Tabernacle: Finn

            The Journal of Theological Studies 16 (July 1915) 449-82.

                                         Public Domain.






                                                A. H. Finn



            IN the book of Exodus there are two groups of chapters dealing with

the construction of the Tabernacle:--

            Group I.          Cc. xxv-xxxi. The Divine Instructions.

            Group II.         Cc. xxxv-xl.                The carrying out of the Instructions.

From certain peculiarities in these chapters, and in the LXX version of

them, three inferences have been drawn:--

            (A) that the Greek translators of Group II were not the same as the

translators of Group I;

            (B) that the translators of Group II worked from a Hebrew text

differing from the Massoretic;

            (C) that cc. xxx, xxxi, and xxxv-xl were later additions to the original

text of Exodus.

            These conclusions have been put forward with a good deal of con-

fidence, and have been accepted by Biblical students of note.  Yet

they will bear further examination.


                        (A) DIFFERENT TRANSLATORS.

            The inference that the translators of Group II were not the same as

the translators of Group I is based solely on the fact that in some cases

the translation of certain Hebrew technical terms in Group II differs

from that in Group I (see Dr Swete's ‘Introduction to the Old Testa-

ment in Greek’, p. 236 ; Dr Driver's ‘Exodus’, Cambridge Bible,

p. 378; and Dr McNeile's ’Exodus’, Westminster Commentary, p. 223).

            Dr McNeile in his Commentary on Exodus, p. 226, gives a list of

seventeen of these variations, and this list is also referred to by Dr Driver.

The instances cited are not very happily selected: several are not

technical terms at all but quite ordinary words; at least two depend on

what is the true reading of the Greek text; in one instance, the only

difference is that between the genitive and dative of the same word;

and in another the same verb is used, but compounded with a different


            It would be instructive to examine the whole list in detail, but it will

not be necessary here, because even if all the instances were indisputable,

the inference would not be justified. For that inference really depends





on an assumption that, as a rule, the LXX translators were fairly con-

sistent in their rendering of Hebrew words. This is not the case.

            (i) In both Groups of chapters, the translators have varied their

renderings in the same context.1

            A few instances from a list five times the length of Dr McNeile's will

shew this.

            Group I. (a) In xxvi 3, the same Hebrew word is rendered by

                                    e]xo<menai, and sunexo<menai; in the next verse by

                                    sumbolh<n; and in the tenth verse by sumbolh<n

                                    and sunaptou<shj.

                            (b) In xxvi 36, the ‘Screen’ is e]pi<spastron; in 37


                            (c) In xxvii 10, ‘hooks’ are kri<koi; in 17 kefali<dej.

                            (d) In xxviii 37, the ‘mitre’ is mi<tra; in 39 ki<darij.

Group II. (a) In xxxviii 27,2 ‘sockets’ are kefali<dej; in 31 ba<seij.

     (b) In xxxix 34, the ‘covering’ is difqe<raj in one clause,

and kalu<mmata in the second.

     (c) In xl 36, ‘journeyings’ is a]parti<%; in 38 a]nazugai?j.

This tendency to vary renderings is not peculiar to these chapters, or

to Exodus.3

In Lev. xxv 39-44, ‘servant’ appears as oi]ke<tou, pai?j, and dou?lon; in

v. 55 oi]ke<tai pai?dej; in some other places qera<pwn is found.

In Num. xxii 23-28, ‘smote’ is rendered by e]pa<tace, masti<cai,

e@tupte, and pe<paikaj.

In Num. xxxv 2-5, ‘suburbs’ is rendered by proa<steia, a]fori<smata,

sugkurou?nta,  and o!mora.

Since then the Greek translators frequently vary their translation of

a Hebrew word, whether technical or ordinary, in the same passage

and even in the same verse, the fact that some of the technical terms in

Group I are differently translated in Group II is absolutely without


Nor is this all.

(ii) In several of the instances adduced as variations, the whole of

the evidence has not been considered.

Again, a few instances will shew what is meant.

(a) xxii 3 has pneu?ma qei?on where the parallel xxxv 31 is said to have

pneu?ma alone.

In the latter passage qei?on is omitted only by the first hand of B; all

the other authorities have it. In the large Cambridge critical edition


   1 This has also been noted by Mr H. St John Thackeray : see 2nd Ed. (1914) of

Dr Swete's ‘Introduction’ p. 236 note 2.

   2 The references to chapter and verse are according to the Hebrew numbering


   3 See Dr Swete's ‘Introduction’ pp. 328, 329.

451                               NOTES AND STUDIES


of the LXX pneu?ma qei?on is placed in the text, and the omission of qei?on

only recorded in a note. It is nothing but a scribal error.

Similarly, xxxviii 6 has xrusou?j where the parallel xxv 18 is said to

have xrusotoreuta<.

But xrusotoreuta< is scarcely found except in B*; Ba, A, F and other

authorities have xrusa? toreuta<, and in vv, 31, 36 toreuth< is the transla-

tion of the word (‘of beaten work’) which immediately follows ‘gold’

in xxv 18. That is to say B* and a couple of cursives have combined

two words which most of the authorities keep separate, and the alleged

difference turns upon a very dubious reading.

(b) xxxi 4 has e]rga<zesqai where xxxv 32 has poiei?n.

But xxxi 6 has poih<sousi, and xxxv 10 has e]rgaze<sqw.

Both passages shew the two renderings of the same verb, which

rather suggests that the translators were the same.

(c) xxv 17 has i[lasth<rion e]pi<qema; xxxvii 6 has i[lasth<rion alone.

Each of the five verses which follow xxv 17 also has i[lasth<rion alone.

Were these verses due to a different translator from that of v. 17? If

not, why must xxxvii 6 be due to a different translator?

In this connexion e]pi<qema does not appear again anywhere. It may

be due to a variant rendering which has crept from the margin into the

text, but there is another explanation possible.

In some cases, the translators seem to have begun with one rendering

which they have immediately abandoned for another. Thus, where

casting (of metals) is first mentioned in xxv 12 e]la<seij is used, but does

not recur again, xwneu<seij taking its place at xxvi 37. So too at the first

mention (xxv 7 and the parallel xxxv 9) the Breastplate is podh<rh; at

xxviii 4 peristh<qion; and afterwards (xxviii 15, xxix 5, xxxix 8) logei?on.

It is therefore possible that when the Mercy-seat is first mentioned the

translators thought it advisable to define i[lasth<rion more closely as

a 'covering', and afterwards dropped the explanatory word.

(d) xxviii 11 has glu<mma; xxxix 6 has e]kko<lamma.

The word is part of the phrase (in Hebrew two words) which in RV.

is rendered ‘the engravings of a signet’. The phrase occurs three

times in xxviii, and three times in xxxix: the verb alone is found three

times in xxviii, and its participle once in xxxix. No two of the Greek

renderings agree exactly.

Verb.                                                               Phrase.

xxxix 9 glu<yeij     xxviii 11 glu<mma sfragi?-    xxxix 6 e]kko<lamma sfra-

                                                    doj                                           gi?doj 

     11 diaglu<yeij              21  glufai> sfragi<-         14  e]ggelumme<na ei]j

                                                            dwn                                            sfragi?daj

      36  e]ktupw<seij             36   e]ktu<pwma sfra-          30  e]ktetupwme<na

gi?doj                                          sfragi?doj




In xxxix 6 the participle is doubly translated, geglumme<nouj kai> e]kkeko-

lamme<nouj, immediately followed by e]kko<lamma sfragi?doj as above.

When it is noticed that in six out of the seven cases referring to jewels

some form of glu<fw is used, and e]ktupo<w in the three referring to the

Gold Plate, can it be doubted that this is a deliberate variation to suit

the different working of the different materials? The jewels are

‘engraved’; the gold is ‘stamped in high relief’. But if so, the

recurrence of this distinction would again point to the identity of

the translators.

At any rate, is it quite fair to single out the one case where a difference

between the Groups can be made out, and to ignore the marked resem-

blances, and the variations in the same Group?

(e) xxviii 22 has a[lusidwto<n; xxxix 15 has e]mploki<ou.

No mention is made of the fact that for the same phrase xxviii 14 has

e@rgon plokh?j, which differs from the rendering in v. 22, and is akin to

that of xxxix 15. Moreover, the whole verses should be compared:--

xxviii 22 kai> poih<seij e]pi> to> logei?on krwssou>j sumpeplegme<nouj

e@rgon a[lusidwto>n e]k xrusi<ou kaqarou?.

xxix 15 kai> e]poi<hsan e]pi> to> logei?on krwssou>j sumpeplegme<nouj

e@rgon  e]mploki<ou e]k xrusi<ou kaqarou?.

The verses are identical all but one word: ought that to pass unnoticed?

To all these may be added a remarkable instance not included in

Dr McNeile's list.

(f) A somewhat peculiar phrase of three Hebrew words in xxxix 6 is


sumpeporphme<nouj kai> perisesialwme<nouj xrusi<&

Seven verses further on (v. 13) the very same phrase is rendered

perikekuklwme<na xrusi<& kai> sundedeme<na xrusi<&

In XXViii 20 (parallel to xxxix 13) the first of the three Hebrew words

does not occur, yet the Greek runs

perikekalumme<na xrusi<&: sundedeme<na e]n xrusi<&

Here the points to be noticed are

(I) in the one passage (xxxix 6-13) two quite different renderings of

the same phrase are found;

(2) the parallel passages from the two Groups (xxviii 20 = xxxix 13)

have much in common, especially if perikekalumme<na (which does not

express the meaning of the missing Hebrew word) is but a corruption

of perikekuklwme<na.1

The instances marked (d), (e), (f) are all taken from the one pair of


   1 perikekuklwme<na is actually found in one or two MSS. Others read perikeklwsme<na,

and there seems to have been some uncertainty about the word.


