Page:A Critical and Exegetical Commentary on Judges.djvu/46

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xxxvi
INTRODUCTION

On the critical problems discussed in §§ 3–6, see in general Studer, Richter, 1835. p. 425 ff.; Schrader in DeWette, Einleitung8, 1869, p. 327–333; Wellhausen in Bleek, Einl.4, 1878, p. 181–203 = Composition d. Hexateuchs, u. s. v., 1889, p. 213–238, cf. 353–357; v. Doorninck, Bijdrage tot de tekstkritiek van Richteren i.–xvi., 1879, p. 123–128; Bertheau, Richter und Ruth2, 1883; Kuenen, Historisch-critisch Onderzoek, i. p. 338–367 (1887); Budde, Richter und Samuel, 1890, p. 1–166; Driver, Literature of the Old Testament, 1891, p. 151–162; Kittel, "Die pentateuchischen Urkunden in den Büchern Richter und Samuel," Stud. u. Krit., 1892, p. 44 ff.; Gesch. der Hebräer, i. 2. 1892, p. 1–22; Kalkoff, Zur Quellenkritik des Richterbuchs, 1893 (Gymnas. Progr.)°.

The theory of the origin of the Book of Judges set forth in the preceding paragraphs is in all essential features that of Budde, whose thorough investigation of the critical problems of the book has been of the greatest value to me throughout. The reader of the commentary will, I trust, discover that I have not accepted Budde's results without a careful re-examination of the whole question; and in many particulars I have been led to form a different opinion. Of other hypotheses concerning the composition of the book, it will be sufficient to mention those of Kuenen and Kittel. The former thinks that Jud. 26–1631 is a part of a Deuteronomic Book of Judges the end of which is contained in 1 S. 7–12. This book contained all the stories that are now found in the chapters named,[1] with the solitary exception of 331 (Shamgar). The introduction, 26-36, is, as a whole, the work of the Deuteronomic writer,[2] who is the author of the religious pragmatism of the book. He used as the basis of his work a pre-Deuteronomic Book of Judges, in which Othniel as well as Shamgar was not included, while Abimelech was reckoned as one of the twelve judges, whose number was completed by Samuel, or, more probably, by some name which we cannot now recover. This older book was quite different in character from the Deuteronomic work; it knew nothing of a regular alternation of apostasy, punishment, and deliverance; it was a series of portraits of the leaders and heroes of Israel in the period before the establishment of the kingdom; but the unity of Israel was already erroneously antedated, and its deliverance frotn the hand of its foes represented as Yahweh's answer to its prayer. The author drew a large part of his material from older writings, some of them of Ephraimite origin, which were among the earliest products of Israelite historiography; but the book itself can hardly have been compiled before the first half of the 7th century. Jud. 11–25 preserves fragments of a very ancient account of the conquest of Canaan by the Israelite tribes; ch. 17, 18, is also a very old story, which has been considerably interpolated; in ch. 19–21 the old narrative has been thoroughly worked over in the spirit of post-exilic Judaism. These chapters were united with 26–1631 by the last

  1. Including the Minor Judges.
  2. It has suffered somewhat from interpolations; and in 31–8 the author has incorporated an older fragment which is not altogether in harmony with his own view.