
why they do not use drinking-vessels which have narrow mouths, 
or a net-like cover, is that when one drinks water from them they 
make a sound. When the head of Seih Mansfr was thrown into 
the water it gurgled. In his honor they do not use the small 
jars with narrow necks. 

They assert that they expect a prophet who will come from 
Persia to annul the law of Mohammed and abrogate Islam. They 





240 THE AMERICAN JOURNAL OF SEMITIC LANGUAGES 


believe that there are seven gods, and that each god administers 
the universe for ten thousand years; and that one of these gods is 
Lasiferos, the chief of the fallen angels, who bears also the name 
Melek Ta’us. They make him a graven image after the form of 
a cock™ and worship it. They play the tambourine and dance 
before it to make it rejoice with them. They (kaawdls) travel 
within the Yezidis’ villages to collect money, at which time they 
take it into the houses that it may bless and honor them. Some 
say that Seih “Adi is a deity; others that he is like a Vizier to 
God. To him all things are referred. This is the Melek Taéa’us 
age. The ruling and administrative power is in his hands until 
the thousandth year. When the time comes to an end he will 
deliver the power to the next god to rule and administer until 
another thousand years shall be ended, and so on until the seventh 
god. And yet there is accord and love among these gods, and 
none is jealous of the one who may rule and administer the world 
for a period of ten thousand years. They have a book named Al 
Jilwah that they ascribe to Seib ‘Adi, and they suffer no one who 
is not one of them to read it. 

Mention is made in some of their books that the First Cause is 
the Supreme God, who before he created this world, was enjoying 
himself over the seas; and in his hand was a great White Pearl, 
with which he was playing. Then he resolved to cast it into the 
sea, and when he did so this world came into being. 

Moreover, they think themselves not to be of the same seed 
from which the rest of mankind sprung, but that they are begotten 
of the son of Adam, who was born to Adam of his spittle. For 
this reason they imagine themselves nobler and more pleasing to 
the gods than others. 

They say they have taken fasting and sacrifice from Islam; 
baptism from Christians; prohibition of foods from the Jews; 
their way of worship from the idolaters; dissimulation of doctrine 
from the Rafidis (Shiites); human sacrifice and transmigration 
from the pre-Islamic paganism of the Arabs aad from the Sabians. 
They say that when the spirit of man goes forth from his body, 
it enters into another man if it be just; but if unjust, into an 


animal. 





@}; 




















i 
2 


tHe 99 


~ 
Coo Oo 


oie | 


v. 
10. 
14. 
12: 
13. 
14. 
15. 
Lz. 


18. 


1S: 
20. 
21. 


22. 


23. 


24. 
25. 


26. 


7 


al. 
28. 
29. 
30. 
31. 
32. 
33. 
34. 


35. 


36. 


37. 


39. 


Yezipi Texts 241 


THE POEM IN PRAISE OF SEIH ‘ADI 
Peace Be unto Him 


My understanding surrounds the truth of things, 

And my truth is mixed up in me, 

And the truth of my descent is set forth by itself, 

And when it was known it was altogether in me. 

And all that are in the universe are under me, 

And all the habitable parts and deserts, 

And everything created is under me, 

And I am the ruling power preceding all that exists. 
And I am he that spoke a true saying, 

And IT am the just judge and the ruler of the earth. 
And I am he that men worship in my glory, 

Coming to me and kissing my feet. 

And I am he that spread over the heavens their height. 
And I am he that cried in the beginning. 

And I am he that of myself revealeth all things, 

And I am he to whom came the book of good tidings 
From my Lord, who burneth the mountains. 

And I am he to whom all created men come 

In obedience to kiss my feet. 

I bring forth fruit from the first juice of early youth 
By my presence, and turn toward me my disciples. 
And before this light the darkness of the morning cleared 
away. 

I guide him that asketh for guidance. 

I am he that caused Adam to dwell in Paradise 

And Nimrod to inhabit a hot burning fire. 

And I am he that guided Ahmed the Just, 

And let him into my path and way. 

And I am he unto whom all creatures 

Come for my good purposes and gifts. 

And I am he that visited all the heights, 

And goodness and charity proceed from my mercy. 
And I am he that made all hearts to fear 

My purpose, and they magnify the majesty and power of my 
awfulness. 

And I am he to whom the destroying lion came 
Raging, and I shouted against him and he became stone. 
And I am he to whom the serpent came, 

And by my will I made him dust. 

And I am he that struck the rock and made it tremble, 








242 
40. 
41. 
42. 
43. 
44, 
45, 
46. 
47. 
48, 
49, 
50. 


51. 
52. 
53. 
54. 


56. 


~] 
rc) 


-1 
aI ot rm 


=~] =] «J «] <3 


Sea 





THE AMERICAN JOURNAL OF SEMITIC LANGUAGES 


And made to burst from its sides the sweetest of waters. 
And I am he that sent down the certain truth; 

For me is the book that comforteth the oppressed. 

And I am he that judged justly, 

And when I judged it was my right. 

And I am he that made the springs™ to give water, 
Sweeter and pleasanter than all waters. 

And I am he that caused it to appear in my mercy, 

And by my power I called it the pure. 

And I am he to whom the Lord of heaven hath said, 
Thou art the just Judge and Ruler of the earth. 