NOTES AND STUDIES                                            453


passages (xxviii - xxxix) about the making of the priestly vestments.

They should go far to shew that

(1) difference of translation does not mean difference of translators;

(2) there are reasons for thinking that the translators were the same


(iii) There is evidence that the translators of Group II were acquainted

with the translation of Group I.

(a) The consistent translation of the three colours by u[a<kinqoj,

porfu<ra, and ko<kkinoj; of 'Mercy-seat' by i[lasth<rion: of ‘hangings’ by

i[sti<a: and of ‘bars’ by moxloi<, all tend to shew the use of a common

vocabulary where differences might easily occur.

(b) It is not very likely that two sets of translators working inde-

pendently would reproduce the phrase &@an e@xon ku<kl& tou? peristomi<ou

(xxviii 32, xxxix 23) word for word, or the phrase pa?j o[ paraporeuo<menoj

ei]j th>n e]pi<skeyin (xxx 14, xxxviii 26) with only the omission of ei]j in the

latter passage.

(c) For ‘onyx stones’ xxv 7 has li<qouj sardi<ou, and the same appears

in the parallel xxxv 9: but in xxviii 9 they appear as li<qouj smara<gdou,

and this variation is reproduced in the parallel xxxix 6; and in xxviii 20,

xxxix 13. the same word is rendered bhru<llion.

How could this be possible unless the translators of xxxv 9, xxxix 6, 13

had the renderings of xxv 7, xxviii 9, 20 before them?

(d) xxv 3-6 is a list of materials to be offered, which is repeated in

xxxv 5-9.

c. xxv                                                  c.xxxv

kai> au!th e]sti> h[ a]parxh> h{n lh<yesqe  (this clause is not in the Hebrew

    par’  au]tw?n                                                   here)

xrusi<on kai> a]rgu<rion kai> xalko>n         xrusi<on a]rgu<rion xalko>n

kai> u[a<kinqon kai> porfu<ran kai>             u[a<kinqon porfu<ran ko<kkinon

     ko<kkinon diplou?n                                        diplou?n dianenhsme<non

kai> bu<sson keklwsme<nhn kai>                  kai> bu<sson keklwsme<nhn kai>

     tri<xaj ai]gei<aj                                            tri<xaj ai]ei<aj

kai> de<rmata kriw?n h]ruqrodanwme<na    kai> de<rmata kriw?n


kai> de<rmata u[aki<nqina kai> cu<la               kai> de<rmata u[aki<nqina kai> cu<la

    a@shpta                                                                a@shpta

kai> li<qouj sardi<ou kai> li<qouj ei]j            kai> li<qouj sardi<ou kai> li<qouj

            th>n glufh>n                                                 ei]j th>n glufh>n

ei]j th>n e]pwmi<da kai> to>n podh<rh                ei]j th>n e]pwmi<da kai> to>n podh<rh.


The only differences are that in the second passage there are a few

omissions of kai<, and the insertion of the one word dianenhsme<non,

clearly a variant rendering for the preceding erroneous diplou?n.

Otherwise the two are identical: both have the notable h]ruqrodanw-


me<na and a@shpta; both include keklwsme<nhn, which is not in the

Hebrew; both have the same four misrenderings (diplou?n; de<rmata

u[aki<nqina; ei]j th>n glufh<n; podh<rh).

Can it reasonably be doubted that whoever wrote the latter passage

had the other before him?

(e) Another pair of passages is found in xxviii 16-20, xxxix 9-13, the

‘Breastplate’ and its jewels.

c. xxviii                                                           c. xxxix

Poih<seij au]to> tetra<gwnon: e@stai    tetra<gwnon diplou?n e]poi<hsan to>

            diplou?n,                                                        logei?on

spiqamh?j to> mh?koj au]tou?, kai> spi-      spiqamh?j to> mh?koj, kai> spiqamh?j

qamh?j to> eu#roj.                                         to> eu#roj diplou?n:

Kai> kaqufanei?j e]n au]t&? u!fasma         kai> sunufa<nqh e]n au]t&? u!fasma \

                        kata<liqon tetra<stixon:                        kata<liqon tetra<stixon:

sti<xoj li<qwn e@stai, sa<rdion, topa<-     sti<xoj li<qwn, sa<rdion kai>

zion,  kai> sma<ragdoj,                              topa<zion  kai> sma<ragdoj,

o[ sti<xoj o[ ei$j                                                 o[ sti<xoj o[ ei$j

Kai> o[ sti<xoj o[ deu<teroj,                            kai> o[ sti<xoj o[ deu<teroj,

a@nqrac, kai> sa<pfeiroj, kai> i@aspij.       a@nqrac, kai> sa<pfeiroj, kai>


Kai> o[ sti<xoj o[ deu<teroj,                            kai> o[ sti<xoj o[ deu<teroj,

a@nqrac, kai> sa<pfeiroj, kai> i@aspij.       a@nqrac, kai> sa<pfeiroj, kai>


Kai> o[ sti<xoj o[ tri<toj,                                kai> o[ sti<xoj o[ tri<toj,

ligu<rion, a]xa<thj, a]me<qustoj.          ligu<rion kai> a]xa<thj kai> a]me<qustoj:

kai> o[ sti<xoj o[ te<tartoj,                                        kai> o[ sti<xoj o[ te<tartoj,

xruso<liqoj, kai> bhru<llion, kai> o]nu<-      xruso<liqoj kai> bhru<llion kai>

            xion,                                                              o]nu<xion

perikekalumme<na xrusi<&: sundede-        perikekuklwme<na xrusi<&, kai>

            me<na e]n xrusi<&                                          sundedeme<na xrusi<&

e@stwsan kata> sti<xon au]tw?n.                          . . . . . .

Surely independent translators would never have hit on translations so

nearly alike. For instance, both have u!fasma kata<liqon, though the cor-

responding Hebrew is missing from the second passage; and in the same

verse (xxviii 17 = xxxix 10) both seem to have transferred li<qwn from the

first clause to the second. Yet in this very verse Dr McNeile finds one

of his differences because one has kaqufanei?j, and the other sunufa<nqh!

Is it conceivable that, if the translations were altogether independent,

no one of the twelve jewels should be differently translated?       Further:

(iv) There are indications that the translators were the same throughout.

The evidence just considered might possibly be consistent with

Group II being due to translators who had the translation of Group I

before them, and yet were not the same as the former translators. But

it is not at all likely that two sets of people would exhibit the same

peculiarities and follow the same methods.

NOTES AND STUDIES                                455


(a) In both Groups there is a tendency to make the same kind of

careless mistakes.

In. xxvii 18 the translators have mistaken the Hebrew word which

means ‘cubit’ for a similar word meaning ‘hundred’; in xxxviii 9, 11

(a different part of the parallel passage) the same mistake is made in

places where the earlier chapter has the correct rendering.

Similar confusions of words that are somewhat alike are found in

xxix 5 ('Breastplate' put for ‘Band of Ephod’); in xxvi 34 (the ‘Veil’

instead of the 'Mercy-seat'); and in xxvi 36 (‘board’ instead of

‘clasp’). In the same way in Group II xxxv 21, 22 have 'brought'

instead of 'came'; xxxv 22 has ‘seals’ instead of ‘brooches’; and in

xxxviii 18 ‘the height in the breadth’ has been turned into ‘the height

and the breadth', which (as the length has been already specified) would

give three dimensions to the Screen, making it 5 cubits in thickness!

(b) Certain of the technical terms seem to have been little or not at

all understood by the translators, who betray their perplexity by some-

times leaving them untranslated and sometimes giving inconsistent


In both Groups the same set of words has been misunderstood,

e.g. ‘board’, ‘clasp’, ‘grating’ (of the Altar); ‘woven band’ (of the

Ephod); ‘finely wrought’ (garments); ‘lace’. In both Groups skhnh<

is used sometimes of the Tabernacle and sometimes of the Tent

where the two words occur together, the translators have been puzzled

to know what to put for the Tent, and in each case have adopted

a different rendering (xxvi 7 ske<phn; xxxv 11 pararu<mata; xl 19

au]lai<aj; in xxvi  11 the Tent, standing alone, is translated de<rreij).

The substitution of ‘mingled’ for ‘salted’ in xxx 35, and of ‘fasted’

for ‘served (as a host)’ in xxxviii 8, both seem to be attempts to read

an easier word for a more difficult one.

In both Groups the translators are puzzled by the same words, and use

the same methods to avoid difficulties.

(c) In both Groups there is a tendency to soften down expressions

that might suggest a human conception of the Deity. ‘Dwell among

you' in xxv 8 becomes 'be seen among you', and in xxix 45, 46, 'be

called upon among you', while in xl 35 the same verb is translated

‘overshadowed'. Possibly a hint of the same tendency is found in the

curious inversion in xl 35 by which the phrase ‘the Glory of the LORD

filled the Tabernacle [the Dwelling]' is turned into ‘the Tent was filled

with the Glory of the LORD', as though to avoid personifying the Glory.

In xxix 46, ‘I am the LORD their God' is changed into ‘and to be

their God'; in xxxvi 1, 'to whom the LORD gave wisdom' becomes

to whom was given wisdom'. In both cases the personal Name is





(d) In both Groups there is a tendency to omit or paraphrase

perplexing passages, and occasionally to insert explanatory words or


(e) The deliberate and frequent use of different Greek words to

represent the same Hebrew has already been shewn to run through

both Groups, and the opposite tendency to use the same Greek for

different Hebrew words is also found in both (e. g. e]sxa<ra represents

three Hebrew words in the two verses xxvii 4, 5 ; and a]fai<rema stands

for three different words in xxxv 21, 22, 29). Had one Group been

fairly consistent in its renderings while the other varied them, there

might have been reason to suspect a difference of translators. As it

is, the same inconsistency is found in both, and in much the same


In short, the translation exhibits the same characteristics throughout.


