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Editors David J.A. Clines Philip R. Davies Executive Editor John Jarick

Editorial Board Richard J. Coggins, Alan Cooper, Tamara C. Eskenazi, J. Cheryl Exum, John Goldingay, Robert P. Gordon, Norman K. Gottwald, Andrew D.H. Mayes, Carol Meyers, Patrick D. Miller

Sheffield Academic Press

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The History of Israel's

The Heritage of Martin Noth

edited by
Steven L. McKcnzic and

M. Patrick Graham

Journal for the Study of the Old Testament Supplement Series 182

Copyright 1994 Sheffield Academic Press Published by Sheffield Academic Press Ltd Mansion House 19 Kingfield Road Sheffield, S1 19AS England

Typeset by Sheffield Academic Press and Printed on acid-free paper in Great Britain by Bookcraft Midsomer Norton, Somerset

British Library Cataloguing in Publication Data A catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library

ISBN 1-85075-499-3

Abbreviations Contributors and Editors
7 11


Part I



18 31 63 81 91

Martin Noth and the Chronicler's History THOMAS L. THOMPSON Martin Noth and the History of Israel ROLF RENDTORFF Martin Noth and Tradition Criticism

Martin Noth's Uberlieferungsgeschichtliche Studien and Old Testament Theology


The History of Israel's Traditions

WALTER DIETRICH Martin Noth and the Future of the Deuteronomistic History



Part II


The Book of Deuteronomy


The Significance of the Book of Joshua in Noth's Theory of the Deuteronomistic History


Judges and the Deuteronomistic History

235 260 281 308 322

P. KYLE MCCARTER, JR The Books of Samuel STEVEN L. MCKENZIE The Books of Kings in the Deuteronomistic History
Index of References Index of Authors

AASF Alttestamentliche Abhandlungen Annalae Academiae Scientiarum Fennicae Anchor Bible D.N. Freedman (ed.), Anchor Bible Dictionary (6 vols.; New York: Doubleday, 1992) Anchor Bible Reference Library Abhandlungen des Deutschen Palastina-Vereins Annual of the Japanese Biblical Institute Analecta biblica Alter Orient und Altes Testament Abhandlungen zur Theologie des Alten und Neuen Testaments Das Alte Testament Deutsch Arbeiten zu Text und Sprache im Alten Testament Biblical Archaeologist Bonner biblische Beitrage Bibliotheca ephemeridum theologicarum lovaniensium Beitrage zur evangelischen Theologie Beitrage zur Forderung christlicher Theologie Biblical Interpretation Biblica Biblischer Kommentar Biblische Notizen Biblical Research Biblical Theology Bulletin Beitrage zur Wissenschaft vom Alten und Neuen Testament Biblische Zeitschrift Beihefte zur ZAW Cahiers de la RB Contributions to Biblical Exegesis and Theology Catholic Biblical Quarterly CBQ, Monograph Series Centre d'Etude du Proche-Orient Ancien Supplements to Cahier Evangile Martin Noth, The Chronicler's History (trans. H.G.M. Williamson; JSOTSup 50; Sheffield: JSOT Press, 1987) The Chronicler/the Chronicler's History









The History of Israel's Traditions

Coniectanea biblica, Old Testament Dielheimer Blatter zum Alien Testament Martin Noth, The Deuteronomistic History (trans. J. Doull et al; JSOTSup, 15; Sheffield: JSOT Press, 2nd edn, 1991) The Deuteronomist (may also be qualified with further sigla, such as Dtr1, Dtr2, DtrH, DtrP, DtrN) Etudes bibliques Europaische Hochschulschriften. Theologie Eretz Israel Erbe und Auftrag Ertrage der Forschung Ephemerides theologicae lovanienses Etudes theologiques et religieuses Evangelische Theologie Forschungen zum Alten Testament Forms of Old Testament Literature Forschungen zur Religion und Literatur des Alten und Neuen Testaments Freiburger theologische Studien Gottinger theologische Arbeiten Hebrew Annual Review Handbuch zum Alten Testament Handkommentar zum Alten Testament Harvard Semitic Monographs Harvard Semitic Studies Harvard Theological Review Hebrew Union College Annual Interpreter's Bible International Critical Commentary K. Crim (ed.), Supplementary Volume to the Interpreter's Dictionary of the Bible Israel Exploration Journal Interpretation Journal of Biblical Literature Journal of Northwest Semitic Languages Journal for the Study of the Old Testament Journal for the Study of the Old Testament, Supplement Series Kommentar zum Alten Testament Kurzgefasstes exegetisches Handbuch zum Alten Testament Kurzer Hand-Commentar Lectio divina Miinsteraner theologische Abhandlungen New Century Bible Neue Echter Bibel Orbis biblicus et orientalis



ErbAuf ErFor











OrAnt Orientalistische Literaturzeitung Orientalia Oriens antiquus Old Testament Library Oudtestamentische Studien Palastina-Jahrbuch Quaestiones disputatae Revue biblique Restoration Quarterly Revue d'histoire et de philosophie religieuses Sources bibliques Stuttgarter biblische Aufsatzbande Stuttgarter biblische Beitrage Society of Biblical Literature Dissertation Series Society of Biblical Literature Monograph Series Stuttgarter Bibelstudien Studies in Biblical Theology Scripta hierosolymitana Studio theologica Theologische Bucherei Theologische Wissenschaft Theologische Literaturzeitung Theologie und Philosophie Theologische Realenzyklopddie Theologische Rundschau Theologische Studien Theologische Studien und Kritiken Tyndale Bulletin Theologische Zeitschrift Martin Noth, Uberlieferungsgeschichtliche Studien (Tubingen: Niemeyer, 1943) Uni-Taschenbiicher Verkiindigung und Forschung Vetus Testamentum Vetus Testamentum, Supplements Word Biblical Commentary Wissenschaftliche Monographien zum Alten und Neuen Testament Welt des Orients Zeitschrift fur die alttestamentliche Wissenschaft Zeitschrift der deutschen morgenldndischen Gesellschaft Zeitschrift des deutschen Paldstina-Vereins Zeitschrift fur Theologie und Kirche












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Christopher T. Begg The Catholic University of America Washington, DC Roddy L. Braun Our Savior Lutheran Church Arlington, VA Antony F. Campbell, SJ Jesuit Theological College Parkville, Victoria Australia Walter Dietrich University of Bern Switzerland David Noel Freedman University of Michigan Ann Arbor, MI and the University of California at San Diego Jeffrey C. Geoghegan University of California San Diego M. Patrick Graham Pitts Theology Library Emory University Atlanta, GA


The History of Israel's Traditions

P. Kyle McCarter, Jr Johns Hopkins University Baltimore, MD Steven L. McKenzie Rhodes College Memphis, TN Mark A. O'Brien Dominican Province of the Assumption Camberwell, Victoria Australia Brian Peckham University of Toronto Canada RolfRend`torff University of Heidelberg Germany Thomas Romer University of Lausanne Switzerland Thomas L. Thompson University of Copenhagen Denmark Timo Veijola University of Helsinki Finland

Martin Noth was clearly one of the giants in the history of scholarship on the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament. It is difficult to say which of his many works is best known or most responsible for establishing his reputation, but his 1943 monograph, Uberlieferungsgeschichtliche Studien, may well represent his most enduring legacy. Although Noth's reconstruction of Israelite history, including his amphictyonic hypothesis, has been replaced by subsequent histories with their own models for understanding ancient Israel, his proposal of a Deuteronomistic History is still generally accepted by scholars fifty years later. Moreover, his treatment in US of the Chronicler's History, while not as influential, remains an important contribution to the study of Chronicles, Ezra and Nehemiah and to that of Israelite historiography in general. It seems quite fitting, therefore, to celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of the publication of US. The papers gathered in this volume were presented in summary fashion at the 1993 annual meeting of the Society of Biblical Literature held November 20-23 in Washington, DC. The program, entitled 'Martin Noth Symposium: The 50th Anniversary of the Publication of Uberlieferungsgeschichtliche Studien', was jointly sponsored by two of the SBL's program units: the Chronicles-Ezra-Nehemiah Section and the Composition of the Deuteronomistic History Group. This symposium was a historic occasion, not only because it recognized the work of an extremely important biblical scholar, but also because it brought together an array of biblical scholars from Australia, Canada, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Switzerland and the USA. In particular, this symposium marked the first real meeting of representatives of the so-called Smend and Cross schools, who have proposed the two most popular reconstructions of the Deuteronomistic History since Noth. While the symposium would certainly have benefited from more discussion among the participantsboth those on the program and those in the audienceit has at least served to open the door for


The History of Israel's Traditions

increased dialogue and interaction in the future among representatives of different approaches to these two great historiographic works. A word about language and abbreviations is in order here. Different scholars, especially those who have worked on the Deuteronomistic History, have adopted different terminology and abbreviations in their writings. To avoid confusion in this volume we have chosen to spell out such terms as 'Deuteronomistic History', 'Deuteronomic' (relating to the book of Deuteronomy) and 'deuteronomistic'. We retain Dtr for 'the Deuteronomist' and Chr. for 'the Chronicler' (without making a commitment as to the authorship of Chronicles, Ezra and Nehemiah). We have also kept abbreviations for different Deuteronomists (for example, Dtr1, Dtr2, DtrH, DtrG, DtrP, DtrN), since these are essential to the reconstructions adopted by the various contributors. Nonetheless, it is still evident that contributors sometimes use the same terms or abbreviations to mean different things. For example, Brian Peckham, who posits a single Dtr means something entirely different by the adjective 'Deuteronomistic' than Timo Veijola, who speaks of multiple 'deuteronomistic' redactions. In certain cases, therefore, we have retained differences in capitalization and abbreviation where these reflect different viewpoints of the authors. This project has been one of cooperation among scholars throughout. We are deeply grateful to the presenters for their willingness to participate in the symposium and especially for their contributions, which are uniformly of great quality and erudition. We would also like to express appreciation to David Lull and Gene Lovering of the SBL for their assistance in planning the symposium and to the members of the steering committees for the two program units, who helped nurture and plan the program. In addition, Bernard M. Levinson, chair of the Biblical Law Group in the SBL, was enormously helpful as a consultant in putting together the roster of participants for the Noth symposium, and Linda Schearing was kind enough to preside at one of the sessions whose papers are included in this volume. She also has graciously taken the entire responsibility for planning the sessions of the Deuteronomistic History Section for the 1994 SBL meeting in order to allow Steve McKenzie time to edit this volume. Finally, we are indebted to Philip R. Davies and the Sheffield Academic Press for their commitment to this publication and their decision to include it in the JSOT Supplement Series.



Our collaboration as editors on this project has only increased our mutual respect. McKenzie had the initial idea for the symposium, but Graham did the majority of the leg work to assemble the panel of participants. McKenzie did the mechanical editing, but Graham's close reading and checking of bibliography proved indispensable for making the articles more readable. We both look forward to working together again in the future.

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This presentation will attempt to do three things. First, it will review summarily Martin Noth's life and scholarly career. Secondly, it will trace Noth's progress, as exhibited in his pre-1943 writings, towards the Deuteronomistic History thesis. Finally, it will comment on Noth's 'dialogue partners' in the 'deuteronomistic section' of US itself.1 I . Noth's Life In 1943, the year US appeared, Martin Noth was forty-one years old and a well-established scholar, an Ordinarius of thirteen years' standing, as well as the author of five books and over thirty articles.2 Noth was born in Dresden on August 3, 1902, the eldest son of Gerhard (a Gymnasium teacher) and his wife, Colestine. He had two younger brothers, one of whom became a Lutheran bishop, the other an executive of the state railway system. Noth did his theological studies at the
1. I cite the (unchanged) 3rd edition of 1967. The first part of it is available in an (unfortunately not always reliable) English translation as The Deuteronomistic History (JSOTSup 15; Sheffield: JSOT Press, 2nd edn, 1991), abbreviated in this volume as DH. 2. I base my account of Noth's life and writings on: H. Schult, 'Bibliographic Martin Noth', TLZ 90 (1965), cols. 229-38 and Schult's update of this under the same title in H.W. Wolff (ed.), Gesammelte Studien zum Alien Testament, II (TBii 39; Munich: Chr. Kaiser Verlag, 1969), pp. 166-205; B. Jaspert, 'Geschichte und Tradition Israels: In Memoriam Martin Noth', ErbAuf44 (1968), pp. 328-31; W. Zimmerli, 'Martin Noth', VT 18 (1968), pp. 409-13; O. Ploger, 'Zum Gedenken an Martin Noth', ZDPV 84 (1968), pp. 101-103; J. Alberto Soggin, 'Martin Noth, Biblista ed Orientalista', Or Ant 9 (1970), pp. 235-43 and R. Smend, 'Nachruf auf Martin Noth', in Wolff (ed.), Gesammelte Studien, II, pp. 139-65, issued in revised form as 'Martin Noth, 1902-1968', Deutsche Alttestamentler in drei Jahrhunderten (Gottingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1989), pp. 255-75.

BEGG Martin Noth: Notes on His Life and Work


Universities of Erlangen, Rostock and Leipzig in the years 1921-25, followed by a three-month course (August-October, 1925) in Jerusalem, conducted by the 'Deutsches Evangelische Institut fur Altertumswissenschaft des Heiligen Landes'. Among his theology professors, the one who would exercise the greatest influence on the course of his work was Albrecht Alt (1883-1956) at Leipzig.1 Returning from Palestine with a stipend from the 'Notgemeinschaft der Deutschen Wissenschaft', Noth proceeded, in November 1925, to the University of Greifswald as volunteer Assistent of the Old Testament seminar. There he produced in short order both his InauguralDissertation for the licentiate in theology (1926)2 and his Habilitationsschrift (1927).3 Both of these writings dealt with ancient Israelite names in light of general Semitic onomastics and developed, as well, the prize essay that Noth had composed at Leipzig (1922-23) on the religionsgeschichtliche significance of Israelite personal names. Thus credentialed, Noth commenced his teaching career as a Greifswald Privatdozent with an Antrittsvorlesung on July 20, 1927, entitled, 'Die Historisierung des Mythus im Alten Testament' .4 He continued for two years (1928-30) as Privatdozent at Leipzig, now as a junior colleague of his mentor, Alt. During this period, Noth became (1929) editor of the ZDPV, an office he was to hold for a quarter of a century. Already at the end of 1929, aged 28, Noth became full professor (Ordinarius) with a call to Konigsberg, Germany's easternmost university. The US of 1943 itself represents the culmination of Noth's extensive publication activity during his fourteen 'Konigsberger years'. That

1. On the Alt-Noth relationship, see Smend, 'Martin Noth', pp. 259-61. 2. This work was (partially) published both in book form as Gemeinsemitische Erscheinungen in der israelitischen Namengebung (Leipzig: Kreysing, n. d.) and, under the same title, as an article in ZDMG 81 (1927), pp. 1-45. Referent for the dissertation was Johannes Hempel (1891-1965); the licentiate oral examination took place on May 5, 1926. In 1930 the Greifswald theological faculty awarded Noth an honorary doctorate in theology; he acknowledged the honor by dedicating his Joshua commentary of 1938 to the faculty. 3. Portions of this work (along with other material drawn from his dissertation) were published as Die israelitischen Personennamen im Rahmen der Gemeinsemitischen Namengebung (BWANT 3.10; Stuttgart: Kohlhammer, 1928); see Noth's statement in the 'Vorwort' to this work. 4. Published in Christ und Welt 4 (1928), pp. 265-72, 301-309.


The History of Israel's Traditions

activity encompassed books on the Israelite amphictyony (1930),1 the Pentateuchal laws (1940),2 a survey of the 'allied disciplines' of Old Testament study (1940),3 as well as his first commentaryon Joshua (1938).4 Noth's thirty articles from the years 193CM4 evince a clear focus, reflective of the continuing influence of Alt, on questions of the history, topography and archaeology of the ancient Near East, SyriaPalestine in particular. Only rather occasionally do they address other (linguistic, theological) matters.5 Finally, in the mid-1930s Noth undertook the text-critical work of editing Kings (published in 1934) and Joshua (1936)two components of the Deuteronomistic Historyfor the third edition of Rudolf Kittel's Biblia Hebraica.6 Noth's activity at Konigsberg, already interrupted by his military service during the war, came to a definitive end with the Russian capture of the city in April 1945. Later that same year Noth found a new home at the opposite end of Germany in Bonn, where he held the Old Testament chair until his retirement in 1967 (and where he twice, 1947^8 and 1957-58, served as rector of the University). Noth's 'Bonn period' saw no slackening of his scholarly productivity. Publication highlights of these years were his monograph on the

1. Das System der zwolfStamme Israels (BWANT 4.1; Stuttgart: Kohlhammer; repr. Darmstadt: Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft, 1980). 2. Die Gesetze im Pentateuch: Ihre Voraussetzungen und ihr Sinn (Schriften der Konigsberger Gelehrten Gesellschaft; Geisteswissenschaftliche Klasse 17.2; Halle/Saale: Niemeyer, 1940); repr. in Gesammelte Studien zum Alten Testament (TBii 6; Munich: Chr. Kaiser Verlag, 1957), pp. 9-141. 3. Die Welt des Alten Testaments: Einfuhrung in die Grenzgebiete der alttestamentlichen Wissenschaft (Sammlung Topelmann 2.3; Berlin: Topelmann, 1940). 4. Das Buch Josua (HAT 1.7; Tubingen: Mohr, 1938). A second 'corrected' edition appeared in 1953. 5. See: 'Die fiinf syrisch iiberlieferten apokryphen Psalmen', ZAW48 (1930), pp. 1-23; trw im Palmyrenischen', OLZ40 (1937), pp. 345-46; 'Zur Auslegung des Alten Testaments', Deutsche Pfarrblatter 41 (1937), pp. 341-42, 359-62, 373-74; 'Die mit des Gesetzes Werken umgehen, die sind unter dem Fluch' in In piam memoriam Alexander von Bulmerincq (Abhandlungen der Herder-Gesellschaft und des Herder-Instituts zu Riga 6.3; Riga: Plates, 1938), pp. 127-45 (repr. in Noth's Gesammelte Studien, [TBu 6], pp. 155-71). 6. The complete edition appeared in 1937, Alt and Otto Eissfeldt having assumed the editorship after Kittel's death in 1929. Noth completed the edition of 1 Kings left unfinished by Kittel.

BEGG Martin Noth: Notes on His Life and Work


tradition history of the Pentateuch (1948),l a history of Israel (1950)2 and commentaries on Exodus (1959) and Leviticus (1962)3all of which have been translated into English.4 Noth's thirty articles from the years 1947-63 manifest an archaeological/topographical/historical focus in obvious continuity with his previous research interests. Several of these later articles deal with individual passages or segments of the books making up the Deuteronomistic History,5 while in one of them Noth addresses criticisms of his more general understanding of Dtr's 'notion of history'.6 During the 1950s as well, Noth played a leading role in the inauguration of several major collaborative endeavors in Old Testament scholarship, particularly the journal Vetus Testamentum (of which he was co-editor, 1950-59) and the Biblischer Kommentar series. In 1962, he presided over the fourth Congress of the International Organization for the Study of the Old Testament, which was held for the first time on German soil in Bonn. Already before his 1967 official retirement from Bonn, Noth, took a leave from the University and moved (1964) to Jerusalem to assume
1. Uberlieferungsgeschichte des Pentateuch (Stuttgart: Kohlhammer). 2. Geschichte Israels (Gottingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht). 3. Das zweite Buck Mose, Exodus (ATD 5; Gottingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht) and Das dritte Buck Mose, Leviticus (ATD 6; Gottingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht). 4. The translations, respectively, are: A History of Pentateuchal Traditions (trans. B.W. Anderson; Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall, 1972); The History of Israel (trans, of 2nd edn by S. Godman; London: A. & C. Black, 1958); Exodus: A Commentary (trans. J.S. Bowden; OTL; Philadelphia: Westminster, 1962) and Leviticus: A Commentary (trans. J.E. Anderson; OTL; Philadelphia: Westminster, 1965). 5. 'Uberlieferungsgeschichtliches zur zweiten Halfte des Josuabuches', in H. Junker and J. Botterweck (eds.), Alttestamentliche Studien: Friedrich Notscher zum 60. Geburtstag, 19. Juli 1950, gewidmet von Kollegen, Freunden und Schiilern (BBB 1; Bonn: Peter Hanstein, 1950), pp. 152-67; 'David und Israel in II Samuel, 7', in Melanges bibliques rediges en I'honneur de Andre Robert (Travaux de 1'Institut catholique de Paris 4; Paris: Bloud & Gay, 1957), pp. 122-30; 'The Background of Judges 17-18', in B.W. Anderson and W.J. Harrelson (eds.), Israel's Prophetic Heritage: Essays in Honor of James Muilenburg (London: SCM Press, 1962), pp. 68-85. 6. 'Zur Geschichtsauffassung des Deuteronomisten', in Z.V. Togan (ed.), Proceedings of the Twenty-Second Congress of Orientalists, Held in Istanbul September 15th to 22nd, 1951, II, Communications (Leiden: Brill, 1957), pp. 558-66.


The History of Israel's Traditions

(1965) the directorship of the Deutsches Evangelische Institut, of which he had been a student thirty years before. In Israel, Noth continued publishing: his ATD commentary on Numbers came out in 1966,1 while fascicles of his BK Kings commentary began appearing in 1964. The latter work was abruptly terminated (at 1 Kgs 16) by Noth's unexpected death at age sixty-five, while touring the ruins of Shivta (Subeita) in the Negev on May 30, 1968. Following a funeral service in the Erloserkirche in the Old City on May 31, he was buried, in accordance with his oft-expressed wish, in the Protestant cemetery in Bethlehem. 2. Intimations of the Deuteronomistic History Thesis In the second segment of this presentation, my purpose is to trace the movement of Noth's thought towards the Deuteronomistic History thesis as this can be discerned in his pre-1943 writings. The first relevant such work is Das System of 1930. Here, Noth states that he is 'not convinced' by the then widely held view that the 'Hexateuchal sources' continue beyond the book of Joshua.2 On the other hand, he displays at this point no hesitation about accepting the existence of a 'Hexateuch', wherein the sources J and E continue into Joshua 1-11, with their respective conclusions now interwoven in Joshua 24.3 Eight years later in his Joshua commentary, Noth's perspective on the question of the presence of J and E in the book appears significantly altered. He now affirms that 'positive arguments' for the presence of J and E in the predeuteronomistic chapters 1-12* + 24* are lacking and that that material was, rather, assembled by a distinct Sammler working about 900 BCE.4 Thus in contrast to his arguments of 1930, Noth denies in 1938 that not only J, but even E, is to be found in Joshua 24, doing so, incidentally, without mentioning his own change of opinion.5 Similarly, the 'source
1. Das vierte Buch Mose, Numeri (ATD 7; Gottingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht). 2. Page 67, n. 2. In this same note Noth avers that the 'Jahvistic elements' in Judg. 1.1-2.5 originally stood prior to Joshua 24. 3. Explicitly aligning himself with the views of Rudolf Smend (d. 1913) and Otto Eissfeldtlater among his chief scholarly opponentson the matter, Noth (Das System, pp. 133-40), presents an elaborate argument for the presence of both J and E strands in Joshua 24. 4. Noth, Josua, pp. ix-xiv. 5. Noth's views on Joshua 24 continued to evolve. In Josua (p. xiii) he maintains that the deuteronomistic redactor of the book, who modelled his Joshua 23 on

BEGG Martin Noth: Notes on His Life and Work


P' is not to be found in Joshua 13-23; what one finds there are redactional, post-deuteronomistic reworkings 'in the style of P' of older geographical materials.1 So by 1938, Noth had arrived at the negative aspect of his Deuteronomistic History thesis: none of the sources that commence in Genesis continues into Joshua as such. On the other hand, he still speaks here of the deuteronomistic redaction being responsible for the incorporation of Joshua into 'the Hexateuch or better the Octateuch'.2 At this point then, Noth was not yet thinking in terms of a sharp distinction between the 'Tetrateuch' and the Deuteronomistic History, an idea that characterizes US. The final item to be noted in this survey is a series of articles written between 1938 and 1943 that allude to the Deuteronomistic History and Noth's plans to treat this complex. The first such article is a study on the territory of Gilead in 1941, in which Noth refers to the 'deuteronomistic Uberlieferungswerk composed in the middle of the sixth century BC'. and promises to examine it in more detail elsewhere.3 Noth expresses himself more definitely in an article completed on May 28, 1941, concerning Numbers 21, noting that he hopes to be able to show in another context that Deuteronomy 1-3 (4) is not the framework of the Deuteronomic law but the introduction to the 'deuteronomistic historical work' that extends through 2 Kings.4 Finally, in a piece completed on June 30, 1942 (the 'Foreword' of US is dated September, 1943), dealing with the 'Israelite tribes between the Arnon and the Jabbok', Noth makes several references to the 'deuteronomisticUberlieferungswerk/ Geschichtswerk' and to the 'deuteronomistic historiographer', seemingly
that chapter, allowed Joshua 24 to stand as an 'appendix' to his own composition. In US (p. 9 and n. 1; DH, p. 23 and n. 1), Noth proposes that the previously freely circulating unit, Josh. 24.1-28, was inserted into the existing Deuteronomistic History by a later hand. Moreover, the (primary) Dtr would have formulated Joshua 23 without knowledge of Joshua 24 (in this instance Noth does acknowledge his change of opinion). 1. Noth, Josua, pp. xiv-xx. 2. Noth, Josua, p. xiii. 3. 'Beitrage zur Geschichte des Ostjordanlandes I: Das Land Gilead als Siedlungsgebiet israelitischer Sippen', PJ 37 (1941), pp. 50-101 (p. 53 and n. 4). See also his reference (p. 56, n. 2) to 'der deuteronomistische Geschichtsschreiber'. 4. 'Num. 21 als Glied der "Hexateuch"-Erzahlung', ZAW 58 (1940^1), pp. 161-89 (p. 162, n. 3); see also, p. 163, n. 2; p. 181; p. 184, n. 4; p. 186, n. 1. In the above title, note the use of the term 'Hexateuch' within quotation marks to indicate Noth's skepticism concerning that entity.


The History of Israel's Traditions

as known entities requiring no further explication.1 The evidence of these articles, then, combined with the statement in US itself that during the writing of his Joshua commentary, he had not yet come to the idea of the Deuteronomistic History as such,2 indicate that it was some time between the end of 1937 (the Vorwort of the Joshua commentary is dated December of that year) and early 1941 that the idea of the Deuteronomistic History as a distinct complex encompassing Deuteronomy-Kings assumed shape in Noth's mind. As far as I have been able to determine, however, Noth left no published statements as to what may have precipitated this further development in his thinking. 3. Conversation Partners As would be expected, Noth develops his thesis about the Deuteronomistic History in US in dialogue with older and contemporary scholars, although it must be said that he generally keeps his interactions with these conversation partners rather perfunctory.3 Noth's minimalistic engagement with his fellow scholars in US goes so far, in fact, that he fails to mention one figure, some of whose views on an important passage of the Deuteronomistic History (2 Kgs 22-23) he adopts as his
1. 'Israelitische Stamme zwischen Ammon und Moab', ZAW60 (1944), pp. 1157 (p. 14; p. 20, n. 2; p. 45; p. 49, n. 4; p. 50, n. 5). While this article appeared only after US, it had been written a year before the latter's publication. 2. See US, p. 89, n. 2; DH, p. 119, n. 2, where Noth affirms that in Josua he had concluded that there is not sufficient evidence for the continuation of the GenesisNumbers sources into Joshua solely on the basis of his reading of the latter book ('noch ehe die hier vorgetragene Auffassung vom Werke des Dtr in meinen Gesichtskreis getreten war'). 3. The one exception in this regard is his detailed critique of the proposals concerning distinct deuteronomistic editions of the books of Joshua and Judges put forward by W. Rudolph (Der 'Elohist' von Exodus bis Josua [BZAW 68; Berlin: Topelmann, 1938], pp. 240-44). [75's discussion of these proposals encompasses almost three pages (pp. 6-10; DH, pp. 20-24) together with eight footnotes. Concerning the length of his critique, Noth states (p. 9), 'Die Auseinandersetzung mit Rudolph musste so eingehend vollzogen werden, weil es sich hier...urn den einzigen im einzelnen ausgefuhrten Versuch handelt, das Nebeneinander selbstandiger "deuteronomistischer Redaktionen" fur die einzelnen "Biicher" literarkritisch zu erweisen, und weil iiberhaupt die Grenze zwischen Josua- und Richterbuch der einzige Punkt ist, an dem ein solcher Versuch unternommen und in jedem Falle die Frage, ob wir mit einem in sich zusammenha'ngenden Dtr zu rechnen haben, gepriift werden muss.'

BEGG Martin Noth: Notes on His Life and Work


own. The figure in question is Theodor Oestreicher, author of a work on Deuteronomy's 'fundamental law', which appeared precisely two decades prior to US itself.1 In that work Oestreicher argues that underlying the current sequence of 2 Kgs 22.3-23.25 are two distinct pre-deuteronomistic sources: an Aujfindungsbericht (now preserved in 22.3-23.3, 21-25) and an Annalenbericht (the nucleus of 23.4-20). He likewise maintains that, contrary to the impression conveyed by 2 Kings 22-23 (but cf. the parallel in 2 Chron. 34), Josiah's cultic reform was already underway when the lawbook was discovered in the temple, that reform being a kind of political 'declaration of independence' from the visibly weakening Assyrian overlord, who had imposed his deities and forms of worship on the Jerusalem temple. In his 1940 work on the Pentateuchal laws, Noth cites Oestreicher and expresses agreement with both of the views just mentioned.2 In US one finds Noth continuing to advocate those views, both for what concerns the sources behind 2 Kings 22-23 and for the historical sequence of Josiah's initiatives, but now passing over Oestreicher's name in silence.3 Who then are the scholars with whom Noth agrees/disagrees by name in US7 We have already cited Rudolph, whose distinction of separate deuteronomistic editors for Joshua and Judges was critiqued at length by Noth (see n. 3, p. 24). Of all 75" s adversarii, the one most frequently cited, however, is Otto Eissfeldt.4 Noth's disagreements with his older (Eissfeldt was born in 1887) colleague have to do both with the latter's overall view of the formation history of the Former Prophets and the Pentateuch in relation to each other and with his handling of particular
1. Das deuteronomische Grundgesetz (BFCT 27.4; Giitersloh: Bertelsmann, 1923). 2. Die Gesetze, pp. 50-60 and n. 108 (I cite the reprint edition mentioned in n. 2, p. 20). 3. Pp. 86, 92-93; DH, pp. 115-16, 123-25. In contrast to 1940, when he seems to accept it (see Die Gesetze, p. 59), Noth here (US, p. 86, n. 4; DH, p. 116, n. 3) rejects (without naming him) Oestreicher's ascription of 2 Kgs 23.21-25 to the Auffindungsbericht, attributing it to Dtr himself. 4. Noth's polemic is directed above all against views enunciated in Eissfeldt's Einleitung in das Alte Testament unter Einschluss der Apokryphen und Pseudepigraphen (Tubingen: Mohr, 1934). On occasion, however, he makes reference to earlier writings by Eissfeldt, i.e., 'Konige', in A. Bertholet (ed.), Die Heilige Schrift des Alten Testaments, I (Tubingen: Mohr, 4th edn, 1922), pp. 492-585; Die Quellen des Richterbuches (Leipzig: Hinrichs, 1925); Die Komposition der Samuelisbiicher (Leipzig: Hinrichs, 1931).


The History of Israel's Traditions

texts. Thus, for example, he rejects Eissfeldt's proposal of a double deuteronomistic redactionone preexilic and one exilicin JoshuaKings.1 As for Eissfeldt's attribution of various pre-deuteronomistic materials in these books to the Pentateuchal sources (E in particular), Noth demurs both in the case of the framework of the book of Judges2 and in that of 1 Samuel 12.3 Noth is equally negative regarding Eissfeldt's identification of the whole sequence 1 Sam. 7.2-8.22; 10.17-27a; 12.1-25 as constituting a self-contained, pre-deuteronomistic strand.4 Eissfeldt's view of Deuteronomy as a compilation of distinct editions of the Deuteronomic Code does not meet with Noth's approval either,5 just as he disavows Eissfeldt's claim that the references to a/the prophet in 1 Kings 20 are secondary.6 The one instance where Noth does express qualified agreement with Eissfeldt concerns 1 Sam. 10.2127a. He deems 'obviously correct' Eissfeldt's 'penetrating surmise' that this passage preserves, in fragmentary form, a tradition according to which God designated Saul as king because of his outstanding height.7
1. Noth, US, p. 6 and n. 1; DH, p. 20 and n. 1. According to Noth, while there are certainly secondary deuteronomistic elements in these books, their presence (pace Eissfeldt) is no argument against the 'Geschlossenheit des urspriinglichen Dtr'. Noth further avers (p. 6, n. 2; p. 20, n. 2) that Eissfeldt dates the (first) deuteronomistic redaction 'too early' with the result that he must then ascribe material that is clearly reflective of a later (exilic) time (e.g., portions of Solomon's prayer in 1 Kgs 8.14-53) to a second deuteronomistic redactor. 2. Noth, US, p. 11, n. 1; DH, p. 25, n. 1. Here, Noth affirms that Eissfeldt's assigning these sections to E 'beruht nicht auf neuen Erkenntnissen der literarkritischen Analyse, sondern auf allgemeinen literarkritischen Voraussetzungen'. See also p. 50, n. 2; DH, p. 72, n. 3, where Noth signifies his agreement with K. Wiese (Zur Literarkritik des Buches der Richter [BWANT 3.4; Stuttgart: Kohlhammer, 1926], p. 5, n. 1) against Eissfeldt that the occurrences of the name 'Israel' in Judges cannot be seen as indicative of the continuation of the 'Hexateuchal sources' into that book. 3. Noth, US, p. 5, n. 2; DH, p. 19, n. 2. Once again (see n. 2, above) Noth dismisses Eissfeldt's ascription with the comment that it is based merely on 'general literary-critical presuppositions'. Similarly, Noth comments (p. 59, n. 7; DH, p. 83, n. 4) that Eissfeldt 'wrongly' takes 1 Sam. 12.11 in isolation from vv. 9-10 and draws 'wide-ranging literary-critical conclusions' on that basis. 4. Noth, US, p. 55 and n. 1; DH, p. 77 and n. 4. 5. Noth, US, p. 16 and n. 3; DH, p. 32 and n. 2. 6. Noth, US, p. 80, n. 1; DH, p. 108, n. 3. 7. Noth, US, p. 58; DH, p. 81. See also p. 59, n. 1; DH, p. 82, n. 3, where Noth states that Eissfeldt is 'quite right' to reject the usual view that 1 Sam. 10.25b-27a represents a redactional suture.

BEGG Martin Noth: Notes on His Life and Work


On the other hand, he does not admit Eissfeldt's further claim that the passage constitutes part of a continuous pre-deuteronomistic sequence in 1 Samuel 7-12* (see above).1 Noth's other 'opponents' in US receive only limited mention. Among them I would note the following figures. Artur Weiser's Einleitung of 1939 is cited for its agreement with Eissfeldt's erroneous conceptions on the status of both 1 Samuel 12 and 1 Samuel 9-11 (see above).2 Johannes Hempel (1930) and Ernst Sellin (1933) are singled out as recent representatives of the 'customary supposition' that the Deuteronomistic History begins with creationa view that Noth, of course, is eager to refute.3 Willy Staerk's (1894) 'arbitrary' conjecture that originally Deut. 31.24 spoke not of 'the law', but rather of 'the song' has, according to Noth, 'only confused the literary-critical analysis of Deuteronomy 31'.4 Noth faults Karl Budde (1890, 1897) for his unacceptable reconstruction of the chronology of the period of the judges, as well as for the literary-critical options with which this is intimately connected5 (e.g., the supposition that the current Judg. 13.1 displaced an earlier introduction to the period of Philistine domination).6 Also in the case of Judges, Noth disavows Wiese's contention (1926) that it was Dtr who inserted the references to 'Israel' into the book.7 In his discussion of the book of Joshua, Noth qualifies as 'baseless' Kurt Mb'hlenbrink's (1938) eventual attempt to establish a connection between the book's account of Israel's 'occupation' of Canaan and the Genesis sources, notwithstanding his recognition that the former

1. Noth, US, p. 58; DH, p. 81. For Noth, the pre-deuteronomistic component in the passage is 10.21b/3-27a, which Dtr provided with an introduction of his own composition, i.e., w. 17-21aba. 2. Noth, OS, p. 55, n. 1; DH, p. 77, n.l. In addition, Noth (OS, p. 65, n. 3; DH, p. 90, n. 1) charges Weiser with 'inconsistency' in his acceptance of Alt's view that 2 Samuel 8 (rather than 2 Samuel 5) represents the original conclusion of the 'Story of David's Rise', even though he (Weiser) does not share Alt's presuppositions concerning the original arrangement of the latter chapter on which that view is based. See further n. 4, p. 28 below. 3. Noth, OS, p, 12 and n. 1; DH, p. 27 and n. 1. 4. Noth, OS, p. 40, n. 2; DH, p. 60, n. 2. 5. Noth, US, p. 20 and n. 4; DH, p. 36, n. 5. 6. Noth (OS, p. 22, n. 2; DH, p. 39, n. 1) designates that supposition as 'arbitrary'. 7. Noth, OS, p. 50, n. 2; DH, p. 12, n. 3. See also n. 2, p. 26 above.


The History of Israel's Traditions

antedates the latter.1 On a more specific point, he further argues against Mohlenbrink's attempt to trace (the original stratum in) Josh. 8.30-35 to a pre-deuteronomistic 'source'.2 As for the books of Samuel, Noth designates as 'impossible' the attribution by Abraham Kuenen (1890) and Wilhelm Nowack (1902) of 2 Samuel 7 to a Deuteronomist.3 Of particular interest then is Noth's dissent from his mentor Alt's opinion that 2 Samuel 8 once originally followed 2 Sam. 5.17-25 as the conclusion of the entire Story of David's Rise.4 Finally, Noth sees no reason to follow Julian Morgenstern's surmise (1940) that the story originally following 1 Kgs 22.1-2a was lost in the course of transmission.5 In US Noth expresses what might be called significant agreements with only a few authors. Of these, two stand out. Repeatedly, he refers approvingly to Gerhard von Rad's proposals concerning the history of the formation of the 'Pentateuch', as developed in the latter's Das formgeschichtliche Problem des Hexateuch of 1938.6 In another connection Noth cites von Rad's discussion of two secondary passages within the book of Deuteronomy that express a future hope, namely 4.29ff and 30.Iff, which, von Rad proceeds to argue, postdate Dtr himself.7 This additional invocation of von Rad, it might be noted, appears problematic in view of Noth's statements elsewhere in US.
1. Noth, US, p. 41, n. 3; DH, p. 61, n. 3. In this context Noth (p. 41, n. 1; DH, p. 61, n. 1) acknowledges that Mohlenbrink is correct in his supposition that, right from the start, the individual 'legends' underlying Judges 1-11 had as their presupposition that Israel's entry into the land involved a 'conquest'. 2. Noth, US, p. 43 and n. 1; DH, p. 63, n. 2. 3. Noth, US, p. 64 and n. 3; DH, p. 89, n. 1. Noth's grounds for this assertion are that neither the chapter's rejection of the temple nor its positive emphasis on the monarchy are in accordance with Dtr's mentality. See also n. 3, p. 29 below. 4. Noth, US, p. 65 and n. 2; DH, p. 89, n. 9. Against Alt, Noth argues that originally 2 Sam. 5.17-25 preceded vv. 6-10 (12) and that 2 Sam. 5.10 constitutes a fitting conclusion to the Story of David's Rise, after which one does not expect anything further. See also n. 2, p. 27 above. 5. Noth, US, pp. 79-80, n. 4; DH, p. 108, n. 2. 6. BWANT 4; Stuttgart: Kohlhammer. Cf. US, p. 1, n. 1; p. 2, n. 2; p. 27, n. 1; p. 88, n. 1; p. 102, n. 1; DH, p. 13, n. 1; p. 14, n. 2; p. 45, n. 1; p. 119, n. 1; p. 136, n. 1. Of course, Noth does not accept the existence of a 'Hexateuch' as cited in von Rad's title; in view of his own theory, one would have to speak of a Tetrateuch' (although Noth himself does not seem to employ that term in US). 1. Noth, US, p. 109 and n. 2; DH, p. 144, n. 1. The reference is to G. von Rad, Das Gottesvolk im Deuteronomium (BWANT 3.11; Stuttgart: Kohlhammer, 1929), pp. 70-71.

BEGG Martin Noth: Notes on His Life and Work


Specifically, whereas Noth's formulation at this juncture seems to assign Deuteronomy 30 (the promises of vv. 1-10 in particular) a postdeuteronomistic origin, Noth had affirmed earlier that Dtr had Deut. 4.44-30.20 before him in essentially its present form.1 The second author who frequently receives Noth's approbation is Leonhard Rost. In fact, for what concerns the larger complexes that are identifiable within the pre-deuteronomistic materials in the books of Samuel (the Story of Samuel's Youth, the Ark Narrative, the Saul Narrative, the Story of David's Rise, the Succession Narrative), Noth typically refers readers to Rost's 1926 monograph on the subject.2 Noth also adopts Rost's views on several individual passages. Thus, Rost's 'literary analysis' of 2 Samuel 7 is 'essentially correct',3 just as Rost is right in seeing 7.22-24 as a deuteronomistic reutilization of pre-existing elements of the text. These elements had been used originally of God's promises for the Davidic monarchy's future, but Dtr turned them into statements about the whole people's past history.4 Rost is likewise 'certainly correct' regarding the pre-deuteronomistic character of 1 Kgs 2.1,2*, 5-9.5 Among authors with whom Noth expresses more occasional agreement, two more should be mentioned here. Against the more recent tendency represented by Eissfeldt and Weiser, Noth aligns himself with the older opinion of Julius Wellhausen on the deuteronomistic composition of 1 Sam. 7.2-8.22; 10.17-27a; 12.1-25.6 It is also then against another of Eissfeldt's viewsthat Deuteronomy represents a
1. Noth, US, p. l6;DH,p. 31. 2. Die Uberlieferung von der Thronnachfolge Davids (BWANT 3.6; Stuttgart: Kohlhammer, 1926). For Noth's general references to this work, see US, p. 54, n. 1; p. 62, n. 3; DH, p. 77, n. 1; p. 86, n. 3. 3. Noth, US, p. 64 and n. 5; DH, p. 89, n. 3. Rost's analysis, which Noth adopts here (in preference to Kuenen's and Nowack's ascription of the entire chapter to a 'Deuteronomist', see n. 3, p. 28 above), envisages a Grundbestand in 2 Samuel 7, which was subsequently amplified twice, once at the pre-deuteronomistic stage and then at the deuteronomistic stage. 4. Noth, US, p. 64 and n. 8; DH, p. 89 and n. 6. Noth deviates from Rost's analysis of 2 Samuel 7 on one small point: for him it is v. 12b, rather than its parallel in v. 13a, which derives from Dtr, since the latter with its use of the phrase 'for ever' would 'hardly' have been formulated by Dtr. 5. Noth, US, p. 66, n. 2; DH, p. 91, n. 2. 6. Noth, US, pp. 54-55 and n. 3; DH, pp. 77-78. See also p. 5, n. 2; DH, p. 19, n. 2 (on 1 Samuel 12).


The History of Israel's Traditions

compilation of originally separate 'editions' of the Code (see above) that Noth evokes Gustav Hb'lscher's 'quite convincing demonstration'.1 Summing up \heforschungsgeschichtlichaspect ofUS, one might say that therein Noth evinces his awareness of previous discussions on the formation history of the books Deuteronomy-Kings. On the other hand, he shows a rather minimal concern with acknowledging all participants in the discussion, and even less with providing detailed discussion of their proposalswhether by way.of agreement or disagreement. Perhaps Noth thought he had better things to do in his US. Who would gainsay him on that point?

1. Noth, US, p. 16 and n. 2; DH, p. 32 and n. 1. Holscher's essay that Noth cites here is 'Komposition und Ursprung des Deuteronomiums', ZAW 40 (1922), pp. 161-225.


My topic is 'Noth and the Deuteronomistic History', and my instructions from my handlers were to stay close to Noth, which I am happy to do. In a short paper, it would be unwise to do anything else. Fifty years ago, in the middle of the bleak horror of World War II, Martin Noth presented the Deuteronomistic History to the world of biblical scholarship. It met with wide but not total acceptance; it has been with us ever since. An architectural metaphor will help to structure discussion, so I invite you to think of it as 'the house that Noth built'. Over recent years, people have been sounding out its structures, suggesting substantial rebuilding or extensive redecorating. To some, the house seems to totter. The question is: Can it still stand? To begin to answer that, we have to look closely at the foundations on which Noth built. The concept of a Pentateuch gives a structuring unity to the early traditions of Israel. The picture of the known human world leads into the origins of what was to become the people of Israel. In the generation that is spanned by the birth and death of Moses, Israel is constituted as a people, brought out of Egypt into independence and shaped as the people of God before being set on the journey to a promised land. Israel's tradition had given these texts a recognized unity as Torah. To the contrary, the books that followed bore a nomenclature that pointed away from unity toward diversity; they were placed among the prophets, later specified as the Former Prophets. The immense variety of traditions in Joshua, Judges, Samuel and Kings lacked any sort of conceptual unifying focus, such as the idea of Pentateuch/Torah gave to the earlier traditions. 1. Noth's Original Design When Noth came to his task, the source-critical foundations had long been laid and were generally accepted, viz., the identification of the


The History of Israel's Traditions

'Deuteronomistic' elements in the text. Noth's interest was not in the separate elements but in the whole. The question he set out to answer was: 'Do we in fact have here a comprehensive framework indicating a large literary unit which has adopted much traditional material?' * The first foundational evidence for the 'whole' that Noth sought to build was the structural organization. 'In particular, at all the important points in the course of the history, Dtr. brings forward the leading personages with a speech, long or short, which looks forward and backward in an attempt to interpret the course of events, and draws the relevant practical conclusions about what people should do.'2 Noth identifies seven of these passageseither speeches or summaries: Joshua 1; 12; 23; Judg. 2.1 Iff.; 1 Samuel 12; 1 Kings 8; 2 Kgs 17.7ff. The second piece of foundational evidence alleged is an extension of this organizational claim. From close source-critical study of the junction between Joshua and Judges, Noth argues against separate, individual biblical books in favor of a direct transition from Joshua 23 to the period of the judges. The other transitions are considered 'smooth and clear'.3 Against the division into books, the structural divisions in the deuteronomistic text are marked for Noth by Joshua 23; 1 Samuel 12 and 1 Kings 8.4 The third piece of foundational evidenceand in many ways the key claimis the contrast between the remarkable diversity of the old traditional material and the coherent uniformity of the deuteronomistic parts. 'The unity of the latter is the more obvious because it stands in contrast to the diversity of the older material.'5 The fourth and final piece of foundational evidence built on by Noth is the recognition that the key date of 480 years from exodus to temple (1 Kgs 6.1) emerges from a calculation based on the figures that are given explicitly in the Deuteronomistic History, with a little fiddling of the facts at the end of the careers of Joshua and Samuel. All of this confirms the understanding of the history as a self-contained unit.6
1. Noth, US, p. 3; DH, p. 15. 2. Noth, US, p. 5; DH, p. 18. 3. Noth, US, pp. 6-10; DH, pp. 20-24. 4. Noth, US, p. 10; DH, p. 24. 5. Noth, US, p. 10; DH, p. 25. 6. Noth, US, pp. 18-27; DH, pp. 34-44. The correctness of this observation is not changed by the fact that different judgments about what belonged in the Deuteronomistic History can lead in other ways to the same figure of 480 yearsthe

CAMPBELL Martin Noth and the Deuteronomistic History


Noth's conclusion: 'Dtr. was not merely an editor but ['nicht nur...sondern'] the author of a history which brought together material from highly varied traditions and arranged it according to a carefully conceived plan.'1 It is worth noting that much of subsequent scholarship revolves around the tension between editor and author, already embedded here by Noth in his description of the Deuteronomistic History. Certain positions that were considered and rejected by Noth have been picked up and developed in subsequent studies. First, Noth did not allow for compiled sources available to Dtr, beyond the collection of the settlement traditions and the combination of the extended writings on Saul and David.2 Secondly, Noth insisted on the unity of the Deuteronomistic History. There were subsequent additions in the same style that do not take away from the unity of the original. This original should not be dated so early that obviously later passagesfor example, substantial parts of Solomon's prayer in 1 Kings 8must be attributed to a second deuteronomistic author.3 For Noth, therefore, an exilic date preempts the need for an exilic edition. The vision of this structured, unified, coherent literary whole that so impressed Noth over against the diversity of the older traditions can best be seen in an overview of the text. The deuteronomistic contributions are in italics; the older traditions are in roman; the major later additions are noted in square brackets.4 2. Overview Deuteronomy 14 provides the introduction, a speech by Moses presenting the final great act of his lifewith some additions in ch. 4. Deut. 4.44-30.20 is already existing traditionthe deuteronomic lawcode (chs. 12-26), with its own introduction and conclusionpresented
figures needed remain exclusive to the Deuteronomistic History (see W. Richter, Die Bearbeitungen des 'Retterbuches' in der deuteronomischen Epoche [BBB 21; Bonn: Peter Hanstein, 1964], pp. 132-41; G. Sauer, 'Die chronologischen Angaben in den Buchern Deut. bis 2. Kon.', 7Z24 [1968], pp. 1-14). 1. Noth, #S,p. ll;DH,p. 26. 2. Noth, US, p. 10; DH, p. 25. 3. Noth, US, p. 6; DH, p. 20. 4. This overview cannot pretend to be a complete identification of the text of Noth's Deuteronomistic History. For that, readers must consult Noth. See also the appendix at the end of this chapter.


The History of Israel's Traditions

as the law by which Israel was to live in the land (12.1). The original core of Deuteronomy 31* and 34* forms an account of the commissioning of Joshua, the writing of the law and the death of Moses. Joshua 1 is a speech to Joshua preparing for the conquest [vv. 7-9 are secondary].Joshua 2-11 is the old tradition on the conquest of the land. Noth attributes Joshua 12 to Dtr. [In Noth's view, Josh. 13-22 did not originally belong in the Deuteronomistic History and Josh. 24 was also added later.] Joshua 23 is a speech of Joshua looking back over the conquest and forward to life in the land. Judg. 2.6-16, 18-19 is a theological introduction to the period of the judges. [In Noth's view, Judg. 1.1-2.5 and 2.20-3.6 did not belong in the Deuteronomistic History.] The period of the judges was worked up from the stories of the tribal heroes and a list of the minor judges. After chs. 3-9, Judg. 10.6-16 is a midway interpretation, after the abortive kingship ofAbimelech. The minor judges and the Jephthah story follow. [In Noth's view, Judg. 13.2-16.31 was possibly a later addition, and chs. 17-21 certainly so.] 1 Samuel 7 concludes the period of the judges with an act of deliverance by Samuel. 1 Sam. 8.1-22; 10.17-27a and 12.1-25 were arranged around older material (esp. 1 Sam. 9.1-10.16 and 11.1-15), to provide a suitably nuanced introduction to the monarchy. Samuel's speech in 12.1-25 looks back over the period of the judges and forward to life under the kings. Stories of Saul and Davidabove all the Story of David's Rise in 1 Sam. 16.14-2 Sam. 5.12bring the narrative up to the arrival of the ark in Jerusalem (2 Sam. 6) and the promise to David of a dynasty (2 Sam. 7). Since 2 Samuel 7 already looked back over David's rise to power and forward to his successors, all Dtr had to add was a focus on the building of the temple in Jerusalem (2 Sam. 7.1b, 11 a, 12b-13a, 22-24). The old material continues with 2 Samuel 8 and the Succession Narrative (2 Sam. 9-20; 1 Kgs 1-2). [In Noth's view, 2 Sam. 21-24 were added later.] 1 Kings 3-7 chronicles Solomon's reign and, above all, the construction of the temple. 1 Kings 8, as Solomon's prayer at the dedication of the temple, looks back to the promise in 2 Samuel 7 and forward to the future history of Israel. 1 Kgs 9.1-9 is a warning to Solomon of the need to keep the Deuteronomic law. There is a brief account of Solomon's reign and wisdom. 1 Kgs 11.1-13 reports Solomon's apostasy and the Lord's

CAMPBELL Martin Noth and the Deuteronomistic History


anger. There is then an account of both the northern and southern kingdoms, incorporating a considerable variety of traditions. Dtr contributed the framework of chronological notices and judgments on each of the kings and also a number of observations. This account begins with the division of the united kingdom into north and south, prophesied by Ahijah (1 Kgs 11.26-40) and realized in history under Jeroboam (1 Kgs 12). A theological interpretation of the fall of the northern kingdom is given in 2 Kgs 17.7-20, 32-34a. Older material continues the account of the southern kingdom. 2 Kgs 21.1-18 prepares for the failure of Josiah 's reform and the fall of the southern kingdom. The finding of the Deuteronomic law was already recounted in 2 Kgs 22.323.3, and the consequent reform under Josiah in 2 Kgs 23.4-15, 19-20a. 2 Kgs 23.16-18, 21-27 comments on the reform of Josiah, and the reason for its failure is attributed to the sin of Manasseh. 2 Kgs 25.126 was adapted from Jeremiah 39-41. 2 Kgs 25.27-30, the favor shown to Jehoiachin in Babylon, concludes the Deuteronomistic History. The conceptual vision which unifies and structures the whole can be seen in the following analysis.
The Deuteronomistic History I. The preamble: the law of God for life in the promised land II. The history of Israel's life in the land, in the light of this law A. Under Joshua: an account of the conquest of the whole land B. Reflection: transition of generations C. Life in the land: a history continued 1. Under the judges 2. Reflection: transition of institutions 3. Under the kings a. Up to the building of the temple b. After the building of the temple Deuteronomy-2 Kings Deuteronomy Joshua-Kings Joshua 1-12; 23 Judg. 2.7-10 Judges-Kings Judg. 2.11-1 Samuel 7 1 Samuel 8-12 1 Samuel 13-2 Kings 25 1 Samuel 13-1 Kings 8 1 Kings 9-2 Kings 25

This quasi-diagrammatic structure may help to concretize Noth's contribution to the understanding of these texts as a Deuteronomistic History. For Dtr, the guidance of Godpointing Israel toward life lived richly in the promised landwas expressed in Moses' final words to Israel in the book of Deuteronomy. Suitably introduced, Deuteronomy stands at the head of the history, as the guidebook for Israel's living within the land. The whole history is placed under this book of law.


The History of Israel's Traditions

However, a prerequisite for living within the land is first possessing the land. So a collection of stories and non-story material was taken from tradition and framed by speeches of Joshua. With the death of Joshua and his generation, a watershed was visible within the people of Israel. To one side were those 'who had seen all the great work that the Lord had done for Israel' (Judg. 2.7); on the other were those 'who did not know the Lord or the work that he had done for Israel' (Judg. 2.10) and who would live out their lives within the land until Israel was exiled from it. In Dtr's view, the inability to communicate across the watershed of this generation gap led to a recurring experience: the Israelites 'did what was evil in the sight of the Lord...abandoned the Lord, the God of their ancestors,... folio wed other gods' (Judg. 2.11-12). Within the land, according to Dtr, the history of this people divided around a second watershed that was located in the politico-institutional life of Israel: the establishment of the monarchy. On the far side of this watershed was life under the judges. Again, a collection of traditions was available for this, and all Dtr needed to do in order to shape tradition to his understanding was to provide an introduction, a midway reflection and a conclusion. Otherwise, with some framing touches, the tradition spoke for itself. On the near side of the watershed lay the extensive traditions of life under the kings. Before entering into this critical and, in his view, fatal stage in Israel's history, Dtr provided a further reflection on the transition from the institution of judgeship to that of monarchy. The prophetic texts on the emergence of Saul as king in Israel were edited and interwoven with traditions more suited to the deuteronomistic judgment on the kings. For Noth, 1 Samuel 12 was the great deuteronomistic utterance on the question of kings, drawing together and balancing the threads in the earlier tapestry of traditions. Given the centrality of the Jerusalem temple in deuteronomistic theology, it is not surprising that the construction of the temple emerged as the watershed in this phase of Israel's history. The period of the monarchy leading up to and including the building of the temple was drawn almost exclusively from the already extensive Davidic and Solomonic traditions. According to Noth, much of 1 Kings 8 brought to expression what was critical for Dtr at this stage in Israel's history. With the temple built, Dtr could judge the kings of Israel and Judah by two criteria: Where they worshipped and how they worshipped. Were they faithful to Jerusalem as the place of worship prescribed in

CAMPBELL Martin Noth and the Deuteronomistic History


Deuteronomy? Were they faithful to the integrity of worship prescribed in Deuteronomy? Dtr laid down the criteria in 1 Kgs 9.1-9; in 1 Kgs 11.1-13 Dtr spelled out the implications of the first major failure under these criteria. The downfall is traced first to the northern kingdom's fall and finally to the fall of Judah. According to Noth, in 2 Kgs 17.7-20 Dtr provided an extensive interpretation of the fall of the North, his last substantial contribution to the History. Noth envisaged a five-stage structure in this carefully conceived plan: (1) the Mosaic period, ending in the transition to Joshua; (2) the period of conquest, ending with Joshua 23; (3) the period of the judges, ending with 1 Samuel 12 and the transition to monarchy; (4) the period of the first three kings, ending not with 1 Kings 8 and the consecration of the temple but with 1 Kings 9 and 11 and the prophet Ahijah of Shiloh; and (5) the period of decline and fall under the kings of Israel and Judah. In the first two periods, under Moses and Joshua, there is fidelity. In the third period, under the judges, there is instability. In the fourth period, under Saul, David and Solomon, there is an ascendant movement toward the capture of Jerusalem and the building of the temple there, dropping suddenly and sharply at the end with the infidelity of the aged Solomon and its condemnation by Ahijah. From there on, in the fifth perioddespite glimmers of light with Hezekiah and Josiahthe movement is steadily downward to destruction. For Noth, Dtr's concern was to teach the authentic meaning of the history of Israel from the conquest to the exile. 'The meaning which he discovered was that God was recognizably at work in this history, continuously meeting the accelerating moral decline with warning and punishments and, finally, when these proved fruitless, with total annihilation.'1 The echoes of Joshua 23, 1 Samuel 12 and 2 Kings 17 are unmistakable. 3. The House after Noth What I have been examining is 'the house that Noth built'its foundations, its structure, and the purpose that it served. The house was left untouched for a couple of decades, but then slowly admirers succumbed to the urge to be developers and improvers. Where 'the house that Noth built' is concerned, what happened next can be best described in terms of restorers, rebuilders and redecorators.
1. Noth, US, p. 100; DH, p. 134.


The History of Israel's Traditions

a. Restorers The restorers sanded back deuteronomistic surfaces and claimed to find old structures beneath. I will single out the work of Wolfgang Richter in Judges, P. Kyle McCarter, Jr, in Samuel and myself in Samuel-Kings. Noth himself was well aware that his Dtr used extensive prefabricated materials in his building. These included the Deuteronomic law code (Deut. 4.44-30.20), the old collection of stories on the conquest (Josh. 2-11), the stories of the tribal heroes and the list of the lesser judges (for Judg. 3-12) and finally, those traditionsabout 50 chaptersfrom the time of Saul and David.1 These are prefabricated structures, with the exception of the Judges material. In 1-2 Kings Dtr was dealing less with structures than with raw materials. For Solomon, Noth appeals to 'the book of the acts of Solomon' (1 Kgs 11.41) and after Solomon, to the Chronicles of the Kings of Israel and the Chronicles of the Kings of Judah. Besides these, Noth's Dtr drew on an extensive collection of prophetic narratives. The totals are of the order of 26 verses from the Chronicles of the Kings of Israel, 133 verses from the Chronicles of the Kings of Judah and 23 chapters or so from the prophetic narratives. All told, of the approximately 156 chapters in Noth's Deuteronomistic History, he attributed more than two-thirds to prefabricated sources.2 No wonder Noth comments: 'In general, then, Dtr. gave his narrative very markedly the character of a traditional work, the intention was to be a compilation and explanation of the extant traditions concerning the history of his people.'3 In the book of Judges, Richter isolated shifts in thought and language that identified an earlier collection of stories that served as a source for Dtr. Before being taken over by Dtr and given a deuteronomistic preface (Judg. 2.1 Iff.), the deliverer stories had already been held
1. These traditions are 1 Sam. 1-4; 4-7; 9.1-10.16; 10.27b-11.15; 13-15; 16.113; 16.14-2 Sam. 5.25; 6-7; 9-20; 1 Kgs 1-2. 2. If anything, this is an underestimate. The core of Deuteronomy (26 chapters), Joshua (10), Samuel (50) and the prophetic narratives in Kings (23) adds up to 109 chapters. This total does not include the deliverer stories in Judges, the Book of the acts of Solomon or the Chronicles of the Kings of Israel and Judah. I have left these as not being 'prefabricated sources'a description that may legitimately be assigned to the individual prophetic narratives. The 156 is calculated as follows: Deuteronomy, 34; Joshua, 13; Judges, 11; 1 Samuel, 31; 2 Samuel, 20; 1 Kings, 22; 2 Kings, 25. 3. Noth, OS, p. 100; DH, p. 133.

CAMPBELL Martin Noth and the Denteronomistic History


together by an interpretative framework and even given a model paradigm in the Othniel story (Judg. 3.7-11). Richter's work is no threat to 'the house that Noth built'; it makes Judges 3-9 a source, as was Joshua 2-11 for Noth. It allows Dtr to plead diminished responsibility to any charge of cyclic theology; the cyclic theology comes from the source and is not Dtr's creation. As part of the outcome of two massive and painstaking studies, Richter isolated shifts in thought and language within the redactional material of the book of Judges.1 The most easily identifiable and repeatable aspect of Richter's complex observations is that in the early part of Judges the typical deuteronomistic language and thought especially the term 'judge'is found in Judg. 2.6-11, 14-16, 18-19 but not in Judg. 3.7-11 or the framework surrounding the deliverance stories of Ehud, Deborah/Barak and Gideon. The framework speaks of Israel doing evil but does not identify that evil, and in the framework the deliverers are not termed judges.2 Judg. 3.7-11 does not itself constitute a story but is a combination of the elements that make up the framework around the stories that follow. However, it moves a step in the direction of the deuteronomistic material in Judg. 2.6-11, 14-16, 1819 when it names the evil (v. 7) and refers to the deliverer 'judging Israel' (v. 10). The language of v. 7 and the ideas of vv. 9-10 are not quite those of Judg. 2.6-11, 14-16, 18-19. For example, the Lord raises up a deliverer who delivers Israel (v. 9), and Othniel, called the deliverer, is assigned the activity of judging (v. 10) but is not given the title of judge. In Richter's view, therefore, Dtr took over from tradition a narrative in which three stories of deliverers were contrasted with the abysmal episode of Israel's first attempt at monarchy under King Abimelech. A framework surrounded the three different stories of deliverance, pointing out that Israel's peril was punishment for evil, that the deliverer was given when Israel cried to the Lord and that deliverance was followed
1. Richter, Die Bearbeitungen des 'Retterbuches' and Traditionsgeschichtliche Untersuchungen zum Richterbuch (BBB 18; Bonn: Peter Hanstein, 2nd edn, 1966). Noth expressed his approval of the first part of Richter's work in a review in VT 15 (1965), pp. 126-28. In his final paragraph Noth commented ominously that the author wrote in a style that was fairly difficult even for a German and above all for the foreigners who really ought to read the book. 2. Deborah's activity at the start (Judg. 4.4b) is not that of a deliverer-judge; this comes in the course of the story.


The History of Israel's Traditions

by rest for the deliverer's lifetime. The attempt at institutionalized monarchy, on the other hand, was a disaster. Dtr's contribution was to express the message of the framework formally in a preface, clarifying the nature of the evil in deuteronomistic terms and characterizing the deliverers as judges. Thus what might have been seen as a series of significant episodes is transformed into a major period in Israel's history, extending from the generation after Joshua to the generation of Samuel. In the books of Samuel, McCarter argues for
a prophetic history of the origin of the monarchy that was intended to present the advent of kingship in Israel as a concession to a wanton demand of the people. Beyond this purely negative purpose, however, the history was written to set forth according to a prophetic perspective the essential elements of the new system by which Israel would be governed.l

Its trace is to be found right across 1-2 Samuel, although the concentration is in 1 Samuel 1-16.2 The criteria for its identification are not formally discussed, but they include form-critical considerations and issues of theme and content. McCarter includes in it pre-deuteronomistic texts in 1 Sam. 8; 10.17-25; and 12. The prophetic history is of northern origin, from the late eighth century. A comment by Noth is significant here: 'As in the occupation story, the existence of this traditional material [in Samuel] absolved Dtr. from the need to organize and construct the narrative himself.'3 McCarter's claim that part of the organization had been done by a northern prophetic redaction would pose no threat to 'the house that Noth built'. Noth's comment interests me, because I think it suggests that Noth himselflike his Dtrpaid less attention to Samuel than to Kings. I believe that the prophetic texts in Kings cannot be adequately handled unless they are associated with those in Samuel, a point that will be evident in what follows. According to Noth, there were
some narrative cycles, each of which accumulated around one prophetic figure and was handed down in the circle of homines religiosi. Much space is given to the Elijah and Elisha cycle, which is made up of originally 1. P.K. McCarter, Jr, / Samuel (AB 8; Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1980), p. 21. 2. In 2 Samuel, McCarter attributes to prophetic redaction 2 Sam. 7.9a, 15b, 2021; 11.2-12.24; and 24.10-14, 16a, 17-19 (see II Samuel [AB 9; Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1984], p. 8). 3. Noth, US, p. 62; DH, p. 86.

CAMPBELL Martin Noth and the Deuteronomistic History independent episodes and a short series of anecdotes, welded together into a more or less unified continuous narrative before Dtr. 's time. Dtr. incorporated it into his history splitting it up into parts.1


Noth speaks in similar terms of the Isaiah cycle, the story of Ahijah of Shiloh, Micaiah ben Imlah and a further cycle of stories of the prophets' interventions in the succession of Israelite kings and dynasties.2 Most noteworthy is that Noth relates these cycles of prophetic narratives exclusively to the books of Kings. In view of later developments, it is significant that Noth paid almost no attention to the prophetic materials in the books of Samuel. As Noth saw it, for telling the stories of David and Saul Dtr 'had access to a comprehensive and coherent narrative tradition'.3 Its components included: the old Saul traditions (1 Sam. 9.1-10.16; 10.27b-11.15; 1314; with 1 Sam. 15 added later and 16.1-13 added last), the story of the rise of David (1 Sam. 16.14-2 Sam. 5.25), and the story of the succession to David ([1 Sam. 4.1b-7.1] 2 Sam. 6-7; 9-20; 1 Kgs 1-2). The degree to which Noth saw this Saul-David material as a source that did not need further attention is emphasized by his comment quoted above (p. 40) that Dtr was absolved from the need to organize and construct the narrative. It is important to see what Noth made of these prophetic traditions. There is a revealing comment at the beginning of his treatment: 'The prophets, "men of God", appear chiefly as opponents to the kings and surely Dtr. meant them to be understood in this way.'4 The role of prophets like Samuel (who anointed King Saul and King David), Ahijah (who designated King Jeroboam) and Elisha's disciple (who anointed King Jehu) does not fit at all well with this comment. It puts intolerable strain on Noth's 'chiefly' (vorzugsweise). Since Noth, the literature exploring this prophetic activity in Samuel has been extensive. In Jepsen's work, overshadowed by Noth's, the equivalent of Dtr's contribution is designated a prophetic ('nebiistische')
1. Noth, US, pp. 78-79; DH, p. 107 (emphasis mine). 2. Noth, US, pp. 78-80; DH, pp. 107-109. Noth continues: ' 1 Kings * 11, * 12, * 14 and 1 Kings (20) 22 and 2 Kings 9-10 would have belonged to this cycle; but it cannot be proved since these sections are not specifically linked with each other and they have in common only the subject and the idea of the word of the prophet and of its effect' (US, p. 80; DH, p. 109). 3. Noth, US, p. 66;DH,p. 91. 4. Noth, US, p. 78; DH, p. 107. Emphasis mine.


The History of Israel's Traditions

redaction.1 Afterwards, several German dissertationsNiibel, 1959; Mildenberger, 1962; Macholz, 1966; Schiipphaus, 1967concluded that there was a level of prophetic redaction in the text of 1-2 Samuel.2 Along with these, Bruce Birch's 1970 Yale dissertation may be singled out.3 In the books of Samuel and Kings, I have argued in Part I of Of Prophets and Kings that three sets of signals in the text indicate a predeuteronomistic interrelatedness that needs to be accounted for.4 First, there are the similarities between the prophetic anointing texts for Saul, David and Jehu; only these three of all Israel's kings are so anointed by prophets. Secondly, the similarities between the prophetic texts designating or dismissing kings (esp. Jeroboam, Ahab and Jehu)despite later expansionsare strong. Jehu is the figure common to both series. Thirdly, there are interrelationships and a wider context to be considered. These signals need to be explained. My claim is that a continuous and coherent pre-deuteronomistic narrative can be identified, extending from 1 Samuel 1 to 2 Kings 10, which I call the Prophetic Record and which makes a claim for prophetic authority over kings in Israel, consequently legitimating Jehu's coup and his campaign against the worship of Baal. It dates from the late ninth century. The Prophetic Record does not constitute a threat to 'the house that Noth built', since it merely extends into Kings what Noth saw as already structured in Samuel, and it gives a tighter focus and unity to that structure. McCarter and I have a lot in common, but we differ in our
1. A. Jepsen, Die Quellen des Konigsbuches (Halle: Niemeyer, 2nd edn, 1956). 2. H.U. Niibel, Davids Aufstieg in der Friihe israelitischer Geschichtsschreibung (Bonn: Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universitat, 1959); F. Mildenberger, 'Die vordeuteronomistische Saul-Davidiiberlieferung', doctoral dissertation, Eberhard-Karls-Universitat, Tubingen, 1962; G.C. Macholz, 'Untersuchungen zur Geschichte der Samuel-Uberlieferungen', doctoral dissertation, Heidelberg, 1966; J. Schiipphaus, Richter- und Prophetengeschichten als Glieder der Geschichtsdarstellung der Richter- und Konigszeit (Bonn: Rheinische Friedrich-WilhelmsUniversitat, 1967). 3. B.C. Birch, The Rise of the Israelite Monarchy: The Growth and Development of 1 Samuel 7-15 (SBLDS 27; Missoula, MT: Scholars Press, 1976). 4. A.F. Campbell, Of Prophets and Kings: A Late Ninth-Century Document (1 Samuel 1-2 Kings 10) (CBQMS 17; Washington, DC: Catholic Biblical Association of America, 1986); see esp. Tables I, II, and III, pp. 23, 39 and 63 respectively. The only change I would make since 1986 is to omit 1 Kings 1* from the Prophetic Record. The text moves from 2 Sam 8.15 to 1 Kgs 2. la, 10, 12or equivalent.

CAMPBELL Martin Noth and the Deuteronomistic History


basic criteria and on the issue of whether kingship as wanton popular demand came within the early prophetic perspectiveI think it did not.1 On a pre-deuteronomistic date, we agree. Some additional remarks may perhaps be permitted here. The northern use of so-called southern documents is much easier to understand when it is recognized that the material is used to legitimate the power of northern kings. These prophets claim that they, God's prophets, were God's instruments in the designation of Saul, the rejection of Saul and the designation of David. What they had given in God's name, they were entitled in God's name to take away; indeed they claimed to take away the substance of the Davidic kingdom and transfer it with the legitimacy of divine election to Jeroboam and the North (1 Kgs 11.37, 38b). What they had done in the first place to Saul, they did now to Solomon. The interest for northern circles is evident. It is worth noting that the hypothesis of a Prophetic Record is not in the least dependent on the analysis of the patterns in regnal formulas. The only connection between them is that the odd distribution of the patterns happens to coincide with the end of the Prophetic Record. So the Prophetic Record can make sense of the distribution of the regnal formulas; the regnal formulas do not contribute anything to the Prophetic Record. The Prophetic Record is dependent on the signals set by the texts schematized in Tables I, II and III in Of Prophets and Kings. The similarity between the texts in these Tables I, II and III is not so rigid as to demand an individual author. The growth of ideas and texts within a like-minded group would make satisfactory sense of the signals. The followers of Elisha are prime candidates for such a group. The role of a disciple of Elisha in anointing Jehu is scarcely an invention; for better or worse, invention would surely attach the anointing directly to Elisha himself. It is most plausibly seen as a fragment of historical memory within the group of Elisha's followers. There is no mention of something like a Prophetic Record in the sources identified by the Deuteronomists. The sources that the Deuteronomists specify are cited in reference to information that is not recorded in the historynow 'the rest of the acts' of X are they not written in source Y? The Prophetic Record is preserved in its entirety in the Deuteronomistic History; there is no need to identify a source for 'the rest'.
1. In his presentation to the Noth Symposium, McCarter indicated that he no longer considered this popular demand material as part of a prophetic history.


The History of Israel's Traditions

b. Rebuilders Frank Cross launched the campaign to rebuild 'the house that Noth built'. 1 Cross strongly endorsed Noth's description of the primary Deuteronomist as a creative author and historian and fully agreed with the sharp distinction between the Tetrateuch and the Deuteronomistic History.2 In opting for a Josianic first edition, Cross was opposing a strongly held conviction of Noth's. The basis of the argument, at least at first, was intuitive and thematic. Cross claimed two themes for the Josianic history: God's commitment to David and Jerusalem, and the destructive influence of the sin of Jeroboam. The subtheme of the exilic edition was the unforgivable sins of Manasseh. The material attributed to this exilic edition by Cross is limited: a few spots in Deuteronomy, five verses in Joshua 23, one verse in 1 Samuel 12, a handful of verses in 1 Kings and a few more verses in 2 Kings, as well as the final chapters of 2 Kings.3 Decisive evidence is hard to come by. For example, and by way of anticipation, Cross claims the expression 'to this day' as a very strong argument; Noth relegates it to Dtr's sources or to secondary additions no occurrence is attributed to Dtr. Cross appeals to the theme of God's unconditional promise to the house of David. For Noth, the promise has been rendered conditional; for Cross, the conditional material is secondary. A Josianic history not only runs counter to Noth's vigorous opposition, but it also reverses the understanding of the basic Deuteronomistic History. It is no longer, with Noth, an account of the definitive downfall of Israel. It becomes, with Cross, 'a propaganda work of the Josianic reformation...in David and in his son Josiah is salvation'.4 Despite the fact that the creativity and integrity is held intact, this is a major rebuilding project. Ironically, its success or failure depends on numerous
1. P.M. Cross, Canaanite Myth and Hebrew Epic: Essays in the History of the Religion of Israel (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1973), pp. 274-89 (first published as 'The Structure of the Deuteronomic History', Perspectives in Jewish Learning [Annual of the College of Jewish Studies 3; Chicago: College of Jewish Studies, 1968], pp. 9-24). 2. Cross, Canaanite Myth, p. 289. 3. Specifically Deut. 4.27-31; 28.36-37, 63-68; 29.27; 30.1-10 (11-20); Josh. 23.11-13, 15-16; 1 Sam. 12:25; 1 Kgs 2.4; 3.14 (?); 6.11-13; 8.25b, 46-53; 9.49; 2 Kgs 17.19; 20.17-18; 21.2-15; 22.15-20; 23.25b-25.30. 4. Cross, Canaanite Myth, p. 284.

CAMPBELL Martin Noth and the Deuteronomistic History


other factorsnot the least of which is the evidence to be uncovered in the redecorating proposal to be looked at next. In the light of later developments, it is valuable to consider what Noth overlookedat least in the judgment of later critics. Since Noth opted for an exilic date, he had no problem incorporating evidently exilic material. The question is: how did he treat the texts that were later claimed as evidence for a Josianic Deuteronomist? For this, it is appropriate to compare Noth with Cross, contrasting the founder of the Deuteronomistic History with the founder of its Josianic edition. Cross, as mentioned, cites from earlier scholarship as a strong argument for a pre-exilic Deuteronomistic History the presence of the phrase 'to this day', which in context presumes the existence of the Judean state. According to Cross, it occurs 'not merely in the sources but also in portions by the Deuteronomistic author'.1 Cross singles out 2 Kgs 8.22 and 16.6 but adds also 1 Kgs 8.8; 9.21; 10.12; 12.19; 2 Kgs 10.27; 14.7; 17.23. However, Noth attributes none of these occurrences to Dtr; they either belong to his sources or are secondary. They create no problem for Noth's exilic history.2 The problem they create is for others wondering how best to read these signals. If one agrees with Noth's judgment on the nature of these texts, they are certainly not evidence for a Josianic edition, but then neither do they exclude one. Certainly, it is almost impossible to argue their attribution to the
1. Cross, Canaanite Myth, p. 275. 2. According to Noth, both 2 Kgs 8.22 and 16.6 were taken from the Chronicles of the Kings of Judah (US, pp. 77-78 and 76, respectively; DH, pp. 106 and 104). Noth claims that 1 Kgs 8.7-8 'were evidently added, but prior to Dtr.' (US, p. 70, n. 2; DH, p. 96, n. 1although among Noth's reasons for this claim appears to be the presence of 'to this day' in v. 8). 1 Kgs 9.21 was from 'the Book of the Acts of Solomon' (cf. 1 Kgs 11.41); Noth explicitly refers to 'the official tradition in 9.2022' ('und abweichend von der amtlichen Uberlieferung in 9,20-22' [US, p. 69]). The translation in DH (p. 94) is misleading'letting Solomon levy forced labour from the whole of Israel (9.20-22)' is not from 9.20-22, of course, but from 5.13-18 (NRSV; = 5.27-32 in Hebrew and German). It contradicts the 'official tradition' in 9.20-22. 1 Kgs 10.11-12 is attributed to the Book of the Acts of Solomon (US, pp. 67, 68, 71; DH, pp. 92, 94, 97); 1 Kgs 12.19 was written before the end of the northern kingdom (US, p. 79; DH, p. 108); 2 Kgs 10.27 belonged to a prophetic story (2 Kgs 9.1-10.27, US, p. 80; DH, pp. 108-109); 2 Kgs 14.7 is attributed to the Chronicles of the Kings of Judah (US, p. 76; DH, p. 104) and 2 Kgs 17.21-23 is a later addition (US, p. 85, n. 4; DH, p. 115, n. 2). As a general statement about the northern exile, v. 23 could have been written by either a Josianic or an exilic historian.


The History of Israel's Traditions

Deuteronomistic Historian on grounds of language or ideology. For Cross, the strongest arguments are thematic. The two themes of the first edition of the Deuteronomistic History are: (1) the destructive weight of the sin of the house of Jeroboam and (2) the commitment of God to David and Jerusalem. 'These themes must stem from a very specific setting having a specific social function'a Josianic edition of the Deuteronomistic History.1 Clearly these themes in themselves will not nail down specific dates: the destruction of the northern kingdom can be a theme earlier or later than Josiah, as well as Josianic; the hope placed in the figure of David is capable of being sustained after Josiah. The interest, therefore, lies in the way specific texts are handled. Cross considers the neglect of the theme of God's promise to the house of David to be 'a serious failure in Noth's study', the more so as it appears that 'the Deuteronomist never really repudiated this promise'.2 The key texts are 1 Kgs 2.3-4; 9.5-7; 2 Kgs 24.2. For Cross, 1 Kgs 9.6-9 is secondary, 'in direct conflict with 2 Samuel 7.18-29 and the Deuteronomistic theme [of the promise to David]'; 2 Kgs 20.17-19 is 'an obvious addition'.3 Neither Noth nor Cross discusses 1 Kgs 2.3-4; it is deuteronomistic for Noth, while for Cross v. 4 belongs to the second edition. However, v. 4 is the second of two ]3b clauses following one another without an intervening main clause; in all other cases, each ]uo^ clause is attached to its own main clause.4 This supports Cross, strongly suggesting that v. 4 is an addition, attaching a conditional aspect to the promise made to David in 2 Samuel 7. Noth claims 1 Kgs 9.1-9 for Dtr, with the comment that only an erroneous early dating for the deuteronomistic redaction would cause it to be considered post-deuteronomistic.5 Cross claims 9.4-9 for his exilic edition, because it conflicts with 2 Sam. 7.18-29 and the theme of Cross's Josianic edition.6 Against Cross, v. 3 as the original theophany is unsatisfactory; the simple declaratory statement is too terse to be plausible. Against Noth, the change at v. 6 from singular to pluralyou (plural) and your children (oym DDK)has to be taken into account. It
1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. Cross, Canaanite Myth, p. 279. Cross, Canaanite Myth, pp. 277 and 276, respectively. Cross, Canaanite Myth, p. 276, n. 11. See, for example, Deut. 8.1, 2, 3; 17.19, 20; Josh. 1.7, 8. Noth, OS, p. 70, n. 8; DH, p. 96, n. 7. Cross, Canaanite Myth, p. 276, n. 11.