And I am he that disclosed some of my wonders, 

And some of my virtues are manifested in that which exists. 
And I am he that caused the mountains to bow, 

To move under me and at my will.“ 

And I am he before whose majesty the wild beasts cried; 
They turned to me worshiping, and kissed my feet. 

And I am ‘Adi a8-Sami, the son of Musafir. 

Verily the All-Merciful has assigned unto me names, 

The heavenly throne, and the seat, and the (seven) heavens, and the 
earth. 

In the secret of my knowledge there is no God but me. 
These things are subservient to my power. 

O mine enemies, why do you deny me? 

O men, deny me not, but submit. 

In the day of judgment you will be happy in meeting me. 
Who dies in my love, I will cast him 

In the midst of Paradise, by my will and pleasure; 

But he that dies unmindful of me 

Will be thrown into torture in misery and affliction. 

I say I am the only one and the exalted; 

I create and make rich those whom I will. 

Praise be to myself, for all things are by my will, 

And the universe is lighted by some of my gifts. 

I am the king that magnifies himself, 

And all the riches of creation are at my bidding. 

I have made known unto you, O people, some of my ways. 
Who desireth me must forsake the world. 

And I can also speak the true saying, 

And the garden on high is for those who do my pleasure. 
I sought the truth and became a confirming truth; 

And by the like truth shall they, like myself, possess the highest 
place. 




















N= 


12. 
13. 
14. 


15. 
16. 
17. 
18. 
19. 
20. 
21, 
22 


23. 


25. 


26. 


27. 


28. 
29. 


30. 


31. 
32. 


33. 


34. 


35. 


36. 
37. 


38. 


39. 
40. 
41. 
42. 


Yrzip1 Texts 243 


THE PRINCIPAL PRAYER OF THE YEZIDIS 


Amen, Amen, Amen! 

Through the intermediation of Sams-ad-Din, 
Fahr ad-Din, Nasir-ad-Din 

Sajad ad-Din, Seih Sin (Husein), 

Seib Bakr, Kadir ar-Rahman. 

Lord, thou art gracious, thou art merciful; 
Thou art God, king of kings and lands, 
King of joy and happiness, 

King of good possession (eternal life). 

From eternity thou art eternal. 

Thou art the seat of luck (happiness) and life; 
Thou art lord of grace and good luck. 

Thou art king of jinns and human beings, 
King of the holy men (saints), 

Lord of terror and praise, 

The abode of religious duty and praise, 
Worthy of praise and thanks. 

Lord! Protector in journeys, 

Sovereign of the moon and of the darkness, 
God of the sun and of the fire, 

God of the great throne, 

Lord of goodness. 

Lord! No one knows how thou art. 

Thou hast no beauty; thou hast no height. 
Thou hast no going forth; thou hast no number. 
Lord! Judge of kings and beggars, 

Judge of society and of the world, 

Thou hast revealed the repentance of Adam. 
Lord, thou hast no house; thou hast no money; 
Thou hast no wings, hast no feathers; 

Thou hast no voice, thou hast no color. 
Thou hast made us lucky and satisfied. 
Thou hast created Jesus and Mary. 

Lord, thou art gracious, 

Merciful, faithful. 

Thou art Lord; I am nothingness. 

I am a fallen sinner, 

A sinner by thee remembered. 

Thou hast led us out of darkness into light. 
Lord! My sin and my guilt, 

Take them and remove them. 

O God, O God, O God, Amen! 








244 THE AMERICAN JOURNAL OF SEMITIC LANGUAGES 


They are divided into seven classes, and each class has functions 
peculiar to itself that cannot be discharged by any of the other 
classes. They are: 

1. Seib. He is the servant of the tomb, and a descendant of 
Imam Hasan al-Basri. No one can give a legal decision or sign 
any document except the Seih who is the servant of Seih ‘Adi’s 
tomb. He has a sign by which he is distinguished from others. 
The sign is a belt which he puts on his body, and net-like gloves, 
which resemble the halters of camels. If he goes among his people, 
they bow down and pay him their respects. The Seibs sell a place 
in paradise to anyone who wishes to pay money. 

2. Emir. The emirship specifically belongs to the descendants 
of Yezid. They have a genealogical tree, preserved from their 
fathers and forefathers, which goes up to Yezid himself. The 
emirs have charge of the temporal and governmental affairs, and 
have the right to say, ‘‘ Do this and do not that.” 

3. Kawwal. He has charge of tambourines and fiutes and 
religious hymns. 

4. Pir. To him appertain the conduct of fasts, the breaking 
of fasts, and hair-dressing. 

5. Kochak. To him appertain the duties of religious instruc- 
tion, and sepulture, and interpretation of dreams, i. e., prophecy. 

6. Fakir. To him appertain the duties of instruction of boys 
and girls in playing on the tambourines, in dancing and religious 
pleasure. He serves Seib ‘Adi. 

7. Mulla. To him appertain the duties of instructing children. 
He guards the books and the mysteries of religion and attends to 


the affairs of the sect. 


At one time (A. H. 1289; a. p. 1872), the Ottoman power 
wanted to draft from among them an army instead of taking the 
tax which was its due. They presented to the government all the 
rules that prevented them from complying. These all pertain to 
religion and are moral obligations upon them. They are as 


follows: 
ArtTIcLeE I 


According to our Yezidi religion every member of our sect, whether 
big or little, girl or woman, must visit Melek Ta’us three times a year, 

















Yezip1 TExtTs 245 


that is, first, from the beginning to the last of the month of April, Roman 
calendar; secondly, from the beginning to the end of the month of Sep- 
tember; thirdly, from the beginning to the end of the month of November. 
If anyone visit not the image of Melek Ta’us, he is an infidel. 