To sum up.

In support of the assertion that the translators of Group II were not

the same as the translators of Group I only a comparatively few instances

of varied renderings are brought forward, and several of these are

decidedly doubtful.

On the contrary, a considerable amount of evidence (yet not nearly

all that might be brought) has been adduced to shew that--

(i) differences of rendering in one and the same passage abound,

and therefore difference of rendering does not shew difference of


(ii) in a considerable proportion of the instances of difference alleged,

the whole evidence has not been considered;

(iii) there is abundant reason for believing that the translators of

Group II were acquainted with and made use of the translation of

Group I;

(iv) there is fair reason for believing that the translators were the

same throughout.

It is surprising that scholars of deservedly high repute (such as those

mentioned on p. 449) should put forward as probable the assertion that

the translators were different, without a hint of the weight or evidence

against it. Can it be that they have reproduced a statement from some

less reliable source without themselves verifying the facts?

Why should this question be of any importance? What does it

matter whether the translators were the same or not?

If the translators were different, it would be probable that cc. xxxv-xl

were not in the text used by the original translators, and were therefore

a later addition to the book. If the translators were the same, it would

NOTES AND STUDIES                                            457


be evidence that as far back as 250 B. C. the book of Exodus was

substantially complete as we now have it.




The second inference is that the translators of Group II had before

them a Hebrew text differing from the present Massoretic text.

It is strange that those who put this forward, together with the assertion

that the translators were not the same as those who translated Group I,

do not perceive that the two contentions are not altogether consistent.

In order to prove that the translators were different, it has to be assumed

that they had the same technical terms to translate, and translated them

differently. But if the translators of Group II had before them a text

different from that which we now possess, how can we be sure that they

had the same words to translate? It is scarcely admissible to argue as

if these translators had the identical terms before them, and in the next

breath to assert that their text was different.

However, it is to be noted that where difference of text is spoken of,

something more than mere difference is intended. That might only

mean that the text from which the Greek translation was made differed

from the present Hebrew in having been altered from it: whereas what

it is sought to establish is that the Hebrew has been modified by subse-

quent additions and alterations.

‘It is permissible', says Dr Swete (‘Introduction' p. 236), 'to suppose

that the Hebrew text before the original translators did not contain this

section, and that it was supplied afterwards from a longer Hebrew

recension of the book in which the last six chapters had not yet reached

their final form.'

In other words, the allegation is that the LXX text differed from the

Massoretic in being nearer to the true original.

The main (if not the sole) argument for this conclusion is drawn from

the fact that in the section xxxvi-xxxix the order of the contents in the

Greek differs remarkably from that in the Hebrew (see Swete ‘Intro-

duction', p. 235 ; Driver ‘Exodus' p. 378).

The difference is very striking, but it does not stand alone. In both

Groups (xxv-xxxi and xxxv--xl) the Greek shews a large number of

variations from the Hebrew, and all of these should be taken into

account. They may be classed under four heads : (a) Greek words or

phrases not in the Hebrew; (b) Hebrew words or phrases not in the

Greek ; (c) difference of substance ; (d) difference of order.



(a) Greek words or phrases not in the Hebrew.

I. Sometimes these are words frequently associated with the accom-



panying word, and therefore likely to be inserted inadvertently; e.g.

‘fine twined linen', xxv 4 ; ‘with pure gold', xxv 28: ‘Aaron thy brother',

xxix 5.

2. Sometimes they are manifest errors, such as the insertion of ‘the

tent’ in ‘the ark of the tent of the testimony', xxx 26 ; and of to> u!yoj in

xxvii 14, 15, 16, which would make the height of the hangings incon-

sistent with that given in v. 18.

3. Sometimes phrases that have recently occurred are repeated where

evidently they are not needed. Thus the whole phrase ‘and in the

candlestick four cups made like almond blossoms' which commences

xxv 34 is in the Greek unnecessarily repeated at the end of v. 35.

Similar repetitions are found in xxvii 13, xxix 20, and xxx 21. They

are probably scribal errors due to ‘similar endings'.

4. Sometimes the additional words are by way of explanation; e. g. in

xxv 34 'in the one branch' after ‘four cups made like almond blossoms'.

in xxviii 33 ‘of the robe below’ after `upon the skirts'; in xxx 19 ‘with

water' after ‘shall wash their hands and their feet’.

The character of the words and phrases peculiar to the Greek is such

that they may reasonably be considered additions by the translators, and

not omissions in the Hebrew.

(b) Hebrew words or phrases not in the Greek.

In xxv 33 the Hebrew repeats the phrase ‘three cups made like

almond blossoms, a knop and a flower' because the branches were in

pairs: the Greek has the phrase only once.

In xxviii 34 the Hebrew repeats ‘a golden bell and a pomegranate’

to convey the idea of repeated alternation : the Greek has the phrase

only once.

In xxv 35 the Hebrew has the phrase ‘a knop under two branches of

one piece with it' three times because there were three pairs of branches,

and each pair had a knop below their junction with the stem. The

Greek1 reads ‘a knop under the two branches out of it, and a knop

under the four branches out of it'. It can hardly be doubted that the

translators had the triple phrase before them, but combined the second

and third clauses into one.

Similar omissions of a repeated phrase, quite in keeping with the

Hebrew idiom, are found in other parts of the Pentateuch.

2. xxviii 23-28 in the Hebrew is a lengthy and complicated description

of how the Breastplate was to be attached to the Ephod by rings and

chains: in the Greek only vv. 24, 25 are represented. Yet those two

verses are intimately connected with the context, and the whole passage

is fully represented in both the Hebrew and Greek of the parallel


1 In Cod. B. Cod. A omits the second clause.


NOTES AND STUDIES                                459


xxxix 16-21. It is therefore probable that the original text of c. xxviii

also had the whole passage, and that the translators have omitted a con-

siderable part of it.

3. In Hebrew xxx 6 reads

‘And thou shalt put it before the Veil

that is by the Ark of the Testimony

before the Mercy-seat that is over the Testimony.'

The third clause is not in the Greek. The translators may have

passed it over accidentally owing to the similar ending of clause 2; but,

quite as probably, they may have mistaken Caporeth (Mercy-seat) for

Parocheth (the Veil), and omitted the clause as redundant after clause i.

The character of the words and phrases peculiar to the Hebrew is such

that in all probability they are part of the original text, and their absence

from the Greek is due to omission (accidental or intentional) by the


(c) Difference of substance.

The principal instance of this in Group I is in c, xxviii.

Massoretic.                                                                LXX.

   (23) And thou shalt make upon

the breastplate two rings of gold,

and shalt put the two rings on the

two ends of the breastplate.

   (24) And thou shalt put the two                 Kai> qh<seij e]pi> to> logei?on th?j

wreathen chains of gold on the             kri<sewj tou>j krwssou<j: ta> a[lusidwta>

two rings at the ends of the breast       e]p ] a]mfote<rwn tw?n klitw?n tou? logei<ou

plate.                                                         e]piqh<seij.  Kai> ta>j du<o a]spidi<skaj

   (25) And the other two ends of           e]piqh<seij e]p ] a]mfote<rouj tou>j w@mouj

the two wreathen chains thou shalt      th?j e]pwmi<doj kata> pro<swpon.

put on the two ouches, and put

them on the shoulderpieces of the

ephod, in the forepart thereof.

It will be seen that the Hebrew gives quite clear directions for attach-

ing the Breastplate to the Ephod by means of chains attached to rings

on the Breastplate at one end, and to ‘ouches’ on the Ephod at the

other. In the Greek (since in v. 22 krwssou>j ... e@rgon a[lusidwto<n is

the equivalent for ‘chains ... of wreathen work') the rings are altogether

omitted; the ‘ouches' are simply placed upon the shoulderpieces of the

Ephod; and no connexion between the two is even suggested. Clearly

the Greek is incomplete, and yet bears sufficient resemblance to the

Hebrew to shew that it was derived therefrom.

There can be little doubt that the Greek is at fault, and not the Hebrew.




(d) Difference of order.

1. In xxix 20, 21 the Hebrew directs that the blood of the ram is to

be sprinkled upon the altar round about, and then proceeds (v. 21),

‘And thou shalt take of the blood that is upon the altar',--the natural

sequence. The Greek places the instruction to pour out the blood upon

the altar at the end of v. 21, so that Moses is directed to take of the

blood `that is upon the altar' before there is any intimation that any

blood would be there.

2. In the directions to anoint the various parts of the Tabernacle,

xxx 26-28, the Hebrew has ‘the Table and all the vessels thereof’

at the beginning of v. 27, between the Ark and the Candlestick, its

natural position: the Greek has the Table and its vessels in v. 28,

between the Altar of Burnt Offering and the Laver, altogether out

of place.

Also the Greek text shews signs of perturbation in v. 27. The Vatican

MS begins the verse with the Candlestick and its vessels, and then,

between this and the Altar of Incense, has ‘and the Tent of Witness and

all the vessels thereof’; an impossible reading, for (1) it is incredible

that the Tent should have been mentioned here; (2) it is a repetition of

what has been already stated in v. 26; (3) the Tent could scarcely be

said to have ‘vessels'. The other authorities begin the verse with `and

all its vessels' (which cannot refer to the immediately preceding Ark),

thereby betraying that something which had ‘vessels’ ought to stand


3. In c. xxviii the Hebrew has the verse (29) directing Aaron to bear

the names of the children of Israel upon his heart after the directions for

attaching the Breastplate to the Ephod, where it clearly belongs since

the Breastplate had the names of the tribes engraved on the twelve

jewels: the Greek has this verse after v. 22 between the direction

to make golden chains, and the direction to place the chains on the

Breastplate, as clearly an unsuitable position.

