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OT 501 lecture 1 January 14

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OT 501

CREATION ACCOUNT:  Jehovah Jireh – is the name of a place and is not necessarily a divine name.  Jehovah is the vowels of Adonai and the consonants of Yahweh … the name doesn’t actually exist.


YHWH – Yahweh

·         God is a Great King.

·         Term Great King is the Ancient Near Eastern term for an Emperor or Suzerain.  Great kings have other kings who are vassals under them.  In the ancient world, it was understood that the Creator is a Suzerain.

·         Anyone that reads Genesis 1:1 will understand that a claim is being made that God is the Suzerain over everything. That means that man and woman are vassals – king and queen of the earth.

The Creation Account (Genesis 1:1 – 2:3) can be looked at form critically in 3 different ways.


1.    2ND Millennium B.C. International Treaty.

2.    Ancient Near Eastern List

3.    “Framework Hypothesis”


Form criticism has negative connotations among conservatives.  But it simply means the form a literary work has taken.

“GaHungregeschichte” – (form history – study of form and the history of the form)

When you have the material in treatise form it gives it a Mosaic date – 2nd Millennium.

Genesis is cast in the form a 2nd millennium BC international treaty … produced by Hittites.  The treaty is in the “words” of the Suzerain.  The form has certain elements. 

B.C.    – before Christ makes statement that Christ is the pivot of history.

B.C.E. – before the common era … used to avoid B.C. makes statement

The 2nd millennium B.C. International Treaty has the following elements

Þ    Begins with title / preamble … tells who the great king is (Gen 1:1)

Þ    Historical prologue … tells the good things or the benefits that the Suzerain has done for the vassal. (Gen 1:2 – 29)

Þ    Stipulations … things or the terms that the vassal must obey … a standard stipulation was a tribute or tithe that was paid to the Suzerain (Gen 1:29) (Gen 2:11, 17)

Þ    Deposition and a regular reading of the treaty … each king would have a copy and put it in the temple of his god … thinking was that if you read it, you will know it and will not break it … one copy was in the temple of the Suzerain and the other in the temples of the vassals.  Explains the reason why there were two copies of the Decalogue (the ten commandments).  They were probably duplicates.

Þ    Witnesses:  Heaven and Earth, mountains, the heavens, etc. (Gen 1:31)  the Lord Himself is a witness.

Þ    Blessings … to come to vassal if obeyed (Gen 1:28, 2:3) … the Lord blessed the man and the woman and the Sabbath.

Þ    Curses … come to vassal if disobeyed (Gen 2:17b) … death is a curse

The creation account is really a narrative with the elements of a treaty because from the beginning the Lord wishes to communicate that he is in covenant with what he has created.

What is Faith:  Hebrews 11:1, Matthew 8:5-13 encounter of Jesus and the Centurion

The Centurion intuits that he and Jesus are in a parallel situation.


Caesar God / Father
Centurion Jesus
Soldier(s) Holy Spirit / Angel
Work Work


Jesus calls this faith.   Why does Jesus call this faith?  Amen in Hebrew means “it is so”.  The Hebrew word for believing is “make it so” … it is a causative … Faith is “amening” what God is doing. 


Other passages that indicate there is a creation covenant:

Þ    Hosea 6:7

Þ    Jeremiah 33:20-25

Þ    Jeremiah 31:35-36

Þ    Exodus 12:24

Þ    Deut 4:1

Covenant implies faithfulness on the part of both parties involved.  If the vassal breaks the covenant, then the Suzerain will bring judgment.  However, if the vassal is overthrown by a third party, then the Suzerain is obligated to intervene and restore the vassal’s kingdom.  But Satan device is to lure the vassal away from the Suzerain by promising that things will go better with him.  By accepting the serpent, Adam and Eve allowed Satan to become their Suzerain.  They said that we are not going to follow after the Lord’s word any longer but rather we are going to follow after your word.  Consequently Satan becomes the god of this world.  Anybody in the world who hasn’t come under the sovereignty of Christ is in bondage to Satan.

John 8:44 – “Household” terminology … Adamic household (all of humanity) came under the curse for their covenant breaking … “household punishment”.  These categories also show up in the ancient world. The Assyrians, Hittites, Egyptians, etc. all had this type of household punishment for covenant breaking.