CAMPBELL Martin Noth and the Deuteronomistic History


suggests that vv. 6-9 are added with the exile in view, while vv. 4-5 merely prepare for the loss of the northern kingdom after Solomon.1 On 2 Kgs 24.2, Noth derives vv. l-2aoc from the Chronicles of the Kings of Judah but does not say a word about the rest. 1 Kgs 11.39 is an important text for Cross, 'a striking promise'.2 It enables the Davidic covenant of 2 Samuel 7 to be kept intact. Noth eliminates any hint of promise, since at best only v. 39a is to be attributed to Dtr: 'For this reason I will punish the descendants of David.' Verse 39b is an addition; perhaps the whole of vv. 38bp~39 is to be considered an addition (from 'And I give Israel to you'; it is lacking in the Greek).3 It is hard to avoid the conclusion that arguments like these are vulnerable to the tactic we might jestingly call 'secondary pingpong' or 'redactional roulette', in which Rule One requires that the opposition's key texts be relegated to the status of secondary additions, and Rule Two requires that Rule One always be applied. Clearly there are contexts in which secondary additions can be convincingly identified. But that is not always the case. In some of the contexts just mentioned, it is evidently not the case. We might conclude: many of the key texts here will not be immune to secondary pingpong; the overall decision results from a basically intuitive survey of the signals, under the influence of exegetical observations. c. Redecorators With an article in the von Rad Festschrift, between the first and second publications of Cross's study, Rudolf Smend opened a campaign to redecorate 'the house that Noth built'. His article was followed by a monograph on Kings by Walter Dietrich (1972) and two on Samuel by Timo Veijola (1975 and 1977).4
1. See, for example, the discussion by R.D. Nelson, The Double Redaction of the Deuteronomistic History (JSOTSup 18; Sheffield, JSOT Press, 1981), pp. 73-76, 103-105, and M.A. O'Brien, The Deuteronomistic History Hypothesis: A Reassessment (OBO 92; Freiburg: Universitatsverlag; Gottingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1989), pp. 159-60. 2. Cross, Canaanite Myth, p. 283. 3. Noth, US, p. 72, n. 9; DH, p. 99, n. 2. 4. R. Smend, 'Das Gesetz und die Volker: Ein Beitrag zur deuteronomistischen Redaktionsgeschichte', in H.W. Wolff (ed.), Probleme biblischer Theologie: G. von Rad zum 70. Geburtstag (Munich: Chr. Kaiser Verlag, 1971), pp. 494-509; W. Dietrich, Prophetic und Geschichte: Eine redaktionsgeschichtliche Untersuchung


The History of Israel's Traditions

Smend began with Joshua 1.7-9, a text that Noth agreed was a secondary addition to the Deuteronomistic History. However, Smend identified thought and language that could be found elsewhere, especially in Joshua 23 and also in other passages, again considered secondary by Noth, in Judges 1-2. Identifying a common level of redaction here, which he called 'nomistic', Smend suggested a reorganization of the deuteronomistic book of Joshua: ch. 23 goes out, while the bulk of chs. 13-21 goes in, as does ch. 24. The new redactor, responsible for a carefully planned rereading of the deuteronomistic text, is designated DtrN. In the material studied, Smend attributes to DtrN Josh. 1.7-9; 13.(lb(3) 2-6; 23.1-16; and Judg. 1.1-2.9; 2.17, 20-21, 23. Contrary to Noth, Smend includes Josh. 13.1-21.45 and Joshua 24 in the original Deuteronomistic History. Dietrich introduced a new figure, DtrP. Dietrich's work is a careful study of the deuteronomistically influenced prophetic passages in 1-2 Kings. Working through the prophetic threats and texts, with an analysis of the language used, Dietrich gave the Smend school's picture of the Deuteronomistic History its classic form: DtrG (now DtrH) after 587, DtrP between 580-60 and DtrN about 560. Some key texts in 1 Kings 8 and 9 and 2 Kings 17 go to these later redactions.1 The details of Dietrich's attributions are: To DtrP: 1 Kgs 11.29-31, 33a, 34a, 35aba, 37apyb; 12.15; 14.7-11; 15.29; 16.1-4, 12; 21.18a*, 19b, 20b(3-24, 27-29; and 22:38; 2 Kgs 9.7lOa; 10.17; 17.21-23; 21.10-14; 22.16-17, 18-20; 24.2. To DtrN: 1 Kgs 2.4; 8.14-26, 28-30a, 53-61; 9.1-9; 11.32, 33b, 34b, 35bp, 36, 37aa, 38aba; 14.8b-9a; 15.30; 16.13; and 2 Kgs 8.19; 9.36b37 (?); 10.10, 30-31a; 13.4-6, 23; 14.15-16, 26-27; 15.12; 17.12-19; 18.67a, 12; 21.4, 7b-9, 15-16, 25-26; 22.17ap, 19b (?); 23.26-27; 24.3-4, 20a; 25.22-30. Beyond this, Dietrich identified prophetic traditions, assumed as original, that were incorporated by DtrP into the Deuteronomistic
zum deuteronomistischen Geschichtswerk (FRLANT 108; Gottingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1972); T. Veijola, Die ewige Dynastic: David und die Entstehung seiner Dynastie nach der deuteronomistischen Darstellung (AASF, B, 193; Helsinki: Suomalainen Tiedeakatemia, 1975) and Das Konigtum in der Beurteilung der deuteronomistischen Historiographie: Eine redaktionsgeschichtliche Untersuchung (AASF, B, 198; Helsinki: Suomalainen Tiedeakatemia, 1977). 1. Specifically, 1 Kgs 8.14-26, 28-30a, 53-61; 9.1-9; and 2 Kgs 17.12-19 (DtrN), 21-23 (DtrP).

CAMPBELL Martin Noth and the Deuteronomistic History


History. The prophetic traditions are given in roman, and redactional seaming is noted in italics within parentheses. The texts are: 2 Sam 12.114 (11.27b and 12.15a; also 12.7b, 8afo, 9aa [from 'to do'] fa, lOaba); 1 Kgs 13.1-32 (13.2bp, 32b, 33b-34a; also 2 Kgs 23.15*, 16b, 19b); 1 Kgs 14.1-18* (14.13b); 1 Kgs 16.34; 1 Kgs 17.2-24 (17.2-4, 5a, 8-9, 14aa*; 18.1-2a); 1 Kgs 20; 1 Kgs 22.1-38; ('Ahab' and 22.38); 2 Kgs 1 (1.17apb); 2 Kgs 14.25; 2 Kgs 18.17-20.19. Dietrich's major contribution lies in focusing on the deuteronomistic interest in the prophetic materials incorporated into the history and its theological implications. Theoretically, there is minimal conflict here with Noth; Dietrich's conflict is with McCarter and myself as to whether much of his DtrP is better allocated to pre-deuteronomistic prophetic sources. This conflict highlights the lacuna in Prophetic und Geschichtea study of prophecy and history that does not treat the books of Samuel.1 Veijola's two monographs fill the Samuel lacuna. He ventures into territory where Noth feared to tread and finds extensive traces of deuteronomistic redaction. As a pioneer, we can be grateful to Veijola that practically every possibility has been explored for us. The corresponding risk, of course, is that what is possible or desirable sometimes becomes distanced from what is demonstrable. Particularly helpful is the identification of levels of deuteronomistic editing in what Noth had already claimed for Dtr. This is an important gain. One of its results is that 1 Samuel 12 goes to DtrN. The details of Veijola's attributions are:2 To DtrG (now often termed DtrH): 1 Sam. 2.27-36; 4.4b, lib, 17ba, 19ay, 21b, 22a; 7.2-15, 17; 8.1-5, 22b; 9.16b; lO.lb LXX, 16b, 17, 19b27a; 11.12-14; 13.1; 14.3, *18, 47-52; 20.12-17, 42b; 22.18by; 23.16-18; 24.18-19 (20a) 20b-23a; 25.21-22, 23b, 24b-26, 28-34, *39a; 2 Sam. 3.9-10, 17-19, 28-29, 38-39; 4.2b-4; 5.1-2, 4-5, 11, 12a, 17a; 6.*21; 7.8b, lib, 13, 16, 18-21, 25-29; 8.1a, 14b-15; 9.1, *7, *10, lib, 13a(3; (14.9); 15.25-26; 16.11-12; 19.22-23, 29; 21.2b, 7; 24.1, 19b, 23b, 25ba;

1. I hasten to add that Dietrich moved into selected Samuel texts in a 1987 monograph, David, Saul und die Propheten: Das Verhaltnis von Religion und Politik nach den prophetischen Uberlieferungen vom fruhesten Konigtum in Israel (BWANT 122; Stuttgart: Kohlhammer, 1987; 2nd edn, 1992). Within the Smend school, however, he had been preceded by Timo Veijola's more extensive coverage. 2. Developed from W. Dietrich, 'David in Uberlieferung und Geschichte', VF 22 (1977), p. 49.


The History of Israel's Traditions

1 Kgs l.*30, 35-37,46-48; 2.1-2,4accb, 5-11, 15by, 24, 26b, 27, 31b-33, 35b, 37b, 42-45. To DtrP: 1 Sam. 3.11-14; 15.1-16.13 (?); 22.19; 28.17-19aa; 2 Sam. 12.*7b-10, 13-14; 24.3-4a, 10-14, 15a(3, 17, 21b(3, 25b(3. To DtrN: 1 Sam. 8.6-22a; 12.1-25; 13.13-14; 2 Sam. 5.12b; 7.1b, 6, lla, 22-24; 22.1, 22-25, 51; 1 Kgs 2.3,4a(3. d. Interim Conclusion It is highly ironic that one of the major implications of the Smend redecorating proposal is to confirm the lightness of the Cross rebuilding proposal. Early in this paper, I noted the unmistakable echoes of Joshua 23, 1 Samuel 12 and 2 Kings 17 in Noth's view of an exilic history in which the ultimate outcome of God's work was to meet accelerating moral decline with warning and punishment and, finally, total annihilation. With such a message, such a text must be exilic. But once the three great minatory pillars have been removed and clearly identified with later redactional levels,1 the likelihood of a Josianic Deuteronomistic History suddenly gains weight and momentum. It is highly ironic, but there it is. Many recent studies have supported the idea of a Josianic edition. I single out among early studies Richard Nelson, who was converted from opponent to supporter in mid-thesis,2 and more recently Gottfried Vanoni, whose 1985 article on 2 Kgs 23.25-25.30 is regarded by many as bringing the case for a Josianic Deuteronomistic History to a successful close.3 In these, the detailed issues are discussed far beyond the irony highlighted in the preceding paragraph. The impact of the Smend approach on the Cross approach is, however, twofold: (1) the identification of DtrP and DtrN with much that is negative in the Deuteronomistic History generates an openness toward a Josianic edition of the history, and (2) on the other hand, the identification of DtrP and DtrN points to the weaknesses and oversimplification of a two-edition hypothesis. The observations of both groups must be taken into account, but attempts to do this have so far been regrettably sporadic.
1. Rather than removed, 2 Kings 17 has been seriously weakened, with the attribution of vv. 12-19 to DtrN and vv. 21-23 to DtrP. 2. See Nelson, Double Redaction, in which the reference to the mid-thesis change of heart has been omitted. The original ThD thesis was presented in 1973. 3. G. Vanoni, 'Beobachtungen zur deuteronomistischen Terminologie in 2 Kon 23,25-25,30', in N. Lohfink (ed.), Das Deuteronomium: Entstehung, Gestalt und Botschaft a(BETL 68; Leuven: Leuven University Press, 1985), pp. 357-62.

CAMPBELL Martin Noth and the Deuteronomistic History


Space and focus force me to leave aside large quantities of scholarship. 1 It is appropriate to focus on the two schools with a wide followingCross and Smend; it is immensely regrettable to have to leave so many others untouched. Three that make far-reaching claims about the Deuteronomistic History cannot be left without some mention. Brian Peckham's Composition of the Deuteronomistic History is a fundamental reworking of the Pentateuch and the Deuteronomistic History from the ground up.2 There are some fine observations about potential early text forms. The enterprise as a whole fails, because almost all the problem texts from Genesis to 2 Kings are tipped unresolved into his Dtr2 level. Iain Pro van's Hezekiah and the Books of Kings proposes a pre-exilic deuteronomistic history, beginning with an early form of the books of Samuel and ending with Hezekiah (2 Kings 18-19), and its composition
1. Regular reviews of the literature are, of course, available in Theologische Rundschau. Selective mention may be made of: R.E. Friedman, 'From Egypt to Egypt: Dtr1 and Dtr 2 ', in B. Halpern and J.D. Levenson (eds.), Traditions in Transformation: Turning Points in Biblical Faith (Festschrift P.M. Cross; Winona Lake, IN: Eisenbrauns, 1981), pp. 167-92; A.R. Whitney Green, 'Regnal Formulas in the Hebrew and Greek Texts of the Books of Kings', JNES 42 (1983), pp. 167-80; R. Rendtorff, The Old Testament: An Introduction (London: SCM Press, 1985), pp. 183-88; J. Van Seters, 'Historiography in the Books of Samuel', In Search of History (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1983), pp. 249-91; N. Lohfink, 'Zur neueren Diskussion iiber 2 Kon 22-23', in idem (ed.), Das Deuteronomium, pp. 2448; M. Weinfeld, The Emergence of the Deuteronomic Movement: The Historical Antecedents', in N. Lohfink (ed.), Das Deuteronomium, pp. 76-98; A. Lemaire, 'Vers 1'histoire de la Redaction des Livres des Rois', ZAW98 (1986), pp. 221-36; N. Lohfink, 'The Cult Reform of Josiah of Judah: 2 Kings 22-23 as a Source for the History of Israelite Religion', in P.D. Miller, P.D. Hanson and S.D. McBride (eds.), Ancient Israelite Religion: Essays in Honor of Frank Moore Cross (Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1987), pp. 459-75; B. Halpern, The First Historians: The Hebrew Bible and History (San Francisco: Harper & Row, 1988); B. Halpern and D.S. Vanderhooft, 'The Editions of Kings in the 7th-6th Centuries B.C.E.' HUCA 62 (1991), pp. 179-244; H.M. Niemann, Herrschafi, Konigtum und Staat: Skizzen zur soziokulturellen Entwicklung im monarchischen Israel (FAT 6; Tubingen: Mohr, 1993); E. Talstra, Solomon's Prayer: Synchrony and Diachrony in the Composition of I Kings 8,14-61 (CBET 3; Kampen: Kok Pharos, 1993). 2. B. Peckham, The Composition of the Deuteronomistic History (HSM 35; Atlanta: Scholars Press, 1985). In my experience, it is helpful to identify Peckham's text from his listings of biblical citations (figures 1-7) before reading the corresponding chapter of his monograph.


The History of Israel's Traditions

is dated early in Josiah's reign.1 In an exilic edition, the books of Deuteronomy, Joshua and Judges were added, as well as redactional activity in Samuel and Kings. The primary observations are based on a shift in the understanding of the high places and a shift in the nature of the references to David. The proposal for the beginning in Samuel, with Deuteronomy-Judges as secondary, is acknowledged by Provan to be brief and tentative; handled within a dozen pages, it is not broadly based. A thorough evaluation cannot be done here. Steven McKenzie's The Trouble with Kings proposes a Josianic Deuteronomistic History, with a diminished Dtr2, and subsequent additions that do not constitute redactional levels.2 In what is a comprehensive and irenic study, drawing inspiration from John Van Seters, McKenzie nevertheless disagrees with Noth, Cross and the Smend schoolwith Noth, because he argues for a Josianic history; with Cross, because he reduces Dtr2 to 2 Kgs 21.8-15 (16) and 23.26-25.26; and with the Smend school, because he denies any redactional coherence in the later additions. Regrettably, as with Provan, this cannot be the place for a thorough evaluation.3

1. I.W. Provan, Hezekiah and the Books of Kings: A Contribution to the Debate about the Composition of the Deuteronomistic History (BZAW 172; Berlin: de Gruyter, 1988). Provan is one of those who argues with regard to the judgment formulas that 'the minor variations by themselves.. .can easily be understood in terms of a single author' (p. 54). This may be correct, but it seriously misses the point. The issue is why these finely nuanced differences of expression are distributed across the text with a remarkable and determined regularity. They are not random variations. There is a patterned regularity, and it is this that needs explanationwhether it is from one author or several. 2. S.L. McKenzie, The Trouble with Kings: The Composition of the Book of Kings in the Deuteronomistic History (VTSup 42; Leiden: Brill, 1991). 3. McKenzie remarks, There is no evidence for any kind of earlier running history, prophetic or otherwise beneath Dtr's composition in the book of Kings' (pp. 147-48). -In this, he disavows his 1985 article, wisely in my view (The Prophetic History and the Redaction of Kings', HAR 9 [1985], pp. 203-20). In his treatment of the prophetic confrontation with northern kingsespecially Jeroboam, Ahab and Jehuwhile McKenzie has taken potshots at outposts of my positions, he has not, in my respectful judgment, come to grips with my case for a pre-deuteronomistic core in these texts. Despite the potshots, I believe my analysis stands up extremely well and continues to offer a valid hypothesis.

CAMPBELL Martin Noth and the Deuteronomistic History 4. The House Now: Disaster or Comfortable Renovation ?


Despite myriad studies, it is surprising how little has been done to compare or integrate the insights of the Cross arid Smend schools. Our needs are (1) a treatment of the shape and form of the supposed original Deuteronomistic History and (2) a thorough and careful scrutiny of the characteristics of language and thought identifying the later deuteronomistic levels. Has 'the house that Noth built' shifted off its foundations to the point where it is in danger of collapse? Mark O'Brien's The Deuteronomistic History Hypothesis: A Reassessment (above p. 47 n. 1) is a serious move toward answering these questions. There is room only to note the insight O'Brien offers into the overarching structure and driving forces of a Josianic Deuteronomistic History and to outline the three discernible focuses of later redaction. Three factors are isolated: fidelity to the God of Israel, fidelity to Jerusalem and fidelity to proper leadership. Proper leadership is dependent on God's word and God's prophets. At stage one, Moses, the prophet par excellence, hands on authority to Joshua and all is well. At stage two, no one takes up the leadership from Joshua, and a new phase is begun and all is not well. God raises up judges, but there is not a stable leadership. The last judge is Samuel the prophet, and as prophet Samuel presides over the transition to Israel's monarchy. Finally, at stage three, the prophetic power over the monarchy is shown in Samuel's dismissal of Saul (1 Sam. 13-15) and anointing of David, in David's consultation with Nathan regarding his temple proposal and in the interventions of subsequent prophets to designate or dismiss kings. The collapse after Solomon is authorized by the prophet Ahijah, who transfers not only power but also legitimacy and divine promise to Jeroboam. There are the further prophetic roles of Elijah, of the disciple of Elisha and of Isaiah. Deuteronomistic texts mark the key transitions.1 The relentless downhill slide is momentarily halted with Hezekiah, a reforming king rescued from the Assyrians after consulting the prophet
1. The key deuteronomistic texts are the introduction to the period of the judges (Josh. 24.29-31 and Judg. 2.10 along with Judg. 2.1 Iff.) and the introduction to the period of the kings (1 Sam. 8.1-11.15*). At three key points in the history of Israel under the prophets and kings, prophetic consultation is of critical significance: (1) Nathan, following the coming of the ark to Jerusalem; (2) Isaiah, following the Assyrian threat to Jerusalem; (3) Huldah, following the discovery of the law book. These are the three good kings: David, Hezekiah and Josiah.


The History of Israel's Traditions

Isaiah. Finally, the upturn comes when the word of God is brought to Josiah and confirmed by a prophet, Huldah. Josiah's reform and restoration is in conformity with this word of God, purging the wrongs of Manasseh.1 The new era, returning to the ideal, is ushered in with a formal covenant (2 Kgs 23.1-3*), a cleansing of temple, city and land (23.4-12*) and a proper celebration of the passover, such as had not occurred under the kings or under the judges (23.21-23). On this high note, the Josianic history ends. According to O'Brien, there are three discernible stages of redaction in the continuing development of the Deuteronomistic History. The first is from 2 Kgs 23.28 to 2 Kgs 25.21 (without 2 Kgs 24.2-4, 13-14, 20a) and takes the narrative down to the exile; with its limited scope and its uniformity, it might well be the work of one person. The next two stages are more extensive and their boundaries more fluid, with some overlapping of terminology and theology. A degree of variation within each stage cautions against attributing these to individual redactors; 'stage of redaction' is the preferred term.2 Three elements characterize the second stage of redaction: a focus on the sin of Manasseh and also on the evil ways of kings, emphasis on the prophet-king relationship and insistence on the schema of prophecy and fulfillment.3 The third stage is also marked by three characteristics: the use of nomistic (law-oriented) language, a shift of responsibility from monarchy to people and a different perception of the role of the prophets who become preachers of the law.4 The seven prayers of 1 Kgs 8.29b-54, along with some other additions, may well be later still.5 The picture offered is one of considerable fluidity after the primary composition of a Josianic Deuteronomistic History but with certain points of focus emerging, identifiable both by the thematic concerns and the language used to express them.
1. Manasseh rebuilt the high places (2 Kgs 21.3), erected altars for Baal (v. 3), made an Asherah (v. 3), worshipped all the host of heaven (v. 3), built altars for the host of heaven in the two courts of the temple (v. 5) and set a carved image of Asherah in the temple (v. 7). Josiah brought out the vessels made for Baal (2 Kgs 23.4), for Asherah (v. 4) and for all the host of heaven (v. 4), pulled down the two altars that Manasseh had made in the two courts of the temple (v. 12) and brought out the (image of) Asherah from the temple (v. 6). 2. O'Brien, Reassessment, p. 272. 3. O'Brien, Reassessment, pp. 273-80. 4. O'Brien, Reassessment, pp. 280-83. 5. O'Brien, Reassessment, pp. 283-87.

CAMPBELL Martin Noth and the Deuteronomistic History 5. Deuteronomistic Language


I do not want to conclude without a word on deuteronomistic language. Weinfeld is rightidentification has to be based not on words alone but on words, or better phrases, in the service of thought. The only sure foundation for claiming deuteronomistic attribution is language shaped exclusively in the service of deuteronomistic ideology.1 As anyone knows who has looked for it, it exists. All else has to be correlated with this foundation or run the risk of being built on sand. Nothing wrong with sandbut it is risky to build on. It is not that the Deuteronomists cannot express ideas in ordinary language. It is simply that the primary criterion we have to differentiate their utterance from that of ordinary folk is when the utterance consists of or is associated with 'those recurrent phrases that express the essence of the theology of Deuteronomy'. A cautionary comment is also in order. Noth asserts that solutions to the Pentateuch must be built on the whole Pentateuch and not on sections, such as Genesis. It is equally true, and probably just as fruitless, to insist that solutions to the Deuteronomistic History must be built on Deuteronomy through 2 Kings. Partial studies cannot generate definitive results.2 6. Conclusion It is right that this Noth Symposium has been organized. Gratitude is in order to Steven McKenzie and Patrick Graham. The contribution made by Martin Noth is magnificent: the trees of individual books are now seen within the context of the single unified wood where they belong. There is no longer a single Deuteronomistic History. In its place there is a concerted Deuteronomistic industry. The primary edition was probably Josianic; any Hezekianic forerunners are yet to be thoroughly
1. M. Weinfeld, Deuteronomy and the Deuteronomic School (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1972); see pp. 1-3 and pp. 320-65. 'Only those recurrent phrases that express the essence of the theology of Deuteronomy can be considered "deuteronomic"' (p. 3). 2. Fortress Press has contracted with Mark O'Brien and myself to present the mass of observations involved in the growth of the Deuteronomistic History in a visually accessible form, under the title Sources and the Deuteronomistic History, as a companion volume to Sources of the Pentateuch.


The History of Israel's Traditions

explored and accepted. Overtaken by events, it was updated and reworked. In the reworking, certain major shifts of focus can be identified, with corresponding characteristics of thought and language. We who now live and work in 'the house that Noth built' need to learn how to see it and use it as a whole. We need to be aware of the past structures built into it and recognize the contributions made by rebuilders and redecorators since Noth. Recently, after a warm review of Mark O'Brien's Reassessment, Richard Nelson heaved a great sigh in print: 'Nostalgia has no place in scholarship, but perhaps the time has come for us to reread Noth with an open mind'even after fifty years, Noth's Deuteronomistic History in a form something like that which he proposed still 'explains so much so well that it deserves a fair and sympathetic hearing'.1 Perhaps we cannot reoccupy the Deuteronomistic History as Noth built the house, but we can do something similar: we can live in the house we now have without closing our eyes in ignorance of its past. The architectural metaphor may help. Our clan, of course, has lived on the same site for generations. Guests have visited and died here. The ghosts of prophets past and even kings are said to walk the occasional corridor. Our forebears may have laid the foundations for this imposing structure back in Hezekiah's time. There are traces of an old building visible, a cornice here and a beam there. The most notable feature we inherited was the idea of a great staircase. As father said with a twinkle, they were very concerned then about going up to the high places. Our grandparents' generation built most of the present structure, very splendid and grand, reflecting all the optimism and hope of the good times under Josiah. After the bubble burst and the national collapse came, we grandchildren realized that parts of the old structure were unrealistic and insecure and needed careful restoration, shoring up and reshaping. Our children have helped since, redecorating here and there, now and then. We turned over the conservatory and the library for archival storage, theology in the conservatory and prophetic art in the library. The more appropriate bits have been put on display around the house. If you keep the family history in mind, the house makes a richly evocative dwelling. In short, the house that Noth built has not been left untouched, but it can be inhabited now more comfortably than before. We are badly in need of metaphors for reading the present biblical
1. R.D. Nelson, Bib 71 (1990), p. 567.

CAMPBELL Martin Noth and the Deuteronomistic History


text. We have not yet, it seems, found our way to a comfortable and responsible post-critical reading of that complex entity that is our biblical text. We badly need to escape from the redactional fragmentation of much past study. The instincts and literary insights of a print media culture that treats all text as literary text proves to be a blind alley, offering an escape that is ultimately illusory. We need metaphors that allow for the appropriate display of traditions, their touching-up occasionally, and their interactive association. The architectural metaphor of the building is, I believe, a good one. The art gallery with its exhibition halls is another metaphor that is helpful. One other that I have found valuable in reflecting on the Deuteronomistic History is a version of the family albumthe metaphor of the collages of memories, snapshots and treasures that are preserved and presented in some form of extended family or community album. The possibilities are considerable. There is the sepia picture of grandmother as a young woman, with the extract from grandfather's diary that describes her as loving and supportive, the only one who knew how to guide us to living rightly in this new land. On the facing page, there may be a photo of grandmother as an older woman, with a snippet from one of the granddaughters' letters describing her as hateful and domineering, the major stumbling block to our living creatively and fruitfully in this new land. There might be reminiscences from great-grandfather and greatgrandmother of their journey out here and the establishment of themselves and their family in this new land. Interestingly, and perhaps to be expected, the reminiscences are remarkably different; it is hard to believe they happened to the same couple. Then there are more recent pictures and letters, and with them father's account of how we nearly lost the farm or the business but survived, thanks to a radical change in the way we operated. After this, there are newspaper clippings on the bankruptcy and accounts by the children of how it happened and whyhow the economic and social situation had not been fully understood, how the change in operations was not carried through thoroughly enough, how we lost faith and so on. Every now and then, one of the family (or the community) takes the album away for a month or soalong with the memorabilia case containing all the leftovers and unused bitsand rearranges parts of it. Then we all gather to look at it and talk over the rearrangement and explore once again where we have come from and who we are.


The History of Israel's Traditions

Studying the Deuteronomistic History, we may not be able to reconstruct the past documents with enough accuracy to win full consensus. However, we can read the signals that point to the forces that powered the shaping of our text. We are not concerned with the vestiges of an author, but we listen for the voices of a text. 7. Appendix: The Deuteronomistic History as Identified by Martin Noth This identification of the Deuteronomistic History (DH) presents the text described by Martin Noth in US. The presentation follows the chronological sequence in this sense that the text assumed as original is aligned with the left margin, the deuteronomistic material is indented from the left margin and italicized, and the principal texts considered by Noth as subsequent additions are aligned with the right margin and also italicized. DEUTERONOMY 1.1-3.29 is essentially from Dtr 4.1, 2, 5-8, 10-14, 22-23a, 25-28 is from Dtr Subsequent additions: 4.3-4, 9, 15-21, 23b-24, 29-43 Deut. 4.44-30.20 already existed as the deuteronomic law code (chs. 12-26) with its own introduction and conclusion. 31.1, 2, 7-9aa, (10, llafib, 12b-13), 24-26a is from Dtr 34.1aftba, 4-6 is from Dtr Most of the verses omitted from ch. 31 are considered to be later additions, as are chs. 32; 33; and 34.10-12. 34.1bf3-3 is an explanatory addition; 34.1aa, 7-9 is from P. JOSHUA 1.1-6, 10-18 are from Dtr Subsequent addition: 1.7-9 Joshua 2-11 already existed as a collection of stories on the conquest. In Joshua 2-11, Noth attributes the following to Dtr: 2.10b 3.2-3, 4b, 6, 7, 8, and the word 'priests' in 3.13, 14, 15, 17 4.12, 14, 24, and the word 'priests' in 4.3, 9, 10, 18 5.4, 6, 7 6.4aab, 6, 8, 9a, 12b, 13a, 16afi (the priests), 26, cf. 1 Kgs 16:34 8. la, 30-35 9.9bp, 10, 27bp 10.25

CAMPBELL Martin Noth and the Deuteronomistic History


11.15, 20b, 23 14.6af$b-15athese may belong after 11.21-23a 12 Joshua 13-22, according to Noth, did not originally belong in DH, but was added shortly after its conclusion. The material is very similar to the work ofDtr; within it, 21.1-42 and 22.7-34 are secondary additions. 23 Joshua 24, for Noth, is an independent passage, probably unknown to Dtr, which was later reworked in deuteronomistic style and added to DH JUDGES Judg. 1.1-2.5, for Noth, does not belong to DH. 2.6-11, 14-16, 18-19 are from Dtr. Subsequent additions: 2.12-13, 203.6 Judges 3-12 was worked up by Dtr from two complexes of tradition: stories of the tribal heroes and a list of the lesser judges. In Judges 3-12, Noth attributes the following to Dtr: 3.7-11Othniel 3.12-15a, 30bEhud 4.1a, 2-3a, 4b; 5.31bDeborah & Barak 6.1, 6b-10; 8.27b-28, 30-35Gideon 10.6-16 13.1 is from Dtr. 13.2-16.31, according to Noth, was possibly added later to DH; note the absence of Samson in the list of judges in 1 Sam. 12.9-11. Judges 17-21 is widely recognized as a subsequent addition. 1-2 SAMUEL For the portrayal of the end of the period of the judges, in which Samuel is the last judge, and the establishment of kingship in Israel, Dtr had several blocks of old tradition available: 1 Sam. 1.1-4. laprophetic traditions 1 Sam. 4.1b-7.1ark narrative (first part) 1 Sam. 9.1-10.16; 10.27b-l 1.15old account of Saul's kingship. In 1 Samuel 1-12, Noth attributes the following to Dtr: 2.25b, 34-35 (Note: 2.27-33 is a pre-deuteronomistic addition) 7.2-77


The History of Israel's Traditions

8.1-22 10.17-27a 12.1-25 For the portrayal of the period of Saul and David, Dtr had the extensive Saul-David traditions available. For example: Saul 1 Sam. 13-15; 16.1-13 David 1 Sam. 16.14-2 Sam. 5.25 2 Sam. 6-7 2 Sam. 8.1-14*, 15-18 2 Sam. 9-20 and 1 Kgs 1-2 In 1 Samuel 132 Samuel 20, Noth attributes the following to Dtr: 1 Sam. 13.1 2 Sam. 2.10a, 11 (Note: 2 Sam. 3.2-6a is a pre-deuteronomistic addition) 2 5am. 5.4-5 (Note: 2 Sam. 5.13-16 is a pre-deuteronomistic addition) 2 Sam. 7.1b, 7a*, 11 a, 12b-13a, 22-24 2 Sam. S.laa, 14b Subsequent addition: 2 Samuel 21-24 1-2 KINGS 1 Kgs 2.2*, 3-4, 27b are Dtr'sfinal insertions in the David traditions. For the portrayal of the period of Solomon after 1 Kings 1-2, Dtr drew on traditions of a different kind, building from various disparate and as yet unconnected elements. The main source appears to have been 'the book of the acts of Solomon' (1 Kgs 11.41). In this material in 1 Kings, Noth attributes the following to Dtr: 3.3, 14, 15ba 4.1-5.8 (NRSV, 4.1-28) Based on official records 5.75-32 (NRSV, 5.1-18) 6.1, 19b 7.47-51 8.1b-2aa, 4b, 9, 14-66 9.1-9, 10, 14 11.1-13, 29aa, 36bp, 38-39a, 41-43 For the portrayal of the final period of the history, Dtr drew on the Chronicles of the Kings of Israel or Judah. From this, Dtr derived particularly the framework of the presentation, as a history not of individual kings but of the monarchy as a whole in Israel and Judah.

CAMPBELL Martin Noth and the Deuteronomistic History


Apart from the framework, Noth assumes that Dtr derived the following material from these Chronicles. From the Chronicles of the Kings of Israel: Usurpations 1 Kgs 15.27-28; 16.9-12, 15-18, 21-22 2Kgsl5.10, 14, 16,25, 30a Changes of royal residence 1 Kgs 12.25; 16.24 Other 1 Kgs 16.31,34; 22.39* 2 Kgs 14.25; 15.19-20, 29 From the Chronicles of the Kings of Judah: Mainly plundering of the temple 1 Kgs 14.25-28; 15.12-13, 16-22 2 Kgs 12.5-17, 18-19; 14.7, 8-14, 22; 15.35b; 16.5-6, 7-18; 18.4b, 13-16; 23.4-15, 19, 20a; 24.10-16 Usurpations, etc. 2 Kgs 11.1-20; 12.21-22; 14.5,19-21; 15.5; 21.23-24; 23.29-30, 33-35; 24.17 Other 1 Kgs 22.48-50 2 Kgs 8.20-22; 17.3-6, 24, 29-31; 18.9-11; 24.1-2aa, 7 Noth assumes that Dtr also drew widely on prophetic narratives: 1 Kgs 11.29a(3b-31, 36abcc, 37; 12.1-20, 26-31; 14.1-18Ahijah ofShiloh 1 Kgs 12.32-13.32prophetic legend about Bethel 1 Kgs 17-19; 21Elijah 1 Kgs 20.1-43prophetic anecdotes 1 Kgs 22.1-37Micaiah ben Imlah 2 Kgs 1.2-17acc; 2; 3.4-8.15; 13.14-21Elijah and Elisha 2 Kgs 9.1-10.27anointing of Jehu 2 Kgs 18.17-20.19Isaiah narratives 2 Kgs 22.3-23.3finding of Deuteronomic law Apart in general from the framing passages for each king, Noth attributes the following to Dtr: 1 Kings 13.33-34 14.14-16, 19-20, 27* 22-24


The History of Israel's Traditions 15.15, 29-30 16.1-4 21.21-22, 24-26 Subsequent additions: 21.20, 23 22.38-40, 43, 47 2 Kings 1.1 (cf. 3.5) 8.28-29 (cf. 9.15a, 16b) 9.8b-10a 10.28-33 13.3-7, 22-25 14.6, 26-27 15.12, 37 (cf. 10.30, also deuteronomistic ) 16.3-4 17.7-20, 32-34a Subsequent addition: 17.34b-40 (41) 21.1-18 23.16-18, 21-27 24.19-20 25.1-26 (using material from Jer. 39-41), 27-30 (from Dtr's own knowledge)


First of all, I should thank two individuals for making my task in this paper much easier. The first is Hugh Williamson, who, among his other contributions to the study of Chronicles, Ezra and Nehemiah, has also deigned to translate the second part of Martin Noth's classic Uberlieferungsgeschichtliche Studien into English.1 Williamson himself writes, with characteristic understatement, 'It is no secret that Noth's German is not always easily rendered into English.'2 We are all indebted to him for this labor of love. The second is Professor Ralph Klein, former colleague at the now defunct Concordia Senior College, later advisor for my doctoral dissertation at Concordia Seminary, St Louis. Most recently, Professor Klein has written the articles on Chronicles and Ezra and Nehemiah in the Anchor Bible Dictionary.3 He has there summarized with characteristic thoroughness and insight the history of research into these books. For those of us who are somewhat removed from the trenches of scholarly research, this is a great help. My errors, of course, should not be laid to the charge of either of these fine men. I have been asked to divide my presentation into three parts: first, to summarize Noth's work in this area; secondly, to survey the work done and issues to emerge since Noth; and finally, to evaluate Noth's work and suggest directions for future research.

* I wish to thank the SBL and especially Pat Graham and Steve McKenzie for honoring me with the invitation to present a paper at this symposium. 1. The Chronicler's History (JSOTSup 50; Sheffield: JSOT Press, 1987), abbreviated hereafter as CH. 2. CH, p. 7. 3. R.W. Klein, 'Chronicles, Book of 1-2', ABD I, pp. 992-1002; 'EzraNehemiah, Books of, ABD IE, pp. 731-42.


The History of Israel's Traditions 1. Noth and the Chronicler

Within the space limitations of the present essay, I can only review Noth's work briefly. Noth divides 'The Chronicler's History' into two major parts: the first three chapters deal with the composition of the work and the last four with its character. In discussing the original form of composition, Noth assigns 1 Chronicles 23-27 (with the exception of 23.1-2a) to later hands; so also ch. 12 and most of chs. 15-16.1 He retains almost all of 2 Chronicles, questioning only parts of five verses.2 Of the genealogical prologue to the work, he is more critical. While keeping all of ch. 1 and 2.1-17, only a small core of the remainder is retained, dependent upon Numbers 26 and enriched only by a genealogy for David in the case of Judah and a genealogy of the high priests in the case of Levi.3 Noth accepts all essentials of Ezra 1-6 as original to Chr.,4 including the list of 2.1-69.5 Later additions to the Ezra story include 7.8-10; 8.18d-19 and parts of 8.24 and 8.31. However, Ezra 10.18, 20^4 is judged later.6 Neh. 1.1-7.3 comes to us as it left the hand of Chr., who has added only 1.5-1 la and bits of 6.11, 13 to the Nehemiah Memoir. The list of Neh. 7.6-72 is taken from Ezra (v. 5b is redactional). Also secondary is Neh. 10.2-28, 38b-40a. Noth argues that the position of Nehemiah 8-10 is original to Chr., because the chapters 'belong in such an obvious way with Ezra 7-10 that it would be utterly impossible to understand how a later redactor could have arrived at the decision secondarily to separate these two elements which ex hypothesi once stood together'.7 In Nehemiah 11-13, the original part of the work is only 11.1-2, concluded by 12.27-13.31. (Within this corpus, 12.27-29, 46-47 and ch. 13 are later additions.)8
1. Noth, US, pp. 112-15; CH, pp. 31-35. 2. Noth, US, pp. 116-17; CH, pp. 35-36. 3. Noth, US, pp. 116-22; CH, pp. 36-42. 4. This article uses the traditional abbreviation, 'Chr.', for the Chronicler and the Chronicler's Work without prejudice as to the unity of the work or the number of writers involved in its production. 5. Noth, US, pp. 123-24; CH, pp. 42-43. 6. Noth, US, p. 126; CH, pp. 45-46. 7. Noth, US, p. 128; CH, p. 47. 8. Noth, US, pp. 130-31; CH, pp. 49-50.

BRAUN Martin Noth and the Chronicler's History


Noth believes that Chr.'s source for 1 Chronicles 1-9 was the Pentateuch in its present form.1 For 1 Chronicles 10-2 Chronicles 36, the main source was the books of Samuel and Kings, again, in their present form.2 Chr.'s use of other non-biblical sources is problematic. In the citation of sources at the end of each reign, Noth believes that Chr. has simply adopted a literary convention.3 Only two passages not present in Samuel-Kings are so accurate historically that we must assume that Chr. had before him a pre-exilic source2 Chron. 32.30 (Siloam tunnel) and 2 Chron. 35.20-24 (the description of Josiah's death).4 Noth also mentions passages that discuss the fortifications of the Judaean kings and that appear to be reliable (2 Chron. 11.5b-10aoc, Rehoboam; 2 Chron. 26.9, 15a, Uzziah; 33.14a, Manasseh). Other passages suggest that the writer himself 'had a general idea of what was appropriate for a genuine national mobilization but does not reveal any evidence for the use of an ancient source'.5 Noth concludes,
It seems, therefore, that Chr. had available to him an ancient source in which he found various items concerning the defensive building work undertaken by the kings of Judah. On the basis of this, he seems to have developed his own presentation of the royal armaments which he applied primarily to his favorite characters in the history of the kings of Judah.6

Similarly, certain accounts of the wars of Judaean kings, which are not recorded in the Deuteronomistic History, do not look like Chr.'s invention.7 Noth again concludes, 'Since the themes of fortification and war belong together, it may be suspected that Chr. made use of just one,

1. Noth, OS, p. 132; CH, p. 51. 2. Noth, OS, p. 133; CH, p. 52. 3. Noth, OS, p. 133; CH, p. 53. 4. Noth, US, pp. 139-40; CH, p. 57. Noth mentions that Josephus (Ant. 10.74) also had an additional historical source at his disposal here, perhaps the same as the one used by Chr. (OS, p. 140; CH, p. 58). 5. Noth, US, p. 141; CH, p. 59. Passages included here, many of which have been attached to the sources cited previously, are parts of 2 Chron. 11.10-12; 14.5-7; 17.2a, 12b-19; 25.5, 6-10, 13; 26.11-14; 27.3b-4; 32.3-6a; 33.14b (OS, pp. 140-41; CH, p. 59). 6. Noth, US, pp. 141-42; CH, p. 59. 7. 2 Chron. 26.6-8a; 27.5; 28.18; 13.3-20; 14.8-14; US, p. 142; CH, p. 60.


The History of Israel's Traditions

single source document besides Dtr. for the period of the monarchy.'1 Sources used by the author of Ezra 1-6 include Ezra 1.9-1 la, the list of 2.1-69 and the Aramaic passage of 4.6-6.18. According to Noth, the author of the narrative framework was clearly Chr. himself: 'His characteristics are everywhere present.'2 The original author of the 'Ezra history' in Ezra 7-10 has used several sources, including Ezra's genealogy in 7.1b-5, the Aramaic decree in 7.12-26 and 8.1-14. The basic text of this 'Ezra Memoir' (chs. 7-10) is clearly Chr.'s own composition.3 For the history of Nehemiah, Chr. had available to him the Nehemiah Memoir, which he has followed word for word from 1.1 to 7.5a, with the exception of the prayer that he attributed to Nehemiah in 1.5-11 a. Nehemiah 8-10 is again the work of Chr. These chapters have from the beginning been integrated with the Nehemiah Memoir,4 so that there can be no question of an original Ezra history being split by the insertion of the Nehemiah history. For Nehemiah 11-13, Chr. again follows the Nehemiah Memoir, adding brief information of his own at a few places of special importance to him (12.30, 33-36, 41, 42; 13.5, 6, 7, 22a, 26, 27, 29, 30). Noth deals with the question of the date of composition of Chr. relatively briefly, working from Ezra 4.6-6.18. Since the date of an Artaxerxes II (405-359 BCE) already lay so far in the past that Chr. could mistakenly suppose that it was during this king's reign that Ezra and Nehemiah arrived in Jerusalem, Chr. could hardly have written before about 300 BCE. No arguments can really be adduced against those who would date it as late as 200 BCE, with later additions perhaps in the Maccabean period.5 In chs. 17-20, Noth deals with the character of Chr.'s work. Chr., he states, 'stands out much more strongly as an independent narrator than is commonly supposed'.6 In contrast to Dtr, Chr.'s contribution is more to enliven and develop the details of history than to give a systematic presentation of it. Noth calls Chr.'s style 'untidy and uneven'.7 Dtr,
1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. Noth, Noth, Noth, Noth, Noth, Noth, Noth, US, p. 142; CH, p. 60. US, p. 145; CH, p. 62. US, p. 146; CH, p. 63. US, p. 149; CH, p. 66. US, pp. 154-55; CH, p. 73. US, p. 155; CH, p. 75. US, p. 156; CH, p. 16.

BRAUN Martin Noth and the Chronicler's History


according to Noth, was hesitant to interfere with his source; Chr. is much less so, developing on his own the accounts of various kings whom he considers important.1 Again, in contrast to Dtr, Noth finds that 'the working up of connections was not one of his strong points'.2 Chr. showed no interest in an overall chronology, although he 'was generous in supplying information about the dates and times of individual events' .3 Chr. further sought to enliven the presentation of his Vorlage by elaborating it in terms of the conceptions of his own day, even to the point of assigning personal names to various people and groups. Although Chr. uses speeches, they are not concentrated at historical turning points but are inserted at opportune moments.4 Noth agrees with von Rad that such speeches are couched 'in the style of the Levitical sermon that was current in his own day' .5 Finally, Chr. has his prophets appear often as spokesmen for the doctrine of retribution, and that particularly as directed toward Judah.6 Chr.'s outlook was conditioned by the institutions and conceptions of his own day, although his work stood at quite a chronological distance from the latest of the events it records. 'The determinative key thoughts of his work...naturally grew out of the special concerns of his time, and their intention was precisely to give historical justification to these concerns themselves.'7 Chr. springs from the post-exilic community in Judah, which by the third century BCE existed in a fixed and permanent state. The essential elements of the inner life of this community were so familiar to Chr. that he was scarcely able to perceive that they were historically conditioned, and he assumed that they held true for the past that he was describing. Noth mentions four of these elements: 1. The law of Moses, which was so 'unquestionably valid that he was able to use the expression without in fact ever introducing the figure of Moses...or even offering an explanation of what the "law of Moses" was'.8
Noth, US, p. 157; CH, p. 77. Noth, US, p. 157; CH, p. 77. Noth, US, p. 157; CH, p. 77. Noth, US, p. 160; CH, p. 80. Noth, US, p. 160; CH, p. 80. Noth, US, p. 161; CH, p. 81. Noth, US, p. 162; CH, p. 83. Noth, US, pp. 162-63; CH, p. 84.

1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8.

68 2. 3.

The History of Israel's Traditions The high value placed on the cultic activity conducted in the one single legitimate sanctuary.1 Chr.'s concept of holiness, which led him to believe that only cultic personnel who had been specifically designated could gain access to holy places and be involved in holy activities. This does not permit us to conclude, says Noth, that Chr. had any special interest in the Levites. In his day no one knew any different.2 Finally, the relation with the Samaritan cultic community. Although Noth dismisses Josephus's account of the negotiations at the time of Alexander's appearance in Syria and Palestine in 332 BCE, the date implied for the establishment of the Samaritan temple on Gerizim 'will hardly be completely misleading'.3 While there would have been tension with the inhabitants of the province of Samaria from the time of Cyrus's decree, the breaking point does not seem to have been reached for some time. The most probable theory is that this happened near the end of the Persian empire. Even then there would have been some elements that remained loyal to the Jerusalem cult. Such a recent separation would have posed a serious problem for Chr. and all those who regarded the community gathered around the Jerusalem cult as the direct successor to ancient Israel.4


Chr. generally intended to submit to the tradition that he had received and 'was broadly successful in this aim'.5 He selected only a part of his source material, sometimes arranging events in a different order and sometimes making minor corrections to his sources. He removed a number of unpleasant features from his sources and changed details under the influence of conceptions of his own day. Nevertheless, 'What really gives Chr.'s historical narrative its different appearance are his additions.'6 Here 'he entertained the belief that he could offer an appropriate interpretation of his Vorlage without having to touch its

1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6.

Noth, US, p. 163; CH, p. 84. Noth, 75, p. 163; CH, p. 85. Noth, US, p. 164; CH, p. 86. Noth, US, pp. 165-66; CH, p. 87. Noth, OS, p. 166; CH, p. 89. Noth, US, p. 169; CH, p. 93.

BRAUN Martin Noth and the Chronicler's History


wording.' 1 Noth cites as the most important example of this the ascription to David of the preparations for the building of the temple. 'By retaining the actual construction of the building for Solomon, he avoided at least a blatant contradiction of the ancient tradition.'2 A comparable correction is the way that Chr. has Ezra anticipate Nehemiah's reform measures, thereby leaving Nehemiah with no more than the gleanings.3 In other cases he made additions of his own, dependent upon combining various statements of his sources, such as the tabernacle at Gibeon and the wording of Cyrus's edict (Ezra 1.2-4).4 Noth concludes:
Chr. changed the presentation of history offered by his sources to a far greater extent than did Dtr., for Dtr. gave expression to his viewpoint primarily in the framework of his composition but interfered only relatively slightly in the wording of his sources.5

Noth begins his chapter on Chr.'s theology by referring to von Rad's monograph, which he regards as detailed and first rate, and in view of which his own presentation will be abbreviated and more limited to areas where von Rad needs to be corrected or expanded. Chr., Noth states, did indeed mean to write history, that is, what really happened.6 History was the arena of God's dealings with humans, and the doctrine of retribution as applied to individuals (and even to periods within the individual's life) was one means that Chr. used to give expression to that fact. Noth views as 'unquestionably mistaken' the idea that Chr.'s primary purpose was the justification of Levitical claims. His central concern was to demonstrate the legitimacy of the Davidic dynasty and of the Jerusalem temple as Yahweh's valid cult center.7 His opposition can only have been the Samaritans and their cult center on Gerizim. So, Noth argues, Chr. omitted the traditions common to the two communities. It is only with the rise of David that these traditions diverged. Thus Chr. began his historical account proper with the story of David, which is a [sic] kingdom of God on earth. In the Deuteronomistic History the people of Israel were the object of divine
1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. Noth, OS, p. 169; CH, p. 93. Noth, US, p. 170; CH, p. 94. Noth, US, p. 170; CH, p. 94. Noth, OS, p. \ll;CH,p.95. Noth, US, p. 171; CH, p. 95. Noth, OS, p. 172; CH, p. 98. Noth, OS, p. 174; CH, p. 100.


The History of Israel's Traditions

election; in Chr.'s work 'this concept is applied to the kingdom of the Judaean dynasty of David (1 Chron. 28.4).'! Chr. believed that David must have regarded the building of the temple as his most important task.2 The apostate tribes had renounced the sole legitimate cult. At the time of the defection of the northern tribes, the genuine priests and Levites, as well as the pious lay people, had moved to Jerusalem and Judah. 'In fact, Chr. seems even to have been of the opinion that the Davidides had always ruled the hill-country of Samaria too, at least in part.'3 In the case of the kingdom, Chr. was left with an open question regarding the future. Noth believes that Chr. clearly shared the expectation that this kingdom would be revived. Chr.'s alternative ending to Solomon's dedicatory prayer in 2 Chron. 6.40-42 cites Ps. 132.8-9, a psalm dealing with the divine promise made to David and Zion, but also refers to the 'sure mercies' of David (Isa. 55.3) and alludes to Psalm 89, which requests the restoration of the Davidic monarchy. It is from this angle that Chr.'s interest in the Judaean kings' development of the externals of power is to be understood. These references set before his readers a counterpart to the miserable political situation of his own day, and at the same time, they suggested the form that a future renewal of the Davidic kingdom would take.4 Noth concludes by pointing out that not long after Chr.'s time many of his concerns were fulfilled in the Maccabean period. 'One can well imagine that at this time the work of Chr. would have been read with particular interest and understanding.'5 2. Developments Since Martin Noth The past fifty years have seen numerous changes in the study of the Chronicler's History, both in matters of detail and in matters of larger scope. I mention a few of these as examples. a. The Relative Flood of Materials Related to Chronicles In the first half of the twentieth century one could almost count the significant works on Chr. on the fingers of one's hands. A part of this
1. 2. 3. 4. 5. Noth, OS, p. Noth, OS, p. Noth, OS, p. Noth, US, p. Noth, US, p. 176; CH, p. 177; CH, p. 178; CH, p. 179; CH, p. 180; CH, p. 101. 103. 104. 105. 106.

BRAUN Martin Noth and the Chronicler's History


was due to its reputation as a kind of second-rate supplement to Samuel-Kings, an attitude amply reflected by its Greek name, Paraleipomena, 'the things left out'. Related to that was a rather common disdain (which it shares with P) for what is often considered the principal subject matter of the books: priests, Levites, temples, cultic regulations, choirs and the like.1 Furthermore, the books of Chronicles especially were at best historically suspect, and therefore of little value for the reconstruction of Israel's past. It is not for nothing, if one may paraphrase Paul, that in the Hebrew canon as we commonly know it, dibre hayyamim stands at the very end, even after Ezra and Nehemiah. In an age with a predilection for historicism, the preachy theologizing of the writer(s) of Chronicles, Ezra and Nehemiah has a hard time securing a pulpit or an audience. I recall discovering, with a certain amount of delight, the relatively meager amount of information written on Chr., and especially Chronicles itself, when I began looking into a subject for my doctoral dissertation. In addition to Noth's work, there were, of course, Rudolph's commentaries, the standard ICC commentary by Curtis, completed with the assistance of Madsen, and that of Rothstein, completed after his death by Hanel.2 But beyond the linguistic work of Kropat and Rehm,3 and the monographs of von Rad, Torrey and Welch,4 there was little else. And of course, there was that incredible
1. J. Wellhausen's depiction of Chr.'s picture of David is well known: 'See what Chronicles has made out of David! The founder of the kingdom has become the founder of the temple and public worship, the king and hero at the head of his companions in arms has become the singer and master of ceremonies at the head of a swarm of priests and Levites' (Prolegomena to the History of Ancient Israel [trans. J.S. Black and A. Menzies; Edinburgh: A. & C. Black, 1885; repr. Cleveland: World, 1957], p. 182). 2. W. Rudolph, Chronikbucher (HAT 21; Tubingen: Mohr, 1955) and Esra und Nehemiah samt 3. Esra (HAT 20; Tubingen: Mohr, 1949); E.L. Curtis and A.A. Madsen, The Books of Chronicles (ICC 11; Edinburgh: T. & T. Clark, 1910); J.W. Rothstein and J. Hanel, Kommentar zum ersten Buch der Chronik (KAT 18.2; Leipzig: D. Werner Scholl, 1927). 3. A. Kropat, Die Syntax des Autors der Chronik verglichen mit der seiner Quellen: Bin Beitrag zur historischen Syntax des Hebrdischen (BZAW 16; Giessen: Topelmann, 1909); M. Rehm, Textkritische Untersuchungen zu den Parallelstellen der Samuel-Kdnigsbiicher und der Chronik (AA 13.3; Miinster: Aschendorf, 1937). 4. G. von Rad, Das Geschichtsbild des chronistischen Werkes (BWANT 54; Stuttgart: Kohlhammer, 1930); C.C. Torrey, The Chronicler's History of Israel (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1954) and Ezra Studies (Chicago: University of


The History of Israel's Traditions

synopsis of Vannutelli's,1 for which the devout student of Chronicles gives thanks daily. Today that corpus has expanded considerably, including commentaries by Clines, Dillard, Williamson and the present writer;2 major books by McKenzie, Mosis, Petersen, Throntveit, Welten, Willi and Williamson;3 and a host of valuable periodical articles.4 Here are some of the developments I believe we can see in these studies: 1. There is here a greater appreciation of Chr. as an author. Noth, it should be observed, shared this opinion. Many of the longer genealogical sections that tend to put the modern reader to sleep, such as 1 Chronicles 1-9 and 23-27, as well as other longer and shorter lists, are today most commonly denied to Chr. 2. There is a keener appreciation of the value of the non-synoptic or non-parallel passages of Chronicles. In part, this is a natural reaction to the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls. In displaying on many occasions a Hebrew text in agreement with certain manuscripts of the Septuagint, these discoveries have indicated that Chr. was not altering the text of
Chicago Press, 1910); A.C. Welch, The Work of the Chronicler: Its Purpose and Its Date (London: Oxford University Press, 1939). 1. P. Vannutelli, Libri synoptici Veteris Testamenti... (Scripta Pontificii Instituti Biblici; 2 vols.; Rome: Pontifical Biblical Institute, 1931,1934). 2. D.J.A. Clines, Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther (NCB; Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1984); R.B. Dillard, 2 Chronicles (WBC 15; Waco, TX: Word Books, 1987); H.G.M. Williamson, 1 and 2 Chronicles (NCB; Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1982) and Ezra, Nehemiah (WBC 16; Waco, TX: Word Books, 1985); R.L. Braun, 1 Chronicles (WBC 14; Waco, TX: Word Books, 1986). 3. S.L. McKenzie, The Chronicler's Use of the Deuteronomistic History (HSM 33; Atlanta: Scholars Press, 1985); R. Mosis, Untersuchungen zur Theologie des chronistischen Geschichtswerkes (FTS 92; Freiburg: Herder, 1973); D.L. Petersen, Late Israelite Prophecy: Studies in Deutero-Prophetic Literature and in Chronicles (SBLMS 23; Missoula, MT: Scholars Press, 1977); M.A. Throntveit, When Kings Speak: Royal Speech and Royal Prayer in Chronicles (SBLDS 93; Atlanta: Scholars Press, 1987); P. Welten, Geschichte und Geschichtsdarstellung in den Chronikbuchern (WMANT 42; Neukirchen-Vluyn: Neukirchener Verlag, 1973); T. Willi, Die Chronik als Auslegung (FRLANT 106; Gottingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1972); H.G.M. Williamson, Israel in the Books of Chronicles (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1977). 4. Excellent and extensive bibliographies are now available and need not be repeated here. See most recently I. Kalimi, The Books of Chronicles: A Classified Bibliography (Simor Bible Bibliographies; Jerusalem: Simor, 1990) and the items by Klein on p. 63 n. 3.

BRAUN Martin Noth and the Chronicler's History


Samuel-Kings that he had before him, as often thought, but was accurately reflecting a different family of Hebrew manuscripts. Hence, not every difference between Chronicles and Samuel-Kings reflects a special Tendenz on the part of the author. This has led to a greater interest in the non-synoptic portions of the work. (I confess to using that as one reason to justify my concentration upon the non-synoptic portions of Chronicles in my dissertation, later narrowed to 1 Chronicles 22, 28, 29).l I think it must be added, however, that the discovery of alternate text types in Chronicles has thus far proved of little significance for understanding Chr.'s work. 3. There is a greatly altered understanding of the relationship between David and Solomon and their relationship to the temple. Earlier studies had focused almost entirely on David:2 David was elevated and Solomon denigrated, despite the fact that Chr. had reserved for Solomon the noblest of endeavorsthe building of the templeand removed from him any responsibility for the division of the kingdom. Placing David and Solomon in proper perspective supplies the basis for a new understanding of Chronicles and of the relationship between the accounts of Ezra and Nehemiah as well.3 4. There is a better understanding of Chr.'s dogma of retribution, of its pervasiveness and the terminology and ideology associated with it.4 It is not often enough noted that Chr. regularly and rigorously follows the Deuteronomistic History in his overall evaluation of every king except Solomon. However, the knowledge of his vocabulary and the manner in which he portrays both blessing and curse have become increasingly precise. For example, royal building activities are always restricted to the portion of the king's life in which he was faithful to the Lord. To his credit, it must be said that Noth saw these developments also.5 5. There is a greater appreciation of patterning in Chronicles (and Ezra and Nehemiah). Parallels are drawn, for example, between the reigns of
1. It is interesting that Noth gave scant attention to such small variations and emphasized the importance of studying the non-synoptic portions of Chr.'s History. 2. Von Rad's Das Geschichtsbild is the primary example, but the number could be multiplied. 3. See especially R.L. Braun, 'Solomonic Apologetic in Chronicles', JBL 92 (1973), pp. 503-16; H.G.M. Williamson, 'The Accession of Solomon in the Books of Chronicles', VT26 (1976), pp. 351-61. 4. See most elaborately Welten, Geschichte und Geschichtsdarstellung. 5. Noth, VS, pp. 140-43; CH, pp. 58-61.


The History of Israel's Traditions

David and Hezekiah, or between David and Solomon and Hezekiah and Josiah, or Ezra and Nehemiah. While I may be responsible for this to a degree, 1 I must say that I remain skeptical toward the patterns discovered by others. It seems clear that Mosis's work2 has crossed the line into typology. 6. There is a better understanding of the role of the speech in Chronicles (and Ezra-Nehemiah). Noth observed this but remarked that, in contrast to Dtr, Chr. placed speeches at every available opportunity rather than at major turning points.3 This is not the case, and Ploger's work was seminal on this issue.4 Chr. used speeches to make important points and placed them at critical junctures within the narrative to give expression to his ideas. Von Rad's arguments with regard to the Levitical Sermon, followed also by Noth and most commentators, are largely unfounded and should be rejected.5 b. Questioning the Unity of Chronicles-EzraNehemiah The most significant development since Noth clearly lies with studies relating to the unity of Chronicles-Ezra-Nehemiah. In harmony with the thinking of his day, Noth simply assumed this unity, given its classical expression by Zunz in 1832.6 Noth concludes his opening paragraph with the sentence,
It is generally accepted as certain that in 1 and 2 Chronicles + Ezra and Nehemiah we have but a single work. In this case, therefore, in contrast with the analysis of the Deuteronomic History, there is no need to start with a demonstration of the work's literary unity.7

1. Cf. Braun, 'Solomonic Apologetic', pp. 502-14. 2. Mosis, Untersuchungen zur Theologie. 3. Noth, OS, p. 160; CH, p. 80. 4. O. Ploger, Theokratie und Eschatologie (WMANT 2; Neukirchen-Vluyn: Neukirchener Verlag, 1959). 5. Cf. R.L. Braun, The Significance of 1 Chronicles 22, 28, & 29 for the Structure and Theology of the Work of the Chronicler' (ThD dissertation, Concordia Seminary, 1971), pp. 225-49. See also most recently Throntveit, When Kings Speak. 6. L. Zunz, 'Dibre hajamim oder die Biicher der Chronik', Die gottesdienstlichen Vortrdge der Juden, historisch entwickelt (Berlin: A. Asher, 1832), pp. 13-36. 7. Noth, OS, p. 110; CH, p. 29.

BRAUN Martin Noth and the Chronicler's History


That position has been called into question first of all by Japhet,1 Freedman2 and Cross,3 and their arguments expanded and broadened by Williamson,4 this writer5 and others. While it cannot be said that any consensus has been reached in the matter, and some recent studies continue to support the unity of the entire corpus of Chronicles, Ezra and Nehemiah, it is at least fair to say that many see increasing difficulty in ascribing to a single author works that differ so radically in their understanding of such fundamental aspects of Chr.'s thought as the monarchy, retribution and their attitude toward the North.6 c. Date and Purpose That points us toward a final difference that has developed of late. If Chronicles is to be separated from all or parts of Ezra-Nehemiah, when was it written, to whom and for what purpose? Older scholars responded, positively, that its purpose was to elevate Levitical claims, and, negatively, that it was to set forth the Jerusalem temple over against the claims of the Samaritans and their temple on Gerizim. However, most of the materials to substantiate these hypotheses are either found to be later additions to Chronicles or to belong to Ezra-Nehemiah. Present scholarship believes the definitive break between the Jews and the Samaritans occurred much later than previously envisioned, perhaps as late as the erection of the Samaritan temple in the second century BCE. I admit to finding some such scenario as that sketched by Freedman and Cross attractive for explaining both the similarities and differences between Chronicles and Ezra-Nehemiah. A first edition of Chr.'s work could have ended either with the current text of Chronicles or, as seems more likely to me, with the dedication of the temple. The original ending has now been replaced by the material of Ezra 4ff. In the final edition before us now, for which the Nehemiah Memoir served as a model, the
1. S. Japhet, 'The Supposed Common Authorship of Chronicles and EzraNehemiah Investigated Anew', VT18 (1968), pp. 330-71. 2. D.N. Freedman, 'The Chronicler's Purpose', CBQ 23 (1961), pp. 436-42. 3. P.M. Cross, 'A Reconstruction of the Judean Restoration', JBL 94 (1975), pp. 4-18. 4. Williamson, Israel in the Books of Chronicles. 5. R.L. Braun, 'Chronicles, Ezra, and Nehemiah: Theology and Literary History', in J.A. Emerton (ed.), Studies in the Historical Books of the Old Testament (VTSup 30; Leiden: Brill, 1979), pp. 52-64. 6. See the excellent summaries in the articles by Klein p. 63 n. 3.


The History of Israel's Traditions

careers of Ezra and Nehemiah have been paralleled.1 To Noth's credit, it must be acknowledged that he isolated those passages in Chronicles that dealt with the North, passages that are now cited as evidence of a positive message. However, he read them in a negativerather than a positiveway.2 Finally, we should add that there is no consensus on the place of the monarchy in the work. Chronicles would offer the strongest support for hopes of a revival of the monarchy, though some see the monarchy achieving its aim in the construction of the temple. It is difficult to find a place for a Davidic hope in Ezra-Nehemiah, although Noth himself did so. It is obvious that little has been said in these remarks about studies of the books of Ezra and Nehemiah per se. There are at least two reasons for this. First, if I have an area of some expertise, it is not EzraNehemiah. But secondly, to my limited knowledge it does not appear that a consensus, or even a movement toward a consensus, has begun to develop about those two books. In fact, one might argue that some of the 'assured results' of earlier days have been lost. In such matters as the date of Ezra, for example, the earlier and most traditional date, 458 BCE, is now increasingly popular, after brief flirtations with 398 (Ackroyd, Galling, Rowley and others) and 428 (Albright, Bright).3 The two most recent commentaries, those of Clines and Williamson, differ substantially in their assessments not only of the unity of the work, but of the compositional stages of Ezra and Nehemiah as well. Williamson believes that the Ezra and Nehemiah materials were joined together about 400 BCE and thenabout 300 BCEincorporated into the larger work by the writer of Ezra 1-6. Most still see the Ezra Memoir as continuing in Nehemiah 8, and some in chs. 9 and 10 as well, while Nehemiah 8 is often moved after Ezra 8 or 10. Neh. 9.1-5 originally lay between 10.15 and 10.16, according to Williamson, but Clines places all of Nehemiah 8-9 immediately after Ezra 8. Cross has proposed three editions of Chr.'s work.4 If there is a common ground, it is that

1. Note most tellingly the prayers of Ezra 9 and Nehemiah 9. For other parallels, see Braun, 'Chronicles, Ezra, and Nehemiah', pp. 63-64. 2. Noth, US, p. 178; CH, p. 104. 3. Again, see the works of Klein (p. 63 n. 3) for a summary of the positions held, especially 'Ezra-Nehemiah', pp. 735-37. 4. Cross, 'Reconstruction'. Summarized in Klein, 'Ezra-Nehemiah', pp. 734-35.

BRAUN Martin Noth and the Chronicler's History


Neh. 11.20-26 and 12.1-26 belong to a very late redaction.1 Such divergencies do not inspire confidence. 3. Future Prospects Martin Noth's work on Chronicles is not frequently cited in books or journal articles today. Williamson attributes part of this neglect to the success of Rudolph's fine commentaries, which appeared shortly after US,2 and that may be so. Rudolph utilized much the same methodology as Noth and arrived at many of the same conclusions. But that is perhaps only part of the story. Noth, like many others, could be accused of having only a tangential interest in the Chronicler's History, although we must say, I believe, that he has dealt with it quite sympathetically and adequately. Noth's principal interest was in history, not theology, and it is through his history that most Americans have become acquainted with him. Moreover, within the arena of history, his primary interest lay in pre-exilic rather than post-exilic Israel, and he found little in Chronicles useful for reconstructing that history. One could argue that, having dealt with the remaining 'histories' of Israel the classical sources of the Pentateuch and the related work of Dtrhe should have felt some compulsion to investigate the so-called Chr.'s History as well. Accordingly, his work is largely a thoroughgoing analysis of the text, carried out in a literary-critical method based primarily on internal coherence.3 His work was not particularly creative or ground-breaking. Williamson's statement, made with regard to EzraNehemiah, is equally true of the books of Chronicles: 'In fact, there is only one major subject on which [Noth] advanced a fresh suggestion which has had a significant impact on subsequent study, and that concerns the nature of the so-called "Ezra Memoir".'4 Williamson's critique of Noth's work mentions the fact that a number
1. See also Noth, OS, pp. 130-31; CH, p. 49. 2. Williamson, 'Introduction', CH, p. 11. 3. Williamson, 'Introduction', CH, p. 14. 4. Williamson, 'Introduction', CH, pp. 21-22. In essence, Noth accepted the Aramaic edict in Ezra 7.12 and the list of those who returned to Jerusalem with Ezra in 8.1-14 as antecedent sources, and Chr., who also knew the Nehemiah Memoirs, composed the whole of the Ezra account on that basis. This position was adopted by Kellermann and In der Smitten (references given by Williamson), but, somewhat surprisingly, it was rejected by Rudolph (and Williamson).


The History of Israel's Traditions

of recent studies of Chronicles have tended to draw their conclusions about Chronicles from a much broader appreciation of the work's overall narrative structure, since this must be due to Chr. himself. Emphasis here lies in detecting themes and relationshipseven 'patterns'within Chr.'s compositions. He states, 'there are signs of unease about the manner in which Noth pursued the literary-critical method in isolation from other considerations.'1 Here Williamson again lists patterning and literary devices such as 'repetitive resumption'. He continues, 'Thus, whilst it is clear that there can be no going back to "pre-Nothian" approaches, it is also the case that he did not speak the last word on the issue of determining the precise shape of the work which left Chr.'s hands.'2 Nevertheless, we must reiterate that Noth has dealt with Chr. in a generally sympathetic and satisfactory way. If his literary analysis is not the last word, it is nevertheless a substantial word, and it continues to be followed in sizeable measure by most students of the work. Accepting the entire work as a unity, his statement of the message, audience and date of the book is consistent and reasonable. He summarized well the status of Chronicles studies and set us on a firmer foundation. Also in details, we might add, Noth's observations were often acute. As mentioned before, he spoke highly of Chr.'s ability as an author. In working through his material again to prepare this paper, I found several things there that I honestly thought were original with me. I suspect that I am not the only one who has had that experience. Noth isolated various passages that dealt with the northern tribes during the monarchy. He identified those elements found only in Chr.'s work which seem to have a historical basis, and that list still remains today. He observed that Chr. seems to have had a special interest in and knowledge of military and building operations, and this seems to have been the source of many of his non-synoptic sections. He observedand it would have taken detailed study to do sothat Chr. alone saw the Davidic dynasty as the object of God's election.3 The reasoning that he adopted with regard to the messianic hope in Chronicles, based strongly on Chronicles' conclusion to Solomon's dedicatory prayer, remains the standard argument today. His analysis of the so-called Ezra Memoir
1. Williamson, 'Introduction', CH, p. 18. 2. Williamson, 'Introduction', CH, p. 19. 3. However, Noth failed to notice that this divine choice was specifically related to Solomon.

BRAUN Martin Noth and the Chronicler's History


that it was Chr.'s free composition based on two brief written notices and the model of the Nehemiah Memoiris, in my estimation, splendidly done. Noth himself saw parallels between, for example, Ezra and Nehemiah, which we are only beginning to believe may have been in the mind of the author. Although many questions remain about matters that elude clarification, many of these are questions left over from earlier days: problems of messianism, eschatology, audience and the like. Assuming that the monarchy occupies a rather central position in Chronicles, how does one account for its virtual disappearance in Ezra-Nehemiah? Those of all positions still must face the problem of kingship as it existed at the time of the exile, or after the return from exile, or in 400 or 300 BCE. Somehow the appeal to 2 Chron. 6.41-42 seems strained, as does an appeal to Davidic and/or Solomonic parallels. Is Rudolph right after all in his contention that Chr. saw the office and function of the Davidic monarchy fulfilled in the construction of the temple? If so, then how does one explain the frequency and definitiveness of the dynastic pronouncements throughout the earlier part of the work, not only in portions borrowed from Samuel-Kings, but also in sections that are Chr.'s own composition? All in all, it would certainly be easiest to attribute the entire work to a single person, as Noth does. But by any reading, is 1 Chronicles 10 a suitable beginning to the work? And is 1 Chronicles 1-9 in any form an appropriate prologue? How does one explain both the similarities and the differences between Chronicles, loosely speaking, and Ezra-Nehemiah? Surely it is not adequate in every case to appeal to the use of different sources as the solutiondidn't the author read the same sources he expected us to read? How does one distinguish between earlier and later additions to or layers in a work, when genealogies and other such lists are in fact already an accumulation of layers? Or how does one unravel the perplexing mystery of the arrangement of Ezra and Nehemiah? Do we try to make sense of Ezra-Nehemiah in its present shape, or re-arrange it according to some other patternchronological, theological, literary or otherwise? At a minimum, we must say that no one has been able to do this to the satisfaction of all. If one denies the unity of Chronicles and Ezra-Nehemiah, of course, additional questions arise that are only now beginning to be addressed.


The History of Israel's Traditions

Has the original ending of Chronicles survived, or has it been dropped and replaced with another? Is it possible to imagine an ending of Chronicles that does not include the building of the second temple? The reconstruction of Cross, with his proposal of successive editions of the work, although complex, has in this sense much to commend it. Where did the original work end? What was its message? To whom was it addressed, and under what circumstances? Finally, by what kind of logic do we conclude that a later author or editor has been willing to introduce contradictions into a text that an earlier author had not? Should we excuse Noth for his unusual logic in stating that Chr. himself must have been responsible for the current position of the Ezra materials, since no later editor would have put things hi such disarray? In closing, let me make one suggestion and ask one question, neither of which is new. The suggestion relates to the relative historical reliability of Chronicles and Kings and is that the students of Samuel-Kings apply the same standards to, for example, the reforms of Josiah as they ask others to use on Abijah or Hezekiah in Chronicles. The question is: Is it possible that the author of Chronicles or that of Ezra viewed the Persian Cyrus in any sense as the fulfillment of the messianic hope? If Second Isaiah could do this, why not Chr.? In many ways it might seem that, compared to other areas of Old Testament scholarship, the study of Chronicles and Ezra-Nehemiah is in its infancy, or at best in its adolescence. If that is the case, we must be thankful for the rebirth of interest that has given it new direction and life. Perhaps this time, after other attempts that seem to have been abortive, we are on our way to a more mature and settled judgment.

MARTIN NOTH AND THE HISTORY OF ISRAEL Thomas L. Thompson This short paper is dedicated to my new colleagues, Heike Friis and Niels Peter Lemche, who, 25 years ago (1968) in independent student prize essays at the University of Copenhagen, first attacked Martin Noth's central contributions to the ancient history of Israel: his famous amphictyony hypothesis, the period of the Judges and the historicity of the Davidic empire. These are perhaps the earliest efforts at the deconstruction of the biblical history that had been created by both American and continental scholarship during the height of the biblical archaeology movement of the 1940s and 1950s. The studies by Van Seters and myself on the patriarchs had already been begun by 1968,! but neither of them was completed before the early 1970s.2 It is unfortunate that Lemche's book was published only in Danish.3 Friis's book, though quite revolutionary, was not published at all until it finally appeared in German in 1986 thanks to Bernd Diebner's efforts from Heidelberg.4 I mention this awkward element in the history of
1. J. Van Seters, 'The Problem of Childlessness in Near Eastern Law and the Patriarchs of Israel', JBL 87 (1968), pp. 401-408; 'Jacob's Marriages and Ancient Near Eastern Customs: A Reexamination', HTR 62 (1969), pp. 377-95; T.L. Thompson, Review of W.F. Albright, Yahweh and the Gods of Canaan, in CBQ 32 (1970), pp. 251-52. 2. J. Van Seters, Abraham in History and Tradition (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1975); T.L. Thompson, The Historicity of the Patriarchal Narratives: The Quest for the Historical Abraham (BZAW 133; Berlin: Topelmann, 1974). The latter work was a published version of my 1971 Tubingen dissertation. 3. N.P. Lemche, Israel i Dommertiden: En oversigt over diskussionen om Martin Noths 'Das System der zwolf Stamme Israels' (Tekst og Tolkning 4; Copenhagen: Institut for Bibelsk Eksgese, 1972). 4. H. Friis, Die Bedingungen fur die Errichtung des davidischen Reichs in Israel und seiner Umwelt (DBAT6; Heidelberg: B.J. Diebner and C. Nauerth, 1986); original Danish: Forudsoetninger i of uden for Israel for oprettelsen af Davids


The History of Israel's Traditions

Noth scholarship, because I think we need to evaluate just such events if we are to understand the long-term influence of the great scholars of our field. I doubt that we would be holding this celebration today if either of these works had been published in English or German in 1968. Given their originality and significance and the long-standing Scandinavian literacy in both of these languages, one needs to ask why they were not published earlier.1 Greatness of scholarship is not only an issue of temporary perception and fashionwhich, of course, are often accidental in nature. It is also often indebted to the intentional and accidental suppression of alternative ideas, not least among which are those of students. This particular aspect of European Old Testament studies over the past quarter century is distinguished by a narrowness that cannot be passed over silently. Professorial fecklessness in the face of the widespread, albeit quiet, repression of many of our students' most original intellectual contributions has been more the rule in Europe during the past 25 years than has been the democracy that was promised in 1968.2 There is one line of Martin Noth's great corpus of writing that has always impressed me. It occurs in a paper presented at the 1959 international Old Testament congress in Oxford.3 While fencing with some of the more fictitious fantasies of the Albright school, Noth made a rapier thrust with such deadly accuracy that it left this student, reading it many years later, shaking with understanding: 'Es geht nicht darum ob wir
imperium (Copenhagen, 1968). It is particularly instructive to read the defensive and apologetic tone of the faculty evaluations of 1969 related to this research that Diebner has translated and published on pp. 291-97 of the German edition, as well as the much more appreciative evaluation by Diebner himself on pp. 217-41. 1. I did not learn of Friis's essay until Bernd Diebner gave me a copy of it in 1991 (see my Early History of the Israelite People: From the Written and the Archaeological Sources [Studies in the History of the Ancient Near East 4; Leiden: Brill, 1992], p. 89), and it was not until I arrived in Copenhagen in 1993 that I first saw Lemche's essay. 2. In a regional meeting of the SBL (Chicago, 1991), I discussed the similar stranglehold that the Albright school had held over American scholarship during this same period. The paper was submitted for publication to the meeting's annual proceedings but never published. 3. M. Noth, 'Der Beitrag der Archaologie zur Geschichte Israels' in G.W. Anderson et al. (eds.), Congress Volume: Oxford, 1959 (VTSup 7; Leiden: Brill, 1960), pp. 262-82.