It will be noticed that this one passage (xxviii 23-29) shews three of

the classes of difference : (i) a large part of the Hebrew does not

appear in the Greek ; (2) what does appear differs in substance; and (3)

there is a difference of order. Yet in all three it is the Hebrew and not

the Greek which is justified.

Where the order differs, the Hebrew order is natural, and the Greek



Altogether, then, Group I furnishes instances of all four classes

of variation, yet

(i) So much of these seven chapters (xxv-xxxi) is the same in both

versions that it is unlikely that the texts were materially different;


NOTES AND STUDIES                                461


(ii) Where the two differ, the Greek and not the Hebrew is suspicious;

(iii) No claim is made that the translators had a different text in this


                             VARIATIONS IN GROUP II.

When we turn to Group II, we find the same four classes of variations,

only on a larger scale, and therefore more noticeable.

(a) Greek words or phrases not in the Hebrew.

1. Words commonly associated with the accompanying word:--

xxxv 12, ‘the ark of the testimony'; xxxix i, ‘Aaron the priest';

xxxix 16b, ‘the two golden rings'.

2. Phrases that have recently occurred repeated:--xxxvii 13, ‘two on

the one side and two on the second side', of the rings for the staves of

the Table (repeated from v. 3 of the staves of the Ark); xxxviii 11, ‘and

the side towards the south, a hundred by a hundred', repeats the

immediately preceding phrase, only changing ‘north' into 'south'

(superfluous here as the south side has already been specified, v. 9) ;

xxxviii 20, ‘and these were silvered with silver', repeats the, last clause

of v. 19 (inaccurately, for v. 20 concerns the pins of the tabernacle

which were of bronze and not silvered).

3. Explanations:--xxxvii 6, ‘the mercy-seat above the ark'; xxxvii 8,

‘at the end of the mercy-seat' (twice; xxxvii 17, ‘the Candlestick which

giveth light'; xl 17, 'in the second year of their going forth from Egypt'.

Two of the Greek passages not found in the Hebrew are noticeable

as suggesting that they were influenced by the parallel passage in

Group I.

xxxv 10-19--the list of things to be made-closes with ‘the Anointing

Oil and the Incense of Composition', not in the Hebrew, and not wanted

here as they have already been mentioned in the preceding list: the

parallel passage in Group I, xxxi 6-11, has them in this position at the

end of the list, and not earlier.

After the making of the Laver (xxxviii 8) the Greek adds, 'in the day

when he fixed it: and he made the Laver that in it Moses and Aaron

and his sons might wash their hands and their feet when they were

entering into the Tent of the Testimony; or whenever they approached

the Altar to minister, they used to wash in it, as the LORD commanded


Here the inclusion of Moses with the priests, and the closing 'as the

LORD commanded Moses', shew that this is really aversion of x1 31, 32

(absent from the Greek of c. xl). It was probably transferred to this

place because the parallel xxx 17-21 has a somewhat similar ending.

Besides all these, at the beginning of xxxviii 1-7, where the Hebrew

has ‘and he made the Altar of Burnt Offering of acacia wood', the Greek




reads, ‘this man made the Brazen Altar out of the brazen censers which

belonged to the men who rebelled with the company of Korah'. Not

only is this a manifest anachronism, but it does not agree with the

account in Numbers, which represents that the censers were beaten into

plates to make a covering for the Altar, not that the Altar was made of


Near the beginning of xxxix 32-43, after the words ‘so did they’, the

Greek has, ‘But of the remaining gold they made vessels wherewith to

minister before the LORD; and of the remaining blue and purple and

scarlet they made ministering garments for Aaron, so that he might

minister in the Holy Place'. The whole of this is superfluous, for the

making of the gold vessels has already been recorded in xxxvii 16-23,

and the making of the vestments in the passage corresponding to xxxix

1-31. Also, it breaks the connexion between the verse recording the

completion of the work, and the verses recording the delivery of the

finished work to Moses.

Even more clearly than in Group I, the character of the words and

passages peculiar to the Greek points to the conclusion that they have been

inserted by the translators, and not omitted by the Hebrew.

(b) Words and passages in the Hebrew not found in the Greek.

Nearly one quarter of the contents of the Hebrew Group II does not

appear in the Greek, but this chiefly concerns two chapters, xxxvi, xxxvii.

From these, two entire sections (the Framework of the Tabernacle, and

the Altar of Incense), and the greater part of a third (the Curtains) are

absent from the Greek. These will be noticed later on (see p. 468

and pp. 475, 476).

Of the lesser instances of Hebrew passages not in the Greek, many

concern minor details such as the staves of the Altar (xxxv 16, xxxviii 7,

xxxix 39), and its horns (xxxviii 2); the cords of the Tabernacle and

Court (xxxv 18, xxxix 40); the measurements of the Table (xxxvii io),

of the Mercy-seat (xxxvii 6), and of the Altar (xxxviii 1); and the details

about the Cherubim (xxxvii 7-9). As all these are fully given in Group I,

it is not unlikely that the translators thought it unnecessary to repeat

them here.

In xxxviii 17 the Hebrew reads, ‘And he made the Candlestick of

pure gold: of beaten work made he the Candlestick' ; the last four words

are not in the Greek: in xxxvii 15 the Greek puts together the making

of the staves for the Ark and the staves for the Table, recorded separately

in the Hebrew (just as it inserts kai> ta> qusiasth<ria at the beginning of

xxxi 8, while the Hebrew mentions the two altars separately afterwards)

in xxxviii 5-7, after recording the placing of four rings on the grating

of the altar, the Greek continues eu]rei?j toi?j moxloi?j, w!ste ai@rein e]n

au]toi?j to>

NOTES AND STUDIES                                            463


qusiasth<rion, thus combining ‘to lie places for the staves' of v. 5 with

'to bear it withal' of v. 7, and omitting the intervening making and

placing of the staves. These three instances have all the appearance of

condensing the passages to avoid repetition.

xxxvii 24 (the Candlestick and its vessels made of a talent of gold)

and xl 29b (sacrifices offered on the Altar of Burnt Offering) are not in

the Greek. It is at least as likely that the translators passed over these

because not very important as that a Jewish scribe took the trouble to

interpolate them.

One matter calls for fuller notice.

In the Hebrew, xxv 6 and xxxv 8 (in the lists of materials to be pro-

vided) mention the Oil for the Light, and spices for the Anointing Oil

and for the Incense: these verses are not in the Greek, and the Greek

has no mention of the Oil for the Light in xxxv 14, 28. Both Hebrew

and Greek have instructions about this oil in Group I (xxvii 20, 21), but

in Group II neither mentions it among the things that were made, and

yet in xxxix 37 both include it among the things delivered to Moses.

The variations seem perplexing enough, especially as the lighting oil

is hardly important enough to call for insertion in the Hebrew, or

deliberate omission from the Greek. Yet there is a clue.

xxvii 20 has no direction for making the Oil for the Light, but only

defines it as ‘pure olive oil beaten', i. e. clear and of the finest quality

(see Driver's 'Exodus’, p. 296). Bearing this in mind, the Hebrew is

consistent throughout. In xxv 6 the oil is included among the materials

to be provided, but it does not appear among the things to be made

(xxxi 6-11) because it needed no compounding. The Anointing Oil

and the Incense, on the contrary, were composite. Therefore in xxv 6

the requisite spices are included among the materials to be provided; in

xxv 22-38 full directions for compounding them are given; and in

xxxi 6-11 they are named as among the things to be made.

In Group II, the direction to provide oil and spices is repeated

(xxxv 8), and they are included among the offerings brought (xxxv 28);

no mention is made of making the oil (in xxxv 14 it merely appears

along with the lamps as an accessory of the Candlestick); while the

making of the Anointing Oil and the Incense is recorded (xxxvii 29),

and all three are finally specified in the list of what was delivered to

Moses (xxxix 37, 38).

The real harmony of the Hebrew account is so little on the surface

that it can hardly be suspected of being artificial. The Greek account,

on the other hand, is singularly incomplete. It gives the instruction as

to the nature and quality of the lighting oil, and mentions it in the list

of things delivered to Moses, but has no direction for providing it, and

no mention of it among the offerings. It also gives every mention of



the Anointing Oil and the Incense, excepting only the two verses (xxv 6,

xxxv 8) which prescribe the provision of the necessary spices. Where

the offering of these spices is recorded (xxxv 28) there is a tiny but

significant bit of evidence. The Hebrew runs, ‘and the spice, and the

oil for the light, and for the anointing oil, and for the sweet incense'

the Greek is kai> ta>j sunqe<seij, kai> ei]j to> e@laion th?j xri<sewj, kai>

th>n su<nqesin tou? qumia<matoj, where the second kai< breaks the sense. Does

not this suggest that the italicized clause, which would complete the

sense, has been omitted? If so, then the fact that the same words are

missing from the Greek of xxxv 14 would imply that in both places they

were deliberately omitted.

On the whole, the character of the words and phrases peculiar to the

Hebrew (as in Group 1) makes it probable that they belong to the original

text, and have been omitted by, the translators.


(c) Difference of substance.

1. xxxvi 3 narrates how Bezaleel and his companions received from

Moses the offerings which the children of Israel brought for the service

of the sanctuary, and then continues, ‘And they’ [emphatic, referring to

the nearer subject, the children of Israel] ‘brought yet unto him [Moses]

freewill offerings every morning'. The Greek translators, not realizing

the force of the emphatic ‘they’, have thought that it must be the same

as the ‘they’ which commences the verse, viz.: Bezaleel and his com-

panions. Accordingly they have changed  ‘brought’ into ‘received’;

have omitted ‘unto him’, and substituted ‘from those that brought’.

The Hebrew gives a terse and vigorous picture of the Israelites

bringing more and more offerings to Moses morning by morning: the

Greek turns this into the feeble statement that Bezaleel and his fellow-

workers continued to receive the offerings from those that brought them

(not from Moses as in the earlier part of the verse).

