Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 9.djvu/618

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592
THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

recognition of this distinction has led to further discoveries of far-reaching importance, but too complicated in their nature to be here detailed. The conflicting statements of the two accounts, which we have just indicated, have induced scholars to regard them as the work of different writers. In Genesis iv. we learn that in the days of Enosh, Adam's grandson, men began to call on the name of Jehovah ; in Exodus vi., on the contrary, that the name Jehovah was first revealed to Moses, being unknown even to the patriarchs.

Gen. xvi., Hagar is driven from her home by the jealousy of her mistress ; escapes into the desert ; beholds a vision of God at a well in a wilderness. Gen. xxi., the flight of Hagar is related a second time. The general scheme of the narrative is the same as above ; but there are important divergencies of detail. As narrated in chapter xvi., the escape took place immediately before the birth of Ishmael. Fifteen years elapsed,[1] and Ishmael, now approaching the years of maturity, is once more driven forth from the house of Abraham. But, to our surprise, in chapter xxi. the lad is described as a mere infant ; he is carried on his mother's shoulders, and laid away, like a helpless babe, under some bushes by the wayside. It appears that we have before us two accounts touching the same event, agreeing in the main incidents of the escape, but showing a disagreement of fifteen years as to the date of its occurrence. The narratives are distinguished as above by the employment of different names of the Deity : Jehovah in the one instance, Elohim in the other.

Gen. xxxii., Jacob at the fords of Jabbok, after wrestling during the night with a divine being, receives the name of Israel. Gen. xxxv., without reference to the previous account, the name Israel is conferred upon Jacob at a different place and under different circumstances.

Gen. xlix., the dispersion of the Levites among the tribes is characterized as a punishment and a curse. They are to be forever homeless and fugitive. Deuteronomy xxxiii. and elsewhere, it is described as a blessing. The Levites have been scattered as good seed over the land. They are the apostles, commissioned to propagate Jehovah's law.

Passing on to the second book of the Pentateuch, we pause before the account of the Revelation on Mount Sinai, beyond a doubt the most important event of Israel's ancient history. Exodus xxiv. 2, Moses alone is to approach the divine presence. Exod. xix. 24, Aaron is to accompany him. Exod. xxiv. 13, Aaron is to remain below and Joshua is to go in his stead. Again, Exod. xxxiii. 20, instant death will overtake him who beholds God. Exod. xxiv. 9-11, Moses, Aaron, two of his sons, and seventy elders of Israel " ascended, and they saw the God of Israel. . . . Also, they saw God, and did eat

  1. Gen. xvii. 25. In quoting from the Old Testament, we follow the order of the Hebrew text.