Bible/King James/Documentary Hypothesis/Redaction Sources/Conflict resolution
According to the documentary hypothesis, the torah was formed when a certain redactor combined three main source texts together, one of which was itself a combination of two earlier main sources. These four sources are known as the Jahwist source, Elohist source, Priestly source, and Deuteronomist source. In interleaving texts together, there are sometimes occasions when one text appears to contradict another, and so clarification is sometimes required.
Isaac as heir
Between the sources, several descendants of Abraham by children other than Isaac are listed. The redactor clarifies that Isaac is the chosen heir (Genesis 25:5-6):
- 1 And Abraham gave all that he had unto Isaac.
- 2 But unto the sons of the concubines, which Abraham had, Abraham gave gifts, and sent them away from Isaac his son, while he yet lived, eastward, unto the east country.
In the priestly source, Isaac finds a wife - Rebekah - by going to Padan Aram. In the other sources the location is not named, although the Jahwist source implies it to be Haran. The Redactor clarifies this, stating that Rachel was found in Padan Aram:
- within Genesis 33:18 when he came from Padanaram
- Genesis 48:7 And as for me, when I came from Padan, Rachel died by me in the land of Canaan in the way, when yet there was but a little way to come unto Ephrath: and I buried her there in the way of Ephrath; the same is Bethlehem.
Hardening the Pharaoh's heart
In both the Elohist source and the Priestly source, during the Ten Plagues, the Pharaoh's heart is described as being "hardened", and in the Priestly source this is described as being due to god. However, it occurs much less frequently in the Elohist source, and it is explained in neither source why god should do this. The redactor added an explanation (Exodus 11:9), and adjusted the balance of references to the Pharoah's heart hardening:
- Exodus 4:21b But I will harden his heart, that he shall not let the people go.
- Exodus 9:35 And the heart of Pharaoh was hardened, neither would he let the children of Israel go; as the LORD had spoken by Moses.
- Exodus 10:20 But the LORD hardened Pharaoh's heart, so that he would not let the children of Israel go.
- Exodus 10:27 But the LORD hardened Pharaoh's heart, and he would not let them go.
- Exodus 11:9 And the LORD said unto Moses, Pharaoh shall not hearken unto you; that my wonders may be multiplied in the land of Egypt.
- Exodus 11:10 And Moses and Aaron did all these wonders before Pharaoh: and the LORD hardened Pharaoh's heart, so that he would not let the children of Israel go out of his land.
Passover and the firstborn
The redaction places the Priestly source's order that the passover feast can only be for people who are circumcised next to the Elohist's order to "sanctify the firstborn". Creating a more natural change, the redactor adds padding (Exodus 12:50-51):
- 1 Thus did all the children of Israel; as the LORD commanded Moses and Aaron, so did they.
- 2 And it came to pass the selfsame day, that the LORD did bring the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt by their armies.
Crossing the red sea
In exodus, when Moses crosses the red sea, according to the Jahwist, a strong wind blows the sea back, the Egyptians flee, and god kills them on the shore. According to the Elohist, an Angel takes off the chariot wheels, causing them to collapse, and throw their riders into the sea. According to the Priestly source, the sea, which had been a wall of water, collapses onto the Egyptians when Moses stretches out his hand. These subtly different versions are interlaced by the redactor and combined in a summary:
- Exodus 15:19 For the horse of Pharaoh went in with his chariots and with his horsemen into the sea, and the LORD brought again the waters of the sea upon them; but the children of Israel went on dry land in the midst of the sea.
Repeating the ten commandments
By combining the Elohist, Jahwist, and Priestly, sources, the redaction resulted in three sets of commandments (Exodus 20:23 - 23:33, Exodus 34:2-28, and Exodus 20:2-17, respectively). Tradition requires there to be only one distinct set of ten. While the Elohist version can be dismissed in the redaction, as there are substantially more than ten, and they can thus be re-interpreted as implications of one set of ten, this still leaves two other sets. This problem is partly solved by the Elohist tale of the in which Moses' anger causes him to smash the tablets he had received the Elohist commandments on, as the tale can be adjusted to imply at the tablets contained the Jahwist ten, and thus having been smashed, another set of two need to be created, and written upon. However, the redactor also felt that two slight additions were necessary, in order to reinforce this:
- Exodus 34:1b like unto the first: and I will write upon these tables the words that were in the first tables, which thou brakest.
- Inserted into Exodus 34:4 like unto the first
Korah, Dathan, and Abiram
According to the documentary hypothesis, in binding together the version of the tale of the revolt at the report of the spies in the priestly source, with the version of the tale in the Jahwist source, it was necessary to add a few words. The priestly source's version names the villain as Korah, wheras the Jahwist names the villains as Dathan and Abiram, therefore the redactor added the words "Dathan, and Abiram" immediately after "Korah" is mentioned in the priestly source, at Numbers 16:24, and at Numbers 16:27. It was also necessary to add Dathan and Abiram into the enumeration of people who had left egypt, which is made by the priestly source at Numbers 26, by adding the following (Numbers 26:9-11):
- 1 And the sons of Eliab; Nemuel, and Dathan, and Abiram. This is that Dathan and Abiram, which were famous in the congregation, who strove against Moses and against Aaron in the company of Korah, when they strove against the LORD:
- 2 And the earth opened her mouth, and swallowed them up together with Korah, when that company died, what time the fire devoured two hundred and fifty men: and they became a sign.
- 3 Notwithstanding the children of Korah died not.
Death of Moses
The deuteronomist doesn't provide a death scene for Moses as such, but does provide a final blessing (Deuteronomy 33:2-29) he is supposed to have made before his death. However, the Elohist describes Moses as going to the top of a mountain to die (Deuteronomy 34:1-5). If the Elohist death scene preceeded the final blessing, then it would imply that the entire people of Israel had gone up the mountain with him. The redactor chose to put the blessing before the Elohist death scene, but also added an explanation of how Moses had sufficient foreknowledge of his death to choose to make the speech (Deuteronomy 32:48-52):
- 1 And the LORD spake unto Moses that selfsame day, saying,
- 2 Get thee up into this mountain Abarim, unto mount Nebo, which is in the land of Moab, that is over against Jericho; and behold the land of Canaan, which I give unto the children of Israel for a possession:
- 3 And die in the mount whither thou goest up, and be gathered unto thy people; as Aaron thy brother died in mount Hor, and was gathered unto his people:
- 4 Because ye trespassed against me among the children of Israel at the waters of MeribahKadesh, in the wilderness of Zin; because ye sanctified me not in the midst of the children of Israel.
- 5 Yet thou shalt see the land before thee; but thou shalt not go thither unto the land which I give the children of Israel.