Articce IT 
If any member of our sect, big or little, visit not his highness Seih 
‘Adi bn Musafir—may God sanctify his mysteries! once a year, i.e., from 
the fifteenth to the twentieth of the month of September, Roman calendar, 
he is an infidel according to our religion. 


Articte III 
Every member of our sect must visit the place of the sunrise every 
day when it appears, and there should not be Moslem, nor Christian, nor 
any one else in that place. If any one do this not, he is an infidel. 


ArticLe IV 
Every member of our sect must daily kiss the hand of his brother, his 
brother of the next world, namely, the servant of the Mahdi, and the hand 
of his Seih or pir. If any one do this not, he is regarded as an infidel. 


ARTICLE V 
According to our religion it is something intolerable when the Moslem 
in the morning begins to say in prayer, God forbid! “I take refuge in 
God, ete.” If any one of us hear it, he must kill the one who says it 
and kill himself; otherwise he becomes an infidel. 


Articte VI 

When one of our sect is on the point of death, if there be no brother 
of the next world and his Seih, or his pir and one of the kawwdals with him 
to say three sayings over him, viz.: “O servant of Melek Té’us, whose ways 
are high, you must die in the religion of the one we worship, who is Melek 
Ta’us, whose ways are high, and do not die in any other religion than 
his. And if some one should come and say to you something from the 
Mohammedan religion, or Christian religion, or Jewish religion, or some 
other religion, do not believe him, and do not follow him. And if you 
believe and follow another religion than that of the one we worship, 
Melek T@’us, you shall die an infidel,” he becomes an infidel. 


Articte VII 


We have something called the blessing of Seih ‘Adi, that is, the dust of 
the tomb of Seih ‘Adi—may God sanctify his mystery! Every member 
of our sect must have some of it with him in his pocket and eat of it every 
morning. And if he eat not of it intentionally, he is an infidel. Likewise 








246 THE AMERICAN JOURNAL OF SEMITIC LANGUAGES 


at the time of death, if he possess not some of that dust intentionally, he 
dies an infidel. 
Articte VITi 

Regarding our fasting, if any one of our sect wish to fast, he must 
fast in his own place, not in another. For while fasting he must go every 
morning to the house of his Seih and his pir, and there he must begin to 
fast; and when he breaks his fast, likewise, he must go to the house of 
his Seih and his pir, and there break the fast by drinking the holy wine 
of the Seih or the pir. And if he drink not two or three glasses of that 
wine, his fasting is not acceptable, and he becomes an infidel. 


ArticLe IX 
If one of our sect go to another place and remain there as much as 
one year, and afterward return to his place, then his wife is forbidden him, 
and none of us will give him a wife. If anyone give him a wife, that one 
is an infidel. 
ARTICLE X 
Regarding our dress, as we have mentioned in the fourth Article that 
every one of our sect has a brother for the next world, he has also a sister 
for the next world.*® Therefore if any one of us make for himself a new 
shirt, it is necessary that his sister for the next world should open its 
neck band, i.e., the neck band of that shirt, with her hand. And if she 
open it not with her hand, and he wear it, then he is an infidel. 


ArticLe XI 
If some one of our sect make a shirt or a new dress, he cannot wear it 
without baptizing it in the blessed water which is to be found at the shrine 
of his highness Seih ‘Adi--may God sanctify his mystery! If he wear it, 
he is an infidel. 
ArticLe XII 
We may not wear a light black dress at all. We may not comb our 
heads with the comb of a Moslem or a Christian or a Jew or any other. 
Nor may we shave our heads with the razor used by any other than our- 
selves (Yezidis), except it be washed in the blessed water which is to be 
found at the shiine of his highness Seih ‘Adi. Then it is lawful for us 
to shave our heads. But if we shave our heads without the razor having 
been washed in that water, we become infidels. 


ArticLe XIII 
No Yezidi may enter the water-closet of a Moslem, or take a bath at a 
Moslem’s house, or eat with a Moslem spoon, or drink from a Moslem’s 
cup, from a cup used by any one of another sect. If he does, he is an 


infidel.*’ 




















Yezip1 Texts 247 


ArtTIcLeE XIV 
Concerning food, there is a great difference between us and the other 
sects. We do not eat meat of fish, squash, bamia (okra), fasulia (beans), 
s~abbage, or lettuce. We cannot even dwell in the place where lettuce 
is sown.*® 
For these and other reasons, we cannot enter the military service, etc. 
The names of those who affixed their signatures: 
Tue Heap or rue Yezipt Sect, THE Emir or Seuan, 
HuseEIn. 
Tue Retiaious Serg or THe Yezivi Sect or tHe District 
OF Semin, Sei Nasir. 
Tue Carer Sem or tHe Vittace or Mam Resin, Pir 
SULEIMAN. 
Tue VittaGe Cuter or Muskan, Mvrap. 


- ee “«  “ Hardran, Ayvyos. 
“ zh “«  & “‘Bersan, Husern. 