THOMPSON Martin Noth and the History of Israel


external evidence brauchen, sondern ob wir sie haben.' If one were to select a single, decisive remark that turned the long, acrimonious debate over approaches to Israel's early history between German and American scholarship around, it was this one. As soon as this observation began to be systematically applied, the Albrightian approach to biblical studies collapsed. After all, evidence was the great mirage of the early biblical archaeology movement. However, Noth's rapier thrust had a double-edged Wilkinson blade. That he had decapitated himself was not to become apparent for nearly another decade, when he was finally shaken by the young students of Copenhagen.1 In fact, it was the year after Weippert published the successful defense of Noth (1967)2a defense that caused American biblical archaeology's 'assured results' to begin to unravelthat Lemche and Friis destroyed the house that Alt built. Now, 25 years later, when Noth's historical work exists only in the history of scholarship, we celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of this misdirection of our field. I do not think that I understood Noth very well when I was a student in the 1960s. For example, when I first read his argument about Moses' lost tomb and its implications for tracing the historical roots of the Moses tradition, it impressed me that a major German scholar would make such a funny joke deadpan. It took nearly the rest of my stay in Germany to realize that the great man had not been joking. He had meant what he said; in fact, it was not an argument against Moses' historicity at all, but the central argument by which Noth desperately tried to salvage a modicum of piety. I am beginning with Noth's commentaries and Geschichte Israels, because it is far easier to understand what he was doing there than it is in some of his more systematically argued analytical pieces such as US. Noth was a prolific writer and immensely creative. The effectiveness of his creativity was enhanced by his formidable ability to reconstruct and coherently describe whatever he perceived as historically plausible. With
1. I do not mean to imply that the younger German scholars were either subservient or imperceptive. Revolutions in a field can be expected to begin among those who are forced to work on the margins, where the Danes tend to be due to both geography and language. 2. M. Weippert, Die Landnahme der israelitischen Stamme in der neueren wissenschaftlichen Diskussion: Ein kritischer Bericht (FRLANT 92; Gottingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1967).


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impressive erudition, he was able to lead his reader through the many implications of his historical decisions. It was in reading Noth that I first became aware of the hubris intrinsic to the role of the historian of ancient Israel, who almost singlehandedly is capable of creating the past. Because of the competitive comparison often made with Bright's history,1 many Americans thought of Noth as a critical historian. He had also been much praised on this side of the Atlantic as a model of both critical and historical exegesis, though I suspect that this was largely due to a widespread lack of either interest or ability in exegesis in America during this time. It was specifically his opposition to the claim that biblical archaeology had provided proof of historicity for the patriarchical period and the conquest that marked his historical work for many as critical. What was not seen was that his opposition to Albright's claim for historicity (and it must be recognized that Noth attacked only the most obvious and outrageous of the excesses of some of Albright's students) was not in truth an attack on the historicity of biblical traditions so much as it was an attack on a competitor's biblicism in favor of his own! For Noth, the 'essential' historicity of the patriarchal traditions and even a 'patriarchal period' was to be confirmed on the basis of his own 'ProtoAramaean hypothesis'.2 It is, of course, well known that his own argument for the historicity of Judges 1 formed the core of his opposition to Albright's conquest, not his conviction of either the superior historicality or historical reliability of the tales in Judges. In fact, apart from what we might assume is reflected in such rhetorical remarks as that of the 1959 congress, Noth's opposition to biblical archaeology and particularly to biblical archaeology's efforts to create a pre-settlement history had nothing to do with critical scholarship. It was drawn rather from the requirements of his amphictyony hypothesis, which was only viable if Israel's unity was a developing characteristic of settlement rather than of any earlier event. In terms of the history of Old Testament scholarship, Noth's dominance over historical work on the continent was hardly a victory of critical thought. Instead, it marked the success of a notably uncritical shift away from the liberal Wellhausenians and could even be seen as a theologically motivated rejection of the positivism and historicism of Noth's teacher, Albrecht Alt.3 Methodologically, Noth was
1. 2. 3. J. Bright, A History of Israel (Philadelphia: Westminster Press, 1959). See the discussion in my Historicity of the Patriarchal Narratives, pp. 75-78. It has impressed me that when Alt presented his early ideas of the amphicty-

THOMPSON Martin Noth and the History of Israel


far more a theologian than he was a historian. Whether he was dealing with his proto-Aramaeans, his amphictyony or his Grundlage, he ever preferred logic and necessity to evidence, rationalistic paraphrase to the decidedly revolutionary departures in Palestine's historical studies that had been taken by both Alt and Albright. When Noth observed in Oxford that biblical archaeology had no external evidence after all, he was not merely objecting to his Transatlantic competitors, as all correctly understood him to be doing; he was also making explicit the long march away from evidence that his life's work had been. 'Es geht nicht darum ob wir external evidence brauchen...' In the context of Noth's entire lecture, this statement is rhetoricaland I am arguing that for Noth this was clearly intentional: 'Everyone understands the need for evidence. Would that we had it!' That is, by pointing out first the reality of the archaeological situation, he was proposing that we make a virtue out of necessity and proceed to write history without evidence. And this is exactly what he did and had always done. We Americans are too used to reading this as if Noth were defining an anti-biblicistic and anti-fundamentalistic stand. But what is our evidence for that assumption? Like Noth for his history, we have none but our faith. Albright's conclusions had long flirted with the theologically reactionary, and some of his conclusions were easy to confuse with fundamentalist assertions. However, this was partly due to the fact that Albright did not have a scholarly interest in the Bible as he did with most other fields of oriental studies. He was most often quite content with the naive Bible history of his evangelical childhood. His lifetime goal of trying to bring the Bible into the history of the ancient Near East1 did not start methodologically with the Bible. Rather, he started with the data and from the perspective of the radically new methodologies of the linguistics and philology of ancient Near Eastern studies. Rather than taking as his own the hermeneutical circle of continental biblical scholarshipusing texts to interpret themselvesAlbright
ony, he presented it as one of many plausible scenarios, whose historiographical function was to show that his independent historical constructions could conceivably be integrated with biblical narratives. But for Noth, the biblicized scenario itself was his primary historiography. For more on this, see the discussion of Alt and Noth in my Early History, pp. 26-41. 1. Most notably in W.F. Albright, From the Stone Age to Christianity (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins Press, 2nd edn, 1957).


The History of Israel's Traditions

argued for the necessity of external evidence. And in 1959 it was exactly this that Noth objected to. As the second generation of Albrightians repeatedly published declarations throughout both the academic and popular media that they had once again found that elusive 'evidence' that would finally allow them to confirm the historicity of the biblical narrative, Noth's explicit statement was to suggest that the shouting stop. Noth was trying to point out what only very few from completely different perspectives were beginning to realize: There was no external evidence with which one could establish the historicity of biblical narratives. What Alt and Albright had seen as necessary to a history of Israel, and had looked to archaeology to provide for the future of the discipline, did not exist and was not in sight. In this Noth was prescient. However, Noth was recommending more than patience, resignation or truthful modesty. He was also suggesting that critical historical work, in its search for evidential support for its historiography, be abandoned. And we would do well to remember that what Noth was abandoning had been as much Alt's project as Albright's. What did he propose to offer as an alternative? Nothing really different from what he had been doing since 1929, for Noth had never needed evidence, and his history had always been immensely convincing. Ever a logician and theologian, Noth sought truth through reason and the euphoria of conviction. He had no qualms about following the principle that if an element within his reconstructed historiographical world were necessary, then it had to have existed. As evidence was of its very nature circumstantialand ancient evidence both circumstantial and arbitrarily accidentalit could play only a minor role in Noth's rationalistic history. When the need for it surfacedthat is, when a theory reached an impasse and analogies seemed too distant for convincing confirmation, implying a need for very specific historical realities as yet unknownNoth, like any good metaphysician, made them up. He invented what he needed: a migration from Mari to Jericho, a cultic covenant among a historically unrelated but nevertheless numerically specific grouping of pastoralists, a unique conjunction among the tribal storytellers at the watering holes to save him from the embarrassment about the Pentateuch's variant tales, an imperial catalogue of provinces as a cure for the geographical incoherence of tales and finally a cornucopia of historical events refracted from that mother of all fictions, the Deuteronomistic History. The plausibility Noth demanded was complex. He well understood that the appropriate context for a critical historical perspective could not

THOMPSON Martin Noth and the History of Israel


simply be the imagined-to-be-real world of the text's composition. Unfortunately, far too often Noth took this hard won axiom of Wellhausen's day, and through a logical inversion, derived his context from his text, thereby creating a history of which we have no knowledge whatever. This willingness to make up evidence was pervasive. Noth did not try to interpret texts within their historical contexts; he even abandoned the literary contexts in which he read them, preferring to create both as fitting reflections of his interpretations. We are given such interpretative matrices as dei ex machina. They are fully comparable to and equally chimerical as Gunkel's Sitz im Leben. This analogy with Gunkel is, I think, apt. In his US, Noth draws explicitly on Gunkel's analytical criteria in order to create the historical refractions of his tradition history. In every case, we need to know: Who is the narrator? What is the audience? What perspective governs the situation? and What function or activity is furthered?1 Gunkel's criteria are sound. More than admirable, these criteria are necessary and essential. Both form and tradition history require that we be able to establish the real Sitz im Leben des Volkes of a Gattung and a real historical context of a tradition's development if we are to use them as historical matrices of interpretation. In fact, these criteria crippled Gunkel's project. Albeit necessary, it was far more than Old Testament scholarship could reasonably do. These same criteria also destroy Noth's project of Uberlieferungsgeschichte as he pursued it. Having cited the criteria, Noth proceeded rather to determine and delineate as history the unknown on the basis of the even less known, in the certain confidence that, having stated his principles, none would notice that he did not follow them. Although we cannot any longer know whether Noth consciously held his tongue in his cheek, the practitioners of tradition history that have followed in his footsteps were firmly convinced that if these criteria were necessary, they were possible, and that if they were possible, we were progressively fulfilling them. Confidence has been so high that even the most disillusioned are convinced that their 'best' answers somehow do very nicely. Any full professor could answer such simple questions of at least our richest 'texts, such as Jeremiah:2 Question: the narrator? Answer: Jeremiah or one of his 'students' or 'circle'. Question: the
1. H. Gunkel, Reden undAufsdtze (Gottingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1913), p. 33. 2. But see R.P. Carroll, Jeremiah: A Commentary (OTL; London: SCM 1986).


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audience? Answer: the 'biblical' or 'prophetic' community.1 Question: the situation? Answer: impending destruction. Question: ideology? Answer: on the side of God. How do we full professors know all this? Well, first of all it is necessary from the texts themselves and from the analytical criteria of the tradition-historical method. If the text can read itself, surely creating a context can be accomplished. But much more important than creating for us the means of answering our questions, tradition history has supplied our field with the possibility of infinite variations of tradition history. Already it has provided the academic industry with a fifty-year supply of things to write. Andas has been pointed out by some of my colleagues at this symposiumour project has just begun. Noth, we are told, is just as viable today as he ever was. However, we do not know anything more historically today about any of these traditions or their history that Noth and hundreds of you have describednor, in fact, of their existence as just such traditions than we did in 1943. I want to soften this harshness by asserting that none of us should feel shame that we have not surpassed such a giant of a scholar. But unfortunately, the Catholic in me reminds me that I would sound like Jacques Maritain declaring that we have not surpassed Thomas in philosophy! What kind of a history do we have here that is neither cumulative nor progressively clarifying? What kind of evidence are we dealing with that changes with every practitioner? What kind of integrity adheres to discussions we call critical, when our conclusions carry no more conviction than the recognition of another variant's plausibility? But we have moved beyond Noth historically. Well beyond him. In the largely uncritical atmosphere of German Old Testament exegesis in which Noth worked, his assumption that this traditional literature reflected the historical realities and interests of its authors and tradents may have been so strong that he felt confident that he could delineate the interests, the Tendenz and the historical events and situations surrounding a text solely on the basis of the literature these past realities produced. But who today has the hubris to move from story to historical reality without some very serious consultation about the degree of refraction that exists between our context and its text? However much I have enjoyed using Noth's famous Oxford quotation
1. Of course, it is too often assumed that the literary prophets must have had groups of students, followers or at least a prophetic community. Otherwise, our analytical criteria would not be met, and these questions could not be answered.

THOMPSON Martin Noth and the History of Israel


to highlight the dubiousness of creating historical periods out of legends and tall tales, that was not what Noth was doing. To reiterate my argument, for Noth the patriarchs could not have existed because of the logical axiom that Israel had to have some bond holding it together before it could have existed. This had nothing to do with evidence, external or not. The amphictyony made the patriarchs redundant. It never occurred to Noth to ask whether there was evidence for an amphictyony in twelfth-century Palestine, because he was doing exegesis not history, and none would deny the implicit tribal bond of such texts as Joshua 24. Noth's question was anti-historicalthe philosophical and interpretive question of analogy. Since the existence of such a social structure could explain for Noth what he found necessary in his effort to understand Israel's origins, it must have happened just so. If we are not to suffer another fifty years like these past, we need to be a bit less pious about this great scholar. While it is undoubtedly true that this most famous of Alt's students set the agenda for more than a generation of German scholarship on the history of Israel and its traditions, and while it is also undoubtedly true that Noth's US is among the two or three most influential books of the century in our field, these truths in fact describe not Noth's work, but the production of the German scholarship that followed Noth, and which thought his thoughts, rather than their own. Noth himself, in the excessive rationalism of his methodology, almost singlehandedly destroyedand the US was his primary toolthe historical goals with which Alt had inspired his students.1 Noth's historical contributions to our understanding of Israel's early history were a deformation of Alt's early articles. Only very recently has some German scholarship shown signs of recovery and of becoming once again a significant voice in the historical work of our field.2 Much good research has been lost to what has become the
1. I am thinking above all of Alt's immensely fruitful essay, Die Landnahme der Israeliten in Paldstina: Territorialgeschichtliche Studien (Reformationsprogramm der Universitat Leipzig; Leipzig: Druckerei der Werkgemeinschaft, 1925). 2. Among several, the following younger scholars immediately come to mind: H.M. Niemann, 'Stadt, Land und Herrschaft' (Habilitationsschrift, Rostock, 1990); U. Hiibner, 'Die Kultur und Religion eines Transjordanisches Volkes im 1. Jahrtausends', (Heidelberg dissertation, 1991) and E.A. Knauf, Midian: Untersuchungen zur Geschichte Paldstinas und Nordarabiens am Ende des 2. Jahrtausends v. Chr. (ADPV; Wiesbaden: O. Harrassowitz, 1988); Ismael: Untersuchungen zur Geschichte Paldstinas und Nordarabiens im 1. Jahrtausends v. Chr. (ADPV; Wiesbaden: O. Harrassowitz, 2nd edn, 1989).


The History of Israel's Traditions

anti-historical pseudo-discipline we call tradition historythat mythical realm where not only does history take on meaning, but where events happen and contexts occur wherever and whenever a rational person needs them.

MARTIN NOTH AND TRADITION CRITICISM RolfRendtorff 'Despite...occasional appearances of "tradition history" in the work of Gunkel and others, the first real attempt to develop a traditio-historical approach...for the Old Testament was made by Martin Noth.' This quotation comes from the standard work on tradition history by Douglas Knight.1 Accordingly, the question of Noth's contribution to tradition history must be turned around: Noth himself was the founder of this approach. There are also good reasons to speak of Gerhard von Rad and Martin Noth together as 'the fathers of traditio-historical research', as Knight does in the heading for the chapter on them in his book.2 If Uberlieferungsgeschichte had already been coined as a terminus technicus, von Rad would surely have used it in his famous book, Das formgeschichtliche Problem des Hexateuch (1938).3 The work of these two scholars marked Old Testament scholarship for decades, with remarkable consequences for the fields of history and theology.

In order to describe the fundamental step that Noth took with his new approach, it will be useful first of all to reflect on the relations between his two major works: Uberlieferungsgeschichtliche Studien (hereafter US) of 1943 and Uberlieferungsgeschichte des Pentateuch (hereafter UP) of 1948.4 The five years between their dates of publication included
1. D.A. Knight, Rediscovering the Traditions of Israel: The Development of the Traditio-Historical Research of the Old Testament, with Special Consideration of Scandinavian Contributions (SBLDS 9; Missoula, MT: Scholars Press, rev. edn, 1975), p. 21. 2. Knight, Rediscovering the Traditions, p. 97. 3. G. von Rad, Das formgeschichtliche Problem des Hexateuch (BWANT 4; Stuttgart: Kohlhammer, 1938). 4. M. Noth, Uberlieferungsgeschichtliche Studien (Tubingen: Niemeyer, 1943);


The History of Israel's Traditions

the terrible final years of the Second World War and the difficult first year after the war, when little new work could be accomplished. Noth himself declares in the preface to UP that originally he had planned to publish it as the second volume of a series that began with US. That is why Knight, 'departing from the chronological order', examines UP first, arguing that this would 'enabl[e] us to understand more clearly the method which Noth employs in his Uberlieferungsgeschichtliche Studien'.1 I doubt that Knight's argument is correct, since one finds almost no cross references linking Noth's two books themselves, except the remark in the preface (quoted above) and one or two footnotes in UP. Even more important are Noth's own remarks in the introduction to US. Here he explains the difference in character between the Pentateuch and the Deuteronomistic History and gives his reasons for leaving the Pentateuch out of consideration in this book. In a long footnote he hints at the different character of Dtr and the Yahwist, whom he understands as von Rad did.2 He does not, however, mention his own intent to deal with Pentateuchal problems in a separate book. I find these observations very important, because they show that Noth did not regard his work on the Deuteronomistic History merely as a part of a greater project, as it seems from hindsight. (Of course, this does not at all mean that US and UP do not belong together, as we will see later.) It also shows that when writing US, Noth did not intend to develop a new, comprehensive method for Old Testament interpretation (as he actually did). Knight quotes a very interesting passage from Noth about 'the scope and task of traditio-historical work', which ends with the sentence, 'It is the task of a "history of Pentateuchal traditions" to investigate this whole process from beginning to end.'3 The statement is found in UP, though, and it speaks explicitly about an 'Uberlieferungsgeschichte des Pentateuch', not about traditio-historical work in general. Knight himself deplores the fact that Noth did not apply his own method to the Deuteronomistic History:

Uberlieferungsgeschichte des Pentateuch (Stuttgart: Kohlhammer, 1948). 1. Knight, Rediscovering the Traditions, p. 143. 2. Noth, US, p. 2, n. 3; DH, p. 14, n. 2. 3. Knight, Rediscovering the Traditions, p. 144. Noth, UP, p. 1. Knight quotes from the English translation, A History of Pentateuchal Traditions (trans. B.W. Anderson; Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall, 1972), p. 1.

RENDTORFF Martin Noth and Tradition Criticism

But in all of this, one aspect is enigmatic from a traditio-historical point of view: Why does Noth restrict his attention to the Dtr and its author? He specifies and describes the sources which the Deuteronomist used, but he does not attempt here to uncover the prehistory of these sources...One would expect that this also belongs to the traditio-historical task. The composition of the final opus is only one of many stages to be examined, as Noth himself emphasizes in his definition of Uberlieferungsgeschichte.1


The solution to this enigma appears rather simple: when Noth wrote US he did not yet know this definition of 'Uberlieferungsgeschichte'. He developed it only later. Thus, we must interpret US from the book itself, not in the light of this later definition of tradition history. This does not minimize the fundamental importance of that book but only transposes it into another context. Noth himself hinted at how it should be read by the subtitle of the volume: Die sammelnden und bearbeitenden Geschichtswerke im Alten Testament ('the collecting and reworking history works in the Old Testament'). His methodological interest was directed to the deuteronomistic (and also Chr.'s) works in their final forms as works of history. With regard to the former, the decisive step was 'that this work must first be "discovered" as a literary entity and unity'.2 Let us look more closely at what happened here. Earlier researchers concluded that certain passages within the books from Joshua to 2 Kings showed 'deuteronomistic' features. They also realized that in several cases those deuteronomistic texts served to frame earlier nondeuteronomistic passages. Noth's fundamental insight was that all these deuteronomistic elements belonged together and formed a whole that constitutes a literary and theological unit. Therefore, it was not merely a deuteronomistic 'redaction' but the work of one author. I believe that, methodologically speaking, this was the decisive step: to understand that this deuteronomistic collector of earlier traditions was an 'author'. Let us focus on this point for a moment. Before Noth, the definition of 'deuteronomistic' elements occurred in the methodological framework of traditional 'literary criticism', that is, of source criticism. The 'deuteronomistic' passages belonged to later redactional levels that brought the older 'sources' together but did not mean anything by themselves. From that perspective, Noth's idea was quite revolutionary. Classical source criticism was always interested primarily in the earlier
1. 2. Knight, Rediscovering the Traditions, pp. 162-63. The italics are Knight's. Noth, US, p. 2; DH, p. 15.


The History of Israel's Traditions

stagesthe later the texts, the less important they were. Therefore, to ascribe to a final redactor the designation of 'author' seemed incredibleeven more so if one reads Noth's own description of this 'author's' compositional technique: he 'brought together material from highly varied traditions and arranged it according to a carefully conceived plan'. 1 In a sense, he was really a redactor, but Noth understood that the work of a redactor and that of an author are not mutually exclusive. Before Noth's day, the term 'redactor' was regularly used in a depreciatory sense. Noth gave it a new connotation by redefining the work of the person responsible. Thus the 'Deuteronomist' was born. It would go beyond the scope of this paper to explain the great importance of this thesis. In the course of this symposium others will do so or have done so already. From a methodological point of view, I would say that the clear-cut and seemingly simple nature of this thesis, together with its far-reaching and often convincing consequences, are the main reasons for its great success. I am not sure about the extent to which US has been regarded as a success of the recently-introduced method of Uberlieferungsgeschichteas well. I will come back to this question later.

Now let me turn to Noth's other main book in this context, UP. It is much more difficult to do justice to that work. On the one hand, it is more explicitly presented as a traditio-historical work. I have already quoted the basic statement that a tradition history of the Pentateuch must follow the path of the Pentateuchal traditions 'from beginning to end'. Coming from US, however, we encounter immediately in this introductory statement a very interesting difference. Noth distinguishes four stages of tradition:2 1. 2. 3. 4. orally circulated and transmitted traditions, that were written down brought together in large, literary works, that were finally compiled 'through the purely literary labors of so-called redactors'.
Noth, US, p. ll;DH,p. 26. Noth, UP, p. 1; History of Pentateuchal Traditions, p. 1.

1. 2.

RENDTORFF Martin Noth and Tradition Criticism


Thus the reader learns on the first page of the book that one may not expect to hear about something like a final 'author', comparable to Dtr. On the contrary, there will be, in the final analysis, only 'so-called redactors' engaged in 'purely literary labors'. What these redactors have put together is exactly what the traditional Documentary Hypothesis had always assumed: three main sourcesthose of the Yahwist, the Elohist and the Priestly writer. According to Noth, each was written by an individual author.1 This, by the way, is a clear deviation from the position of Noth's great forerunners, Gunkel and Gressmann, for whom the socalled sources were only schools of collectors. One suspects that the impact of von Rad's discovery of the Yahwist as theologian played a certain role here. Noth departs in only one detail from the traditional view: he postulates an earlier, common source for J and E, which he calls 'G' for the German (gemeinsame) Grundlage (common basis). He avoids committing himself, though, as to whether this was still an oral or already a written stage of transmission. Moreover, even the idea of 'G' does not go beyond the framework of traditional source criticism.2 Another interesting point is Noth's thesis that the redactor (or perhaps one of several redactors) took 'P' as the literary basis for the whole Pentateuch narration and 'enriched' it with materials from the other sources. At this point, one wants to ask whether this 'P' does not come close to Dtr and so could also be called an 'author'. Noth does not even mention such a possibility, however, probably because he was convinced that 'P' had existed before as an independent 'source', while Dtr's work had not. This would again demonstrate that with regard to the Pentateuch, Noth operates completely within the framework of the Documentary Hypothesis.3 The chapter on the sources in UP is just called 'Prolegomena', while the 'main part' of the book deals with the traditio-historical treatment of
1. Noth, UP, p. 247; History of Pentateuchal Traditions, p. 228. 2. Noth refers to the similar idea of Otto Procksch (Genesis [KAT 1; Leipzig: Deichert, 1924], p. 290), who in his commentary on Genesis spoke about 'U' = 'Ursage'. 3. Of further interest is Noth's idea that 'P' has to be taken as a purely narrative work. This is in fundamental contrast to the way that the Kaufmann school handles 'P'almost completely as cultic-legal traditions. See my article, 'Two Kinds of P? Some Reflections on the Occasion of the Publishing of Jacob Milgrom's Commentary on Leviticus 1-16', JSOT60 (1993), pp. 75-81.


The History of Israel's Traditions

the Pentateuch proper. Again, the difference with US is evident. In the latter, Noth dealt exclusively with the last stage of the traditio, the written materials that Dtr had before him as the sources for his work. In UP, Noth starts from the opposite end. He deals only with 'themes', 'narrative materials' (Erzahlungsstoffe) and 'human figures', but never with clearly defined texts. What he treats is the earliest of the various stages uncovered by traditio-historical research: the stage of orally transmitted traditions. These are fascinating chapters, and they show Noth's highly developed faculty of imagination. At the same time, they make a very important contribution by demonstrating the first step of traditio-historical work. Finally, they show the close relationship between Noth's methodology and those of Gunkel and especially Gressmann. As one continues to read, however, Noth returns again in the last chapters of the book to the topic of the 'Prolegomena', viz., the classical sources. This means that he totally skips the second stage, the writing down of the traditions before their collection into larger works. In other words, he ignores Gunkel's main interest: the 'smallest literary units'. For example, we learn about Jacob that 'at Bethel the holiness of the place is unexpectedly revealed to him at night in a great theophany (Gen. 28.11-22 [JE]; cf. Gen 35.9-13, 15 [P]), and he erects there a masseba and an altar (Gen. 28.18; 35.7 [E])'.1 We do not hear anything, though, about the Bethel narration itselfneither the J nor the E versionsnor do we hear anything about the relationship of the two versions to one another. We can reconstruct the two accounts from the chart that Noth provides in the 'Prolegomena', but from a traditiohistorical point of view we do not learn anything about the stage between the 'theme' and the 'human figure', on the one hand, and the 'sources' JE in their conflated form, on the other. Therefore, one could say that from a traditio-historical point of view, Noth's UP is something like a fragment. Of the four stages of tradition history that he lists in the book, Noth focuses primarily on the first (oral tradition) and third (collection in large literary works), gives only limited attention to the fourth (the work of redactors) and is completely silent about the second (the transition from oral traditions to texts). In my view, this is one of the main shortcomings of the book2that it deals

1. Noth, UP, p. 87; History of Pentateuchal Traditions, p. 80. 2. See my critique in Das iiberlieferungsgeschichtliche Problem des Pentateuch (BZAW 147; Berlin: de Gruyter, 1977), pp. 5-19; [ET The Problem of the Process of

RENDTORFF Martin Noth and Tradition Criticism


little with clearly definable texts. This in turn causes many of Noth's traditio-historical explanations to appear highly speculative. The figure of Lot provides a useful example. Noth explains the development of the biblical account by means of a complex theory about how several local traditions around the Dead Sea were combined with personal exchanges from Haran to Lot.1 Noth himself admits that his explanation is 'just an attempt', mainly in order to show what sort of traditio-historical problems have to be solved with this text. In my view, one could call it pure speculation, very interesting but without verifiable, fixed points in the texts themselves. I want to discuss one more point in Noth's UPthe so-called 'themes' that Noth saw as forming the basis for the whole Pentateuchal narrative. He took these 'themes' from von Rad, who had developed in his book on the Hexateuch the well-known thesis that a 'credo' formed the nucleus from which the whole Pentateuch grew. This 'credo' included a distinct number of credenda, which at the same time formed the main themes of the Pentateuch. Although Noth took up the idea of these 'themes', he removed them almost completely from the cultic sphere and discussed them as 'themes of tradition' (Uberlieferungsthemen).Let me give two quotations. Von Rad says:2
Now these statements, which summarise the contents of the Hexateuch, are understood in the source documents to be essentially statements of belief. ..That which is recounted, from the creation of the world and the call of Abraham to the completion of the conquest under Joshua, is purely and simply a 'history of redemption'. We might equally well call it a creed, a summary of the principal facts of God's redemptive activity.

Noth writes:3
In conclusion, a minimum of narrative material was included within each of the themes out of which the imposing work of the Pentateuchal narrative was created. This is true to the extent that the theme was not only meant to be recited in a confessional manner, purely as theme, in the context of a

Transmission in the Pentateuch (trans. J.J. Scullion; JSOTSup 89; Sheffield: JSOT Press), pp. 16-31]. 1. Noth, UP, pp. 167-70; History of Pentateuchal Traditions, pp. 151-54. 2. Von Rad, Das formgeschichtliche Problem, p. 10. The English translation is from The Problem of the Hexateuch and Other Essays (trans. E.W.T. Dicken; New York: McGraw-Hill, 1966), p. 2. 3. Noth, UP, p. 67; History of Pentateuchal Traditions, p. 62.


The History of Israel's Traditions

hymnic formulation determined by cultic use, but was meant to be narrated in a manner which would communicate an event concretely and vividly and arouse participation and interest.

The difference is obvious. On the one hand, Noth is much less concerned with the theological side of the Pentateuchal traditions than with historical questions and exegetical aspects of the narrative. On the other hand, I believe that when the themes moved from being elements of the 'credo' to become themes of tradition, they became less concrete and essentially abstract points for the crystallization of narrative materials. They are also much less concrete than Gunkel's literary units. This is congruent with Noth's neglect of the second stage of tradition history (the shaping of texts), a matter discussed earlier.

A comparison of Noth's two main books on tradition history leaves us with a fragmentary picture of what traditio-historical interpretation could or should be. This does not diminish the great importance of the two books, and it does not at all call into question the fact that Noth is the real founder of this extremely important new approach. I also believe that it is legitimate to say that Hebrew Bible scholarship is in fact 'primarily traditio-historical in orientation'.1 In my view, though, the actual impact of Noth's two books is significantly different. US deeply marked Old Testament scholarship and theology. 'Dtr' has become a central figure in every explanation of the development of Old Testament literature and theology. Even with the growing tendency toward late dating of Old Testament texts, the Deuteronomist (or the Deuteronomists) has become a central figure from which one can date texts as 'pre-deuteronomistic' or 'postdeuteronomistic'. In spite of the wide acceptance that Noth's literary analysis has found, there have been several attempts to distinguish the contributions of more than one Dtr or deuteronomistic redactor in the work. Even Noth's closest disciples found it necessary to change their master's results. Rudolf Smend and his disciples (sometimes called the 'Gottingen school') divided Noth's Dtr into three: DtrG (for Geschichtswerk) or
1. R. Morgan and J. Barton, Biblical Interpretation (Oxford Bible Series; Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988), p. 101.

RENDTORFF Martin Noth and Tradition Criticism


DtrH (for History or Historical Work),1 DtrP (prophetic redactor) and DtrN (nomistic redactor). I do not see progress in these subdivisions but an erosion of Noth's epoch-making thesis. This debate, however, goes beyond the scope of my paper. Even more regrettable in my view is the substitution, also introduced by Smend, of the term Redaktionsgeschichte (redaction criticism) for 2 Uberlieferungsgeschichte.2This coincides with the uncontrolled use of the terms Uberlieferungand Tradition in some German publications. I refer in particular to student textbooks like the widely used Exegese des Alten Testaments by O.H. Steck, where one finds the terms Uberlieferungsgeschichte, Redaktionsgeschichte and Traditionsgeschichte referring to three different steps of exegetical work, without any relation to Noth's fundamental insights.3 At the moment, it is difficult to learn from German literature what Uberlieferungsgeschichte really is. Fortunately, Knight's article on 'Tradition History' in the Anchor Bible Dictionary uses clear language.4 The reception of Noth's UP was much less uniform than that accorded to his US. His idea of a source (or perhaps a pre-source 'G') that had already been used by J and E has not found much acceptance. Even Smend finds Noth's thesis 'not very evident',5 and other scholars refer to it rather casually. As mentioned above, more have favored Noth's idea that 'P' was used as the basis for the final redaction of the Pentateuch. I will return to this momentarily. With regard to the central traditio-historical part of Noth's analysis of
1. Thus T.N.D. Mettinger, King and Messiah: The Civil and Sacral Legitimation of the Israelite Kings (Lund: Gleerup, 1976), p. 20. 2. R. Smend, 'Das Gesetz und die Volker: Bin Beitrag zur deuteronomistischen Redaktionsgeschichte', in H.W. Wolff (ed.), Probleme biblischer Theologie: Gerhard von Rad zum 70. Geburtstag (Munich: Chr. Kaiser Verlag), pp. 494-509. 3. O.H. Steck, Exegese des Alten Testaments: Leitfaden der Methodik: Ein Arbeitsbuch fiir Proseminare, Seminare und Vorlesungen (Neukirchen-Vluyn: Neukirchener Verlag, 12th edn, 1989), pp. 63-64. Steck's remarks show that he is fully aware of his divergence from the scholarly tradition marked by Noth. 4. ABD VI, pp. 633-38. Unfortunately, John Barton, in his article on 'Redaction Criticism (OT)' (ABD V, pp. 644-47), argues that the works of von Rad and Noth according to 'the more literary side of their interests (nowadays) would be called redaction criticism' (p. 645). I can only disagree and must add that I do not understand Barton's criticism of Noth in the subsequent passage of his article. 5. R. Smend, Die Entstehung des Alten Testaments (Stuttgart: Kohlhammer, 1978), p. 89.


The History of Israel's Traditions

the Pentateuchal materials, I want to make two seemingly contradictory observations. First, it appears that few have accepted specific exegetical conclusions from Noth's analyses. Rather, in the field of historical geography Noth's observations are used because his interpretations of biblical figures and events are always closely related to land and history. Nevertheless, the details of Noth's exegetical contributions in the main part of UP have not been widely adopted. On the other hand, UP has apparently encouraged a new methodological openness in Pentateuchal research. As one of von Rad's students, I felt this very clearly. We learned how von Rad and Noth had continued the work of Gunkel and Gressmann, and we were taught to push forward, not only to repeat and refine the older methods but to ask new questions and make new observations. We felt that the field was open and that von Rad and Noth had opened it. In this way, I am a grateful student of Noth's. Though never his personal disciple, I was always an attentive reader of his publications, and through the years I had the chance in the context of work on the Biblischer Kommentar to meet himtogether with the other great figures of that generationrather frequently. When I tried to take my own steps in the field of Uberlieferungsgeschichte,it was in critical discussion with Noth that I moved ahead in the same direction that he had already gone. In this context, I want to mention one final point. Noth had the idea that 'P' had provided the 'literary framework of the Pentateuch as a whole'.1 Earlier, I asked whether this 'P' could be understood as an 'author' in the same sense as Dtr. It is not by accident that Frank Cross, when writing on the Priestly Work that 'never existed as an independent narrative document',2 began his discussion with Noth. In my view, only one step beyond Noth's position was required to reach the question of the final shape of the Pentateuch and to understand that even here we find the place of the Priestly stratum of the Pentateuch. Thus, Noth appears to me as one of those who opened the field even to questions about the final or canonical shape of the Hebrew Bible, questions that were surely still beyond his own ideas. With these last remarks I mean to express again the great importance of Noth's work for traditio-historical research and, beyond that, for Old Testament scholarship in general.
1. Noth, UP, p. 7; History of Pentateuchal Traditions, p. 8. 2. P.M. Cross, Canaanite Myth and Hebrew Epic: Essays in the History of the Religion of Israel (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1973), p. 324.



Timo Veijola

Martin Noth was more historian than theologian. His scholarly work was guided by the ultimate purpose of discovering the specific character of Israel's history in the world of the ancient Near East, making use of literary, archaeological, geographical and topographical sources. In this respect he was a faithful student of his teachers, Rudolf Kittel (18531929) and Albrecht Alt (1883-1956). Alt especially, with whom he was closely associated, first as a pupil and later as a colleague, had a profound influence on the methods and goals of his research. Religion and theology were not, however, alien to Noth, as they were not to his teachers. As was the case with Alt, he had 'an almost childlike piety of Lutheran type', which released him from an exhausting struggle with the problems of hermeneutical principles,1 and in the same way as Kittel in 1921,2 Noth in 1963 welcomed the return of Old Testament theology to the agenda of scholarly research.3 Noth himself was reluctant to take a position on theological issues, and therefore those few cases where he expressed his opinion on a theological matter are all the
1. R. Smend, Deutsche Alttestamentler in drei Jahrhunderten (Gottingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1989), p. 261. 2. R. Kittel, 'Die Zukunft der Alttestamentlichen Wissenschaft', ZAW 39 (1921), pp. 84-99. 3. M. Noth, 'Tendenzen theologischer Forschung in Deutschland', the German version of the unpublished English lecture, 'Developing Lines of Theological Thought in Germany', Fourth Annual Bibliographical Lecture (Union Theological Seminary in Virginia, 1963), repr. in H.W. Wolff (ed.), Gesammelte Studien zum Alien Testament, II (TBu 39; Munich: Chr. Kaiser Verlag, 1969), pp. 113-32 (122). Noth's special concern here is the Old Testament theology of G. von Rad (Theologie des Allen Testaments, I-H [Munich: Chr. Kaiser Verlag, 1957, I960]).


The History of Israel's Traditions

more important.1 Some of them also deserve attention on account of the historical situation at the time they arose, namely the time of Nazi ideology, against which Noth took a critical stance and defended the value of the Old Testament2as did Alt for his own part.3 This is also the case in the more comprehensive and theologically perhaps the most important work by Noth, Die Gesetze im Pentateuch (1940), which rejects from the outset the view of the leading systematic theologian of the 'German Christians', Emanuel Hirsch,4 who made a straightforward identification of the Old Testament with the law. Noth's opposition to Nazi ideology also had a biographical background. His closest colleagues and friends in Konigsberg, where he held the chair of Old Testament professor from 1930 until the end of the Second World War, were the central figures of the Confessing Church (die Bekennende Kirche): the New Testament scholar, Julius Schniewind (1883-1948), and the systematic theologian, Hans Joachim Iwand (1899-1960).5 Later on (1952), Iwand followed Noth to Bonn but was apparently disappointed, as he could not engage Noth in new debates in

1. They are, besides the lecture mentioned in the preceding note, the following: 'Die Historisierung des Mythus im Alten Testament', inaugural lecture on July 20, 1927, at the University of Greifswald, in Gesammelte Studien, II, pp. 29-47; 'Zur Auslegung des Alten Testaments', Deutsches Pfarrerblatt 41 (1937), pp. 341-42, 359-60, 373-74; repr. in Gesammelte Studien, II, pp. 48-61; 'Von der Knechtsgestalt des Alten Testaments. Zugleich ein Beitrag zum Verstandnis der neueren Geschichte der alttestamentlichen Wissenschaft', from an unpublished Festschrift to Professor D.J. Schniewind (1943), in EvT 6 (1946/47), pp. 302-10, repr. in Gesammelte Studien, II, pp. 62-70; 'Die Vergegenwartigung des Alten Testaments in der Verkundigung', EvT 12 (1952/53), pp. 6-17, repr. in Gesammelte Studien, II, pp. 8698. 2. This concerns in particular the articles, 'Zur Auslegung des Alten Testaments' and 'Von der Knechtsgestalt des Alten Testaments'. 3. See Smend, Deutsche Alttestamentler, p. 184. 4. M. Noth, Die Gesetze im Pentateuch: Ihre Voraussetzungen und ihr Sinn (Schriften der Konigsberger Gelehrten Gesellschaft, Geisteswissenschaftliche Klasse, 17.2; Halle/Saale: Niemeyer, 1940); repr. in idem, Gesammelte Studien zum Alten Testament (TBii 6; Munich: Chr. Kaiser Verlag, 3rd edn, 1966), pp. 9-141 (14). 5. Smend, Deutsche Alttestamentler, p. 259. Noth's position in Kirchenkampf was also the reason why the dean of the theological faculty in Konigsberg did not recommend him as Otto Procksch's successor in Erlangen; see K. Beyschlag, Die Erlanger Theologie (Einzelarbeiten aus der Kirchengeschichte Bayerns 67; Erlangen: Martin-Luther-Verlag, 1993), p. 285.

VEIJOLA Martin Noth 's US and Old Testament Theology


the field of political ideology.1 In Bonn Noth became acquainted with the founding father of Dialectical Theology, Karl Earth (1886-1968), who appreciated Noth perhaps more than Noth appreciated him. Although Earth's Dialectical Theology obviously had a certain influence on Noth, the latter grew more and more skeptical of a 'theology of the Word', which seemed to run the risk of displacing history,2 which in Noth's view is the main forum for God's revelation.3 The theological impact of most of Noth's studies has been indirect, but by no means insignificant. This statement also pertains to his book, Uberlieferungsgeschichtliche Studien (1943).4 At its core this book deals not with a theological issue but with a historical one: A true reconstruction of Israel's history is predicated on a correct picture of the nature and purpose of the sources wherein this history is told. The most important sources in this connection are the large compositional works of the Old Testament: the Pentateuch, the Deuteronomistic History and the Chronicler's History.5 Noth later dedicated a large, separate study, Uberlieferungsgeschichte des Pentateuch (1948),6 to the criticism of the Pentateuchal sources, whereas the Deuteronomistic History and the Chronicler's History are the subjects in US. In the following survey I shall concentrate on the first part of the book, which deals with the Deuteronomistic History, owing not only to my personal preferences but also to the overriding theological importance of this part of US. Noth's book laid the foundation for the study of the theology of the Deuteronomistic History both indirectly and directly: indirectly so far as it formulates a theory of one, coherent Deuteronomistic History, which can be supposed to have a clear theological purpose, and directly so far
1. R. Smend, in a discussion on August 5, 1992. 2. Smend, Deutsche Alttestamentler, p. 259. 3. Already in 1927, Noth opened his inaugural lecture at Greifswald with a quotation from Schleiermacher, which ended with the following words: 'Geschichte im eigentlichsten Sinn ist der hochste Gegenstand der Religion, mit ihr hebt sie an und endigt mit ihr' (Gesammelte Studien, II, p. 29). Throughout his later work, history remained the major sphere of revelation, and therefore, he took a critical position on the existential interpretation undertaken by R. Bultmann and his pupils (see Gesammelte Studien, II, pp. 123-24). 4. I cite the 3rd, unchanged edition of 1967 (Tubingen: Niemeyer). Hereafter, US. 5. M. Noth, US, p. l;DH,p. 13. 6. M. Noth, Uberlieferungsgeschichte des Pentateuch (Stuttgart: Kohlhammer, 1948).


The History of Israel's Traditions

as Noth presents his own view of the central theological ideas of the Deuteronomistic History. The preconditions for defining the theological message of this work were lacking in older research, where it was typical to speak in an indefinite way about deuteronomistic or deuteronomic redactors in the plural, without any certainty about where their work started or ended. The situation changed completely when Noth created his theory of a single deuteronomistic author (Dtr),1 who describes, according to a deliberate plan, the history of Israel, from the plains of Moab (Deut. 1-3) until the exile and the release of king Jehoiachin from prison (2 Kgs 25.27-30). One argument that Noth advanced for the unity of the work consisted, in addition to the vocabulary and the chronology, of the allegedly uniform theological view of history, which appears most clearly in the speeches given at the turning points of history, in Joshua 1; 23; 1 Samuel 12; 1 Kgs 8.14ff., as well as in the theological resumes in Joshua 12; Judg. 2.1 Iff.; 2 Kgs 17.7ff.2 The description of history is governed by the conviction that God had acted in the history of Israel in a visible way, responding to the growing disobedience first with warnings and punishments and finally, when those proved ineffective, allowing his people to perish completely and forever.3 The standard used for the evaluation of the history is the law in Deuteronomy, which represents the authentic, divine interpretation of the Decalogue. Yet the background and basis of Israel's existence as the people of God is the exodus and the gift of the Promised Land.4 Israel, however, did not prove worthy of the gift, but rejected the will of God that was expressed in the law. Dtr considered as most important in Deuteronomy the orders that were put into effect during the cult-reform of Josiah.5 The kings of Israel and Judah are judged on the grounds of

1. Noth refutes in plain terms the existence of a double redaction in US (pp. 6-9; DH, pp. 20-24) and again in the lecture 'Zur Geschichtsauffassung des Deuteronomisten', in Z.V. Togan (ed.), Proceedings of the Twenty-Second Congress of Orientalists held in Istanbul... 1951, II, Communications (Leiden: Brill, 1957), pp. 558-66 (563-66). However, he does take into account the possibility that the work was later supplemented by additions (e.g., Judg. 2.20-3.6), which were written in deuteronomistic style (US, pp. 7-8; DH, p. 21). 2. Noth, US, pp. 5-6; DH, pp. 18-20. 3. Noth, US, p. 100; DH, p. 134. 4. Noth, US, pp. 101-102; DH, p. 135. 5. Noth, US, p. 103; DH, p. 137.

VEIJOLA Martin Noth's US and Old Testament Theology


their cultic decisions.1 The author pays great attention to the temple of Jerusalem2 and its cult, recording with special care all material concerning them.3 In spite of this, Dtr does not display any positive interest in the cult.4 On the contrary, characteristic of Dtr is 'a strongly negative attitude' toward cultic practices,5 which represent to him only a human attempt to serve God.6 Therefore, he does not see the end of cultic sacrifices in Jerusalem in 587 as 'any great loss', because the temple for Dtr was above all a place of prayer, not a place of sacrifice.7 The decisive step on the way to the catastrophes of Israel and Judah was the establishment of the monarchy (1 Sam. 8-12), which according to Dtr was an act of unfaithfulness to Yahweh.8 This, however, did not prevent Dtr from sharing the positive attitude of the older traditions toward David and giving to the kings the primary role as guardians of the law.9 Yet, there was no hope for the continuation of the royal line. The release of King Jehoiachin in the end of the work (2 Kgs 25.27-30) was simply the last fact that Dtr recorded, and it was added only for the sake of its historical significance, without any hope for the restoration of the kingdom.10 According to Noth, the catastrophe of 587 marked the end of Israel/Judah, at least from a human perspective. Another time he put it in a way that resembles the tone of Dialectical Theology: 'Only after having suffered completely the punishment which God had inflicted upon her, could "Israel" be told the message of Deutero-Isaiah that now God will create "a new thing".'11 Concerning the background of the author of the Deuteronomistic History, Noth concluded that he was not affiliated with any institution especially not priestly and cultic ones.12 He was rather a private
1. Noth, US, pp. 85, 93-94; DH, pp. 115, 123-26. 2. Noth, US, p. 69; DH, p. 95. 3. Noth, US, pp. 75-77; DH, pp. 103-105. 4. Noth, US, p. 6; DH, p. 20. 5. Noth, US, p. 103; DH, p. 137. 6. Noth, US, p. 104; DH, p. 138. 7. Noth, US, p. 105; DH, p. 139. 8. Noth, US, p. 54; DH, p. 77. 9. Noth, US, p. 95;DH,p. 127. 10. Noth, US, pp. 107-108; DH, p. 143. 11. M. Noth, 'Die Katastrophe von Jerusalem im Jahre 587 v. Chr. und ihre Bedeutung fiir Israel', RHPR 33 (1953), pp. 82-102; repr. in Gesammelte Studien, I, pp. 346-71 (371). The italics are Noth's. 12. Noth, US, p. 109; DH, p. 145.


The History of Israel's Traditions

individual, who on his own initiative undertook the task of explaining the catastrophe that he himself had experienced.1 He wrote between the years 560 and 540,2 probably in Palestine and perhaps in the region of Mizpah and Bethel, where many of the local traditions that he used had their origin.3

One possible way to assess the impact of Noth's work on the later theological study of the Old Testament is to examine the role that deuteronomistic theology played in textbooks and other presentations of Old Testament theology before US on the one hand, and after its publication on the other. The most appropriate reference material for the time before 1943 is provided by the works of Ernst Sellin, Ludwig Kohler and Walther Eichrodt, which appeared in the 1930s in response to demands made in the 1920s for a closer scrutiny of the theological message of the Old Testament.4 A common feature of all three of these theologies is the fact that in none of them is deuteronomistic theology considered a phenomenon deserving a separate description, and they all speak about deuteronomistic theology in quite indefinite terms. The theology of Sellin from 1933,5 where the tension between Old Testament theology and the history of Israel's religion is solved by dividing the work into two separate volumes, contains some references to the Deuteronomists. This designation is used by Sellin of both the author of the book of Deuteronomy and of the final editors of the
1. Noth, #S, p. 110;D#,p. 145. 2. In US (p. 12; DH, p. 27) Noth defines, on account of 2 Kgs 25.27-30, the year 562 BCE as the terminus a quo, maintaining that there is no reason to put Dtr 'much later than this terminus a quo'. In the later lecture 'Zur Geschichtsauffassung des Deuteronomisten', he gives a more precise date, between 560 and 540 (Proceedings, p. 561). 3. Noth, VS, p. 97 and n. 6; p. 110, n. 1; DH, p. 130 and n. 3; p. 145 and n. 1. 4. On these demands see, for example, H. Graf Reventlow, Hauptprobleme der alttestamentlichen Theologie im 20. Jahrhundert (ErFor 173; Darmstadt: Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft, 1982), pp. 1 1-14; J.H. Hayes and F.C. Prussner, Old Testament Theology: Its History and Development (London: SCM Press, 1985), pp. 153-66. 5. E. Sellin, Alttestamentliche Theologie auf religionsgeschichtlicher Grundlage, I, Israelitisch-judische Religions geschichte and II, Theologie des Alien Testaments (Leipzig: Quelle & Meyer, 1933).

VEIJOLA Martin Noth 's US and Old Testament Theology


subsequent historical books.1 Although Sellin acknowledges that the Deuteronomists left a crucial stamp on the final literary shape and the theological meaning of the historical books,2 nowhere does he give an independent overview of their theology. The neglect is astonishing in view of the fact that already in 1910 in his introduction3 Sellin had given a very distinct portrayal of deuteronomistic literature and its theological purpose. In his introduction Sellin took two Deuteronomists into account, supposing that the first onethe actual initiator of the workhad lived in Palestine shortly after the year 596, editing the books of Kings in the spirit of Deuteronomy.4 His work was continued by a second Deuteronomist, who was a pupil of the first and lived in Babylon during the exile. He supplemented the work of his master in the books of Kings with several additions (e.g., 2 Kgs 25) and expanded it by including the rest of the historical books as well as the whole Pentateuch, except for the Priestly work.5 So he composed an extensive history reaching from the creation (Gen. 2.4b) to the release of Jehoiachin (2 Kgs 25.27-30) and containing a distinct message: the history of the world (Weltgeschichte) is the doom of the world (Weltgericht). The reason for the failure of Israel and Judah was their sin, in particular their wayward cult.6 So far, Sellin defined the aim of the Deuteronomistic History along the same lines as Noth did thirty-three years later, but he went on to claim that the work also had a pedagogical goal. The proclamation of doom had the positive function of calling the people to repentance and paving the way for the future, which was secured by the dynastic promise given to David, 'the servant of God', and reaffirmed by the release of Jehoiachin from prison.7 As we shall later observe, Sellin's view of deuteronomistic theology was in fact very modern, but it is astonishing to find it in his introduction from 1910, but lacking in his

1. Sellin, Alttestamentliche Theologie, I, pp. 42, 45, 51, 102; II, pp. 13, 25, 92, 102. Sellin refers to the author of Deuteronomy in the singular ('der Deuteronomist')II, pp. 97, 109. 2. Sellin, Alttestamentliche Theologie, I, pp. 51, 102, 141; II, pp. 102, 107-108. 3. E. Sellin, Einleitung in das Alte Testament (Evangelisch-Theologische Bibliothek 2; Leipzig: Quelle & Meyer, 1910). 4. Sellin, Einleitung, p. 65. 5. Sellin, Einleitung, pp. 65, 67. 6. Sellin, Einleitung, p. 67. 7. Sellin, Einleitung, p. 67.


The History of Israel's Traditions

theology from 1933! A reason may be the tripartite arrangement of his theology (the doctrine of God, the doctrine of humanity and the doctrine of doom and salvation), which was clearly borrowed from Christian dogmatics and did not allow for a separate description of deuteronomistic theology. The Old Testament theology published by Kohler in 19361 also has a tripartite plan (God, humanity, and doom and salvation), thus following the traditional structure of systematic theology. In this work there are some references to the book of Deuteronomy, 2 but on the Deuteronomistic History and deuteronomistic theology Kohler is completely silent!3 This is surprising in light of Kohler's emphasis on the historical nature of Old Testament revelation, which according to him requires a historical and not a systematic approach for its proper description.4 In fact, Kohler has little interest in the kerygma of the historical books of the Old Testament. Instead, he deals with the actual history behind them, though he often uses that history in a fairly uncritical way. In so far as the historical parts of the Deuteronomistic History occasionally occur in his theology, he seems to suppose a common plot in the books of Judges, Samuel and Kings, explaining that they 'record what was' but do not offer any hope for the future. In this connection he also mentions the release of Jehoiachin (2 Kgs 25.27-30), claiming that it is only 'a silver thread to give light to the dreadful end, but nothing more'.5 On this point he actually agrees with Noth's later opinion, although he does not address the Deuteronomistic History. Moreover, there is a link between Kohler and Noth in their positions on the cult. As mentioned above, Noth insisted very stronglyand in fact inconsistentlythat Dtr held a negative view of the cult generally, and of the sacrificial system in particular. The same feature can be found on a more general level in the theology of Kohler, where the cult is treated at the end of the anthropological section under the heading, 'The Self-Redemption of Men' (52), for Kohler considers the sacrificial cult as a failed attempt of human beings to redeem themselves, and it was,
1. L. Kohler, Theologie des Alien Testaments (Tubingen: Mohr, 1936). 2. Kohler, Theologie, pp. 30, 37, 38, 52,65,79, 194-98. 3. This pertains also to the 3rd edition, which appeared in 195310 years after Noth's US. According to the preface (p. vi) this edition was supplemented by 'the important literature' published since 1936. 4. Kohler, Theologie, pp. 42,47, 62-64,76-79. 5. Kohler, Theologie, p. 211.

VEIJOLA Martin Noth 's US and Old Testament Theology


according to him, borrowed from Israel's neighboring cultures.1 It is obvious that Kohler's negative attitude towards the cult reflects a position that had its origin more in the prejudices of Neo-Protestantism than in ancient Israel. The third presentation of Old Testament theology from the 1930s to be mentioned here is the most extensive of them allEichrodt's work, which appeared in three volumes in 1933, 1935 and 1939.2 It soon became a basic textbook, at least in Europe, and went through many editions, as the author revised and supplemented his work repeatedly until the end of the 1960s.3 It is surprising that, even in the editions that were published after 1943, Noth's US is not mentioned, although Eichrodt has generally taken into account later publications. Eichrodt does not discuss the issues raised by Noth's study or even give the impression that he is familiar with the work. Deuteronomistic theology appears nowhere in Eichrodt's work as an independent subject in its own right. The apparent reason is also in this case the systematic structurenot based on Christian dogmatics, but on a broadly-conceived notion of covenant. Consequently, references to deuteronomistic literature and theology occur throughout the work in many different connections. A confusing feature is the vague use of terminology: In part I, there occurs only the adjective 'deuteronomic', which is applied by the author to both the book of Deuteronomy and the redactional levels of the subsequent historical books,4 whereas in parts II and III, it is complemented by the adjective 'deuteronomistic',5 which is used without any clear semantic difference from the term 'deuteronomic'.6 Even if Eichrodt ignored Noth's US, one might have expected him to be familiar with the distinction between these two terms, which Wellhausen had made years before in his magisterial

1. Kohler, Theologie, pp. v-vi, 170. 2. W. Eichrodt, Theologie des Alien Testaments, I-III (Leipzig: J.C. Hinrich, 1933, 1935, 1939). 3. When using a later edition in what follows, I refer for part I to the 8th edition from 1968 (Stuttgart: Ehrenfried Klotz; Gb'ttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht), which has the preface from 1967, and for parts II and III to the 6th edition, which appeared in one volume in 1974 (Gottingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht) and has the preface from 1960. 4. Eichrodt, Theologie, I, pp. 20-22; 36, n. 13; 58; 67; 80; 124; 166; 202; 353. 5. Eichrodt, Theologie, H-IH, 43,44,171,204-206, 235, 238,277, 320, 327, 373. 6. See II-DI (6th edn), pp. 22,43, 166, 172, 248, 258-59, 348, 373.


The History of Israel's Traditions

work, Prolegomena zur Geschichte Israels.1 From the occasional references to the deuteronomistic writing of history, it appears that Eichrodt dates it to the exilic period,2 just as Noth did, but in contrast to the latter, Eichrodt emphasizes its prophetic background:3 the word of Yahweh, which is transmitted to the people through the prophets beginning with Moses, is the crucial factor behind the history of Israel.4 Disobedience to that word leads to doom and death, but on the other hand, history is also affected by the word of blessing and promise, in particular by the dynastic promise (2 Sam. 7), which Eichrodt interprets as a positive indication that there is still hope for the future.5 When underlining the connection between the deuteronomistic view of history and the prophetic theology of the word of God with its positive perspective on the future, Eichrodt anticipates Gerhard von Rad, who in his theology (1957-1960; see p. 112 n. 5 below) and already in his Deuteronomium-Studien of 1947 describes the word of God as the central power of history according to deuteronomistic belief.6

The first noteworthy presentation of Old Testament theology to appear after Noth's US was not, however, written by von Rad but by T.C. Vriezen, whose Dutch work Hoofdlijnen der Theologie van het Oude Testament1 found a wide circulation in German and English translations.8 Like its predecessors in the 1930s, this book is also
1. J. Wellhausen, Prolegomena zur Geschichte Israels (Berlin: Georg Reimer, 6th edn, 1905), p. 278. 2. Eichrodt, Theologie, H/ffl (6th edn), pp. 171,172, 206. 3. Eichrodt, Theologie, I (8th edn), p. 166; ME (6th edn), pp. 43,171, 259, 348. 4. Eichrodt, Theologie, II/ffl (6th edn), p. 43. 5. Eichrodt, Theologie, II/III (6th edn), p. 43. Besides the Davidic promise, the temple of Jerusalem has a permanent role as a place where the people may pray for forgiveness at any time (p. 320). 6. G. von Rad, Deuteronomium-Studien (FRLANT 58; Gottingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1947), pp. 52-64. In Eichrodt's work the decisive role of the prophetic word in deuteronomistic theology is present already in the first edition of his book (see I [1933], p. 130; II [1935], p. 34; III [1939], pp. 128, 150). Thus, it cannot have been adopted from von Rad. 7. T.C. Vriezen, Hoofdlijnen der Theologie van het Oude Testament (Wageningen: H. Veenman, 1949). 8. Theologie des Alten Testaments in Grundzugen (Neukirchen: H. Veenman/

VEIJOLA Martin Noth 's US and Old Testament Theology


structured according to the dictates of systematic theology, having at its core the communion between God and human beings, or in a wider sense between God and the world. One result of this approach is that deuteronomistic theology is not treated independently in its own section, but the reader is compelled to reconstruct the opinion of the author from the various remarks scattered here and there in the book. In general, it is worth noting that for Vriezen, Noth represents an esteemed exegetical authority, whose work receives a great deal of attention throughout the book.1 It goes without saying that Vriezen is acquainted with US,2 but one is surprised to discover that the picture he gives of the Deuteronomistic History differs significantly from Noth's description. One difference concerns the inconsistent use of terminology: sometimes Vriezen speaks of the Deuteronomist in the singular;3 at other times of the Deuteronomists in the plural,4 applying the term 'Deuteronomist' even to the author of Deuteronomy.5 The activity of the deuteronomistic movement is dated during the period of the exile after 587,6 but contrary to Noth, Vriezen claims that the Deuteronomistic History does not first begin in Deuteronomy 1-3, but already in Genesis 27as Sellin conjectured in his introduction from 1910and that it underwent a further, priestly redaction after the exile.8 Vriezen does not accept Noth's view that Dtr considered the disaster of 587 as the end of Israel but maintains that the real aim of the Deuteronomistic History was to call the people back to obedience and to the fulfillment of its role as God's elect nation.9 Hence the work is

Verlag der Buchhandlung des Erziehungsvereins, 1956); An Outline of Old Testament Theology (Oxford: Basil Blackwell; Newton: Charles T. Branford, 1958). In the following I use the German translation. 1. Vriezen, Theologie, pp. 10, 12, 17, 26-30, 38, 39, 46, 83, 164, 185, 204, 215, 225,229,301. 2. Vriezen, Theologie, pp. 38, n. 2; 46, n. 3; 204; 215, n. 2. 3. Vriezen, Theologie, pp. 51, 195. 4. Vriezen, Theologie, pp. 40,46,47. 5. Vriezen, Theologie, pp. 147,148, 212. 6. Vriezen,Theologie,pp. 39-40. 7. Vriezen,Theologie, p. 46, n. 3. 8. Vriezen, Theologie, p. 48. 9. Vriezen, Theologie, pp. 46-47. On the subject of election, see also idem, Die Erwdhlung Israels nach dem Alien Testament (ATANT 24; Zurich: Zwingli-Verlag, 1953).


The History of Israel's Traditions

concerned to preach repentance rather than proclaim the end.1 Its background is provided by the preaching of the prophets and their view of history as the sphere of action for God's word.2 The hope of the future is incorporated in David, the messianic, ideal king.3 Thus, it turns out that Vriezen's view of the purpose of the Deuteronomistic History is based less on Noth than on von Rad, whose Deuteronomium-Studien is cited in crucial places in Vriezen's theology.4 Gerhard von Rad's monumental Theologie des Alien Testaments^ is the work where the Deuteronomistic History received for the first time due theological attention and an independent treatment. That was made possible, on one hand, by the structure of von Rad's work, which is arranged according to the traditions within the Old Testament and not according to foreign principles of systematic theology, and on the other hand, by von Rad's basic view that Israel's faith had essentially a historical orientation.6 When choosing as the starting point of his theology some credal summaries (in particular Deut. 26.5-9), which gave him the outline for the description of the larger historical traditions of the Hexateuch, the Deuteronomistic History and the Chronicler's History,7 von Rad in fact granted to deuteronomistic theology a larger role than he himself could imagine, for in subsequent research these summaries have turned out to be late resumes that have their origin in close proximity to deuteronomistic theology.8
1. Vriezen, Theologie, p. 195. 2. Vriezen, Theologie, pp. 40,47, 65, 204, 215. 3. Vriezen, Theologie, pp. 47, 51. 4. Vriezen, Theologie, pp. 47, n. 3; 215. 5. G. von Rad, Theologie des Alien Testaments (2 vols.; 1957, 1960). In the following I use for part I the second edition from 1958 and the fifth edition from 1966, for part II the first edition from 1960 (Munich: Chr. Kaiser Verlag). 6. Von Rad, Theologie, I (5th edn), pp. 118,128. 7. Von Rad, Theologie, I (2nd edn), pp. 7, 113, 127-33. Cf. von Rad's former study, Das formgeschichtliche Problem des Hexateuch (BWANT 4.26; Stuttgart: Kohlhammer, 1938; repr. in Gesammelte Studien zum Alien Testament [TBii 8; Munich: Chr. Kaiser, 1958], pp. 9-86). 8. See L. Rost, 'Das kleine geschichtliche Credo', in idem, Das Kleine Credo und andere Studien zum Allen Testament (Heidelberg: Quelle & Meyer, 1965), pp. 11-25; W. Richter, 'Beobachtungen zur theologischen Systembildung in der alttestamentlichen Literatur und des "kleinen geschichtlichen Credo"', in L. Scheffczyk, W. Dettloff and R. Heinzmann (eds.), Wahrheit und Verkundigung: Michael Schmaus zum 70. Geburtstag (Munich/Paderborn/Vienna: Verlag Ferdinand Schoningh, 1967), I, pp. 175-212; B.S. Childs, 'Deuteronomic Formulae of the

VEIJOLA Martin Noth 's US and Old Testament Theology


It is quite understandable that von Rad, given the state of research in his day, limited his presentation of deuteronomistic theology explicitly to the Deuteronomistic History, whose literary nature and historical background he understood in almost the same manner as Noth.1 Only in a couple of instances does he suggest some reservations about Noth's theory. First, against Noth,2 he continues to speak about the Hexateuch, supposing that the old sources J and E contained a story about the conquest of the land and hence had a sequel in the book of Joshua,3 even though the theological profile dominating the book of Joshua comes from Dtr.4 Clearly, von Rad tries in this matter to keep a balance between his former study of the Hexateuch5 and the deuteronomistic conception of Noth, without any attempt to offer a solution as to their closer relationship. A second critical reservation expressed by von Rad about Noth's theory is a theological one concerning the different types of description and theological criteria employed in the book of Judges and the books of Kings.6 Because of these differences von Rad cautiously assumes that the deuteronomistic redaction of these books was hardly accomplished as a single act.7 Yet he does not consider the possibility of several redactors.
Exodus Traditions', in B. Hartmann et al. (eds.), Hebraische Wortforschung: Festschrift zum 80. Geburtstag von Walter Baumgartner (VTSup 16; Leiden: Brill, 1967), pp. 30-39; N. Lohfink, 'Zum "Kleinen geschichtlichen Credo" Dtn 26,5-9', TP 46 (1971), pp. 19-39. 1. The Deuteronomistic History is the object of continuous description in the section dedicated to the books of Kings (I [2nd edn], pp. 332-44), but also the preceding sections dealing with King Saul and the judges (pp. 322-32) contain a great number of important references to deuteronomistic literature and theology. 2. See Noth, US, pp. 180-82. 3. Von Rad, Theologie, I (2nd edn), pp. 14, 122, 124, 135-303. 4. Von Rad, Theologie, I (2nd edn), pp. 302-303. 5. Von Rad, Das formgeschichtliche Problem des Hexateuch (see p. 112 n. 7 above). 6. In the description of the period of the judges, a regular rhythm prevails (apostasythreat of enemiesrepentanceliberation), whereas in the period of the kings the sin accumulates over several generations. The kings receive theological evaluations, which are lacking in the case of the judges. In the history of the kings the effecting force is the word of Yahweh; in the time of the judges, the personal charisma of the judge. The kings and the people are together responsible for their deeds, while a distinction is made between the religious attitude of the judges and that of the people (von Rad, Theologie, I [2nd edn], pp. 342-44). 7. Von Rad, Theologie, I (2nd edn), p. 344.


The History of Israel's Traditions

Although von Rad adopts in outline Noth's view of the literary shape of the Deuteronomistic History, he does not follow Noth's theological interpretation of its message. In von Rad's opinion, the work is not 'an aetiology of nothing' ('Atiologie des Nullpunkts')1 but contains several features that are optimistic about the future. Nevertheless, von Rad admits that a central task of the work is to give a theological explanation for the catastrophes of 721 and 587, emphasizing that their cause lay not with Yahweh but with Israel, who had rejected the chance of life given to it in the law and instead had chosen death and become a victim of catastrophe.2 Therefore, it is justifiable to call the work 'a great doxology of doom transposed from the cult to the literature',3 where the object of the divine punishment recognizes the righteousness of the judgment.4 Yet, repentance5 and confession of sins6 are at the same time combined with an aspect showing a way to the future. They imply the willingness to return to God. In the later editions of his theology von Rad adopts the view of H.W. Wolff, who proposed in 1961 that the actual purpose of the Deuteronomistic History was to promote returning (Umkehr) to God in prayer.7 The return and hope of the future are made possible in the last instance by the prophetic word of God, which affects the course of history in two opposite ways: first, in the form of law condemning and destroying, and secondly, in the form of gospel saving and pardoning.8 In the catastrophes experienced by Israel, the people had encountered the condemning aspect of the word of God, but in addition in its history there was prevalent as gospel the promise of the eternal permanence of
1. So Noth's view in the terms used by W. Dietrich, Prophetic und Geschichte: Eine redaktionsgeschichtliche Untersuchung zum deuteronomistischen Geschichtswerk (FRLANT 108; Gottingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1972), p. 141. 2. Von Rad, Theologie, I (2nd edn), pp. 89, 132. 3. Von Rad, Theologie, I (2nd edn), p. 340. 4. As concrete examples of the genre, von Rad refers to Josh. 7.19; 1 Kgs 8.33; Ezra lO.Vff.; Dan. 3.31-4.34; Neh. 9 and Dan. 9 (Theologie, I [6th edn], p. 369). 5. Von Rad, Theologie, I (2nd edn), p. 89. 6. Von Rad, Theologie, I (2nd edn), p. 336. 7. H.W. Wolff, 'Das Kerygma des deuteronomistischen Geschichtswerks', Z4W73 (1961), pp. 171-86; repr. in idem, Gesammelte Studien zumAlten Testament (TBii 22; Munich: Chr. Kaiser Verlag, 1964), pp. 308-24; von Rad, Theologie, I (6th edn), p. 358. 8. Von Rad, Theologie, I (2nd edn), p. 341. Similarly in DeuteronomiumStudien, p. 63.

VEIJOLA Martin Noth 's US and Old Testament Theology


David's dynasty (2 Sam. 7).1 The promise functioned in the history of Judah as a power restraining (Katexcov) the doom,2 and its final outcome was deliberately left open. A sign of its effectiveness was the pardon granted to King Jehoiachin.3 In this event von Rad discerns in fact a messianic feature hinting at a remote future beyond the Deuteronomistic History.4 As a conclusion we can say that von Rad constructs on the literary foundation laid by Noth an imposing theological interpretation, which goes far beyond its predecessors and opens up new vistas for future research. The influence of the synthesis created by von Rad is clearly discernible in two well-known textbooks of Old Testament theology written in German in the 1970s, Walther Zimmerli's Grundriss der alttestamentlichen Theologie (1972)5 and Claus Westermann's Theologie des Alten Testaments in Grundzugen (1978).6 As would be expected following von Rad, the Deuteronomistic History receives an independent treatment in both of these works,7 which resemble each other from the point of view of their basic theological approach.8 Moreover, both accept as their starting point Noth's theory of the literary range and historical setting of the Deuteronomistic History,9 although Zimmerli also takes note of some secondary, redactional

1. Von Rad, Theologie, I (2nd edn), pp. 308-309, 339-40, and cf. already in Deuteronomium-Studien, pp. 60-64. 2. Von Rad, Deuteronomium-Studien, p. 63. 3. Von Rad, Theologie, I (2nd edn), p. 341. 4. 'War denn der unendliche Aufwand an Heilssetzungen in der Konigsgeschichte, dieser Aufwand an Fiihrungen und Strafen damit gerechtfertigt, dass am letzten Ende ein armer Konig seine Gefangenenkleider ausziehen und sich als Vasallenkonig an den Tisch des babylonischen Konigs setzen durfte...?' (von Rad, Theologie, E, [1st edn], p. 331). 5. W. Zimmerli, Grundriss der alttestamentlichen Theologie (ThW 3; Stuttgart: Kohlhammer, 1972). 6. C. Westermann, Theologie des Alten Testaments in Grundzugen (ATD Erganzungsreihe 6; Gottingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1978). 7. Zimmerli, Theologie, pp. 156-59 (cf. also pp. 70-71); Westermann, Theologie, pp. 185-87 (cf. also pp. 181, 183). 8. Both Zimmerli and Westermann understand revelation in the Old Testament as a dialogical event consisting of divine challenge and human response. See T. Veijola, 'Offenbarung als Begegnung: Von der Moglichkeit einer Theologie des Alten Testaments', 77X88 (1991), pp. 427-50 (436-41). 9. Zimmerli, Theologie, p. 156; Westermann, Theologie, p. 185.


The History of Israel's Traditions

expansions of the work.1 Yet, in theological interpretation, neither Zimmerli nor Westermann follows the pessimistic view suggested by Noth. Rather, they adopt in their own ways the more optimistic perspectives that were initiated by von Rad and Wolff. Zimmerli's theology typically underscores the sovereignty of God who acts in history: the Deuteronomistic History is an extended account about the breaking of the law and the catastrophic effects of this for the peoplethe prophetic announcement of doom has found its fulfillment.2 Yahweh is, however, in both his judgments and mercy a free, living God, for whom the future is open, and, if willing, he is also able to fulfill the dynastic promise he gave to David.3 Therefore, the possibility is not excluded that the pardon granted to the offspring of David at the end of the work points to Yahweh's faithfulness and to hope for the future. In any case, that future depends solely on Yahweh's sovereign decision.4 Hence, we may conclude that in the theological interpretation of the Deuteronomistic History, Zimmerli makes use of the dialectic between promise and fulfillment,5 which was present already in von Rad's work,6 emphasizing at the same time its contingent nature. Von Rad also expressed the view that the Deuteronomistic History was a great confession of sins aiming at repentance (Umkehr). Westermann's theology agrees on this point with von Rad7 but gives an
1. Zimmerli (Theologie, p. 158) refers to texts (Josh. 13.1bp-6; 23; Judg. 2.2122; 3.la, 4) that are ascribed by Smend to the later nomistic redactor, DtrN. See R. Smend, 'Das Gesetz und die Volker: Ein Beitrag zur deuteronomistischen Redaktionsgeschichte', in H.W. Wolff (ed.), Probleme biblischer Theologie: G. von Radzum 70. Geburtstag (Munich: Chr. Kaiser Verlag, 1971), pp. 494-509; repr. in Smend, Die Mitte des Alien Testaments: Gesammelte Studien, 1 (BEvT 99; Munich: Chr. Kaiser Verlag, 1986), pp. 124-37. 2. Zimmerli, Theologie, pp. 157-58. 3. Zimmerli, Theologie, p. 159. 4. 'Man wird nicht ausschliessen konnen, dass im Schlussbericht iiber die Begnadigung des Davididen, wenn es schon mit keinem Wort ausdriicklich angesprochen ist, die Frage sich leise regt, ob Jahwe nicht auch iiber diesen Tod Israels um seiner Treue zu seinem Wort willen noch eine weitere Zukunft zu eroffnen bereit sein konne. In jedem Fall aber wird solche Zukunft sein freier Entscheid sein.' Zimmerli, Theologie, p. 159. 5. On this category in connection with the Deuteronomistic History, cf. also Zimmerli, Theologie, pp. 23-24. 6. See in particular von Rad, Deuteronomium-Studien, pp. 55-64. 7. Westermann does not mention von Rad explicitly, but only Wolffs article (see p. 114 n. 7), noting that he essentially accepts Wolffs view (Theologie, p. 187).

VEIJOLA Martin Noth 's US and Old Testament Theology


independent interpretation of this aspect. According to Westermann, the two basic dimensions of God's action are salvation and doom, which correspond on the human side to praise (Lob) and lament (Klage) which also happen to be the main genres of the psalms.1 The Deuteronomistic History is an answer generated by theological reflection on the problem of 587: why had God destroyed Judah?2 This answer is presented in the form of a confession of sins, where history is described as a just realization of the prophetic preaching of doom.3 At the same time, however, the confession of sins anticipates the future, for its background is the communal lament (Volksklage), which in the last instance always aimed at the resolution of the crisis.4 Therefore, the Deuteronomistic History not only depicts the materialization of doom but also describes the promises that have not materialized, especially the dynastic promise given to David (2 Sam. 7), whose fate occupied people's minds in the exilic period (cf. Ps. 89).5 Consequently, the Deuteronomistic History, besides being an honest confession of sins, is also a strong appeal to God to hear the lament of his people and grant to them a totally new, unprecedented chance for life.6 Westermann's own contribution to the interpretation of the Deuteronomistic History can thus be seen in the way that he derives the aspects of confession and repentance, which were present in former research, from the communal lament with its implicit orientation toward the future. The same year (1978) that Westermann's textbook on Old Testament theology was published in Europe, Samuel Terrien's presentation of biblical theology, The Elusive Presence,1 appeared in the USA. This work, which has certain similarities to the theological approaches of Zimmerli and Westermann,8 affords an opportunity to examine in the light of one example the effect of Noth's US on the study of Old Testament theology outside of Europe.
1. Westermann, Theologie, pp. 7, 22-23, 71, 137. 2. Westermann, Theologie, pp. 181, 185. 3. Westermann, Theologie, p. 186. 4. Westermann, Theologie, p. 187. 5. Westermann, Theologie, p. 186. 6. Westermann, Theologie, p. 187. 7. S.L. Terrien, The Elusive Presence: Toward a New Biblical Theology (Religious Perspectives 26; San Francisco: Harper & Row, 1978). 8. The essence of the biblical message is found in the divine presence taking place in a dialogical encounter between God and human beings (Terrien, Elusive Presence, pp. xxvii, 6,26,70, 110, etc.).


The History of Israel's Traditions

The result turns out, in this case at least, to be negative. Although Terrien is, generally speaking, well acquainted with German scholarship and refers to many of Noth's works1mostly in English translations he does not appear to be familiar with Noth's US. Thus, a separate treatment of the Deuteronomistic History is lacking, and the random remarks on it remind one of the situation that was common in research before 1943. As with his predecessors of that era, Terrien uses the terms 'deuteronomic' and 'deuteronomistic' without distinction, applying them to the book of Deuteronomy as well as to the editors of historical books. 2 He dates the activity of this group of writers to the late monarchic period, about 610,3 thus following a dating that was common in the 19th century and that has found new adherents with the rebirth of the model of the double deuteronomistic redaction advocated by Cross4 and his successors.5 When Terrien occasionally pays closer attention to deuteronomistic theology, he is dealing with the theology of the name of God, where he finds an important manifestation of the divine presence.6 The idea of a specific theology based on the divine name is, as one might suspect, borrowed from von Rad.7 European Old Testament theology is experiencing a renaissance in the 1990s, when the generation of scholars who began their academic careers after the Second World War has begun gathering the results of its work into larger presentations of Old Testament theology. In the following I shall treat two of them, H.-D. Preuss's Theologie des Alten
1. Terrien, Elusive Presence, pp. 17-18; 47, n. 53; 62, n. 48; 96, n. 6; 97, n. 16; 100, n. 56; 158, n. 74; 159, n. 81; 216, n. 28; 219, n. 63; 221, n. 92; 342, n. 54; 407, n. 39. 2. Terrien, Elusive Presence, pp. 44; 163; 166; 174; 193; 197; 201; 214, n. 5. 3. Terrien, Elusive Presence, pp. 185, 193, 197. 4. P.M. Cross, Canaanite Myth and Hebrew Epic: Essays in the History of the Religion of Israel (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1973), pp. 274-89. 5. See H. Weippert, 'Das deuteronomistische Geschichtswerk: Sein Ziel und Ende in der neueren Forschung', TRu 50 (1985), pp. 213-49 (237-45). 6. Terrien, Elusive Presence, pp. 197-203. 7. Terrien, Elusive Presence, p. 222, n. 104; p. 223, n. 112. Terrien refers to von Rad's Deuteronomium-Studien (pp. 25-30), using it in the English translation Studies in Deuteronomy (SET 9; London: SCM, 1953). He knows and rejects (p. 222, n. 107) the criticism raised about the possibility of a theology of the name by R. de Vaux, 'Le lieu que Yahve a choisi pour etablir son nom', in F. Maass (ed.), Das feme undnahe Wort: Festschrift Leonhard Rost (BZAW 105; Berlin: Topelmann, 1967), pp. 219-28.

VEIJOLA Martin Noth 's US and Old Testament Theology


Testaments, I-II1 and the first volume of Otto Kaiser's Theologie des Alten Testaments.2 The interesting question is whether the concept of the Deuteronomistic History created by Noth is still alive in these two works. Preuss's work, where the election of God manifested in history constitutes the theological centre of the Old Testament, is a combination of the historical and systematic approaches to Old Testament theology, the consequence being that the Deuteronomistic History and deuteronomistic theology are treated in many different connections, sometimes without avoiding repetition.3 An astonishing fact is that Preuss nowhere mentions Noth's US, although the bibliography of his theology is extremely comprehensive. There is no doubt that Preuss was familiar with this basic work of Noth's, whose position on the Deuteronomistic History is in the main shared by Preuss.4 At the same time the latter's theology clearly reflects the progress that has taken place in the study of deuteronomistic literature since the days of Noth. First, this progress is evident in the expansion of the area assigned to deuteronomistic literature. Thus, many central texts and themes that were formerly assigned an early date are now considered products of the deuteronomistic movement. This pertains, for example, to the credotexts of Deut. 26.5-9; Deut. 6.20-24; Josh. 24.2b-13 and Num. 20.14b16,5 which were of great importance for von Rad, and further to the whole theology of covenant,6 which gave Eichrodt the structuring principle for Old Testament theology. Even the final form of the Decalogue is attributed to the deuteronomistic school.7 The expansion of
1. H.D. Preuss, Theologie des Alten Testaments, I (JHWHs erwdhlendes und verpflichtendes Handeln), II (Israels Weg mil JHWH) (Stuttgart: Kohlhammer, 1991-92). 2. O. Kaiser, Der Gott des Alten Testaments (UTB 1747; Gottingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1993). The second volume is not yet available to me. 3. The most important sections are: I, pp. 214-15, 248-49; II, pp. 239-40, 28485. 4. Preuss, Theologie, I, pp. 59, 117,186, 208, 248. 5. Preuss, Theologie, I, p. 53. 6. Preuss, Theologie, I, pp. 81, 84. Cf. the influential work of L. Perlitt, Bundestheologie im Alten Testament (WMANT 36; Neukirchen-Vluyn: Neukirchener Verlag, 1969). 7. Preuss, Theologie, I, pp. 112-13; II, p. 213, n. 101. Cf. F.-L. Hossfeld, Der Dekalog: Seine spdten Fassungen, die originale Komposition und seine Vorstufen (OBO 45; Freiburg: Universitatsverlag; Gottingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1982).


