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Elohistic

and Jehovistic Scriptures. The Pentateuch is supposed by Bishop Colenso and many others to have been written at two widely different periods, because God is invariably called Elohim in some paragraphs, while in others He is no less invariably called Jehovah. The Elohistic paragraphs, being more simple, more primitive, more narrative, and more pastoral, are said to be the older; while the Jehovistic paragraphs indicate a knowledge of geography and history, seem to exalt the priestly office, and are altogether of a more elaborate character. Those who maintain this theory think that some late transcriber has compiled the two Scriptures and combined them into one, much the same as if the four Gospels were collated and welded together into a single one. To give one or two examples:—Gen. i. 27, it is said, “So God (Elohim) created man in His own image, (both) male and female”; whereas, in the next chapter (21-24), it is said that God (Jehovah) caused a deep sleep to fall on Adam, and that He then took from the sleeping man a rib and made it a woman; and therefore (says the writer) a man shall cleave unto his wife, and the two be considered one flesh. Again (Gen. vi. 19) Elohim tells Noah, “Two of every sort shalt thou bring into the ark, a male and a female”; and (vii. 9) “There went in two and two unto Noah into the ark, the male and the female, as God (Elohim) commanded Noah.” In Gen. vii. 2 Jehovah tells Noah he is to make a distinction between clean and unclean beasts, and that he is to admit the former by sevens and the latter by twos. In the first example, the priestly character is indicated by the moral, and in the latter by the distinction made between clean and unclean animals. We pass no opinion on this theory, but state it as fairly as we can in a few lines.

Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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