Tracing the Hand of Moses in Genesis. Part Two.



For complete article, go to:


The Colophons

After a more recent re-reading of P. J. Wiseman I have realized that – somewhat contrary to the impression that I had formerly – the toledôt divisions throughout the Book of Genesis may in fact have been added by Moses himself. I had earlier imagined that these were the actual divisions employed by the successive patriarchs who pre-dated Moses, and that Moses had left them embedded in the text out of reverence.

But I now think that the identically same formula, “These are the generations of …” (toledôt) would unlikely have been used by men separated by millennia, and living in different parts of the ancient world.

Moses apparently knew where the divisions were in his set of family histories. And, indeed, he did leave them there out of respect – and Wiseman has discerned at least some of them by comparison with the most ancient tablets. But Moses also added the distinctive toledôt formula that we now have – presumably for the sake of an Egyptianised Hebrew race, who would probably not have been able to discern the original ancient divisions – a formula that is also employed in Numbers (3:1): “These are the generations of Aaron and Moses”; Numbers being a Pentateuchal book that, on New Testament authority and tradition, Moses had authored.

The same comment may apply to the catch-lines that Wiseman has identified in the Genesis text. These, too, may have been additions by Moses, to link together the tablets upon which he was re-casting this history for Israel, rather than their having been embedded there in the original histories.

Having clarified these points about the colophon and catch-lines, I shall now try to follow Moses as he works his way through the series of sacred documents that he had inherited, entabulating them into the Book of Genesis. Let us start with the first toledôt, the famous Genesis 1 – whose colophon refers to no human author or owner – and work our way from there right down to the conclusion of Genesis, the death and burial of Joseph, clarifying as we go.


Continued from:


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s