The History of Israel's Traditions

space devoted to deuteronomistic literature is discernible in the books of Samuel, too, where Preuss reckons far more texts among deuteronomistic literature than Noth did,1 and most significantly in the book of Deuteronomy, of which Preuss, based on his own study on Deuteronomy,2 ascribes substantial parts to deuteronomistic authors.3 As a result of his procedure, the borderline between deuteronomic and deuteronomistic literature oscillates, and more and more often Preuss resorts to the inclusive sign 'dtn/dtr'.4 Secondly, the progress made in the field of deuteronomistic studies is visible in the fact that Preuss pays attention to different strata in deuteronomistic literature with their characteristic features. In principle, he accepts the division into the three main levels DtrH, DtrP and DtrN,5 without limiting, however, the deuteronomistic school to only these three redactional strata.6 The consideration of several Deuteronomists enables him to cope with the conflicting views regarding, for example, the law7 and the institution of the monarchy in 1 Samuel 8-12.8 Concerning the interpretation of the theological message of the Deuteronomistic History, Preuss does not approve of Noth's pessimistic exposition but rather puts the emphasis on the future aspects, which we found already in the works of von Rad, Wolff, Zimmerli and Westermann. According to Preuss, the Deuteronomistic History is a great confession of penitence,9 where past history is depicted as the

1. Theologie, II, pp. 24, 26. Cf. T. Veijola, Die ewige Dynastie: David und die Entstehung seiner Dynastie nach der deuteronomistischen Darstellung (AASF, B, 193; Helsinki: Suomalainen Tiedeakatemia, 1975). 2. H.D. Preuss, Deuteronomium (ErFor 164; Darmstadt: Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft, 1982). 3. Preuss, Theologie, I, pp. 155, 248; H, pp. 28, 75, 91, 201. 4. See Preuss, Theologie, I, pp. 81, 84, 129-30, 143, 172, 195, 242, 277; II, pp. 16,48-49, 164-67,175, 189, 203, etc. 5. On this division, see R. Smend, Die Entstehung des Alien Testaments (ThW 1; Stuttgart: W. Kohlhammer, 1978), pp. 111-25. 6. Preuss, Theologie, I, pp. 102; 137, n. 592; 215; 226; 248; II, pp. 23, 29, 82. 7. Preuss, Theologie, I, p. 102. 8. Preuss, Theologie, II, pp. 22-23, 29. On the role of the monarchy cf. T. Veijola, Das Konigtum in der Beurteilung der deuteronomistischen Historiographic: Eine redaktionsgeschichtliche Untersuchung (AASF, B, 198; Helsinki: Suomalainen Tiedeakatemia, 1977). 9. Preuss, Theologie, I, pp. 215, 248.

VEIJOLA Martin Noth 's US and Old Testament Theology


fulfillment of prophetic preaching,1 in the confidence that a return (Umkehr) to Yahweh will make possible the realization of the prophetic promises, in particular that of 2 Samuel 7.2 A new aspect advanced by Preuss is the suggestion that the concept of the Promised Land, which is especially characteristic of the 'deuteronomistic' Deuteronomy, was intended to create the hope for a new conquest of the land after the Babylonian exile's 40 years of 'wandering in the wilderness' (Deuteronomy 1-3).3 Kaiser's theologyjudging from the first volumemarks the reappearance of Old Testament theology in the true sense of the word, allotting considerable space to principal reflections on the hermeneutical and theological side of the work.4 Kaiser considers the dialectic between law and gospel as fundamental to the message of the Old Testament and the question of God's justice as its essential subject matter.5 This question actually arises in the exilic period, which extends far beyond the year 5386 and affects in a crucial way the beginning and development of Old Testament theology.7 The different answers given to the problem of theodicy are ultimately united by the Torah, which according to Kaiser constitutes the centre of the Old Testament scriptures.8 In an approach of this kind, deuteronomistic theology plays an important role, of course, and receives an independent treatment in its own right,9 for humanly judged, Israel owes its survival of the exilic catastrophe as God's people to the deuteronomic/deuteronomistic school.10 Kaiser takes as a basis for his presentation the Deuteronomistic History in the extent defined by Noth (Deuteronomy 1-2 Kings 25),n and he understands itas Noth didprimarily as an explanation of the

1. Preuss, Theologie, I, pp. 226-27; H, pp. 284-85. 2. Preuss, Theologie, I, pp. 215, 248; H, pp. 284-85. 3. Preuss, Theologie, I, pp. 135, 215, 242, 248, 254; E, pp. 16-17, 284-85. 4. Kaiser, Theologie, pp. 13-89. 5. Kaiser, Der Gott, p. 23. 6. Kaiser, Der Gott, p. 126. 7. Kaiser, Der Gott, p. 22. 8. Kaiser, Der Gott, p. 22. Cf. also 17 under the heading, 'Die Tora als Mitte der Schrift' (p. 329). 9. See in particular Kaiser, Der Gott, pp. 186-201, but also pp. 128-31 and pp. 333-36. 10. Kaiser, Der Gott, p. 126. 11. Kaiser, Der Gott, pp. 129, 189. Noth's US is cited on p. 212.


The History of Israel's Traditions

disaster of 587.! Contrary to Noth, however, he conjectures that the work is the result of a prolonged process with many phases, where the signs DtrH, DtrP and DtrN mark the general divisions, provided that DtrP and especially DtrN are not understood as individuals but as circles of editors.2 In exactly the same way as Preuss, Kaiser brings the book of Deuteronomy into close proximity with deuteronomistic thinking,3 with the consequence that the distinction between deuteronomic and deuteronomistic becomes vague in his presentation also.4 The function of the deuteronomistic writing of history according to Kaiser is both aetiological and paradigmatic.5 The aetiological purpose of the work is to offer an explanation of the catastrophes of Israel and Judah based on prophetic preaching and using the neglect of the law as the standard6all in accordance with Noth. Yet Kaiser elaborates on this aspect, maintaining that the law signifies, on the one hand, 'the fundamental commandment' (Grundgebot), which prescribed the centralization of the cultic service in Jerusalem (Deut. 12), and on the other hand, 'the main commandment' (Hauptgebof),1 which demanded that Israel serve Yahweh alone (Deut. 6.4-5). The history of Israel and Judah is judged in the light of these criteria,8 and the Torah receives an increasingly central role in the later stages of the redactional process.9 The paradigmatic purpose of the work, which is clearly shown, for example, by the description of the period of the judges,10 is to offer a model that displays the consequences of obedience and disobedience to

1. Kaiser, Der Gott, pp. 128-30. 2. Kaiser, Der Gott, pp. 126, 187, 189, 192, 194,199. 3. Kaiser does not mark the limits exactly but seems to suppose that in particular the conception of Deuteronomy as a book of covenant derives from the Deuteronomists (p. 312). On this, cf. C. Levin, Die Verheissung des neuen Bundes in ihrem theologiegeschichtlichen Zusammenhang ausgelegt (FRLANT 137; Gottingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1985), pp. 105-14. 4. Kaiser, Der Gott, pp. 312-18. 5. Kaiser, Der Gott, p. 186. 6. Kaiser, Der Gott, pp. 128-29. 7. The term goes back to N. Lohfink, Das Hauptgebot: Eine Untersuchung literarischer Einleitungsfragen zu Dtn 5-11 (AnBib 20; Rome: Pontificium Institutum Biblicum, 1963). 8. Kaiser, Der Gott, pp. 129, 186, 189. 9. Kaiser, Der Gott, pp. 333-36. 10. Kaiser, Der Gott, pp. 191-93.

VEIJOLA Martin Noth 's US and Old Testament Theology


Yahweh. 1 David represents an ideal figure among the kings, incorporating the future hope, which on the level of the late deuteronomistic redaction is extended to the whole people of Israel (cf. 2 Sam. T.23-24).2 The ultimate goal of the paradigmatic description is to demonstrate that Yahweh has not rejected his people, although the people had rejected him,3 and so to call the survivors of the catastrophe to repentance.4 It is evident that Kaiser does not accept Noth's basic view of the Deuteronomistic History solely as 'an aetiology of nothing', but recognizes in it also a call to a new beginning and hence to future hope.

The foregoing survey of the influence of Noth's US on Old Testament theology concentrated chiefly on Europeanespecially German research, due not only to the limited perspective of the surveyor but also to the fact that Noth's work did not play an equivalent role outside the German-speaking world.5 Examples of this were provided by the Old Testament theology of Vriezen, which appeared originally in Dutch in 1949, and the biblical theology of Terrien, published in 1978 in the USA. The English translation of Noth's book appeared in 1981,6 too late to have any great influence. At that time, US had already become a classic of biblical scholarship, which was highly appreciated but in fact no longer used or even read. In German scholarship the publication of Noth's work in 1943 undoubtedly signified a turning point that also affected the description of Old Testament theology. One of its consequences was that it put an end to the total silence about the Deuteronomistic History (Kb'hler) or to the vague use of the terms 'deuteronomic' and 'deuteronomistic' (Sellin, Eichrodt), prevalent in the presentations of Old Testament theology in the 1930s. Owing to the literary foundation laid by Noth and on account of the theological interpretation given in particular by von Rad, the
1. Kaiser, Der Gott, p. 186. 2. Kaiser, Der Gott, pp. 196-97, 201. Cf. T. Veijola, Verheissung in der Krise: Studien zur Literatur und Theologie der Exilszeit anhand des 89. Psalms (AASF, B, 220; Helsinki: Suomalainen Tiedeakatemia, 1982), pp. 143-61. 3. Kaiser, Der Gott, p. 128. 4. Kaiser, Der Gott, pp. 121-22, 186, 189, 201. 5. Cf. Weippert, 'Das deuteronomistische Geschichtswerk', p. 216. 6. The Deuteronomistic History (JSOTSup 15; Sheffield: JSOT Press, 1981).


The History of Israel's Traditions

Deuteronomistic History became an independent locus in Old Testament theology. This was fully justified, considering the fact that deuteronomistic literature contains many features typical of doctrinal theology1 and therefore simply calls for a theological exposition in order to be understood properly. The main contribution of Noth's work to the theological study of the Old Testament seems to consist in its placement of deuteronomistic literature on the agenda of Old Testament theology, although Noth's own theological conception of the Deuteronomistic History has not been accepted as such. The broadest and most unanimous approval in the presentations of Old Testament theologies was given for Noth's position that the Deuteronomistic History was written after the year 587 and is a theological explanation of that catastrophe. In my opinion, Noth and his successors are right on this point, contrary to those who date the first edition of the work to the time of King Josiah.2 The period of Josiah, which was marked by dramatic political activity and finally came to an untimely end, hardly provided the circumstances necessary for the birth of a large-scale historiographic work like the Deuteronomistic History, for only the actual consequences that have materialized in history enable the historiographic reconstruction of their causes.3 Moreover, the general nature of the work does not favor the view that it was written in the spirit of 'a theology of glory' in order to legitimate the political aspirations of King Josiah. On the contrary, from the very beginning the work is marked by 'a theology of the cross', displaying without pity the transgressions of the people and their leaders. The whole workand not just certain parts of itattests a strong effort to cope with Israel and Judah's total failure.4 Noth's insistence on a single Dtr still prevailed in the presentations of Old Testament theology that were published in the 1970s (Zimmerli and Westermann). The progress that was made in the literary-critical study of
1. See R. Smend, Theologie im Alien Testament', in E. Jungel, J. Wallmann and W. Werbeck (eds.), Verifikationen, Festschrift fiir Gerhard Ebeling zum 70. Geburtstag (Tubingen: Mohr, 1982), pp. 11-26; repr. in Smend, Die Mine desAlten Testaments, pp. 104-17 (111-15). 2. See Weippert, 'Das deuteronomistische Geschichtswerk', pp. 235-45. 3. Cf. F. Rapp, Fortschritt: Entwicklung und Sinngehalt einer philosophischen Idee (Darmstadt: Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft, 1992), p. 14. 4. Cf. E. Aurelius, Der Furbitter Israels: Eine Studie zum Mosebild im Alien Testament (ConBOT 27; Stockholm: Almqvist & Wiksell, 1988), p. 19, n. 47.

VEIJOLA Martin Noth's US and Old Testament Theology


the Deuteronomistic History during the same decade and that called the unity of the work into question is taken into account first in the most recent theologies written in the 1990s by Preuss and Kaiser. They show that it is no longer possible to treat the Deuteronomistic History as a theologically uniform entity but that one has to consider various and even contradictory positions regarding, for example, the land,1 the law2 and the kingship.3 The problem and the danger for future literary-critical research will be how to cope with the inner complexity of the work without losing sight of its ultimate unity. Research after Noth has not only demonstrated the diversity of deuteronomistic literature but also the large extent of deuteronomistic redaction. Within the Deuteronomistic History this observation pertains in particular to the books of Samuel and, according to recent studies, also to the book of Deuteronomy, where deuteronomistic influence can no longer be limited to the introduction in Deuteronomy 1-3(4) and to a few verses in chs. 31 and 34, as was the case in Noth's study.4 The theologies of Preuss and Kaiser reflect the new position in research, which regards (to a greater extent than previously) especially the paraenesis of chs. 6-11 but also the Decalogue (ch. 5) and even the Deuteronomic law code proper (chs. 12-26) as products of deuteronomistic theology. The difficult task for future research is to make a clearer distinction between deuteronomic and deuteronomistic areas. The interpretation of the ultimate goal of the Deuteronomistic History that Noth offered has had little if any success in theological study. All agree with him, of course, that the history of Israel and Judah is depicted as a history of growing apostasy, using the Deuteronomic law code as the standard, but there the unanimity ends. The negative attitude toward the cult, which according to Noth is a central feature of deuteronomistic theology, was accepted by none of those who produced Old Testament theologies.5 One could, indeed, hardly imagine that a person who
1. See R. Smend, 'Das uneroberte Land', in G. Strecker (ed.), Das Land Israel in biblischer Zeit (GTA 25; Gottingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1983), pp. 91-102; repr. in Smend, Gesammelte Studien, II, pp. 217-28. 2. See, e.g., M. Kockert, 'Das nahe Wort: Zum entscheidenden Wandel des Gesetzesverstandnisses im Alten Testament', TP 60 (1985), pp. 496-519. 3. See, e.g., Veijola, Konigtum, pp. 115-22. 4. US, pp. 27-40; DH, pp. 45-60. 5. There are, however, scholars elsewhere who have adopted Noth's cult-critical view. See Veijola, Verheissung, p. 207, n. 46.


The History of Israel's Traditions

censures the people and its leaders on the basis of their behavior toward cultic sacrifice outside of Jerusalem would have taken a negative stance toward sacrifice or toward the cult in general. A new aspect lacking in Noth's study but found in the presentations of Old Testament theology is the unanimous emphasis on prophecy as the spiritual background of deuteronomistic theology (Eichrodt, Vriezen, von Rad, Zimmerli, Westermann, Preuss, Kaiser). The prediction of judgment by the prophets had prepared the people to encounter the catastrophe of 587, not as an anonymous stroke of fate but as a deserved punishment imposed by God. This notion also implied the hope that God, nevertheless, had not rejected his people forever, although the people had rejected him (Kaiser). Therefore, Noth's view of the Deuteronomistic History as 'an aetiology of nothing' has been found inadequate, but most scholars consider itas did Julius Wellhausen in his time1as a great confession of sins (von Rad, Zimmerli, Westermann, Preuss, Kaiser). Westermann traces the central role of the confession of sins in the Deuteronomistic History back to the communal lament of the exilic period. Hence, it may be concluded that the deuteronomistic movement was connected with Mizpah and Bethel, where feasts of communal lament were celebrated during the exile (cf. Jer. 41.4-9; Zech. 7.2-3; 8.18-19),2 and it is hardly coincidental that the same two sites were mentioned by Noth as places where the Deuteronomistic History was possibly written.3 If confession of sins or communal lamentwhich are closely relatedis the point at issue in the Deuteronomistic History, then the work necessarily implies a call to repentance, which was underlined first by Wolff and after him by other scholars (von Rad, Westermann, Preuss, Kaiser). Furthermore, it is not justified to see in the release of King Jehoiachin from prison (2 Kgs 25.27-30) a purely neutral fact that Dtr recorded as simply the last historical event known to him. It is rather a highly significant hint of the possibility that God has not completely forgotten his promise to the Davidic dynasty4 (Eichrodt, von Rad,
1. Wellhausen, Prolegomena, p. 276. 2. See further Veijola, Verheissung, pp. 177-210. 3. See above. Concerning Mizpah, M. Weinfeld has come to the same conclusion, unfortunately without mentioning Noth or other predecessors. See Deuteronomy 1-11 (AB 5; New York: Doubleday, 1991), pp. 80-81. 4. On the details, see E. Zenger, 'Die deuteronomistische Interpretation der Rehabilitierung Jojachins', BZ 12 (1968), pp. 16-30.

VEIJOLA Martin Noth's US and Old Testament Theology


Zimmerli, Preuss). Although Noth came to another conclusion, it does not diminish his honor to have laid the foundation upon which others have been able to build their own theories.


David Noel Freedman with Jeffrey C. Geoghegan

It is altogether fitting that a serious review of Martin Noth's magisterial volume, US, be undertaken now in 1993, not only in recognition of Noth's marvelous achievement, but also to situate our field fifty years later and to explore the prospects and direction for future research.

The abiding value of Noth's contribution to biblical criticism in US lies in his recognition of the larger literary compilations we all know as 'the Deuteronomistic History', 'the Chronicler's work' and 'the Priestly writing'. The necessary corollary was his insistence that the critical literary enterprise encompass both the analytic dissection of the literary sources (whether oral or written) and the synthetic recombination of the isolated elements into substantive literary wholes. As to future prospects, I would point to what I call the 'Primary History' (all nine books of the Torah and Former Prophets in the Hebrew Bible) as the most inviting target for similar investigation. The application of the same analytical and synthetic procedures to the complete Primary History would provide a beginning and an end point to the critical study of the major narrative parts of the Hebrew Bible (the Primary History and Chronicler's work, respectively). Noth did not neglect this aspect of the literary task entirely but tended to regard the final assembly of the Primary History, which is simply a merger of the Priestly work with the Deuteronomistic History, as somewhat secondary and peripheral to the more central scholarly study of the separate literary corpora. In the end, however, it is the work of the last editor, who put a definitive stamp on the extant literature, that requires our attention. After all, there is nothing hypothetical or restored about the Primary History, which is before our eyes in its final form,

FREEDMAN AND GEOGHEGAN Retrospect and Prospect


subject only to the marginal vagaries of scribal transmission over the intervening centuries. Scholars must begin with the Primary History and then, having analyzed and dissected the numerous sources and assemblages, return by the same route to the complete work. Noth devoted much time and effort to the detailed analysis of the texts that comprise the Primary History, including the Priestly work and the Deuteronomistic History. The meticulous care with which he weighed the choices and allocated passages to their sources reflects the high value he placed on this essential understanding. The analysis of texts and the assignment of sources formed the necessary basis for the isolation of the larger literary units that are the end results of the whole literary enterprise. In the long chain of scholarship that winds through source analysis of the Torah and the Former Prophets over the past 300 years, Noth is an important link. In terms of the Documentary Hypothesis and established source criticism, he was in the mainstream, essentially conventional and conservative, especially in comparison with more recent and radical scholars. Clearly, he accepted the basic foursource documentary theory with the relative order JEDP. On specific points he could and did differ sharply with predecessors and contemporaries, and he occasionally parted company with that nebulous and constantly shifting consensus. Many of his observations and insights are noteworthy and have rightly gained a permanent place in the ongoing process of the refinement of the theory. Now, fifty years later, the state of this most venerable of all the different 'criticisms' is under fire. Not only is it open season on any and all specific attributions, with wholesale reassignments of long-established designations, but the underlying idea of separate, identifiable written sources with distinctive labels is also under attack.1 On the one hand, oral traditionalists continue to flourish in our midst, questioning the whole idea of written sources of any kind, especially in the pre-exilic period. On the other hand, more and more material has been attributed to creative authors and editors of the post-exilic era (and the later the better) so that little of the Hebrew Bible (or its presumed predecessors) can be assigned with any confidence to the period before the Babylonian Exile. Noth, along with his predecessors and contemporaries, swept away any notion of historicity in the biblical accounts of the
1. See R.N. Whybray' s treatment of old and new critiques of the Documentary Hypothesis, including his own dissenting view in The Making of the Pentateuch: A Methodological Study (JSOTSup 53; Sheffield: JSOT Press, 1987).


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period before the judges and the Israelite amphictyony. Those accounts were deemed unhistorical and categorized as myth, legend and aetiology. Similarly, the next generation of continental scholars has challenged Noth's reconstruction of the amphictyony as equally unhistorical.1 Nor has the mood of skepticism stopped there. Practically the whole of the pre-exilic experience described in the Hebrew Bible, including the monarchy, is regarded as the fictional creation of an imaginary past by an unrelated group. For example, one recent scholar has challenged the veracity of the so-called Court History of the house of David (the core is in 2 Sam. 9-20 and 1 Kgs 1-2).2 This narrative, with its wealth of colorful detail apparently available only to the members of the royal family and their associates, has generally been assigned to a contemporary insider and considered, with due regard for the author's biases, an authentic and roughly contemporary account of the actual experience of the royal court in those days. In this new wave of skepticism, not only are the events questioned but also the existence of the persons. Similar suspicions have been expressed for other great figures of antiquity, especially those celebrated in Homer and other epic poetry. The activities and reality of the gods have, of course, long been questioned, but now those of the humans involved have been as well. This same mood has pervaded biblical studies. It must be acknowledged that evidentiary proof is hard to come by for any person or event in ancient history. If the requirement is proof beyond a reasonable doubt, we would have to put a large question mark before and behind any statement about antiquity. However, if a standard of probability is applied, then we can make a case for much of the narrative in the Hebrew Bible, especially that dealing with the monarchic era in Israel and Judah. In response to the claims of the more extreme skeptics about the historicity of David and Solomon and their
1. Even in the 'Foreword' to the English translation of Noth's US, E.W. Nicholson rightly comments that Noth's conclusions regarding the twelve tribe amphictyony 'no longer command the widespread support they once enjoyed'. See DH, p. 9. 2. See especially P.R. Davies, In Search of 'Ancient Israel' (JSOTSup 148; Sheffield: JSOT Press, 1992). See also J. Van Seters, In Search of History: Historiography in the Ancient World and the Origins of Biblical History (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1983) and more recently Prologue to History: The Yahwist as Historian in Genesis (Louisville: Westminster/John Knox, 1992). For a critique of Prologue to History see the review by R.E. Friedman, 'Late for a Very Important Date', Bible Review 9 (1993), pp. 12-16.

FREEDMAN AND GEOGHEGAN Retrospect and Prospect


successors, we can point to the recently discovered inscription from Tel Dan that explicitly refers to 'the house of David'.1 While the inscription tells us nothing about the founding kings of that dynasty, it shows that within a hundred years of its founding, the kings of the nation-state Judah were identified as belonging to the house (dynasty) of David. So it is a reasonable inference that the biblical records concerning this dynasty are rooted in history rather than imagination. Common sense and an intelligent reading of the biblical materials should have led to the same conclusion. Noth took a moderate position on the historicity of the Hebrew Bible, one that seems immensely attractive in contrast with the more extreme positions that have surfaced recently. The key to his position lay in his training and experience as a Palestinian archaeologist, as well as a linguist and historian. He recognized that, as in the best modern historical novels, there is an inevitable and often indissoluble mixture of real history, with its objective data about persons, places and events, and fiction, with its additions, alterations and other features that shape and sharpen the story line. It is much easier, in some respects, to move from the center to either extreme and proclaim by fiat that the Bible is all true, regardless of the nature of its contents, or that the Bible is all false, again disregarding specific contents. Perhaps at this distance, the essential moderation of a serious scholar like Noth can save our discipline from the patent excesses of pseudo-scholarshipon the one hand, a fundamentalistic literalism that cannot rationally be maintained, or on the other hand, a skepticism that is equally unwarranted because it professes allegiance to scientific methodology and respect for historical-critical approaches but comes with ready-made results based on assumptions that have little to do with science or the search for truth. The case regarding sources is very similar. Noth stayed deliberately within the framework of the guidelines of source criticism that had been established by generations of great continental scholars who discovered, identified and isolated the different literary strands and devised the rules of the analytic game. While there are numerous significant deviations from the consensus in his work, there is also a large area of agreement,
1. The stele on which the inscription was found is fragmentary and dates to the ninth century BCE. It may be attributed to a king of Aram Damascus, perhaps one of several kings named Ben-hadad, or possibly the usurping regicide Hazael, known to us from the vivid biblical account. It refers to a king of Israel (unnamed) and also to a king of 'the house of David', i.e., of Judah.


The History of Israel's Traditions

so that it would be unfair to say that the disagreements undercut the whole approach or the particular results. Overall, there has been widespread concurrence among scholars as to the defining characteristics of the P and D sources and how they differ from J and E.1 Distinguishing between the latter two, especially after the revelation of the name YHWH in Exodus, has been more difficult. But even at this point, in spite of negative judgments of different kinds, radical reassignments and dismemberments of one or the other of these sources, the basic analysis has survived substantially intact. There are also ongoing disagreements about the work of editors, who clearly played an important role at various stages in the story (e.g., the suture of J and E, followed by the incorporation of JE with P in the Tetrateuch), but whose labors are not easily distinguished from those of the authors, on the one hand, or from each other, on the other hand. But such disagreements will always occur around the edges of the theory and in certain individual cases. While there has been generated in the decades since Noth's historic work a vast amount of criticism against almost every specific point in the established source-critical blueprint of the Torah and Former Prophetsfrom the original components to the extant present conglomerated whole (the Primary History)it is fair to say that no one has come up with a replacement model. As a consequence, practically all serious scholars use a consensus pattern for identifying the sources, even if they differ on questions of date, scope, contents and intentions of individual sources. So here we vote with and for Noth, affirming his basic assumptions and approach to the material, while allowing and even advocating dissent regarding certain details. When it comes to the larger configurations, Noth's determinations also have withstood the test of time. Most scholars continue to speak and write confidently about the P-work and the D-work or Deuteronomistic History, and even about the C-work or Chronicler's History. Perhaps it is not coincidental that precisely at the point of the emergence of these large, written compositions, notable Scandinavian scholars and their schools come into the picture. The battle over the earliest traditions, that is, questions of oral composition and transmission versus written sources, continues to rage. Scholars are still attempting to achieve some agreement as to the relationship between oral and written

1. For an excellent treatment of this subject, see R.E. Friedman, Who Wrote the Bible? (New York: Summit Books, 1987).

FREEDMAN AND GEOGHEGAN Retrospect and Prospect


sources and the interactive process between them, and there may well be agreement on the ultimate priority of oral traditions and dominance of the written end product. Tracing the original oral work forward and the written end product backward to their nexus and the overlapping of their parallel paths during the period when each affects the other in different ways remains the topic of discussion. But considering the beginning, the end and the intervening interactive process, we must acknowledge the vast importance of both in the creation of biblical literature, especially in the case of the Primary History. What begins as oral presentation ends as a fixed literary composition. The process is not linear and direct, and the latter method does not entirely replace the former. Just as oral tradition is the basis for written formulation, so the latter provides the text for further oral presentation (with its inevitable alterations to suit changing circumstances and audiences), so that the interaction of oral and written traditions provides the basis for newer written versions. The convergence between the German and Swedish schools on the major written narrative works of the Hebrew Bible became clear after World War II. While arising from different approaches to the origin and development of the sources, both agreed on the primacy of oral tradition (e.g., Noth's 'G-source' [for Grundlage], the oral source behind the written sources J and E) and the written end productsthe P-work and the D-work, the former extending through the Tetrateuch and the latter present in the remaining books of the Primary History, either exilic or post-exilic in their final written form. It followed that the even later, post-exilic C-work (ca. 250 BCE according to Noth) was itself a written compilation from its inception, whatever the nature of its sources. Given the impact of these powerful scholarly groups and the additional support of the Albright school in America (with some notable differences), it is not surprising that a consensus emerged after the war. The major contentions remain the standard for our field, to be challenged and defended even now. We still speak with confidence about these major literary complexes, although they have suffered some structural damage over the years. New analyses and syntheses appear from time to time, and the confidence level in the older views varies and may be more depressed now than earlier. Still, rival and replacement theories have not won the day and are not likely to, because the views espoused by Noth and his followers, as well as by Engnell and his adherents, along with general support from Albright and his school, are firmly rooted in scholarly


The History of Israel's Traditions

method and have proved far too useful over the decades to be discarded. One of the remarkable curiosities about the P-work and the D-work concerns the scope and extent of each and how well they fit together while being so clearly and dramatically different in diction, style and other respects. How is it that two such independent works, different in almost every measurable fashion, including the details of cultic and civil legislation, fit together so well in a continuous chronological narrative? Was there some kind of prior agreement or tacit understanding that P would deal only with the patriarchal and Mosaic periods, while Dtr would pick up the story only with the last year of Moses' life and then carry it down to the end of the first temple? Such a proposition is unacceptable on its face, and it must be assumed that substantial editorial activity was involved in joining the two works. There is an obvious overlap between Deuteronomy and the P-work, and it is also doubtful that the latter originally ended with the book of Numbers, where the Israelites are still on the east bank of the Jordan and far from realizing the promises of Genesis (both JE and P). The classical critical view was that P extended beyond the conclusion of Numbers and the end of the Tetrateuch and included the conquest of the west bank and distribution of the tribal allotments recorded in the book of Joshua. The P-work constituted an epic of promise and fulfillment beginning with the patriarchs, who established a presence in the promised land, and reaching its climax and conclusion with the generations of Moses and Joshua, who came out of Egypt and took permanent possession of the land of Canaan. The D-work, on the contrary, in its classical form, begins with Deuteronomy, which serves as an introduction to the Deuteronomistic History, carrying the story forward from the end of Moses' life and career through the conquest and settlement of the promised land, including the west bank with the already captured eastern territories. The subsequent history, including the period of the judges and the united and divided monarchies, is reported in characteristic deuteronomistic fashion. The narrative is based upon, or often incorporates, older written and oral materials but provides a solid framework conveying its particular theological interpretation of historical causation. From the end of Solomon's reign and the division of the two kingdoms the road leads inevitably to the destruction and demise of first Israel and then Judah. From beginning to end, it is the story of consequences, the working

FREEDMAN AND GEOGHEGAN Retrospect and Prospect


out of the covenant made at Horeb between Yahweh and Israel, mediated and expounded by Moses. It begins with the fulfillment of promises made to the fathers about the acquisition of the land, already partially accomplished by the time of Moses's farewell sermons, the rest to follow under the leadership of Moses's designated successor, Joshua (Deut. 31.14-23). Once that is achieved, it will be up to Israel: obey the terms of the covenant and live and prosper; disobey the covenant and die, like the individual culprit who violates any of the basic terms of the agreement (Deut. 28.1, 15). Yahweh may be the God of grace and mercy ('el raMm wehannuri), but he will not brook rebellion or countenance willful disobedience (Exod. 34.67). On the contrary, he will visit punishment upon the guilty nation(s) according to the nature and degree of the violations. As the editor is at pains to point out, the results were inevitable, not because they were predetermined, but because of the deliberate disaffection of the human party to the agreement. Yahweh had not only committed himself by oath to the fathers but had already fulfilled his part of the pact by bringing Israel out of slavery in Egypt, by giving them a land flowing with milk and honey and by watching over them ever since. In response, Israel defied his injunctions, challenged his indisputable and unique authority and violated every one of the Ten Commandments, especially the first one, 'You shall have no other gods before me' (Ezek. 6.4-7).! Different explanations are given for the way in which these two great works were put together. On the one hand, it seems obvious that Dtr was dependent upon the traditions and narratives preserved in JE (perhaps separately or more likely in unified form) and therefore could refer back to the patriarchal promises without having to recount them himself. Dtr begins the story at the end of Moses's life instead of retelling the story of the exodus and the pilgrimage to the sacred mountain (Horeb for D and E, Sinai for J and P). Here we are to recognize a literary stroke similar to Greek epic style, namely to fix upon a particularly dramatic moment in the story as the point of entry. In this case, the author chose the end of the life of Moses. Israel, having defeated its enemies on the east bank, has now established a foothold there and is poised to cross the Jordan and take
1. On the chronological breakdown of the commandments in the Primary History according to the order found in Jer. 7, see D.N. Freedman, The Unity of the Bible (Distinguished Faculty Lecture Series; Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1991),pp.70ff.


The History of Israel's Traditions

possession of the heartland of Canaan, the land in which the patriarchs had lived for a time and which had been promised to them and their descendants long since by Yahweh. In typical epic fashion Moses rehearses the central events of Israel's history, especially the defining moments of Yahweh's revelation at Mt Horeb and the ratification of the covenant between Yahweh and Israel. Moses is thus given an opportunity to explain the meaning of that all important central event and expound the obligations of the covenant whereby Israel bound itself to be the people of God and live by his commands (Deut. 30.19-20). Moses can then offer Israel the choice between life and death, obedience and defiance, and trace the history of the first commonwealth, forecasting the course of events and the inevitable outcome based upon how Israel will behave. The positive side requires little further comment beyond the description of the paradisiacal existence in a second Garden of Eden that awaits the obedient. The alternative is spelled out in grim detailGod will turn all the forces of nature and humanity against the willfully disobedient, bringing famine, plague and the utter devastation of war until the nation is destroyed and the people are banished from their land and dispersed to the four corners of the world (Deut. 28.20). Thus, the Deuteronomistic History makes very good sense as a literary work, as Noth argued.1 The problem lies with the P-work. Older scholarship recognized all four sources as occurring in Joshua and then explained the linkage of P with the D-work as an overlapping and interlocking arrangement whose seams remained visible. Nevertheless, it was possible to intertwine the ends and weave certain parts together without seriously disturbing the chronology and thereby to create a continuous narrative from Genesis through Kings. Noth argued for a different solution in which P's original conclusion, bringing Israel into possession of the west bank, is discarded in favor of the present book of Joshua, which comes from the hand of Dtr.2 As a result, P is no longer to be found in Joshua, and the parts formerly assigned to P, including the tribal boundaries and territorial allocations, are assigned to other sources, which ultimately belong to the Deuteronomistic History.3 Thus, in the Primary History, the P-work came to an end in the book of Numbers. While this solution is neat, it leaves P a truncated torso with only a hypothetical ending, which has to be supplied largely by conjecture.
1. 2. 3. Noth, US, pp. 3-12. Noth, US, p. 88. Noth, US, p. 88.

FREEDMAN AND GEOGHEGAN Retrospect and Prospect


On other grounds, it may be questioned whether the P-work in its original construction was stranded in time somewhere in the distant and more ideal past. While the era of Moses is surely the period of primary concern for P, the latter is no Utopian but continually draws attention to the application of Mosaic rules in the setting in which P lives (presumably in the range from the eighth century to the sixth centuries BCE, according to a spectrum of modern scholarly opinion). So if in the books of the Torah, the contemporary scene is much on P's mind, and he challenges the community with the choice between holy and profane in much the same way that Dtr does in giving the same audience the choice between life and death, we might have expected P to extend his story from the age of Moses (and Joshua) to that of David and Solomon and their successors, as Dtr did. The obvious complement to Dtr's continuation of P in the Primary History is the Chronicler's History, which picks up the story's sacerdotal and liturgical concerns, concentrating on the temple in Jerusalem, the only permanent, legitimate successor to the tabernacle, which plays a central role in P. In addition, the city of Jerusalem and the dynasty of David receive added emphasis, as would be expected of the priests of the temple in Jerusalem, who presumably were also responsible for the P-work. It would have made sense to track the history of the earthly palace of God through its material representations from the beginnings in the wilderness until its reincarnation in the Solomonic temple in Jerusalem. Presumably the author or editor knew of the fate of the first temple and its restoration in the early post-exilic period under the direction of the Davidide Zerubbabel and the Zadokite High Priest Joshua. Whether it is possible to stitch together a single Priestly source from Genesis through Numbers and Joshua on into Chronicles, thereby restoring a work comparable in scope and focus to the Deuteronomistic History, is uncertain. At the least, the literary structure, with its pattern and goal, is present in the surviving materials and deserves research and further discussion. Others, dissatisfied with the solution proposed by Noth, have tackled the Deuteronomistic side of the literary complex and proposed that a second or third Dtr is the assembler of the Primary History. They see strong evidence of this editor in the Tetrateuch, thereby breaching the division between the P-work and the Deuteronomistic History. While the treatment is somewhat different in the Tetrateuch from what it is in the Deuteronomistic History proper, instances of deuteronomistic editing and insertions are found all over the Tetrateuch. As a result, the Primary


The History of Israel's Traditions

History is conceived as the literary enterprise of a late post-exilic writer/editor of that school. In effect, this approach changes the traditional sequence from JEDP to JEPD. In itself, this may be a meritorious proposal, but questions arise about the details, since this requires a massive reallocation of materials in the Tetrateuch from JE and P to D or Dtr. Are there, then, objective criteria for such massive shifts, or is Dtr being reinvented solely for the purpose of establishing its presence in the Tetrateuch? Since the differences between the P-work and the Deuteronomistic History remain substantial, the changes occur mainly in redefining J and JE and in transferring large blocks of text to Dtr. Is there a genuine gain, or do we have as many problems or more than before? If one or more Dtrs framed and annotated the Tetrateuch, it is curious that earlier analysts failed to observe this phenomenon at the very time when Dtr's work was being isolated and traced in fine detail in the books of the Deuteronomistic History. It may also be asked why the end results for the Tetrateuch and the rest of the Primary History are so strikingly different. I would agree that signs of an editorial hand are present throughout the Primary History, but the hands at work in the Tetrateuch and the Deuteronomistic History seem to be different. For the final assembly of the major parts of the Primary History we must postulate an overall editor, but it may be premature to identify him as a final Dtr or a Priestly writer, although he may have affinities more with one of these groups than with the other. In spite of efforts to alter the basic source analysis by expanding the range of territory of this source or that editor at the expense of another, the classic framework remains substantially intact, and we can generally support the position adopted by Noth on these matters. My only serious reservation, already noted, concerns his peculiar treatment of P, truncating the P-work by limiting its scope to the Tetrateuch, while at the same time acknowledging that at one time P must have contained a story of the conquest and distribution of the tribal allotments. My own view is that the Priestly writer, like his contemporary, Dtr, was just as much interested in the later outcomes as in the earliest traditions. While P regarded the Mosaic era as decisive for the establishment of the sacred congregation and commonwealth, he also believed that the whole history of his people was under the special guidance of God, whether in the way of protection or of punishment, penalty or reward, good or ill.

FREEDMAN AND GEOGHEGAN Retrospect and Prospect


Hence, the appropriate continuation of P beyond Joshua is to be found, if at all, not in the Deuteronomistic History but in the Chronicler's work, where the narrative, beginning with 1 Chronicles 10, picks up with the accession of David and his glorious reign, unscarred by the damaging domestic and dynastic struggles and scandals, recorded in detail in the so-called Court History and preserved by Dtr. David is especially exalted as the real founder of the liturgy and cult of the Jerusalem temple, yet to be constructed by his son Solomon (1 Chron. 16.4-42; 29.1-3). But David is also given credit for proposing and planning for the temple. The work itself, however, is to be carried out by his illustrious successor. It is David the pious Psalmist, the preserver of the tabernacle in its latest incarnation and the planner of the more permanent edifice on Mt Zion, who is celebrated by the Chronicler. Thus David, the leading hero in the Chronicler's work, is a fitting counterpart for Moses, the leading figure of the P-work. Both men excel in the virtues appropriate to a priestly tradition, whether in planning and building the tabernacle or in preserving the tabernacle and planning the temple, along with the appropriate rules and procedures for the Holy Places, whether the detailed regulations derived from Moses or the rich musical tradition associated with David. It is the same editor or faithful follower who tracks the fate of the temple of David and Solomon to its demise at the hands of Nebuchadrezzar nearly 400 years later. But he does not leave matters there. This is in dramatic contrast to the Deuteronomistic History, which closes out the story with the city and temple in ruins and the people in captivity (2 Kgs 25). Rather, the Chronicler's work continues with an account of the return from exile and the rebuilding of the temple, the work sponsored and carried out by the legitimate and divinely approved authorities: Zerubbabel, lineal descendant and official heir of David and Solomon, with a valid claim to the throne of Judah, and Joshua the High Priest, also a lineal descendant and official heir of Zadok the High Priest at the time the first temple was built and dedicated (Ezra 3.2; 6.14-15). The P-work and the Chronicler's work combine to tell the story of the sacred congregation with its holy habitation, the earthly counterpart of the heavenly original, in its various material structuresthe tabernacle in the wilderness wanderings and early pre-monarchic settlement in the promised land. The account involved both temples, including the choice of a sacred site (where Abraham offered up his son Isaac as a sacrifice to Yahweh), the building plans, the gathering of supplies and


The History of Israel's Traditions

the construction that followed the pattern laid down for the tabernacle. This pattern was adapted for the first temple, with a reprise for the new construction and dedication of the second temple on the same site. It is important that the sponsorship and leadership have the same official positions and that the leaders in the case of the second temple are the lineal descendants and official heirs of those who built and dedicated the first temple. The line is both unitary and continuous, even if the literary trail is somewhat jumbled and now separated into different works.

Where do we go from here? We owe Noth a great debt of gratitude for standing in the breach and redirecting traffic in a better direction. While he was a faithful heir of the critical task defined by illustrious predecessors, he continued the detailed work of source analysis with important contributions at critical junctures in the texts. More important, in my opinion, was his emphasis on macro-analysis and synthesis in the Deuteronomistic History, the P-work and the Chronicler's work. In this way, Noth brought into focus the undertakings of the nameless editors and compilers who put an indelible stamp on the literary outcome and thus have guided the reactions of all subsequent readers of the texts. These works are not only visible parts of the Hebrew Bible but have become standard reference points for scholarly discussion and debate. It remains, however, to take one more major step and focus attention on the most important continuous narrative in the Hebrew Bible, the Primary History, which includes both the Torah and Former Prophets, comprising nine books and almost exactly 150,000 words (or close to half of the entire Hebrew Bible). Instead of describing it as a combination of the Torah and Former Prophets, or the merger of the P-work and the Deuteronomistic History, we should see it for the single, total work that it isthe Primary History of the Hebrew Bible, the dominant work by far in Scripture, the official story of the people of God. Noth discusses the merger of the P-work and the Deuteronomistic History but devotes little attention to the matter.1 Apparently, this final step in the process of the final fixing of the text was somewhat perfunctory in Noth's view, so he concentrates on its major constituent parts. Perhaps it seemed too obvious. After all, the Primary History is there, almost by definition, in one piece and in final form, except for minor
1. Noth, US, pp. 206-11.

FREEDMAN AND GEOGHEGAN Retrospect and Prospect


transmissional glitches that occurred over the past two thousand years. For me, that is all the more reason to identify and consider this work. It is with the Primary History that the scholarly enterprise must begin. While the circumstances are not exactly the same, and we are at different stages in the development of a sacred text, a comparable case can be made for regarding the combination of the Synoptic Gospels and the book of Acts as constituting the Primary History of the New Testament. Although the process of amalgamation and consolidation was never carried out in the evolution of the canonical New Testament, this block of four books, with their complex interconnections, has to be dealt with in any attempt to identify and isolate earlier sources and the work of the different authors, compilers and editors. The importance of firmly establishing the Primary History as the point both of departure and return can hardly be exaggerated. It is symbolized by the term babel (= Babylon), with which the dispersion of the peoples (including the immediate ancestors of Abraham) begins in Genesis 11, and where at the very end of the story in 2 Kings, the descendants of the same Abraham are brought back, thereby completing the circle. The story begins and ends at Babylon, thus closing the first long chapter of their history. However, there are already hints that a new chapter is about to begin, and it will bring them on a new, exciting adventure back to the same target set for the first migration. The second chapter will be, at least in part, a replay of the first. The descendants of Abraham will end up in Jerusalem and Judah just as they did the first time around. So too, the scholarly journey begins with the Primary History as a whole and should trace the literary lines back to the original oral sources, the raw materials from which the whole narrative has taken shape. The critical enterprise, undertaken so many times by so many eager experts, must be done again and again, from finish to start, and then from start to finish. This enterprise should come to the sources through their different collections and combinations, through the well-marked and not so well-marked paths, back to square onethe finished product, the Primary History. The purpose is to account for the presence (and absence if possible) of every feature of the composite work in as efficient a manner as possible, to explain what we have and why we have it, with all the anomalies and inconsistencies, which show clearly that disparate sources make up the whole. Then, an account of their presence and extent, their contents and style, is obligatory if we are going to understand what we read.


The History of Israel's Traditions

It is at least equally important to give an account of the finished work: who did what and why, when and where, along with all of the other questions that investigative reporters are supposed to ask and answer, without claiming to ask all of them or even the right ones or the most pressing ones or to answer definitively any of them. Let me challenge colleagues, both those who have been on the scene for many years and those who are just coming into the arena, to produce definitive responses or at least better ones than those currently at our disposal. First, I propose that the work in its present form must have had high executive sponsorship to have claimed its place and maintained it without serious challenge. One naturally looks to the royal house and the ecclesiastical establishment, exiled in Babylon, for the sponsoring authorities, since the narrative steers us away from the wrecked city and abandoned homeland with its shattered institutions. The homeland was left without king or priest, without temple or palace, and now, for the Primary History, any future for the people must rest with the captives in Babylon. The key question is when, and while we do not have a first edition or autograph with its colophon indicating when and where the scrolls were written, we need to make an affirmative judgment about this issue. Not only does it set in place this all important component of the Hebrew Bible, nothing less than the official history of the people of God, it also provides an anchor, a benchmark, from which all the other questions receive their definitions. This history also provides the basis for how the answers to these questions can be derived. From when we can proceed to where and why, and thence to how and by whom and under whose sponsorship. The upper date of the work's completion is fixed by the explicit statement at the end of the Primary Historythe 37th year of the exile of King Jehoiachin (2 Kgs 25.27). By definition, the work in its present form cannot have been produced before that date, roughly 561 BCE (we have an exact date for the exile of Jehoiachin from the Babylonian Chronicle, 7 March 597 BCE). This same datum may prove helpful for other questions, e.g., where, who and why. However, the story itself comes to an end with the capture of Jerusalem, the destruction of the temple and the exile of various groups in the local population, along with some details of the aftermath, such as the death of Gedaliah and a final captivity in 582 BCE (2 Kgs 25.1-25). There is nothing more until 2 Kgs 25.27-30, so we can say that there was little direct interest in the

FREEDMAN AND GEOGHEGAN Retrospect and Prospect


period between 582 and 561 or in the experience of the exile, except perhaps for the details about the king. The continuous narrative, therefore, ends with the climactic events surrounding the fall of Judah, to which a brief postscript about the exiled king has been appended (25.27-30). Clearly it was the intention of the final author or editor to end the literary work there, and the implication is that so far as factual data are concerned the contents of the work all pertain to the era before that final date. Scholars who find reflections of later circumstances (e.g., in the Torah, much of which is placed in late post-exilic times) automatically bear the burden of proof. Aside from generalized prophecies about future return and restoration, largely contained in the Deuteronomic speeches of Moses, the story of the Primary History covers the period from the beginningcreation itselfuntil the middle of the sixth century BCE, specifically the synchronic date in the thirty-seventh year of Jehoiachin's exile corresponding to the first year of Awil-Marduk (= Evil-Merodach), the son and successor of Nebuchadrezzar II (604-562 BCE; the first year of Awil-Marduk would begin in the Spring of 561). If 561 is the earliest possible date of completion, what is the latest, or most likely actual date? The latest possible date can only be when we have proof positive of the existence of the whole Primary History. Direct primary evidence in the form of complete MSS of the Hebrew Bible begins to appear in the second and first centuries BCE, but no book in the Primary History is complete, and there is no way to show that the nine-book collection was considered a unit. While it seems probable that the Greek translation of the whole Primary History was complete by some time in the second century BCE, if not earlier, only a few fragments of the LXX survive from the preChristian period, and these can only attest the existence of separate books of the Primary History, not the work as a whole. Secondary testimony from sources such as Ben Sira also derives from the Hellenistic era. It is nevertheless reasonable to infer that these witnesses point to an earlier date for the completion of the Primary History and thus to posit a terminal date not later than about 400 BCE for the actual existence of the Primary History. But it is possible to narrow the range of dates for the completion of the Primary History even further by both positive and negative evidence. Direct references to known persons or events of a later time would provide positive evidence, the lack of such references negative evidence. Thus, scholars have claimed that in the Primary History


The History of Israel's Traditions

(mostly in the Torah, because Noth's date of ca. 550 BCE for the Deuteronomistic History is widely accepted) there are allusions to persons and events from the post-exilic period and that the Primary History cannot therefore be dated before this period (specifically, that of EzraNehemiah at the earliest). None of the evidence of this sort that I have seen is convincing. The reason is that in those cases where a connection can be shown between provisions in the Torah and the narrative descriptions in the Chronicler's work, for example, it is impossible to determine the direction of influence, that is, whether the written form of the Torah has been influenced by persons and events from the postexilic period or the behavior of such persons has been influenced by what is written in the Torah. I agree that such links exist, but that is what we would expect, especially if the Primary History already existed and had influence, as clearly it does in the time of Ezra and Nehemiah. Such connections between passages in the Torah, on the one hand, and the stories in post-exilic writings, on the other, can be explained on the reasonable supposition that the post-exilic community attempted to order its life according to the prescriptions of the Torah, and the differences are due to conditions that made it difficult to carry out the Torah's rules. In all cases, the priority would properly go to the prescriptions not to their implementation. The negative evidence is simply that if the Primary History had not been completed until a postexilic, post-return date, the editors would surely have incorporated such differences and explained or otherwise eliminated them. It is curious that most scholars agree that the Deuteronomistic History was finished around 550 BCE (i.e., between 560 and 540, before the return from exile beginning in 538 BCE) but believe that the Torah was completed at a much later date. While it is possible to reason in that fashion, I think that once it is recognized that the Primary History is a single, continuous work, then the arguments applied to the dating of the Deuteronomistic History will be extended to cover the Torah and the Primary History as a whole. To pursue the point a little further, I think it was precisely the changing of the guard, that is, the accession of a new emperor, that provided the impetus for the promulgation of the Primary History. Surely the intention of the final editors was not merely to write an extended epitaph for the dead nation but to say something about the present state of affairs and to point to a different and perhaps brighter future. While the destruction of the state was a central theme, and the effort to explain

FREEDMAN AND GEOGHEGAN Retrospect and Prospect


this tragedy was agonizing and prolonged, the work has other features, some of at least equal importance. Promise and hope undergird and interfuse the warnings, threats and disasters, along with admonitions about present circumstances. So it would be appropriate to regard the Primary History as a handbook for survivors and a guide to the future for the understandably perplexed. It was written by native Hebrew speakers for Hebrew readers, an internal document, not an external apologia. As such, its purpose was at least twofold: (1) to explain the sad sequence of events leading to the tragedy of total destruction and the present, unhappy condition of exile, and at the same time, (2) to give occasion for hope and renewed expectation. Promises had been made which would be fulfilled in the near future. Therefore, it was necessary for the faithful to hold on until the dawning of the new day of release. As to the duration of the exile, Jeremiah apparently predicted that it would last for seventy years, although there is confusion about the exact starting date (perhaps 605 BCE, perhaps a later date) and the reliability of the statement (Jer. 25.11-12). At the other end of the pendulum swing was the flat prediction of Hananiah the prophet, dated around 594 BCE, that the exiled king and people would return along with the sacred vessels of the temple (removed to Babylon by Nebuchadrezzar) within a very short time, two years to be exact (Jer. 28.10-11). The latter prophecy proved false in short order (and the prior premature death of Hananiah was taken as a sign of divine displeasure with the prophet and his prediction, Jer. 28.15-17). We need not doubt that hopes and expectations of a return from exile ran high among the Babylonian captives, and as events unrolled the intensity of feelings would wax and wane. But there could be no realistic expectation of release during the lifetime of the great emperor himself. Hence, attention doubtless was drawn to the less-remarked prediction by the resident (in Babylon) prophet Ezekiel. Ezekiel prophesied that the exile would last for forty years, at the end of which one could expect a new generation to take over the government of the empire. Ezekiel's forty-year prediction (the countdown begins with the reign and exile of the unfortunate king, Jehoiachin) echoes the wilderness wandering, which, according to tradition, lasted just forty years, the standard length of time to allow one generation to pass from the scene and another to take its place. The correlation is spelled out in the narrative of Numbers, where it is specified that all the adults (twenty years and older) who went out of Egypt would not be permitted to enter the promised land but would die


The History of Israel's Traditions

in the wilderness (Num. 14.29). A period of sixty years would be a very realistic estimate of expected lifespans in antiquity. There might be some exceptions, and two are specified: Caleb and Joshua. The next generation, including all those under the age of twenty at the time of the exodus and born after the departure would replace the fallen generation and enter the land under the leadership of Joshua. In the same way, Ezekiel predicts that those who were adults when the exile took place would die in exile, but their children (under the age of twenty and those born in exile) would be able to return when the period of forty years ended. Since Ezekiel dates his prophecy by what would have been the regnal years of the exiled king, Jehoiachin, the final date in the Primary History, the thirty-seventh year, is just three years before the expected end of the period of exile and the day of release and return. The accession of a new emperor could well be taken as a sign of the impending change of fortunes of the exiles. That new kings, on accession to the throne, issued amnesties and proclaimed other bounties to their subjects, is well known, and in the case of Awil-Marduk we have the information that he granted special dispensations to the captive king, Jehoiachin. These were of a modest nature, mere tokens of good will, but they must have been seen as presaging even better things to come. Hence, the citation of the action by the new emperor and the subsequent release of the Primary History to the literate Jews in Babylon. Now was the time to gird up one's loins and be ready for the next stage, which came twenty years later when Cyrus issued his famous edict of release (Ezra 1.2-4; 6.3-5). In the meantime, however, the fact that we know nothing that actually happened at the end of the literal forty-year period only serves to confirm the authenticity of the prediction itself. Surely later writers, knowing the facts in the case, would not have invented a false prophecy to put in the mouth of a prophet like Ezekiel, whom they regarded as a faithful spokesman for Yahweh. We may infer that there was heightened expectation in the years immediately following the death of the great Nebuchadrezzar and the accession of his son, a new emperor, and that this expectation was strengthened by the prophecy of Ezekiel, which focused on a date not long after the events mentioned. Such circumstances would provide a very suitable setting for the publication of the great Primary History. Neither then nor later were authors or editors in the habit of inventing and attributing unfulfilled prophecies, certainly not to true and later canonized prophets such as

FREEDMAN AND GEOGHEGAN Retrospect and Prospect


Ezekiel. Unfulfilled prophecy is most likely to be the genuine words of the prophet. As regards Ezekiel, we have at least one other example of an unfulfilled prophecy, fully documented by the prophet himself, namely, the prophecy against Tyre in Ezek. 26.1-14, esp. vv. 7-14, and then the retraction and revision in 29.17-20. The initial prophecy is dated to the eleventh year, while the revision comes in the twenty-seventh year, after Nebuchadrezzar abandoned the futile siege of Tyre.1 In short, I would say that the best date for the promulgation of the whole Primary History is between 560 and 540 BCE, obviously after the last fixed date in the work and just as clearly before the decisive events associated with the capture of Babylon by Cyrus the Great of Persia and the subsequent promulgation of the edict of release and return in 538 BCE. This date is essentially the same as that proposed by Noth and still widely accepted as the most suitable for the Deuteronomistic History.21 am only extending the reasoning and affirmation to the rest of the Primary History. What this means is that the work as a whole was finished by that date except for slight changes in the long history of scribal transmission, including inadvertent errors and perhaps minor editorial improvements. The literary history, the long process of composing different sources, merging them and splitting them apart (all the major changes that source-critical analysis tracks from their origins to their final status in the larger work), has come to an end. The full text is now fixed for all time, and aside from the minor changes mentioned above will remain that way through the whole history of scribal transmission. It is at the same point in time that textual history in the proper sense begins. From the question of when, we go to the matter of where. In view of the clear statement in the postscript to 2 Kings (25.27-30), the conclusion must be that the Primary History was compiled and published in Babylon. It was intended primarily for the exiles, to explain the past, prepare them for the future and, in the meantime, guide them in their present circumstances. In view of the heavy emphasis on the centrality and legitimacy of the exilic community for the future of God's people in contrast to the people left behind in the land (cf. also the books of
1. Incidentally, there is as yet no convincing evidence that Nebuchadrezzar succeeded in conquering Egypt either, although there is a tantalizing fragmentary inscription mentioning that the king of Babylon undertook a military expedition against Egypt in the year 567. Information about the outcome is lacking. 2. Noth, OS, p. 12.


The History of Israel's Traditions

Jeremiah and Ezekiel and their metaphor of the good figs and bad figs), there can be little question as to the orientation of the Primary History. It was the core literature of the exilic community as it prepared to return to the homeland. We have already alluded to the why. The purpose of this great work was essentially threefold. First, it explains the tragedy of defeat and destruction in terms that would make sense to the exiled remnant. It was a matter of exceptional importance to maintain a careful balance, that is, to hold fast to the traditional faith in Yahweh and his commitment to his people but not minimize the dimensions of the disaster. The central point was that Yahweh had finally punished his people for egregious violations of the solemn pact between them. The terrible outcome was not the action of alien gods, who exist only as idols, but of alien armies (that point could hardly be denied), who unknowingly carried out Yahweh's orders. From first to last, Yahweh is in full charge of his universe and always decides the outcome of all political and military actions. Just as Yahweh has demonstrated his moral righteousness along with his awesome power in destroying his people, his city and his temple, so he has both the power and the intention to restore them. On the one hand, he is in full charge. On the other, he has not repudiated them forever. It requires a delicate balance, but just as the covenant mediated by Moses contains sanctions for persistent violators, so the covenant with the patriarchs ensures that Yahweh will never finally abandon them but will restore them to their land. Nothing that has happened or could happen has changed or could change the fundamental relationship, which is for all time. Secondly, it reinforces the hope for future restoration. Just as the threats of the covenant at Sinai/Horeb have been carried out with devastating effects, so the future restoration is equally guaranteed by the unconditional promises sworn to the fathers by Yahweh's solemn oath (cf. Gen. 15.7-21). As bad as the past has been, the future is sure and secure. In the meantime, the faithful must be patient and wait for God to provide both the occasion and the action in initiating the restoration. Finally, it provides guidance in the present circumstances. In the interim, between a deadly past and a hopeful future, there is much important work to be done. The Jews in exile must remain Jews. Identity, in the midst of an overwhelmingly alien population must be maintained. The way to achieve this goal is through the observance of such rites as the Sabbath, circumcision and dietary restrictions, all spelled

FREEDMAN AND GEOGHEGAN Retrospect and Prospect


out in detail in the Primary History.1 The new threat of assimilation was as great as or greater than the threat of annihilation posed by the invading armies during the last days of Israel and then Judah. In short, with the help and support of this book of God's truth, the Jews in captivity can prevail with their identity intact and return to rebuild their nation as it had been once. Only this time it will be with a new spirit and a happier outcome. We move on to the question of how and by whom. The Primary History is the product of a bold decision to combine two literary works of considerable size and substance, the P-work and the Deuteronomistic History, into a single unit. The ultimate redactor ('R' or perhaps RPH) must have had the highest authority and credentials to undertake the task set for him. It is not difficult to identify him with the priestly orders, because both the P-work and Deuteronomistic History are priestly works, even if they oppose and contradict each other at many important points. In the end, R must be a mediator, belonging to neither camp, although presumably coming out of one of them. In order to unite these two major writings, R had to bring together the two groups in exile, the group in Babylon with its prophet-priest, Ezekiel, and the group in exile in Egypt with its prophet-priest, Jeremiah (not to overlook the professional scribe, Baruch, who certainly had a large role to play in assembling the book of Jeremiah, and very likely also the Deuteronomistic History). The task was facilitated by the fact that Jeremiah and Ezekiel, though very different in many respects, agreed on most essential points. A typical compromise was reached: accept the major works of both groups and combine them with a minimum of damage to each. By simply combining the two complete works, discrepancies between them in matters of rules and procedures, as well as details of the narratives, were retained in the larger work. Matters of reconciliation or accommodation were left for future generations. Even the most pressing problems of conflicting rituals and the rules drawn from the major sources could be delayed and resolved later on, because neither group of priests was functioning at the time; both were far from Jerusalem, the temple was in ruins and there was time to ponder and debate and, if possible, resolve matters of procedure. For the present, the important matter was to bring two groups and their authoritative writings (the P-work and the Deuteronomistic History, along with the books
1. As illustrated in part by Daniel and his friends in the book that bears his name.


The History of Israel's Traditions

of Jeremiah and Ezekiel) together on an equal basis. In the face of the larger challenge to maintain identity and restore a real existence, the important decision was to merge their works and combine forces against the more dangerous, external threats. Only when this union had been forged, was it possible to declare those inside (both works and people) legitimate and those outside excluded. Thus, did the canonical process receive a powerful impetus, and the first Hebrew Bible emerge from the exilic community. The credentials of the Jewish community in Babylon were superior to those of any other group, whether in Egypt or left behind in Judah. Thanks to the vigorous interventions of the Babylonian monarchs, there was only one legitimate pretender to the Judahite throne, Jehoiachin. Likewise, there was only one legitimate high priest left when Nebuchadrezzar had finished his conquest and reordered the leadershipSeraiah, the high priest at the time of the capture of Jerusalem and the destruction of the temple. He was executed by Nebuchadrezzar, but his son Jehozadak was recognized as the next high priest and taken into captivity in Babylon (Jer. 52.24-27; 1 Chron. 5.41). In turn his son, Joshua, and Jehoiachin's grandson, Zerubbabel, were the chosen leaders of the community that returned from exile and set about to rebuild the temple and re-establish a political order (Ezra 3.2). In other words, continuity and legitimacy were the prerogatives of the Babylonian community, because that is where the legitimate king and high priest resided during the exile, and it was their descendants who exercised that right when the time came to return to the land. They were aided in this enterprise by the imperial authorities, whether Babylonian in protecting them, or Persian in returning them to places of power in the restored community. Thus, the line of legitimacy and continuity was maintained through the exile and after the return. These claims were supported by the Primary History, which had the sponsorship of the leadership, whose position it in turn supported. A tight circle had been formed, but an entirely understandable one under the circumstances. The solution, both literary and political, served the interests of the imperial authorities, whether Babylonian or Persian, and of the exiles, both those in Babylon and those in Egypt. The ultimate losers would be those who remained behind in the land. The imperial authorities would give priority to the Babylonian Jews, who constituted the elite of the nation, including especially the royal and sacerdotal authorities. For the Babylonian Jews, and

FREEDMAN AND GEOGHEGAN Retrospect and Prospect


especially the leadership, this was a chance to re-establish their authority in guiding the return and future redevelopment. They would also define the enemy, in due course, as the people left in the land, who naturally would be expected to resist the return of the people who had departed, whether they had been forced out or departed under their own power. In order to guarantee their success against the native-born people, the Babylonian Jews could make common cause with the Egyptian Jews, who had fled from Jerusalem and Judah after the assassination of Gedaliah and who had taken Jeremiah and Baruch with them. By combining forces and making whatever mutual concessions were necessary, these two groups would claim control of the first Bible (with the Primary History combining the P-work and the Deuteronomistic History and books of Jeremiah and Ezekiel). This work offered firm support for reading the past tragedies, interpreting the present critical situation, and outlining the course of future restoration. With this powerful combination of forces, the local groups in the Holy Land would be overwhelmed, and the elites would reclaim their positions of power. The new Bible would serve to legitimize their activities and provide a foundation for the future by which the organization and operation of the community could be judged. There is good reason to believe that the system worked well for several centuries until it was all swept away by the tides of Hellenism that flooded the Near East under Alexander the Great and his successors. By the time of Daniel, a new order was in the making, and at least one new book was needed to make the Bible whole and, more important, useful in very dire times. Returning to the Primary History, this work is at once the point of departure and the point of return. Its publication constitutes the defining moment for Scripture, when it becomes an authoritative and permanently fixed work of literary art. The task of literary criticism, with all its offshoots and parallel and subordinate undertakings, goes back from the finished product to its sources, oral and written, just as the Primary History itself traces its story back to the very beginnings. Then it is necessary to retrace all of these steps, proceeding from the ultimate sources to the final product, which I have placed toward the end of the exilic period. It may, in a literary way, be compared with the mission of the prophet Jeremiah: to tear down and pluck up, but also to plant and build up(Jer. 1.10). The other part of the task, tracing the history of the text from the first


The History of Israel's Traditions

compilation to the final fixing of the text, and its transmission over the millennia, is just as important, and we must handle that responsibility too. We must start on both tasks from that single point at which the full text of the Primary History emerged as a literary work around 550 BCE, probably in Babylon, most likely a product of and a message for the Jewish community there, and issued under the auspices of the acknowledged leaders of Judah-in-exile: the royal pretender (presumably one of the sons of Jehoiachin who would be succeeded by Zerubbabel afterwards) and the high priest (presumably Jehozadak, to be succeeded in turn by his son, Joshua).


Walter Dietrich

In the first volume of the new journal Biblical Interpretation, which is dedicated to promoting 'contemporary approaches' to the Bible, one of the authors expresses astonishment at an 'emancipated' American scholar whose work 'is still based on the hypothesis of the Deuteronomistic History'.1 Evidently, the methods and results of the work of Martin Noth are no longer 'contemporary'. Let us imagine for a moment that future research was not based on the hypothesis of a Deuteronomistic History encompassing the books of Deuteronomy-2 Kings. What would happen? One would read these biblical books primarily in two ways: either biblicistically as instructional and factual reports on the history of the people of God or in an enlightened way as devotional and inspirational stories of Jewish writers on the fictionally constructed 'history of Israel'. It may seem surprising, but Noth's insights into the Deuteronomistic History can provide a firm foundation for both a positive-literal approach and a narrative-critical approach to the historical books of the Old Testament. On the one hand, Noth, at that time in an almost avant garde manner, did not focus on the oldest discernible reports but rather emphasized the final redactional form, which he dated quite late. That is to say, Noth was concerned with the 'final shape' of the text. On the other hand, he attempted to discern and evaluate the historical and theological value of the deuteronomistic historical writing, and in that endeavor he achieved remarkable results. The desire to read the historical books without paying due attention to Noth's work threatens to expose those books to both pious and liberal
* Translated by Dwight R. Daniels. 1. D. Jobling ('Globalization in Biblical Studies/Biblical Studies in Globalization', BI1 [1993], pp. 96-110 [107]), in reference to Robert Polzin.


The History of Israel's Traditions

whimsy. To read them in the light of Noth's work may not be the only or even the most important task of Old Testament research, but it is certainly a profitable one, and it is to this task that I wish to turn by considering three prominent issues raised by the Deuteronomistic History: the literary, the historical and the theological. 1. Unity and Diversity in the Deuteronomistic History The Deuteronomistic History postulated by Martin Noth encompasses approximately 160 chapters of the Bible and spans the time from the entry into the land to its loss, a period of more than half a millennium. Such a composition is unusually large for antiquity, and it includes widely divergent materials, resulting on occasion in significant tension. Is it really possible to see this as the creation of a single person? Eissfeldt once remarked, somewhat disparagingly, that 'the actual father of the Deuteronomistic History' was Martin Noth himself.1 According to this view we are celebrating not only the fiftieth birthday of US, but also of the Deuteronomistic History itself. Noth, of course, would have replied that not he but Dtr was the father of the Deuteronomistic History and that it is not fifty but about 2500 years old. And to the question as to whether, given the composite appearance of the child, there might be more than one 'father', Noth would have, and in fact did, answer 'no'.2 In his judgment the individual biblical books neither underwent their own deuteronomistic redactions3 nor was there

1. Cf. O. Eissfeldt, The Old Testament: An Introduction (trans. P.R. Ackroyd; New York: Harper & Row, 1965), p. 243. There, however, we find a less literal translation of the original German: 'the real originator of the idea of the Deuteronomistic historical work'. See idem, Einleitung in das Alte Testament unter Einschluss der Apokryphen und Pseudepigraphen (Tubingen: Mohr, 3rd edn, 1964), p. 323. 2. Noth's sharp eye nevertheless recognized a series of passages that appeared to be secondary additions to the work of his 'Dtr', but he considered them not to be a continuous redaction but ad hoc additions. These include Deut. l.*2, 8bp, 21; 2.1012, 20-23, 29b(5, 30b, 31, 37; 3.2, *8, 13a; 4.9-10, 23b, 24, 25bcc, 29-40; 31.3a, 4-6; Josh. 1.7-9; 13-22; 24; Judg. 1.1-2.5, 17; 4.1b; 10.*8; 11.12-28; (13-16); 17-21; 1 Sam. 4.18b; 12.*8; 2 Sam. 21-24; 1 Kgs 2.11; 3.1-2; (S.lap, 4a, *6, 10-11,27,34); 10.23-25, 27; 11.39b; 12.2-3, 12; 16.7; 21.20, 23; 2 Kgs 2.*17; 9.29; 14.25; 15.6, 32; 17.34b-40; cf. US, pp. 27-87; DH, pp. 45-117. 3. For example, in Joshua and Judges as advocated by Rudolph. Cf. US, pp. 610; DH, pp. 20-24.

DIETRICH Martin Noth and the Future


an initial pre-exilic and subsequent exilic edition of the work.1 This decision of the master appears to conflict primarily with the current block model (Blockinodell)2 of the redaction of the Deuteronomistic History, 3 although the so-called strata model (Schichtenmodell) presumably would not fare any better in his critical eyes.4 But would he be right? Noth had a predilection for clearly contoured, uncomplicated (sometimes perhaps simplistic) pictures. For example, he considered the position of Dtr on kingship to be completely negative, as could be clearly seen in the anti-monarchic strand of 1 Samuel 7-12 composed by Dtr.5 Yet this unembellished position entails a few difficulties. Interspersed among the allegedly deuteronomistic and anti-monarchic texts, there are also pre-deuteronomistic, pro-monarchic passages.6 Furthermore, in these chapters we would have the unique case of Dtr blatantly contradicting his (supposedly strictly pro-monarchic) source

1. Contra Eissfeldt, US, pp. 6 and 91, n. 1; DH, pp. 20 and 122, n. 1: 'Recently the notion that there were two phases of "Deuteronomistic redaction" of the books Joshua-Kings has become popular. But the assumption that the material was first edited in Deuteronomistic style before the exile is based on a mistaken attribution, to this first editor, of all sorts of traditional materials, which in fact come from Dtr's sources.' 2. On the terminology and the relationship of the various redactional models, see H. Weippert, 'Das deuteronomistische Geschichtswerk: Sein Ziel und Ende in der neueren Forschung', TRu 50 (1985), pp. 213-49. 3. This model was initiated by P.M. Cross (Canaanite Myth and Hebrew Epic: Essays in the History of the Religion of Israel [Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1973], pp. 274-89; originally published as 'The Structure of the Deuteronomic History', in Perspectives in Jewish Learning [Annual of the College of Jewish Studies 3; Chicago: College of Jewish Studies 1968], pp. 9-24) and developed especially by R.D. Nelson (The Double Redaction of the Deuteronomistic History [JSOTSup 18; Sheffield: JSOT Press, 1981]). 4. The best summary presentation of this model to date is that of its initiator, R. Smend, Die Entstehung des Alien Testaments (ThW 1; Stuttgart: Kohlhammer, 4th edn, 1988 [1978]), 19. 5. 1 Sam. 7; 8; 10.17-27; 12; cf. US, pp. 54-60, 99-100; DH, pp. 77-84, 133. 6. 1 Sam. 8.1-5, 20b-22; 10.19b-27. Noth himself saw Dtr in 8.7, 22a 'follow(ing) the old tradition and its view of the monarchy' (US, p. 57; DH, p. 80) and in 10.17-27a reworking 'a traditional story of Saul's accession, found in one of his sources which we do not know' (US, p. 58; DH, p. 81)all against his own convictions!


The History of Israel's Traditions

material.1 And if he were a committed anti-monarchist, how could he have painted such positive portraits of David and Josiah?2 This evidence appears to support those who reckon with several deuteronomistic redactions. According to the block model, the preexilic redaction written in support of Josiah would naturally be pro-monarchic, while the exilic redaction, written with the collapse of the kingdom in mind, would presumably be anti-monarchic, although this issue is not directly addressed by the model's proponents.3 According to the strata model,4 the first redactor is still pro-monarchic, whereas the later redactors of the late exilic and perhaps early post-exilic period are antimonarchic. With both models the historical contextualizations are fairly apparent. According to the block model, the Deuteronomists express themselves in conformity with their age (during the monarchy promonarchic, thereafter anti-monarchic), but according to the strata model, they sound counterpoints (pro-monarchic following the fall of the

1. Dtr's (ostensibly) extensive insertions in 1 Sam. 7-12 were considered by Noth to be 'Dtr's one very exceptional contradiction of the account given by his source' (OS, p. 92; DH, p. 133). 2. That Josiah was faithful to YHWH evidently was sufficient to outweigh the stigma of being king. According to Noth, in the case of David the sources were positively predisposed and the monarchy still 'an unknown quantity' (US, p. 92; DH, p. 123). Yet, the latter was even truer for Saul, who nevertheless did not benefit from it. 3. Nelson, for example, does not discuss the issue but in a completely conventional manner, i.e., following Noth, attributes the pro-monarchic texts to older tradition and the anti-monarchic texts to the first, pre-exilic Deuteronomist who warns against the negative aspects of the monarchy (Double Redaction, p. 108). M.A. O'Brien (The Deuteronomistic History Hypothesis: A Reassessment[OBO 92; Freiburg: Universitatsverlag; Gottingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1989], pp. 109-28, 272-87) differentiates more extensively: the anti-monarchic series derives from the 'Prophetic Record' of the late ninth century, postulated by A.F. Campbell (Of Prophets and Kings: A Late Ninth Century Document [1 Samuel 1-2 Kings 10] [CBQMS 17; Washington, DC: Catholic Biblical Association, 1986]); the second series is indeed deuteronomistic, but the pro-monarchic statements in 1 Sam. 8.(l-3), 4-6a, 19-22 (and oddly, 8.11-17 as well) and 10.20-27 are attributed to the first, Josianic redactor ('DTR'), the anti-monarchic statements in 1 Sam. 8.6b-10; 10.17-19; 12, on the other hand, are attributed to various exilic reworkings. In this way O'Brien attempts to reconcile the block and the strata modelsa noble and irenic, though complicated effort. 4. Cf. T. Veijola, Das Konigtum in der Beurteilung der deuteronomistischen Historiographic: Eine redaktionsgeschichtliche Untersuchung (AASF, B, 198; Helsinki: Suomalainen Tiedeakatemia, 1977).

