47. "THE BOOK OF THE LAW."
It is an allegation of the "Higher" Criticism (which dispenses with
documentary or MS. evidence, and therefore differs altogether from "Textual"
Criticism) that the five books known as the Pentateuch were not written
by, or during the time of Moses, but in the time of a king Manasseh, or
even as late as Ezra.
But a definite "book" is spoken of throughout the Old Testament as being
constantly written in, with directions how it was to be added to and kept
up by the prophets raised up from time to time for that purpose, among
The first occurrence is in Ex. 17:14. To this, in the margin,
all the others are referred back. They are given below, so that the
chain may be examined link by link and its completeness and perfection
Ex. 17:14. Written by Jehovah's command (cp. Deut. 25:19).
Heb. "the book" (bassepher).
Ex. 24:4, 7. Written by Moses, and "the book of the covenant sprinkled",
with the people.
Ex. 34:27. Jehovah's command, "Write thou".
Num. 33:1, 2. Written by Moses "by the commandment of Jehovah".
From the first three months of the first year to last quarter of the fortieth
year (cp. Deut. 1:2, 3 with 2:14).
Deut. 1:5. The word "declare" = set forth plainly, and implies
writing (the word occurs only in Deut. 27:8 and Hab. 2:2), and includes
from Deut. 1:6 to 33:29.
Deut. 4:8 includes more than this book of Deuteronomy, and 4:2 must refer
to what was then written (cp. 26:16; 29:21).
Deut. 17:18. The book kept "before the priests the Levites", and
to be copied by the king. This was the standard copy (ch. 31:9, 25,
26); to be read at the Feast of Tabernacles in the Sabbatic years (ch.
Deut. 31:19, 22, 24. "The song of Moses" to be written (cp. the reason,
vv. 16-18). Ascribed to Jehovah.
Josh. 1:8. "This book of the law" came into custody of Joshua (cp.
1-8) as distinct from the book of Joshua, and containing, not Deuteronomy
merely, but the whole "book of the law" as thus traced above (cp. Ps. 1:2.
Josh. 8:30-35. A copy of the law made from "the book" on the rocks
in mount Ebal.
Josh. 23:6, 7 again referred to.
Josh. 24:26. Joshua himself "wrote in the book", and doubtlessly
added Deut. 34.
1Sam. 10:25. Samuel continued the writing in "the book". (So
1Kings 2:1-4. David charges Solomon with regard to this "written"
law of Moses.
2Chron. 17:7-9. Jehoshaphat sent the princes, Levites, and priests,
and they "taught in Judah, and had the book of the law of Jehovah with
2Chron. 23:11 (2Kings 11:12). It was given to Joash according to
2Chron. 25:4 (2Kings 14:6). Amaziah spared the children of his father's
murderers according to "that which was written in the book of the law of
Moses" (cp. Deut. 24:4).
2Chron. 30:2, 5, 18. Hezekiah's passover kept in second month as
"it is written:. This was written in Num. 9:6-14.
2Chron. 35:12. Josiah's passover kept "as it is written in the book
2Kings 17:37. "The law ... which He wrote for you", i.e., Jehovah
(cp. v. 35).
2Kings 22:8. "Hilkiah, the high priest ... found the book of the
law in the house of the Lord". In v. 10, "Shaphan read it
before the king" (Josiah). Huldah the prophetess confirms this reference
(vv. 14-20). In 2Chron. 34:14 it is described as "the book
of the law of Jehovah by the hand of Moses".
Jeremiah refers to this event when he speaks, as in ch. 15:16.
Isaiah refers to this book as, in his day, a "sealed" book (ch. 29:11-13).
The Lord Jesus refers to this as opposed to the "precepts of man" (Matt.
15:1-9. Mark 7:1-13).
Ezra ascribes the law of Moses. Cp. 3:2 (Num. 28, 29); 6:18; 7:6,
10, 14, 21, 25. And all is to be done according to it (cp. 10:3 with
9:11, 12. Lev. 18:24-30, and Deut. 23:3-6).
In Esther 3:8, the laws were extant, and known as "diverse from all people".
Nehemiah (1:7-9) speaks to Jehovah of the "statutes and judgments He gave
Neh. 8:8. The book is read according to its requirements.
Neh. 8:14, 17. The Feast of Tabernacles was kept according to Lev.
Neh. 10:28, 29. A solemn covenant was made "to walk in God's law,
which was given by Moses the servant of God".
Neh. 13:1. "They read in the book of Moses" concerning the law as
written in Deut. 23:3, 4.
Daniel in his prayer (ch. 9:11) refers to the curse fulfilled on the nation
as "written in the law of Moses the servant of God".
Mal. 4:4 completes the cycle, and refers all to Horeb where the people
received the law (as distinct from Sinai, where Moses received it), and
to Moses by whom it was given (not to Ezra or to some "Redactors" of a