2. xxxvii 17-23, the construction of the Candlestick, is the one

passage of any length where the substance of the Greek differs seriously

from the Hebrew. This, like the similar instance of differing substance

in Group I, deals with a rather lengthy and complicated description.

The Hebrew, however, though minutely detailed with a good deal of

repetition is clear and free from ambiguity: the Greek is confused,

hardly intelligible, and has every appearance of having been condensed

(not very intelligently) from the longer statement.

Where the substance differs, as in Group I, the Hebrew is to be pre-

ferred to the Greek.

(d) Difference of order.

1. In xxxv 23 the Greek places the de<rmata u[aki<nqina before the

‘rams’ skins dyed red’, which is not the usual order: in xxxvi 9 the

NOTES AND STUDIES                                465


Greek puts ‘the same [measure] was to all [the curtains]’ between

the measurements of the length and of the breadth of the curtains: in

xxxix 28 the Greek has the `head-tires' of the priests before the ‘mitre

of the High Priest. These are probably instances of scribal inadvertence,

transposing clauses.

2. In xxxv 10-19 the Hebrew has a complete list of the things to be

made, arranged in regular order: the Tabernacle and its framework;

the Ark, Mercy-seat, and the Veil; the Table, Candlestick, Altar of

Incense (with the Anointing Oil and Incense), and the Screen of the

Door; the Brazen Altar and Laver: the Hangings and Screen of the

Court; the pins and cords ; and finally the priestly Vestments.

The Greek list is incomplete and strangely disordered. It begins in

the same way with the Tabernacle and its framework, the Ark, Mercy-

seat, and Veil. But then follow the Hangings of the Court; the

Emerald Stones; the Incense and Anointing Oil; the Table and Candle-

stick; the Altar; the Vestments; and finally the Anointing Oil and the

Incense over again. Can this possibly be the original account?

3. In xxxix 33-41 the Hebrew has a perfectly regular list of the

completed articles delivered to Moses in the same natural order as

the list of c. xxxv.

The Greek begins with stola<j, where the Hebrew ‘Tabernacle’ is

clearly right, being followed by the Tent and framework. Then follow

the Ark, the Altar,1 Anointing Oil and Incense, Candlestick, and Table;

the Vestments; the Hangings of the Court; the Screen of the door of

the Tent, and of the gate of the Court (bringing together two separate

things); all the vessels of the Tabernacle and all its service; the skin

and other coverings; the pins; and all the service of the Tabernacle

(already mentioned).

The order here not only differs from the Hebrew, but also from the

Greek in c. xxxv (notice especially the Vestments at the end of the list

in c. xxxv; in the middle of that in c. xxxix).

It may be argued that the imperfect and disordered lists of the

Greek may represent an original text which was afterwards systematically

rearranged and filled in so as to form the present symmetrical Hebrew.

This argument ought hardly to be urged by those who hold that the

whole description of the Tabernacle was an ‘ideal’ plan drawn up by

men whose writings are specially characterized by system and order.

Anyhow (r) it is unlikely that lists drawn up by the same writers would

be so much at variance as these two; (2) it is very unlikely that the

original lists would have shewn such utter confusion of the various parts


   1 If this is the Altar of Burnt Offering it is strangely out of place: the associa-

tion with Ark, Incense, Candlestick, and Table would rather suggest the Altar of





of the Tabernacle as is found in the Greek; and (3) original lists would

hardly contain the little anomalies (such as repetitions) which the Greek


Unskilful condensation and rearrangement of a fuller original would

account for all these peculiarities.

Where the order differs, the Hebrew is consistent and natural, the

Greek confused and contradictory.

So far it has been shewn that, apart from the difference of order in

the contents of xxxvi 8b-xxxix  43, the Greek of both Groups shews

a large amount of variations from the Hebrew, and that in most (if not

all) of these, there is good reason for thinking that the translators used

a good deal of liberty in dealing with their text; adding, omitting,

altering, and rearranging. The remarkable difference of order in that

particular set of chapters is, then, not an isolated phenomenon; and if

the other variations are due to the translators, it is not unlikely that

this one also may be due to them, and not to a difference of text.

The difference in question will be best shewn in a Comparative Table.1


Hebrew.                                              Greek.

see below.                              Vestments (a).

            I.          Curtains.                                 Curtains (fragment).


                        Veil and Screen.                    Veil and Screen.


                                                                        Court  l (b).

                        see below.                              Summary       

            II.         Ark.                                         Ark.

                        Table.                                      Table.

                        Candlestick.                           Candlestick.

                        Altar Incense.             ------

                        ------                                       Metal-work (c).

            III.       Anointing Oil and Incense.   Anointing Oil and Incense.

                        Altar of Burnt Offering.        Brazen Altar.

                        Laver.                                      Laver.



                  (b) Summary.                               see above.

IV.      Account of Metals.                Account of Metals.

       (a) Vestments.                            see above.

V.    Delivery to Moses.                    Delivery to Moses.


   1 The Comparative Table in Dr Swete's ’Introduction’ p. 235 is incomplete

and obscures some points of resemblance.

NOTES AND STUDIES                                467


From this it is clear that the arrangement of the sections marked

I to V is practically the same.

In section III the first two subsections are transposed in the Greek,

but that relating to the Anointing Oil and Incense is only a single verse

which might easily be displaced, and the Hebrew order is more natural.

The chief differences are with regard to sections (a), (b), and (c).1

(a) The Vestments.

I. In the Hebrew these come quite at the end after all the details of

the Tabernacle, which is intelligible enough, and agrees with the order

of things to be made (cc. xxxi and xxxv): in the Greek they come at

the very beginning, as though these were the first to be taken in hand.

No doubt a great deal of the work would be carried on simultaneously

by different sets of workers, but each set of workers would have to

receive instructions from Moses, and he would probably first set to

work those who had to execute the heavier tasks of the structure and

furniture of the Sanctuary.

2. In the Hebrew the section begins with ‘And of the blue and

purple and scarlet, they made finely wrought garments’, following quite

naturally on the account of the metals: the Greek begins with Kai>

e]poih<se pa?j sofo>j e]n toi?j e]rgazome<noij [= Heb. xxxvi 8a] ta>j

stola>j tw?n a[gi<wn, ai! ei]sin   ]Aarw>n t&? i[erei? [= Heb. xxxix 1b].

If the translators had decided (for whatever reason) to place the Vestments first,

it is quite easy to see how this combination would be made: it is not easy

to see how the Hebrew would be derived from the Greek.

3. The section ends with ‘as the LORD commanded Moses’, which

fits very well with what follows in the Hebrew, ‘Thus was finished all

the work of the tabernacle of the. tent of meeting: and the children of

Israel did according to all that the LORD commanded Moses, so did

they' (xxxix 32): according to the Greek, it only leads up to ‘And they

made for the tent ten curtains', the commencement of making the


4. In the Greek the declaration just quoted, that the children of

Israel did as the LORD commanded, is followed by a passage (not in the

Hebrew) containing a statement that out of the remaining blue and

purple and scarlet they made ministering garments for Aaron, which

resembles xxxix 1, the beginning of the Hebrew ‘Vestments’ section.

This looks very much as though the translators were conscious that

originally some account of the Vestments belonged hereabouts.

Thus in the Hebrew order the section connects naturally with what

precedes and with what follows: in the Greek it fits neither, and there


    1 The absence of the Altar of Incense from the Greek will be considered later on,

see pp. 475, 476.




is an indication that there was some statement about the Vestments near

the very place where the Hebrew places this section.

(b) The Court--Summary.

Following on the account of the making of the Court, both Hebrew

and Greek have a short passage (xxxviii 21-23) which begins 'This is

the sum of the things for the tabernacle'. In the Hebrew this is quite

in place, for it comes at the very end of the things made for the

Tabernacle, and is only followed by the account of the quantity of

metals and the making of the priestly Vestments: in the Greek it

stands before the making of the Ark, Table, Candlestick, great Altar,

and Laver; clearly out of place. There could hardly be a plainer

indication that this passage and the Court section to which it is attached

have been removed from their true place at the end, where the Hebrew

has them.

(c) Metal-work.

After the account of making the Ark, Table, and Candlestick, but

before the Brazen Altar and Laver, the Greek has a passage containing

some miscellaneous details of metal work.

Its position is not very appropriate, as one would hardly expect such

minor matters as the rings, hooks, bases, and pins to intervene between

the furniture of the Tabernacle and the great Altar. Also, at first sight,

it seems as if there were no such passage in the Hebrew, but on closer

inspection it will be found that there are scattered fragments in other

parts of the Hebrew which do correspond.

The passage begins with a fairly close translation of xxxvi 34, and

a sentence founded on xxxvi 36 ; then follows a blending of xxxvi 13

and 18; then a version of xxxviii  17 re-arranged, and finally a version of

xxxviii 20.

Now xxxvi 34 is part of the account of the Framework, otherwise

wholly absent from the Greek; and xxxvi 13, 18 belong to that larger

part of the Curtains section which is not in the Greek. It would seem

then that the considerable portion of c. xxxvi which is otherwise absent

from the Greek was not wholly unknown to the translators. On the

other hand, the verses from c. xxxviii are a repetition in a different

rendering of what has already (in the Greek order) appeared in the

Court section.

Further, the passage is marked by a curious change. The preceding

sections commence with ‘And Bezaleel made', or ‘and he made', the

subsequent details being only joined on by a simple kai>: here, each

fragment commences with Ou$toj (with different verbs). The fragmentary

nature of the section is clearly indicated.

There can hardly be room for doubt that odd verses relating to

the common subject of metal-work have been here grouped together, in


NOTES AND STUDIES                                469


which case the passage exhibits plain traces of omission, re-arrangement,

and varied translation, which must have been deliberately done.