DIETRICH Martin Noth and the Future


kingdom, anti-monarchic when its restitution becomes a real possibility).1 1 confess my own sympathy for the second model: first, because I consider Noth's arguments for an (at the earliest) exilic origin of the Deuteronomistic History to be difficult to disprove, and secondly, because a critical theology seems to me to be more biblically based than a conformist theology. Now there is a third possibility. Instead of attributing contrary statements regarding kingship to various authors, one could attribute to a single author a dialectical position or the consideration of various positions. Perhaps Dtr did not reject the monarchy per se, but only a specific form of monarchy considered to be irreconcilable with the Torah.2 Or perhaps he produced a narrative drama in which the various actorsthe people, Samuel, Godrepresent well-defined positions, while he himself remains neutral.3 However, such ambiguous signals or the adoption of an observer's role is not the style of the Deuteronomists. They speak their minds clearly. In my opinion, Noth was correct in viewing the intention of the Deuteronomistic History to be ultimately critical of the monarchy, but it is possible that he underestimated the historical agitation of the sixth century and the theological adaptability of the deuteronomistic school.4
1. Cf. the controversies reflected in texts such as Hag. 1-2; Zech. 3-4 (pro) and Ezek. 40-48 (contra). 2. So M. Buber ('Die Erzahlung von Sauls Konigswahl', VT6 [1956], pp. 11373), who is followed in part by H.J. Boecker, Die Beurteilung der Anfdnge des Konigtums in den deuteronomistischen Abschnitten des ersten Samuelbuches: Ein Beitrag zum Problem des 'Deuteronomistischen Geschichtswerks' (WMANT 31; Neukirchen-Vluyn: Neukirchener Verlag, 1969). 3. So L.M. Eslinger, 'Viewpoints and Points of View in 1 Samuel 8-12', JSOT 26 (1983), pp. 61-76, and Kingship of God in Crisis: A Close Reading of 1 Samuel 1-12 (Bible and Literature Series 10; Sheffield: Almond Press, 1985), especially pp. 55-62. 4. Even DtrN of the 'Gottingen school' is not simply anti-monarchic. He has a high view of David (or should one say of the Davidic-messianic idea?). Cf. 2 Sam. 7.26; 1 Kgs 2.4; 11.38. U. Becker ('Der innere Widerspruch der deuteronomistischen Beurteilung des Konigtums [am Beispiel von 1 Sam 8]', in M. Oeming and A. Graupner [eds.], Altes Testament und christliche Verkundigung: Festschrift fur Antonius H.J. Gunneweg zum 65. Geburtstag [Stuttgart: Kohlhammer, 1987], pp. 246-70) sees pro-monarchic aspects in 1 Sam. 12 (DtrN), as well as antimonarchic aspects in DtrH (to whom he surprisingly attributes the entirety of 1 Sam. 8, except for v. 8). Only DtrP, the most controversial layer in the strata model, has nothing positive to say about the kings, David included. Cf. my Prophetic und


The History of Israel's Traditions

The situation is similar for the deuteronomistic attitude toward the temple in Jerusalem, which plays a prominent role in the History. According to Noth, this is because for Dtr, who was strongly influenced by Deuteronomy and the Josianic reform, the temple was 'the location of the invisible divine presence' and consequently 'the one legitimate center for the cult'.1 Thus, he could only have 'his own favorable opinion'2 of the site. How does this positive attitude correspond with the vehemently critical speech of the prophet Nathan in 2 Samuel 7? Noth correctly recognizes that this speech is 'fundamentally formulated', but that because of his positive attitude toward the temple, Dtr could only understand this speech as 'provisional' and consequently had Nathan refer immediately to Solomon's building of the temple (2 Sam. 7.13a).3 A completely different picture would result if there were not one single deuteronomistic attitude toward the temple but several that competed with one another and changed over time. Precisely this could be reflected in 2 Samuel 7, which displays far more deuteronomistic influence than Noth thought. On this point, as well as on many others,4 future research will need to clarify the issue of unity and diversity in the Deuteronomistic History.5
Geschichte: Eine redaktionsgeschichtliche Untersuchung zum deuteronomistischen Geschichtswerk (FRLANT 108; Gottingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1972), esp. pp. 127-32 on 2 Sam. 12. 1. US, p. 105; DH, p. 140. It is hence all the more astounding that Dtr shows little interest in the functioning of the temple cult (US, pp. 103-104; DH, pp. 137-38) and is quite tolerant of sacrificial worship outside Jerusalem in the period prior to Solomon (US, pp. 106-107; DH, pp. 140-42). 2. US, p. 99; DH, p. 132. 3. US. p. 99; DH, p. 132; cf. also US, pp. 64-65; DH, pp. 88-89. 4. Cf. my David, Saul und die Propheten: Das Verhdltnis von Religion und Politik nach den prophetischen Uberlieferungen vom friihesten Konigtum in Israel (BWANT 122; Stuttgart: Kohlhammer, 2nd edn, 1992), pp. 131-36, 158-59, where the thesis is defended that DtrH, in the exilic period, harbored a positive attitude toward the temple and perhaps also toward its reconstruction (2 Sam. 7.1-5a, 8a|3b-9), whereas DtrN, perhaps in the early post-exilic period, sharply rejected the salvific necessity of a temple (2 Sam. 7.5b-8acc, 10-1 la). The same dissension can be felt behind texts such as 1 Kgs 8.16, 27; Hag. 1; Isa. 66.1-2. 5. R. Smend ('Das Gesetz und die Volker: Bin Beitrag zur deuteronomistischen Redaktionsgeschichte', in H.W. Wolff [ed.], Probleme biblischer Theologie: Gerhard von Rod zum 70. Geburtstag [Munich: Chr. Kaiser Verlag, 1971], pp. 494509; repr. in Smend, Die Mitte des Alien Testaments: Gesammelte Studien, 1 [BEvT

DIETRICH Martin Noth and the Future


What is the basis of the work's unity, which transcends its manifest diversity?1 How much differentiation and subtlety can a single author display? How great must the differences be to indicate different authors (and different times)? With how many redactional layers should one operate? Or is the process to be conceived more in terms of continuous literary additions? There are, however, limits to these types of considerations, not only methodologically,2 but also chronologically. Even before Chronicles, the language and thought of the Persian period as a whole3 represents a terminus ad quern for the Deuteronomistic historical writing. 2. Redaction and Sources in the Deuteronomistic History According to Noth, the tensions within the Deuteronomistic History are essentially due to the juxtaposition of redactional texts and source material. Though not one to lavish praise, he considered the work of Dtr 'a work that merits our respect', because 'like an honest broker he began by taking, in principle, a favorable view of the material in the traditions' and adopted wherever possible the policy of 'letting the old traditions speak for themselves'. Furthermore, 'we owe the preservation of valuable old material wholly and solely to this respect for the value of old narratives and historical accounts'. This great reverence for tradition evinced by Dtr, a person of antiquity and hence of a pre-critical age, is comparable to a great respect for historical fact.4 Here a modern historian pays tribute to a biblical colleague. Noth's own picture of the history of Israel (and not only his!) rests in large part not on the picture given by Dtr but on the source material preserved in the latter's presentation.5 In the meantime, however, both Noth's view
99; Munich: Chr. Kaiser Verlag, 1986], pp. 124-37) made a notable foray into the question of the settlementradical and national, or successive and tribal? 1. Cf. the suggestive reflections on this in my Prophetic und Geschichte, pp. 144-48. 2. The plausibility ^d acceptance of redactional models is inversely proportional to their complexity. Noth's 'Dtr' is proof positive of this principle. 3. Important textual material of the Persian period includes Ezra, Nehemiah and P, as well as prophetic (Haggai, Zechariah, Joel) and sapiential (Prov. 1-9) texts. 4. OS, pp. 95-96; DH, p. 128. 5. In the introduction to his Geschichte Israels (Gottingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1950, p. 46; ET The History of Israel [trans. P.R. Ackroyd; London: A. & C. Black, 2nd edn, 1960], p. 42), Noth identifies the sources of his presentation. 'In


The History of Israel's Traditions

of Dtr's use of his sources and Noth's own use of them have become questionable. The first question is whether deuteronomistic and pre-deuteronomistic material can always be clearly distinguished. Noth considered language to be the surest basis for attributing individual elements of tradition to Dtr. The idiosyncrasies of deuteronomistic language are so obvious for Noth that he does not even bother to list them.1 This language can be found especially in the series of summarizing and explanatory texts that mark the decisive turning points of the work.2 Dtr formulated these texts himself, whereas he was otherwise very restrained with his alterations and additions and let his sources speak for themselves,3 with
the Old Testament one must mention first of all the great (dtr) historical work.. .The author of this compilation passed on numerous sources... verbatim... and without his work we should know very little about the earlier phases of the history of Israel' ('verbatim' has been added to the English translation in accordance with the German original). Noth could not have better honored his predecessor than by beginning his book not with the period depicted in the Pentateuch but with that depicted in the Deuteronomistic History. On one point, however, Noth feels obliged to express criticism: 'One crucial omission from his history is the institution of the sacral alliance between the twelve tribes' (US, p. 95; DH, p. 127). But how could Dtr recall something that was first invented in 1930 CE and in 1993 is already beginning to be forgotten (again)? 1. He describes it simply as unadorned language: The language of Dtr is very straight-forward and dispenses with any particular artistry or refinement...The characteristics of this style... are, therefore, undisputed; we need not consider them in detail' (US, p. 4; DH, p. 18). Later works have rectified this omission; cf. the extensive treatment by M. Weinfeld (Deuteronomy and the Deuteronomic School [Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1972]). 2. In summary, and in contradistinction to Chronicles, Noth writes (US, p. 156; CH, p. 76): 'In writing his own contributions, Dtr. obviously made conscious use of a simple, stereotyped style. It is found partly in longer speeches made by the characters in question at particular historical turning points and partly in the elements which go to make up a framework which from time to time summarizes a given historical period. It also occurs in shorter remarks which have been introduced here and there to forge connections either backwards or forwards.' He is referring to (extensive passages from) Deut. 1-3; Josh. 1; 13; 23; Judg. 2; 1 Sam. *7-12; 1 Kgs 8; 2 Kgs 17. D.J. McCarthy ('II Samuel 7 and the Structure of the Deuteronomic History', JBL [1965], pp. 131-38) advanced good reasons for adding 2 Sam. 7 to the list. 3. Citing C.C. Torrey and with a slightly chiding undertone Noth contrasts this with the Chronicler: 'material particular to Chr. constitutes nearly half of the total' (US, pp. 156-57; CH, p. 75).

DIETRICH Martin Noth and the Future


one major exception: the long anti-monarchic passages in 1 Samuel 712. Here he does not comment on history but steps within that history as a narrator.1 Since Noth's day there has developed a greater willingness to reckon with the possibility that deuteronomistic authors did not always have to employ 'typically deuteronomistic' language. Their vocabulary may have been much richer than has generallyand somewhat condescendinglybeen conceded. They could speak the language of others, specifically that of their sources. In fact, given that they reproduced these sources, was it not ultimately necessary for them to adopt the language (and the thought) contained in them? The problem with such considerations lies in the resulting inability to define limits. On this line of reasoning, no text between Deuteronomy and 2 Kings2 is immune to being judged 'deuteronomistic'.3 In the end there is the danger of the indiscriminant levelling of the entire body of material into a single deuteronomistic historical narrative,4 which can be
1. Noth does not appear to have been quite comfortable with this, and so he postulated underlying fragments of tradition for 1 Sam. 8.Iff and 10.20ff. In my opinion this is correct, except that it is not a case of fragments but of a continuous pre-deuteronomistic presentation. Cf. my David, Saul und die Propheten, 2nd edn, pp. 92-99. 2. A bit of deuteronomistic fever has also spilled over into prophetic research; cf. e.g., the two-volume Isaiah commentary of O. Kaiser (Das Buck des Propheten Jesaja, Kapitel 1-12 [ATD 17; Gottingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 5th edn, 1981]; Kapitel 13-39 [ATD 18; Gottingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 3rd edn, 1983]) and the reply of L. Perlitt, ('Jesaja und die Deuteronomisten' in V. Fritz et al. [eds.], Prophet und Prophetenbuch: Festschrift fiir Otto Kaiser turn 65. Geburtstag [BZAW 185; Berlin: de Gruyter, 1989], pp. 133-49). 3. Extreme examples of this can be found in E. Wurthwein (Die Bucher der Konige. 1 Ron. 17-2 Kon. 25 [ATD 11.2; Gottingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1984] and Die Bucher der Konige: 1 Kon. 1-16 [ATD 11.1; Gottingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2nd edn, 1985]), C. Levin (Der Sturz der Konigin Atalja: Bin Kapitel zur Geschichte Judas im 9. Jahrhundert v. Chr. [SBS 105; Stuttgart: Katholisches Bibelwerk, 1982]) and Y. Minokami (Die Revolution des Jehu [GTA 38; Gottingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1989])all in the domain of the so-called 'Gottingen school'. 4. This step has for the most part already been taken by R.A. Carlson (David, the Chosen King: A Traditio-Historical Approach to the Second Book of Samuel [trans. E.J. Sharpe and S. Rudman; Stockholm: Almqvist & Wiksell, 1964]), J. Van Seters (In Search of History: Historiography in the Ancient World and the Origins of Biblical History [New Haven: Yale University Press, 1983]), B. Peckham ('The


The History of Israel's Traditions

just about anythingentertaining, instructive, profoundexcept historically meaningful for the pre-exilic period. It can be this at best for the (post-)exilic period. Now there can be no doubt that every word from Deuteronomy to 2 Kings has come to us through the hands of deuteronomistic redaction. And there can also be no doubt that it is justified, indeed necessary, to appreciate and take seriously the form of the text that lies before us, since the final author and every postulated predecessor considered his edition to be a complete and meaningful entity. Let us not forget that it was Noth who, in a quite modern fashion, focused attention on the final redaction and its techniques and intentions. I do not think he was mistaken when he perceived a decidedly historiographic interest. He may have underestimated the narrative skill of his 'Dtr',1 but the isolation of source material and redactional texts remains both necessary and possible.2 Yet it is also necessary to address questions pertaining to the criteria to be used and the conclusions to be drawn. For future research the 'proof from language' must certainly remain the primary indication of deuteronomistic redactionbut not the sole indication. The classical literary-critical criteria of tensions and doublets remain valid, primarily for distinguishing between underlying sources and redactional texts, possibly also between redactional layers. It can, of course, be objected that such a method transforms material problems into historical sequences and merely attributes the inconsistencies to the final edition. Nevertheless, when applied with restraint and sensitivity it
Deuteronomistic History of Saul', ZAW 97 [1985], pp. 189-209), D.V. Edelman (King Saul in the Historiography ofJudah [JSOTSup 121; Sheffield: JSOT Press, 1991]) and in the voluminous work of J.P. Fokkelman (Narrative Art and Poetry in the Books of Samuel: A Full Interpretation Based on Stylistic and Structural Analyses, I, King David [II Sam. 9-20 & I Kings 1-2] [Assen: Van Gorcum, 1981]; II, The Crossing Fates [I Sam. 13-31 & II Sam. 1] [Assen: Van Gorcum, 1986]; III, Throne and City [II Sam. 2-8 & 21-24] [Assen: Van Gorcum, 1990]). 1. Although in the case of 1 Sam. 8-12 he tended instead to overestimate it! 2. In the studies based on the strata model it is becoming apparent that not only the first redaction, DtrH, but also the later redactions tapped source material upon which they based their presentations: DtrP upon a 'Book of Prophetic Narratives' (Dietrich,David, Saul und die Propheten,2nd. edn, pp. 38-49), DtrN upon the fable of Jotham in Judg. 9.7-15 (Veijola, Das Konigtum, pp. 100-14) as well as the lists of unconquered cities in Judg. 1.27-36 (Smend, 'Das Gesetz und die Volker') and of Solomonic construction projects in 1 Kgs 9.15ff (Dietrich, 'Das harte Joch [1 Kon 12,4]: Fronarbeit in der Salomo-Uberlieferung', BN34 [1986], pp. 7-16).

DIETRICH Martin Noth and the Future


affords the most plausible explanation and at the same time has the invaluable advantage of historical depth. The Deuteronomistic History did not flow from a single pen but grew perceptively over time. To confirm this impression one need only cast a glance at the Chronicler's History, which Noth incorrectly characterized as 'in disposition and kind...the nearest relative'.1 Chr.2 conceptualizes and formulates much more freely than the deuteronomistic redaction, and in his own way also more creatively. Although he draws upon older tradition (the Pentateuch and the Deuteronomistic History), his concern is not to pass them on (in contrast to the sources of the Deuteronomistic History, they continue as independent works) but to interpret them.3 This is not to say that the deuteronomistic redactors did not intend to interpret their sources. But in line with their primary concern, in Noth's words, they collected, selected and 'linked the various traditions...and tried to eliminate inconsistencies between them'.4 This leads us to another criterion for discerning redactional activity: the historical horizon of a redaction is as broad as the combined horizons of its sources. Wherever a text points beyond itself to other contexts, it is suspect of being redactional in origin, whether its language is 'typically deuteronomistic' or not. Thus, an important criterion for the attribution of a text to a redactional layer is an overarching horizon or perspective which is not confined to the individual unit. Yet this raises another difficulty: in certain bodies of literature the deuteronomistic redaction was not the first but the last to rework the older material.5
1. My translation, US, p. 156; cf. CH, p. 76. 2. Not the composer of the Chronistic History including Ezra and Nehemiah, as Noth (and many others) hold, and not the Chroniclers (plural), as D.N. Freedman ('The Chronicler's Purpose', CBQ 23 [1961], pp. 436-42), who dates the first edition to the exile, holds! 3. Cf. especially T. Willi, Die Chronik als Auslegung: Untersuchungen zur literarischen Gestaltung der historischen Uberlieferung Israels (FRLANT 106; Gottingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1972). 4. VS, p. (95-)98; DH, p. (129-)131. 5. Noth was aware of this problem. He reckoned with the presence of a finished block of material in Deut. 5-30, with a pre-deuteronomistic collection of Benjaminite settlement narratives in Josh. *2-9, curiously though not with a pre-deuteronomistic 'Retterbuch' in Judg. 3-12 or 3-16 (cf. the works of W. Richter, Traditionsgeschichtliche Untersuchungen turn Richterbuch [BBB 18; Bonn: Peter Hanstein, 2nd edn, 1966 (1963)] and Die Bearbeitungen des 'Retterbuches' in der deuteronomischen Epoche [BBB 21; Bonn: Peter Hanstein, 1964]) and then again


The History of Israel's Traditions

In the books of Samuel, for example, at least three stages are perceptible. First, the author of the Succession Narrative combined individual reports, perhaps also earlier compositions, in a quasi-redactional manner, though with great freedom, into a continuous narrative. His extremely critical attitude toward the monarchy has been significantly softened by a pro-Davidic redaction.1 It appears that this layer, which is to be dated to the mid-monarchic period and located at the court of Jerusalem, was responsible for the inclusion of the history of Saul and David to precede the Succession Narrative.2 The deuteronomistic redaction then took this complex of tradition and, presumably in an initial stage, transformed it into the transition from the period of the judges to the monarchic period. Later stages subsequently added 'prophetic' and 'nomistic' material critical of the monarchy.3 The analysis is thus confronted with the question of which redactional texts are to be attributed to which redactional layers.4 Should large portions be assigned to the pre-deuteronomistic levels but only small

with essentially completed blocks of tradition for the history of the first kings and, finally, from 1 Kgs 12 on with the 'Chronicles of the Kings' and collections of prophetic narratives. Noth, however, was not interested in the redaction of these older works and their relationship to the deuteronomistic redaction. 1. Cf. E. Wtirtwein (Die Erzdhlung von der Thronfolge Davidstheologische oder politische Geschichtsschreibung? [Theologische Studien 115; Zurich: Theologischer Verlag, 1974]), F. Langlamet ('Pour ou contre Salomon? La redaction pro-salomonienne de 1 Rois, I-IF, RB 83 [1976], pp. 321-79, 481-528) and my David, Saul und die Propheten, 2nd edn, pp. 103-13. 2. Three earlier traditions serve this redaction as sutures connecting * 1 Sam. 9-2 Sam. 5 and *2 Sam. 9-1 Kgs 2: the transfer of the ark to Jerusalem (2 Sam. 6), Nathan's prophecy (2 Sam. 7.11-16extensively touched up) and the wars of David (2 Sam. 8). The order of presentation is well considered: David, having just captured Jerusalem and defeated the Philistines, brings the ark to his new residence as a gesture of thanks to God and then receives God's promise and God's help against all external enemies before having to address the internal problems of the empire and the royal house. 3. This view agrees partly with, but is clearly distinct from, the thesis of Campbell (Of Prophets and Kings), who advocates a 'Prophetic Record' that originated in the ninth century in the circles around Elisha and spanned the period from Saul to Jehu. 4. The next question is then: Which older traditions were utilized by each of the redactions?

DIETRICH Martin Noth and the Future


amounts to the deuteronomistic level,1 or vice versa?2 A basic rule is that the later a redactional layer or historical presentation is, the more extensive it becomes and the broader its historical horizon. One is certainly on deuteronomistic ground where the redactional perspective effectively spans the entire deuteronomistic history from settlement to exile.3 The remaining pre-deuteronomistic material must then be examined to determine the extent to which it is comprised of individual traditions4 orand this is likely to be the ruleof already edited text complexes. In the latter case, the scope, location and intention of the respective redaction(s) need to be clarified, and then in turn these text complexes examined to determine the extent to which they are comprised of individual traditions or betray traces of redactional activity. Ideally, the diachronic investigation results in a historically and
1. So implicitly Noth. With regard to the Succession Narrative this is also the position of L. Rost (Die Uberlieferung von der Thronnachfolge Davids [BWANT 3.6; Stuttgart: Kohlhammer, 1926]; ET The Succession to the Throne of David [Historic Texts and Interpreters Series, 1; Sheffield: Almond Press, 1982]), who attributed to it the utilization of the Ark Narrative, Nathan's prophecy and the report on the Ammonite war, and hence also a many-faceted message. 2. So Veijola, who consistently credits the redaction of the entire David tradition to a deuteronomistic account. E.g., the pro-dynastic passages in 1 Kgs 1.36-37; 2.510 and 1 Sam. 25.*21-34 which, according to Veijola (Die ewige Dynastic: David und die Entstehung seiner Dynastic nach der deuteronomistischen Darstellung [AASF, B, 193; Helsinki: Suomalainen Tiedeakatemia, 1975], pp. 16-23,47-55), are all deuteronomistic. Veijola correctly notes that the horizon of the respective narratives extends beyond them. It does not, however, extend backwards to Moses and forwards to the exile but is limited to the (not yet concluded) monarchic period. 3. This appears to be the case for the prophetic 'threats' and the accompanying 'notations of fulfillment' in Kings (attributed by me to DtrP; Prophetic und Geschichte). Already the Deuteronomic Moses treats the issue of prophecy precisely from the perspective of its fulfillment (Deut. 18). Also, similar prophecies of disasterthe similarity itself betraying a broad horizonrun through the books of Kings and are aimed first at the fall of northern dynasties and of the northern kingdom (2 Kgs 17.21-23!), and then at the decline (2 Kgs 21.10-15) and fall (2 Kgs 22.1520) of the southern kingdom. Campbell (Of Prophets and Kings, pp. 5-11) has objected to this view because of the lack of deuteronomistic language. But deuteronomists do not always have to speak deuteronomistically. On the other hand, the strongly Jeremianic language in these texts (cf. Dietrich, Prophetic und Geschichte, pp. 70-79) is not exactly favorable to Campbell's hypothesis of a 'Prophetic Record' of the ninth century. 4. DtrN seems to have been fond of employing such traditions; cf. above p. 162 n. 2.


The History of Israel's Traditions

theologically differentiated picture of the incremental development1 of the extant 'comprehensive historical work'.2 Every source and every redaction must be examined for its historical value. The narrator of the Succession Narrative, indeed even his possible sources,3 do not dispassionately relate historical facts. They ardently paint historical pictures. In so doing they no doubt provide valuable historical information, which, however, must be carefully gleaned and processed. The same holds for all subsequent redactions and their sources, whereby the historical value of the sources will generally be greater than that of the redaction. Also, the closer a source or redaction is to the events it portrays and the softer the ideological coloring in which it presents them, the more suitable it is for reconstructing the actual course of history. It is a direct witness for the period of its origin,4 about which, however, it rarely speaks directly but almost always
1. In both procedure and desired result, this agrees with the 'Kompositionskritik' of E. Blum. In his 1984 book (Die Komposition der Vatergeschichte [WMANT 57; Neukirchen-Vluyn: Neukirchener Verlag), Blum presents a model of the successive growth of the patriarchal narratives (Gen. 18-50) from the early monarchic period to the exilic period and then the Persian period for the P-version. In his 1990 book (Studien zur Komposition des Pentateuch [BZAW 189; Berlin: de Gruyter]), he attempts to present the pre-Priestly Tetrateuch, of which the patriarchal narratives are only one component, as a single redaction that is chronologically later than the Deuteronomistic History but that precedes it both geographically and thematically. Of course, this massive expansion of the history of Israel back to the primeval history had to have repercussions for the corpus in Deut.2 Kgs. Hence, it is no wonder that the final redactional layer ('DtrN') cannot everywhere be comprehended as the work of a single person. On this, see the observations of Smend ('Das Gesetz und die Vb'lker') on the two layers in Josh. 1.7-9. To this may be added texts such as Deut. 4; 1 Kgs 8 and 2 Kgs 17, which evince a lengthy, late-deuteronomistic history of interpretation. 2. This is Noth's expression (US p. 89 [Traditionswerk']; DH, p. 120). 3. Such sources have been seen in the report on the war against the Ammonites (2 Sam. *10-12) or in a series of narratives about Absalom's revolt (2 Sam. *1320). 4. This also includes 'recent history'. It is hence precarious when H.D. Hoffmann (Reform und Reformen: Untersuchungen zu einem Grundthema der deuteronomistischen Geschichtsschreibung [ATANT 66; Zurich: Theologischer Verlag, 1980], p. 166) declares the tyrannical and heretical character of Manasseh to be a deuteronomistic construct intended as a 'negative foil for the subsequent reform of Josiah', which itself has been deuteronomistically enhanced. The Deuteronomists could hardly have been so free-wheeling with events still fresh in people's memory.

DIETRICH Martin Noth and the Future


indirectly through the medium of history.1 At all levels of its development2 the Deuteronomistic History exhibits what might be termed a historical eros. The love of historynot necessarily as it really was, but as it truly could have or should have or should not have beenreveals itself in the carefully conceived manner in which the narrators and redactors preserve historical traditions, rework them and pass them on to subsequent generations. In this sense the Deuteronomistic History remains what Noth recognized it to be: a historical source of the first order. 3. Setting and Objective of the Deuteronomistic History According to Noth, Dtr 'did not write his history...to satisfy a curiosity about national history, but intended to teach the true meaning of the history of Israel...The meaning which he discovered was that God was recognizably at work in this history.'3 The question of the place of history in the Deuteronomistic opus has not only a historical but also a theological dimension. The author or authors felt that they could best describe the activity and nature of God by writing the history of Israel. What Israel experienced in its history was neither random nor inadvertent, since in those experiences God was encountered. It is therefore not inconsequential which aspects of Israel's history are reported and whether these reports are pure fiction or have some basis in reality. To be more concrete, it is theologically meaningful that Israel was not always in possession of the land; that in the beginning Israel was mortally threatened by its neighbors and yet, more astonishingly than logically, survived; that for a long time it existed in an acephalic tribal organization before hesitantly switching to a state organization and that its history as a state was almost constantly marked by internal and

1. This is also true for such vivid narratives as that of Jehu's putsch in 2 Kgs 910 (even if it only had the emaciated contours of the 'original' form suggested by Minokami, Die Revolution des Jehu, pp. 124-66) or that of the fall of Jerusalem in 2 Kgs 25. 2. One may be inclined to exclude to some extent complexes such as the Deuteronomic legal corpus or the Elisha traditions, but one cannot do so completely, since at some point they too were included in a chain of historical events. 3. US, p. 100; DH, p. 134.


The History of Israel's Traditions

external struggles until it finally came to a violent end.1 One might object that whether or not these things actually happened is not theologically important but only that the history of Israel was at one time so conceived. Yet, how could such conceptions come about if not on the basis of actually experienced (and also consciously contemplated) history? Israel's history was not that of the Egyptian or Assyrian empire; otherwise, it would not have been able to develop its pensive and humble view of its own history.2 The history presented in the Deuteronomistic History is more a history of suffering than of triumph. And it isboth are interconnectedthe history of the people, not 'history from above'. Events are viewed not from the vantage point of the pharaohs and great kings, not even from the perspective of the Judaean kings and the Jerusalem upper class. Noth remarks quite correctly that the 'work is not of an official nature'.3 The great individuals and the grand events of Israel's history are as a rule viewed cautiously, indeed skeptically and critically.4 There are two profound reasons for this posture: the experience of actual history and faith in the God who was experienced in that history. God tolerates neither other gods nor other persons next to him. All people stand together under God. It is God who guides their history, not arbitrarily but with righteousness. According to Noth the fundamental axiom of the Deuteronomistic History is the operation of 'a just divine retribution'.5 We can test this assessment in an area that appears to run contrary to
1. This aspect of Israel's history, which scarcely enhances a people's conception of itself, is expressed in a completely appropriate manner and with exquisite beauty and profundity in the introductory speeches of Deuteronomy (especially chs. 6-9). 2. The ancient Near Eastern attestations to history are all, to put it mildly, susceptible to what the deuteronomistic historians considered a mortal sin: selfaggrandizement. 3. US, p. 109; DH, p. 145. 4. Characteristic is the 'law of the king' (Deut. 17.14-20), which is without parallel in the thought world of the ancient Near East. Its earliest, perhaps pre-exilic, version probably merely stated that only an Israelite could be king (17.14, 15b). Significantly, already at this stage the nation is addressed with 'you' (singular) and as 'brothers', and appears as the active subject. The remainder of the text is clearly deuteronomistic. In v. 15a, DtrH casts a glance ahead to Saul (cf. 1 Sam. 10.19b-24) and in vv. 16-17 to Solomon (cf. 1 Kgs 10.28-11.4). DtrN places the king firmly within the parameters of the faithful congregation (vv. 18-20). 5. US, p. 100; DH, p. 134.

DIETRICH Martin Noth and the Future


the deuteronomistic theology of history: the treatment of King David. Is God not partisanly committed to David (and his dynasty)? Is this not a case of 'history from above'? Yes and No. In this section of the biblical history of David various feelings and viewpoints compete with one another. The narrator of the Succession Narrative sketches a deeply divided portrait of David. The court version paints a decidedly bright picture, not only by brighteningnot removingthe dark colors of his predecessor, but especially by beginning with the narrative of David's rise (* 1 Sam. 9-2 Sam. 5) with its luminous depiction of David and the glowing tradition of the transfer of the ark and Nathan's prophecy (2 Sam. 6; 7.11-16). At precisely this point the classical oriental do-utdes relationship between God and king ('grant me your favor and I will provide for your worship') looms dangerously at hand. Sensing this, the deuteronomistic redaction inserts Nathan's prohibition of the building of the temple (2 Sam. 7.1-16). It also provides a concrete example of the theoretical possibility, contained in the dynastic promise, of the 'castigation' (7.14b) of the ruler: Nathan's appearance following the affair with Bathsheba (2 Sam. 12). Where the Deuteronomists portray David positively, he humbles himself before God (2 Sam. 7.18-20) or Nathan (2 Sam. 12.13). On the other hand, they add emphatically democratic accents to the tradition and so make it clear that ultimately God is concerned with the relationship to the people, not to their king (7.10, 1 la, 22-26). What is the 'spiritual world' of this historical work? Noth observes: 'nor did it come from the priestly sphere...nor is it rooted in the attitude of the governing class'. He then seizes upon the explanationsomewhat prematurelythat 'the history was probably the independent project of one man.'1 In view of the immense variety of the materials and sources utilized, the sole perpetrator theory hardly seems credible, and it runs completely aground when one reckons not with one author but with a 'deuteronomistic school'. Noth advanced good arguments for locating this school, at least to begin with, in Babylonian-occupied Judah, perhaps specifically in the vicinity of Bethel and Mizpah.2 It was here that the governor installed by

1. US, pp. 109-110; DH, p. 145; italics mine. 2. Cf. US, pp. 58 and 110, n. 1; DH, pp. 81 and 145, n. 1. T. Veijola (Verheissung in der Krise: Studien zur Literatur und Theologie der Exilszeit anhand des 89. Psalms [AASF, B, 220; Helsinki: Suomalainen Tiedeakatemia, 1982],


The History of Israel's Traditions

the Babylonians, Gedaliah, a scion of the Shaphan family, which was associated with both Josiah and Jeremiah,1 sought to gather 'the poorest of the land' .2 At this point a social development comes full circle: Deuteronomic movement, Josiah, Shaphan family, Jeremiah, the simple people deuteronomistic school! Everything in the Deuteronomistic History has a place in the resulting picture:3 the simple language, thought patterns influenced by Deuteronomy and by prophecy,4 the primacy of the people over against state institutions, such as the monarchy and the state cultus, and not least of all, the recognition of divine judgment in the
pp. 190-97) has expanded on this by convincingly locating lamentation ceremonies in Mizpah and Bethel. 1. 2 Kgs 22; Jer. 26; 36. 2. 2 Kgs 25.12, 22-26. This fits well with Jeremiah's (supposedly?) proBabylonian attitude (Jer. 37, also 29) and his decision to remain in the land with Gedaliah after the catastrophe (Jer. 40). 3. R. Albertz ('Die Intentionen und die Tra'ger des Deuteronomistischen Geschichtswerks', in R. Albertz, F.W. Golka and J. Kegler [eds.], Schopfung und Befreiung: Fiir Claus Westermann turn 80. Geburtstag [Stuttgart: Calwer, 1989] pp. 37-53, esp. 46-47) wants to divide this picture into a Jeremianic and a deuteronomistic half: 'Im Unterschied zu den dtr. Redaktoren des Jeremiabuches, die weder dem Tempel noch den Davididen irgendwelche Heilsbedeutung beimaBen..., waren sie [die Kreise hinter dem dtr Geschichtswerk] fest entschlossen, an diesen beiden positiven staatlichen Heilsgaben Jahwes festzuhalten'; they were 'ausgesprochen konservativ, nationalstaatlich und staatskultisch'. After what has been said above, this assessment is hardly tenable. 4. Especially the prophecy of Jeremiah, cf. my Prophetic und Geschichte, pp. 70-79. It is no accident that the book of Jeremiah not only underwent an extensive deuteronomistic redaction but was also deuteronomistically composed. Mention should also be made of the deuteronomistic redaction of the books of Amos, Micah and Zephaniah. This also sheds some light on the question of the silence of the Deuteronomistic History on the prophets. Noth himself noted that 'Dtr.'s work nowhere refers to the words of what are known as the writing prophets' and that 'in Dtr.'s time, collections of their prophecies did not yet exist' (US, pp. 97-98; DH, pp. 130-31). I would like to argue in the reverse direction: first, several prophets of disaster appear in the Deuteronomistic History; secondly, extensive deuteronomistically redacted prophetic books were at the disposal of the deuteronomistic school. Why should they combine everything? The quest for material reasons for the Deuteronomists' rejection and suppression of the message of Amos, Hosea and Micah (so C.T. Begg, 'The Non-mention of Amos, Hosea and Micah in the Deuteronomistic History', BN 32 [1986], pp. 41-53) seems to me not only unnecessary but also inappropriate.

DIETRICH Martin Noth and the Future


form of the Babylonians on the people of God.1 But the question remains whether submission to the punishing hand of God is the sole 'kerygma of the Deuteronomistic History' or whether there are in fact several 'kerygmata' .2 For Noth the situation was clear: Dtr wrote a history 'of ever-intensifying decline' and saw the divine judgment of 587 'as something final and definitive and he expressed no hope for the future'.3 In this negative characterization Noth has found not only followers4 but also detractors. Does this work not repeatedly speak of repentance and the new beginning it makes possible?5 Does it not also describe the 1. A glance at the attitude expressed in Lamentations may add greater clarity to the picture. Here, too, the judgment of God is acknowledged as just (1.14, 18), but the loss of the monarchy and the temple (2.1-22; 4.20; 5.16-18) and the decimation and deportation of the upper class (1.5-6; 4.7; 5.12) are also more intensely lamented, and there are self-recriminations for having listened to the national prophets of salvation (2.14; 4.13). Such thoughts and the cultivated language reveal a sociological proximity to the upper class but also a theological willingness to repent. The label placed on the group responsible for the Deuteronomistic history by Albertz ('Die Intentionen', p. 49) may well be more appropriate for Lamentations: 'the children and grandchildren of deceased or unemployed priests, temple prophets and civil servants of the national-religious party', who sought a 'theological compromise' between 'prophecy of judgment' and their own 'national-religious convictions'. 2. Cf. H.W. Wolff ('Das Kerygma des deuteronomistischen Geschichtswerkes', ZAW13 [1961], pp. 171-86) and N. Lohfink ('Kerygmata des deuteronomistischen Geschichtswerks', in J. Jeremias and L. Perlitt [eds.], Die Botschaft und die Boten: Festschrift fur Hans Walter Wolff zum 70. Geburtstag [Neukirchen-Vluyn: Neukirchener Verlag, 1981], pp. 87-100). 3. US, pp. 91, 108; DH, pp. 122, 143. 4. G. von Rad called the Deuteronomistic History 'eine groBe, aus dem Kultischen ins Literarische transponierte "Gerichtsdoxologie"' (Theologie des Alien Testaments, I [4th edn] 1962, p. 355). I myself described (only!) the work of the first redactor, DtrH, as an 'Atiologie des Nullpunkts' (Prophetic und Geschichte, p. 141), whereas for L. Schmidt ('Deuteronomistisches Geschichtswerk', in HJ. Boecker et al. [eds.], Altes Testament [Neukirchener Arbeitsbiicher; Neukirchen-Vluyn: Neukirchener Verlag, 1983], pp. 101-14 [112]) it is 'ein Bekenntnis der Schuld Israels und ein Lobpreis Jahwes'. In the block model the trajectory of decline is attributed (solely) to the second, exilic redactor. 5. Wolff ('Das Kerygma') draws upon passages considered secondarydeuteronomistic by Noth (and the 'Gottingen school'); however, though less explicit, the necessity of an 'unequivocal return to YHWH' ('riickhaltlose Hinkehr zu Jahwe', Dietrich, Prophetic und Geschichte, p. 141) is also indicated in primary deuteronomistic texts.


The History of Israel's Traditions

'good' that God has done and that Israel should and can do?1 Could it present the conquest and consolidation of the land as such a grand success;2 could it describe in such detail the construction and fate of the Jerusalem temple;3 could it harbor such a positive view of David and some of his successors4 and conclude with the notice about the pardon of the last Davidide legitimately to sit on the throne5could it do all that strictly out of an antiquarian interest in the past without any thought of or consideration for a new future made possible by God's goodness? Noth is certainly correct that the Deuteronomistic History gives expression to a mortifying experience of catastrophe. The question, though, is whether this has a strictly negative judgmental intention and effect, or whether it also possesses a positive, uplifting effect. If the overall deuteronomistic view of humankind appears more skeptical than optimistic, its view of God more demanding and punishing than friendly and consoling, it is in this regard inherently related to prophetic theology and anthropology. Perhaps it can be said that the deuteronomistic movement marks the breakthrough of critical prophecy from marginalization to canonization. To be sure, this breakthrough did not occur in a single instant nor with a single person,6 but rather in stages, as
1. W. Brueggemann, The Kerygma of the Deuteronomistic Historian', Int 22 (1968), pp. 387-402. 2. G.E. Wright, 'Israel in the Promised Land: History Interpreted by a Covenant of Faith', Encounter 35 (1974), pp. 318-34; cf. also the brief remark of Smend (Entstehung des Alien Testaments [4th edn], p. 124): 'Und ob man sagen darf, die beiden groBen Themen des Landes und des Konigs seien fiir DtrH erledigte Vergangenheit?' 3. Noth reflected extensively on the central importance of the temple for Dtr (US, pp. 104-107; DH, pp. 138-42) and saw that the dedicatory prayer (1 Kgs 8.44-53) has the future beyond the catastrophe in view (US, p. 108; DH, p. 143). Nevertheless, he considered only Dtr's view of sacrifices at other sanctuaries prior to the construction of the temple and Dtr's lack of interest in the actual temple worship to be important. But can this really be said, given the factual situation following 587 and in light of such passages as 2 Sam. 6.13 and 1 Kgs 8.54-56? 4. According to Cross (Canaanite Myth, p. 284), the first edition of the Deuteronomistic History can 'be described as a propaganda work of the Josianic reformation and imperial program'. Individuals such as David and Hezekiah, and even Joshua (R.D. Nelson, 'Josiah in the Book of Joshua', JBL 100 [1981], pp. 53140), prefigure the ideal king, Josiah. 5. E. Zenger, 'Die deuteronomistische Interpretation der Rehabilitierung Jojachins', BZ 12 (1968), pp. 16-30. 6. Noth also clearly separates his Dtr from prophecy (US, p. 110; DH, p. 145).

DIETRICH Martin Noth and the Future


attested not only in the extensive cultivation of prophetic tradition in the deuteronomistic school but also within the Deuteronomistic History itself. The first edition closely followed the earlier salvific acts of YHWH on this point all redactional models are agreed. But already at this stage it is difficult to overlook the grim mood concerning the faithlessness of Israel and the wrath and judgment of YHWH. In the course of the redactional history the tendency toward an unrelenting reckoning with the past increased, while at the same time a perspective for a renewed future became apparent. There emerged the contours of a new selfunderstanding which, although arising out of historical experience, nevertheless divested itself of constitutive elements of that previous history. Full possession of the land, the guaranteed local presence of YHWH in the Jerusalem temple, national sovereignty and a native king were no longer considered essential to Israel's existence. In this regard the deuteronomistic movement underwent some radical rethinking, which was vital to Israel's survival in the face of one of its most severe crises.1 Martin Noth understood the Deuteronomistic History as a type of theodicy, an attempt to comprehend and justify the divine judgment.2 Others have correctly wondered if the category of lament might not be more appropriate:3 the presentation of the history of Israel as an extended lament over the repeated failure of the people of God and the resulting loss of the good gifts of God. But lamentation in the Old Testament (as in the entire ancient Near East) entails various aspects: that associated with woe and that associated with accusation, that associated with the acquiescence to one's suffering and that associated with the refusal to acquiesce.4 Of these, Martin Noth was prone to focus on
1. It must be seriously questioned whether in the eyes of the Deuteronomists the Babylonian exile was so incomparably more significant than other catastrophes, as modern (nota bene: Christian!) research maintains (and not just in the interests of a clear distinction between 'Israel'/pre-exilic and 'Judaism'/post-exilic). IsraeliteJewish history is, lamentably, full of catastrophes, including that of 30 or 33 CE, as well as those of 722 BCE, 70 CE and during 'the thousand year Reich'. 2. Cf. the formulation, citing Noth, of J.N. Carreira ('Formen des Geschichtsdenkens in altorientalischer und alttestamentlicher Geschichtsschreibung', 5Z31 [1987], pp. 36-57 [56]): 'eine grandiose Theodizee in Form einer Erzahlung'. 3. Veijola (Verheissung, pp. 206-207), picking up some intimations of Zimmerli and Westermann. 4. Cf. C. Westermann, Lob und Klage in den Psalmen (Gottingen:


The History of Israel's Traditions

the aspects of resignation and to neglect the aspects of innovation. The Deuteronomistic History indicts not Israel generally but early Israel, and not early Israel generally but Israel after the settlement in Canaan, and even then not generally but only for specific eras between which good periods were interspersed. During the monarchy it blames primarily the kings.1 In short, those responsible for the disaster are identified. This occurs in the laments in order to make the guilt punishable and hence to allow the suffering to cease.2 Those accused in the Deuteronomistic History have long ago atoned for their guilt3most recently through the two deportations of the politically responsible upper class to Babylonia.4 So what stands in the way of YHWH's turning in love and forgiveness toward those left behind in Judah? Furthermore, nothing in the deuteronomistic presentation of history suggests that the allocation of guilt occurs only within and not also without. Are the motives of Israel's enemiesthe Midianites, Philistines, Assyrians and finally the Babyloniansbeyond reproach? Clearly God brings about Israel's deserved punishment through them, but that does not in itself legitimize their actions. This is indicated by the fact that, when Israel placed its trust in and followed God, the nation won various victories over its enemies, even when these had previously been God's chosen instruments. If God had not allowed Israel's trees to reach to the heavens, would those of Israel's enemies have been allowed to reach such heights? Finally, in the laments God also frequently stands accused. No Deuteronomist would maintain that God's punishments of Israel were
Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 5th edn, 1977), pp. 125ff. 1. The issue is not simply improper cultic activity. The Deuteronomists are not nearly as myopic as their reputation would have it; cf. Judg. 8-9; 19-21; 1 Sam. 1112; 1 Kgs21. 2. This is the purpose of the individual and corporate laments sung when enemies threaten or attack. 3. The unfaithful generations of the period of the judges through enemy attacks, the immoral kings through both external and internal enemies. In this regard there is much latitude for shaping and adopting old tradition: Saul's punishment lies in his rejection in favor of David and in his defeat at the hands of the Philistines, that of David in the revolts of his sons, that of Solomon in the loss of vassals and northern tribes, that of most northern dynasties in their overthrow, etc. 4. In particular, the members of the royal household were subjected to especially severe punishments; cf. 2 Kgs 24.15 and 25.7. Can the notice in 2 Kgs 25.27-30 be interpreted in this light, as a sign that even the guilt of the kings has been atoned?

DIETRICH Martin Noth and the Future


arbitrary.1 But the punishment did not have to be as it was, nor did God have to insist further on divine rights. Many instances in the Deuteronomistic History show that God could also place mercy before justice.2 Why should God not do likewise in the current situation of the exile? The blow inflicted by the Babylonians had shattered something very precious to Israel: a picture, painted in bright and soothing colors, of itself, of its God YHWH and of its relationship to YHWH. The Deuteronomistic History attempts to show that already at an early stage the canvas on which that picture was painted had the cracks and tears that inevitably led to its deterioration. But although the canvas had been destroyed, what was depicted in the picture had not: YHWH (although one could very well have lost faith in YHWH), Israel (although it was exposed to mortal dangers) and the exclusive relationship between YHWH and Israel (although it now seemed at an end). The Deuteronomistic History presents YHWH as the one who was, is and remains turned toward Israel, whether in affection or in anger. For God's anger is nothing other than the form of God's turning toward Israel that is appropriate to Israel's turning away from God. Why should God not again be able to turn toward Israel in affection?3

1. Given the movement from the sin of (only) the sons of Eli (1 Sam. 2.11-17) to the punishment of (all) Israel in the defeat by the Philistines (1 Sam. 4), Eslinger ('Viewpoints') considers this idea at least a possibility. He then draws (excessively) far-reaching conclusions from this for the roles played by the participants in the conflict of 1 Sam. 8-12. 2. And that not only when a guilty person repents (2 Sam. 12.13-14; 1 Kgs 21.27-29), but also when it is completely undeserved. Cf., e.g., the passages with n(y)r (1 Kgs 11.36; 15.4; 2 Kgs 8.19), which are incorrectly interpreted by some exegetes as evidence of a pre-exilic historical work that does not yet reckon with the judgment of 587. 3. Our calculating mode of thought demands the prior repentance of Israel, yet the Deuteronomistic History speaks of this only in a few, late passages (a point not sufficiently appreciated by Wolff, 'Das Kerygma'). Israel's hope depends not on its ability to return to YHWH but on YHWH's willingness to turn to Israel. This alternative is profoundly contemplated in Hosea (cf. J. Jeremias, 'Zur Eschatologie des Hoseabuches', in Jeremias and Perlitt [eds.], Die Botschaft und die Boten, pp. 21734) and in Deuteronomy (cf. L. Perlitt, ' "Evangelium" und Gesetz im Deuteronomium', in T. Veijola (ed.), The Law in the Bible and Its Environment [Publications of the Finnish Exegetical Society 51; Helsinki: Finnish Exegetical Society; Gottingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1990], pp. 23-38).

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THE BOOK OF DEUTERONOMY Thomas Romer 1. Martin Noth and Deuteronomy a. Research on Deuteronomy before Martin Noth When Martin Noth wrote his US in 1943, Deuteronomy was not a focus of attention in Old Testament scholarship. Since Wellhausen, it had found its (maybe somewhat special) place in the Documentary Hypothesis. The identification of the 'Urdeuteronomium' with the lawbook of Josiah's reform had been widely accepted since de Wette's 'Dissertatio criticoexegetical',1 and Noth did not find it necessary to dispute the point.2 Of course, the reconstruction of the nucleus of Deuteronomy was debated and literary-critical approaches proliferated. In the 1940s most scholars took the book of Deuteronomy to be a combination of different editions of an original work. This view was made credible to German scholarship through Steuernagel's commentary on Deuteronomy,3 to which Noth often refers. Noth's US contributed significantly toward halting this 'multiple editions-hypothesis'. Quoting Holscher,4 he declared such an idea 'implausible because of the contrived and complicated literary processes which it presupposes'.5 For Noth, as for others, the original edition of Deuteronomy lay in chs. 6-28*, especially in the passages with
1. 'Dissertatio critico-exegetica qua Deuteronomium a prioribus Pentateuchi libris diversum, alius cuiusdam recentioris auctoris opus esse monstratur' (Jena, 1805). For the history of research on Deuteronomy before Noth, cf. S. Loersch, Das Deuteronomium und seine Deutungen: Ein forschungsgeschichtlicher Uberblick (SBS 22; Stuttgart: Katholisches Bibelwerk, 1967). 2. Noth, US, p. 92, n. 1; DH, p. 124, n. 1. 3. C. Steuernagel, Das Deuteronomium (HKAT 1.3; Gottingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2nd edn, 1923). 4. G. Holscher, 'Komposition und Ursprung des Deuteronomiums', ZAW 40 (1922), pp. 161-225. 5. Noth, OS, p. 16; DH, p. 32.

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singular addressees.1 There was nothing very new here. The novelty in Noth's treatment of Deuteronomy consisted in ascribing it a new contextthe 'Deuteronomistic History'. It is astonishing to discover, though, that the book of Deuteronomy did not play a major role in Noth' s conception of the Deuteronomistic History. b. Deuteronomy and Deuteronomistic History In order to describe the structure and coherence of the Deuteronomistic History, Noth began his inquiry with the books of Joshua-Kings, 'in which Dtr is most conspicuous'.2 The whole description of particular features of the Deuteronomistic Historythe insertion of speeches at crucial points of history, stylistic and linguistic uniformity and the use of old traditionswas made without any reference to Deuteronomy.3 The latter came into consideration only when Noth dealt with the actual beginning of the History. This beginning did not seem very clear cut to Noth, so he proceeded by via negationis. He stated that 'there is no sign of "deuteronomistic editing" in Genesis-Numbers'4 (a view that is less obvious today than it was to Noth). Hence, the most likely beginning of the Deuteronomistic History was Deuteronomy, where direct links to the following history (31.1-13; 34*) appeared for the first time. More important still was Noth's observation that Deuteronomy 13(4) did not function as an introduction to the Deuteronomic law (chs. 12-25), but as a prelude to the entire Deuteronomistic History. This thesis explains why these chapters have no essential contact with the law and why they contain doublets to the exodus and wilderness traditions of the Tetrateuch.5 Herein lies one of Noth's major contributions to research on Deuteronomy, since his insights are still accepted today (with some modifications) by most scholars.6 According to Noth,

1. Noth, OS, pp. 16-18; DH, pp. 32-33. 2. Noth, OS, p. 4; DH, p. 18. 3. Noth, US, pp. 3-12; DH, pp. 17-26. The English translation is problematic on p. 24 (US, p. 10). Noth does not say that the unity of the Deuteronomistic History is apparent 'only' when considering the use of material from the old tradition. The expression he uses ('erst recht') should be translated 'especially'. 4. Noth, 05, p. 13; DH, p. 28. 5. Noth, OS, pp. 13-15; DH, pp. 28-30. 6. See the statement of M.A. O'Brien, The Deuteronomistic History Hypothesis: A Reassessment (OBO 92; Freiburg: Universitatsverlag; Gottingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1989), p. 56 and the history of research on Deut. 1-3 by


The History of Israel's Traditions

with chs. 1-3*, and 31, 34* Dtr provided a framework that placed the law into historiography, as read in 4.44-30.20. Noth's further interest in Deuteronomy was therefore limited to the framework. There was no more need for him 'to consider the literary history of the Deuteronomic Law in further detail'.1 This did not mean that the kernel of chs. 5-30 came from a single hand; rather, Noth concluded that it had undergone a great deal of unrelated editing, to which belong the passages with plural addressees as well as the Decalogue in ch. 5. Although Noth avoided a detailed investigation of this point, it is clear that a diachronic analysis of Deuteronomy can hardly do with only two layers (Deuteronomic and deuteronomistic). In his analysis of the framework, Noth detected a large number of later additions to the work of Dtr. c. Deuteronomy and Diachrony After a somewhat general presentation of the structure and purpose of the Deuteronomistic History, Noth examined in detail the texts that he considered deuteronomistic creations. Deuteronomy Iff. and 30ff. were characterized as the 'History of the Mosaic Period'.2 The following table summarizes Noth's results.3
text 1.1-5 source fragment of a lost account lost source cf.Exod. 18; Num. 11 same traditions that lie behind Num. 13-14 Dtr 1.1,2+ "OK1? in 5 1.6, 7*, Sabcc 1.9-18 1.19-20,22-27,28*, 31b-32,34,35*,36, 39apb, 40-46 additions 3,4,5* 'land of the Canaanites' in 7, 8b|3 21 (sing.), 'cities...' in 28, 3la (sing.), 33, 'evil generation' in 35,37,38, 39aa 7 (sing.), 9a|3b-12, 18, 19 (sing.), [2023], 24a|3b, 25

1.9-18 1.19-46


informational items dif- 2.1-6, 8,9aa, 13-17, ferent from Numbers 24aa

H.D. Preuss, Deuteronomium (ErFor 164; Darmstadt: Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft, 1982), pp. 75-84. 1. Noth, US, p. 16; DH, p. 32. 2. Cf. Noth, US, p. 27; DH, p. 45, where Noth discusses sources used by Dtr and later additions to the deuteronomistic work. 3. A.N. Radjawane ('Das deuteronomistische Geschichtswerk: Bin Forschungsbericht', TRu 38 [1974], pp. 177-216) sums up the texts that Noth considered traditional and those he thought were written by Dtr himself. But, except for Deut. 13, he does not take into account the complexity of Noth's analysis.

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text 2.26-3.22 source source lost to us, and Num. 21
Dtr 2.26-29aba, 30a, 3236,3.1,3-7,8*, 12, 13a


additions 29bp(lpl.),30b,31, 37 (sing.); 3.2 (sing.), 8*, 9-11, 13b, 14-22

3.23-29 4.1-40

31.1-8 31.9-24 on the basis of an actual practice

3.23-29 questionable whether Deut. 4* is to be attributed to Dtr or seen as later addition 1-2, 5-8,10-14, 22(sing.: secondary) 23aba, 25-27 3-4, 9, 19-21, 23bp, 24, 29-40; 15-18 ('perhaps') 31.1-2,7-8 3a, 4, 6b (sing.); 3b, 5-6a 31.9aa,(10, llapb, 9apb(?), llaa, 12a 12b-13 added later (sing.), 14-15 + 23, possibly by Dtr him- 16-22, 27-30 self), 22-24 32.1-52 33.1-29 (multiple insertions) 1*, 2, 3, 7-12


34.1,* 4-6 (only fragments)

This list shows that Noth was aware of the diachronic problems of the deuteronomistic framework of Deuteronomy. He considered at least half of chs. 14, 31-34 as later insertions by various redactors or glossators. But Noth was not interested in going into detail regarding the layers and characteristics of these additions. As will become clear, through this gap in his research Noth (unwittingly) paved the way for several diachronic theories positing two or three Deuteronomists or more in Deuteronomy and the Deuteronomistic History. As far as the kernel of Deuteronomy is concerned, Noth held that there were manifold insertions, as we have seen. But none of these 'unconnected additions'1 is linked to the deuteronomistic layer of chs. 1-3, 31, 34.2 We may, then, conclude that Noth's main interest in Deuteronomy lay in the analysis of the deuteronomistic framework. He scarcely used Deuteronomy to describe deuteronomistic ideology. Of
1. Noth, US, p. 17; DH, p.32. 2. The English translation (DH, p. 135) indicates that 9.9ff. and 10. Iff. were written by Dtr, but the German original (US, p. 101) suggests that these texts were theological Vorlagen for Dtr.


The History of Israel's Traditions

course, he stated that 'Dtr. has centered his history on the theme of worship of God as required by the law,'1 but he did not investigate the structure and editing of the law any further; he merely remarked that 'law' for Dtr meant the ordinances about worship of 'other gods' and cultic centralization and that 'he apparently ignores the rest of the law',2 Nevertheless, Noth detected theological continuity between Deuteronomic law and Dtr, when he implied that all texts in Deuteronomy that mention the possibility of a new future after judgment were very late additions, attributable to the final redactors of the Pentateuch.3 A few remarks about the link between Deuteronomy and Pentateuch, are, thus, in order. d. Deuteronomy and the Pentateuch From Wellhausen to von Rad, critical scholarship had seen in the book of Joshua the logical conclusion to the account of Israel's origins as told by the Pentateuchal sources. It was therefore common to speak of a Hexateuch instead of a Pentateuch.4 Noth's investigations on Deuteronomy made this perception much less attractive: if the first
1. Noth, OS, p. 103; DH, p. 137. 2. Noth, US, p. 94; DH, p. 125. In 1940 Noth wrote Die Gesetze im Pentateuch: Ihre Voraussetzungen und ihr Sinn (Schriften der Konigsberger gelehrten Gesellschaft, Geisteswissenschaftliche Klasse, 17.2; Halle/Saale: Niemeyer; repr. in Gesammelte Studien zum Alien Testament [TBii 6; Munich: Chr. Kaiser Verlag, 3rd edn, 1966], pp. 9-141; ET, The Laws in the Pentateuch and Other Essays [London: SCM Press, 2nd edn, 1984]). In this essay he intended to show that the Deuteronomic law had been 'perverted' by the Josianic reform, because it was used exclusively to legitimate the centralization of worship (cf. pp. 55-67). In his 1938 article, '"Die mit des Gesetzes Werken umgehen, die sind unter dem Fluch"', in In piam memoriam Alexander von Bulmerincq (Abhandlungen der Herder-Gesellschaft und des Herder-Institut zu Riga 6.3; Riga: Plates), pp. 127-45 (repr. in Gesammelte Studien, pp. 155-71), it becomes quite clear that Noth is aware of the diachronic problems of Deut. 12-26. 3. Noth, US, p. 109; DH, p. 144. The passages in question are especially Deut. 4.29ff.; 10.16; 30. Iff. Noth refers to G. von Rad, Das Gottesvolk im Deuteronomium (BWANT 47; Stuttgart: Kohlhammer, 1929), pp. 70-71; repr. in Gesammelte Studien zum Alien Testament II (TBii 48; Munich: Chr. Kaiser Verlag, 1973), pp. 9-108 (7879). 4. Cf. von Rad's famous Das formgeschichtliche Problem des Hexateuch (BWANT 78; Stuttgart: Kohlhammer, 1938) repr. in Gesammelte Studien zum Alien Testament (TBu 8; Munich: Chr. Kaiser Verlag, 4th edn, 1971), pp. 9-86; ET, The Problem of the Hexateuch and Other Essays (London: SCM Press, 2nd edn, 1984).

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corpus into which Deuteronomy was incorporated was the Deuteronomistic History, then there was no reason to posit a Hexateuch. For Noth, the absence of Pentateuchal sources in the book of Joshua made a Hexateuch impossible.1 The Pentateuch therefore was a late construction brought about by the excision of Deuteronomy from the Deuteronomistic History and its insertion into the structure of the Priestly writing.2 This view implies a radical change in the interpretation of Deuteronomy: it should no longer be read as the end of the Pentateuch but as the beginning of the Deuteronomistic History. Perhaps Noth did not realize the dynamite that this new orientation held in reserve, since he remains quite conservative on the subject of the relationship between the 'Tetrateuch' and Deuteronomy. He takes it for granted that in Deuteronomy, Dtr 'has taken over some of the material from the old "Hexateuchal" sources' and 'obviously assumes a knowledge of the content of these sources'.3 Nowadays scholars are less certain about this point. The question of the 'parallel traditions' in Deuteronomy and Genesis-Numbers is presently one of the central issues in the debate on the Pentateuch. To sum up Noth's main contributions to research on Deuteronomy, we may say that the insertion of Deuteronomy into the Deuteronomistic History opened three major issues: (1) the question of diachrony before, during and after the deuteronomistic editing; (2) the question of deuteronomistic ideology in the book of Deuteronomy and (3) the question of the growth of the Pentateuchal traditions. Other points to which Noth paid less attention, but which played a major role in the discussion after him, were: redaction and composition of the Deuteronomic law code and, more generally, compositional techniques in the book as a whole.

1. Noth came to this insight in 1938 while working on his commentary on Joshua (Das Buch Josua [HAT 1.7; Tubingen: Mohr, 2nd edn, 1953). In US he deals with it in an appendix (pp. 180-216) that may be found in translation in CH, pp. 10747. 2. With the majority of critics, Noth considered Deut. 34.1 *, 4-9 as belonging to P and 32.48-52 as a secondary repetition of Num. 27.12-14 (P). Cf. US, pp. 190-91; CH, pp. 121-22. 3. Noth, OS, p. 96; DH, p. 129.


The History of Israel's Traditions 2. Issues since Noth

a. Diachronic Issues The problem of the different strata and the 'Numeruswechsel'. From the start, critical scholarship used the mixing of second person singular and plural forms of address in Deuteronomy as a criterion to determine stages of growth.1 In his diachronic analysis of the deuteronomistic framework, Noth employed this criterion. He considered parts written in the plural as the original deuteronomistic layer and the singular sections as later additions. In 1962, Minette de Tillesse, who thought of himself as one of the most faithful followers of Noth,2 applied this distinction to the whole book of Deuteronomy, claiming that all sections of chs. 5-30 with plural forms of address belonged to Dtr; texts written in the singular should then be seen as belonging to the original form of Deuteronomy.3 In a letter to Minette de Tillesse, Noth agreed with this thesis and conceded that it was a mistake not to expect traces of deuteronomistic editing within Deuteronomy.4 This was an important modification of Noth's initial approach.5 Soon, however, Minette de Tillesse's work appeared too schematic, and literary-critical analysis working with the criterion of the Numeruswechsel produced a multiplicity of Deuteronomic and deuteronomistic layers.6
1. For the history of research on the Numeruswechsel before Noth, cf. C.T. Begg, 'The Significance of the Numeruswechsel in Deuteronomy: The "PreHistory" of the Question', ETL 55 (1979), pp. 116-24. 2. Cf. what he wrote in the 'complements' to the Portuguese translation of US in Revista Biblica Brasileira 10 (1993), pp. 229-67. 3. G. Minette de Tillesse, 'Sections "Tu" et Sections "Vous" dans le Deuteronome', VT 12 (1962), pp. 29-87; 'Martin Noth et la "Redaktionsgeschichte" des livres historiques', in C. Hauret (ed.), Aux grands carrefours de la revelation et de I'exegese de I'Ancien Testament (Recherches bibliques 8; Paris: Desclee, de Brouwer, 1967), pp. 51-75. 4. This letter is quoted by Minette de Tillesse in his 'complements' (cf. n. 2), pp. 236-37. 5. Cf. the remarks of S.D. McBride, 'Deuteronomium', TRE 8 (1981), pp. 53043 (538). 6. Cf. especially F. Garcia Lopez, 'Analyse litteraire de Deuteronome V-XI', RB 84 (1977), pp. 481-522; 85 (1978), pp. 5-49 and Y. Suzuki, 'The "Numeruswechsel" in Deuteronomy' (PhD dissertation, Claremont Graduate School, 1982); Linguistic Studies in Deuteronomy (Japanese; Tokyo, 1987). Suzuki

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There were, however, other voices claiming that the alternation between passages in the singular and in the plural should be explained differently. For Buis and Leclerq this phenomenon reflected a strategy of oral discourse and could be found in other oral cultures.1 Lohfink interpreted the Numeruswechsel as belonging to the stylistic instrumentation of the authors of Deuteronomy.2 Indeed, it seems hazardous to use the Numeruswechsel as an automatic criterion in the diachronic analysis of Deuteronomy. First, we must remember that changes from plural to singular addressees occur in many other texts outside of Deuteronomy that do not all belong to the Deuteronomic/ deuteronomistic tradition (cf. Exod. 23.20-33; Lev. 19 and extra-biblical texts such as the Sefire inscription).3 Moreover, even within Deuteronomy we find texts (ch. 4;4 6.1-3; 11 and many others) where it is impossible to postulate another stratum for each change in addressee. This does not mean that all occurrences of the Numeruswechsel can be explained on stylistic grounds, as Lohfink, Braulik and others have argued. There are indeed in Deuteronomy several occasions where the change of address seems to coincide with other literary-critical criteria, as for instance in 10.14-19, 20-22 or 12.2-12, 13-28.5 Nevertheless, it appears that most of the literary-critical problems of Deuteronomy do not coincide with Numeruswechsel. The diachronic problem of Deuteronomy appears much more complex.
finds 10 different strata in Deuteronomy. Cf. the presentation by K.-H. Walkenhorst, 'Neueste Deuteronomiumforschung in Japan', BZ 33 (1989), pp. 81-92. 1. P. Buis and J. Leclerq, Le Deuteronome (SB; Paris: Gabalda, 1963), p. 9. 2. N. Lohfink, Das Hauptgebot: Erne Untersuchung literarischer Einleitungsfragen zu Dtn 5-11 (AnBib 20; Rome: Pontificium Institutum Biblicum, 1963), pp. 239-58. 3. For other examples, see K. Baltzer, The Covenant Formulary in Old Testament, Jewish and Early Christian Writings (Oxford: D. E. Green; Philadelphia: Fortress, 1971), p. 33, n. 71. 4. As A.D.H. Mayes (Deuteronomy [NCB; Grand Rapids: Eerdmans; London: Morgan & Scott, 1981], p. 36), rightly puts it, the diachronic use of the Numeruswechsel in those texts 'succeeds only in doing unacceptable violence to the text'. 5. Cf. Preuss, Deuteronomium, pp. 50-52, 133-34. But even in these texts the Numeruswechsel is not easy to interpret. In the plural section, 10.20-22, v. 22 can very well be considered a later addition since it is probably dependent on Priestly passages (cf. Mayes, Deuteronomy , pp. 211-12), and in Deut. 12, one generally considers the plural passage as combining two different strata (cf. R. Smend, Die Entstehung des Alien Testaments [ThW 1; Stuttgart: Kohlhammer, 1978]), p. 73.


The History of Israel's Traditions

Presently, most scholars agree that within Deuteronomy 5-30 an important number of 'deuteronomistic' texts can be detected. Deut. 5. Iff.; 9.7ff. and others show clear thematic and linguistic links to the deuteronomistic framework. Other units such as 28.45ff.; 29.21ff. or 30.Iff. presuppose the events of 597-587 BCE. Often, those deuteronomistic texts seem to be the product of more than one hand. Indeed, scholars have discovered several deuteronomistic strata in chs. 5ff., even in the legal texts. German language exegetes are considerably influenced by the 'Gottingen school' model,1 which applies to the whole Deuteronomistic History. According to Smend and his followers, three major strata have to be distinguished in the Deuteronomistic History: DtrH (the exilic deuteronomistic 'historian'), DtrP (the deuteronomistic 'prophetic' redactor, basically limited to the books of Samuel and Kings)2 and DtrN (the [post-]exilic deuteronomistic 'nomist', whose work should be divided further into DtrNi, DtrN2, etc.).3 DtrH covers Deut. 1.1 to 2 Kgs 25.21; DtrN probably starts in Deut. 1.5 (or already in the Tetrateuch?) and ends with 2 Kgs 25.30.4 This theory offers a systematization of the supposed complexity of deuteronomistic strata. Nevertheless, it introduces new problems into the debate. First, as McKenzie puts it, 'the proponents of this approach have not produced an entirely clear picture of the three redactors'.5 The Smend school is especially silent about the redactional history of Deuteronomy. The question of the nature and extent of the different layers in Deuteronomy and the rest of the Deuteronomistic History has not yet been satisfactorily resolved. It is not convincing to designate one deuteronomistic stratum 'nomistic', when the whole deuteronomistic concern is about the law of YHWH. And do we really have linguistic or other criteria that enable us to trace a specific deuteronomistic layer
1. Cf. the presentation of W. Roth, 'Deuteronomistisches Geschichtswerk/ Deuteronomistische Schule', TRE8 (1981), pp. 543-52. 2. Cf. W. Dietrich, Prophetic und Geschichte: Eine redaktionsgeschichtliche Untersuchung zum deuteronomistischen Geschichtswerk (FRLANT 108; Gottingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1972). 3. Cf. Smend, Entstehung, pp. 71 -73, 114-25. 4. H. Weippert, 'Das deuteronomistische Geschichtswerk: Sein Ziel und Ende in der neueren Forschung', TRu 50 (1985), pp. 213-49 (231-35), gives a convenient summary of the (sometimes different) opinions of the Smend school. Cf. also F. Langlamet's review of Dietrich's book in RB 81 (1974), pp. 601-606. 5. S.L. McKenzie, 'Deuteronomistic History', ABD 2 (1992), pp. 160-68 (163).

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from beginning to end? It is, therefore, not astonishing that Smend's colleague in Gottingen, Lothar Perlitt, charged with a monumental commentary on Deuteronomy and Doktorvater of several theses on Deuteronomy,1 shows more caution in defining the different layers in the book.2 He insists that, contrary to the prophetic books, none of the Deuteronomic or deuteronomistic layers in Deuteronomy attests any specific language, which means that 'stylistic problems' in Deuteronomy are very difficult to interpret.3 Perlitt therefore considers the reconstruction of the redactional history of Deuteronomy to be virtually impossible.4 Perlitt's students have been more optimistic. Knapp's literary-critical analysis of Deuteronomy 4 discovered three 'late' deuteronomistic layers, which reappear in chs. 29-3O5 and provide a triple frame for chs. 5-28.* All of these layers presuppose the first (exilic) edition of the Deuteronomistic History in which Deut. 3.29 is followed by 4.45, which means at least four deuteronomistic strata. Knapp is certainly right in pointing out the multiple links between chs. 4 and 29-30,6 as well as the deuteronomistic concern of a constant reactualization. But he fails to investigate the literary relationship between his threefold framework and the framed chapters. Achenbach has analyzed a new part of these chapters: chs. 5-11, where he discovered a large number7 of
1. D. Knapp, Deuteronomium 4: Literarische Analyse und theologische Interpretation (GTA 35; Gottingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1987); J. Buchholz, Die Altesten Israels im Deuteronomium (GTA 36; Gottingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1988); R. Achenbach, Israel zwischen Verheifiung und Gebot: Literarkritische Untersuchungen zu Deuteronomium 5-11 (EHS.T 422; Frankfurt: Peter Lang, 1991). These works (and others) are critically presented in H.D. Preuss, 'Zum deuteronomistischen Geschichtswerk', TRu 58 (1993), pp. 229-64 (237-42). 2. L. Perlitt, Deuteronomium (BK 5; Neukirchen-Vluyn: Neukirchener Verlag, 1990). 3. Perlitt, Deuteronomium, p. 38. 4. Deuteronomium, p. 37. 5. Knapp, Deuteronomium 4. Stratum I: 4.1-4, 9-14; 29.1b-14*; II: 4.15-16a, 19-28; 29.15-27*; III: 4.29-35 (vv. 36-40 are a later addition); 30.1-10. I and II belong to the exilic, HI to the post-exilic period. 6. Cf. also A.D.H. Mayes, 'Deuteronomy 4 and the Literary Criticism of Deuteronomy', JBL 100 (1981), pp. 23-51. 7. This recalls the Jena dissertation of R. Stahl ('Aspekte der Geschichte deuteronomistischer Theologie: Zur Tradltionsgeschichte der Terminologie und zur Redaktionsgeschichte der Redekompositionen' [1982]; cf. 7LZ 108 [1983], cols. 7476), who postulates about 10 deuteronomistic strata.


The History of Israel's Traditions

deuteronomistic, late-deuteronomistic and post-deuteronomistic layers1too many, in fact, to count. In a way, Achenbach confirms the common idea that the original introduction to the Deuteronomic law is in 6.4-5, 10-13.2 But, according to him, this text belongs already to the exilic period,3 so that there is no pre-exilic (Josianic) introduction to the Deuteronomic law code in chs. 12ff. This conclusion is the outcome of a type of research that centers more and more on the deuteronomistic character of Deuteronomy.4 All of these works depend on Noth's thesis that deuteronomistic editing of Deuteronomy (and the Deuteronomistic History) means exilic editing. However, this idea has been challenged, especially by American scholarship. Following Cross's work on the Deuteronomistic History,5 the first deuteronomistic layer in Deuteronomy is dated to the Josianic period, and for Friedman,6 Deuteronomy shows clear indications of an original Josianic edition of the Deuteronomistic History (in texts such as 6.5; 9.21; 12.1ff.; 17.8-12; 34.10) that ends in 2 Kings 23. To the exilic layer of deuteronomistic redaction (Dtr2) belong 4.24-31; 8.19-20; 28.3637, 63-68; 29.21-27; 30.15-20; 31.16-22, 28-30; 32.44; plus the inserted song of Moses.7 However, neither Friedman nor other representatives of the Cross-school8 have offered a thoroughgoing analysis of the Josianic
1. Achenbach, Israel. He quite often uses the criterion of the Numeruswechsel. According to him, a text that used the singular was reworked by a redaction that preferred the plural. Then several 'singular' reworkings took place. 2. Achenbach, Israel, pp. 180-82. 3. Achenbach considers Deut. 6.4-5, 10-13 younger than Josh. 24 but older than Josh. 23. 4. Cf. also J. Vermeylen (Le Dieu de la Promesse et le Dieu de I'Alliance: Le dialogue des grandes intuitions theologiques de I'Ancien Testament [LD 126; Paris: Cerf, 1986], pp. 118-22), who discovers three Deuteronomists in Deuteronomy (Dtr575, Dtr560, Dtr525). More problematic is the thesis of Preuss, Achenbach and others that the law code was not included in the first edition of Deuteronomistic History. I agree with O'Brien (Deuteronomistic History Hypothesis,pp. 47-48) that there are no convincing reasons to support such an idea. 5. P.M. Cross, Canaanite Myth and Hebrew Epic: Essays in the History of the Religion of Israel (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1973), pp. 274-89. 6. R.E. Friedman, The Exile and Biblical Narrative: The Formation of the Deuteronomistic and Priestly Works (HSM 22; Chico, CA: Scholars Press, 1981), esp. pp. 7-10. 7. Friedman, Exile, pp. 26-27. 8. Such as R.D. Nelson, The Double Redaction of the Deuteronomistic History (JSOTSup 18; Sheffield: JSOT Press, 1981).

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history in Deuteronomy or the other books of Deuteronomistic History. The first to do this was Mayes, followed by Peckham and O'Brien.1 Each of these authors attempts a rapprochement between the Smend and Cross schools of interpretation. Mayes attributes the historicization of the 'Law of Moses' (Deut. 6-25*) to the Josianic historian who produced the Deuteronomistic History. In Deuteronomy this historian's work is especially manifest in chs. 1-3;* 5;* 9-10;* 12.8-12, 16; 31.1-8, 14-15, 23; 34.1-6. A second redaction appears in texts such as 4.1-40; 6.10-18; 7.4-5, 7-16, 25-26; 8.1-6, lib, 14b-16, 18b-20; 10.12-11.32; 12.1-7, 32; 14.1,14-21; 15.4-6; 17.2-3; 25.17-19; (26.1-15); 26.16-27.26; 28(7); 29-30; 32.45-47. This redaction is ascribed to an exilic deuteronomistic 'editor' who stands quite close to Second Isaiah. He emphasizes the demand for exclusive worship of YHWH and obedience to the law and comes near to the DtrN of the 'Gottingen school'. In 10.8-9; 11.29-30; 27.1-8, 11-26; 31.9-13, 24-29, Mayes discovers signs of a third deuteronomistic redaction. He also isolates postdeuteronomistic additions that reflect the literary stage at which Deuteronomy became part of the Pentateuch (e.g., 32.48-52; 33; 34.7-9, 10-12). This well and cautiously argued investigation considerably increases the number of exilic deuteronomistic texts in comparison with the 'classical' approach of the Cross school. This tendency is also perceptible in the dissertation of O'Brien, who interprets the Deuteronomistic History as a history of Israel's leaders,2 of which Deut. 1.1-Judg. 2.10 is the first part ('Israel under Moses and Joshua'). Against some critics3 O'Brien maintains firmly Noth's proposal that the introduction to the Deuteronomistic History is to be found in Deuteronomy 1-3. The first layer of these chapters and of chs. 31-34 should be attributed to a Josianic DtrH. But the major part of the texts around the law code belongs to extensive exilic and post-exilic

1. A.D.H. Mayes, The Story of Israel Between Settlement and Exile: A Redactional Study of the Deuteronomistic History (London: SCM Press, 1983), pp. 22-39 (cf. also his Deuteronomy); B. Peckham, The Composition of the Deuteronomistic History (HSM 35; Atlanta: Scholars Press, 1985); O'Brien, The Deuteronomistic History Hypothesis. 2. O'Brien, Deuteronomistic History Hypothesis, p. 27. 3. Especially S. Mittmann, Deuteronomium 1:1-6:3 literarkritisch und traditionsgeschichtlich untersucht (BZAW 139; Berlin: de Gruyter, 1975).


The History of Israel's Traditions

redactions,1 completed by late and post-deuteronomistic additions.2 These major works opened the way to virtual consensus in research on Deuteronomy.3 They are probably right that there should be some Josianic frame around the law code, but this is not the same as supposing a Josianic edition of the first version of the Deuteronomistic History. Even if literary activity in Josiah's time is plausible, it does not mean that the whole Deuteronomistic History was edited then. In this context, Lohfink's view should be taken into account.4 Although he is also convinced of Josianic editing of Deuteronomy, for him this does not affect the whole Deuteronomistic History, only Deuteronomy 1-Joshua 22*, where he finds a 'DtrL' (deuteronomistische Landeroberungserzdhlung), a history of the conquest of the land. In Deuteronomy Lohfink ascribes to this redaction, which can be characterized by its frequent use of szrr, roughly the same texts that Noth attributed to his Dtr (chs. 1-3*; 5*; 9-10*; 31*).5 The other parenetic and historical texts in Deuteronomy belong to several (post-)exilic redactions.6 A combination of 'German' and 'Anglo-Saxon' approaches might thus be possible. A sort of consensus may arise around the idea that much of chs. 1-11 and 26-34 is due to exilic deuteronomistic redactions, even if we lack reliable criteria to differentiate between them. But, there is also

1. For the whole Deuteronomistic History, O'Brien argues for three subsequent exilic redactions. In Deuteronomy, the third 'nomistic' stage is to be found in 4.1-40; 30.1-20 etc. 2. O'Brien, Deuteronomistic History Hypothesis, pp. 285-86. 3. Cf. E. Cortese, 'Theories concerning Dtr: A Possible Rapprochement', in C. Brekelmans and J. Lust (eds.), Pentateuchal and Deuteronomistic Studies: Papers Read at the Xlllth IOSOT Congress, Leuven 1989 (BETL 94; Leuven: University Press & Peeters, 1990), pp. 179-90. 4. N. Lohfink, 'Kerygmata des deuteronomistischen Geschichtswerks', in J. Jeremias and L. Perlitt, Die Botschaft und die Boten: Festschrift fiir Hans Walter Wolff zum 70. Geburtstag (Neukirchen-Vluyn: Neukirchener Verlag, 1981), pp. 87100; repr. in N. Lohfink, Studien zum Deuteronomium und zur deuteronomistischen Literatur II (SBAB 12; Stuttgart: Katholisches Bibelwerk, 1991), pp. 125-42; cf. also G. Braulik, Deuteronomium 1-16, 17 (NEB 15; Wiirzburg: Echter, 1986), pp.10-12 and A. Moenikes, 'Zur Redaktionsgeschichte des sogenannten Deuteronomistischen Geschichtswerks', ZAW104 (1992), pp. 333-48. 5. Lohfink, 'Kerygmata', pp. 92-96. 6. For one of the latest layers Lohfink coins a new abbreviation: 'DtrU' (= Dtr Uberarbeiter), who is responsible for the final redaction of Deut. 7; 8; 9.1-8, 22-24 (p. 141).

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evidence for a Josianic redaction of the lawbook, and this brings us to some remarks about the problem of the 'original Deuteronomy'. The lawbook of Josiah and the problem of the original Deuteronomy. According to 2 Kings 22-23,! Josiah's reform was initiated with the finding of a lawbook that scholars generally identified with the earliest or one of the earlier forms of Deuteronomy. Reconstructing the original Deuteronomy, therefore, was important. For many scholars, the first edition was written in the time of Hezekiah.2 Others maintained that the original Deuteronomy was produced by Josiah's supporters as a propaganda document for his reform.3 Even if the relationship of 2 Kings 22 and the book of Deuteronomy 'has remained a cornerstone of critical scholarship',4 research on this topic since Noth has produced some challenges. Recently, Eleanore Reuter has contested this linkage, arguing that the book of the Josianic reform must be the book of the Covenant (Exod. 20.22-23.33*).5 According to her, the original Deuteronomy was written at the same time or shortly after the Josianic reform. This thesis is difficult to maintain since there are no clear links between Exod. 20.22-23.33 and the account in 2 Kings 22-23,6 which clearly alludes to Deuteronomy. The real problem is the very historicity of 2 Kings 22-23. It has long been recognized that the story in its present form is due to the attempt by deuteronomistic redactors to provide a myth of origin for the
1. A bibliography of recent works on these chapters is presented by Preuss, 'Zum deuteronomistischen Geschichtswerk', pp. 246-50. 2. For example, N. Lohfink, 'Culture Shock and Theology: A Discussion of Theology as a Cultural and Sociological Phenomenon Based on the Example of Deuteronomic Law', BTB1 (1977), pp. 12-22; M. Weinfeld, Deuteronomy 1-11 (AB 5; New York: Doubleday, 1991), pp. 44-54; F. Garcia Lopez, Le Deuteronome: Une Loiprechee (Cahiers Evangile 63; Paris: Cerf, 1988), p. 10. 3. R.E. Clements, Deuteronomy (Sheffield: JSOT Press, 1989), p. 71; Y. Suzuki, 'A New Aspect of the Occupation Policy by King Josiah', AJBI18 (1992), pp. 3161. 4. Clements, Deuteronomy, p. 71. 5. E. Reuter, Kultzentralisation: Entstehung und Theologie von Dtn 12 (Athenaums Monographien, Theologie, BBB 87; Frankfurt: A. Hain, 1993), pp. 24358. 6. Cf. N. Lohfink, 'Gibt es eine deuteronomistische Bearbeitung im Bundesbuch?', in Brekelmans and Lust (eds.), Pentateuchal and Deuteronomistic Studies, pp. 91-113.


