Page:A Critical and Exegetical Commentary on Judges.djvu/53

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Jephthah), which are at least not primarily cyclic, probably represent an earlier stage in the history of tradition; the latter may be derived from E.

On the Chronology of Judges see S. Schmid, Comm. in Jud., 1684, p. 1569–1603; Des Vignoles, Chronologie de l'histoire sainte, 1738;° Herzfeld, Chronologia judicum et primorum regum Hebraeorum, 1836; Rösch, "Das Datum des Tempelbaus," Stud. u. Krit, 1863, p. 712–742; Nöldeke, Untersuchungen zur Kritik des Alten Testaments, 1869, p. 173–198; Wellhausen in Bleek, Einleitung4, p. 184 f. = Composition des Hexateuchs, p. 216 f. (cf. p. 356); Prolegomena3, p. 237 f.; Reuss, Gesch. des Alten Testaments, § 277; Budde, Richter u. Samuel, p. 135 ff.; Köhler, Biblische Geschichte, ii. 1. p. 35–51; Kittel, Gesch. der Hebräer, i. 2. p. 9–14; of the commentaries, especially Bachmann (p. 53–74), and Bertheau (p. xi.–xvii.).—Wellhausen notes that the years of the Minor Judges (70) almost exactly correspond to the duration of the interregna (71), and infers that the Minor Judges were introduced by an editor who did not reckon the interregna separately, but included them, contrary to the intention of the author of the chronology, in the rule of the following judges; cf. Prol3 ., p. 237 f.; Budde; Cornill, Einl2. p. 98 f.; and against Wellhn., Kuenen, HCO2. i. p. 342, Kittel, GdH. i. 2. p. 11–13; Wellhn. himself (Comp., p. 356) confesses that he has no longer much faith in such attempts to solve the enigma.

§ 8. Hebrew Text and Ancient Versions.

The text of Judges has been transmitted to us in a much purer state than that of the Books of Samuel; indeed, it is better preserved than any other of the historical books; but it is not entirely free from the errors which are incident to transcription. The variants of Hebrew manuscripts seldom enable us to correct these errors. Setting aside the great mass of purely heterographic variations, there are few that materially affect the sense; and of these, very few which are intrinsically superior to the Massoretic text. The critic cannot entirely disregard them, however; especially when the support of the Targum or other of the versions shows that the reading is old.[1]

  1. For the Massoretic text (M) I have generally followed Baer, Libri Josuae et Judicum, 1891. The admirable edition of the Bible by J. H. Michaelis (1720) has also been constantly before me, and I have derived much help from Norzi's critical commentary, Minchath Shai, in the Mantua Bible of 1742. For the readings of Hebrew manuscripts and early editions I have relied on J. B. De Rossi, Variae lectiones Veteris Testamenti, vol. ii., 1785, which embodies all that is useful