S =< «© DangAn, Hassan. 
e sb “© “Huzran, Nu‘md. 

ae “ © BaKaspa, Arr. 

s °, “«  % BA‘aSsixa, Jamo. 

te = “« © Hosapa, Inias. 

a 3 “«  ‘KREPAHIN, SAGD. 

si se “ “ ‘Kapdren, Kocnar. 
“ee 6s “cc “ce Kaso. 

2 ‘“ 6 Sind, ‘Appod. 

ss ts “« © ‘Arn Srrs1, Gureod. 
. ss “6 Kasr-'Izz-ap-Din. 
. ie «© Herr6. 

si “«  “ ‘Kiperto, TAnrr. 


AND OTHERS. 


These are they whose names were in the petition above men- 
tioned, and from which we copied a few things. 

The result was that when they presented this petition, they 
were exempted from military service, but they paid a tax in money 


as did the Christians. 
NOTES 

1. Al-Jilwah is said to have been written in 558 a.H., by Seih Fahr- 
ad-Din, the secretary of Seih ‘Adi, at the dictation of the latter. The 
original copy, wrapped in linen and silk wrappings, is kept in the house 
of Mulla Haidar, of Baadrie. Twice a year the book is taken to Seih 
‘Adi’s shrine. (Letter from Sammas Jeremia Samir to Mr. A. N. Andrus, 
of Mardin, dated October 28, 1892.) 








248 THE AMERICAN JOURNAL OF SEMITIC LANGUAGES 


2. The Black Book is said to have been written by a certain Hasan 
al-Basri, in 743 a.a. The original copy is kept in the house of Kehyah 
(chief) ‘Ali, of Kasr ‘Az-ad-Din, one hour west of Semale, a village east 
of Tigris. The book rests upon a throne, having over it a thin covering 
of red broadcloth, of linen, and other wrappings. Then is disclosed the 
binding, which is of wood. (Sammas Jeremia Samir, as above; A. N. 
Andrus, letter, dated November 9, 1901.) 

3. The exact number of the Yezidis is unknown. See also Société de 
Géographie de l’Est, Bulletin, 1903, p. 284; Al MaSrik, IT, 834. 

4, For a fuller account of the literature on the Yezidis, consult J. 
Menant, Les Yézidis, and Paul Perdrizet, Société de Géographie de 
VEst, Bulletin, 1903, pp. 281 ff. 

5. Société de Géographie de l’Est, Bulletin, 1903, p. 297. 

6. Fraser, Mesopotamia and Persia, pp. 285, 287; Rich, Residence in 
Kurdistan, II, 69; Al Masrik, II, 396; Badger, The Nestorians and 
their Rituals, I, 111; Assemani, Bibliotheca Orientalis, III, 439. 

7. Michel Febvre, Théatre de la Turquie, p. 364; Société de Géo- 
graphie de l'Est, Bulletin, 1903, pp. 299, 301; cf. also J. Menant, Les Yézi- 
dis, pp. 52, 86, 132. 

8. Oppenheim, Vom Mittelmeer zum persischen Golf, 1900, II, 148; 
Victor Dingelstedt, Scottish Geographical Magazine, XIV, 295; South- 
gate, A Tour through Armenia, II, 317; A. V. Williams Jackson, “ Yezi- 
dis,” in the New International Encyclopedia, XVII, 939; Perdrizet, 
loc. cit., p. 299. 

9. A. V. Williams Jackson, Persia Past and Present, p. 10, New 
International Encyclopedia, “ Yezidis;” Perdrizet, loc. cit. 

10. Dingelstedt, loc. cit.; Revue de Vl Orient Chrétien, I, “ Kurdis- 
tan.” 

11. Société de Géographie de |’Est, loc. cit.; Encyclopedia of Mis- 
sions, “ Yezidis;” A. V. Williams Jackson, loc. cit. 

12. On these sects consult AS-Sahrastani, I, 86, 89, 100. 

13. Not like Mohammed, to whom, according to Moslem belief, the 
Koran was revealed at intervals. 

14. On the Sabians of the Koran, see Baidéwi and ZamabSari on 
Suras 2, 59; 5, 73; 22, 17. 

15. On the Sabians of Harran see Fihrist, p. 190; on the Sabians in 
general consult AS-Sahrastani, IT, 203; on the location of Harran and 
Wasit, see Yakat, IT, 331, and IV, 881. 

16. To get more particular information in regard to Yezid bn Unaisa, 
I wrote to Mosul, Bagdad, and Cairo, the three centers of Mohamme- 
dan learning, and strange to say, none could throw any light on the 


subject. 
17. Al-Haratiyah he describes as Ashd@b Al-Haret (I, 101), al-Hafazi- 


yah, Ashab Hafez (ibid.), ete. 




















YezipI TExtTs 249 


18. Ibn Hallikan says: “AS-Sahrastani, a dogmatic theologian of the 
ASarite sect, was distinguished as an Imam and a doctor of the law. He 
displayed the highest abilities as a jurisconsult. The Kitab al-Milal 
wa-n-Nihal (this is the book in which AS-Sahrastani traces the Yezidi 
sect to Yezid bn Unaisa) is one of his works on scholastic theology. He 
remained without an equal in that branch of science.” 