The History of Israel's Traditions

deuteronomistic movement.1 Indeed, as Diebner and Nauerth have shown, the motif of book finding is a common literary strategy in antiquity, aiming at legitimation of changes in society and religion.2 So, even if there was a Josianic 'reform' (and it does not seem necessary to doubt this), it is not certain that such a reform was impelled by the discovery of a book. It is more likely that the original Deuteronomy was written to accompany and legitimate Josianic policy.3 At any rate, the reconstruction of an Urdeuteronomiwn remains an open problem. For those who regard such a reconstruction as possible, the classical thesis that the original Deuteronomy began in 6.4 is still attractive. Recent research allows one to maintain that historical texts are more or less absent; parenetic texts quite limited; and the real nucleus is the laws of the code.4 But even in the code, scholars discover more and more exilic texts. Diachronic work on the law code. After they treated the exegetical and theological problem of the rediscovery of the law code, scholars in the 1960s and 1970s were busy reconstructing the various independent collections of laws that had been integrated into the first edition of Deuteronomy. Merendino, Seitz, L'Hour and others5 postulated the
1. I cannot enter here into the debate on the redactional history of this text. See K. ViSaticki, Die Reform des Josija und die religiose Heterodoxie in Israel (Dissertationen, Theologische Reihe 21; St. Ottilien: EOS Verlag, 1987). 2. B.J. Diebner and C. Nauerth, 'Die Inventio des minn ISO in 2 Kon 22: Struktur, Intention und Funktion von Auffindungslegenden', DBAT 18 (1984), pp. 95-118. This strategy is still in use in the origin myth of the Mormons, for example. 3. On this point I tend to agree with Mayes, Deuteronomy, pp. 102-103 and Reuter, Kultzentralisation, p. 258. 4. A consensus concerning the original Deuteronomy belongs to eschatology. Cf. the different reconstructions of Mayes, Deuteronomy, p. 48; Preuss, Deuteronomium, pp. 49-61 and O. Kaiser, Einleitung in das Alte Testament (Gutersloh: Gerd Mohn, 5th edn, 1984), pp. 134-35. 5. R.P. Merendino, Das deuteronomische Gesetz: Fine literarkritische, gattungs- und iiberlieferungsgeschichtliche Untersuchung zu Dt 12-26 (BBB 31; Bonn: P. Hansen, 1969); G. Seitz, Redaktionsgeschichtliche Studien zum Deuteronomium (BWANT 93; Stuttgart: Kohlhammer, 1971); J. L'Hour, 'Une legislation criminelle dans le Deuteronome', Bib 44 (1963), pp. 1-28; cf. also G. Nebeling, 'Die Schichten des deuteronomischen Gesetzeskorpus: Eine traditionsund redaktionsgeschichtliche Analyse von Dtn 12-26' (ThD dissertation, Miinster, 1970). The existence of independant pre-Deuteronomic collections had already been

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following collections: the to'ebd-lav/s (16.21-17.1; 18.10-12a; 22.5; 23.18-19b; 25.13-16), the bi'arta-laws (13.2-6; 17.2-7; 19.16-19; 21.821; 22.13-21,23-27; 24.7), laws concerning war (20; 21.10-14; 23.10-15; 25.17-19), 'humanitarian laws' (15; 22-24) and centralization laws (12; 14.22-27; 15.19-23; 16.1-15; 17.8-13; 18.1-8; 26.1-11). It quickly became clear that some 'collections' (on centralization, war, humanitarianism) were narrowly linked to deuteronomistic ideology, making it unnecessary to speculate about non-Deuteronomic origins. The various hi 'artdand to 'ebd-laws seemed to belong together above all because of their identical motivation, which may well be the product of a Deuteronomic/ deuteronomistic redaction.1 Even if the possibility of pre-Deuteronomic laws in chs. 12-25 remains probable, current scholarship is much more cautious about the existence of older collections and concentrates on the Deuteronomic revision of earlier law (in Exod. 21-23). There is presently also a tendency to view important parts of the legal material as dating from exilic times. Lohfink, Braulik and others consider the laws about authorities (16.18-18.26), as well as chs. 19-25, as resulting from exilic and post-exilic redactions,2 which reduces considerably the Josianic or pre-Josianic lawbook. Consequently, most of the legal texts are not interpreted concretely but as highly theoretical and theological, describing the ideal deuteronomistic society.3 This view is vigorously contested by McBride and Criisemann.4 According to Criisemann,
postulated by Steuernagel. For the history of research cf. Preuss, Deuteronomium, pp. 103-48. 1. Cf. Seitz, Studien, pp. 159-64, 206-11. 2. N. Lohfink, 'Die Sicherung der Wirksamkeit des Gotteswortes durch das Prinzip der Schriftlichkeit der Tora und durch das Prinzip der Gewaltenteilung nach den Amtergesetzen des Buches Deuteronomium (Dt 16,18-18,22)', in H. Wolter (ed.), Testimonium Veritati: philosophische und theologische Studien zu kirchlichen Fragen der Gegenwart (FTS 7; Frankfurt: Knecht, 1971), pp. 143-55; repr. in Studien zum Deuteronomium und zur deuteronomistischen Literatur, I (SBAB 8; Stuttgart: Katholisches Bibelwerk, 1990), pp. 305-23; G. Braulik; Die deuteronomischen Gesetze und der Dekalog: Studien zum Aufbau von Deuteronomium 12-26 (SBS 145; Stuttgart: Katholisches Bibelwerk, 1991). A more differentiated approach is presented by U. Riitersworden, Von der politischen Gemeinschaft zur Gemeinde: Studien zu Dt 16,1-18,22 (BBB 65; Frankfurt: Athenaum, 1987). 3. This was a common interpretation of Deut. 12-25 in the beginning of the twentieth century. 4. S.D. McBride, 'Polity of the Covenant People: The Book of Deuteronomy', Int4\ (1987), pp. 229-44; F. Criisemann, Die Tora: Theologie und Sozialgeschichte des alttestamentlichen Gesetzes (Munich: Chr. Kaiser Verlag, 1992); cf. also


The History of Israel's Traditions

Christian exegesis of Deuteronomy is mainly interested in describing the conception of God in this book and constantly forgets to ponder the foundations of the theological reflection of Deuteronomythe law.1 He cannot find indications for strong redactional activity in chs. 12-26 in exilic or post-exilic times.2 The law of Deuteronomy is not Utopian but reflects the political constitution of the 'am hd'dres, the landowners who supported the Josianic reform. Even if some of Criisemann's interpretations sound a bit apologetic (especially about women's liberation in Deuteronomy), 3 he identifies a methodological problem regarding interpretation of legal texts in the Old Testament. Have they been written to serve as a constitution or a sermon? What are our criteria to locate them in history? These questions have theological as well as exegetical implications. The question of authorship.Von Rad's classic thesis equating the authors of the original Deuteronomy with the Levitical priesthood4 is no longer supported by more than a few.5 After Weinfeld's important study on links between Deuteronomy and wisdom traditions,6 most scholars agree in locating the authors of Deuteronomy among the scribes of the Jerusalem court. This explains the continuity between Josianic and exilic editing of Deuteronomy (if one places the Deuteronomists among the exiled officials of the court),7 as well as the familiarity of Deuteronomy
J.G. McConville (Law and Theology in Deuteronomy [JSOTSup 33; Sheffield: JSOT Press, 1984]), whose propositions concerning the date of Deuteronomy are quite eccentric, and R. Albertz, Religionsgeschichte Israels in alttestamentlicher Zeit, I (Grundrisse zum Alten Testament 8.1; Gottingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1992), pp. 327-60. 1. Criisemann, Die Tora, p. 238. 2. Criisemann, Die Tora, p. 251. 3. Criisemann, Die Tora, pp. 291-94. Cf. also G. Braulik, 'Die Ablehnung der Gottin Aschera in Israel: War sie erst deuteronomisch, diente sie der Unterdriickung der Frauen?', in M.-T. Wacker and E. Zenger (eds.), Der eine Gott und die Gottin: Gottesvorstellungen des biblischen Israel im Horizont feministischer Theologie (QD 135; Freiburg: Herder, 1991), pp. 106-36. I cannot agree with such hermeneutic short-circuits. 4. G. von Rad, Studies in Deuteronomy (SET 9; London: SCM, 1953), pp. 6670. 5. E.g., Mayes, Deuteronomy, pp. 107-108. 6. M. Weinfeld, Deuteronomy and the Deuteronomic School (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1972). 7. Noth suggested that Dtr lived in Palestine (US, p. 110, n. 1; DH, p. 145, n. 1), a

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with Assyrian documents and culture. But there are also Levitical and prophetic interests in Deuteronomy, where much place is given to the elders.1 So it is too rigid to identify the authors of Deuteronomy definitely with any one professional class. Following Clements and Albertz, we may rather speak of a 'coalition'a sort of 'reforming party'under the guidance of intellectuals from the court of Jerusalem.2 b. Issues concerning Structure and Compositional Techniques of Deuteronomy As Christensen puts it, a major development in the study of Deuteronomy after Noth was the interest in stylistic features.3 This can best be understood as a reaction against an overdone diachronic criticism. One of the pioneer works of this new approach was Lohfink's dissertation on chs. 5-II,4 where he tried to list rhetorical techniques and parenetic structures. From then on much more attention was paid to stylistic features such as chiasm, inclusions, word-plays, etc.5 It is quite natural that the investigation of the structure of smaller units in Deuteronomy was linked to the question of the structure of the book or of the law code.
suggestion that became the standard opinion. Nowadays, however, more and more scholars locate the exilic edition of Deuteronomy and the Deuteronomistic History among the exiles; cf. J.A. Soggin, Einfuhrung in die Geschichte Israels und Judas: Von den Ursprungen bis zum Aufstand Bar Kochbas (Darmstadt: Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft, 1991), p. 148. 1. On Deuteronomy and prophecy, see E.W. Nicholson, Deuteronomy and Tradition (Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1967). On Deuteronomy and the elders, see L.J. Hoppe, 'The Origins of Deuteronomy' (PhD dissertation, Northwestern University, 1978). 2. Clements, Deuteronomy, pp. 78-79; R. Albertz, 'Die Intentionen der Trager des Deuteronomistischen Geschichtswerks', in R. Albertz et al. (eds.), Schopfung und Befreiung. Fur Claus Westermann zum 80. Geburtstag (Stuttgart: Calwer, 1989), pp. 37-53 (39-40). 3. D.L. Christensen, Deuteronomy 1-11 (WBC 6A; Dallas: Word Books, 1991), p. 1. 4. Lohfink, Das Hauptgebot. 5. Cf. the works of Lohfink's student, G. Braulik, esp. Die Mittel deuteronomischer Rhetorik, erhoben aus Deuteronomium 4,1-40 (AnBib 68; Rome: Pontificium Institutum Biblicum, 1978); C. J. Labuschagne, Deuteronomium (De Prediking van het Oude Testament; 2 vols.; Nijkerk: Callenbach, 1987, 1990); R.H. Connell, 'Deuteronomy 7,1-26: Assymmetrical Concentricity and the Rhetoric of Conquest', VT42 (1992), pp. 248-65; cf. also Christensen's commentary.


The History of Israel's Traditions

The structure of Deuteronomy. Research on the treaties of the Hittite empire gave impetus to the question of structures. Scholars such as Mendenhall 1 insisted on the parallels between these texts and Deuteronomy, often in order to claim a second-millennium origin of the latter. However, Weinfeld,2 followed by many others, asserted that better parallels are to be found in the Assyrian treaties, and this confirms an eighth- or seventh-century origin for Deuteronomy. As a result, the structure of Deuteronomy was often described according to that of an Assyrian treaty document: preamble (1.1-5); historical prologue (1.611.32); stipulations (chs. 12-26); sanctions, curse and blessing in case of observance or violation of the treaty (chs. 27-29); list of witnesses (31.24-28). But this treaty euphoria very soon led to serious problems and criticisms.3 For one thing, almost all the available Assyrian treaties4 are in fragmentary condition, so that it is difficult to postulate a standard pattern for these texts. Furthermore, the proposed structure of Deuteronomy according to the so-called treaty pattern is quite superficial; it frequently ignores diachronic problems of the text and presupposes the book in its deuteronomistic and exilic (!) form. The original Deuteronomy (6.4ff.; 12ff.*, 28* [?]) hardly contains all the elements found in Assyrian (or other) treaties. Thus, there is a considerable lack of clarity on the nature of the relationship between Deuteronomy and the Assyrian documents. Still, it is clear that there exist important connections between Deuteronomy and the ancient Near Eastern treaty tradition. One may easily find treaty terminology in Deuteronomy (e.g., the command to 'love' YHWH, to 'follow' and to 'listen to the voice' of the Lord, the validity of the treaty 'for the sons and sons of sons'). The curses in 28.20-68 have such close connections with Esarhaddon's treaties5 that
1. G.E. Mendenhall, 'Covenant Forms in Israelite Tradition', BA 17 (1954), pp. 49-76. For the history of research see D.J. McCarthy, Treaty and Covenant: A Study in Form in the Ancient Oriental Documents and in the Old Testament (AnBib 21 A; Rome: Pontificium Institutum Biblicum, 1978). 2. Weinfeld, Deuteronomy and Deuteronomic School, pp. 59-157. 3. Cf. L. Perlitt, Bundestheologie im Alten Testament (WMANT 36; Neukirchen-Vluyn: Neukirchener Verlag, 1969), esp. pp. 93-101. 4. English and French translations of these treaties have recently been provided. Cf. S. Parpola and K. Watanabe, Neo-Assyrian Treaties and Loyalty Oaths (State Archives of Assyria 2; Helsinki: Helsinki University Press, 1988); J. Briend et al., Traites et Serments dans le Proche-Orient Ancien (Suppl. CE 81; Paris: Cerf, 1992). 5. See Preuss's synopsis, Deuteronomium, pp. 72-73.

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there must be a literary relationship. It is certainly exaggerated to see in Deuteronomy a simple literary imitation of Hittite and Assyrian treaties, but we have to acknowledge 'that treaty forms and vocabulary have influenced the form, vocabulary and ideas of the book'.1 So it is possible to investigate the ideological implications of this affinity. If the Josianic and even exilic authors of Deuteronomy made use of Assyrian treaty rhetoric and ideology and integrated the making of a treaty into the Yahwistic culture, we may detect there a subversive intention.2 Israel's suzerain is not the Assyrian or Babylonian king, but YHWH, the only lord of his people. Using the Assyrian covenant terms, the Deuteronomists beat the 'enemy' with his own weapons! It still seems too imprecise, however, to present the structure of Deuteronomy as a treaty. Recent publications emphasize the four headings of the book that frame the central law code (1.1; 4.44-49; 28.69; 33.1) and may provide a rough but objective structure to the book in its final form.3 There are other proposals,4 but further work needs to be done on the relationship between the structure and literary form(s) of the book. Deuteronomy presents itself as Moses' final discourse(s)his testament. Does this have implications for its structure, considering that other (much shorter) testaments occur in the Deuteronomistic History (Josh. 23; 1 Sam. 12)? The other question, to which we shall turn now, is the arrangement of the law code. Until recently there was not much interest on this topic. The 'classical' proposition was the following division: (1) laws governing worship in 12.1-16.17; (2) authorities and institutions in 16.18-18.22; (3) other private and publics laws in chs. 19-25. This structure remains blurred and signals hesitation in scholarship about the organization of
1. Mayes, Deuteronomy, p. 34. 2. Cf. also the stimulating article by Lohfink on 'Culture Shock and Theology'. 3. Cf. Braulik (Deuteronomium, pp. 5-6) and Clements (Deuteronomy, pp. 1314), for whom chs. 1-4 is Historical prologue; 5-26, Tora (5-11, Introduction; 12-26, Central Law code); 27-28, Conclusion; 29-32, Covenant in the plains of Moab; 33-34, Moses' farewell and death. 4. Christensen (Deuteronomy, p. xli) finds a concentric structure: A. The outer framea look backwards (chs. 1-3); B. The inner frame the great peroration (chs. 411); C. The central core: covenant stipulations (12-26); B'. The inner framethe covenant ceremony (chs. 27-30); A'. The outer framea look forwards (chs. 3134). Indeed, concentric structures are quite frequent in Deuteronomy, and Christensen's structure seems tight. But does this degree of abstraction reflect the intention of the book's editors?


The History of Israel's Traditions

chs. 12-25. A new attempt was made by Carmichael, who claimed that the organization of chs. 12-25 depends on associations with the pentateuchal narrative (ch. 13, for instance, should be read in the light of the traditions about Balaam).1 This approach seems quite speculative and is unconvincing. Much more stimulating is the idea put forward by Schultz, Kaufmann and Braulik that the arrangement of the law code is made according to the Decalogue in Deuteronomy 5.2 This intuition can be found in Noth's US, where he writes, 'the special relationship between God and the people is confirmed through the promulgation of the Decalogue, of which the Deuteronomic law is, according to 5.28ff., the authentic divine exposition.'3 The influence of the ten commandments on the structure of the law code can easily be demonstrated. Of course, this does not apply to every law in chs. 12-25 (e.g., 24.10-17), a fact that the history of redaction of the law code should explain. According to Braulik, the Decalogue pattern is less perceptible in chs. 12-18 than in chs. 19-25. This means that the collection in 12-18* was already established when the Decalogue was written. The arrangement of 19-25 is definitely due to the 'Decalogue-redaction'. The Decalogue pattern should therefore be considered the result of the exilic edition of Deuteronomy, 4 which is the origin of the ten commandments. The Decalogue should not be interpreted as an independent summary of Israel's ethical principles, but rather as a table of contents of the central
1. C.M. Carmichael, The Laws of Deuteronomy (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1974) and Law and Narrative in the Bible: The Evidence of the Deuteronomic Laws and the Decalogue (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1985). An arrangement of the law code due to association techniques was advocated by A. Rofe, 'The Arrangement of the Laws in Deuteronomy', ETL 64 (1988), pp. 265-87. 2. H. Schulz, 'Das Todesrecht im Alten Testament' (Dissertation, Marburg, 1966). The excursus about the link between Deut. 12-26 and the Decalogue was not included in the published form of the work (Das Todesrecht im Alten Testament: Studien zur Rechtsform der Mot-Jumat-Satze [BZAW 114; Berlin: Topelmann, 1969]); S.A. Kaufmann, 'The Structure of the Deuteronomic Law', Maarav 1 (1979), pp. 105-58; Braulik, Die deuteronomischen Gesetze (on pp. 15-16 he mentions the precursors of this idea). The Decalogue-inspired structure of Deut. 12-25 can be described in the following way: I-III =12.2-16.7; IV=16.18-18.22; V=19.1-21.23; VI=22.13-23.15; VII=23.16-24.7; VIII=24.8-25.4; IX=25.5-12; X=25.13-16. The fourth commandment is interpreted as referring generally to authorities (so already Luther). 3. Noth, LfS, p. 101; DH, p. 135.1 have corrected the English translation, which oddly renders the 'Dekalog' of the German original by 'law'. 4. Braulik, Die deuteronomischen Gesetze, pp. 115-18.

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law code. The Decalogue pattern does not apply to the earlier stages of the growth of chs. 12-25,1 but it is an important clue to the exilic understanding of the legal collection. A final word should be said about holistic readings of the structure of Deuteronomy and the Deuteronomistic History. Hoffmann sees the Deuteronomistic History, which he considers the work of one exilic author, as structured according to the antithesis of reform/counterreform.2 Deuteronomy lays the foundation for this structure by describing Moses as the archetype of the deuteronomistic reformers. Hoffmann has certainly put forward an important feature of deuteronomistic ideology. But this is not the only such feature, and it does not provide a comprehensive structure that embraces the whole book of Deuteronomy. Against Hoffmann, who builds on former research, Polzin states that critical investigation on Deuteronomy has not produced any result 'that can be described as historically or literarily adequate'.3 The only authority he recognizes is Noth, since Polzin accepts the existence of the Deuteronomistic History. He describes Deuteronomy as 'the speech of the Deuteronomic narrator'4 and distinguishes between 'reported speech' and 'reporting speech'.5 This can hardly be considered wrong, but it is not clear how it helps to improve our understanding of the structure of Deuteronomy6a matter that needs further exploration.
1. Cf. E. Otto, 'Soziale Verantwortung und Reinheit des Landes: Zur Redaktion der kasuistischen Rechtssatze in Deuteronomium 19-25', in R. Liwak and S. Wagner (eds.), Prophetic und geschichtliche Wirklichkeit im alien Israel: Festschrift fur Siegfried Herrmann zum 65. Geburtstag (Stuttgart: Kohlhammer, 1991), pp. 290306. 2. H.D. Hoffmann, Reform und Reformen: Untersuchungen zu einem Grundthema der deuteronomistischen Geschichtsschreibung (ATANT 66; Zurich: Theologischer Verlag, 1980). Hoffmann claims to be holding to Noth's conception of the Deuteronomist, but Noth did not eliminate the diachronic problems in his treatment of the Deuteronomistic History. 3. R. Polzin, Moses and the Deuteronomist: A Literary Study of the Deuteronomic History, I, Deuteronomy, Joshua, Judges (New York: Seabury, 1980), p. 13. 4. Polzin, Moses, p. 26. 5. Polzin, Moses, p. 19. 6. L. Perlitt ('Deuteronomium 1-3 im Streit der exegetischen Methoden', in N. Lohfink [ed.], Das Deuteronomium: Entstehung, Gestalt und Botschaft[BETL 68; Leuven: Peeters, 1985], pp. 149-73) is extremely critical of Polzin's approach.


The History of Israel's Traditions

c. Theological and Ideological Matters When Noth dealt with Dtr's central theological ideas, he understood Deuteronomy 5-28* as the source of much of his theological inspiration. Noth provides the following list: the special bond between God and people as expressed in the concept of the covenant; the theme of the authentic worship of YHWH as required by the law and the interdiction of other forms of worship; the observance of divine law that coincides with a lack of interest in cultic observance; the frequent references to the exodus, conquest of the land and promises to the ancestors.1 According to Noth, all of these issues were already at the disposal of Dtr. Today many of these concepts are attributed to the deuteronomistic editing of Deuteronomy. Nevertheless, there is a consensus about the ideological function of several of these items in Deuteronomy. The exclusiveness of the worship of YHWH and the other gods. The emphasis of Deuteronomy on YHWH being the only God of Israel and the strict prohibition against turning to other gods is one of the book's leitmotifs. A discussion has arisen about whether the ideology of Deuteronomy can be characterized as monotheistic. Rose's dissertation on the claim of Yahwistic worship for exclusiveness in Deuteronomy has been very helpful in clarifying the situation.2 According to Rose, the Josianic and the first exilic level of the book reflect a monolatrous outlook, since the 'other gods' are resented as a real danger for Israel. Only in the second (late exilic) deuteronomistic redaction (especially ch. 4) do we have clear monotheistic affirmations, reminiscent of those of Second Isaiah.3 As Rose puts it, the real theological enemy of the Josianic and early exilic Deuteronomists is not the 'orgiastic Canaanite cult of nature', which is the phantasm of several scholars, but the popular Judean religion where YHWH was worshipped alongside other deities (Ashera) and under different forms of manifestation (YHWH of Teman, YHWH of Samaria).4 This brings us to the discussion about the interpretation of the tn mrr in the shema' of Deut. 6.4-6. The traditional
1. Cf. Noth, US, pp. 100-104; DH, pp. 134-38. 2. M. Rose, Der Ausschliesslichkeitsanspruch Jahwes: Deuteronomische Schultheologie und die Volksfrommigkeit in der spdten Konigszeit (BWANT 106; Stuttgart: Kohlhammer, 1975). 3. Cf. also A. Rofe, 'The Monotheistic Argumentation in Deuteronomy iv 3240: Contents, Composition and Context', VT35 (1985), pp. 434-45. 4. Rose, Der Ausschliesslichkeitsanspruch Jahwes, pp. 170-94.

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interpretation, which understands the in as 'unique', has generally been given up. Most scholars agree that the affirmation of Deut. 6.4 should be considered polemical towards poly-Yahwism.1 YHWH is one indivisible God, and he does not exist in different forms and in different sanctuaries. It is possible that the 'YHWH One' also includes (at least since the time of the exile) the idea of diachronic identity. YHWH, 'the God of the fathers', remains the same for the present and future generations in spite of the dramatic events of 597-587 BCE.2 In any case, the application of Deut 6.4b is to be found in Deuteronomy 12. Reuter's recent work shows that the formula 'the place that YHWH will choose' always referred to Jerusalem and that the first version of this chapter (12.1314a, 15-18) is from Josiah's time.3 There is no Deuteronomy without centralization of worship. YHWH and his people. The special link between YHWH and Israel is expressed in Deuteronomy with the ideas of election and covenant, which Noth considered traditional elements of Israelite thought. This position has since been challenged. Perlitt's argument that covenant theology was elaborated in the Deuteronomic/deuteronomistic milieu initiated an extensive discussion.4 The texts that speak of Israel's election (4.37-39; 7.6-11; 10.14-15)5 are now considered part of the latest layers of the book. Does this mean that the ideas of election and covenant were deuteronomistic inventions? This seems hardly plausible. It was no doubt in the literature of the Deuteronomic school that they came to prominence. However, this may be the result of a transformation, especially of
1. Cf. M. Peter, 'Dtn 6,4ein monotheistischer Text?' BZ 24 (1980), pp. 25262; P. Hoffken, 'Eine Bemerkung zum religionsgeschichtlichen Hintergrund von Dt 6,4', 5Z28 (1984), pp. 88-93; T. Veijola, 'Hore Israel! Der Sinn und Hintergrund von Deuteronomium 6,4-9', VT42 (1992), pp. 528-41. 2. Cf. S. Amsler, '"Un seul et meme Yhwh": Pour un sens diachronique de Dt 6,4b', in Le dernier et I'avant-dernier: Etudes sur I'Ancien Testament (Le Monde de la Bible 28; Geneva: Labor et Fides, 1993), pp. 145-53. 3. Kultzentralisation, pp. 42-191. 4. Perlitt (Bundestheologie) was sharply attacked by N. Lohfink, 'Bundestheologie im Alten Testament: Zum gleichnamigen Buch von Lothar Perlitt', Studien zum Deuteronomium, I, pp. 325-61. Cf. E.W. Nicholson, God and His People: Covenant and Theology in the Old Testament (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1986). 5. Cf. R. Rendtorff, 'Die Erwahlung Israels als Thema der deuteronomischen Theologie', in Jeremias and Perlitt (eds.), Die Botschaft und die Boten, pp. 75-86.


The History of Israel's Traditions

royal ideology, where election and covenant are the privilege of the king.1 The chosen king (Ps. 2; 2 Sam. 7 etc.) became the chosen people. This phenomenon may be considered a 'democratization' of older traditions, and this fits well with the 'secularization' of cultic and ritual matters observed by Weinfeld. It is the pater familias who assumes the priest's role in (exilic) Deuteronomy.2 The 'people' appears as the direct interlocutor of Mosaic speech, and the only mediator between the people and God is the law as communicated by Moses. This is a people who does not really need a king (in the laws, only Deut. 17.14-20 deals with the king) and no real political organization can be detected.3 Why are the addressees of Deuteronomy called 'Israel' or 'all Israel'? Does it mean that the authors of Deuteronomy want to claim a heritage from the northern kingdom, or do they want to create an ideal community?4 The question of the addressees of Deuteronomy merits further exploration. Who are the addressees of the lawof the Josianic edition and of the exilic editions? The answers to these questions will have implications for the global interpretation of Deuteronomy. The land in Deuteronomy. 'The land is in fact central to Deuteronomy's whole theology.'5 Among the important studies about the land in Deuteronomy,6 Diepold insisted on the different conceptions of the
1. Cf. M. Barker, The Older Testament: The Survival of Themes from the Ancient Royal Cult in Sectarian Judaism and Early Christianity (London: SPCK, 1987), pp. 142-54. 2. On the importance of the father in the catechetic texts of Deuteronomy, cf. A. de Pury and T. Romer, 'Memoire et catechisme dans 1'Ancien Testament', in A. de Pury (ed.), Histoire et conscience historique dans les civilisations du ProcheOrient ancien (Cahiers du CEPOA 5; Leuven: Peeters, 1989), pp. 81-92. 3. Noth's discovery of a reflection of the pre-monarchic amphictyony ideology has become highly questionable. Cf. Noth, Laws in the Pentateuch, pp. 28-36. 4. Cf. O. Bachli, Israel und die Volker: Fine Studie zum Deuteronomium (ATANT 41; Zurich: Theologischer Verlag, 1962); Clements, Deuteronomy, p. 56. 5. Mayes, Deuteronomy, p. 79. 6. Especially J.G. Ploger, Literarkritische, formgeschichtliche und stilkritische Untersuchungen zum Deuteronomium (BBB 26; Bonn: P. Hansen, 1967); P.D. Miller, The Gift of God: The Deuteronomic Theology of the Land', Int 23 (1969), pp. 451-65; G.C. Macholz, 'Israel und das Land: Vorarbeiten zu einem Vergleich zwischen Priesterschrift und deuteronomistischem Geschichtswerk' (Habilitationsschrift, Heidelberg, 1969); P. Diepold, Israels Land (BWANT 95; Stuttgart: Kohlhammer, 1972).

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borders of the promised land. One conception takes the Jordan to be the frontier of the promised land (9.1; 12.10, etc.), which is therefore limited to the territory west of the Jordan. In 4.45-49 the district east of the Jordan is included in Israel's land. Deut. 1.7 and 11.24 extend the land of Israel as far as the Euphrates. Diepold links the latter texts to Josiah's expansionism,1 but 1.7b and 11.24, as well as 4.45-49, probably belong to the latest strata of Deuteronomy2 and reflect the Utopian conception of a 'Great Empire'. In chs. 2-3, we find a tradition about the conquest of Cisjordan. O'Brien confirms Noth's intuition that the deuteronomistic story is founded on a pre-deuteronomistic account.3 The Deuteronomists transformed this tradition in order to provide a counterpoint to the spy story in ch. I 4 and as a prelude to the 'real' conquest in the book of Joshua. Scholars have often pointed out that there is a tendency to idealize the land, which is described in the exilic strata as a paradise on earth (11.1012; cf. 8.7-9). In the deuteronomistic edition of Deuteronomy, 'land theology' is linked to the 'rest theology'. Roth distinguishes between the latter in Dtr1 (rest is given to all Israel in the conquest of the land; cf. 3.20) and that in Dtr2 (rest is a counterpart to obedience to the law wherever Israel finds itself; cf. 12.9-10).5 A standard formula in Deuteronomy is the 'land flowing with milk and honey' (6.3; 11.9; 26.9, 15; 27.3; 31.20), which occurs first in Exod. 3.8. Because of this text there still is debate about whether the expression should be considered 'proto-Deuteronomic'.6 The occurrences in Deuteronomy belong, according to Preuss,7 to the deuteronomistic layers. Often they appear in grammatically difficult constructions and seem to be later additions. The 'milk and honey' formula does not

1. Diepold, Israels Land, pp. 29-41. 2. Cf. Perlitt, Deuteronomium, pp. 45-49. 3. O'Brien, Deuteronomistic History Hypothesis, p. 288. 4. Cf. N. Lohfink, 'Darstellungskunst und Theologie in Dtn 1,6-3,29', Bib 41 (1960), pp. 105-34. 5. W. Roth, 'The Deuteronomic Rest-Theology: A Redactional-Critical Story', BR 21 (1976), pp. 1-10. Roth identifies his Dtr2 as the DtrN of the Gottingen school. 6. So for example D.E. Skweres, Die Riickverweise im Buch Deuteronomium (AnBib 79; Rome: Pontificium Institutum Biblicum, 1979), pp. 158-65. Presently several scholars consider Exod. 3 as a product of the 'D' composition of the Pentateuch. Cf. W. Johnstone, Exodus (Sheffield: JSOT Press, 1990), pp. 48, 73-86. 7. Preuss, Deuteronomium, p. 192.


The History of Israel's Traditions

occur in the patriarchal promises of the book of Genesis but is linked with the exodus tradition, which brings me to my next point. Allusions to Egypt and the exodus in Deuteronomy. The outline of Deuteronomy in its final form revolves around the exodus. First we should remember the growing emphasis on the figure of Moses in the framework1 and above all the fact that almost every chapter of the book contains allusions to the exodus or the situation of the people in Egypt.2 On this matter there is no difference between the framework and the law code.3 It is possible to discuss whether there ever was an original code without reference to Egypt, but Criisemann may be right against Lohfink, when he points out the hypothetical character of such assumptions.4 If the Josianic edition of Deuteronomy is influenced by prophetic (Hoseanic) ideology, references to the exodus are anything but astonishing. All strata of Deuteronomy contain 'frequent references to "being brought up out of Egypt"' .5 Scholars have paid attention to a series of particular points of the 'Egyptian' allusions in Deuteronomy, but no global investigation of the exodus ideology of Deuteronomy has been made hitherto. This is probably due to the fact that the references to the exodus seem to be counterbalanced by those to the 'fathers'. Fathers and patriarchs in Deuteronomy. Deuteronomy contains about fifty 'theological' references to the fathersoften in formulaic expression. They mainly concern the land or the covenant sworn to the fathers and the God of the fathers, as well as objects 'that your fathers did not know'. Scholars currently identify these fathers with the patriarchs, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, whose names occur seven times in the book. It may be noted that as far as I can see, Noth was quite cautious about this question, since he always speaks of 'ancestors' and never of the patriarchs when alluding to the fathers of Deuteronomy.

1. Cf. Clements, Deuteronomy, pp. 36-38. 2. See the list by Preuss, Deuteronomium, pp. 187-88. 3. Cf. J. Pons, 'La reference a 1'Egypte dans les codes de loi de 1'Ancien Testament', ETR 63 (1988), pp. 169-82. 4. Criisemann, Die Tom, pp. 244-45, against Lohfink, 'Kerygmata', p. 129. 5. Noth, US, p. 101; DH, p. 135.

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Picking up one of Van Seters's ideas,11 tried to show in my dissertation2 that 'the fathers' in Deuteronomy refers not to the patriarchs but to the ancestors of Israel in Egypt or at the exodusthe generation that entered the landor, more generally, the forefathers of those addressed. The formula about the land having been sworn to the fathers whose expressions can be divided into three categories,3 does not refer to the patriarchal narratives,4 where the verb into appears only in a few late post-deuteronomistic texts (Gen. 22.16; 24.7; 26.3; 50.24), but to the beginning of YHWH's history with Israel in Egypt (cf. Ezek. 20).5 For example, the prayer of Deut. 26.15, which should be pronounced by every generation living in the land, contains the following demand: 'Look down from heaven, your holy dwelling-place and bless the people Israel and the land you have given to us as you swore to our fathers, a land flowing with milk and honey.' The land is described with the exodus 'milk and honey' formula, and the prayer follows the credo in 26.5-9, which is centered on the exodus events. So already Nahmanides (ca. 1195-1270) doubted that 'fathers' here refers to the patriarchs;6 it apparently means the first generation of the exodus. The same statement is possible on the covenant (4.31; 7.12; 8.18; 29.11-12)7 or more generally on the 'oath' (7.8; 9.5; 13.18) sworn to the fathers.8 'The covenant
1. J. Van Seters, 'Confessional Reformulation in the Exilic Period', VT 22 (1972), pp. 448-59. See now his Prologue to History: The Yahwist as Historian in Genesis (Louisville: Westminster/John Knox, 1992), pp. 227-45. 2. T. Romer, Israels Vater: Untersuchungen zur Vdterthematik im Deuteronomium und in der deuteronomistischen Tradition (OBO 99; Freiburg: Universitatsverlag; Gottingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1990); cf. also 'Le Deuteronome a la quete des origines', in P. Haudebert (ed.), Le Pentateuque: Debats etRecherches (LD 151; Paris: Cerf, 1992), pp. 65-98. 3. I: 'the land sworn to the fathers', 6.18; 8.1; (19.8a); 31.20, 21; II: the oath to the fathers + urb nnb, 1.8; 1.35; (19.8b); 10.11; 11.9; 11.21; 30.20; 31.7; III: the oath to the fathers+ i> nnb: 6.23; 26.3; 26.15, or + ~p nrb: 6.10; 7.13; 28.11; (34.4). 4. This was explicitly argued by Skweres, who considered that every JOB'] ~KBK refers to a written text. For a critique of Skweres, see Romer, Israels Vater, pp. 22930; E. Blum, Studien zur Komposition des Pentateuch (BZAW 189; Berlin: de Gruyter, 1990), pp. 172-76. 5. Cf. Romer, Israels Voter, pp. 173-250. 6. RAMBAN, Commentary on the Torah: Deuteronomy (trans. C.B. Chavel; New York: Shilo Publishing House, 1976), p. 315. 7. Cf. Romer, Israels Vater, pp. 135-54. 8. Cf. Romer, Israels Vater, pp. 160-72.


The History of Israel's Traditions

and love sworn to the fathers' of Deut. 7.12 is defined in 7.9 as the 'covenant and love to a thousand generations of those who love him and keep his commands'. This is a clear allusion to the Decalogue and to Horeb/Sinai and excludes the idea of a patriarchal bent.l YHWH is called the 'God of the fathers'2 in order to signal the continuity of Yahwistic worship in spite of the disruption of the exile.3 The 'fathers' in this idiom do not generally point to a specific generation but symbolize the past. On the other hand, the references to the fathers 'not knowing'4 express discontinuity in Israel's history with YHWH.5 The fathers stand for a former state in this historyin Egypt or after the conquest. The nonformulaic usage of 'abofi confirms this basic principle. All the references to the fathers belong to the first (Dtr) and later (Dtr2) exilic editions of Deuteronomy. We may conclude that in the original core of the book there is no 'father' theology. Indeed, in the Code the fathers are only mentioned in the deuteronomistic introduction (12.1) and conclusion (ch. 26). Deut. 19.8 and 13.7, 18 are post-deuteronomistic. The identification of the fathers with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob (1.8; 6.10; 9.5; 29.12; 30.20), as well as the insertion of the patriarchal names in 9.27 and 34.4, belong to a post-deuteronomistic redaction. In 9.27, for example, the appeal to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob interrupts the continuity of the exodus-motif in Moses's prayer,7 and this is the only verse in Deuteronomy where ~DT is applied to YHWH (a usage more typical of P). The identification of the fathers and the patriarchs in 9.5 is also quite astonishing, since the fathers are linked here to a divine promise to expel the other peoples, clearly belonging to the exodus tradition (cf. Exod. 23.27-33). The sevenfold8 insertion of the patriarchal names in
1. The idea that the concept of covenant as related to the three Patriarchs occurs only in P-texts in the Tetrateuch needs to be reassessed. 2. Deut. 1.11, 21; 4.1; 6.3; 12.1; 26.7; 27.3; 29.24. 3. Cf. Romer, Israels Voter, pp. 105-34. 4. Other gods: 13.7; 28.64; 32.18; manna: 8.3, 16; a people: 28.36. 5. Cf. Romer, Israels Vdter, pp. 73-104. 6. Deut. 4.37; 5.3; 10.15, 22; 26.5; 30.5, 9; cf. Romer, Israels Vdter, pp. 23-73. 7. Cf. J. Vermeylen, 'Les sections narratives de Dt 5-11 et leur relation a Ex 1934', in N. Lohfink (ed.), Das Deuteronomium, pp. 174-207 (201). 8. For the importance of the number 'seven' in the final form of Deuteronomy, see G. Braulik, 'Die Funktion von Siebenergruppierungen im Endtext des Deuteronomiums', in F.V. Reiterer (ed.), Ein Gott, eine Offenbarung: Beitrage zur biblischen Exegese, Theologie und Spiritualitat: Festschrift fur Notker Fuglister OSB zum 60. Geburtstag (Wurzburg: Echter, 1991), pp. 37-50.

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Deuteronomy and their 'strategic' place (cf. the patriarchal frame in 1.8 and 34.4) are probably due to the final redaction of the Pentateuch, since this separates Deuteronomy from the Deuteronomistic History so as to endow the work with conceptual congruence.1 The absence of any explicit equation of the fathers with the patriarchs in Joshua-Kings or in Jeremiah supports this affirmation. It seems that at the time of the Babylonian exile (and probably earlier, cf. Hos. 12) there were alternative concepts about Israel's origin. The deuteronomistic exiles found their identity in an exodus view of origins, while those who had stayed in the 'land' referred to the patriarchal tradition (cf. Ezek. 33.24). Deuteronomy and the Deuteronomists rejected this genealogical conception.2 For them, Israel's identity depended on its vocation and the response to its call. These propositions have been sharply criticized by Lohfink,3 who rejects the notion that the names of the patriarchs in Deuteronomy are later additions. He contends that the first mention of the fathers in Deut. 1.8 explicitly identifies them as Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and gives the key for understanding all further occurrences of 'abot. He contests my literary-critical analysis of the patriarchal texts in Deuteronomy (without denying that some of these texts may be post-deuteronomistic) and argues that all the deuteronomistic references to the fathers may include the patriarchs. Of course, every diachronic hypothesis remains hypothetical and cannot be subject to 'proof in a scientific sense. I certainly agree with Lohfink that Deut. 1.8 leads the reader to identify the fathers with the patriarchs, but the question is: Who is responsible for this identification?41 am still convinced that this is not deuteronomistic, since, as Lohfink concedes, Deuteronomy and the Deuteronomistic History refer in extenso only to events that occur in the exodus,
1. Cf. Romer, Israels Vdter, pp. 251-70. 2. See the pertinent remarks of A. de Pury about the depreciation of the father who went down to Egypt in Deut. 26.5, 'Le cycle de Jacob comme legende autonome des origines d'IsraeT, in Congress Volume, Leuven 1989 (VTSup 43; Leiden: Brill, 1991), pp. 78-96(83). 3. N. Lohfink, Die Vdter Israels im Deuteronomium: Mit einer Stellungnahme von Thomas Romer (OBO 111; Freiburg: Universitatsverlag; Gottingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1991). For other reviews, cf. C.T. Begg, Bib 73 (1992), pp. 112-16; E. Blum, WO 28 (1992), pp. 180-83; H.D. Preuss, 'Zum deuteronomistischen Geschichtswerk', pp. 242-45; W. Roth, JBL 111 (1992), pp. 125-26; H. Seebass, TLZ97 (1991), cols. 102-105. 4. Cf. the review of Lohfink by S L. McKenzie, JBL 112 (1993), pp. 128-30 (129).


The History of Israel's Traditions

wilderness and conquest traditions.1 Literary-critical observations must necessarily be complemented by considerations from history of traditions and other (e.g., sociological, ideological) analyses.2 The discussions about the fathers in Deuteronomy should proceed in an effort to clarify, among other things, the relationship between the promises in Genesis and those in Deuteronomy.3 The discrepancy between Lohfink's view and the thesis I defended, is also due to different presuppositions concerning Deuteronomy. Lohfink reads it primarily as the finale of the pre-sacerdotal Pentateuch, while my analysis of Deuteronomy depends on the context of the Deuteronomistic History. This brings us to the question about the relationship between Deuteronomy and the Tetrateuch, which I shall now take up briefly. d. Deuteronomy and the Pentateuch For Noth and his colleagues, it was obvious that the authors of Deuteronomy, especially in chs. 1-3(4), had 'taken over some material of the old "Hexateuchal" sources'.4 Where Noth had been quite cautious about the utilization of 'older sources' in Deuteronomy,5 his protagonists postulated for the Josianic edition of Deuteronomy thorough resume's of the narratives of the pre-priestly Tetrateuch ('J/E'). The same approach can be found in the recent commentaries by Braulik, Perlitt and Weinfeld. However, in light of current discussion about the validity of the classical documentary hypothesis,6 the literary relationship
1. Cf. N. Lohfink, 'Deuteronome et Pentateuque', in Haudebert (ed.), Le Pentateuque, pp. 35-64 (59). 2. Cf. my 'Nachwort' to Lohfink's Vdter, pp. 111-23. 3. On this matter see recently L. Schmidt, 'VaterverheiBungen und Pentateuchfrage', ZAW 104 (1992), pp. 1-27; J. Scharbert, 'Die LandverheiBung an die Vater als einfache Zusage, als Bid und als Bund', in R. Bartelmus et al. (eds.), Konsequente Traditionsgeschichte: Festschrift fur Klaus Baltzer zum 65. Geburtstag (OBO 126; Freiburg: Universitatsverlag; Gottingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1993), pp. 337-54. 4. Noth, US, p. 97; DH, p. 129. 5. Cf. Noth, US, pp. 27-40; DH, pp. 45-60. 6. For the history of research see R.N. Whybray, The Making of the Pentateuch: A Methodological Study (JSOTSup 53; Sheffield: JSOT Press, 1987) and A. de Pury and T. Romer, 'Le Pentateuque en question: position du probleme et breve histoire de la recherche', in de Pury (ed.), Le Pentateuque en question: Les origines et la composition des cinq premiers livres de la Bible a la lumiere des recherches recentes (Le Monde de la Bible; Geneva: Labor et Fides, 2nd edn, 1991), pp. 9-80.

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between Genesis-Numbers and Deuteronomy has again become a matter of debate. In their treatments of the parallel traditions in Deuteronomy and the Tetrateuch, Van Seters and Rose came to the conclusion that the stories in Exodus and Numbers depend on Deuteronomy.1 Rose, for instance, argues (against the traditional view) that the T spy story in Numbers 13-14 presupposes the story in Deut. 1.19-25. But, as Blum has shown,2 this alternative is too simple. The relations between the pre-Priestly Tetrateuch and the deuteronomistic Deuteronomy are certainly more complex, and one cannot be content with the idea of unilateral dependency in either direction. If we compare Numbers 13-14 (without 'P') to Deut. 1.19-25, we may, following Rose, notice a number of arguments for the earlier date of Deuteronomy 1, where there is no equivalent to Moses' intercessory prayer. The statement of Deut. 1.37 would have been impossible if the author's Vorlage was Numbers 13-14 ('J/E'), and Num. 14.25 looks like a blind or theological motif compared to Deut. 1.40; 2.1. On the other hand, some items seem more 'primitive' in Numbers 13-14 than in Deuteronomy 1 (e.g., Num. 13.28//Deut. 1.28; Num. 13.23//Deut. 1.24). So we may assume that Numbers 13-14* is based on Deut 1.19-25 but also on an older (oral or written) tradition, which may also have been the Vorlage of Deut. 1.19-25. In any case, it seems less and less convincing to postulate a literary dependency of Deuteronomy's narrative sections on the pre-Priestly Tetrateuch. If Perlitt's recent denial of P-elements in Deuteronomy 3 is established, the integration of Deuteronomy into the Pentateuch could be ascribed to the 'final redactor'. Whatever may come of this discussion,4 the first and original context for an adequate interpretation of Deuteronomy should not be the Tetrateuch but the Deuteronomistic History as established by Noth.

1. J. Van Seters, 'The Conquest of ihon's Kingdom: A Literary Examination', JBL 91 (1972), pp. 182-97 and 'Etiology in the Moses Tradition: The Case of Exodus 18', HAR 9 (1985), pp. 355-61; M. Rose, Deuteronomist und Jahwist: Untersuchungen zu den Beruhrungspunkten beider Literaturwerke (AT ANT 67; Ziirich: Theologischer Verlag, 1981). 2. Blum, Studien, pp. 177-81. 3. L. Perlitt, Triesterschrift im Deuteronomium?' ZAW 100 (1988), Supplement, pp. 65-88; cf. also P. Stoellger, 'Deuteronomium 34 ohne Priesterschrift', ZAW 105 (1993), pp. 26-51. 4. The traditional view that P ends in Deut. 34 was recently defended by L. Schmidt, Studien zur Priesterschrift (BZAW 214; Berlin: de Gruyter, 1993).


The History of Israel's Traditions 3. Prospects for Further Research on Deuteronomy

How may the current state of research on Deuteronomy be summarized? Preuss is certainly right to stress the diversity of approaches and results. He is quite pessimistic about the possibilities of consensus, since such consensus seems limited to members of individual exegetical schools.1 All the same, perhaps Preuss is too pessimistic. Noth taught us to see Deuteronomy as the introduction to the Deuteronomistic History, and this is presently one of the safest results of critical biblical research.2 Noth made a clear distinction between the original Deuteronomy, the deuteronomistic editing of the book and later additions. Most scholars apparently accept these major distinctions, even if they define them quite differently. And even those who are not interested in diachronic work would scarcely deny the possibility of this approach. On the other hand, most current practitioners of the literary-critical method recognize the necessity of investigating structure and compositional techniques. We can also observe a growing interest in the legal texts of Deuteronomy. Regarding research on the ideological or theological function of Deuteronomy in the context of the Deuteronomistic History, the Pentateuch and the Hebrew Bible, since the end of the covenant euphoria we may observe some hesitation to put forth new ideas. As for further research on Deuteronomy, the first desideratum should be a methodological one. We may agree with McKenzie's wish that 'historical criticism and literary criticism [on Deuteronomy] should be complementary'.3 For the diachronic problems of Deuteronomy, discussion between the Cross and Smend schools should be intensified. We must discuss anew the criteria for distinguishing between 'deuteronomic' and 'deuteronomistic' layers and for postulating two, three or more deuteronomistic redactors. Scholars should clarify the literary-critical presuppositions that guide their investigations. Personally, I find it quite difficult to imagine that Deuteronomy (and the Deuteronomistic History) should have wandered during one century or less through the hands of ten or more deuteronomistic redactors. The
1. Cf. Preuss, 'Zum deuteronomistischen Geschichtswerk', p. 245. 2. It seems that C. Westermann (Die Geschichtsbiicher des Alien Testaments: Gab es ein deuteronomistisches Geschichtswerk? [TBii 87; Giitersloh: Chr. Kaiser Verlag; Giitersloher Verlagshaus, 1994]) denies the existence of a Deuteronomistic History, but, I very much doubt that he will convince many. 3. McKenzie, 'Deuteronomistic History', p. 167.

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Deuteronomists did not have computers or the leisure of constantly rewriting their history. Maybe we should return to Noth's fundamental distinction between the first deuteronomistic edition of Deuteronomy plus the Deuteronomistic History (Dtr1) and later additions (Dtr2), recognizing the difficulty of specifying the character and possible interrelations of those insertions.1 New attention should be paid to the outline of Deuteronomy. Many interesting analyses concern the structure of individual chapters, but few take up the structure of the book. If Deuteronomy presents itself as a farewell speech of Moses, does it then provide the model for the speeches in the following books? This would confirm and make precise Noth's observation that those speeches belong to the most important features that create the unity of the Deuteronomistic History.2 And if Deuteronomy can be characterized as a (literary) testament or a sort of memoir, does it then depend on the conventions of that genre? Regarding the law code, further research should go to the core of the question of its status and function. In a recent article, Mayes described two main interpretations of the Deuteronomic law that come from two different philosophical traditions.3 According to the 'parenetical' interpretation, chs. 12-25 is primarily a general teaching about an ideal society; according to the 'institutional' interpretation, it was written as state legislation and should be understood as such. Perhaps this is no real alternative since the two interpretations may delineate different aspects of the code. If the original law code was conceived as state law, what happened when it was integrated into the Deuteronomistic History? On the other hand, some laws (especially in chs. 19-25) are apparently the product of a stateless ([post-]exilic) time and must have had purposes other than those of the Josianic law-book. In order to come to an adequate understanding of the role of law in Deuteronomy, we need to know more about the making and the role of laws in the ancient Near East and their relationships to biblical law. Generally, I would say that biblical scholarship should open itself to more interdisciplinary work. If
1. The question of the Josianic date of the first deuteronomistic layer depends on the analysis of the whole Deuteronomistic History, especially the books of Kings. In Deuteronomy we certainly may find 'Josianic texts', but are they necessarily linked to a historiographic project covering the books from Deuteronomy to 2 Kings? 2. Cf. Noth, US, pp. 4-6; DH, pp. 18-19. 3. A.D.H. Mayes, 'On Describing the Purpose of Deuteronomy', JSOT 58 (1993), pp. 13-33.


The History of Israel's Traditions

we want fresh insights in the matter of the theological issues of Deuteronomy, we can no longer be content with a list of theological loci (God, people, land, etc.). Scholars should take into account the social world(s) of Deuteronomy1 and listen to what anthropology can tell us about how the 'origins' of a community are set.2 Deuteronomy certainly could be read at the different levels of its editing as a response to transformations in Judaean society. The authors of Deuteronomy propose new models for the identity of the 'people of YHWH', which they implant in a discourse about the people's origin. But reference to the origin helps transform the present. Deuteronomy is probably the generator of the most important transformation of Judaismwhen the book of the Torah is substituted for the temple.3 As it now stands in the Bible, Deuteronomy has a double identity and can be compared to a hinge. It is the conclusion of what the redactors of the Torah considered as the 'official' origin traditions of the people, but at the same time and first of all, Deuteronomy is the beginning and the key of another storythe 'Deuteronomistic History'discovered and masterfully described by Martin Noth fifty years ago. Thus, serious work on Deuteronomy will help us gain new insights on this critical juncture in the Bible. Mayes rightly reminds us of Gadamer's hermeneutical principle 'that insofar as interpretation is a matter of a dialogue between interpreter and the text, there can be no such thing as the final and definitive interpretation'.4 But the survey of critical work on Deuteronomy since Noth clearly argues for more intensive dialogue between scholars of different exegetical schools and between scholars and Deuteronomy.

1. See the recent effort of L. Stulman, 'Encroachment in Deuteronomy: An Analysis of the Social World of the D Code', JBL 109 (1990), pp. 613-32. 2. See, for example, M. de Perrot, et al., La mythologie programmee: L'economic des croyances dans la societe moderne (Paris: Presses Universitaires de France, 1992). 3. On this point cf. F. Smyth-Florentin, 'La maison et le livre', in O. Abel and F. Smyth-Florentin (eds.), Le livre de traverse: De Vexegese biblique a Vanthropologie (Patrimonies; Paris: Cerf, 1992), pp. 15-21. 4. Mayes, 'Purpose of Deuteronomy', p. 20.


Brian Peckham

Martin Noth's basic insight was that Dtr was an author and a historian. He was not able to sustain this basic insight in his analysis of the book of Joshua, because he lacked the appropriate literary techniques and historical methods. As a result, Dtr, in the book of Joshua, turned out to be an editor and a pedant, a visible manipulator of traditions, a most persistent ideologue. Noth's analysis of the book of Joshua determined the course of scholarship. Some rejected his theory of the Deuteronomistic History, some seemed not to understand it, but all accepted the details of his literary and historical analysis. As a result, his basic insight was lost, and Dtr was understood, as Noth's peculiar analysis seemed to allow, as just the chief among many editors of Joshua, the one whose constant interventions in the text were marked by provincialism, pettiness and prejudice, an intruder in the tradition, whose views were essentially without historical interest. Dtr became a historian whose ancient sources were critical for an understanding of the history of Israel, but whose personal views it was easy to discount. Noth's basic insight remains intact and barely explored. If it could be retrieved and refurbished it might still produce the results he envisaged. But if scholarship continues in the errors unwittingly fostered by his literary and historical analyses, it may be time to abandon his Deuteronomistic theory and begin again with a better reading of the text. 1. Noth's Theory and Analysis of Joshua Noth's presentation of the book of Joshua was based on his own work and on an established scholarly tradition. The divisions of the book were


The History of Israel's Traditions

obvious and there was general agreement on what texts were Deuteronomistic. What Noth added was an insistence on the pointing and historical design that Dtr gave to the book. a. The Theory The historical design consisted of an introduction (ch. 1) and a conclusion (ch. 12) to the narrative of the taking of the land, and a farewell speech by Joshua (ch. 23) that marked the end of the era and the beginning of the period of the judges. The pointing consisted of insertions that adapted the intervening narrative to the specific interests of the History that had begun in the book of Deuteronomy. All the rest was traditional and much earlier, or editorial and from the time of Dtr and later.1 This was a remarkable simplification imposed by the theory. The History had a structure and a point, its own peculiar themes and theological interests, and everything else either fit in or was excised. The book of Joshua clearly did not fit the theory, and most of it was excised, but the theory situated what was left in a unified, planned, complete and consistent historical work.2 What was left was what was original and traditional. It was composed of aetiological narratives, stories built around visible features of the landscape (chs. 3-5; 7-8) or glaring anomalies in actual religious practice (chs. 2; 6; 9), and of heroic legends or battle accounts, stories built around famous victories against impossible odds (chs. 10-11). The aetiological stories were based on facts. The facts, like stones in the Jordan, became associated with isolated events, such as the crossing of the Jordan. Stories about these events were combined with records of conquest, such as the battle of Ai, and both were integrated into the tradition of Benjamin's territorial acquisitions. Finally, by attachment to the shrine at Gilgal, where the stories were told and transmitted, the facts became part of the history of Israel's appropriation of the land of Canaan. This all happened orally and spontaneously in a religious environment. It was only long after the fact that an antiquarian, a Collector of traditions (Sammler), wrote it down,3 made Joshua the conqueror of
1. Noth, OS, pp. 40-47, 95-96; DH, pp. 61-68, 128-29. 2. Noth, OS, pp. 11, 45-47, 89-110; DH, pp. 26, 66-68, 119-45. 3. The aetiologies may have been gathered in written form before the Collector combined them with the heroic legends. The evidence is slight (9.1-4), and Noth wavers in his interpretation (cf. Noth, Das Buck Josua [HAT 7; Tubingen: Mohr;

PECKHAM The Significance of the Book of Joshua


the land and attributed to him the heroic legends. The Collector added only a few words to summarize (5.1; 6.27; 10.42; 11.16-20) and connect (9.3-4acc; 10.5, 43; 11.2) the narratives, but the rest is original and traditional.1 Dtr, almost four centuries later, framed and repointed the tradition, and incorporated the facts into a brand new history of Israel. The style was new, and the idea of fitting the past into a single consistent perspective was new, but the story was old and true and not invented. The framework attaches the taking of the land under Joshua to the occupation of the land in Transjordan (chs. 1; 12) and turns Joshua into a true successor of Moses. The repointing, besides introducing the same topics into the narrative (3.7; 4.12, 14, 24), is concerned mainly with the regulation of cultic mattersit is priests who carry the ark and blow the trumpetsand with exemplary events recounted in Deuteronomy and in the Pentateuchal sources: Joshua builds an altar on Ebal as Moses prescribed, the exodus is the model of all victories and Caleb receives the city he once visited as a scout in the time of Moses. This is all said in the jargon and stilted speech of Dtr and, apart from a couple of transcriptions from unrecorded laws (5.4, 6-7), official documents (Josh. 6.24; 1 Kgs 16.34) or sources that are now lost (Josh. 11.21-22; 12.13b-24a), it is all a reflection of theological rather than historical interest.2 The rest of the book of Joshua, according to Noth's theory, is not part of the History. The last part of the book (chs. 13-22) and the last chapter (ch. 24) were inserted into the History by a contemporary who shared Dtr's perspectives and assumptions and who wrote in an almost undistinguishable style. Like Dtr, this writer used authentic sources in a written edition done by a Compiler, reworked them reflectively and according to an overall plan, attributed them to Joshua the successor of Moses and framed them between an introduction (ch. 13) and a conclusion (21.43-22.6).3 The writer altered the structure of the
1938], pp. xii, 32; [2nd edn, 1953], pp. 13, 57). 1. Noth, US, pp. 40-41; DH, pp. 61-62; cf. Josua, (1938), pp. x-xiii; (1953), pp. 11-13. 2. Noth, US, pp. 2-3, 41-44; DH, pp. 14-16, 61-65. 3. In US (p. 45; [DH, pp. 66-67]) 21.43-45 and 22.1-6 conclude the geographical and topographic material added to the book of Joshua. But, in the earlier and later editions of his commentary, Noth makes 21.43-22.6 part of the original Deuteronomistic version that was displaced by the later restructuring of the book (Josua [1938], p. xiii; [1953], p. 9).


The History of Israel's Traditions

Deuteronomistic version by including historical documents (chs. 14-19) and a source that mirrors or parallels the sources used by the Collector (ch. 24)l and by removing the story of Caleb from its proper place (between 11.23a and 23b) to its logical position in the story of the apportionment of the land (14.6apb-15). However, this writer is not an editor, but an Augmentor. The new version contains recent lists of cities and ancient information on tribal boundaries, but it is intrusive in the History, not a new edition of it, and apart from its sources it has no historical interest.2 The principle of simplicity and exclusion that Noth used to isolate the Deuteronomistic Historian in the book of Joshua was extended to isolate this secondary, pseudo-Deuteronomistic writer from later but random glossators. There are sporadic insertions in the Deuteronomistic narratives at the beginning of the book, but nothing either systematic or significant. Manifold glosses, added in layers, and whole sections, added one after the other, were inserted in the territorial lists,3 but they either were made for the occasion or copied from other contexts and, apart from traces of original information that they may contain, contribute nothing of authentic interest. What counts in the book of Joshua are the ancient and reliable sources that it contains and the Deuteronomistic version that made it fashionable to include them. The sources are peculiar to Dtr and unrelated to the Pentateuchal sources. The narratives at the beginning of the book resemble narratives in the Pentateuch, but they have none of the characteristics of its sources, and they cannot be separated into the continuous and parallel strands that typify the inclusion of these sources in the Pentateuch and especially in Genesis. A few items in these narratives and the lists in the latter part of the book may be reminiscent of the hand of the Priestly writer, but the lists are old, authentic pre-Priestly documents, and the
1. In US (pp. 9, n. 1; 181; [DH, p. 23, n.l; CH, p. 108]) Noth said that 24.1-28 was an independent and literarily isolated tradition, unrelated to the traditions in chs. 2-11 and unknown to Dtr, and he repudiated the opinion expressed in his commentary that it had been the model for ch. 23. The same opinion, however, is repeated in the second edition of his commentary (pp. 10, 15-16). In both editions of the commentary he also allows that the pre-Deuteronomistic version of ch. 24 may have had some relation to an early version of chs. 2-11 (1938, p. 109; 1953, 16). 2. OS, pp. 6-10, 45-47; DH, pp. 20-24, 66-68; cf. Josua (1938), pp. ix-x; (1953), pp. 13-16. 3. Noth, US, pp. 182-90; CH, pp. 111-19.

PECKHAM The Significance of the Book of Joshua


glosses and additions are merely very late intrusions in the style of the Priestly writer. Dtr made a new beginning and wrote a new kind of history. Its only serious literary connection with the Pentateuch consisted of post-Priestly additions in the book of Numbers (chs. 32-35) and a few still later in the book of Joshua that were meant to bind the two originally completely distinct works.1 What is most obvious in all this is that the theory does not fit the facts. If Noth's theory of a Deuteronomistic History can be traced to his commentary on Joshua,2 it is not because the book provided literary evidence for the theory, but because it proved to him that Dtr was the author of a historical work that began in Deuteronomy and whose sources were completely unrelated to those of the Pentateuch. The many texts that do not fit Dtr's orderly plan and perspective are simply excised.3 The really problematic texts, those that could obscure the Deuteronomistic theory by suggesting that the Priestly writer had a hand in the composition of the book of Joshua, are relegated to an appendix.4 The theory was brilliant and actually seemed to work, but the available methods were unequal to the literary and historical facts. b. The Analysis The idea that Dtr is an author and historian means that Dtr selected, collected, arranged and interpreted all the available written traditions on the history of Israel.5 Dtr was more a thinker than a writer and usually was content to let the sources speak for themselves.6 The Historian did not compose a history but just added direction and emphases to literary and historical traditions. Nobody, in fact, composed anything. The traditions reflected religious practice or local pride and were fully formed before they were transcribed by the Collector. The official lists of towns and boundary points were manipulated into a system of territorial allotments just by cutting and pasting and adding a few verbs.7 Being an author and historian was intellectually bold and original but personally was not very taxing.
1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. Noth, OS, pp. 190-206, CH, pp. 121-34. Noth, OS, p. 88, n. 2; DH, p. 119, n. 2. Noth, Josua (1953), pp. 10-11. Noth, US, pp. 180-90; CH, pp. 105-19. Noth, OS, pp. 95-100; DH, pp. 128-33. Noth, OS, pp. 1-3, 11, 95; DH, pp. 13-16, 26, 128. Noth, Josua, (1938), pp. ix-x; (1953), pp. 13-15.


The History of Israel's Traditions

c. The Literary Analysis Noth kept insisting that Dtr was an author but constantly described the Deuteronomistic literary contributions in terms that, apart from the theory, would be characteristic of an editor or redactor. The problem was that he had inherited Dtr, and with it a literary method that was inadequate to his historical insight.1 The Dtr that Noth inherited was an editor with a distinctive style or a series of editors with the same style, who reworked the narratives from Joshua through Kings according to a clear and preconceived theology of history. There was no need to give a detailed list of what they did, he said, because the critical list had already been compiled. Nor was it necessary to define the style, because its characteristics were evident and unquestionedits lexicon, its reliance on formulaic expressions and its repetitive unadorned cadence.2 Noth did not agree that his Dtr was an editor, someone who worked with ready and essentially complete works, but his denials made no difference, because his Dtr was a product of classical literary criticism and so was distinguished only by its editorial habits and limited literary skills. Noth's Dtr was an author, he said, but authorship did not entail composition or literary production. Noth's Dtr was a historian and so authorship entailed only the ability to select and organize historical sources. Distinctive style? It was simple and unsophisticated, and anybody could copy it, just as some hack could imitate the style of the Priestly writer.3 It was not style but a kind of source and historical insight that distinguished Noth's Dtr from the writer of the second half of Joshua, who had exactly the same style but different ideas and different kinds of sources.4 This Dtr was not responsible for the Pentateuch and did not use Pentateuchal sources.5 But the idea of historical authorship made it crucial to find out what kinds of sources were used, and the only model or method that was available to Noth was the critical theory that had been applied to the Pentateuch. The sources used by Dtr in Joshua might differ in content,6 but they had the same general characteristics as
1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. Cf. Noth, OS, p. 11; DH, p. 26. Noth, US, pp. 3-5; DH, pp. 17-19. Noth, US, pp. 184, 188; CH, pp. 113, 117. Noth, OS, pp. 45, 184-86; DH, p. 66; CH, pp. 112-15. Noth, OS, pp. 13, 180-82; DH, p. 28; CH, pp. 107-109. Noth, US, p. 88; DH, p. 119.

PECKHAM The Significance of the Book of Joshua


the Pentateuchal sources, and they were isolated by the same meticulous historical-critical method. First, there was the obvious distinction between narrative sources, sources like J and E, at the beginning of the book of Joshua, and documentary or formal list-like sources, such as were most familiar from P, at the end of the book. This, in fact, was how scholarly tradition had described them,1 but Noth disagreed, because P was an independent source and not an editor of documents, and because the narratives did not contain parallel sources or, if they did, because the parallel sources were unlike those in the Pentateuch and were not continuous from one narrative to the next. Still there was no other reason, apart from this reliance on the Pentateuchal model, for Noth to make Dtr the author of the narrative parts and to invent a secondary pseudo-Deuteronomist to account for the inclusion and editing of the lists.2 Secondly, the sources were discovered by the tried and true method of stripping secondary material from a solid streak of narrative. In the Pentateuch, the sources were put together by a nameless and faceless redactor. In Joshua, they were assembled by a Collector, and the secondary material, except for completely random additions, was attributed to an individual Dtr with character and clear historical interests. Literary criticism went no further than responsibility for the sources, and literary features such as the fact that Joshua was a distinct book in a series of books were suppressed in favor of historical features, such as the fact that the book of Joshua, in its Deuteronomistic and its postDeuteronomistic versions, dealt with a distinct era.3 Noth's insight that Dtr was the author of a historical work was not sustained by the literary method at his disposal. The literary method was designed to isolate historical sources, not to appreciate writers of history. Dtr, despite the theory, was not the author of a literary work, but an editor or redactor of a traditional historical work. d. The Historical Analysis The mania for sources, and the adoption of a literary method to match, was also determined by historical theory and method. If history was a
1. Noth, OS, pp. 180-90; CH, pp. 107-19. 2. The literary reasons for considering chs. 13-19 to be secondary are that 13.la anticipates 23. Ib, and the apportionment of the land is just an elaborate expansion on the Deuteronomistic remark in 11.23 (US, p. 45; DH, pp. 66-67). 3. Noth, US, pp. 3, 45,47, 87-88; DH, pp. 15, 66, 68, 118-19.


The History of Israel's Traditions

true record of the past, it was the facts that mattered and those were conveyed, not by writers with personality and will, but by the traditions that spontaneously sprang from the facts and unthinkingly expressed them. The facts were assured by local aetiologies and impersonal documents. The aetiologies declared that something happened, but they did not necessarily report what happened or how it occurred. They merely reveal that a concrete physical fact existed and how it was remembered and repeated. The association of aetiologies with landmarks and holy places, their original independence from each other and the lack of correspondence between the topography and the historical traditions it supported, assured their pristine reliability. The documents, to the same effect, were lists of border points and towns.1 The fact that they were just lists, that the place names were not connected literarily but were just points on a map, that the points could be understood as the boundaries of more than one tribe or as places in more than one region and that there were not enough places to describe the boundaries of all twelve tribes or to fill out the system to which they were adapted, attests the authenticity of the lists. The sources were given a new twist by a Collector or a Compiler, by Dtr and by a later, likeminded writer. However, by abstracting from their work, the sources and the immemorial traditions they conveyed remain an uncontrived basis for the history of Israel. The interpretation of the sources that was denied to Dtr was taken up in Noth's historical synthesis. The documents, deciphered and dated by Alt, had been fitted into the amphictyonic scheme that Noth discovered.2 The aetiologies, at all but the first factual stage of the tradition, were dubious sources for the history of the nation, but by implicit reference to these documents and by absorption into his tribal scheme, they became true relics of the tribe of Benjamin, transmitted in the amphictyonic meetings at Gilgal, where Judaeans also worshipped and where Joshua the Ephraimite eventually found acceptance.3 The book of Joshua, in this way, could be reduced to useful sources from the
1. Noth, 'Studien zu den historisch-geographischen Dokumenten des JosuaBuches', ZDPV 58 (1935), pp. 185-255; repr. in H.W. Wolff (ed.), Aufsatze zur biblischen Landes- und Altertumskunde (Neukirchen-Vluyn: Neukirchener Verlag, 1971), I, pp. 229-80. 2. Noth, Das System der zwolf Stdmme Israels (BWANT 4.1; Stuttgart: Kohlhammer, 1930), p. 32 and Josua (1938), p. xi; (1953), p. 13. 3. Noth, Josua (1938), pp. 2-6,19-20, 29.

PECKHAM The Significance of the Book of Joshua


beginning of Israel's history in the land, and from the earliest and latest heydays of the monarchy under David and Josiah. The Deuteronomistic History, touted as new and original, was just the last significant stage in the transmission of tradition, and all but irrelevant to the interpretation of that tradition. The historical analysis essentially consisted in fabricating sources and imagining a time and place for them to fit. It seemed to have the support of critical literary method, and it acquired credibility in the historical synthesis that Noth created. But it undermined the theory that it was supposed to prove and turned Dtr, whom the literary analysis had revealed as an editor, into a mute or very marginal purveyor of curiosities from the distant past. 2. The Dilemma of the Successors of Noth Noth completely redefined the terrain. Those who disagreed with his theory still dealt with the data as he presented them. His view of the book of Joshua became the reality that everyone else had to interpret. The Deuteronomistic theory floated free of the book and could be accepted, emended or ignored with impunity, but Noth's literary and historical methods, and the results that they achieved, became the source and worry of subsequent literary and historical research. a. Historical Analyses Some commentators on Joshua attempted to move forward and still hold in their hands all the elements of Noth's synthetic view. Their results were wildly divergent and not always a real advance, but their reliance on Noth's analyses and distortion of his overriding Deuteronomistic theory were invariable and often perplexing components of their work. Hertzberg1 took over the whole system but tried to go deeper. He thought that Dtr was not an individual author and historian but a group of theologians. He believed that there was a metahistory beyond the historical sources that Noth described, that aetiologies marked theological events and that the significance of the tribal allotments was their reflection of a plan and their fulfillment of a promise that occurred, following the standard dating of the sources, in the time of David.
1. H.W. Hertzberg, Die Biicher Josua, Richter, Ruth (ATD 9; Gottingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 4th edn, 1969).


The History of Israel's Traditions

Soggin1 followed Noth almost slavishly and, even though they no longer made much sense, included all the elements of the standard system. Noth's Collector freely interchanges with J. Aetiologies give a focus to liturgical events, not to historical traditions. Dtr is a solution to inconsistencies in the stories but also a notable theologian. There are cluessuch as parallel recensions of the crossing of the Jordanthat suggested serious rethinking was in order, but they were neglected and the system was saved. Noth's historical analysis also became the basis of bold new syntheses that were at odds or totally inconsistent with it. The canonical approach espoused by Childs2 allowed him to treat Joshua as a book, but the book is exactly the mixture of sources and redaction that Noth described, and the canonical approach to it provides the means to juggle the inconsistencies and still believe that, even if not historical, it is relevant and true. The first part of the book presents the taking of the land as a unified and completely successful assault and is a theological construct that made the era of the conquest a model of obedience to the law. The last part proves that the promise of the land was fulfilled. Both parts conflict with editorial statements to the contrary, so that the land remains an ideal possession, much of which is left to be conquered. Dtr is responsible for the tensions that make the book gripping but is a theologian and not a historian, and rather than just marking the end of the tradition, is its most significant canonical impulse. Gottwald3 used Noth's data and the historical reconstruction that Noth proposed as the basis of his own sociological approach to the ancient traditions. What is important are the sources and the religious or archival contexts that Gottwald can imagine as their origins. The amphictyony is a dead letter, but the twelve-tribe system, which originated and functioned for a while in the time of David, survives in the lists that were truncated for inclusion in the book of Joshua. The narratives at the beginning of the book mask an indeterminate historical reality that acquired its actual form in the ritual cycles at Gilgal. Everything is as Noth left it, except that Dtr becomes even more peripheral in
1. J.A. Soggin, Joshua: A Commentary (OTL; Philadelphia: Westminster, 1972). 2. B.S. Childs, Introduction to the Old Testament as Scripture (Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1979). 3. N.K. Gottwald, The Tribes of Yahweh: A Sociology of the Religion of Liberated Israel, 1250-1050 B.C.E. (Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books, 1979).

PECKHAM The Significance of the Book of Joshua


Gottwald's eclectic acceptance of two editions of the History (neither of which seems to make any difference) and in his association of the narrative sources with those in the Pentateuch. Noth's analyses, as these quirky and divergent distillations might suggest, had a life of their own that made them apt for almost any application but entirely tangential to the Deuteronomistic theory they were meant to support. Noth's results, similarly, were easily adaptable to the needs of developing historical research. Aetiologies were disputed for a time and became symptomatic of stages of redaction rather than of original facts.1 But, since they were attached to the narratives which had little historical worth, the subject soon was abandoned.2 The boundary and city lists were dated to different reigns3 or were considered Utopian4 or historiographical rather than administrative records,5 but their existence and authenticity were never in doubt, and the historical reconstruction that they promoted was confirmed by the archaeological facts.6 The amphictyony fell on hard times,7 and the tribal organization of Israel came to be considered a projection from later years.8 The facts that Noth presented
1. J. Bright, Early Israel in Recent History Writing: A Study in Method (SET 19; London: SCM Press, 1956), pp. 91-104; B.S. Childs, 'A Study of the Formula "Until This Day'", JBL 82 (1963), pp. 279-92. 2. Cf. S. Herrmann,A History of Israel in Old Testament Times(trans. J.S. Bowden; Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1975), pp. 97-98. 3. P.M. Cross and G.E. Wright, 'The Boundary and Province Lists of the Kingdom of Judah', JBL 75 (1956), pp. 202-26; Z. Kallai(-Kleinman), The Town Lists of Judah, Simeon, Benjamin and Dan', VT 8 (1958), pp. 134-60; Y. Aharoni, The Province-List of Judah', VT9 (1959), pp. 225-46 and The Land of the Bible: A Historical Geography(trans. A.F. Rainey; Philadelphia: Westminster, 1967); S. Talmon, The Town Lists of Simeon', IEJ 15 (1965), pp. 235-41. 4. Y. Kaufmann, The Biblical Account of the Conquest of Palestine (Jerusalem: Magnes, 1953). 5. R. de Vaux, Archaeology and the Dead Sea Scrolls (Schweich Lectures, 1959; London: Oxford University Press, 1973), p. 47; N. Na'aman, Borders and Districts in Biblical Historiography: Seven Studies in Biblical Geographic Lists (Jerusalem Biblical Studies 4; Jerusalem: Simor, 1986). 6. I. Finkelstein, The Archaeology of the Israelite Settlement (Jerusalem: Israel Exploration Society, 1988). 7. C.H.J. de Geus, The Tribes of Israel: An Investigation into Some of the Presuppositions of Martin Noth's Ampictyony Hypothesis (Assen: Van Gorcum, 1976). 8. A.G. Auld, Tribal Terminology in Joshua and Judges', in Convegno sul Tema: Le Origini di Israele (Roma, 10-11 Febbraio 1986) (Rome: Accademia


The History of Israel's Traditions

and the synthesis that he devised, however, for want of an alternative theory or any other information, were retained and defended, although at times with pathetic diffidence1 or agnostic indecision.2 True history meant true records. The improbable sources that Noth proposed acquired life and momentum in his history of the origins of Israel in the land. The elements of his reconstruction were gradually whittled away, but the sources remained and could be incorporated into endless historical and theological theories. Dtr might have made a difference as the historian that Noth proposed but survived in any theory only as the editor and commentator that Noth described. True records, it turned out, meant whatever the fiction and fantasy of the later interpreters prescribed. b. Literary Analyses Noth's literary analysis was based on meticulous attention to every detail in the text. His successors turned to aspects of the text that he had only treated in passingthe history of the text and the composition of the narrativesor to his hasty and heavy-handed insistence that Joshua was integral to the Deuteronomistic History and had nothing to do with the Pentateuch. His divisions of the text and the Pentateuchal relationships that he had probed were in every instance the impetus to further research. Noth's literary analysis was both seconded and emended by work on the history of the text. Auld's studies attempted to solve the problems arising from his analysis. Tov's essays illustrated, in regard to issues that Noth had defined, the textual history of the book. A few items that Noth considered secondary could be shown to be random accretions to the Hebrew text3 with no original position in it.4 Expansions in the list of
Nazionale del Lincei, 1987), pp. 87-98; N.P. Lemche, '"Israel in the Period of the Judges": The Tribal League in Recent Research', ST 38 (1984), pp. 1-28; J.A. Soggin, A History of Israel: From the Beginnings to the Bar Kochba Revolt, AD 135 (London: SCM Press, 1984). 1. J. Bright, A History of Israel (London: SCM Press, 3rd edn, 1981), pp. 161 -62. 2. J.M. Miller and J.H. Hayes, A History of Ancient Israel and Judah (Philadelphia: Westminster, 1986), pp. 74-79. 3. A.G. Auld, Textual and Literary Studies in the Book of Joshua', ZAW 90 (1978), pp. 412-17. 4. E. Tov, 'Some Sequence Differences between the MT and LXX and their Ramifications for the Literary Criticism of the Bible', JNSL 13 (1987), pp. 151-60 (152-54).

PECKHAM The Significance of the Book of Joshua


Levitical cities were related to late developments in the Chronicler's history.1 The lists in the latter part of the book were described, on the basis of the variant Greek and Hebrew texts, as original to its narrative stratum, although they had been jostled by later additions, reorganizations, intrusions and appendices.2 The Hebrew text of Joshua, all in all, could be said to represent a late and expansive edition of the book.3 These particular uses of textual criticism often impinged on texts that Noth had considered accretions to the Deuteronomistic version, but they did not affect his explanation of the development of tradition up to that critical point. Other types of literary criticism intentionally ignored Noth's theories of tradition and redaction in order to concentrate on the texture and implications of the text. Some explored the literary qualities of traditional composition;4 some described the flow of a complete cycle5 and some delved into the art of an inspired narrator.6 Others, eschewing sources and editors, focused on the theories, meaning and interpretation inherent in particular texts7 or in thematic sequences8 or in the whole book.9 In a few instances, Noth's explanation of the growth of the literary
1. A.G. Auld, The "Levitical Cities": Texts and History', ZAW 91 (1979), pp. 194-206. 2. A.G. Auld, Joshua, Moses and the Land: TetrateuchPentateuch Hexateuch in a Generation Since 1938 (Edinburgh: T. & T. Clark, 1980). 3. E. Tov, The Growth of the Book of Joshua in the Light of the Evidence of the LXX Translation', in S. Japhet (ed.), Studies in Bible 1986 (ScrHier 31; Jerusalem: Magnes, 1986), pp. 321-39. 4. R.C. Culley, 'Stories of the Conquest: Joshua 2, 6, 7, and 8', HAR 8 (1984), pp. 25-44. 5. J.A. Wilcoxen, 'Narrative Structure and Cult Legend: A Study of Joshua 16', in J.C. Rylaarsdam (ed.), Transitions in Biblical Scholarship (Essays in Divinity 6; Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1968), pp. 43-70. 6. W.L. Moran, The Repose of Rahab's Israelite Guests', Studi sull'Oriente e la Bibbia offerti al P. Giovanni Rinaldi nel 60. compleanno (Genova: Studio e Vita, 1967), pp. 273-84. 7. P.A. Bird, The Harlot as Heroine: Narrative Art and Social Presupposition in Three Old Testament Texts', Semeia 46 (1989), pp. 119-40. 8. L.M. Eslinger, Into the Hands of the Living God (JSOTSup 84; Bible and Literature Series 24; Sheffield: Almond Press, 1989), pp. 25-54. 9. L.D. Hawk, Every Promise Fulfilled: Contesting Plots in Joshua (Literary Currents in Biblical Interpretation; Louisville: Westminster/John Knox, 1991); R. Polzin, Moses and the Deuteronomist: A Literary Study of the Deuteronomistic History, I, Deuteronomy, Joshua, Judges (New York: Seabury, 1980), pp. 73-145.