Thus each of the three sections in cc. xxxvi-xxxix wherein the Greek

order differs from the Hebrew affords indications that in the Greek they

are misplaced. Their evidence goes to shew that the Hebrew has

preserved the true order of which the Greek is a dislocation.


Dr Swete (‘Introduction’ p. 235) notices that both the Greek and the

Massoretic version of these chapters ‘follow a system, i. e. that the

sequence is due to a deliberate re-arrangement of the groups’, and

suggests as a possibility that ‘the Alexandrian translator has purposely

changed their relative order, giving precedence to the ornaments of the

priesthood’. This would account for the Vestments section standing

first, but not for the position of sections (b) and (c).

System of a kind, however, is to be found in the Greek arrangement.

Supposing that the translator had some reason for placing the priestly

Vestments first,1 he has grouped along with them the Curtains, the Veil

and Screen, and the Hangings of the Court. That is to say, all the parts

involving the use of textile materials are put together. Then come the

parts requiring the use of metals: the Ark, Table, and Candlestick; the

metal overlaying and casting; and the Bronze Altar and Laver. In this

connexion it is significant that the Greek omits all mention of ‘acacia

wood' in the construction of the Ark, the Table, and the great Altar, as

though these were wholly made of metal. In the same way, it omits the

whole section about the Boards and Bars, only preserving in another

part, section (c), the one verse which speaks of their being overlaid

with gold.

This grouping, according to material, may perhaps furnish a clue to

the arrangement of the Greek.

If it be asked why this Group of chapters (and indeed Group I also

in a lesser degree) should shew an amount of perturbation not found

elsewhere in the Pentateuch, the answer is simple.

It is precisely these chapters which contain an unusual amount of

repetition, peculiar technical terms, and complicated descriptions, and

that in matters which the translators might consider of no great interest

to those for whom the translation was being made.

The inference, then, that the translators of cc. xxxv-xl had before

them a text differing from the present Hebrew rests only on a portion

of the evidence. It is based upon the disorder of one particular set of

chapters: it disregards the evidence of all the other variations in both

Groups, and the special evidence of the three passages which constitute


    1 Can this have had reference to some Egyptian practice or prejudice?




the chief difference between the Greek and the Hebrew in the

disordered chapters.

The evidence taken as a whole rather points to the conclusion that

the variations in both Groups are due to the translators; and that in

cc. xxxvi-xxxix the Hebrew has preserved the true order, from which

the Greek has been derived by a process of re-arrangement.




The two inferences already considered (that the translators of

Group II were not the translators of Group I; and that their text

differed from the Massoretic) are only of any real importance in so far

as they would serve to confirm a third and graver inference, viz. that the

Massoretic text contains a large amount of matter which does not

belong to the original book but was added subsequently.

It is held that there are strong reasons for considering that cc. xxx,

xxxi are a later addition to Group I; and that the whole of Group II is.

a still later addition (see Driver ‘Exodus’ pp. 328 and 378).

I. Cc. xxx, xxxi an 'Appendix' to Group I.

The reasons given for believing that these chapters are a later

addition to the Instructions relate to two matters; the Altar of Incense,

and the anointing of priests. The latter subject will be considered first.

(a) The anointing of the priests.

It is held that originally only the High Priest was anointed because

(1) the anointing is confined to Aaron in Exod. xxix 7 (and his

successors, v. 29) and in Lev. viii 12; (2) in various passages the High

Priest is called the anointed Priest, which would be no distinction if all

the priests were anointed. Therefore it is held that Exod. xxx 30 and

other passages which extend the anointing to Aaron's sons must belong

to a later period (see Driver `Exodus' pp. 329 and 337).

Exod. xxix 7 directs that Aaron is to be anointed by the pouring of

the anointing oil on his head, and in the verses that follow nothing

is said about anointing his sons: Lev. viii 12 records that Aaron was

so anointed, and v. 13 does not mention any anointing of his sons. In

neither passage is there any express exclusion of the sons: it is not said

that only Aaron was anointed. That the sons were not anointed is at

best only an inference from the silence of these passages.

On the other hand, besides the direction of xxx 30, an earlier passage

(xxviii 41) includes the sons the anointing, and xl 15 is very explicit;

'thou shalt bring his sons . and thou shalt anoint them, as thou didst

anoint their father . and their anointing shall be to them for an ever-

lasting priesthood'. Also the anointing of the sons as well as of Aaron

is mentioned in Lev. vii 35, 36, and allusions to it are found in

Lev. x 7, Num. iii 3.


NOTES AND STUDIES                                471


It comes to this, then, that because two passages speak of Aaron

being anointed without mentioning his sons, the express testimony of

six passages to the anointing of the sons is to be discredited as

belonging to later interpolations.

This is surely an unusual way of estimating evidence. If two

witnesses testify that a famous personage was knighted without saying

anything at all about others, while six witnesses testify that others less

famous received that honour at the same time, should we be justified

in concluding that only one person was knighted, and that the others

were only included by an after-invention? One would think that, by

the ordinary rules of evidence, the positive statement of the six would

far outweigh the merely negative silence of the two.

Is it not possible, and even in accordance with Hebrew tradition,

that there was some anointing of the sons (whether the sprinkling with

blood and oil specified in Exod. xxix 21, Lev. viii 30, or not) which was

not the solemn anointing by pouring the sacred oil on the head (cf. Ps.

cxxxiii 2)? If there was this special anointing of the High Priest, and

only a subsidiary anointing of the sons, this would at once account for

the latter not being mentioned in Exod. xxix 7, Lev. viii 12 (both

referring to the pouring on the head), and also for the High Priest being

styled ‘the anointed priest’ par excellence.

Whereas, on the later addition theory, we should be required to

believe in an interpolator who has been careful to include the sons

in Exod. xxviii 41, but failed to mention them in xxix 8, ten verses later ;

and in the same way has included them in Lev. vii 35, 36, and left

viii 13 (fifteen verses further on) without them. He has also inserted

precise directions in Exod. xxx 30, x1 15, and allusions in Lev. x 7,

Num. iii 3, but left the mentions of ‘the anointed priest' untouched.

He must have been very careless.

The one view is simple and supported by the weight of evidence

the other involves some considerable improbability. It can hardly be

said that this argument for the late origin of cc. xxx, xxxi is very


(b) The Altar of Incense.

The arguments for considering the golden Altar of Incense a later

addition, are drawn from (i) the position of the Instruction for making

it; (ii) the annual rite of atonement; (iii) the Altar of Burnt Offering

called ‘the’ altar; (iv) the use of censers (see Driver ‘Exodus’ p. 328).

(i) The position of the Instruction.

The Altar of Incense has long been regarded as almost of supreme

importance, next indeed to the Ark of the Covenant, and according

to Exod. xxx 6 was to be set in the Holy Place with the Table of

Shewbread and the golden Candlestick. Yet the Instruction for making




it is not found in c. xxv with the Instructions for making the Table and

Candlestick: it is only first mentioned in xxx 1-10, ‘when the directions

respecting the Tabernacle seem to be complete, and brought to a solemn

close by the promise in xxix 43-46 that Jehovah will take up His abode

in the sanctuary so constructed’: and is not even mentioned in xxvi 34,

35 ‘where the position of the vessels in the Tabernacle is defined'

(Driver ‘Exodus’ p. 328).

No doubt, if these chapters were (as is alleged) an ‘ideal’ scheme

drawn up by a systematic writer ‘as the embodiment of certain spiritual

ideas' (Driver ‘Exodus’ p. 428), it would be very surprising to find this

Altar so far removed from the other furniture of the Holy Place. But

if these chapters are, as they profess to be, Divine Instructions, then,

except so far as they may guide us, we are not qualified to judge what

reasons may have determined this particular order, or what was the

precise importance of this Altar in the Divine scheme. Now, however

important the Altar may have come to be considered in after ages, in

these Instructions it appears to be treated rather as an accessory to the

golden Candlestick, the burning of incense being directly associated

with the preparation and lighting of the lamps (xxx 7, 8).

This view is the more probable because there is a similar instance in

this same chapter. The Instruction for making the Bronze Laver is

found here, and not along with the Instruction for making the Altar of

Burnt Offering in c. xxvii. As regards the Court, there can be no

question that the Altar was the main feature, and the Laver subordinate.

It is therefore not impossible that, as regards the Holy Place, the

Candlestick and Table were the matters of primary importance, and the

Altar of Incense only secondary.

Further, between the Incense Altar and the Laver comes the

Instruction that every man was to give a half shekel as ‘a ransom for

his soul’. Why is it placed here? The ransom money was to be

applied to ‘the service of the tent of meeting’ (xxx 16), and in xxxv 24,

xxxvi I ‘the service' undoubtedly refers to the construction of the

Tabernacle. The obvious conclusion is that the ransom money pro-

vided the silver which was needed, and this is distinctly stated in the

Account of Metals (xxxviii 24-31) where this provision of silver (placed

between the freewill offerings of gold and bronze) is recorded to have

been used for the casting of sockets, hooks, and the like. The silver,

then, was for the construction and ornamentation of subordinate


If, then, the Altar of Incense was of secondary importance, the whole

of c. xxx is occupied with accessories; and the placing of the Ransom

money between the Golden Altar and the Bronze Laver (preserving the

order ‘gold, silver, bronze’ of xxv 3, xxxv 5) indicates that the chapter


NOTES AND STUDIES                                473


is a deliberate and orderly arrangement, and not a miscellaneous collec-

tion of after-thoughts.

But does not all this follow after the ‘solemn close’ of xxix 43-46?

and does not that shew that these were no part of the original Instruc-


Most of the Instructions in cc. xxv-xxxi end with a passage defining

the position or use of the articles which were to be made. c. xxviii

gives the instructions for making the priestly vestments: c. xxix con-

tinues with the ceremonies to be observed at the investiture of the

priests, and the sacrifices to be then offered, leading on naturally to

the daily sacrifices (vv. 38-42). The chapter, then, is something of

a digression from the making of the vestments to the consecration and

duties of the priests who were to wear them; and it is this digression,

not ‘the directions respecting the Tabernacle’, which is brought to

a close by the promise of vv. 43-46.

xxvi 34, 35 defines the position of the Mercy-seat, Candlestick, and

Table, for the making of which directions had already been given: it

could hardy include the position of that which had not yet been ordered

to be made.