Þ    royal annals of pagan kings – contains accounts of household punishment for covenant breaking. 

Þ    Joshua 7 Account of Achan (Laconic – doesn’t give the entire account … we aren’t told if Achan’s family saw him hide the loot from Jericho)

Þ    Daniel 6:24 the king’s jealous advisors are thrown to the Lions for their conspiracy against Daniel 

Þ    Matthew 18:25 … example of household salvation

Þ    Acts 16:30-32 … Philippian jailer and his household are saved … example of household salvation

Adam and Eve break the Lord’s covenant.  All God is required to do is to bring judgment (death).  But God in Gen 3:21 does what He isn’t required to do …

Þ    God clothes Adam and Eve which implies a sacrifice or slaughter … also implies the restoration of their inheritance … also restoration to an office or position (prodigal son) … Assyrian inscriptions which describe someone who is given a position in the kingdom being given a robe and a ring.

Þ    Find the element of Grace (there is no provision for Grace in the ancient near eastern treaties)

Þ    If understand covenant grace … in that context we can understand why we will get a new heavens and earth and a renewed humanity.

Þ    Isaiah 66:22 new heavens and new earth

Þ    Isaiah 65:20-24 new humanity

Emdzeit parallels Urzeit (End time parallels primordial time)

Creation account as Ancient Near Eastern List.

Sumerian King List

ANET – Ancient Near Eastern Text  (265-66)  J.B. Pritchard

  1. Kingship comes down from heaven.
    1. Rom 13 – all authority comes from above.  Any authority on the earth comes from God … but we will be held accountable for what we do with that authority.
  2. King / God / Shepherd
    1. Dumazi
    2. Tammuz
  3. Flood
  4. Long Lifespans (Genesis 5) … something the pagans picked up as well … but exaggerated

Framework Hypothesis

The principle of rule or authority is established early on with creation.

Þ    creation is orderly

Þ    principle of authority is established … authority structures are built into creation

Command-fulfillment pattern is established very early on.  Someone gives a command and then the fulfillment is reported in the exact words of the one issuing the command.  Establishes that the authority of the one giving the command was such that the command had to be carried out precisely the way it was commanded.  This is something we see from the ancient times.

ANET contains the Kerit Epic in Ugarit.  Tells how King Kerit loses all 8 of his sons. And then the god promises King Kerit that a certain king is going to give him his daughter.  the first half is imperatives and the second half of the epic is all perfects or fulfillment.  (Kirta)  El (ilu)

Examples from the Bible – building of the tabernacle, centurion account in Matthew, etc.

Shamarh       shemerch

“sun god”       “sun”

3 different form critical analysis:  (1) 2nd millennium B.C. international treaty, (2) Ancient Near Eastern List (265-66) and, (3) Framework Hypothesis.  Question is not which one is right, because all three are true.  There is no combination of 3 literary forms quite like this in ancient world literature.

Critical Approaches to the Pentateuch

History of the Documentary Hypothesis of the Pentateuch

·         Benedict Spinoza – Jewish panetheistic scholoar.  In 1670 produced Tractatus Thologico-Politicus where he argued that Moses could not have written Deuteronomy because:

o   3rd  person and not 1st person …

o   Deut 34 records Moses’ own death … Moses would not have written about his own death.

·         Thomas Hobbes (1538 – 1679) in Leviathan also wrote that Moses could not have written about his own death.

·         Jean Astruc  -- court physician to Louis XIV (who called himself the Sun King) … was a very orthodox Catholic person … how did Moses know all these things about Abraham, Noah, etc. since he wasn’t around in the days they lived.  So, Moses must have used sources.  In 1753 he wrote “Conjectures”

o   Notices in Gen 1 have name Elohim (E) used

o   Gen 2 have name Yahweh / Jehovah (J) used

o   Got two documents (1) the J source and (2) the E source

o   A writer in ancient times uses one name for a God which underscores one attribute and another name which underscores another attribute.  So, the name has nothing to do authorship but rather with attribute.   Elohim is used when the emphasis is on God as the God of everybody regardless of whether they are in covenant with him or not.  The name Jehovah is used to highlight God as being in covenant with his people.