The History of Israel's Traditions

traditions barely survived close critical scrutiny.1 Most literary analysis of the book of Joshua was concerned with its relationship to the Pentateuch. There were two principal views, both affirming its use of Pentateuchal sources and making it continuous with the earlier books, each differing in the dates to be assigned to the sources. One was a reaffirmation of the old Hexateuchal theory that Noth had tried to displace,2 and the other was a revision of the classical theory of the Pentateuch that let his theory stand.3 Noth's theory required that the Deuteronomistic History begin in Deuteronomy, and his determination to exclude any connection between Joshua and the Pentateuchal sources inevitably came back to undermine his work. It is indicative of the contradictions in his system that it was only by redefining the book's relationship to the Pentateuch that his conviction that Dtr was an author and historian could begin to be defended. All parts of Joshua were affected. The opening narratives were traced to J4 or E5 or an amalgam of both,6 and it became routine to admit editing by the Priestly writer.7 The lists in the latter part of the book
1. G.M. Tucker, 'The Rahab Saga (Joshua 2): Some Form-Critical and Tradition-Historical Observations', in J.M. Efird (ed.), The Use of the Old Testament in the New and Other Essays: Studies in Honor of William Franklin Stinespring (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 1972), pp. 66-82. 2. G. von Rad, Das formgeschichtliche Problem des Hexateuch (BWANT 4.26; Stuttgart: Kohlhammer, 1938); repr. in Gesammelte Studien zum Alien Testament (TBii 8; Munich: Chr. Kaiser, 1958), pp. 9-86. 3. M. Rose, Deuteronomist und Jahwist: Untersuchungen zu den Beriihrungspunkten beider Literaturwerke (ATANT 67; Zurich: Theologischer Verlag, 1981); J. Van Seters, In Search of History: Historiography in the Ancient World and the Origins of Biblical History (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1983), pp. 322-53. 4. E. Otto, Das Mazzotfest in Gilgal (BWANT 107; Stuttgart: Kohlhammer, 1975). 5. Gottwald, Tribes of Yahweh. 6. J. Bright, 'Joshua', IB, 2 (Nashville: Abingdon, 1953), pp. 541-673; F. Langlamet, 'Josue 2 et les traditions de 1'Hexateuque', RB 78 (1971), pp. 5-17, 161-83, 321-54 and 'La traversee du Jourdain et les documents de 1'Hexateuque: Note complementaire sur Jos., III-IV, RB 79 (1972), pp. 7-38; S. Tengstrom, Die Hexateucherzahlung: Eine literaturgeschichtliche Studie (ConBOT 7; Lund: Gleerup, 1976). 7. J. Blenkinsopp, The Structure of P', CBQ 38 (1976), pp. 275-92; J. Halbe, 'Gibeon und Israel: Art, Veranlassung und Ort der Deutung ihres Verhaltnisses in Jos. IX', VT 25 (1975), pp. 613-41; N. Lohfink, 'Die Priesterschrift und die

PECKHAM The Significance of the Book of Joshua


were considered an appendage to J1 or were attributed to P2 or to a Jerusalem source similar to P3 or to contamination from the P source in the Pentateuch.4 The idea that they were derived from documents for which no one was responsible was countered by invoking an oral tradition that P then recorded from scratch.5 The appendices were explained by their dependence on P,6 and the end of the book was assigned to J7 or was derived from Pentateuchal sources8 or, exceptionally and in defiance of Noth's thesis, was accepted as a key composition of the Deuteronomistic school.9 The book of Joshua might still be considered a Deuteronomistic work, but it became a matter of indifference whether it

Geschichte', in Congress Volume, Gottingen 1977 (VTSup 29; Leiden: Brill, 1978), pp. 189-255; J.R. Porter, 'Old Testament Historiography', in G.W. Anderson (ed.), Tradition and Interpretation (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1979), pp. 125-62. 1. E. Cortese, Josua 13-21: Bin priesterschriftlicher Abschnitt im deuteronomistischen Geschichtswerk (OBO 94; Gottingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1990). 2. I.E. Petersen, 'Priestly Materials in Joshua 13-22: A Return to the Hexateuch?', HAR 4 (1980), pp. 131-46; A. Ibanez Arana, 'Los marcos redaccionales de Jos 13-19', in R. Aguirre and F. Garcia Lopez (eds.), Escritos de Biblia y Oriente (Bibliotheca Salmanticensis 38; Salamanca: Universidad Pontificia, 1981), pp. 71-95. 3. P.M. Cross, Canaanite Myth and Hebrew Epic: Essays in the History of the Religion of Israel (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1973), pp. 320-21. 4. M. Wiist, Untersuchungen zu den siedlungsgeographischen Texten des Alien Testaments, I, Ostjordanland(Tubingen Atlas des Vorderen Orients, B, 9; Wiesbaden: Dr. Ludwig Reichert, 1975). 5. S. Mowinckel, Tetrateuch-Pentateuch-Hexateuch: Die Berichte iiber die Landnahme in den drei altisraelitischen Geschichtswerken (BZAW 90; Berlin: Topelmann, 1964). 6. J.S. Kloppenborg, 'Joshua 22: The Priestly Editing of an Ancient Tradition', Bib 62 (1981), pp. 347-71; A. Rofe, 'Joshua 20: Historico-Literary Criticism Illustrated', in J.H. Tigay (ed.), Empirical Models for Biblical Criticism (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1985), pp. 131-47. 7. J. Van Seters, 'Joshua 24 and the Problem of Tradition in the Old Testament', in W.B. Barrick and J.R. Spencer (eds.), In the Shelter ofElyon: Essays on Ancient Palestinian Life and Literature in Honor ofG. W. Ahlstrom (JSOTSup 31; Sheffield: JSOT Press, 1984), pp. 139-58. 8. W.T. Koopmans, Joshua 24 as Poetic Narrative (JSOTSup 93; Sheffield: JSOT Press, 1990); S.D. Sperling, 'Joshua 24 Re-examined', HUCA 58 (1987) 11936. 9. H.D. Hoffmann, Reform und Reformen: Untersuchungen zu einem Grundthema der deuteronomistischen Geschichtsschreibung (ATANT 66; Zurich: Theologischer Verlag, 1980), pp. 300-306.


The History of Israel's Traditions

was composed from Pentateuchal sources or merely completed a basic Pentateuchal theme.1 Noth's theory that Dtr was the author of a historical work was not well served by the methods he used. He noticed every nook and cranny in the text but did not dally with its ultimate appeal. He saw all the connections within it and between it and the Pentateuch, but there was always an editor waiting in the wings to take the blame. He did not transcend an inherited fixation on objective facts, and he did not think that the author of a history actually wrote it or was responsible for its presentation of the facts. His theory, consequently, was not tested, and most scholarly attention was diverted to its peculiarities and to the ready and useful results that it produced. 3. The Next Generation: Intimations and Prospects Study of the book of Joshua, whether through progress or regression, seems to be stuck in its pre-Nothian position. There is a multiplicity of Deuteronomists, either authors or editors; the novelty of their work is blurred by the encroachment of Pentateuchal sources or themes; the only certain sign of their presence is an attachment to words; the only distinction between them is their particular obsessions and the only justification for them at all is an attempt to systematize the random additions postulated by Noth or the hypothetical place they might have in a predetermined history of institutions and ideas.2 Noth may have
1. G.W. Coats, 'An Exposition for the Conquest Theme', CBQ 47 (1985), pp. 47-54 and 'The Book of Joshua: Heroic Saga or Conquest Theme?', JSOT 38 (1987), pp. 15-32; D.M. Gunn, 'Joshua and Judges', in R. Alter and F. Kermode (eds.), The Literary Guide to the Bible (Cambridge, MA: Belknap Press, 1987), pp. 102-22; G.J. Wenham, 'The Deuteronomic Theology of the Book of Joshua', JBL 70 (1971), pp. 140-48. 2. Examples of these tendencies (R.G. Boling, Joshua: A New Translation with Notes and Commentary [AB 6; Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1982] and 'Joshua, Book of, ABD, IJJ, pp. 1002-15; J. Gray, Joshua, Judges, and Ruth [NCB; London: Oliphants, rev. edn, 1977]; N. Lohfink, 'Kerygmata des deuteronomistischen Geschichtswerks', in J. Jeremias and L. Perlitt [eds.], Die Botschqft und die Boten: Festschrift fur Hans Walter Wolff zum 70. Geburtstag [Neukirchen-Vluyn: Neukirchener Verlag, 1981], pp. 87-100; A.D.H. Mayes, The Story of Israel between Settlement and Exile: A Redactional Study of the Deuteronomistic History [London: SCM Press, 1983], pp. 40-57; B. Peckham, 'The Composition of Joshua 3-^T, CBQ 46 [1984], pp. 413-31; R. Smend, 'Das Gesetz und die Volker: Bin Beitrag zur

PECKHAM The Significance of the Book of Joshua


meant something different or better, and it might be time, with the help of clues that have eluded the ideal control of the system, to dust off his original insight. It may be supposed, if only to get out of a scholarly rut, that being an author involves composing a literary work, and being a historian means something other than having a fixation on facts from the past. It might be useful, then, to consider how the book of Joshua is a literary work and how its author managed to write a new kind of history that started in Deuteronomy and did not use the old familiar sources. a. Dtr as Author The examination of Joshua as a literary work might begin with the form of the whole and the form of its parts and the relation between them. It will be noticed that it is a literary work that belongs to a series, a book attached by literal repetition to the books that precede and follow. It becomes obvious, then, that the books are about people and eras, real people or types, and epochs that follow each other but also clearly overlap. The parts of the book, similarly, are phases in a single career and periods in the era that follow each other and backtrack to earlier times. Joshua is the biography of a hero. Its individual parts recount the wonders that confirmed the hero's calling (chs. 1-4), his legendary victories (chs. 5-8), his defeat of the kings and occupation of the land from north to south and to the distant sea (chs. 9-12), his last will and testament that distributed inheritances to the tribes (chs. 13-21) and his parting addresses to his bodyguard, to the leaders of the troops and to the people (chs. 22-24). The story of Joshua fills the time between Moses' farewell address and the fulfillment of his dreadful predictions by the following generation. In each part everything is said twice from different points of view. In
deuteronomistischen Redaktionsgeschichte', in H.W. Wolff [ed.], Probleme biblischer Theologie: Gerhard von Rod zum 70. Geburtstag [Munich: Chr. Kaiser, 1971], pp. 494-509) are situated and evaluated by M.A. O'Brien, The Deuteronomistic History Hypothesis: A Reassessment (OBO 92; Gottingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1989), pp. 67-81. Significant interest in Dtr as an individual author and historian can be found in the partial studies of D.J. McCarthy (The Theology of Leadership in Joshua 1-9', Bib 52 [1971], pp. 165-75) and C.T. Begg ('The Function of Josh 7,1-8,29 in the Deuteronomistic History', Bib 67 [1986], pp. 320-24).


The History of Israel's Traditions

the first part Joshua is sent to take the land and is also commissioned to apportion it (1.1-5, 6-9); the invasion is heralded by preparing the people and by sending spies (1.10-18; 2.1-24); the people cross the Jordan and so do the priests (3.1-17; 4.1-24). In the second part (chs. 5-8) there are two attacks on Ai and two reasons for the capture of Jericho. In the third part (chs. 9-12) there are two sides to the covenant with Gibeon, two versions of the victory over the southern kings, two battles with the king of Hazor and two summaries of the conquered land. In the fourth part there is (1) an introduction relating unfinished business from the time of Moses, which deals twice with the land of the Transjordanian tribes (chs. 13-14), (2) a conclusion with more unfinished business, which deals twice in different ways with the cities of refuge (chs. 20-21) that together enclose (3) the boundaries of Judah and a list of its cities (15.1-19, 20-63), (4) the double share of the tribe of Joseph (chs. 16-17) and (5) the boundaries and cities allotted to the remaining tribes (chs. 18-19). The last part has two views on the Transjordanian tribes (22.1-9, 10-34) and two final speeches by Joshua (chs. 23-24). In every iteration the story of Joshua and the history of the tribes overlap or meet on a tangent. Between the parts there are literal and topical connections. The first part introduces items that are repeated in the lastJoshua's bargain with the Transjordanian tribes (1.12-18; 22.1-9), his commitment to the book of the law (1.7-9; 24.19-28), the crossing of the Jordan or the Sea to the land of the Amorites (4.19-24 + 5.1 and 24.6-8), the capture of Jericho as emblematic of victory over the nations in the land (3.5; 24.11) and even an obsession with stones (4.3, 8-9, 20; 24.26-27)but these and other ordinary items also relate this first part to the second (ch. 6, the capture of Jericho), the third (9.1-2, the nations in the land) and the fourth (13.8-32; 14.1-5, the Transjordanian tribes) parts. The second part, similarly, recounts the battle of Jericho that began in the first, the battle of Ai that motivates the action in the third part, the parade of the tribes that become the topic of the fourth part and a ceremony between Ebal and Gerizim that foreshadows the closing covenant at Shechem. The third part is linked to the first by its mention of the exodus and of Sihon and Og (9.9-10; 2.10), to the second by its allusion to a temple of Yahweh (9.27; 6.19), to the fourth by its interest in tribal allotments (11.23) and its concern for the Transjordanian tribes (12.1-6) and to the last by its summary of victories and by some of the same particular points. The fourth part begins like the last (13.1-7; 23.2-13), fulfills the

PECKHAM The Significance of the Book of Joshua


command given to Joshua in the first (1.6) and takes place mostly at Gilgal, as did the second and third. The connections are cumulative and interpret the tasks completed during Joshua's career. Each part has an introduction and conclusion and a distinctive distribution of its compositional segments. The first part opens with the command to cross the Jordan and ends with an explanation of the crossing. The narrative is discontinuous and its segments are staggered around items they enclose: it skips from a promise to a prayer that Yahweh would be with Joshua (1.1-5, 12-18), from the assurance that the land is theirs (1.1-5) to reassurance on the same point (ch. 2), from orders to their performance (1.10-11 and 3.2-4; 1.12-18 and 4.12-14) and is filled with digressions and asides that become principal topics as the narrative proceeds.1 The second part opens with a transition from the end of the first (5.1) and ends with Joshua's accomplishment of his initial commission (8.3035; 1.6-9). The narrative proceeds in segments related discretely to topics in the first part: the rite of circumcision distinguishes the children of Israel to whom the land was given (5.2-7; cf. 1.2-3), Gilgal is defined (5.8-9; 4.19-24), the chronology of the crossing is completed (5.10-12; cf. 1.11; 2.22; 3.2; 4.14, 19), the encouragement Joshua received takes shape (5.13-15; 1.5), Rahab and her family are spared as the spies agreed (6.17, 22-25; 2.12-21), the ark and the crossing of the Jordan become the focus of attention (7.6-9) and the law is inscribed in the land (8.3035; 1.6-9). The third part begins with a reference to the second (9.1-2) and ends with summaries and references to the first and second parts (11.23; 12.1-6, 9). Each narrative begins the same way, has its own conclusion and refers to the preceding. The fourth part has an introduction and a conclusion (13.1-7; 21.4345); its segments are paired and each successive pair refers in some way to the first (e.g., 15.13-19 and 14.6-15; chs. 16-17 and 14.4). The last part is composed of speeches with similar introductions and was designed to conclude the book. It suited Noth's literary method and his predilection for sources that the Deuteronomistic History should flow continuously and not be divided into books.2 But if the History was composed in books, as this survey of the structure of Joshua might suggest, it may be time to look
1. 2. Peckham, 'Composition of Joshua 3-4'. Noth, US, pp. 3, 88; DH, pp. 17, 118.


The History of Israel's Traditions

at it from another critical angle and treat it as an author's creation, as a sophisticated work that both flows and reflects on itself, whose abruptness is an appeal for understanding, rather than an occasion for assigning the difficult parts to irresponsible editors with little literary ability and even less sense of the developing whole. b. Dtr as Historian In considering Joshua as a historical work, a beginning might be to abandon Noth's traditions and sources, which suited his system but bedevilled the Historian's craft. Instead of the common but vain supposition that facts are first, it might be supposedif only to free the inquiring mindthat true history means true interpretation, based on data, derived from research, sifted as evidence, reasonably arranged, formed for a purpose and issuing in narrative, descriptive or explanatory statements of fact. Dtr, in reality, is the principal source of a History, whose facts depend entirely on the argument for which they were conceived and the theory from which they were all reconstructed. Dtr's facts are drawn from the past and geared to the future. The past belongs to an interpretive scheme that is compiled in the foregoing books, and the future is the proleptic and persuasive form of the ongoing story. Everything that is said has been told and will be told again, each time with a difference but always with the same deliberate purpose. The Deuteronomistic book of Joshua is one stage in a cumulative and self-reflective interpretation of the history of Israel, which, by tracing an era's origins, structure and purpose, engaged the reader in the process of historical understanding. The past centers on Moses and the mystic age from which he emerged. The first part begins with the death of Moses and Joshua as his replacement, with orders for the army officers whose role Moses had defined, and with his partition of Transjordan that was recounted in Numbers. The spies are sent from Shittim beyond the Jordan, where (according to the same book) the people had settled, and they successfully relive the earlier debacle that already has been recounted twice, going to Rahab instead of Rehob (Num. 13.21) and finding that the walled cities are manned by a woman. The ark and the priests lead the way, as they did in the wilderness, and the crossing fulfills the conditions of the Sinai covenant (3.5, 10; Exod. 19.10-11; 34.10-11) and repeats the crossing of the Sea. In the second part, circumcision with swords made of flint seals off the wilderness where Moses (Exod. 4.24-26) and

PECKHAM The Significance of the Book of Joshua


men of war wrestled with God; Gilgal replaces Egypt; a vision at Jericho assumes the features of revelation to Moses and Balaam; trumpets sound before a battle; the progress of the ark spells victory; war follows the rules that Moses determined; Joshua's gesture wins the day at Ai, as Moses did against Amalek; and Achan in his own way relives the stupid mistake of Dathan and Abiram. In the third part, the role of the chieftains and the congregation, the tasks assigned to the Gibeonites, the rules of war, the end of the Anakim and the wars in Transjordan reflect Mosaic problems and solutions from Numbers and Deuteronomy. The fourth part begins and ends with references to the Mosaic era, and the narrative thread linking the tribes is strung with people, doctrines and stories spun out of the already recorded past. In the last part, the Transjordanian tribes get to go home as Moses promised, Eleazar handles their affairs as Moses instructed but confuses the altar they build with the altar Moses prescribed, Joshua quotes from the law in Exodus and Deuteronomy in speaking to the leaders of the army, and the conclusion of the book, when all the covenants and promises are complete, recounts a patchwork of incidents and interpretations from Abraham to the present. It is Joshua's story, but his career overlaps, reflects and fulfills the mission that Moses assumed. Dtr, as Noth said, wrote a new kind of history that began in Deuteronomy. As he knew, Joshua did not incorporate any of the old familiar sources. However, as his method would not allow, the book was constructed throughout with reference to them and to the interpretation that they had received in the previous books. Joshua is the history of an era and the story of a people, as seen through the lives of a few men and women and in relation to earlier and later eras and the people who made a difference in their own times. From Deuteronomy on, each book tells a different story and different versions of stories already told, as one era succeeds the last and history moves to a close. Dtr was not the first historian but was the first to rewrite history with constant reference to its origins, motives and causes and with repeated laws, types, patterns and paradigms that made it interesting, persuasive and applicable to all times. Dtr, as Noth insisted, did not use the Pentateuchal sources, but Dtr, as Noth surely must have suspected, did use the Pentateuch as a source. Martin Noth's basic insight that Dtr was an author and historian can be sustained simply by abandoning the traditional literary and historical methods that he inherited and that so badly misled him. By not fixing on


The History of Israel's Traditions

facts, or on tradition which supposedly lies behind the text or on a historical system constructed from vain imaginings about a past where such things might have mattered, it is possible to deal with the facts as Dtr understood them and wanted them to be known. 4. Other Works Consulted
Butler, T.C., Joshua (WBC 7; Waco, TX: Word Books, 1983). Eissfeldt, O., 'Die Geschichtswerke im Alten Testament', TLZ 72 (1947), pp. 71-76; repr. in R. Sellheim and F. Maass (eds.), Kleine Schriften,III (Tubingen: Mohr, 1968). Einleitung in das Alte Testament (Tubingen: Mohr, 3rd edn, 1964). Fohrer, G., Introduction to the Old Testament (trans. D.E. Green; Nashville: Abingdon, 1968). Gorg, M., Josua (NEB 26; Wurzburg: Echter Verlag, 1991). Kallai(-Kleinmann), Z., Historical Geography of the Bible: The Tribal Territories of Israel (Jerusalem: Magnes, 1986). Langlamet, F., Gilgal et les recits de la traversee du Jourdain (Jos. III-IV) (CahRB 11; Paris: Gabalda, 1969). Noth, M., 'Uberlieferungsgeschichtliches zur zweiten Halfte des Josuabuches', in H. Junker and J. Botterweck (eds.), Alttestamentliche Studien Friedrich Notscher zum Sechzigsten Geburtstag, 19, Juli 1950 (BBB 1; Bonn: Peter Hanstein, 1950). The History of Israel (New York: Harper & Row, 2nd edn, 1960). Ottosson, M., Josuaboken: en programskrift for davidisk restauration (Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis, Studia Biblica Upsaliensis 1; Uppsala: Almqvist & Wiksell, 1991). Vaux, R. de, Histoire ancienne d'Israel. I. Des origines a I'installation en Canaan (Paris: Librairie Lecoffre, 1971).


1. Martin Noth The book of Judges holds a rather special place in Noth's hypothesis of a Deuteronomistic History. According to him, 'Dtr. did the largest amount of original work on the period between the occupation and the beginning of the monarchy.'1 It was Dtr who created the notion of a period of the judges between that of the occupation of the land under Moses and Joshua and that of the monarchy. In Noth's view this period of the judges ran from Judg. 2.6 to 1 Samuel 12. To create it Dtr combined quite diverse traditional material and shaped it in a way that would make it an integral yet unique part of the larger story of Israel. Noth followed the consensus of his day for the separation of traditional material from Dtr's own contribution. The traditional material was identified as the stories about tribal leaders in Judg. 3.12-12.6 and the lists of 'judges' in 10.1-5 and 12.7-15.2 Within 1 Samuel 1-12 traditional material includes the story of Samuel's birth and childhood in chs. 1-3, the 'ark narrative' in 4.1b-7.1, the story of Saul's secret anointing in 9.1-10.16 and his deliverance of Israel in 10.27b-11.15. The stories about tribal leaders had already been collected before the composition of the Deuteronomistic History but lacked thematic unity. The two lists of judges were originally a single list. According to Noth, Dtr combined the collection of stories and the list of judges by splitting the latter into two parts to accommodate the story of Jephthah. The reason for this must have been that Dtr noticed that the name Jephthah occurs in the story as
1. Noth, US, p. 90;D#, p. 121. 2. As Noth observed, the judges are referred to by exegetes as the 'minor judges'. This is presumably because they appear in simple lists and not dramatic stories as the other judges, described as the 'major judges' (US, pp. 20-21, 47-48; DH, pp. 37, 69-70).


The History of Israel's Traditions

well as in the list of judges in 12.7, so he decided to join the latter to the end of the story in 12.6. Noth claimed that it was the conjunction of the two traditions in the figure of Jephthah that prompted Dtr to use the term 'judge' in 2.16-19 as a general designation for Israel's leaders from Othniel to Samuel.1 Dtr composed a programmatic introduction for the period of the judges in 2.6-16, 18-19.2 This introduction explained how the judges came about, and it linked them with the preceding period of the conquest under Moses and Joshua. The generation that had seen the great works of the Lord during the conquest remained faithful even after Joshua died (2.6-9). The next generation, however, did not know the Lord and turned repeatedly to the worship of foreign gods. In keeping with the terms of the Deuteronomic covenant, each occasion of Israelite infidelity brought divine retribution. The Lord handed Israel over to foreign oppression but, moved to pity by the people's distress, repeatedly raised up judges who delivered them. Nevertheless, as soon as a judge died, Israel lapsed into apostasy (2.11-16, 18-19). Dtr's evaluation of this new form of leadership was that it was unable to instil in Israel an enduring commitment to the Horeb covenant. 2.19 points to a spiralling decline in Israel's behavior as they became 'worse than their ancestors'. According to Noth, Dtr also composed for each story of deliverance a framework that validated the viewpoint presented in the introductory overview.3 Set in this deuteronomistic context, the stories acquired a

1. According to Noth, the title 'judge' is, for Dtr, 'not a question of judicial activity but of leading the people' (US, p. 55, n. 3; DH, p. 78, n. 2). He subsequently published a special study of the office of judge entitled, 'Das Amt des "Richters Israels"', in W. Baumgartner, O. Eissfeldt, K. Elliger and L. Rost (eds.), Festschrift Alfred Bertholet (Tubingen: Mohr, 1950), pp. 404-17. Since then, there has been considerable debate about how the term 'judge' is to be understood in Old Testament texts. The literature was reviewed by H.N. Rosel, 'Die "Richter Israels": Riickblick und neuer Ansatz', BZ 25 (1981), pp. 180-203. Rosel's own position has subsequently been criticized by N.P. Lemche, The JudgesOnce More', BN 20 (1983), pp. 47-55. See also E.T. Mullen, 'The "Minor Judges": Some Literary and Historical Considerations', CBQ 44 (1982), pp. 185-201. 2. Noth's discussion of the introduction is in US, pp. 6-10; DH, pp. 20-24. 3. Six elements of the framework can be identified, although not all are present in each story. They are: (1) accusation of infidelity (3.7, 12; 4.1; 6.1; 10.6; 13.1); (2) oppression by an enemy (3.8, 12; 4.2; 6.1; 10.7; 13.1); (3) cry to God (3.9, 15; 4.3; 6.6; lO.lOa); (4) God raises a deliverer (3.9, 15); (5) subjugation of the enemy (3.10,

O'BRIEN Judges and the Deuteronomistic History


certain conceptual unity. Furthermore, Dtr punctuated the narrative at two strategic points to accentuate the theme of Israel's increasing infidelity. The first one is 6.7-10, in which a message is delivered by an unnamed prophet; the second is 10.6-16, where the Lord personally indicts Israel in vv. 11-14. The traditional material in 1 Samuel 1-3; 4.1b-7.1; 9.1-10.16; 10.27b11.15 was combined with Dtr's own compositions in 7.2-8.22; 10.1727a and 12.1-25 to bring the period of the judges to an end and link it with the subsequent period of the monarchy. Samuel is portrayed as the last judge who delivers Israel from foreign oppression (7.2-17), yet he is also the prophet commissioned to set a king over Israel (8.1-22; 10.1727a). In Noth's understanding of the Deuteronomistic History, 1 Samuel 12 is the programmatic speech that marks the end of the period of the judges and inaugurates that of the monarchy, a period that ended ignominiously in exile (2 Kgs 17; 25). The integration of the period of the judges within the Deuteronomistic History was cemented even more firmly by a chronological schema that Dtr constructed. According to Noth, the pivotal date in this chronology was the building of the temple 480 years after the exodus (cf. 1 Kgs 6.1). Dtr assembled the chronology for the period of the judges with this date in mind by combining information in the traditional material with personal calculations. Noth found traditional chronological information in the years during which Israel was oppressed by foreigners and in the years attributed to the so-called 'minor judges'.1 Dtr's own calculations are to be found in the years of peace that followed Israel's deliverance from oppression. These are all round figures of forty and are presumably meant to indicate the passing of a generation of adults.2 When Noth added the combined figures to the chronological information for the period from the exodus to the conquest and for the period from Saul

30; 4.23; 8.28; 11.33); (6) period of rest (3.11, 30; 5.31; 8.28). Noth believed that the story of Othniel in 3.7-11, which is almost entirely made up of elements of the framework, was composed by Dtr. 1. The one exception is the round figure of 40 years for Israel's oppression by the Philistines (Judg. 13.1), a figure that Noth attributes to Dtr (US, p. 22; DH, p. 38). 2. The figures continue the theme of the passage of generations found earlier in Deut. 2.14-16 (38 + 2 years from the Exodus to Kadesh-barnea = 40 years) and Judg. 2.10. The 80 years of rest given in 3.30 are presumably meant to cover the rule of Ehud and his successor Shamgar.


The History of Israel's Traditions

to the building of the temple by Solomon, he arrived at the figure of 480 years.1 Thus, by a judicious combination of tradition and redaction, by ascribing the title of judge to the leaders of Israel and by a suitable chronology, Dtr created the period of the judges and made it an integral part of the History and its principal theme of divine retribution for Israel's infidelity. Noth believed that a number of passages were later additions. Dtr's account of the transition from the period of the conquest to the period of the judges is to be found in Joshua 23 and Judg. 2.6-19. Josh. 24.1-33 and Judg. 1.1-2.5 are later expansions associated with the division of the History into books. For example, Josh. 24.29-31 is a doublet of Dtr's account of the death of Joshua in Judg. 2.6-9 and, along with Josh. 24.32-33, forms the conclusion to that book. Judges 1 is a conglomerate of traditional elements that shows no signs of deuteronomistic redaction. Instead, it serves as an introduction to the book of Judges. In a similar vein Noth did not consider Judges 13-21 part of Dtr's History. He believed that Dtr's conceptual plan was flexible enough to have accommodated the story of Samson, even though the latter did not win rest for the people as the other leaders had. Nevertheless, he inclined against including it for several reasons. The story shows no evidence of being redacted by Dtr. The deuteronomistic comments about Samuel as a judge in 15.20 and 16.31b are similar to the one about Eli in 1 Sam. 4.18b, which Noth considered a later addition. Furthermore, Samson is not mentioned in Dtr's list of deliverers in 1 Sam. 12.11.2 For
1. In fact, the total came to 481, but Noth rounded it off to 480 by proposing an overlap between David's last year and Solomon's first year. His reconstruction of the chronology is as follows: (1) from the exodus to the conquest, 45; (2) from Othniel to Gideon, 253; (3) the reign of Abimelech, 3; (4) the minor judges Tola and Jair, 45; (5) oppression by the Ammonites, 18; (6) minor judges Jephthah, Ibzan, Elon and Abdon, 31; (7) oppression by the Philistines, 40; (8) Saul, 2; (9) David, 40; (10) Solomon, to the building of the temple, 4 (US, pp. 18-27; DH, pp. 34-44). Noth omitted the chronological information in Judg. 15.20 and 16.31 from his calculation, regarding them as later additions. W. Richter arrives at the figure of 480 by including these texts but omitting as additions texts that Noth included (Judg. 9.22; 10.8 and 13.1) (Die Bearbeitung des 'Retterbuches' in der deuteronomischen Epoche [BBB 21; Bonn: Peter Hanstein, 1964], pp. 132-41). Cf. also G. Sauer, 'Die chronologischen Angaben in den Buchern Deut. bis 2. Kon.', 7Z 24 (1968), pp. 1-14. 2. Noth here follows the MT and LXXBA which have 'Samuel', whereas the LXXL and Syriac have 'Samson'.

O'BRIEN Judges and the Deuteronomistic History


chs. 17-21 Noth followed the scholarly opinion that these chapters were a later addition associated with the division of the History into separate books.1 The direct continuation of 13.1 in Dtr's History is to be found in 1 Sam. 1.1. 2. Developments since Noth Noth's hypothesis has been the focal point for most subsequent study of the book of Judges, and only recently has there been a move to examine it independently of his hypothesis. This move is to be expected and will hopefully provide fresh insights into the book. However, its success will depend in some measure on the way it accounts for the literary phenomena that, for Noth, pointed so clearly to the existence of the Deuteronomistic History. In tracing developments since Noth, only the major contributions that are of significance for the Deuteronomistic History hypothesis can be reviewed here.2 Richter's investigation of the compositional history of Judges during the 1960s marked a considerable departure from the scholarly consensus that Noth followed.3 Noth believed that Dtr was the author of the framework passages that gave conceptual unity to a loose collection of stories. Contrary to this view, Richter found that the stories had undergone considerable development before Dtr arrived on the scene. A
1. Cf. Noth, US, p. 54, n. 2; DH, p. 77, n. 2. In a subsequent study of Judg. 1718, Noth stated that 'the entire story does not fit at all well into the Deuteronomistic conception of "the period of the Judges'" (The Background of Judges 17-18', in B.W. Anderson and W. Harrelson [eds.], Israel's Prophetic Heritage: Essays in Honour of James Muilenberg [London: SCM, 1962], pp. 68-85). He found that the refrain in 17.6 and 18.1 ('in those days there was no king in Israel; all the people did what was right in their own eyes') was an integral part of chs. 17-18 but redactional in chs. 19-21. This indicated that chs. 19-21 were added to chs. 17-18. 2. A full review of literature on Judges since Noth can be found in R. Bartelmus, 'Forschung am Richterbuch seit Martin Noth', TRu 56 (1991), pp. 221-59. Bartelmus does not engage in a full discussion of the Deuteronomistic History and Judges, referring the reader to the earlier review by H. Weippert, 'Das deuteronomistische Geschichtswerk. Sein Ziel und Ende in der neueren Forschung', TRu 50 (1985), pp. 213-49. 3. W. Richter, Traditionsgeschichtliche Untersuchungen zum Richterbuch (BBB 18; Bonn: Peter Hanstein, 1963); Die Bearbeitung des 'Retterbuches' in der deuteronomischen Epoche; 'Die Uberlieferungen um Jephtah: Ri 10,17-12,6', Bib 47 (1966), pp. 485-556.


The History of Israel's Traditions

redactor around the time of king Jehu first compiled a Retterbuch from a number of stories and other traditions. This book of deliverers began with Ehud and ended with the disaster of Abimelech's attempt to establish monarchy in Israel. In Richter's opinion the book was probably a polemical response to the turbulent period in the northern kingdom between Jeroboam I and the Omrides. The Retterbuch was subsequently revised by a northern Deuteronomic redactor who added the framework passages around the stories. Later on, another Deuteronomic redactor in Judah composed the 'typical' account of Othniel as a suitable introduction to the book of deliverers. It also gave some southern content to a document that was predominantly about northern figures. The already thrice-redacted text was then taken up by Dtr, who combined it with the lists of minor judges and the Jephthah and Samson stories. Dtr also composed 2.7, 1012, 14, 15accb, 16, 18apb, 19 and 10.6-16.1 Richter confirmed Noth's view that Dtr created the period of the judges as part of his History and bestowed the title 'judge' on Israel's deliverers (cf. 2.16), but his analysis pointed to considerable complexity: four stages instead of the one supposed by Noth. Furthermore, whereas Noth thought that the collection of deliverer stories 'lacked thematic unity' prior to Dtr, Richter argued that the redactor of the Retterbuch had in fact worked the stories into a document with a strong antimonarchical flavour.2 There were two important implications for subsequent scholarship in Richter's analysis. The first arose from his critique of the supposed unity of deuteronomistic redaction. This is something that has been pursued vigorously since Richter. The second is that his reconstruction of the compositional history of the text opened a fascinating window on how different generations of Israelites may have read the stories of the judges and the factors that may have influenced their reading. For Richter, the addition of the framework passages by the first Deuteronomic redactor reveals a move away from the Retterbuch's anti-monarchical focus to the themes of retribution and mercy. God was merciful in the face of Israel's continued failures and brought it peace through the deliverers. The tenor of this redaction is more positive than the Retterbuch and
1. Richter also assigned to Dtr the judging formulas in 3.10; 4.4b-5, the death notices in 3.11; 4.16 and the information about Shamgar in 3.31. 2. Noth stated, They still lacked thematic unity and so Dtr. had to supply them with connecting material' (US, p. 47; DH, pp. 69-70).

O'BRIEN Judges and the Deuteronomistic History


may reflect the restoration of the citizens' militia under Josiah. The second Deuteronomic redaction is quite limited in scope but seems to have been more negative, identifying apostasy as the sin that provoked God's anger (cf. 3.7b, 8a). It may reflect Josiah's reforms against foreign cults. Dtr then created the period of the judges, a time marked by Israel's repeated lapses into apostasy (2.14, 19). Dtr also signalled an anti-monarchical attitude by remarking that it was Tola the judge who delivered Israel after the disastrous end to Abimelech's reign (10.1).1 According to Richter, this negative reading of the stories in Judges shows that it is more than likely that Dtr wrote out of the trauma of the exile. There have been other studies on the pre-deuteronomistic growth of Judges, but none has matched or supplanted Richter's comprehensive form-critical and redactional analysis.2 The story is, however, somewhat different when one turns to deuteronomistic redaction. Here two important modifications to Noth's notion of a single, exilic historian, which Richter accepted, have been proposed. These are the hypotheses of what have come to be called the Smend and Cross schools. A full discussion of their theories about the composition of the Deuteronomistic History can be found in Antony Campbell's essay in this volume. Only their proposals for the book of Judges will be considered here. Noth recognized that there had been some retouching of the History in a deuteronomistic vein. Smend took this a step further, arguing that in
1. Richter observed that the verb 'deliver' in 10.1 is the same one used by Dtr in 2A6(Bearbeitungen,p. 18). 2. Cf. W. Beyerlin, 'Gattung und Herkunft des Rahmens im Richterbuch', in E. Wiirthwein and O. Kaiser (eds.), Tradition und Situation: Studien zur alttestamentlichen Prophetic, Artur Weiser zum 70. Geburtstag (Gottingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1963), pp. 1-29; R.G. Doling, Judges (AB 6a; Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1975); A.D.H. Mayes, The Story of Israel between Settlement and Exile: A Redactional Study of the Deuteronomistic History (London: SCM, 1983), pp. 5880; F.E. Greenspahn, The Theology of the Framework of Judges', VT 36 (1986), pp. 385-96. A quite different explanation of the pre-deuteronomistic text of Judges has been proposed by H. Schulte, Die Entstehung der Geschichtsschreibung im Alien Israel (BZAW 128; Berlin: de Gruyter, 1972) and M. Weinfeld, The Period of the Conquest and of the Judges as Seen by the Earlier and the Later Sources', VT 17 (1967), pp. 93-113. Both find a continuation of the Pentateuchal sources J and E in Judges. Weinfeld does, however, accept that this material underwent a thoroughgoing deuteronomistic redaction.


The History of Israel's Traditions

fact the work of the initial historian (DtrH) had been revised by a deuteronomistic redactor to highlight the issue of obedience to the law.1 In Judges he identified the contribution of this redactor, termed DtrN (for nomistic), in 1.1-2.9 and 2.17, 20-21, 23. Except for 2.6-9, this accords with what Noth himself identified as later deuteronomistic additions.2 Smend's special contribution was to see in these additions a definite shape and purpose. Veijola has claimed more material for DtrN by proposing that 6.7-10 and 10.6-16 belong to him rather than to the original History as Noth thought.3 He also proposes that DtrN inserted Jotham's fable in 9.8-15, adding vv. 7,16-21 to recast it as a condemnation of Abimelech and his supporters in Shechem. 9.5b, 24by, 57 is also identified as part of DtrN's modification of the story of Abimelech.4 If Veijola claims material for DtrN at the expense of Noth's Dtr in the first half of Judges, his analysis of chs. 17-21 moves in the opposite direction. Whereas Noth believed these chapters to be a late postdeuteronomistic addition to the History, Veijola argues for their inclusion. Noth saw no evidence of deuteronomistic redaction in chs. 17-21. Veijola, in contrast, claims that the remark on the absence of a king in 17.6; 18.1; 19.1; 21.25 is deuteronomistic and that there is also deuteronomistic redaction in 17.5, 7bp\ 13; 18.16, 19, 20, 31b; 19.1b, 30; 20.4, 27b-28aa.5The repeated remark reveals a positive attitude
1. R. Smend, 'Das Gesetz und die Volker: Bin Beitrag zur deuteronomistischen Redaktionsgeschichte', in H.W. Wolff (ed.), Probleme biblischer Theologie: Gerhard von Rod zum 70. Geburtstag (Munich: Chr. Kaiser Verlag, 1971), pp. 494509. 2. There are two versions of the death of Joshua and accompanying comment: Josh. 24.29-31 and Judg. 2.6-9. Noth assigned the version in Judges to the Historian (his Dtr), whereas Smend assigns to the Historian (his DtrH) the version in Joshua. 3. T. Veijola, Das Konigtum in der Beurteilung der deuteronomistischen Historic graphic: Eine redaktionsgeschichtliche Untersuchung (AASF, B, 198; Helsinki: Suomalainen Tiedeakatemia, 1977), pp. 43-48. Smend has more recently also claimed 6.7-10; 8.33-35; 10.10-16 for DtrN (Die Entstehung des Allen Testaments [ThW 1; Stuttgart: Kohlhammer, 2ndedn, 1984], p. 116). 4. Veijola also assigns 9.22, 24abccp, 56 to Dtr, although Noth saw no contribution by the Historian to the story of Abimelech (Das Konigtum, p. 112). 5. In support of the deuteronomistic character of the remark, Veijola draws attention to Deut. 12.8, which speaks of everyone doing what is right in their own eyes, as in Judg. 17.6; 21.25. The other texts are identified as deuteronomistic because of the occurrence of an alleged deuteronomistic word or phrase.

O'BRIEN Judges and the Deuteronomistic History


toward monarchy and belongs to Dtr, who (contra Noth) was not antimonarchical.1 The anti-monarchical strain that Noth found in his text of the Deuteronomistic History is, according to Veijola, the result of two subsequent revisions of the History, those of DtrP (prophetic) and DtrN.2 Judges 17-21 functions in a manner similar to the repeated accusation earlier in Judges that 'Israel did what was evil in the sight of the Lord.' These chapters, therefore, belong to the cycle of apostasypunishment-deliverance that characterizes the period of the judges. It was the advent of monarchy that delivered Israel from the cultic and social disorders recounted in chs. 17-18 and 19-21, respectively.3 Veijola's inclusion of chs. 17-21 in the work of DtrH has been followed by Soggin in his commentary on Judges.4 Cross did not claim any texts in Judges as exilic deuteronomistic additions to his Josianic History (= Dtr1). However, Nelson has subsequently proposed that 2.1-5 and 6.7-10 were the work of the exilic deuteronomist (Dtr2).5 This redactor also inserted the account of the conquest in ch. 1 to provide a suitable context for the angel's indictment in 2.1-5. The excision of 1.1-2.5 from the DtrH level agrees with both Noth and Veijola; that of 6.7-10 agrees with Veijola against Noth. Nelson is drawn to attribute these texts to a later hand because of their formal and linguistic similarities, especially the charge that Israel did not listen to God's voice (cf. 2.2b; 6.10b). He also determines that these passages are secondary in their contexts and that they share a more critical and pessimistic view of Israel than that of the Josianic historian. Because of their similarities to 2.1-5 and 6.7-10 Nelson is prepared to grant that 2.17 and 2.20-23 may also be the work of the exilic redactor.6 This is in
1. A positive understanding of the repeated remark is also advocated by W.J. Dumbrell, ' "In those days there was no king in Israel; every man did what was right in his own eyes": The Purpose of the Book of Judges Reconsidered', JSOT25 (1983), pp. 23-33. 2. Smend and Veijola do not see any DtrP in Judges, whereas W. Roth does in 2.13-15, 18, 19; 8.22-23 ('DeuteronomistischesGeschichtswerk/Deuteronomistische Schule', THE 8 [1981], pp. 543-52). 3. Veijola does not examine chs. 13-16 but seems to assume that it was part of the initial History (Das Konigtum, p. 77). Smend also includes it in the work of DtrH (Die Entstehung, p. 117). 4. J.A. Soggin, Judges: A Commentary (OTL; London: SCM, 1981). 5. R.D. Nelson, The Double Redaction of The Deuteronomistic History (JSOTSup 18; Sheffield: JSOT Press, 1981), pp. 43-53. 6. Nelson, Double Redaction, pp. 20,44.


The History of Israel's Traditions

substantial agreement with both Noth and Smend. The only significant difference that Nelson brings to Noth's analysis of Judges, therefore, is the elision of 6.7-10 as a later addition. A far more radical revision of Judges in the light of Cross's hypothesis has been carried out by Boling.1 He agrees with Richter that the stories of Israel's leaders had been gathered and edited before the Deuteronomic phases of redaction. However, he parts company with him on the nature and extent of these redactions. According to Boling, the collection of stories was combined in the time of Josiah with the lists of minor judges, the stories of Samson in chs. 13-16 and Micah the Levite in chs. 17-18, and embellished with suitable redactional commentary to form part of a 'Deuteronomic History' running from 2.1 to 18.31. Boling's belief that it begins with the angel's indictment at Bochim, is centred around Abimelech's destruction of Shechem and ends with the erection of an idol in Dan prompts him to see in it a polemic against rivals to Jerusalem and its temple. In his view such an arrangement accords nicely with the reform of Josiah.2 This account of the period of the judges was expanded during the exile by the addition of chs. 1 and 19-21, creating what Boling calls a second or 'deuteronomistic' edition of the History. Among post-Nothian advocates of the Deuteronomistic History, Boling is the only one who includes 2.15 and chs. 17-18 in the Historian's work but excludes chs. 1 and 19-21 as later additions. More recently, Mayes and O'Brien have reviewed the literary evidence and concluded that the initial DtrH was composed in the time of Josiah.3 Nevertheless, their understanding of the composition of Judges differs sharply from Boling's. Both accept Richter's proposal of a Retterbuch that underwent two Deuteronomic redactions prior to the creation of the History. The text that Mayes assigns to DtrH reaches from 2.11 to 16.31; in disagreement with Noth but in agreement with
1. R.G. Boling, Judges. See also 'In Those Days There Was No King in Israel', in H.M. Bream, R.D. Heim and C.A. Moore (eds.), A Light Unto My Path: Old Testament Studies in Honor of Jacob M. Myers (Gettysburg Theological Studies 4; Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1974), pp. 33-48, and 'Response', JSOT 1 (1976), pp. 47-52. 2. Boling, Judges, pp. 184-85. 3. A.D.H. Mayes, The Story of Israel between Settlement and Exile, pp. 58-80; M.A. O'Brien, The Deuteronomistic History Hypothesis: A Reassessment (OBO 92; Gottingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1989), pp. 82-98.

O'BRIEN Judges and the Deuteronomistic History


Richter, he includes the story of Samson. An exilic redactor revised this text by working in a number of comments that draw attention to Israel's continued disobedience to the Deuteronomic law.1 1.1-2.10 and chs. 17-21 are later, post-deuteronomistic additions, not necessarily from the same hand. According to O'Brien, the text of the pre-exilic DtrH in Judges reaches from 2.10 to 13.1. During the exile it underwent a nomistic redaction that emphasized the people's disobedience to the law. It is to be found in 2.12-13, 17, 20-21, 23a; 3.5-6; 6.7-10; 10.6b, 10-16. 1.1-2.5 and 13.2-21.25 were most likely post-deuteronomistic additions.2 While Mayes and O'Brien differ on specific points, they agree that the Josianic History was subsequently revised to draw attention to Israel's continued disobedience to the law.3 Their understanding of this revision shares common ground with the Smend school's notion of a DtrN redaction. The most recent monograph-length study of Judges that advocates multiple deuteronomistic redaction is by Becker,4 who locates the text of DtrH in Judges at 2.8-16.31. Dtr's work is essentially an antimonarchical treatise, which was revised by DtrN to stress the importance of the law and the people's failure to keep it. Becker rejects Richter's view that Dtr redacted an already well-developed text. In a return to Noth, he believes that it was Dtr who assembled and redacted a variety of independent materials. His identification of a DtrN revision follows the line of the Smend school and is similar to the proposals about subsequent redaction from Mayes and O'Brien. All of these studies have confirmed Noth's hypothesis of a Deuteronomistic History with the period of the judges as an integral part of it. They have also confirmed his view that the text of the History in Judges is a combination of traditional stories, a list of 'minor judges' and redaction. However they have altered considerably his understanding of how these ingredients were combined. According to Noth, Dtr was the one figure whose reading of the traditional stories gave them a definite
1. Mayes identifies these comments in 2.12a|3b, 13a, 17, 18aoc, 19ap, 20-21, 23; 3.5-6; 10.6a|ib, 10-16 (The Story of Israel, p. 78). 2. O'Brien identifies 2.22, 23b; 3.1-2, 3-4 as later (but still deuteronomistic) additions (Reassessment, p. 285). 3. Mayes identifies an exilic redactor, whereas O'Brien speaks of a stage of redaction. 4. U. Becker, Richterzeit und Konigtum: Redaktionsgeschichtliche Studien zum Richterbuch (BZAW 192; Berlin: de Gruyter, 1990).


The History of Israel's Traditions

shape and meaning. Before Dtr they lacked a thematic unity and at best could be described as a collection of stories. After Dtr there were some discrete deuteronomistic additions, but they do not point to a systematic rereading and revision of the History. The most extensive additions in 1.1-2.5 and chs. 17-21 were part of the later transformation of the Deuteronomistic History into separate books of suitable length. Richter's hypothesis of three pre-deuteronomistic stages in the formation of Judges can be seen as the result of rather different readings of the old stories. This impinges on one's understanding of the text that Dtr was reading, which in turn affects one's evaluation of the nature and scope of Dtr's contribution. The hypotheses of the Smend and Cross schools envisage an ongoing close rereading of the initial Deuteronomistic History by subsequent deuteronomists whose different views have not been harmonized. Each of the readings which historicalcritical analysis claims to uncover amounts to a more or less extensive reshaping of the existing text. The overall impression is something like the weaving of a complex tapestry, which took much time and many hands to create. The tapestry is rich and powerful in its impact, yet there is a certain unfinished quality about it. It prompts the viewer to wonder how it might have appeared if this or that feature had been highlighted a fraction more or had been extended just that much further. Hoffmann and Van Seters have sought to defend Noth's one exilic Dtr against the hypotheses of multiple redactions.1 Hoffmann analyzes key deuteronomistic themes and the structure of deuteronomistic passages. Van Seters compares compositional techniques in the Deuteronomistic History with Greek historiography. Both come to the
1. H.D. Hoffmann, Reform und Reformen: Untersuchungen zu einem Grundthema der deuteronomistischen Geschichtsschreibung (ATANT 66; Zurich: Theologischer Verlag, 1980); J. Van Seters, In Search of History: Historiography in the Ancient World and the Origins of Biblical History (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1983). D.W. Gooding also defends a unified composition of Judges against theories of multiple redaction (The Composition of the Book of Judges', El 16 [1982], pp. 70-80). Brian Peckham advocates one exilic author for a Deuteronomistic History that reached from Genesis to 2 Kings and incorporated a number of existing documents: a J narrative, an earlier deuteronomistic history from Moses to Hezekiah, a P document and an E history. The Judges section was composed entirely by the exilic author, the earlier deuteronomistic history containing no material at all on the judges (The Composition of the Deuteronomistic History [HSM 35; Atlanta: Scholars Press, 1985]).

O'BRIEN Judges and the Deuteronomistic History


conclusion that the History is the product of one creative author. Nevertheless, there are significant departures from Noth's understanding of the composition of the History. According to Hoffmann and Van Seters, the creative impact of Dtr is so pervasive that one cannot trace the contours between traditional material and deuteronomistic redaction as Noth and others suppose. There were no doubt several old traditions, but these were freely shaped to advance Dtr's ideology. Both authors posit later additions, but these are not the product of a systematic revision of the History by subsequent deuteronomistic redactors.1 In a lively and provocative contribution to the debate, Halpern takes both sides to task for losing sight of Noth's understanding of Dtr as a historian and of the Deuteronomistic History as historiography.2 In Halpern's eyes, both sides are guilty of over-emphasizing the ideological factor in the Deuteronomistic History to the neglect of the historiographic factor. They portray the History principally as a message for Dtr's contemporaries and fail to perceive its genuine antiquarian side, viz., its interest in the past as past. Halpern argues that what makes a text historiographic is not its accuracy about known facts from the past but the author's intention to write history. This intention can be determined with reasonable certainty by checking the author's adherence to sources where these were used. He believes that the historiographic attitude is deeply embedded in the narrative tradition of Judges and sets out to demonstrate it by showing, for example, how the prose version of the Deborah-Barak story in ch. 4 is based on a close reading of the older poetic version in ch. 5. He then proceeds to show how the framework passages have been carefully tailored to the stories. The logical conclusion to draw from this is that the author of the framework passages is the one who assembled the stories.3 The framework passages have not been imposed on the stories simply to serve their author's theology; rather 'the whole causal logic of the theological cycle arises from the material it frames.'4 In basic agreement with Richter, Halpern assigns the framework
1. Hoffmann identifies 2 Kgs 17.34-41 as a later addition, while Van Seters regards the so-called Succession Narrative as the product of a post-exilic, antimessianic tendency. 2. B. Halpern, The First Historians: The Hebrew Bible and History (San Francisco: Harper & Row, 1988). 3. Halpern, First Historians, p. 124. 4. Halpern, First Historians, p. 130.


The History of Israel's Traditions

passages to a pre-deuteronomistic historian and the introduction in 2.1119 to Dtr. He points to a number of literary-critical features to justify the distinction, at the same time insisting that 2.11-19 reveals an author who was committed to introducing source materialthe stories with their framework passagesnot to peddling a personal ideology. In contrast to Richter and others, however, he holds that 1.1-3.11 is not a composite but wholly the work of Dtr. There is a consistent antiquarian or historical logic operative in this text which he sets out in considerable detail.1 The consistent logic is in keeping with an author who wrote an account of the transition from the era of Moses and Joshua to the judges via a combination of source material and plausible historical reconstruction when required. Halpern is more than ready to recognize the ideological factor in the Deuteronomistic History. What he is at pains to point out, however, is that it is tempered by a genuine historical interest. Although Noth recognized this, according to Halpern, much subsequent analysis of the Deuteronomistic History has been more or less blind to it. It would probably be unfair to say that historical-critical study of the Deuteronomistic History since Noth has completely neglected the stories in the book of Judges. Richter, for example, made a detailed form-critical analysis of them as part of his reconstruction of the text's compositional history. As pointed out above, his theory of several stages in the growth of the text provided a valuable opportunity for reflecting on how the stories were read within Israelite tradition. Nevertheless, Halpern is justified in his complaint that advocates of the Deuteronomistic History hypothesis have tended to become preoccupied with the nature and extent of deuteronomistic redaction to the neglect of the stories and their relationship to this redaction. Halpern has found an ally in the synchronic literary analysis of biblical texts that has developed by leaps and bounds in recent years. This is ironic because Halpern does not take kindly to its tendency to dismiss authorial intention. Nevertheless, the intense study of narrative that it fostered has led to a new appreciation of the literary and theological qualities of biblical narrative and of the intricate relationship between the various parts of a narrative. The implications of these new developments for Judges were signalled in a 1967 article by Lilley, who outlined an understanding of the book on the assumption that it is a coherent unified


Halpern's presentation of it can be found in First Historians, pp. 134-37.

O'BRIEN Judges and the Denteronomistic History


whole with a definite conceptual plan.1 According to Lilley, the various parts of the book combine to show a spiralling decline in Israel's relationship with God. This progressive deterioration can be seen in the sequence of stories that reaches its nadir in chs. 17-21. It can also be seen in the framework passages that Noth assigned to Dtr. Lilley observes a gradual dismantling of the formulaic nature of these passages that parallels the spiralling decline in the sequence of stories. In chs. 1721 the earlier formulas associated with the deliverers of Israel have disappeared and been replaced by the refrain, 'In those days there was no king in Israel; all the people did what was right in their own eyes.' In short, Lilley argues that stories and framework contribute integrally and equally to the overall conceptual plan of the book. The pace of literary analysis of the stories in Judges and of the book as a whole has quickened over the intervening years. Individual stories that have received considerable attention are Deborah-Barak, Jephthah and Samson.2 Monograph-length studies of Judges have been made by Webb and Klein.3 Each declines historical-critical analysis in order to focus on a literary study of the present text, believing that Judges can be read as an integrated whole. Webb believes that Noth's hypothesis of a Deuteronomistic History has 'strongly disposed subsequent scholarship against giving serious consideration to Judges as a literary unit in its own right' .4 It has also led to a sharp distinction between 'deuteronomic and non-deuteronomic' texts in Judgesprincipally, the framework passages as distinct from the actual stories. Webb sets out to redress this perceived imbalance by employing rhetorical analysis to discern the book's overall structure.5 In a test study of the story of Jephthah he discusses the rhetorical
1. J.P.U. Lilley, 'A Literary Appreciation of the Book of Judges', TynBul 18 (1967), pp. 94-102. 2. Cf. Bartelmus, 'Forschung am Richterbuch seit Martin Noth', pp. 224-29, 239-51. 3. E.G. Webb, The Book of the Judges: An Integrated Reading (JSOTSup 46; Sheffield: JSOT Press, 1987); L.R. Klein, The Triumph of Irony in the Book of Judges (JSOTSup 68; Sheffield: Almond Press, 1988) and 'Structure, Irony and Meaning in the Book of Judges', in Proceedings of the Tenth World Congress of Jewish Studies; Division A: The Bible and Its World (Jerusalem: World Union of Jewish Studies, 1990), pp. 83-90. 4. Webb, Book of the Judges, p. 207. 5. Webb's investigation is concerned with the surface structure of the book, not the deep structure probed by practitioners of structural analysis.


The History of Israel's Traditions

techniques that structure the narrative and convey meaning: alliteration, assonance, chiasm, inclusion, recurring motifs and patterns, semantic shifts and transitions. What Noth and others identified as deuteronomistic terms and cliches are treated as integral parts of the overall rhetorical repertoire of the narrative. Webb then carries out a similar examination of the rest of the book, though not in the same detail. He concludes that the dominant theme of Judges is the nonfulfilment of God's promise of the land to Israel's ancestors. Themes related to this are Israel's persistent apostasy and divine freedom contrasted with Israel's presumption of divine mercy. According to Webb, these themes are developed in the sequence of stories about judges and reach their climax in the story of Samson. Chs. 17-21 round out the book as a literary unit by relating the major themes to elements in the introduction (1.1-3.6). In his conclusion, Webb briefly explores the implications of his study for Noth's hypothesis of a Deuteronomistic History. He proposes that the recognition of Judges as a unified literary work calls for a reassessment of Noth's structure of the Deuteronomistic History, that is, that the period of the judges extends to 1 Samuel 12. He further argues that the refrain on the absence of a king in Judges 17-21 shows that the book ends by closing the period of the judges and pointing to the new era of the monarchy. 1 Samuel, in turn, functions as a transition between the two eras, and monarchy is only really established with the success of David in 2 Samuel. The transition to the period of the monarchy is signalled by the recapitulation of Saul's deathalready reported in 1 Samuel 31in 2 Samuel 1. According to Webb, this same technique is used earlier for the death of Joshua to signal the transition from the period of the conquest to the period of the judges (cf. Judg. 2.6-10 and Josh. 24.29-31). In a more radical move against Noth, Webb claims that he does not find in Judges the severe moralism and its tendency to adopt a 'mechanistic historiography' which he finds characteristic of the books of Kings. This, coupled with the that lack of such moralism in the books of Samuel, leads Webb to suggestas an alternative to Noth's Deuteronomistic Historythat such differences may be better explained by positing 'an edited series of books'. As Webb acknowledges, this is a return to the earlier position of Fohrer and Weiser in response to Noth's hypothesis.1
1. G. Fohrer, Introduction to the Old Testament (London: SPCK, 1976), pp. 193-94; A. Weiser, Introduction to the Old Testament: The Canon, the

O'BRIEN Judges and the Deuteronomistic History


Klein pinpoints irony as the dominant literary device in Judges. The structure of the book reveals a progressive development of the use of irony in its many guises. The 'exposition' of the book in 1.1-3.11 makes minimal use of irony, but the contrast between the occupation described from the points of view of Israel (cf. 1.1-36) and of God (cf. 2.1-19) creates the potential for irony. This potential is then developed in the stories of the judges, where the character of the hero is undermined in ironic fashion by contrasting him with another character (Barak in contrast to Deborah) or by the exposure of character flaws (Gideon as coward or Samson as the victim of his passions). According to Klein, irony is most pronounced in the 'resolution' of the book (chs. 17-21), where it forms an integral part of the narrative drama. Israel's attempt to resolve the rape and murder of the Levite's concubine brings the nation to the brink of disaster. In the words of Klein, 'the book of Judges does not resolve; it devolves in disorder.'1 Klein does not comment on the implications of her study for the Deuteronomistic History hypothesis, and her bibliography does not list Noth or subsequent studies of the deuteronomistic factor in Judges. Klein's view of Judges as a literary work that does not resolve but devolves in disorder has some affinity with Polzin's analysis, which accepts the hypothesis of a Deuteronomistic History, but unlike Noth, equates it with the present text of Deuteronomy-2 Kings. His plan is to examine the whole text from a literary point of view, specifically that of Russian Formalism and Structuralism, rather than the historical-critical analysis employed by Noth and others. Polzin has so far published studies of Deuteronomy-Judges and 1 Samuel.2 Historical-critical analysis of the Deuteronomistic History regards the narrative frame around Moses' reported speech in Deuteronomy, along with a number of other narrative passages in the body of the speech itself, as the work of Dtr or other redactors. Polzin objects that the concern with different authors and redactors leads to neglect of the 'integral and important function' that these narrative passages have in the text.
Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha (London: Darton, Longman & Todd, 1961), pp. 161, 180-82. 1. Klein, Triumph of Irony, p. 190. 2. R. Polzin, Moses and the Deuteronomist: A Literary Study of the Deuteronomic History. I. Deuteronomy, Joshua, Judges (New York: Seabury, 1980); Samuel and the Deuteronomist: A Literary Study of the Deuteronomic History. II. 1 Samuel (San Francisco: Harper & Row, 1989).


The History of Israel's Traditions

They 'represent the narrator's subtle but powerful claim to his audience to be the sole interpreter of Moses' words'.1 In Polzin's view, the combination of reported speech and narrative in Deuteronomy establishes a subtle dialogue between the 'authoritarian dogmatism' voiced by Moses and the 'critical traditionalism' of the narrator. This dialogue is developed in the subsequent text of the Deuteronomistic History. It is weighted in favour of authoritarian dogmatism in Deuteronomy, since the bulk of the book is devoted to a presentation of the words of Moses. In the book of Joshua the voice of critical traditionalism comes to the fore, as the unchangeable divine law proclaimed by Moses is constantly reinterpreted in the story of Israel's occupation of the land. The Deuteronomic doctrine of retributive justice is countered by Israel's tradition of a God who is both merciful and just, who gives Israel the land despite disobedience. Polzin believes that his careful literary reading of Joshua challenges the prevailing view that Dtr applied the law with its doctrine of retribution in a more or less mechanistic way to the history of Israel. With the book of Judges the dialogue becomes more complex and subtle. In the light of Deuteronomy and Joshua the reader initially is drawn to identify the voice of authoritarian dogmatism in the programmatic statement in 2.6-3.6 and the framework passages around the individual stories. The voice of critical traditionalism is heard in the stories that tell of a merciful God who raises up deliverers in response to the cry of a disobedient Israel. However, a closer reading of the respective texts reveals that they cannot be categorized so neatly. For example, while 2.20-22 hammers the doctrine of retribution, the surrounding deuteronomistic material sounds a softer note.2 Israel's repeated disobedience and the disasters that this brings are more than matched by God's demonstrations of compassion on Israel's behalf. For their part, the stories of the judges exploit the ambiguous, the unpredictable and the unexpected in a way that serves to undermine any assurance that critical traditionalism can interpret the law in a consistent and
1. Polzin, Moses and the Deuteronomist, p. 31. 2. W. Brueggemann had earlier argued that the framework passages combine two contrasting viewpoints, that of 'deed-consequence' and 'cry-save' ('Social Criticism and Social Vision in the Deuteronomic Formula of the Judges', in J. Jeremias and L. Perlitt (eds.), Die Botschaft und die Boten: Festschrift fur Hans Walter Wolff zum 70. Geburtstag [Neukirchen-Vluyn: Neukirchener Verlag, 1981], pp. 101-14).

O'BRIEN Judges and the Deuteronomistic History


satisfactory manner. The once clear voices of authoritarian dogmatism and critical traditionalism become fractured and unsure. The alternation between framework passages and story serves to intensify in the reader a growing sense of ambiguity and chaos, paralleling the experience of Israel in this turbulent period. In the words of Polzin, 'both authoritarian dogmatism and critical traditionalism falter here as reliable theological or hermeneutic frames of reference'.1 In effect, Dtr warns the reader against putting too much faith in any theology, even one that had been presented with such assurance in the book of Joshua. Nowhere is this ambiguity, chaos and uncertainty more apparent than in the closing chapters of Judges, which recount the rape and murder of the Levite's concubine and the disastrous aftermath of this terrible crime. Unlike Webb, Polzin does not seem particularly concerned about Noth's understanding of the extent or structure of the period of the judges. Some passing remarks do indicate that he regards the period as ending with the last chapters of the book.2 What is significant about his analysis in comparison to those of Webb and Klein is that it gives full weight to the differences between the framework passages and the stories. Webb and Klein argue that the framework passages and the stories together strike a harmonious chord. For Polzin, they are discordant, competing viewpoints that interact in different and complex ways throughout the course of the book. Yet this apparently tangled skein is seen on closer inspection to be an artistic piece that has been composed with consummate skill as part of the larger tapestry of the Deuteronomistic History. Thus, Polzin claims to give full recognition to what historical-critical analysis distinguished as traditional material and deuteronomistic redaction and at the same time to demonstrate that they are integral parts of a literary whole. 3. Reflections and Future Prospects The abiding issue in the book of Judges seems to be the relationship between the individuality of the stories and the formulaic quality of 2.11-3.6 and the framework passages. Whether one approaches the text from a diachronic or a synchronic perspective, these differences have to
1. Polzin, Moses and the Deuteronomist, p. 211. 2. In his discussion of Judg. 19-21, Polzin observes that 'we are at the finale of our stories about Israel's exploits during the period of the judges' (Moses and the Deuteronomist, p. 200).


The History of Israel's Traditions

be acknowledged and an explanation offered. The identification of the introduction and framework passages as 'deuteronomistic' pre-dates Noth. What is at stake is whether his explanation of their provenance and function remains the best on offer. To recall briefly the salient points of his hypothesis: the differences are to be explained by attributing 2.6-16, 18-19 and the framework passages to Dtr, who assembled a history in which the period of the judges was an integral part of its overall conceptual plan; the content of the traditional stories was respected by Dtr, even when it did not on occasion fit smoothly into the conceptual plan; Dtr derived the notion of the judge from the list in 10.1-5 and 12.7-15, and Dtr constructed a chronology from traditional information and personal calculation to situate the period of the judges within a historical continuum. Noth accepted the consensus of the day about what was and what was not deuteronomistic material. It is hardly surprising that subsequent scholarship set about testing this consensus. His identification of Judg. 1; 2.1-5; 2.20-3.6 and chs. 13-21 as later, random deuteronomistic and post-deuteronomistic additions appears vague in comparison with his comprehensive explanation of the rest of the book. It is not surprising that this too came under scrutiny. The subsequent testing of the extent and unity of deuteronomistic redaction by Richter, the Smend and Cross schools and others has been painstaking and detailed. There has also been a concern to demonstrate how each stage of deuteronomistic redaction builds on the preceding one, even if it is to correct it in some way. Of course, there are still significant disagreements and it is unlikely there will ever be complete agreement about the composition of such a complex text.1 Nevertheless, the overall picture of DtrH as a major achievement in Israelite literature that provoked an ongoing and sustained rereading in the tradition seems highly plausible, given the scope of the work and the evidence of deuteronomistic redaction elsewhere in the Old Testament.2 It is a more
1. In relation to Judges, A.G. Auld, for example, has proposed that the story of Gideon was not part of DtrH, but a very late supplement, made after the addition of chs. 17-21 ('Gideon: Hacking at the Heart of the Old Testament', VT 39 [1989], pp. 257-67). 2. See the comments on subsequent deuteronomistic redaction by O'Brien in Reassessment, pp. 272-87. Deuteronomistic redaction is a major issue in the analysis of Jeremiah. Several recent studies of the Pentateuch, in disagreement with Noth, have found evidence of extensive deuteronomistic redaction. Specifically, on Judges

O'BRIEN Judges and the Deuteronomistic History


realistic picture than Noth's proposal that DtrH received only limited and random deuteronomistic reworking. Preoccupation with the deuteronomistic factor has resulted, however, in some neglect of the stories and their contribution to the meaning of the text. Polzin endeavors to redress the imbalance and proposes that the relationship between stories and framework in Judges is part of an ongoing dialogue in DtrH between the voices of critical traditionalism and authoritarian dogmatism. Webb and Klein have developed interpretations that recognize the differences between the framework passages and the stories but argue that they are integral components of the larger literary unit that is the book of Judges. For Klein the cyclical effect created by the framework passages is part of a wider narrative spiral that traces Israel's ever increasing separation from its God.1 Webb believes that the framework passages are carefully moulded to the stories 'to reflect the changing state of Israel as seen in the succession of episodes'.2 His understanding of the relationship between framework and stories is similar to that of Halpern, who approaches the question more from a historical-critical point of view. For Halpern, the relationship between the framework passages, deuteronomistic redaction and stories reveals a genuine historiographic interest in the past as past. The surge of interest in the stories is timely and, given the current high profile of Hebrew narrative art in Old Testament studies, it is unlikely that they will suffer from further neglect. However, literary analysis is accompanied by a concern to defend textual unity, which at times tends to distort some of the literary phenomena and to neglect others. A full discussion is not possible here, but some observations on the introductory section in 1.1-3.6 will serve to illustrate the point.3 Historical-critical analysis has been fairly consistent in proposing that 1.1-2.5 and 2.6-3.6 come from different hands. There is also a wide body of opinion that each block shows signs of being composite. Polzin
M.Z. Brettler has recently carried out a literary-historical analysis to identify the historical factors that influenced the editors who shaped the book ('The Book of Judges: Literature as Polities', JBL 108 [1989], pp. 395-418). 1. Klein, Triumph of Irony, pp. 19-20. 2. Webb, Book of J`udges, p. 175.` 3. Another area of Judges and one on which literary critics have so far offered little comment is its chronology. Nevertheless, it would seem essential that this distinctive literary phenomenon be taken into account in any understanding of the book, a point that Noth clearly recognized.


The History of Israel's Traditions

counters this by arguing that 1.1-3.6 is a highly complex but unified literary construct. 2.6-23 takes the reader back to the events reported in Josh. 24.28-31 and provides a parallel account of Israel's conduct after Joshua's death.1 Judg. 1.1-2.5 narrates the account from a psychological point of view external to the characters of the story, whereas 2.6-23 does so from within the consciousness of the characters. Polzin's understanding of the relationship between 1.1-2.5 and 2.6-23 does not, however, account for the change of generations reported in 2.10. From this point the characters are a different generation of Israelites from the ones described in 1.1-2.5, for, as Polzin acknowledges, the events narrated in 1.1-2.5 begin 'shortly after Joshua's death'.2 This passage does not presuppose a change of generations, something which is only reported in 2.10. There is a further difficulty in paralleling 1.1-2.5 and 2.6-23, because the indictment of Israel by the angel at Bochim (2.2b) clashes with the assessment of 2.7 that 'The people worshipped the Lord all the days of Joshua, and all the days of the elders who outlived Joshua.' It is hard to see how these two statements can be applied to the same generation without emptying one of them of meaning. Webb's attempt to defend a unified text here also fails to take due account of these conflicting literary phenomena.3 Halpern argues that 1.1-3.6 contains Dtr's carefully crafted and historically logical explanation of the causes of Israelite apostasy. His reconstruction of Dtr' s logic does account for the passage of generations but still fails to explain satisfactorily the clash between 2.2b and 2.7. One has the impression here that Halpern's concern to demonstrate an organic and intelligible logic works against his other concern to defend the historiographic commitment of authors like Dtr. Could not 2.7 and 2.2b record Dtr's and a subsequent redactor's deep respect for the sources in their respective care? That is, Dtr was reading material indicating that the conquest generation must have served the Lord faithfully and so penned an appropriate comment in 2.7. Judg. 1.1-36 called for a different but equally appropriate response from the hand that inserted it, namely the accusation in 2.2b. This redactor was not the clumsy oaf
1. 'The time-line of 1.1-2.5 is schematically linear, while that of 2.6-3.6 is circular' (Polzin, Moses and the Deuteronomist, p. 151).` 2. Polzin, Moses and the Deuteronomist, p. 151.` 3. Webb, Book of Judges, pp. 106-107. The same can be said of the analysis by L.M. Eslinger in Into the Hands of the Living God (JSOTSup 84; Bible and Literature Series, 24; Sheffield: Almond Press, 1989), pp. 55-80.

O'BRIEN Judges and the Deuteronomistic History


rightly dismissed by Halpern but someone who was well aware that the past may be 'recorded' in different ways and that good historiography requires such diversity to be preserved. It should not be compromised for the sake of a logically satisfying argument. To argue that a text is composite is not to deny that it is a sophisticated and artistic piece of literature. Rather, it may be the product of the sophistication and artistry of more than one person. Dtr exhibited great literary skill in combining a variety of source material and judicious redactional comment to forge an interpretation of Israel's history. Moreover, Noth believed that Dtr was a sophisticated historian who let the sources speak for themselves wherever possible.1 The scribe or scribes who subsequently revised the History can be seen to have a similar level of sophistication. Dtr's view is preserved, but a variant interpretation is inserted in a skilful way that enables the reader to spot it and compare the two. In this way a dialogue is established between the competing viewpoints and the reader, the implication being that understanding the past is a complex business and that it is open to a variety of interpretations. The notion of the text as dialectic echoes Polzin but there are differences that derive from the various explanations of what are perceived to be the significant literary phenomena. What is valuable about this sort of disagreement is that it can provide an opportunity for another type of dialogue, one that takes place between the practitioners of the various forms of analysis. In this way the strengths and weaknesses of each form of analysis can be clarified and the understanding of texts enhanced. The potential of this critical exchange to enhance the study of Judges has been developed in a fresh and stimulating way by Mieke Bal. In Murder and Difference she provides a 'metacritical' analysis of a number of disciplinary 'codes' that have been used in the study of Judges, specifically the story of Deborah and Barak in Judges 4-5.2 These chapters are chosen because they contain prose and poetic versions of the victory over Sisera and thus allow Bal to focus on how various forms of analysis have handled the difference between the two
1. Noth, US, pp. 95-96; DH, p. 128. 2. M. Bal, Murder and Difference: Gender, Genre, and Scholarship on Sisera's Death (Indiana Studies in Biblical Literature; Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1988). A 'metacritical' analysis of a text involves a critical appraisal of the interpretations of the text that have already been made. A 'code' is a particular mode of discourse employed for the interpretation of texts.


The History of Israel's Traditions

accounts. The codes that Bal examines have all been employed widely in academic circles: historical, theological, anthropological and literary. Bal acknowledges that all these disciplinary codes are designed to be consistent and critically accountable; to become part of the academic enterprise they must be. But she also points out how the design contains a number of built-in factors that flaw each code. A disciplinary code seeks to delineate a particular field or discipline, but in fact it is always contaminated by other fields and disciplines. Their presence can go unobserved. A disciplinary code inevitably creates certain biases in its practitioners, and Bal points in particular to the bias of gender that has operated virtually unacknowledged in the hitherto male-dominated study of the Bible. A disciplinary code also creates a predisposition for a certain kind of coherence in the interpretation of a text which may overlook evidence that challenges it and reveals what Bal calls a 'countercoherence'. Bal then explores two transdisciplinary codes that she believes can help overcome the problems inherent in the disciplinary codes. These are the thematic code and the gender code. The thematic code, in asking what the text is about, has the advantage of being able to begin from any position and of being prepared to engage a plurality of disciplines for an answer. Nevertheless, it is flawed by a predisposition to coherence at the expense of contradiction and difference. The gender code can transcend this shortcoming, because, when made an explicit and integral part of the interpretative process, it discloses what those disciplinary codes practised in academic circles dominated by men tend to overlook or suppress. This is the difference that can open up the understanding of a text and lead to a new awareness of the bias or subjectivity inherent in all analysis. In Death & Dissymmetry Bal undertakes a study of the book of Judges from a transdisciplinary perspective.1 She finds that historicalcritical analysis of the book exhibits a bias that favours history over anthropology, the public or national arena over the private or domestic arena, culture over nature and change over continuity. Bal observes that the emphasis on the public or national arena gives the affairs of men prominence over those of women. Bal counters this coherence by focusing on these suppressed or
1. M. Bal, Death & Dissymmetry: The Politics of Coherence in the Book of Judges (Chicago Studies in the History of Judaism; Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1988).

O'BRIEN Judges and the Deuteronomistic History


neglected areas. By bringing them into prominence, she is able to develop an interpretation that discloses the importance of conflict at the domestic level and how it is this, rather than the national arena, that is the driving force in a number of stories. Specifically, it is conflict between 'virilocal' marriage (where the wife moves to the husband's house) and 'patrilocal' marriage (where the husband moves to the father-in-law's house). It is a power struggle between men over women. Bal does not discuss the Deuteronomistic History hypothesis, but I believe her work has important implications for it. Scholarly research since Moth has shown how much hinges onin Bal's termsdifference, the difference between the stories on the one hand and the introduction and framework passages on the other. Her notion of the gender code opens new possibilities for reassessing our understanding of each of these components and their interrelationship. The perennial question about the attitude of Dtr and later redactors to source material acquires a sharper edge. Did Dtr neglect or try to suppress the domestic (women's) component in the sources in favour of national (men's) issues? Or was Dtr, as Noth believed, prepared to let the sources speak for themselves wherever possible? Bal's approach also opens up avenues for a more fruitful dialogue between the disciplinary codes of historicalcritical and literary analysis as well as providing them with a way of engaging in self-critical reflection.

THE BOOKS OF SAMUEL P. Kyle McCarter, Jr Martin Noth's analysis of the biblical narratives about Samuel, Saul and David fundamentally transformed the investigation of the literary history of the books of Samuel. Prior to the publication of US, scholarly deliberation on the growth of 1-2 Samuel had been concerned almost exclusively with the origin and characteristics of the source materials that underlie the present text. Under the impact of Noth's discussion, however, the focus of scholarly attention shifted to the editorial processes by which the books of Samuel were produced. Another way of saying this is that before Noth's work most attention was given to the predeuteronomistic history of the Samuel narratives, while subsequently the study of the books of Samuel has given substantial attention to the evidence they show of deuteronomistic revision and to their place in the larger Deuteronomistic Historical work of Deuteronomy-2 Kings. It is true that this change of focus has been more dramatic in the study of the surrounding books of Judges and Kings than in Samuel, where, as noted below, deuteronomistic editorial activity is less evident. This contrast, however, should not be permitted to obscure the transformation in Samuel scholarship that Noth's work stimulated. At the time Noth undertook his investigation of the Deuteronomistic History, the analysis of the literary sources of the books of Samuel was the subject of a longstanding dispute between scholars who favored the hypotheses that are sometimes designated 'documentary' and 'fragmentary', terminology that originated in the debates about the literary history of the Pentateuch. Proponents of the documentary hypothesis analyzed the Samuel narratives as a combination of two (or more) continuous literary strands, analogous or identical to the Yahwistic (J) and Elohistic (E) strata posited by Pentateuchal criticism. Proponents of the fragmentary hypothesis, however, found the Samuel literature to be the result of an editorial combination of longer and shorter narrative units of independent origin.