(ii) The annual rite of atonement.

In xxx 10 an ‘annual rite of atonement' is prescribed to be performed

upon the Altar of Incense: there is no notice of this in Lev. xvi, ‘where

the ceremonial of the day of atonement is described in detail’; and in

that chapter ‘only one altar, the altar of Burnt-offering’ is mentioned

(Driver ‘Exodus’ p. 328).

Lev. xvi 12-16a describes in full detail what Aaron was to do ‘within

the veil', i. e. in the Holy of Holies: v. 16b adds ‘and so shall he do for

the tent of meeting', i. e. the Holy Place, but here no details are given.

We have no right to assume that this did not include the rite prescribed

in Exod. xxx  10.

‘The altar' in vv. 18-20 is outside the Tent and he shall go out

unto the altar', v. 18), and there, of course, there was but the one altar.

vv. 20 and 33 distinctly mark three stages in the ceremonies: (i) the

holy place; (2) the tent of meeting; (3) the altar.

(iii) ‘The’ Altar.

In a number of passages (e. g. Exod. xxvii-xxix; Lev. 1-iii, v-vi, viii,

ix, xvi) ‘the altar of Burnt-offering is referred to as “the altar”, implying

apparently that there was no other’ (Driver ‘Exodus’ p. 328).

Exod. xxvii-xxix comes before the Instruction to make the Altar of

Incense, so there was only one altar to refer to: in Lev. 1-iii, v-ix the

connexion with sacrifice is so close that only the sacrificial altar could

be meant: in Lev. xvi the altar is outside: but in Lev. iv ‘the altar of

sweet incense' is distinguished from ‘the altar of burnt offering’ (vv. 7,



10, 18, 25, 30, 34). Where there is no possibility of mistake, the Bronze

Altar is simply styled `the altar' : elsewhere it is distinguished.

More than that, there were reasons for styling the sacrificial Altar pre-

eminently ‘the altar’: (i) the Hebrew word for ‘altar’ is derived from

the root meaning to kill or slaughter, and therefore intimately connected

with animal sacrifice; (2) there is reason for thinking the Incense Altar

subordinate, while the Altar of Sacrifice was of primary importance;

(3) the Incense Altar was secluded from view and small (cubits 1 x 1 x 2);

the Bronze Altar was conspicuous in the open court and of great size

(cubits 5 x 5 x 3, more than thirty-five times as large).

The use of the term ‘the altar’, therefore, no more implies that

‘there was no other' than the mention of ‘the chair’ at a public meeting

implies the absence of all other chairs. In a description of St Peter's at

Rome, ‘the altar’ would be readily understood to mean the High Altar

without any suggestion that there are no others.

(iv) The use of ‘censers'.

Lev. x i, xvi 12, Num. xvi 6, 7 mention `incense being offered on

pans or censers' (Driver ‘Exodus’ p. 328) : hence it is inferred that

incense was originally offered in this way, and the incense altar was

a later developement.

Lev. x has to do with the irregular offering of Nadab and Abihu

Lev. xvi directs the High Priest to take the censer into the Holy of

Holies, where there was no altar: Num. xvi deals with the test of the

claim of Korah and his company which took place 'at the door of the

tent of meeting' (v. 18).

All of these are clearly exceptional, and therefore no possible proof

that there was not an Altar in the Holy Place for the ordinary daily

burning of incense.


None of the four reasons for considering the Altar of Incense a later

innovation is really convincing when closely examined, and the most

plausible (No. i, the position of the Instruction) may fairly be taken to

tell the other way.

We are asked to believe that originally there was no mention of any

Altar of Incense, and that the Instruction to make one (Exod. xxx 1-10)

was added by some one at a later time. Does it not stand to reason

that such an one, if he had any sense, would be careful to put his

insertion in the most appropriate place? Why should he put it ‘after

the directions respecting the Tabernacle seem to be complete and brought

to a solemn close’? It would have been just as easy for him to insert

it in c. xxv with the directions for the Table and the Candlestick.

It is possible (as shewn above) to see a reason for this Altar occupy-

ing a subordinate position in the original Instructions: it is not possible

NOTES AND STUDIES                                            475


to imagine any reason for an interpolator inserting this direction any-

where but in the obviously natural place.

Then, again, there are the other contents of the two chapters, xxx, xxxi,

to be taken into consideration.

The Instructions about the Altar of Incense and the anointing of

priests only occupy 11 verses (xxx 1-10, 30) out of 56. What of the

other 45? Were these also part of the later addition?

Dr Driver seems to think so for he marks both chapters P2, and sum-

marily dismisses four-fifths of the contents with the remark (p. 329),

‘The other subjects treated in chs. xxx-xxxi are such as would naturally

find place in an Appendix'.

What are these other subjects? (1) ‘The ransom of souls at a census’;

(2) the construction of the Laver; (3) the composition and use of the

Anointing Oil; (4) the composition of the Incense; (5) the nomination

of Bezaleel and Oholiab; (6) the summary of things to be made; (7)

injunction to keep the Sabbath.

Was there really nothing of all this in the original Instructions? Was

the Laver also an afterthought? The Anointing Oil is referred to in

xxix 7, 21: was there no direction about this originally? Incense was

‘offered on pans or censers'; was there no hint as to its composition?

Did the original account make no mention of the principal workers, and

contain no summary of the things to be made?

It is difficult to believe that all these ‘other subjects’ were absent

from the original: it is equally difficult to guess why, if they were absent,

an interpolator should have thought it necessary to insert some of them.

He might be tempted to bring in an altar for burning the incense, and

a laver for the priests' washing mentioned in xxix 4; but why should he

invent an imaginary census tax? or imaginary workers? or add a seem-

ingly irrelevant injunction to keep the Sabbath? Yet if there was in

the original document an ‘Appendix’ containing some of these things,

the insertion of the Altar of Incense among these instead of in the

earlier instructions becomes more unaccountable than ever.


The Septuagint furnishes some further evidence.

It is remarkable that in Group II (the carrying out of the Instructions)

the passage which narrates the making of the Altar of Incense, xxxvii

25-28, and the mentions of it in xxxv 15, xxxix 8 are not found in the

Greek. So also the notices of the Laver in xxxv 16, xxxix 39, xl 7, 11,

30 are not represented.

At first sight this looks like a confirmation of the view that both

Altar and Laver were later additions which had not yet found their way

into the text used by the translators of xxxv-xl.

But then, while the Altar is not mentioned anywhere in cc. xxxv-xxxix,



in c. xl there are two passages (vv. 5, 6, and 26-28) which recognize

both this Altar and the distinctive title of the Altar of sacrifice. Was

this one chapter translated at a different time from the preceding five,

and after the additions of cc. xxx, xxxi had been introduced into the


Again, while the Greek of c. xl has no mention of the Laver, xxxviii 8,

which narrates the making of the Laver, is not only found in the cor-

responding Greek, but is there actually emphasized by the addition

(borrowed from xl 31) about the washing. Are we to suppose that

the translators of c. xxxvii had not the passage about the Altar but had

the passage about the Laver in c. xxxviii, while the translators of c. xl

knew about the Altar, but not about the Laver? If not, then the

absence of the Altar from some parts, and of the Laver from others,

can only be instances of omission on the part of the translators.

Then, too, all the other subjects in xxx, xxxi--the Census money,

Anointing Oil, Incense, chosen workers, summary of things to be made,

injunction to keep the Sabbath--are all fully recognized in the Greek

of xxxv-xl. If, then, cc. xxx, xxxi are (as marked by Dr Driver) an

integral whole, the translators of Group II must have had the whole

of these chapters (including the Incense Altar and the Laver) before

them, in which case the absence of the Altar section from the Greek

is a marked instance of omission.

Yet, as the Altar of Incense is recognized in c. xl, the translators of

Group II could hardly have had any reason for deliberately omitting the

section about its being made. Now, just where this section occurs in

the Hebrew, the Greek has the section about Metal-work (see the

Comparative Table, p. 466) made up of miscellaneous fragments: and

this section is almost exactly the length of the Greek of xxx 1-5, which

corresponds to the Hebrew of xxxvii 25-28, which does not appear in

the Greek. Can it be that for some reason, such as the mutilation of

a page, the text used by the translators was here defective, and that

they therefore filled up the gap by stringing together the fragments

about the metal-work from other parts?

At any rate, the LXX version of cc. xxxv-xl does not confirm the

theory that cc. xxx, xxxi form a later ‘Appendix’ to the original

Instructions. That theory is only founded on a small part of the

chapters in question; the reasons drawn , from that small part are far

from strong; and the theory involves some serious improbabilities as to

the action of the supposed interpolator.


II. Group II later than cc. xx, xxxi.

The theory that cc. xxxv-xl are later than xxx, xxxi depends on the

difference in order between the two Groups of chapters, the ‘most

NOTES AND STUDIES                                            477


noticeable variation' being the difference in the position of the Altar

of Incense and the Bronze Laver, which in Group I are relegated to

the ‘Appendix’, and in Group II are ‘introduced in accordance

with the place' which ‘they would naturally hold’ (Driver ‘Exodus’

p. 378).

Of course on any theory cc. xxxv-xl were written after cc. xxv-xxxi,

and this rearrangement might have been made even if both Groups

were due to the same author.

The two Groups, however, differ in other respects besides the order.