·         Johann Gottfried Eichhorn in 1780 – 1783 pursued doublets from Genesis to Exodus …

o   discovers “doublets”  … i.e. they look like parallel accounts (one is attributed to J and one to E) … e.g. Gen 12:10-20 (this is the Jehovah account -- J)… then in Gen 20:1-18 you have a similar account (this is the Elohim account – E).  If you take this approach you believe the bible stories are fictitious accounts.  RED FLAG in commentaries.

·         Wilhem Martin Leberecht de Wette

o   Date and authorship of Deuteronomy:  written by someone different and later than Moses (Critical Differentiation) … None of the Pentateuch predates David.  J & E 1000, 960, a.r.

o   Phraseology and rhetorical expressions:  We can tell Deut is by someone different … distinctive phraseology (Deut 12:5 … 1 Kings 8:15).  If you’ve got distinctive phraseology must have someone different writing but knowledge of how the ancients wrote clears up this erroneous thinking. 

§  It’s distinctive because it’s covenantal

§  It’s repetitive because it’s rhetorical

§  style has to do with genre and purpose and not authorship … style can be used to prove that documents written 1000 years apart were written by the same person.

§  Isaiah 1-39          Isaiah                         Judgment

§  Isaiah 40-54        Deutero Isaiah          Restoration

§  Isaiah 55-66        Trito Isaiah                Eschatology

§  Isaiah like William Butler Yeates (one greatest English poets) … grows older and matures as a poet.  Likewise Isaiah was a poet who developed.  So, his latter works demonstrate that maturity.

o   Jeremiah (uses a lot of phraseology that is similar to Deut. so they must come from the same timeframe.

§     Dt 32:16 paralleled by Jer 2:19, 5:9

§     Dt 29:19 paralleled by Jer 9:17

2 Kings 22, Josiah is doing renovations and discovers “Book of the Law”.  Claim is that the book of Deuteronomy was fabricated to control idolatry and centralize workship (Deut 12:8) … he sees it a veiled allusion … then it will all be under the control of the Jewish High Priest.  The polemic to this is that this was done to prevent God’s people from becoming like those around them in the promised land.

What are the negative implications:


Why would this start with the Pentateuch?  The scholarship leads down the path of “God was not really the author of the law!”  If you follow this thinking, you end up with law that is not really from God and therefore the fulfillment of the Law by Jesus isn’t necessary. 

Two types of prophets in OT: 

1)    Covenant Mediator Prophets:  Adam, Noah, Abraham, Moses, David, Jesus

2)    Covenant Lawsuit Prophets:  The prophets that come after Moses have the unfortunate job of bringing covenant lawsuits – remind the transgressors of what they have done; the penalty for it; and what they need to do to make it right.    Elijah, Isaiah, Elisha, Jeremiah, etc.

Kingship             Deut 17:14-20

Prophecy             Deut 13:1-5, 18: 9-22

Exile                     Deut 28

de Wette saw these things as Anachronisms that indicate Deuteronomy must have been written later. 

·         mention of kingship in Deuteronomy means it must have been written when there were kings;

·         since there are regulations concerning whether a prophet is true or not Deuteronomy could not have been written about unless there were prophets;

·         exile is mentioned, so unless exile was on the political horizon it could not have been written about).  One must share de Wette’s presuppositions to agree with him.

Deut. Covenant                                      Jer. Covenant - law

29:1  is a renewal of the covenant

which  the former generation had

failed to keep.

JED is the result of de Wette’s work

·            Hermann Hupfeld:  1853 wrote Die QuelGunder Genesis

 “Compernican Revolution of the Documentary Hypothesis”

He reexamines E and finds out that one is very much like J.

E1 Grundrehrift (foundational writing)

E2  begins at Gen 20 à

E1  E  J D

P  E  J  D

·         Karl Heinrich Graf (1865 wrote a work on the historical books of the OT) P = “Priestly code”  P is later than D

P is later than D because D does not know P (i.e. in Deut you will not find Levitical concerns … this is proof that Leviticus doesn’t yet exist)

P is late and H is really late.

“H” is Leviticus 17 – 26 …

“H” is the core of “P” the priestly code

H is “Holiness code”) gets started under Ezekiel in exile.