MCCARTER The Books of Samuel


The analysis of Samuel as a combination of two narrative strands goes back at least to the late-eighteenh-century work of Eichhorn1 and the 1842 commentary on Die Biicher Samuelis by Thenius2 but was expressed in its most influential form by Wellhausen.3 As noted, this appraisal of the literary history of Samuel seems to reflect the influence of the conclusions of Pentateuchal criticism. Early and late strata comparable to the Pentateuchal sources J and E were identified in Samuel, and, in the work of some scholarsnotably Cornill4 and Budde5these strata were explicitly identified as continuations of J and E. This position was criticized by other scholarsnotably Kittel6who not only denied the continuation of J and E in Samuel but argued, in the manner of the proponents of fragmentary hypothesis, that Samuel was not the product of a combination of parallel strands, but of an amalgamation of a variety of narratives and narrative complexes of larger and smaller size.7 According to the fragmentary hypothesis, the books of Samuel are the product of such an amalgamation, a point of view espoused most

1. J.G. Eichhom, Einleitung in das Alte Testament, HI, (Gottingen: Rosenbusch, 4th edn, 1823), pp. 464-533. 2. O. Thenius, Die Biicher Samuels (KEHAT 4; Leipzig: S. Hirzel, 2nd edn, 1864), pp. ix-xvi. 3. Wellhausen's views on the historical books (Judges, Samuel and Kings) were first published in 1878 as part of his fourth edition of F. Bleek's Einleitung in das Alte Testament. They were combined with his essays on 'Die Composition des Hexateuchs' (Jahrbuchfurdeutsche Theologie 21 [1876], pp. 392-450, 531-602; 22 [1877], pp. 407-79) as Die Composition des Hexateuchs und der historischen Biicher des Alten Testaments (Berlin: B. Reimar, 1885; 3rd edn, 1899); for the pertinent material see pp. 238-66. 4. C.H. Cornill, 'Bin elohistischer Bericht iiber die Entstehung des israelitischen Konigthums in I. Samuelis 1-15 aufgezeigt', Zeitschrift fiir kirkliche Wissenschaft und kirkliches Leben 6 (1885), pp. 113-41; 'Zur Quellenkritik der Bucher Samuelis', Konigsberger Studien 1 (1887), pp. 25-89; 'Noch einmal Sauls Konigswahl und Verwerfung', ZAW10 (1890), pp. 96-109. 5. K. Budde, Die Bucher Samuel (KHC 8; Tubingen: Mohr, 1902). 6. R. Kittel, 'Die pentateuchischen Urkunden in den Biichern Richter und Samuel', TSK 65 (1892), pp. 44-71; 'Das erste Buch Samuel', in A. Bertholet (ed.), Die Heilige Schrift des Alten Testaments, I (Tubingen: Mohr, 4th edn, 1922), pp. 407-51. 7. In the third edition (1898) of Thenius's commentary on Samuel (see n. 2 above) Max Lohr added a tabulation of the source analyses of Budde, Cornill, Kittel and Wellhausen (pp. xii-lxviii).


The History of Israel's Traditions

vigorously in the work of Caspar!1 and Gressmann,2 in whose commentary on Samuel it found its fullest expression. In the opinion of these scholars, the original narrative sources of Samuel were not parallel in content, as in the documentary hypothesis, and they were not interwoven by an editor. Instead, they were discrete narrative units, unrelated in content though concerned with the same historical period, and they were arranged sequentially by an editor, so that they now stand one after the other in the present form of the books. Rost's analysis from this perspective of the major narrative sources of Samuelthe ark narrative (1 Sam. 4.1b-7.1 + 2 Sam. 6), the story of David's rise (1 Sam. 16.14-2 Sam. 5) and the story of the succession to David's throne (2 Sam. 9-20 + 1 Kgs 1-2)had a substantial effect on the work of Noth.3 In his attempt to identify a unified Deuteronomistic History in Deuteronomy-2 Kings, Noth was departing in significant ways from both the documentary and fragmentary hypotheses as they were espoused at the time, though at points his work reflects a clear indebtedness to both. In refutation of the central tenet of the documentary hypothesis, he maintained the original diversity and independence of the sources of the Deuteronomistic History, and in this respect his conclusions support the fragmentary hypothesis. 'We must stress above all', he wrote, 'that the pre-deuteronomistic material shows no intrinsic continuity in Joshua-Kings'.4 On the other hand, he seems to have regarded the Samuel narratives as at least a partial exception to this rule. In his treatment of the older materials in Samuel he closely followed Rost's analysis of the principal sources, which, as noted above, was very much in
1. W. Caspar!, 'Literarische Art und historische Wert von 2 Sam. 15-20', TSK 82 (1909), 317-48; 'Der Stil des Eingangs der israelitischen Novelle Zeitschrift fur wissenschaftliche Theologie 53 (1911), pp. 218-53; Die Samuelbiicher (KAT 7; Leipzig: Deichert, 1926). 2. H. Gressmann, Die dlteste Geschichtsschreibung und Prophetic Israel von Samuel bis Amos und Hosea (Die Schriften des Alten Testaments 2.1; Gottingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1910; 2nd edn, 1921). 3. L. Rost, Die Uberlieferung von der Thronnachfolge Davids (BWANT 3.6; Stuttgart: Kohlhammer, 1926); The Succession to the Throne of David (trans. M.D. Rutter and D.M. Gunn; Historic Texts and Interpreters in Biblical Scholarship 1; Sheffield: Almond Press, 1982). 4. Noth, US, p. 10; DH, p. 25. He adds (OS, p. 11, n. 2; DH, p. 25, n. 2), 'In principle, it is immaterial whether one identifies these sources with the "Hexateuchal" sources or only sees them as analogous.'

MCCARTER The Books of Samuel


keeping with the fragmentary hypothesis. Nevertheless, he admits that 'extended writings on Saul and David were linked with one another' in pre-deuteronomistic tradition into something approximating a continuous early source, a situation that he contrasted with that found in Judges and Kings.1 In his treatment of the materials about the origin of the monarchy, he acknowledged the existence of a continuous late source (1 Sam. 7.2-17; 8.1-22; 10.17-27a; 12.1-25), though, as we shall see, he identifies it as the work of the Deuteronomistic Historian, who was engaging at that point in an uncharacteristic kind of free composition. To this extent, Noth's conclusions as they pertain to Samuel occasionally echo those of the documentary hypothesis, with its supposition of continuous parallel narrative strands of early and late date. In general, however, it can be stated again that Noth's work had the effect of directing attention away from the discussion of early sources, which was the chief concern of his predecessors whether they viewed Samuel and the surrounding books as built on a foundation of interwoven documents or juxtaposed independent narrative units, and towards the investigation of the editorial framework that binds the source materials together. It was an essential element in Noth's hypothesis that this editorial framework was a unity. The Deuteronomistic Historian was not merely an editor but an author who organized a diversity of older materials according to an overarching and carefully conceived plan. Noth made this point in criticism of a tendency among his contemporaries to see two stages in the deuteronomistic editorial process or to suppose that the different sections of the History were originally independent works with their own, separate deuteronomistic editorial frameworks.2 Despite Noth's insistence on the essential unity of the Deuteronomistic History, most scholars have continued to think differently, and it is perhaps on this point that his hypothesis has been most seriously challenged. Cross's highly influential analysis, for example, posits two editions of
1. Noth, US, p. 10; DH, p. 25, where he goes on to say, 'Between the separate stories in Judges, however, there is no evidence of pre-Deuteronomistic cohesion, and it is generally recognized that the same is true of the separate sections, of varying lengths, on the kings of Israel and Judah, which are held together only by the work of Dtr. with their chronological framework.' 2. Noth, US, pp. 6-7; DH, pp. 20-21. Noth associates the latter point of view with the work of Rudolph, who argued for originally independent deuteronomistic editions of Joshua and Judges. See W. Rudolph, Der 'Elohist' von Exodus bis Josua (BZAW 68; Berlin: Topelmann, 1938), pp. 240-44.


The History of Israel's Traditions

the Deuteronomistic History.1 His starting point is a criticism of Noth's analysis of the Deuteronomist's historiographical and theological purposes. According to Noth, this historian was an exilic writer looking back on Israel's experience in the Promised Land, which he viewed in wholly negative terms, a cyclical history of sin and retribution ending inevitably in the fall of the kingdom and the departure of the people from the land. Cross dissents from Noth's characterization of the History as an unmitigated condemnation of Israel's past that offered no hope for its future. Drawing on the work of von Rad2 and Wolff,3 Cross notes the existence of an important positive theme in the deuteronomistic presentation of history, viz., Yahweh's unfailing promises to David and his dynasty. The principal repository of this theme is the oracle of Nathan (2 Sam. 7.1-7) in its final, deuteronomistic form,4 and Cross criticizes Noth for neglecting these passages in his identification of the central thematic passages of the History. Stressing that this motif holds out hope for the future, Cross argues for a date for the primary edition of the Deuteronomistic History (Dtr1) in the time of Josiah. This edition was composed during Josiah's reform, for which it was intended to provide literary support. Cross explains those deuteronomistic
1. P.M. Cross, Canaanite Myth and Hebrew Epic: Essays in the History of the Religion of Israel [Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1973], pp. 274-89; originally published as 'The Structure of the Deuteronomic History', in Perspectives in Jewish Learning [Annual of the College of Jewish Studies 3; Chicago: College of Jewish Studies, 1968], pp. 9-24. Some of the earlier literary critics, whose work was largely eclipsed by the widespread influence of Noth's monograph, had already argued for a primary pre-exilic deuteronomistic edition of the historical books (Joshua-Kings), which was supplemented and updated during the exile in another deuteronomistic edition; see especially A. Kuenen, Historisch-kritische Einleitung in die Bucher des alien Testaments 1.2 (trans. Th. Weber; Leipzig: O.R. Reisland, 1890). 2. G. von Rad, 'Die deuteronomistische Geschichtstheologie in den Konigsbiichern', in Deuteronomium-Studien, II (FRLANT 40; Gottingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht), pp. 52-64; Studies in Deuteronomy (SET 9; London: SCM, 1953), pp. 74-79. 3. H.W. Wolff, 'Das Kerygma des deuteronomistischen Geschichtswerk', ZAW 73 (1961), pp. 171-86. 4. Cf. Cross's analysis of this chapter on pp. 261-64 of Canaanite Myth and Hebrew Epic, with a detailed tabulation of deuteronomistic expressions on pp. 25254. According to my own analysis, which follows Cross while differing on several points, the following parts of 2 Sam. 7.1-17 should be assigned to the Deuteronomistic Historian: vv. Ib, 9b-ll, 13a, 16; see P.K. McCarter, Jr, IISamuel (AB 9; Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1984), pp. 190-231, esp. p. 230.

MCCARTER The Books of Samuel


passages that require an exilic datesuch as the end of the History (2 Kgs 23.26-25.30), portions of Deuteronomy addressed to an audience in captivity (4.27-31; 30.1-10) and the passages explaining the failure of Josiah's reform to save Judah (2 Kgs 21.2-15; 22.15-20)as the work of a second, exilic Deuteronomist (Dtr2), who did little more than bring the larger history up to date. In Samuel, Cross finds the hand of this editor only in 1 Sam. 12.25.! Despite Cross's stress on the existence of two editions of the Deuteronomistic History, his conclusions are actually quite close to those of Noth in terms of editorial structure. Cross regards Dtrbs work as the primary edition of the History, of which Dtr2's rather limited revision was only supplementary. But, it did not escape Noth's attention that the primary Deuteronomistic History has been secondarily expanded at certain points by a later hand writing in the deuteronomistic style, and he explicitly accepts 'the perfectly correct observation that in various places...Dtr.'s work was subsequently added to in the same style; but this does not disprove the unity of the original Dtr.'2 Thus Cross's principal divergence from Noth is in his thematic analysis, with its emphasis on the dynastic promise articulated in Nathan's oracle, and his preference for a Josianic rather than exilic date for the primary edition. Cross's arguments for the importance of the theme of the dynastic promise to David in the Deuteronomistic History and for a Josianic date for its first edition have persuaded a significant number of scholars to depart from Noth's position on one or both of these matters. In my own reconstruction of the literary history of Samuel, I found that Cross's scheme worked very well for adjudicating questions of deuteronomistic editorial activity.3 McKenzie, accepting the essential points of Cross's
1. For Cross's discussion of Dtr2 in general, see Canaanite Myth and Hebrew Epic, pp. 285-87, and for the exilic origin of 1 Sam. 12.25 (to which should be added at least 12.15), see p. 278, n. 17. 2. Noth, OS, p. 6; DH, p. 20. 3. P.K. McCarter, Jr, / Samuel (AB 8; Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1980), pp. 14-17; II Samuel, pp. 4-8. According to my analysis, the deuteronomistic contribution to Samuel can be tabulated as follows:
1 Sam. 2.27-36; 3.11-14; 4.18b; 7.2aM. 6b, 13-17; 8.8; 12.6-15, 19b?, 20b-22, 24-25; 13.1-2; 14.47-51; 17passim; 20.11-17, 23, 40-42; 23.14-24.23; 25.28-31 2Sam.2.10a?, 11?; 3.9-10,17-18a?, 18b, 28-29; 5.1-2,4-5?, 12;6.21;7.1b,9b-lla, 13a, 16, 22b-24?, 25-26, 29ba; 8.14b-15?; 14.9; 15.24a|3?; 21.7? 1 Sam. 12.25 2 Sam. 7.22b-24?; 15.24ap?



The History of Israel's Traditions

argument about the date of the Deuteronomistic History, has recently revived the case that the history was composed by a single author, whose work was updated and slightly revised but not substantially changed by subsequent editing.1 Thus McKenzie, although he differs with Noth's dating, stands closer to Noth in his understanding of the composition of the History than most other scholars working today. His specific conclusion, which he applies only to the books of Kings, is that 'the Deuteronomistic History was written by a single author/editor during Josiah's reign in order to recount the history of Israel and Judah.'2 Peckham has utilized Cross's sigla (Dtr1 and Dtr2) in attempting to devise a comprehensive theory of deuteronomistic authorship for both the Pentateuch and the Former Prophets.3 He identifies Noth's Deuteronomistic Historian with Cross's Dtr2, whom he believes to have been the author of the larger history that extends from Genesis through Kings and incorporates as its principal sources both the Pentateuchal documents (J, E, P) and the work of Dtr1. For Peckham, Dtr1 was an earlier history composed as a sequel to J; it interprets history from the point of view of Judah, is devoted unswervingly to the law of centralization and locates hope for prosperity in the land in the dynasty of David. The Davidic dynasty is also a principal positive concept for Peckham's Dtr2, in contrast to Noth's Historian. Thus, the Samuel narrative and more especially the oracle of Nathan (2 Sam. 7.1-17) are central to Peckham's scheme. The promise of dynasty in Nathan's oracle is the focus of attention for Dtr1, and in Dtr2
Nathan's oracle and Dtr^s narrative of the birth of Solomon are incorporated into a theory of history and divine government that attributes to

1. S.L. McKenzie, The Trouble with Kings: The Composition of the Book of Kings in the Deuteronomistic History (VTSup 42; Leiden: Brill, 1991). 2. McKenzie, Trouble, p. 150. McKenzie's understanding of the purpose of the history represents a departure from Cross's position that the History was composed to support the program of Josiah's reform in the direction of Van Seters's notion that Greek ideas of historiography can be used to shed light on the biblical histories. See J. Van Seters, 'Histories and Historians of the Ancient Near East: The Israelites', Or 50 (1981), pp. 137-85; In Search of History (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1983). 3. B. Peckham, The Composition of the Deuteronomistic History (HSM 35; Atlanta: Scholars Press, 1985).

MCCARTER The Books of Samuel David the culmination of the wilderness wanderings, the finalization of the conquest, the unification of the tribes, and the inauguration of a perpetual order.1


Mayes accepts the idea of two editions of the Deuteronomistic History, citing Cross as well as earlier studies; he designates these editions the 'early' and 'late' stages in the deuteronomistic compilation of the History2 and concludes with Weiser and others (see below) that in Samuel this involved the incorporation of substantial, older material, including traditions transmitted in prophetic circles. Lohfink has also adopted Cross's idea of earlier deuteronomistic literature underlying the final, exilic History as outlined by Noth.3 He posits the existence of two
1. Peckham, Composition, p. 38. Peckham identifies Dtr1 and Dtr2 in Samuel as follows:
1 Sam. l.l-3a, 4-9aa, llabp, 18b, 19ab(J-20aba, 21-22aba, 24ap; 9.1-2aa, 3-6aa, 6b, 10, 14ba, 18, 19aa, 20a; 10.27b; ll.l-2a, 4aa, 9-1 la, 14a, 15aa; 14.52; 17.1aa, 2-4aa, 7b-9, 12aa, 13a, 17, 18bcx, 19, 21, 22apb, 23, 25aab-26aa, 27, 31-32aa, 32b, 40-41, 49, 57aa, 59; 18.2, 5apba, 20, 27b; 31.la, 2-3,4b-6 2 Sam. 5.1a, 3b; 7.4b-5a, 12, 14a, 15a, 16a, 17aab; 11.1-3, 14-19, 21b-24, 26-27aa; 12.24ba; 13.1-2aa, 2b-3a, 4-12aa, 14-15, 19aab, 23-30aba, 32-36; 15.1-3, 7b, 9-10, 13, 17a, 18a; 18.1, 2b-4, 9, lOa, 14b-15, 29-32; 19.1-5, 6aba, 7-9aba 1 Sam. 1.3b, 9apb-10, llbp-18a, 19aa, 20bp, 22bp, 23a/3, 24aa, 24b-28; 2.1-36; 3.121; 4.1-22; 5.1-12; 6.1-21; 7.1-17; 8.1-22; 9.2apb, 6ap, 7-9, ll-14aa, 14bp-17, 19apb, 20b-21, 22b-24a, 25-26a, 27; 10.1-9, 10apb-27a; 11.2b-3, 4apb-8, llb-13, 14b, 15apb; 12.1-25; 13.1-23; 14.1-51; 15.1-35; 16.1-23; 17.1apb, 4apb-7a, 10-12apb, 13b-16, 18abp, 20, 22aa, 24, 25ap, 26a/3b, 28-30, 32ap, 33-39, 42-48, 50-57apb; 18.1, 3-4, 5aabp-19, 21-27a, 28-30; 19.1-24; 20.1-42; 21.1-16; 22.1-23; 23.1-28; 24.1-23; 25.144; 26.1-25; 27.1-12; 28.1-25; 29.1-11; 30.1-31; 31.Ib, 4, 8-13 2 Sam. 1.1-27; 2.1-32; 3.1-39; 4.1-12; 5.1b-3a, 4-25; 6.1-23; 7.1-4a, 5b-ll, 13, 14b, 15b, 16b, 17ap, 18-29; 8.1-18; 9.1-13; 10.1-19; 11.4-13, 20-21a, 25, 27apb; 12.1-24abp, 2531; 13.2ap, 3b, 12apb-13, 16-18, 19ap, 20-22, 30bp-31, 37-39; 14.1-33; 15.4-7a, 8, 1112, 14-16, 17b, 18b-37; 16.1-23; 17.1-29; 18.2a, 5-8, 10b-14a, 16-18; 19.6bp, 9bp-43; 20.1-26; 21.1-22; 22.1-51; 23.1-39; 24.1-25


2. A.D.H. Mayes, The Story of Israel between Settlement and Exile: A Redactional Study of the Deuteronomistic History (London: SCM, 1983). In his analysis of 1 Sam. 7-12 (pp. 85-102), Mayes identifies the early layer of editorial overlay in 1 Sam. 7.2, 5; 8.6a, 11-22; 10.17-18aa, 19b-21ba, 25-27; he finds the late layer in 1 Sam. 7.3-4; 8.6b-10, 18a|3-19a; 12.2-25. He also gives special attention to 2 Sam. 7 (pp. 102-105), where he assigns vv. Ib, 8-9, 1 Ib, 16 in the oracles and all of the prayer in vv. 18-29 to the early editor, while designating vv. 10-1 la and 22-24 as the contribution of the late editor. 3. Among his numerous articles on related subjects, see especially N. Lohfink, 'Kerygmata des deuteronomistischen Geschichtswerk', in J. Jeremias and L. Perlitt (eds.), Die Botschaft und die Boten: Festschrift fur Hans Walter Wolff zum 70.


The History of Israel's Traditions

such documents from the time of Josiaha narrative setting forth Israel's acquisition of the land and perpetual right to its possession, which underlies Deuteronomy 1-Joshua 22 and which drew in turn upon a still older Urdeuteronomiwn underlying Deuteronomy 12-26, and an early edition of the books of Kings (Cross's Dtr1). Thus far, Lohfink has not applied his ideas to the books of Samuel in any detail, but he shares with Cross and others against Noth a high estimation of the importance of the dynastic promise to David, which he links especially with cultic centralization and the election of Jerusalem.1 Lohfink nevertheless maintains Noth's position that the primary edition of the History was exilic. He does, however, identify two levels of deuteronomistic redactional activity subsequent to the completion of the primary history. In this last conclusionthat the Deuteronomistic History was editorially retouched twice after the completion of the work of the Deuteronomistic HistorianLohfink aligns himself with the position of a group of scholars associated with Gottingen who accept Noth's exilic dating of the Deuteronomistic History but differ substantially in their analysis of its basic editorial structure. Building on the work of Smend and Dietrich,2 they have developed an approach that posits three Deuteronomists, all exilic. The first was the author of the Deuteronomistic History itself (DtrG or, more recently, DtrH), who completed his work early in the exile (ca. 580). The second, identified by Dietrich on the basis of his examination of a group of passages in Kings organized around a pattern of prophecy and fulfillment, was a prophetic redactor (DtrP), who evaluated the history of the monarchy from a theological perspective influenced by the prophets, especially Jeremiah.3
Geburtstag (Neukirchen-Vluyn: Neukirchener Verlag, 1981), pp. 87-100; The Cult Reform of Josiah of Judah: 2 Kings 22-23 as a Source for the History of Israelite Religion', in P.D. Miller, P.D. Hanson and S.D. McBride (eds.), Israelite Religion: Essays in Honor of Frank Moore Cross (Philadelphia: Fortress Press), pp. 459-75. 1. N. Lohfink, 'Zur deuteronomistischen Zentralisationsformel', Bib 65 (1984), pp. 297-329. 2. R. Smend, 'Das Gesetz und die Volker: Bin Beitrag zur deuteronomistischen Redaktionsgeschichte', in H.W. Wolff (ed.), Probleme biblischer Theologie: G. von Rad zum 70. Geburtstag (Munich: Chr. Kaiser Verlag, 1971), pp. 494-509; W. Dietrich, Prophetic und Geschichte: Eine redaktionsgeschichtliche Untersuchung zum deuteronomistischen Geschichtswerk (FRLANT 108; Gottingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1972). 3. Dietrich, Prophetic und Geschichte, pp. 103-109.

MCCARTER The Books of Samuel


DtrP made his contribution at some time subsequent to the composition of DtrG (ca. 570) and in any case before the time of the third Deuteronomist, a still later redactor (ca. 560) who worked soon after the rehabilitation of Jehoiachin (2 Kgs 25.27-30). This third Deuteronomist, whose interests were chiefly legal, was the nomistic redactor (DtrN), whom Smend identified on the basis of his study of certain passages in Joshua and Judges that are reworked to reflect the motif of the contingency of the promise of the land upon obedience to the law. This approach has been applied in thoroughgoing fashion to the books of Samuel in two monographs by Timo Veijola, in which he investigates the deuteronomistic attitude towards the Davidic dynasty and Israelite kingship in general.1 He finds that, as a whole, the presentation of the monarchy in DtrG was completely positive, even when its older sources were negative. Thus, for example, he follows a number of recent scholars who understand the Succession Narrative in its original form to have been hostile to David and especially to Solomon but to have undergone a revision that was favorable to David and Solomon.2 In Veijola's opinion, this revision was the work of the Deuteronomistic Historian.3 The
1. T. Veijola, Die ewige Dynastic: David und die Entstehung seiner Dynastie nach der deuteronomistischen Darstellung (AASF, B, 193; Helsinki: Suomalainen Tiedeakatemia, 1975) and Das Konigtum in der Beurteilung der deuteronomistischen Historiographic: Eine redaktionsgeschichtliche Untersuchung (AASF, B, 198; Helsinki: Suomalainen Tiedeakatemia, 1977). Veijola assigns passages to the three Deuteronomists as follows:
DtrG 1 Sam. 2.27-36; 3.11-14; 4.18b; 7.3-4, 6a, 15-17; 14.3a, 18; 22.18by, 19; 25.21-2, 23b, 24b-26, 28-34, 39a. 2 Sam. 3.9-10, 17-19, 28-29, 38-39; 4.2b-4; 5.1-2, 4-5, 11, 12a, 17a; 6.21ap; 7.8b, lib, 13ap, 16, 18-21, 25-29; 14.9; 15.25-26; 16.11-12; 19.22-23, 29; 21.2b, 7; 24.1, 19b, 23b, 25ba 1 Sam. 3.11-14; 28.17-19aa 2 Sam. 12.7b-10,13-14; 24.3-4a, 10-14,15ap, 17,21bp, 25bp 1 Sam. 13.13-14 2 Sam. 5.12b; 7.1b, 6, lla, 22-24; 22.1,22-25, 51

DtrP DtrN

2. L. Delekat, 'Tendenz und Theologie der David-Salomo-Erzahlung', in F. Maass (ed.), Das feme und nahe Wort: Festschrift Leonhard Rost (BZAW 105; Berlin: Topelmann, 1967), pp. 22-36; E. Wurthwein, Die Erzdhlung von der Thronfolge Davidstheologische oder politische Geschichtsschreibung? (TS 115; Zurich: Theologischer Verlag, 1974). 3. This issue has been investigated in detail by F. Langlamet, who agrees with Veijola on many essentials but denies that the pro-Solomonic revision was deuteronomistic. See especially his review of Wurthwein, Die Erzdhlung von der


The History of Israel's Traditions

subsequent deuteronomistic redactions, however, were less positive towards kingship. DtrP's treatment presents a qualified evaluation, with reservations expressed in the language of classical prophecy, and DtrN's attitude is wholly negative, passing judgment on the institution of monarchy on the basis of narrow legal criteria. An opinion shared, to a greater or lesser degree, by Cross, Veijola and most of the scholars whose work is cited immediately above is that Noth's failure to take adequate account of the importance of the Davidic dynasty in deuteronomistic thought was a critical deficiency in his presentation of the History. According to Noth, the Historian 'saw the divine judgment which was acted out in his account of the external collapse of Israel as a nation as something final and definitive and he expressed no hope for the future'.1 Nevertheless, most scholars who have built upon Noth's foundation, whether they regard the Deuteronomistic History as primarily a pre-exilic or exilic composition, have disagreed, concluding instead from their reading of the text that, as von Rad expressed it, 'It was because Jahweh had his special plans for history with the house of David...that Judah and Jerusalem were preserved in history in spite of the long-due judgment.' 2 From this point of view, the books of Samuel, because they contain the stories about David, are seen to have central importance in the Deuteronomistic History, and more particularly, the oracle of Nathan in 2 Samuel 7 emerges as a key
Thronfolge Davids, and Veijola, Die ewige Dynastic, in RB 83 (1976), pp. 114-17. Other pertinent studies by Langlamet include, Tour ou centre Salomon? La redaction prosalomonienne de 1 Rois, I-II', RB 83 (1976), pp. 321-79, 481-529; 'Absalom et les concubines de son pere: Recherches sur II Sam., XVI, 21-22', RB 84 (1977), 161209; 'Ahitofel et Houshai': Redaction prosalomonienne en 2 Sam 15-17?', in Y. Avishur and J. Blau (eds.), Studies in the Bible and the Ancient Near East: Presented to Samuel E. Loewenstamm on his Seventieth Birthday (Jerusalem: Rubinstein, 1978), pp. 57-90; 'David et la maison de Saul', RB 86 (1979), pp. 194213, 385-436, 481-513; 87 (1980), pp. 161-210; 88 (1981), 321-32; 'Affinites sacerdotales, deuteronomiques, elohistes dans 1'histoire de la succession (2 S 9-20; 1 R 12)', in A. Caquot and M. Delcor (eds.), Melanges bibliques et orientaux en I'honneur de M. Henri Gazelles (AOAT 212; Kevelaer: Butzon & Becker; Neukirchen-Vluyn: Neukirchener Verlag, 1981), pp. 233-46. 1. Noth, US, p. 108; DH, p. 143. 2. G. von Rad, Old Testament Theology, I (trans. D.M.G. Stalker; New York: Harper & Row, 1962), p. 341. For von Rad's highly influential interpretation of 'The Deuteronomist's Theology of History', see more generally pp. 334-47 and the pertinent section of his Studies in Deuteronomy.

MCCARTER The Books of Samuel


passage, as stressed in a number of important studies.1 For Noth, however, the importance of the books of Samuel was to be understood differently. It lay in the fact that these books occupy an important juncture within the deuteronomistic chronological scheme according to which the History is organized. This scheme, which is an essential component of the framework of the history, is characterized by a fairly rigid periodization of the history of Israel. The stories related in 1 and 2 Samuel belong to the end and beginning of two epochs. That part of the narrative which describes, in Noth's words, 'the Philistine oppression and the career of Samuel',2 is the second and final part of the account of 'the "judges" period'. That section that contains the stories of Saul and David is the beginning of the account of 'the "kings" period'. In his presentation of both of these periods, the Deuteronomistic Historian drew extensively upon previously existing written materials, so that he followed what Noth described as his 'normal practice of basically letting the old accounts speak for themselves and setting forth his own theological interpretation of history only in the introductions and conclusions'.3 In the former section, where the Philistine oppression and the career of Samuel are recounted, the Historian utilized a framework built upon his own combination of an existing story about Samuel's childhood (1 Sam. l.l-4.1a)4 and the beginning of the ark narrative (4.1b-18a, 197.1).5 He edited this material primarily by arranging it, finding it necessary to expand his sources by his own hand only once, in his additions to the oracle against the house of Eli found in 1 Sam. 2.25b, 34-35.6 The effect of this arrangement was to depict Samuel, who presides over both
1. In addition to the studies of von Rad, Cross (Canaanite Myth, pp. 241-64), Veijola (Die ewige Dynastic, pp. 72-78) and the others cited above, see especially D.J. McCarthy, 'II Samuel and the Structure of the Deuteronomic History', JBL 84 (1965), pp. 131-38 and T.N.D. Mettinger, King and Messiah: The Civil and Sacral Legitimation of the Israelite Kings (ConBOT 8; Lund: Gleerup, 1976), pp. 48-63. 2. Noth, VS, p. 54; DH, p. 76. 3. Noth, US, p. 54; DH, p. 77. 4. For Noth's reconstruction of the complex history of this material, see his article, 'Samuel und Silo', VT 13 (1963), pp. 390-400. 5. Noth, US, p. 54; DH, p. 77. 6. Noth, US, pp. 60-61; DH, p. 84. The formulaic statement in 1 Sam. 4.18b about Eli's judging of Israel is intended to incorporate Eli into the deuteronomistic scheme of judges. But according to Noth (US, p. 23; DH, pp. 39-40), it was inserted not by the Historian but by another editor using the deuteronomistic style.


The History of Israel's Traditions

the return of the ark from Philistine territory and the installation of Saul, as the last of the judges who saved the Israelites from their oppressors. Noth expresses uncertainty about the existence of an independent source depicting Samuel as a judge,1 but he stresses the unsuitability, from the Historian's point of view, of leaving room for the interpretation that Saul's own victory over the Philistines had avenged the defeat recorded in the ark narrative.2 In the latter section, where the principal stories about Saul and David are preserved, the Historian once again availed himself of existing materials upon which he relied for the basic shape of his narrative. In this case the source was 'an extensive collection of Saul-David traditions compiled long before Dtr. from different elementsthe old tradition on Saul and, in particular, the story of the rise of David and the story of the Davidic succession'.3 What Noth meant by 'the old tradition on Saul' was a loose collection of stories that now underlie 1 Samuel 13-14.4 For the story of David's rise (1 Sam. 16.14-2 Sam. 5.25) and the succession narrative ([1 Sam. 4.1b-7.1] 2 Sam. 6-7; 9-20; 1 Kgs 1-2), Noth for the most part followed the analysis of Rost.5 The Historian supplemented these major sources by attaching other existing materials, including a catalogue of David's wars (2 Sam. 8.1ap~14a) and two lists of David's officers (2 Sam. 8.15-18; 20.23-26).6 His own additions and expansions are modest in scope, recognizable in Noth's opinion only in the formulaic notices on the kingship of Saul (1 Sam. 13.1),7 Ishbaal and David (2 Sam. 2.10a, II), 8 additions to Nathan's prophecy (2 Sam. 7.1b, 7a, 1 la, 12b-13a, 22-24), intended (especially in the case of vv. 12b-13a) to render the temple prohibition only temporary in accordance with
1. According to Noth, elements of this kind may be contained in parts of ch. 7, especially vv. 16-17 (OS, p. 55; DH, p. 78). 2. Noth, US, p. 55; DH, p. 78. 3. Noth, OS, pp. 61-62; DH, p. 86. 4. Noth, US, p. 62, n. 1; DH, p. 86, n. 1. 5. Rost, Succession to the Throne. 6. Noth, US, pp. 64-65; DH, pp. 89-90. In Noth's opinion (OS, p. 62, n. 3; DH, p. 86, n. 3) the miscellaneous materials collected in 2 Samuel 21-24 were added at a late date, after the division of the Deuteronomistic History into the present scheme of books. 7. Noth (US, p. 63; DH, p. 87) regarded two other interpolations in the Saul story1 Sam. 14.47-51 and 15.24-31as the contributions of a late editor, but not the Deuteronomistic Historian. 8. Noth, US, p. 62, n. 7; DH, p. 87, n. 3.

MCCARTER The Books of Samuel


deuteronomistic theology,1 and additions to the catalogue of David's wars (2 Sam. S.laa, 14b).2 Noth, in short, regarded the two sections of the History that relate the end of 'the "judges" period' and the beginning of 'the "king's" period' as having been incorporated by the Deuteronomistic Historian with only slight changes. His understanding of the portion of narrative by which they are joined, however, was quite different. This portion is the account of the origin of the monarchy, and here, said Noth, the Deuteronomistic Historian set his own understanding of history above the tradition. A central tenet of that understanding was the Historian's belief that, as Noth expressed it, 'the rise of the monarchy was of fundamental importance...' because, as an Israelite living in the aftermath of the fall of Jerusalem and 'with hindsight afforded by the situation of his own time, he inevitably concluded that the monarchy had led the Israelite nation to destruction.'3 Therefore, he broke with what, as we have seen, Noth called his 'normal practice of letting the old accounts...speak for themselves' and composed most of the narrative himself. The result was what Noth, in another context, described as the only time in his entire history when the Deuteronomistic Historian made 'a conscious correction, that is, an alteration of the evident sense of the source used which is not motivated in any other tradition'.4 The material to which Noth attributed such distinctiveness and importance is, for the most part, found in a group of four passages: the account of the battle of Ebenezer with its appendix on Samuel's ongoing work as a judge (1 Sam. 7.2-17), the story of the people's demand for a king (1 Sam. 8.1-22), the report of the lottery by which Saul is identified as king (1 Sam. 10.17-27a) and the report of Samuel's farewell address (1 Sam. 12.1-25). These passages not only describe the origin of the institution of monarchy in Israel but also cast a shadow over it in the process. Accordingly, they have often been described as 'anti-monarchical', a characterization that emphasizes their incongruity with the earlier, 'pro-monarchical' materials with which they are now combined.5
1. Noth, OS, p. 64, n. 7; DH, p. 89, n. 5. 2. US, p. 65; DH, p. 90. 3. US, p. 54; DH, p. 77. 4. #5, p. 99-100; DH, p. 88. 5. For the longstanding debate over the 'pro-' and 'anti-monarchical' sources in Samuel and of issues in 1 Sam. 7-12 generally, see F. Langlament, 'Les recits de


The History of Israel's Traditions

In their depiction of the election and rejection of Saul, the anti-monarchical passages exhibit a marked suspicion, not just of Saul's kingship, but of the institution of monarchy itself. This situation was clearly recognized by Noth, though it caused him some difficulty in explaining why an editor with such a point of view would have utilized sources favorable to kingship. Thus he explained that 'it was not without effort and contrivance that Dtr. supplemented the old accounts which deal favourably with the institution of monarchy by adding long passages reflecting his disapproval of the institution.'1 There have been attempts by some of Noth's successors to address this issue in ways that would remove the possible contradiction in Noth's assumption that the author of the anti-monarchical passages deliberately selected pro-monarchical sources for inclusion in the account of the inauguration of the monarchy. Boecker, for example, has pointed out that only certain aspects of monarchy are condemned so that the true deuteronomistic view of kingship is acceptance, though sharply qualified, as expressed succinctly in 1 Sam. 12.14-15.2 Boecker's point seems quite valid with regard to the materials included in 1 Samuel 7-12. The older passages are favorable or at least neutral towards the institution of monarchy, the passages identified by Noth as deuteronomistic are hostile to it, and the overall impression is of kingship as an institution to which Yahweh has given his approval, however unenthusiastically and reluctantly, but which is strictly limited in a number of ways. When we look beyond these chapters to the History as a whole, however, difficulties in identifying the anti-monarchical materials as deuteronomistic are still apparent. As explained above, most of Noth's successors have felt that he gave too little attention to the divine promise of kingship to David, which they see as one of the principal themes in the Deuteronomistic History. While the identification of this theme as deuteronomistic would create no difficulty in seeing those passages that confirm the kingship of Saul (1 Sam. 13.7b-15a; 15.1-34) as deuteronomistic (cf. 2 Sam. 7.15), the same cannot be said of the
I'institution de la royaute (I Sam. VII-XII): De Wellhausen aux travaux recents', RB 77 (1970), pp. 161-200. 1. US, p. 60; DH, p. 83-84. 2. H.J. Boecker, Die Beurteilung der Anfdnge des Konigtums in den deuteronomistischen Abschnitten des 1. Samuelbuches: Ein Beitrag zum Problem des 'Deuteronomistischen Geschichtswerks' (WMANT 31; Neukirchen-Vluyn: Neukirchener Verlag, 1969).

MCCARTER The Books of Samuel


anti-monarchical parts of 1 Samuel 7-12, in which kingship itself is unambiguously condemned. The viewpoint they represent does not deny that kingship came into existence, since this was the ineluctable fact of history, or even that Yahweh accepted it, since otherwise it could not have arisen. Nevertheless, their viewpoint presents kingship in Israel as something that is to be strictly controlled, specifically by prophecy. That is, kings are to be tolerated only insofar as their actions are superintended by prophets, whose divine selection is not compromised by dynastic considerations and through whom a kind of theocracy can be maintained even under a monarchy. This viewpoint is, in a word, prophetic. Scholars since Noth have found a variety of ways of addressing the tension between the prophetic, anti-monarchical point of view in these allegedly deuteronomistic passages and the importance of the dynastic promise to David in the larger deuteronomistic scheme. One solution is to assume, against Noth, that the deuteronomistic redaction of Samuel was not the work of a single historian. This, as noted above, is the position of the Gb'ttingen school, which has argued that the Deuteronomistic History (DtrG or DtrH) underwent subsequent prophetic (DtrP) and nomistic (DtrN) redactions. In his two monographs on Samuel (see p. 269 n. 1), Veijola argues that the anti-monarchical passages in Samuel reflect the editorial concerns of DtrP, who evaluated the history of the monarchy from a theological perspective influenced by the prophets, especially Jeremiah,1 and DtrN. These passages are also the subject of a more recent monograph by Dietrich,2 in which he develops the following account of their editorial history. The older narrative sources were first brought together as part of DtrG. Although the deuteronomistic school had a positive attitude towards kingship, especially Davidic kingship, at the time of the compilation of DtrG, this attitude changed with time. Thus DtrP introduced into the story a tone that is sharply critical of monarchy and that presents kingship as controlled by prophecy. DtrN pressed forward to a full rejection of kingship, advocating the view that
1. Dietrich, Prophetic und Geschichte, pp. 103-109. 2. W. Dietrich, David, Saul und die Propheten: Das Verhdltnis von Religion und Politik nach den prophetischen Uberlieferungen vom frilhesten Konigtum in Israel (BWANT 122; Stuttgart: Kohlhammer, 2nd edn, 1992). Dietrich identifies the deuteronomistic contributions to 1 Samuel 1-16 as follows:
DtrH DtrP DtrN 1 Sam. Z.llb, 21b; 3.19bp-21a; 4.18b; 7.2-4, 5b, 8-9, lOaa, 13-15; 8.21-22; 13.1-2 1 Sam. 3.1, 12-14; 15.1-23, 27-28 (with older material); 16.1-4aa, 6ap, 7-10, 12b 1 Sam. 8.6-lla, 18-20a; 10.18-19*; 12.1-24; 13.13b, 14; 15.24-26, 29?


The History of Israel's Traditions

Israel should be the people of God not the people of a state. Another way of dealing with the contradiction between the passages that express a prophetic, anti-monarchical sentiment and those that contain the deuteronomistic theme of the dynastic promise is to suppose that the former are not deuteronomistic. Whereas Wellhausen and many other scholars prior to Noth's time regarded the anti-monarchical material as deuteronomistic,1 others did not. Indeed, among Noth's contemporaries, there was what he called a 'tendency...to see these passages as the bare bones of a self-contained pre-Deuteronomistic narrative'.2 He was thinking of the work of scholars such as Eissfeldt,3 who favored a documentary hypothesis of the literary history of Samuel, and Weiser,4 a leading proponent of the fragmentary hypothesis. Weiser believed the anti-monarchical material had a long tradition history in prophetic circles. He argued, moreover, that the biblical stories about Samuel and Saul received their primary shape at a pre-deuteronomistic stage from a process of what he called 'prophetic formation into a complete history interpreted theologically' as seen in 1 Samuel 1-3; 7; 8; 10.17ff; 12; 15; 16.1-13; 28.5 Following Weiser, both Birch6 and I7 have posited the existence of a
1. See Noth's comment (US, pp. 54-55; DH, p. 77) that 'Wellhausen was certainly right to claim that the passages 1 Sam. 7.2-8.22, 10.17-27a and 12.1-25, which have a common theme, are to be ascribed to Dtr. on the ground of their language and their subject matter; and he rightly points out that they presuppose the existence of the older tradition in 1 Sam. 9-11.' Noth here cites Wellhausen, Composition des Hexateuchs, p. 243. 2. Noth, US, pp. 55; DH, p. 77. 3. O. Eissfeldt, The Old Testament: An Introduction (trans. P.R. Ackroyd; New York: Harper & Row, 1965), pp. 268-81. In Eissfeldt's three-source (L, J, E) version of the documentary hypothesis, the anti-monarchy materials belong to the latest, Elohistic stratum (pp. 272-73); he assigns only 1 Sam. 2.27-36 and 2 Sam. 7 to deuteronomistic redaction (p. 280). 4. A. Weiser, The Old Testament: Its Formation and Development (trans. D.M. Barton; New York: Association, [1961]), pp. 157-70. Weiser (p. 168) finds evidence of deuteronomistic editing only in 1 Sam. 2.35-36; 4.18b; 7.2b; 2 Sam. 5.4-5; 7.13. 5. Weiser, Old Testament, p. 170; for Weiser's detailed arguments see his Samuel: Seine geschichtliche Aufgabe und religiose Bedeutung: Traditionsgeschichtliche Untersuchungen zu 1. Samuel 7-12 (FRLANT 81; Gottingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1962). 6. B.C. Birch, The Rise of the Israelite Monarchy: The Growth and Development of 1 Samuel 7-15 (SBLDS 27; Missoula, MT: Scholars Press, 1976). 7. McCarter, I Samuel, pp. 18-23; // Samuel, pp. 7-8 and passim in the

MCCARTER The Books of Samuel


prophetic history underlying the first half of 1 Samuel and, at least in my case, extending into 2 Samuelwhere it is most clearly represented in the episode of David, Bathsheba and Uriahand Kings. Working along similar lines, Campbell has developed a comprehensive hypothesis of a document he calls the 'Prophetic Record'.1 Composed late in the ninth century among the disciples of the prophet Elisha, it represented a view of the history of Israel's kings as an ongoing process of selection and rejection that reflected the will of Yahweh as mediated through his prophets. It was inspired by Jehu's revolution and served as a justification for the bloodbath with which he seized power from the Omrides and suppressed the supporters of Baalism in Israel. It was a highly influential source of the Deuteronomistic History, which it now underlies. It begins in 1 Sam. 1.1 with Samuel's birth, his anointing and condemnation of Saul, and his anointing of David; it climaxes with the anointing of Jehu and concludes with the account of his coup d'etat in 2 Kgs 10.18-28. In Campbell's view, however, the 'Prophetic Record' did not include most of the anti-monarchical passages in 1 Samuel 7-12, since they reflect a complete rejection of monarchy in contrast to its view of kingship as divinely instituted though prophetically controlled.2 On the last point Campbell's argument seems excessively subtle. Even an editor whose attitude towards kingship was completely hostile would have had to reckon with the historical reality that Israel did in fact become a monarchy, so that the era of kings must have had some kind of divine approval, however minimal and qualified. On the other hand, it is clear that the anti-monarchical view expressed in parts of

notes and comments of both volumes. 1. A.F. Campbell, Of Prophets and Kings: A Ninth-Century Document (1 Samuel 1-2 Kings 10) (CBQMS 17; Washington, DC: Catholic Biblical Association, 1986). 2. According to Campbell (Of Prophets and Kings, p. 69, n. 9),' 1 Sam 8:1-22; 10:17-25; and any pre-dtr substratum in 12:1-25...cannot derive from the same prophetic circles as the Prophetic Record.. .For the prophetic redactors of 1 Sam 9:110:16; 15:1-35; 16:1-13, etc., kingship is a providential gift from Yahweh; it is neither demand by the people nor rejection of Yahweh.' Thus in Samuel, Campbell's 'Prophetic Record' includes the following passages:
1 Sam. 1.1-4. la (evidently as a whole); 4.1b-2?, 4?, 10-11?, 23-18a?; 7.2b?, 5-6a?, 712?; 9.1-2a, 3-8, 9?, 10-13; 10.1-4, 5-6?, 7, 8?, 9, 10-13?, 14-16; 11.1-11, 14-15; 14.52; 15.1-35 (or only lapb, 10-12, 16, 17b, 23b, 26-30, 35b); 28.17-19a 2Sam7.1a,2-5,7b-10, llb-12, 14-17; 12.7b-10? (or 7-15?)


The History of Israel's Traditions

1 Samuel 7-12 is entirely at variance with the strongly affirmative view of the dynastic promise to David which, as explained above, was characteristic of the primary edition of the Deuteronomistic History, and this clash of views makes it probable that the anti-monarchical material arose in the form of secondary additions to the primary history. Moreover, there is a common feature in these passages (1 Sam. 7.2-17; 8.1-22; 10.17-27a; 12.1-25) that strongly favors their attribution to an exilic hand. This is their representation of Mizpah as a place of assembly for all Israel (cf. 1 Sam. 7.5; 10.17), which, apart from their prophetic or antimonarchical tone, is their most striking peculiarity.1 Discussions of the provenance and literary history of this 'Mizpah material' should be controlled by what we can establish about the history of Mizpah itself.2 The town was located near the northern tribal boundary of Benjamin (cf. Josh. 18.26) and thus of the kingdom of Judah. Asa fortified it against Baasha of Israel early in the ninth century (1 Kgs 15.22 = 2 Chron. 16.6). As far as we know, however, its only period of real prominence was during the early years of the exile, when it served as the Babylonian provincial capital and headquarters of Gedaliah, following and in consequence of the destruction of Jerusalem (2 Kgs 25.23). This suggests the early exile as a likely time for the composition of the Mizpah material, and its negative judgment on the history of the monarchy would fit well into this period when the kingdoms of Israel and Judah had failed to survive. Moreover, an attempt to identify an earlier period in which the depiction of Mizpah as a meeting place for all Israel would fit meets with difficulty. To be sure, it is present in 1 Samuel as an ancient place of worship, but there is little evidence to suggest that
1. Whereas the chief meeting place in the earlier material in 1 Sam. 7-12 seems to be Gilgal (11.14; cf. 13.7b), in the anti-monarchical material it is Mizpah or Ramah (8.4). Among earlier scholars Budde, for example, provisionally identified the two sources he found in this part of Samuel as 'G', for the earlier 'Gilgal source' (in 1 Sam. 9.1-10.16; 11; 13-14), and 'M', for the later 'Mizpah source' (in 1 Sam. 8; 10.17-24; 12); see Budde, Die Biicher Samuel, p. 169 and, for detailed discussion of M, pp. 177-202, and of G, pp. 203-208. 2. See J. Muilenburg in Tell en Nasbeh, Excavated under the Direction of the Late William Frederic Bade, I (Berkeley: Palestine Institute of Pacific School of Religion; New Haven: Yale University Press, 1947), pp. 13-49; 'Mizpah of Benjamin', ST 8 (1954), pp. 25-43; D. Diringer, 'Mizpah', in D.W. Thomas (ed.), Archaeology and Old Testament Study: Jubilee Volume of the Society for Old Testament Study, 1917-1967 (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1967), pp. 329-42.

MCCARTER The Books of Samuel


this is anything more than a retrojection from the time of the author of the anti-monarchical material. The statement in 1 Mace. 3.46 that 'Mizpah was in time past a place of prayer in Israel' is not by itself a sufficient indication of this, since the tradition reflected there could have been derived from the biblical Samuel traditions if it does not, in fact, refer to the time of the governorship of Gedaliah, when Mizpah functioned as a cultic center (cf. Jer. 41.4-8). The only other place in the Bible where Mizpah has such a role is in Judges 19-21. There it is depicted as a place of worship in pre-monarchical Israel, when the tribes are said to have gathered at the shrine of Yahweh of Mizpah (Judg. 20.1, 3; 21.1, 5, 8). Note, however, that this depiction is confined to the special material appended to Judges (or prefixed to Samuel!) that describes the civil war against Benjamin. This material represents Israel as consisting of Judah and Benjamin with a bit of the Ephraimite highlands attachedthe actual extent of the land at the end of the monarchyand it is widely regarded as an exilic or postexilic addition to Judges or a late insertion in the Deuteronomistic History.1 In all probability, then, the Mizpah material derives from the circle of Jews who were permitted to remain in the land during the early exilic period and who gathered around Gedaliah, the Babylonianappointed governor, at Mizpah. In its primary, pre-exilic edition the Deuteronomistic History was hostile to Saul and favorable to David and his dynasty. It placed the hopes and survival of the nation in Josiah and his reforms, and represented the history of the northern kingdom, which originated in different ways with Saul and Jeroboam, as a counterexample or foila model Judah should not emulate. The reformulation of the story of the origin of the monarchy by the author of the Mizpah material transformed the original hostility towards Saul into a negative judgment on kingship in general. This conclusion, however, raises a further question. If we characterize the Mizpah material as an exilic revision of the primary edition of the Deuteronomistic History, should we also assign it to Cross's Dtr2?2 This is possible, but the passages in question lack the characteristic
1. Cf. J. Wellhausen, Prolegomena to the History of Ancient Israel (trans. W.R. Smith; New York: Meridian, 1957), pp. 235-37. 2. Cross himself seems not to think so; see Canaanite Myth, p. 220, n. 4, where, evidently following older literary critics, he assigns the essential portions of the Mizpah material to 'the younger northern source' of the Deuteronomistic History.


The History of Israel's Traditions

deuteronomistic language that would require their association with Dtr2, and we cannot assume that every post-Josianic revision in the History came from deuteronomistic circles. For this reason I prefer to beg the question of the association of the Mizpah material with deuteronomistic editorial activity and to identify it as an exilic revision from a prophetic perspective of the biblical account of the origin of kingship in Israel.1

1. I do not wish to imply that there is anything improbable about an exilic revision that can be characterized specifically as deuteronomistic. On the contrary, I think Cross's case for Dtr2 is quite strong and that, in fact, it is not unlikely that there was more than one exilic revision, as argued by Lohfink. It does seem unlikely, however, that a convincing case can be made for a single edition of the Deuteronomistic History, whether exilic, as Noth proposed, or pre-exilic, as argued with such erudition and acuity by McKenzie (The Trouble with Kings). The full scope and duration of the deuteronomistic phenomenon have not yet been described or even appreciated. Not only is deuteronomistic editing discernible in a very large number of the books of the Hebrew Bible outside of the Deuteronomistic History, but ongoing adjustments and expansions with deuteronomistic characteristics are often discernible to the critic who compares the textual witnesses in a number of books. Deuteronomistic editing was done in Jeremiah, for example, after the divergence of the parent texts of the long and short editions of the book, represented by the MT and 4QJera, on the one hand, and by the LXX and 4QJerb on the other. Deuteronomistic-like changes were made in the Samaritan Pentateuch after its divergence from the Jewish Pentateuch. All this places the continuation of deuteronomistic activity quite late and, in any case, well after the exile. Thus, it is precarious to assume that all the characteristically deuteronomistic changes found in Deuteronomy-2 Kings can be assigned to the work of a single historian, whether pre-exilic or exilic, or even to two or three redactors working in those periods.


Brian Peckham has written, 'The world of the Bible is the world [the Deuteronomistic History] created,'1 and Richard D. Nelson has added that the deuteronomistic world's center of gravity is the books of Kings.2 The first statement needs no defense in this symposium; the second is the topic of this paper. 1. Martin Noth and the Books of Kings in the Deuteronomistic History Recognizing that Dtr's original organization of his History differed substantially from its much later division into 'books',3 Noth treated the material in the books of Kings in two parts: the reign of Solomon in the united monarchy and the subsequent period of the kings of Israel and Judah. Noth followed Rost4 in regarding the beginning of the account of Solomon's reign in 1 Kings 1-2 as the conclusion of the 'Succession Narrative', which Dtr reproduced with only slight augmentations.5 For the rest of Solomon's reign, Dtr lacked the kind of running narrative that he had used for Saul and David and so was forced to
* I wish to express my gratitude to Professor Baruch Halpern for reading and commenting on a draft of this paper, and to Dr M. Patrick Graham both for reading the paper and for suggesting bibliography. Any errors, of course, are my responsibility alone. 1. B. Peckham, History and Prophecy: The Development of Late Judean Literary Traditions (ABRL; New York: Doubleday, 1993), p. 518. 2. R.D. Nelson, The Double Redaction of the Deuteronomistic History (JSOTSup 18; Sheffield: JSOT Press, 1981), p. 21. 3. Noth, US, pp. 9-10; DH, p. 24. 4. L. Rost, Die Uberlieferung von der Thronnachfolge Davids (BWANT 3.6; Stuttgart: Kohlhammer, 1926). 5. Namely 1 Kgs 1.2; 2.*2, 3, 4, 27b. US, p. 66; DH, p. 91. 2.11 was probably a later (post-Dtr) addition.


The History of Israel's Traditions

construct his own account from disparate traditional materials. His primary source was the 'Book of the Acts of Solomon' that he cites in 11.41. This was a document based on royal annals but organized topically rather than chronologically.1 Dtr's other sources for Solomon included traditional stories,2 as well as assorted lists and other detailed information.3 Despite his reliance on sources, Dtr's creative hand was clearly at work in shaping the account of Solomon. First of all, Dtr covered Solomon's reign in two phases, each beginning with a theophany at Gibeon (3.4-15; 9.1-9). This periodization allowed him to account for Solomon's positive contribution in the building of the temple as well as the division and decline of the kingdom immediately following Solomon. The second theophany was entirely Dtr's invention and was only one of several substantial texts created by Dtr for his treatment of Solomon.4 He also changed the order of his source, focusing first on the temple among Solomon's building efforts,5 composed the present version of Ahijah's oracle in 11.29-396 and made numerous smaller additions and alterations.7
1. Noth believed that the contents and order of the 'Book of the Acts of Solomon' could be roughly discerned on the basis of Dtr's account in Kings. It included Solomon's construction projects (1 Kgs 6; 7.1-12), his bronze implements (7.13-46), the corvee (*9.15-23), building use (9.24; *8.1-13; 9.25) and Solomon's treasure expeditions (9.26-28; 10.11-12; 10.14-22; 10.26, 28-29). Cf. US, pp. 66-67; DH, pp. 91-92. 2. The theophany at Gibeon (3.4-15), the story of Solomon's wise judgment (3.16-28), Solomon's great wisdom (5.9-14), the aetiology on the name Cabul (9.1014), the visit of the queen of Sheba (10.1-10, 13), the accounts of Solomon's adversaries (11.14-22, 23-25aa, 25a|3, 25-28, 40) and the prophetic story of Ahijah (11.29a|3b-31, 36aba-37). Cf. US, pp. 68-72; DH, pp. 93-99. 3. Lists: 4.2-6; M.7-19; M.20-5.8. Other sources: 7.1a, 2-5, 6a, 6b, 7, 8a, 8b. US, pp. 68-72; DH, pp. 93-99. 4. These include: the preparations, with Hiram's help, for the temple construction (5.15-32); an inventory of the gold in the temple (7.48-50); Solomon's prayer and dedication of the temple (8.14-66); Solomon's apostasy (11.1-13) and the concluding formulas (11.41-43). US, pp. 68-72; DH, pp. 93-99. 5. US, p. 69; DH, p. 95. 6. For details see US, p. 72; DH, pp. 98-99. 7. Including 2.4; 3.3, 14; 4.1; perhaps 4.13bay, 19bap, 20; 5.1; 6.1, 19b; 7.51; 8.1b, 2aa, 4b, 9. It is worth observing here that Noth also found a significant number of post-Dtr additions in this material: 3.1, 20; perhaps 4.13bay, 19ba|3; 6.11-13; 7.40b-45; 8.lap, 4a, *6, 10, 11, 27, 34b; 10.23-25, 27; the last three

McKENZffi The Books of Kings


For the remainder of his History, Dtr's principal sources were the 'Book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Israel' and the 'Book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Judah', from which he extracted the chronological framework. Since his intention was to recount not the acts of particular kings but the history of the monarchical period as a whole, Dtr actually took few details from these 'Books of the Chronicles'. This was especially true for Israel, whose history Dtr traced curtly as a rapid decline to destruction.1 Dtr's use of the 'Book of the Chronicles' for the kings of Judah was more extensive. He especially took over material relating to the temple to show how it was progressively stripped of its wealth as Judah's history declined.2 He also lifted the information about the succession of monarchs.3 Otherwise, his citations from the 'Book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Judah' were sparse and sporadic.4 Dtr's third source for the divided monarchy was cycles of stories about specific prophets (Elijah and Elisha, Isaiah,5 Ahijah6 and Micaiah), some of which had been linked together before Dtr.7 In addition to these
words of 11.35. Cf. US, pp. 68-72; DH, pp. 93-99. 1. The isolated notices that Dtr took from the 'Book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Israel' referred to the various usurpations (1 Kgs 15.27-28; 16.9-12, 15-18, 21, 22; 2 Kgs 15.10, 14, 16, 25, 30a), changes in the capital (1 Kgs 12.25; 16.24), connections with prophetic stories (1 Kgs 16.31 [as a prelude to the Elijah/Elisha stories]; 1 Kgs 16.34; 2 Kgs 14.25-27), allusions to Israel's impending fall to Assyria (2 Kgs 15.19-20, 29) and Ahab's ivory palace (1 Kgs 22.39). US, pp. 74-75; DH, pp. 102-103. In addition, 2 Kgs 17.3-4, 24, 29-31 may also have come from the 'Book of the Chronicles'. US, p. 78, n. 2; DH, p. 106, n. 3. 2. 1 Kgs 14.25-28; 15.12-13, 16-22; 2 Kgs 12.5-17, 18-19; 14.7, 8-14, 22; 15.35b; 16.5-18; 18.4b, 13-16; 23.4-15, 19-20a; 24.10-16. Cf. OS, pp. 75-77; DH, pp. 103-105. 3. 2 Kgs 11.1-20; 12.21-22; 14.5, 19-21; 15.5; 21.23-24; 23.29-30, 33-35; 24.17. OS, p. 77; DH, p. 105. 4. 1 Kgs 12.25 (OS, pp. 80-81; DH, p. 109); 15.23b; 22.48-50; 2 Kgs 8.20-22; 18.9-11; 20.20; and possibly 2 Kgs 24.1-2a and 24.7. OS, pp. 77-78; DH, pp. 105107. 5. 2 Kgs 18.17-20.19. OS, p. 85; DH, p. 115. 6. Noth denned the Ahijah cycle as 1 Kgs 11.29apb-31, 36aba-37; 12.1-20 (minus the later additions in vv. 2-3a, 12), 26-31; 14.1-18. It is worth noting in the context of 1 Kgs 12 that Noth consistently dismissed LXX variants as arbitrary and deliberate revisions of the MT. Cf. US, pp. 78-80; DH, pp. 107-109. 7. Besides the Elijah/Elisha cycle, the story of Micaiah (1 Kgs 22.2b-37) was tied with 1 Kgs 20 at a pre-deuteronomistic level. The story of Jehu's revolt


The History of Israel's Traditions

three sources, Dtr used a couple of local cultic traditions from Bethel,1 as well as the Baruch narrative in Jeremiah 39-41, and he was able to draw on personal knowledge for information at the conclusion of his work (2 Kgs 25.18-21,27-30).2 Again, despite Noth's isolation of this source material, he ascribed a great deal of creativity to Dtr. Dtr arranged his disparate sources and linked them together.3 In doing so, he was responsible for a number of small but significant additions,4 apart from his standard evaluation of each king. Some of his additions were longer and ultimately more important for the message of his History than others. Among these were the oracles of Jehu and Elijah against the houses of Baasha and Ahab, respectively (1 Kgs 16.1-4; 21.21-22, 24-26), the extensive peroration on the demise of Israel (2 Kgs 17.7-20), the evaluation of Manasseh, which corresponds to the account of Israel's sins and thus prepares the reader for the fall of Judah (2 Kgs 21.1-18), the extension of Josiah's reforms in accordance with Deuteronomic law (2 Kgs 23.20b-27) and the revision of the Baruch narrative from Jeremiah regarding Judah's last days (2 Kgs 25.1-26). The books of Kings, in short, furnished perhaps the best illustration of Noth's theory of composition. Dtr was not only a redactor, combining documents or revising an earlier complete work, but also an author (Autor, Schriftsteller) who did research and then worked (bearbeitef) his
(2 Kgs 9.1-10.27) was distinct from the Elijah/Elisha cycle. It may have been part of a cycle of stories about prophetic interventions in the succession of Israel's kings and royal houses that included the Ahijah and Micaiah (+ 1 Kgs 20) stories. However, Noth hastened to add that this pre-deuteronomistic link could not be proven, since the only present connection between the stories was their overall theme of the prophetic word. US, pp. 78-80; DH, pp. 107-109. 1. 1 Kgs 12.32-13.34 + 2 Kgs 23.16-18, minus Dtr's own additions in 1 Kgs 13.32b, 33-34 and 2 Kgs 23.16. Dtr's introduction to the prophetic story in 12.32-33 was later expanded, as is apparent from the three-fold occurrence of raian *?s bin. Cf. US, p. 81, nn. 1-3; DH, p. 109, n. 3 and 110, nn. 1-2. 2. Noth, US, pp. 86-87; DH, pp. 116-17. 3. Noth discusses especially the present order of the Ahijah stories (1 Kgs 1114), the complex in 1 Kgs 20-22, the reign of Ahaziah and career of Elisha (2 Kgs 18), Elisha's death (13.14-21) and the Isaiah cycle in the reign of Hezekiah (2 Kgs 18-20). Dtr's incorporation of prophetic stories, especially in 2 Kgs 1-8, forced him to come up with identifications for several kings of Israel and Judah whose names had not been given in the traditions passed down to him. 4. 1 Kgs 13.33-34; 14.14-16, 22-24; 15.15, 29-30; 16.31abp-33; 22.38, 43, 47; 2 Kgs 8.28-29; 9.8b-10a; 10.1Gb, 28-33; 17.32-34a; 24.20.

MCKENZffi The Books of Kings


sources to create an entirely new composition. The books of Kings were also especially influential in shaping Noth's theory of the date and purpose of the Deuteronomistic History. Because 2 Kings ended with Jehoiachin's release from Babylonian imprisonment in 562 BCE, the History was to be dated shortly thereafter, ca 560.! This date, in turn, was decisive for the purpose Noth assigned. The fall of Jerusalem was 'the final act in a long historical drama' in Dtr's view, and it moved him to write a history of his people, interpreting it 'in the light of its outcome'.2 While Josiah's reign was but a brief hiatus on the descent to imminent disaster, his finding of the Deuteronomic law and execution of reforms based on it significantly informed Dtr's historical presuppositions.3 The law in Deuteronomy provided the standard for the relationship between God and humans, the yardstick by which to judge the past. And Josiah's reign 'saw the realization of the ideal that should have been in force throughout the monarchical period'.4 That is why destruction, when it did come, was final, as envisioned by Deuteronomy. Dtr evinced no hope for the future. Even Solomon's prayer in 1 Kings 8 does not suggest that the nation will be reassembled but only wishes that future prayers for forgiveness toward Jerusalem be heard. Hence, by reporting Jehoiachin's release in 2 Kgs 25.27-30, Dtr did not mean to herald a new age; he was simply reporting historical fact. In his 1968 commentary on 1 Kings 1-16, Noth had the opportunity to explore his theory on a verse-by-verse basis.5 While some have dwelt on the differences between US and the commentary,6 it seems to me that the two works are remarkably similar, especially considering the twenty-five year span between them. Noth did retreat some in 1968 from his earlier view that Dtr was the first to compile the sources he employed. For instance, he now concluded that the 'Book of the Acts of
1. Noth, US, p. 12; DH, p. 27. 2. Noth, US, p.9\;DH, p. 122. 3. Noth, US, pp. 92-94; DH, pp. 124-26. 4. Noth, US, p. 95; DH, p. 126. 5. Noth, Konige. I. / Konige 1-16 (BK 9.1; Neukirchen-Vluyn: Neukirchener Verlag, 1968). 6. H.D. Hoffmann, Reform und Reformen: Untersuchungen zu einem Grundthema der deuteronomistischen Geschichtsschreibung (ATANT 66; Zurich: Theologischer Verlag, 1980), pp. 16-17; B. Peckham, The Composition of the Deuteronomistic History (HSM 35; Atlanta: Scholars Press, 1985), p. 1.


The History of Israel's Traditions

Solomon' had been attached to the Succession Narrative before they came to Dtr.1 But he still saw Dtr very much as the creator of a new work and in fact assigned more material to Dtr (especially 11.29-39 and much of ch. 14) than he had in 1943. He pointed to 1 Kings 11 as a good example of Dtr's modus operandi taking sources (Solomon's adversaries) and reordering them with new meaning through his composition of the introduction inll.1-13.2 2. Scholarship on the Books of Kings in the Deuteronomistic History Since Noth a. Early Reactions (1943-1953): Jepsen and von Rod As Nelson's remark, quoted at the beginning of this paper, indicates, the history of scholarship in the Deuteronomistic History has been tied especially closely to Kings.3 It was evident early on in the study of the History that this would be the case when the books of Kings figured prominently in the most important initial reactions to Noth's theory. Alfred Jepsen's volume on the sources of the books of Kings, completed in 1939, is often cited as confirming Noth's conclusions,4 and Jepsen's results were certainly comparable to Noth's in some respects.
1. Noth, Konige, p. 48. 2. Noth, Konige, pp. 245-64. 3. Compare also the statement of H. Weippert, 'Das deuteronomistische Geschichtswerk: Sein Ziel und Ende in der neueren Forschung', TRu 50 (1985), pp. 213-49 (217): 'In den Konigsbuchern erreicht das DtrG sein Ende. Absichten der dtr Historiographie und die Mittel, die sie einsetzt, um diesen Absichten Ausdruck zu verleihen, glaubt man hier am ehesten fassen zu konnen, und das hat den Hauptstrom der Forschungsarbeit am DtrG auf diesen beiden Bucher gelenkt.' 4. A. Jepsen, Die Quellen des Konigsbuches (Halle: Niemeyer, 2nd edn, 1956). A better example of confirmation for Noth's theory is the work of I. Engnell, whose 1945 introduction to the Old Testament (Gamla Testementet: En Traditionshistorisk Inledning [Stockholm: Svensk Krykans Diakonistyrelses]; cf. A Rigid Scrutiny: Critical Essays on the Old Testament [trans, and ed. J.T. Willis; Nashville: Vanderbilt University Press, 1962; repr. 1969], pp. 50-67) independently reached conclusions very similar to Noth's, though by different methods. Like Noth, Engnell determined that the 'D-work' (Noth's Deuteronomistic History) was a unit and was completely independent from the Tetrateuch (what he called the P-work). See the discussions of G.E. Gerbrandt, Kingship according to the Deuteronomistic History (SBLDS 87; Atlanta: Scholars Press, 1986), p. 6 and H.A. Kenik, Design for Kingship: The Deuteronomistic Narrative Technique in 1 Kings 3:4-15 (SBLDS 69; Chico, CA: Scholars Press, 1983), pp. 23-25.

MCKENZIE The Books of Kings


Both broke with previous treatments of the Former Prophets, showing that the sources and method of composition of these books were entirely distinct from those of the Tetrateuch. Jepsen considered his second redactor (Rn) to be essentially the same as Noth's Dtr.1 But there was a fundamental difference between them: Dtr was not the redactor of a previous, extended work but an author who created a new work using a variety of sources. Jepsen represented a distinct view of the composition of the Former Prophets, what Weippert has dubbed the Schichtenmodell, in contrast to Noth's Blockmodell.2 Jepsen's analysis foreshadowed the search for redactional levels in the Deuteronomistic History that has preoccupied scholars in the last fifty years; it also makes clear how that search differs from Noth's original theory. Gerhard Von Rad's 1947 study on the theology of history in the books of Kings also anticipated the subsequent discussion of the Deuteronomistic History in several important particulars.3 By highlighting the important theme of the promise to David in Samuel and Kings, von Rad first exposed the weakness of Noth's proposal regarding Dtr's purpose in writing. Von Rad's treatment of the final three verses in Kings in light of that promise raised the possibility that Dtr's outlook for the future was not completely hopeless. b. Grounds for Hope (1953-1963): Wolff Like von Rad, Hans Walter Wolff (1961) found grounds for hope in the Deuteronomistic History, though not in the Davidic promise.4 For Wolff, rather, Dtr's call to return (Die) in passages such as 1 Kgs 8.46-53 raised the possibility that Yahweh would act to deliver his repentant people as he had in the past. Like Jepsen, Wolff also perceived more than one deuteronomistic hand, albeit in Deuteronomy rather than Kings.

1. Jepsen postulated two primary sourcesan eighth-century synchronistic chronicle and a seventh-century annalistic work from Judahbehind the books of Kings, which had been redacted twice in the exile, first by a priest and then by a prophet; a third, Levitical hand was responsible for a few, brief, midrashic additions. See his Quellen, pp. 100-101, 105. 2. Weippert, 'Geschichtswerk', p. 229 et passim. 3. G. von Rad, 'Die deuteronomistische Geschichtstheologie in den Konigsbiichern', in idem, Deuteronomium-Studien (FRLANT 40; Gottingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht) H, pp. 52-64. 4. H.W. Wolff, 'Das Kerygma des deuteronomistischen Geschichtswerk', ZAW 73 (1961), pp. 171-86.


The History of Israel's Traditions

c. Redactional Models (1963-1973): Cross, Smend and Dietrich, and Weippert Wolffs important article paved the way for the well-known approaches of Frank Cross in 1968 and Rudolf Smend in 1971. Cross's 'double redaction' theory represented a synthesis of older literary-critical treatments of the Former Prophets, especially Kings, with Noth's original postulate.1 Cross added thematic considerations to the literary arguments of such scholars as de Wette, Kuenen and Wellhausen for an initial, preexilic edition of the Deuteronomistic History (Dtr1), subsequently updated in the exile (Dtr2). Smend's incipient article,2 positing a second, nomistic redaction (DtrN) of the initial historical work (DtrG, as Smend called it then) in Joshua and Judges was immediately seconded in 1972 by Walter Dietrich's perception of an intermediate prophetic Deuteronomist (DtrP) in Kings.3 Also in 1972, Helga Weippert published her treatment of the regnal formulas in Kings, which agreed with Cross in finding a Josianic and an exilic edition but further indicated an even earlier version written during the reign of Hezekiah.4 d. Debate over Compositional Models (1973-1983): Veijola, Friedman, Nelson, Lohfink, Hoffmann Several dissertations written and published in this decade analyzed material in Kings in an effort to support and refine the models. Timo Veijola's 1975 dissertation and subsequent monograph (1977), while focused on Samuel, dealt with themes important to Kings and

1. P.M. Cross, Canaanite Myth and Hebrew Epic: Essays in the History of the Religion of Israel (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1973), pp. 274-89; originally published as 'The Structure of the Deuteronomic History', in idem, Perspectives in Jewish Learning (Annual of the College of Jewish Studies 3; Chicago: College of Jewish Studies, 1968), pp. 9-24. 2. R. Smend, 'Das Gesetz und die Volker: Bin Beitrag zur deuteronomistischen Redaktionsgeschichte', in H.W. Wolff (ed.), Probleme biblischer Theologie: G. von Rod zum 70. Geburtstag (Munich: Chr. Kaiser Verlag, 1971), pp. 494-509. 3. W. Dietrich, Prophetie und Geschichte: Eine redaktionsgeschichtliche Untersuchung zum deuteronomistischen Geschichtswerk (FRLANT 108; Gottingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1972). 4. H. Weippert, 'Die "deuteronomistischen" Beurteilung der Konige von Israel und Juda und das Problem der Redaktion der Konigsbiicher', Bib 53 (1972), pp. 301-39.

MCKENZIE The Books of Kings


distinguished the same three redactional layers that Dietrich had uncovered.1 Smend himself returned in 1978 and 1983 to add flesh to the skeleton of his theory.2 He lowered Dietrich's dates for the three Dtrs,3 limited DtrP to the material about the monarchy and described DtrN as a collection of additions in a nomistic style, rather than the unified work of a single editor.4 The dissertations of Richard Friedman and Richard Nelson, both published in 1981, supplemented and refined Cross's thesis.5 Among other things, they added literary-critical arguments for the secondary nature of the passages in Kings where Cross had identified his Dtr2. Nelson's work has come to be regarded as the classic statement of the theory that he initially set out to disprove.6 Also in 1981, Norbert Lohfink offered one of the few attempts ever to combine the insights of Noth, Smend and Cross.7 Noth's Dtr, argued
1. T. Veijola, Die ewige Dynastic: David und die Entstehung seiner Dynastie nach der deuteronomistischen Darstellung (AASF, B, 193; Helsinki: Suomalainen Tiedeakatemia, 1975) and Das Konigtum in der Beurteilung der deuteronomistischen Historicgraphic: Eine redaktionsgeschichtliche Untersuchung (AASF, B, 198; Helsinki: Suomalainen Tiedeakatemia, 1977). 2. R. Smend, Die Entstehung des Alten Testaments (Stuttgart: Kohlhammer, 1978); 'Der Ort des Staates im Alten Testament', ZTK 80 (1983), pp. 245-61. 3. Dietrich (Prophetic und Geschichte, pp. 139-44) had dated DtrH (his DtrG), DtrP and DtrN respectively to ca 580, 570 and 560 BCE. Smend has now placed DtrH after 560 and probably near the end of the exile. Disappointment in Zerubbabel, he argues, motivated DtrP to write, and DtrN reflects an even later shiftlooking to priesthood instead of monarchy for leadership. See Smend, Entstehung, pp. 123-25; 'Ort', pp. 256-57. Cf. also L. Camp, Hiskija und Hiskijabild: Analyse und Interpretation von 2 Kon 18-20 (MTA 9; Altenberge: Telos, 1990), pp. 26-27. 4. 'Die jungste Schicht, DtrN, scheint nicht einheitlich zu sein; mindestens wurden in ihrem "nomistischen" Stil noch weiter Zusatze gemacht' (Smend, Entstehung, p. 123). Cf. Camp, Hiskija, p. 312: 'Trotzdem scheint sich als Kerygma der unter diesem Sigel zusammengefaBten Redaktion eine realistische, illusionslose Sichtweise der Geschichte wie des Konigtums im besonderen ableiten zu lassen.' 5. R.E. Friedman, The Exile and Biblical Narrative: The Formation of the Deuteronomistic and Priestly Works (HSM 22; Chico, CA: Scholars Press, 1981); Nelson, Double Redaction. 6. So he states on p. 38 of his original dissertation, 'The Redactional Duality of the Deuteronomistic History' (Union Theological Seminary in Virginia, 1973). 7. N. Lohfink, 'Kerygmata des deuteronomistischen Geschichtswerk', in J. Jeremias and L. Perlitt (eds.), Die Botschaft und die Boten: Festschrift fiir Hans Walter Wolff zum 70. Geburtstag (Neukirchen-Vluyn: Neukirchener Verlag, 1981), pp. 87-100.


The History of Israel's Traditions

Lohfink, had brought together two documents from Josiah's time: a deuteronomistic Landeroberungserzdhlung underlying Deuteronomy 1Joshua 22 and Cross's Dtr1 as the first edition of Kings. Dtr's product was subsequently retouched in the exile by two writers, one of whom was nomistic. Yet another dissertation published in the early 1980s and of great importance for the study of the Deuteronomistic History was that of Hoffmann, whose perspective broke from both Smend's and Cross's.1 Drawing especially on the books of Kings, Hoffmann argued that the History was essentially a fictional account of Israel's cult, which Dtr composed principally from whole cloth using very few actual sources. Noth was correct in seeing Dtr as an author but incorrect in describing Dtr's work as substantially editorial. Treatment of the question of the authorship of the Deuteronomistic History, as Campbell noted,2 had come full circle. e. The Last Decade (1983-1993) Reconstructions of composition. The past decade has witnessed an explosion in the volume and diversity of work on the books of Kings in the Deuteronomistic History.3 If the views of Cross and Smend still dominate, they have undergone important transformations. Those in the 'Smend school' have occupied themselves with literary-critical treatments of specific texts in Kings, trying to refine the layers of redaction.4
1. Reform und Reformen. 2. A.F. Campbell, Of Prophets and Kings: A Ninth-Century Document (1 Samuel 1-2 Kings 10) (CBQMS 17; Washington, DC: Catholic Biblical Association, 1986), p. 1. 3. One of my objectives in preparing this paper was to survey everything published on the books of Kings in the decade 1983-1993.1 have probably not been completely successful, although I have come close. I have tried especially to review works on Kings that relate to the issue of the composition of the Deuteronomistic History. 4. See, for example: E. Ben Zvi, The Account of the Reign of Manasseh in II Reg 21,1-18 and the Redactional History of the Book of Kings', ZAW 103 (1991), pp. 355-74; Camp, Hiskija; G.H. Jones, 1-2 Kings (NCB; 2 vols.; Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1984); C. Levin, 'Joschija im deuteronomistischen Geschichtswerk', ZAW 96 (1984), pp. 351-71 (cf. also Levin's 1982 work, Der Sturz der Konigin Atalja: Bin Kapitel zur Geschichte Judas im 9. Jahrhundert v. Chr. [SBS, 105; Stuttgart: Katholisches Bibelwerk]); Y. Minokami, Die Revolution des Jehu (GTA 38; Gottingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1989); E. Wurthwein, Die Bticher der Konige.

MCKENZIE The Books of Kings


While they share the same basic model of multiple exilic redactions, there has been a tendency to see the situation as more complicated, with some scholars positing more than three levels.1 There is more diversity among those who accept Cross's idea of a Josianic edition of the History, but here as well, the tendency has been to multiply levels of editing. Some have looked for redactional activity even earlier than Josiah, taking their cue from Weippert's treatment of the regnal formulas and arguing for an earlier edition under Hezekiah.2 But Mark O'Brien, following his mentor, Antony Campbell, has argued for extensive editorial activity before the Josianic Dtr.3 O'Brien