19. It is to be noticed also that the name ‘“ Unaisa” is very common 
among the Arabs; cf. Ibn Sa‘ad (ed. Sachau), ITT, 254, 260, 264, 265, 281, 
283, 287, 289; Musnad, VI, 434; Mishkat, 22, 724. 

20. Professor C. C. Torrey, of Yale University, kindly examined the 
manuscript on this point. 

21. Geschichte der herrschenden Ideen des Islams, p. 195. 

22. Ibn Hallikan (Egyptian edit., a. . 1310), I, 316; Mohammed al- 
‘Omari, al-Mausili, and Yasin al-Hatib al-‘Omari al-Mausili, “Seih ‘ Adi,” 
quoted by M. N. Sioufhi, Journal asiatique, 1885, 80; Yakut, IV, 374. 

23. ‘Itikad Ah] as-Sunna, “Belief of the Sunnites,” the Wasaya, 
“Counsels to the Califs;” ef. C. Huart, History of Arabic Literature, 
p. 273. 

24. See p. 239 of this paper. 

25. As-Sahrastani regards them a Harijite sub-sect. 

26. Layard, Nineveh and its Remains, II, 254. 

27. Mohammed al-‘Omari al-Mausili and Yasin al-Hatib al-‘Omari al- 
Mausili, “Seih ‘Adi,” quoted by M. N. Sioufli, Journal asiatique, Série 
viii, V (1885), 80. 

28. George Warda, Bishop of Arbila, Poems, edited by Heinrich 
Hilgenfeld, Leipzig, 1904. 

29. Such as their ceremonies at Seih ‘Adi (Badger, The Nestorians, 
I, 117), which have obtained for them the name Cherag Sonderan, “The 
Extinguishers of Light.” Bar Hebraeus (Chronicon Eccles., ed. 
Abeloos-Lamy, I, 219) speaks of similar practices among what he calls 
“Borborians,” a branch of the Manichaeans, and calls them pops 
kee, “The Extinguishers of Light.” This name is applied to other 
eastern sects also; see Abhandlungen fiir die Kunde des Morgenlandes, 
V, 124. 

30. Professor Jackson, of Columbia University, seems to trace it to 
the “old devil-worship in Mazanderan” (JAOS, XXV, 178). But it is 
not certain that the Yezidis believe in Melek Té’us as an evil spirit. In 
the history of religion the god of one people is the devil of another. 
Asura is a deity in the Rig Veda and an evil spirit only in later Brahman 
theology. In Islam the gods of heathenism are degraded into jinns, 
just as the gods of North Semitic heathenism are called Se‘irim (hairy 
demons) in Lev. 17:7; or as the gods of Greece and Rome became devils 
to early Christians. See W. R. Smith, Religion of the Semites, p. 120; 
Fihrist, pp. 322, 326. 








250 THe AMERICAN JOURNAL OF SEMITIC LANGUAGES 


Professor M. Lidzbarski (ZDMG, LI, 592), on the other hand, argues 
that Ta’us is the god Tammuz. His contention is based on the assump- 
tion that the word Ta’us must embody an ancient god; that in Fihrist, 

22, the god Tauz yb has a feast on the 15th of Tammuz (July); that 
in Kurdish, the language of the Yezidis, m is frequently changed to w. 
This theory also is untenable, for one might guess at any ancient god. 
The exact form of the name “Tauz” is uncertain (see Chwolsohn, Die 
Ssabier, II, 202); the statement that in Kurdish m is frequently changed 
to w is not true, if one would set it up as a grammatical rule to explain 
such phenomena; the Kurdish-speaking people never pronounce Tammuz, 
“Tauz;” and, finally, in the Yezidi conception of Melek Ta’us there are 
no traces of the notion held respecting Tammuz. 

31. Such a state of affairs finds a historical parallel in other religions. 
Take, for example, Christianity. In it we find that the distinctive char- 
acteristics of the founder have been wrapped up in many foreign elements 
brought in by those who came from other religions. 

30.* The whole sentence in which the phrase, Sew hu> , occurs 
is not found in Chabot, Parry, the Syriac manuscript which was written 
by Priest Ishak and published by Samuel Giamil (Rome, 1900), nor in 
the Arabic manuscript of Samir. 

The Syrian Malkites called the mountain on which the convent of Mar 
Elia was built bSese} {sag, “Black Mountain.” This mountain is iden- 
tified by some with the Greek Aovg (Alixis, XII, 12) and with the Arabic 
name Um ott, and the Syriac jase, which Assemani thinks a corrup- 
tion of the Arabic term for Jerusalem; see Journal of Theological Studies, 
II, 176-78.’ 

31.* The Syriac text of Giamil, Monte Singar, 12, identifies Naumi 
with Noah.! 

32. X>y is a translation of the Syriac Leo;,2 (mpdcwmor), ‘face, per- 
son;’ cf. Giamil, loc. cit. 

33. loys ral, La Kane! The Syriac text of Chabot (p. 103), the 


Arabic MS of Samir (p. 12), and Parry’s translation (p. 381), show that 
it was Noah who caught and burned the serpent. 


34. SI. Saal, Kol wadsin . The Syriac text of Chabot (p. 104) 
reads 45225 |pw |dsco/ r22, “a nation shall be drawn after you.” 
The Arabic MS of Samir (p. 12) has KLe Kel a Sin, “from 
thee shall come forth a people and a nation; Parry (Six Months in a 
Syrian Monastery, 381) agrees with the reading of Samir. 