D does not know P (doesn’t take up any of the priestly concerns )

H à  P

Since Deuteronomy doesn’t mention any priestly concerns (since D doesn’t mention P then P must not have been written yet).  Since Deuteronomy doesn’t mention Leviticus then Leviticus must not have been written yet.

J E D P becomes the order later on.

Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.

Historical P = Genesis 1 creation account

Legal P = G

H is a subset of legal P

Historical P E J D and legal P

·         Abraham Kuenen was Dutch scholar who said you cannot separate historical P and legal P!  (You can’t split the peas!) … because essentially they are really the same kind of writer.

J is the first document because of its anthromorphisms

E is added some time later



·         Wellhausen

1876 Hexateuch (Pentateuch + Joshua) … the exercise is to detect the same authors (JEDP) at work in the Pentateuch and in Joshua.

1878 he published Prolegomena zur Geschichte Israels in which he advanced a definitive formulation of the Documentary hypothesis, arguing that the Torah or Pentateuch had its origins in a redaction of four originally independent texts dating from several centuries after the time of Moses, their traditional author.

Most important thing he did was to expound upon how all of this came about.  So he argued for an evolution from animism à polytheism à monotheism.  So for Wellhausen you have no divine revelation, but rather evolution.  It’s not what God thought about people but rather what people thought about God.

Cult(us) – technically means the religious institution of a country. 

Worship was not centralized à          (J) 850 B.C.

                                                                  (E) 750 B.C.

move towards centralization à          (D) 621 B.C.

centralization achieved                        (P) (621-580 B.C.)

Keil & Delitzrch commentary set … produced commentary that affirms historical truth of the OT

Late dates driven by the thought process of the prophets preceding the law

o   S.R. Driver 1891 (Introduction of Literature of the Old Testament) … Oxford Scholar who is very influential in higher criticism.

o   George Adam Smith in Isaiah commentary brings the higher criticism into prophets.

o   Charles Agustus Briggs in 1893 wrote Higher Criticism of The Pentateuch

Current state of the Documentary Hypothesis

·         Criterion of divine names for determining authors is wrong.

·         2nd millennium treaty method doesn’t prove that Moses is the author.

·         Taught at Harvard, Yale, and Duke even though it’s wrong!

General Problems of the Documentary Hypothesis

It could be used to prove that a document such as the annals of Tiglath-Pilaser I ca 1100 B.C. which was engraved in stone was written by different authors.


Divine / Royal Titulary

Historical Narrative

Hunt Report

Temple Offering



Important because it undermines the historicity of the bible and creates a spiritual and moral vacuum.  It destroys faith!! 

Description of the documents today

J  850 B.C. anthropomorphisms (narrative … personal biography, Gen 18:1-15; Gen 32:24-32; etc.

E 750 B.C. more objective (less personal bio or narrative … likes to show God communicating through visions and dreams … Gen. 20.   In Exodus and Numbers, E likes to exalt miracles to Moses.

[650 B.C. redactor combines J & E]

D 621 B.C. reformed document under Hilkiah high priest … do away with idolatry … centralize worship … much to do with prophetic movement … esp. Jeremiah

P 570 B.C. … “H” Ezekiel and Ezra puts the finishing touches on it … concerned with sacrifices, rituals, geneologies, lists, and  Gen 1:1-2:4a; Gen 5:1-30

Problems with documents:

Anit-Supernatural bias




            antithesis   synthesis


            reformism central idolatry


Arbitrary Appeal

Ex 20:2-17 Decalogue

Driver describes as a “Deuteronomic Hand” in JE Context

Only way to explain this is that some Deuteronomist interpolated this in later

Tuhalti Niruuth I   1210 B.C.


F. Norham

W.F. Albright

Artificial Discovery of Discrepancies

            Ex 14:21        E. Wind

            Ex  15:8          Y. Nostrils

naturalistic / theological   (pg. 134-135 God At Sinai)

Erarhaddon (describes a siege by Assyrians)

            N. Wind

            “Pleasant breath of Marduk”

Artificial Discovery of Duplicates

·         rather than refer to them as duplicates … maybe Abraham made the same mistake in referring to Sara as his sister.

Ignorance of Ancient Near Eastern Practice

·         If what we now know had been known in 1800’s wouldn’t have come up with all of this stuff.

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