Page:A Critical and Exegetical Commentary on Judges.djvu/40

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xxx
INTRODUCTION

his book would have been immediately after the introduction; a place which chronological considerations also indicated. There is no evidence, however, in the introductions to these stories, of any intention to use them in this way. The familiar formulas of D are absent, nor is their place taken by others which might be attributed to the same hand. In the narratives themselves there is no trace of a Deuteronomic redaction.

Whether these stories were contained in the older work which the Deuteronomic author used as the basis of his own, we cannot be so sure. There is certainly no mark of the editor's hand upon them, and it is conceivable that they were preserved independently in one of the sources of that collection. This would account both for the resemblance of the stories to those in 26–1631 and for the absence of all traces either of Rje or of D in them.[1] But in ch. 17, 18, two narratives appear to have been combined in much the same way as in ch. 6–8, and we should be inclined to attribute this fusion to the same redactor (Rje).[2] It is quite possible that, as this author's work was considerably more extensive than the Deuteronomic Judges, he may have found place in it for these chapters.

That the two versions of the story of Micah and the Danites (ch. 17, 18) are derived from J and E is a natural conjecture. Budde has noted several words and phrases in one of them which seem to point to E. The whole impression which this strand of the narrative makes would incline me rather to ascribe it to J; decisive evidence is lacking. However that may be, there can be no doubt that the primary version of the story is among the oldest in the book, as it is in many ways one of the most instructive. The second version is apparently younger, but, if I interpret it correctly, there seems to be no reason why it may not come from E.[3] In 1830–31 are two references to historical events: the depopulation of the land (v.30), and the cessation of the temple at Shiloh (v.31). By the former we are probably to understand the depor-

  1. That J, at least, survived separately till a late date is probably to be inferred from the preservation of ch. 1.
  2. Many critics, however, think that the appearance of duplication is due to interpolations, rather than to the union of two sources; see p. 366–369. Ch. 19 is also perhaps composite.
  3. See p. 370.