1 By an oversight in the numbering of the notes, 30 and 31 have been repeated; 30* and 
31* refer to the Arabic text, p. 124, 1. 1, and p. 126, last line, respectively. 





























YezipI Texts 251 


35. wis is a transliteration of the Syriac -aas» a denominative 
verb from “.c2es» ‘to oppose, to contradict;’ cf. also Giamil, p. 15; 
Chabot, p. 104. The MS of Samir reads »& 35 ob ; Parry’s transla- 
tion agrees with this. 

36. Giamil (p. 48) has: besse jaca, bed, oto Duly on poll, 
“Yezid descended from King Sapor.” 

37. Cf. Bar Hebraeus, Chronicon Eccles., ed. Abeloos-Lamy, I, 219, 
where he speaks of the Borborians; see also note 29. 

38. ell SG Pas. The text seems to be corrupt, so also the 
Syriac text of Chabot (p. 108), and ef. Parry (p. 383). Giamil (p. 33), 
seems to have the right reading: \s Dupo esos a el Matte 
j=» Lepec LxI> wise? Ssilo oj comsdcy bie. 

39, Slow is Kurdish. It is an equivalent to the Arabic Kina! ut , 

4 
SIT WNT, “mew year.” 

40. Yses is the Hebrew word pw, “detestation, detestable thing;” 
ef. Lev. 7:21. The Syriac text of Chabot (p, 113) has ~a#. Browne 
says: “The MS has Shuqus and Shags. He substitutes Shuhus and 
Shahs, “personages,” or “images,” Parry, op. cit., pp. 384, 385, 386. The 
Hebrew word is an opprobrious term for idols, and used to express the 
deepest abhorrence of them. See Encyclopaedia Biblica, “Idol.” 

41, pl is an obscure term. The same reading is found in 
Samir’s MS; see also Chabot, p. 113. Browne regards it a corrupt form 
the Arabic Ray “treasury” (Parry, p. 385). 

42. Ug dus, The Syriac text of Chabot (p. 14), and Giamil (p. 12), 
have ~#eo,as; the Arabic MS of Samir Ug DET (p. 16). Browne (Parry, 
p. 386) reads gavdush and regards it a corruption of the Persian gavgusht. 

43. | is a transliteration of the Syriac {33e} (dpapuov) “stole;” cf. 
Giamil, p. 77. Chabot (p. 115) has {sia ; Samir (p. 16) yy “girdle,” 
and so Browne (Parry, p. 386). The Syriac text of Chabot adds ‘\.c» 
which is a corruption of >, “a bond;” the Arabic MS of Samir 
(p. 16) has Yl (so Parry, p. 386), which is a transliteration of the 
Syriac \.2o. 

44, dwliaw. Chabot (p. 15) has Pamix ; Samir (p. 17) bolus, and 
so Parry (p. 387); but he reads shamashil, and regards it “an Arabic 
form of plural from shemshal.” I cannot conjecture the etymology of 


dali 


45. It is the name of some religious practice. Cf. Giamil, p. 


er 
io. 





252 THE AMERICAN JOURNAL OF SEMITIC LANGUAGES 


47. sb is Kurdish. r is imperative singular second person, 
meaning ‘go!’ sixk “into the ring;” the final 7 is locative. 

47,* Ung pray! ( uglle So) is Latin Lucifer (Isa. 14:12). The 
compiler, Daud As-Saig, was a Romanized Syrian, and was probably 
familiar with the Latin Lucifer. : 

48. a. H. 295 (a. pv. 807-8). This is the date of Al-Muktadir’s accession, 
who reigned till a. a. 320 (a. p. 932); ef. W. Muir, The Caliphate, p. 559. 

49. The life of Mansftr-al-Hallaj is given in Fihrist (ed. Fligel), 
p. 190. 

50. The life of ‘Abd-al-Kadir of Jilan is given in Jami’s Nafahat 
(ed. Lee), p. 584. 

51. The Hakkari country is a dependency of Mosul, and inhabited by 
Kurds and Nestorians; ef. p. 104. . Ibn Haukal, Kitab al-Masalik wal- 
Mamialik (ed. M. J. De Goeje), pp. 143 f. 

52. Yakat, IV, 373, calls it Lailes (yada), and says that Seih ‘Adi 
lived there. 

53. Presumably Yezid bn Mu ‘awiya, the second caliph in the Omayyid 
dynasty, who reigned, a. p. 680-83; ct. W. Muir, The Caliphate, p. 327. 

54. The life of Hasan al-Basri is given in Ibn Hallikan. He is not 
to be identified with Hasan al-Basri (died 110 a. u.), who, according to 
Mohammedan tradition, first pointed the Koran text, with the assistance 
of Yahya bn Yamar. 

55. In Menant’s Yezidis, 48, the names of these seven angels are some- 
what differently given. According to Mohammedan tradition Zazil or 
Azazil was the original name of the devil. 

56. By the “throne” (Sopot ) here is meant the throne of God, and by 
the “carpet” ((* 2!) the earth; ef. Sura 60:131. 

57. According to Moslem belief, wheat was the forbidden fruit; see 
Baidawi on Sura, ii, 33. 

58. Kunsiniyat is an obscure term. 

59. ‘Ain Sifni is about five miles from Ba‘adrie; cf. Layard, Nineveh, 
I, 272. 