Group II is by no means the replica, with trifling changes, of Group I

which it is sometimes represented to be, though both Dr Driver

('Exodus' p. 376) and Dr McNeile (`Exodus' p. 223) characterize

it as practically a verbatim repetition.

But cc. xxxv-xxxix are the record of the work of construction, and

therefore verses not enjoining constructive work (e. g. xxv 8, 9; 15, 16;

22; 37b; 40; xxvi 9b; 12, 13; 30; &c.) are not included in them. So

too directions as to the position or use of the furniture or hangings

(e. g. xxv 21; xxvi 33-35 ; xxx 19-21) are transferred to xl 17-33, the

setting up of the Tabernacle; and the whole of c. xxix (the Investiture

of the Priests) is found in Leviticus, not in this Group.

The omissions in these chapters are not casual but deliberate, to suit

the purpose of the account.

In like manner, in Group II there are considerable passages (xxxv

20-29, the offerings that were made; xxxvi 2-7, the delivery of the

materials to the workmen; xxxix 33-43, the delivery of the finished

work to Moses) narrating what was actually done, which therefore could

by no possibility be included in the Instructions.

Lesser instances also are not without significance.

The Instruction about the Oil for the Light (xxvii 20, 21), and that

about the Urim and Thummim (xxviii 30), do not appear in Group II.

These do not seem to have required any making, and therefore are not

included in the work done.

In the account of making the Ephod xxxix 3 has the addition, ‘they

did beat the gold into thin plates, and cut it into wires’: xxxix 28, 29 has

some added details about the priestly robes (the breeches ‘of fine twined

linen’, and the girdle ‘of fine twined linen, and blue, and purple, and

scarlet’). These are explanations of how the Instructions were actually

carried out.

Neither omissions nor additions are accidental or unmeaning: they

shew purpose, and are required by the essential character of the two


What then of the difference in order? Does that shew any traces of

plan or purpose?



The differences (by no means confined to the position of the Incense

Altar and Laver) will again be best seen in a Comparative Table.


               Group I.                                           Group II.

xxv.     see below, (I).                        xxxv. Observance of Sabbath.

            Materials to be offered.                    Materials to be offered.

            see below, (f).                                    Summary of things to be


            -----                                                     The offerings and offerers.

            see below, (e)                                    The workers.

            -----                                                     xxxvi. Delivery of materials to


                                                                        Superabundance of offerings.

Furniture:       Ark.                             xxxvii. Furniture: Ark.

                        Mercy-seat.                                        Mercy-seat.

                        Table.                                                  Table.

                        Candlestick.                                       Candlestick.


xxvi. Structure:  Curtains.                             Structure : Curtains.

                        Framework.                                        Framework.

                        Veil.                                                    Veil.

                        Screen.                                               Screen.

see below, (a).                                   Altar of Incense.

see below, (d).                                   Anointing Oil and Incense.


xxvii. Court:   Bronze Altar.             xxxviii. Court:  Bronze Altar.

                        see below, (c).                                   Laver. 

                        Hangings, &c.                                    Hangings, &c.

            ------                                                   Summary.      

            ------                                                   Account of Metals:   gold.

see below, (b).                                                                       silver.


Oil for Light.                                                 -------


xxviii. Vestments: Ephod.                 xxxix. Vestments: Ephod.

Breastplate.                                        Breastplate.

Urim and Thummim.             -------

Robe of Ephod.                                  Robe of Ephod.

Gold Plate.                                         Gold Plate.

Other robes.                                       Other robes.


xxix. Investiture.                                                        -----

                        NOTES AND STUDIES                                            479


                        Group I.                                              Group II.

xxx.     (a) Altar of Incense.             

            (b) Census money.               

            (c) Laver.                   

            (d) Anointing Oil and Incense.                     see above      


xxxi.    (e) Workers.             

            ( f ) Summary of things to be made.                       

            (g) Observance of Sabbath.              

-----                                                     Delivery of articles completed.


Here it will be noticed that, at the commencement of the work, the

Furniture and Structure sections have changed places in Group II.


The Instructions begin at once with the Ark (the most sacred of all),

the Table, and the Candlestick, the Structure that was to enshrine them

coming after: in the work, the external Structure is first put in hand,

and the more elaborate Furniture after. This is just what might be

expected; the one arrangement is in order of importance, the other

according to the order in which the work would naturally be under-


So in the Vestments section, the Instructions place the Gold Plate

before the other robes because of its importance: in the work, the other

robes follow the Robe of the Ephod, and the Gold Plate, differing in

material and workmanship, follows.

Once more the different character of the two Groups is traceable.

Next, it is to be observed that not only the Altar of Incense and the

Laver but all the contents of cc. xxx, xxxi are altogether differently

placed in Group II. The most remarkable variation of all is that the

Instructions of c. xxxi which end Group I are found at the beginning of

Group II, and in reverse order:--

End of Group I                       Workers : things to be made: Sabbath.

Beginning of Group II           Sabbath : things to be made: Workers.


Why is the injunction to keep the Sabbath inserted at all?

Surely to preclude the possibility of the people supposing that the

sanctity and urgency of the work might supersede the law of the Sabbath

rest. Not even for so sacred a work might that be broken.

Consider then the order of the Instructions.

A list of the materials needed naturally stands first. Next comes the

detailed description of the Sanctuary to be erected, beginning with its

most sacred part, the Ark of the Covenant and its Mercy-seat. Then

follow the Table and Candlestick of the Holy Place, and then the



Curtains, Framework, Veil and Screen which were to enshrine all these

in an awe-inspiring seclusion. After these, the great Altar of the open

Court, and the Hangings, pillars, and Screen of the enclosure to guard it.

Then the holy Robes in which the priests might enter to minister, and

the ceremonies by which they were set apart for their sacred office.

After these again come the accessories: the secondary Altar of the Holy

Place; the provision of silver; the Laver for purifying ablutions before

ministering; the Consecrating Oil, and the Incense.

When the directions for the work to be performed are complete, then

the designation of the chief workers, and a short summary of the work

they were to do, follow most suitably. Is it not obvious that the

command to observe the sacred days of rest makes a most fitting,

almost inevitable, conclusion to all that has gone before?

When the whole group of chapters (xxv-xxxi) is regarded as contain-

ing the Divine Instructions, an admirable order and unity can be seen

to run through them. Could that have been produced by two sets of

writers, working independently, and separated by a considerable interval

of time?

In the narration of how these Instructions were obeyed, however,

clearly some notice is needed of how Moses, who alone had received

them, conveyed them to the people. Accordingly c. xxxv begins with

Moses assembling the people, and telling them ‘what the LORD hath

commanded', and now the solemn warning against infringing the

Sabbath, which so appropriately closed the Instructions, becomes an

equally suitable preface to the address to the assembled people. Before

they are told of the work, they are cautioned as to its limitation, and to

this caution is made the significant addition, ‘Ye shall kindle [lit. make

flame, or burn] no fire throughout your habitations upon the sabbath

day’. Not only are they themselves to rest, but the special injunction

against the use of fire is added lest they should think it necessary to

keep alive the fires for casting and fashioning metals. All work is to


This prefatory warning given, the people are next informed what

materials are wanted, and the short summary of things to be made is

added so that the people may understand to what purposes these

materials are to be applied.

Quite simply and inartificially the matters which form the suitable

close to the Instructions come as an equally fitting prelude to the per-

formance of the work, and precisely in that reverse order in which they

are actually found.

In response to Moses' address the offerings pour in: men and women

bring their golden ornaments, the men bringing also the ready-made

materials they possessed, as well as silver, bronze, and acacia wood, the

NOTES AND STUDIES                                481


women contributing to the supply of materials by their spinning, and

their rulers providing the precious stones, the spice, and the oil. Then

the workers are convened, the materials delivered to them, and the work

of construction commences.

In this account of the performance of the work, those things which,

as being of lesser importance, only appear towards the close of the

Instructions, are naturally associated with the parts to which they

belong. So we find them: the Incense Altar with (but after) the

Furniture of the Holy Place; the Anointing Oil and Incense (coupled

because of similar composition) immediately after the Altar on which

the Incense was to be offered; the Laver after the Altar of Sacrifice;

and the Ransom silver in its appropriate place between the gold and the

bronze of the freewill offerings.

Again, a perfect order and unity runs through the arrangement of

Group II, and, though the order differs so much from that of Group I,

it is the order which exactly harmonizes with the professed character of

these chapters, viz. the narration of how the Instructions were obeyed.

Is it credible that this harmony, so real and yet so far from obvious,

could have been produced by yet a third set of writers, merely re-

arranging somewhat slavishly the Instructions of Group I 'in order to

dwell on their detailed fulfilment' (McNeile 'Exodus' p. 223)?


The inference that the different order of Group II shews that these

chapters belong to a later period than Group I really rests on a small

part of the evidence : it disregards the significance of the way in which

the contents of cc. xxx, xxxi are re-arranged, and it disregards the fact

that the omissions and additions in Group II shew a deliberate purpose

agreeing with the different character of the two Groups.

The view that Group II gives a straightforward account of how the

Instructions were carried out is consistent with the evidence as a whole,

explains all the variations (omissions, additions, differences of order),

and is coherent and intelligible throughout.


The three inferences to be examined were

(A) that the translators of xxxv-xl were not the translators of xxv-


(B) that the text used by the translators of xxxv-xl differed from the

present Massoretic text;

(C) that cc. xxx, xxxi were a later addition to xxv-xxix,

and cc. xxxv-xl a still later addition.

It has been the aim of these papers to shew that each of these

inferences has been drawn from an imperfect survey of the evidence,



and that a consideration of the whole evidence shews that there is good

reason for believing that

(1) the translators were the same throughout;

(2) the differences of the Greek from the Hebrew are due to the

translators, and not to a difference of text;

(3) cc. xxx, xxxi are an integral portion of the original Instructions,

and xxxv-xl a plain narrative of how the Instructions were obeyed.





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