60. Yakat (III, 158) mentions a similar tradition. 

61. These are indications of Mohammedan influence and censorship, 
for no Yezidi will ever write in his sacred book such words as Seitan, 
Sar, etc. 

62. That is, those of other religions. 

63. Sanjak Vasu is a Turkish word, meaning a banner; it is the 
name by which the Yezidis generally designate the sacred image of Melek 
Ta'us. 

64. See notes 28 and 39. 


* No. 47 is accidentally repeated. 





























Yezip1 TExtTs Zao 


65. The Harranian New Year fell on the first day of April, and on-the 
sixth day they slaughtered an ox and ate it; ef. Fihrist, 322. 

66. A similar practice is found among the Parsees of India, who hang 
a string of leaves across the entrances to their houses at the beginning of 
every New Year. 

67. According to Babylonian mythology, human destiny was decreed 
on the New Year’s day and sealed on the tenth day; cf. the Hibbert 
Journal, V, January, 1907. And according to Talmud (Misna, Ros haSana, 
1:2), New Year’s is the most important judgment day, on which all 
creatures pass for judgment before the Creator. On this day three books 
are opened, wherein the fate of the wicked, the righteous, and those of 
the intermediate class are recorded. Hence prayer and works of repent- 
ance are performed at the New Year from the first to the tenth days, that 
an unfavorable decision might be averted; cf. Jewish Encyclopedia, 
“Penitential Day.” R. Akiba says: “On New Year day all men are 
judged; and the decree is sealed on the Day of Atonement;” cf. ibid., 
“Day of Judgment.” 

68. Ibrik al-Asfar means ‘the yellow pitcher.’ 

69. Bakbtk is a pitcher with a narrow spout. 

70. Mar Mattie is a Syrian monastery about seven hours’ ride east of 
Mosul, generally known by the name of Seih Mattie, in accordance with 
the general custom of sheltering a Christian saint beneath a Moslem title. 
Elijah is known as Al-Huder, “the green one.””. Aphraates was bishop of 
Seih Mattie. The church of this monastery is a large building, chiefly 
interesting as containing the tomb of the great Bar Hebraeus, known as 
Abu-l-Faraj, who was ordained at Tripolis, and became in 1264 a. pb. 
Metropolitan of Mosul. He lies buried, with his brother Barsom, in the 
“Beth Kadiseh (sanctuary) of the church, and over them is placed the 
inscription: “This is the grave of Mar Gregorias, and of Mar Barsome 
his brother, the children of the Hebrew, on Mount Elpep” (the Syriae 
name for Jabal Maklfaib). 

71. Kani in Kurdish means a spring; zarr, yellow. In Kurdish, as 
in Persian, the adjective usually follows the modified noun; ef. Tartibi 
Jadid, Ta‘alimi Faresi. The New Method for Teaching Persian (in the 
Turkish language, ed. Kasbar, Constantinople, a. #. 1312), p. 18. 

72. Jawis ( Urzgl>) is a Turkish word, signifying a sergeant. 

73. This ceremony, as well as the names ‘Arafat, Zamzam, ete., seems 
to be a mere copy of the Meccah Pilgrimage. ‘Arafat (wile ) “The 
Mount of Recognition,” is situated twelve miles from Mecca, a place where 
the pilgrims stay on the ninth day of the day of the pilgrimage, and recite 
the midday and afternoon prayer. The Mohammedan legend says, that 
when our first parents forfeited heaven for eating wheat, they were cast 
down from the Paradise, Adam fell on the Isle of Ceylon, and Eve near 








254 THe AMERICAN JOURNAL OF SEMITIC LANGUAGES 


Jiddah (the port of Mecca) in Arabia; and that, after separation of 200 
years, Adam was conducted by the Angel Gabriel to a mountain near 
Mecca, where he found and knew his wife, the mountain being then named 
‘Arafat, “ Recognition.” 

74. The god Nisroch of Scripture, IT Kings 19: 37; Isa. 37: 38. 

75. See note 47. 

76. A superstitious name signifying an ill omen. 

77. That is, public prayers like those of the Mohammedans and of the 
Christians; ef. Al Maérik, IT, 313. 

78. The text has lds “her hand.” 

79. While the Yezidis venerate ‘Abd al-Kadir of Jilin, the Nusairis 
curse him; cf. JAOS, VIII, 274. 

80. This belief is taken from Mohammedanism. 

81. The Arabs worshiped a deity under the form of a nasr (eagle), 
A8-Sahrastani, IT, 434; Yakut, IV, 780; The Syriac Doctrine of Addai (ed. 
George Philips), p. 24. 

82. Cf. Gen. 1:2, and the Babylonian Creation Epic. 

83. That is the spring of Seih ‘Adi. 

84. The reference is to Jabal Maklfib, which, according to the Yezidi 
belief, moved from its place near LaliS to enable every Yezidi, wherever 
he may be, to direct his morning prayers toward the tomb of ‘Adi. 

85. The Moslem begins his prayer by cursing the devil. 

86. That is a person of the same faith, a Yezidi. 

87. A Nusairi, on the contrary, may become a Mohammedan with a 
Mohammedan, a Christian with a Christian, and a Jew with a Jew; cf. 
J AOS, VIII, 298. 

88. The Sabians did not eat purslane, garlic, beans, cauliflower, cab- 
bage, and lentils; cf. Bar Hebraeus, At-Tarih, ed. A. Salhani, Beirut, 
1890, 266. 























Book Notices. 


M. LE GAC’S EDITION OF THE CUNEIFORM TEXTS OF 
ASSURNASIRPAL 


M. Le Gac’s edition of the cuneiform texts of Assurnasirpal,' although 
not pretending to be complete, contains the most perfect copies of the 
important inscriptions of this king hitherto published. In addition to 
those already known M. Le Gac has added others, small, it is true, but 
all of interest. Yet in spite of all this, it is a question whether another 
edition of Assurnasirpal’s inscriptions was needed. It is only six or seven 
years ago that King’s copies and translations of the Assurnasirpal docu- 
ments were published by the Trustees of the British Museum in the 
Annals of the Kings of Assyria, and of these four were new, as 
M. Le Gace says, and as they did not pass through his hands, are not 
included in his edition. 

However, M. Le Gac’s copy of the long text known as the “Annals” 
(containing nearly four hundred lines), from the squeezes in the British 
Museum, affords a far larger list of variants than the Museum edition. 
Many of these variants are, of course, of little value, but there are some 
which allow us to restore one or two lost passages. For instance, in 
col, iii, 1. 131, the gap after hursani must be read 7 _[du|te, i. e., “difficult 
highlands.” More important, still, is the long addition provided by 
M. Le Gace in col. iii, 1. 76, which completes the list of tribute to Lubarna: 
marat ahi-su itti nudunisa [mafdi “his niece, with her munificent 
dowry.” Among minor points which may be noted, the Le Gac edition 
gives the text necessary to restore col. iii, 1. 112, ba-tu-bat-te and 1. 113, 
ramani-ia, both of which King has given in brackets in his translitera- 
tion. In col. iii, 1. 80, the country Ya’turi is also spelled Yabturi. On 
the other hand we notice in col. iii, 1. 74, the Museum edition gives as 
variants the two Assyrian signs for sa, which is not noted by M. Le Gac. 

A word must be said in praise of the excellent cuneiform script in 
which M. Le Gac’s edition is printed. It is difficult to say whether this 
or the black type of Harrison used in the Museum edition is the better. 


R. Campsett THompson 


1 LES INSCRIPTIONS D’ASSUR-NASIR-APLU IIT, Ror D’ASSYRIE (885-860 ay. J.-C.). Nou- 
velle édition des textes originaux, d’aprés les Estampages du British Museum et les Monu- 
ments. Par Y, Le Gace. Paris: Paul Geuthner, 1907. Pp. xxi+ 209. 


255 





256 THE AMERICAN JOURNAL OF SEMITIC LANGUAGES 


VIROLLEAUD'S “L’ASTROLOGIE CHALDEENNE”! 


The present volumes are three of a series of publications on Assyrian 
astrological tablets, which M. Virolleaud has undertaken. The work is 
appearing gradually in twelve parts, four being devoted to the cuneiform 
texts of tablets relating to the omens from the sun, the moon, the planets, 
and the atmosphere, the remaining parts being the transliteration and 
translations, the whole being completed with an introduction and a 
glossary. All these astrological texts are from the great series “ When 
(Anu) Bél,” which composes no small part of the great library of Ashur- 
banipal from Kouyunjik; and we welcome the continuation of M. Virol- 
leaud’s labors, as a good edition of this class of texts is much to be 
desired. Many were published years ago by Henry Rawlinson in the 
Inscriptions of Western Asia, and translated by Professor Sayce in the 
Transactions of the Society of Biblical Archaeology. Since then there 
has been a certain amount of material published on this subject, not 
only on tablets of this period (the seventh century B. c.) but also on those 
tablets of the later Babylonian period, which are more astronomical in 
their character. 

In these three fascicules are texts of many of the omens relating to 
the moon and the planets, and a transliteration of the Adad (atmosphere) 
texts in fascicule 4. Many of them have been before the public in other 
editions, but it is safe to say that the present copies are in many cases 
more trustworthy than those of previous publications. The Adad trans- 
literations are of considerable interest, for they give the omens for 
thunder in the various months, for lightning with the thunder, rainbows 
during a storm, and many similar natural phenomena from which 
auguries may be predicted. Especially interesting is No. XI (p. 9), 
which compares the noises of thunder to those which dogs, pigs, ete., 
make, and draws omens therefrom. We shall look forward with interest 
to the completion of M. Virolleaud’s work, and hope that it is merely the 
earnest of a succession of labors in the field of Assyrian astrology. It is 
a subject which contains many problems which can only be elucidated 
by the examination of a far larger mass of material than is at present 
available. The neat characters in which M. Virolleaud transcribes his 
copies will make his contributions to cuneiform science doubly welcome. 

R. Campsett THompson 


1 L’ASTROLOGIE CHALDEENNE. Le Livre intitulé“enuma (Anu) ©!“ Bels” publié, tran- 
serit et traduit par Ch. Virolleaud, maitre de conférences a la Faculté des Lettres de Lyon. 


2 


Texte cunéiforme, “Sin’’ (fascicule 1): texte cunéiform*®, “Ishtar” (fascicule 3): Trau- 
scription, ‘*Adad”’ (fascicule 8), Paris: Librairie Pau! Geuthner, 1908-1909,