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Encyclopedia > Jahwist

The Jahwist, also referred to as the Jehovist, Yahwist, or simply as J, is one of the sources of the Torah postulated by the documentary hypothesis. Torah () is a Hebrew word meaning teaching, instruction, or law. ... The documentary hypothesis is a hypothesis proposed by many historians and academics in the field of linguistics and source criticism that the Five Books of Moses (the Torah) are in fact a combination of documents from different sources rather than authored by one individual. ...

Contents


Etymology

The word Yahwist was first used in 1753 by the Catholic physician, Jean Astruc (1684 - 1766) in his book Conjectures sur les mémoires originaux dont il paraît que Moïse s'est servi pour composer le livre de la Genèse for the writer of that portion of Genesis that was likely written by a different author than the first chapter. Over time it evolved into the German Jahvist, then the English Jahwist, then the modern English Jehovist, in relation to the Latinized version of the name of the Hebrew God, rendered "Jehovah".


Astruc's use of the word "Jehovist" in his formation of the documentary hypothesis apparently comes from his intent to describe the writer of the document that came to be known as "J" (for "Jahwist", 1822, Frederick Bleek; "Jehovist", 1853, Hermann Hupfeld), as one who used the name of Jehovah in his writings. It has been since been extended to anyone who uses the word Jehovah, Jahweh, or Yahweh, as the name of God, whether in worship or in Biblical transmission (writing or translation). The documentary hypothesis is a hypothesis proposed by many historians and academics in the field of linguistics and source criticism that the Five Books of Moses (the Torah) are in fact a combination of documents from different sources rather than authored by one individual. ...


Nature of the Jahwist text

In this source God's name is always presented as the tetragrammaton, YHVH, which scholars transliterate in modern times as Yahweh (or as Jahweh, after the German spelling: Jahwe), and in earlier times as Jehovah, or simply as the LORD, which is the case in the King James translation. This is a designation for the name Yahweh, which redirects here. ... This page is about the version of the Bible; for the Harvey Danger album, see King James Version (album). ...


J has a particular fascination for traditions concerning Judah, including those concerning its relationship with its neighbour Edom. J also supports Judah against Israel, for example suggesting that Israel acquired Shechem (its capital city) by massacring the inhabitants. In Genesis (the first book of the Bible) Judah (יְהוּדָה Praise, Standard Hebrew Yəhuda, Tiberian Hebrew Yəhûḏāh) is the fourth son of Jacob and Leah, born in Padan-aram (Genesis xxix. ... Edom (אֱדוֹם, Standard Hebrew Edom, Tiberian Hebrew ʾĔḏôm, Assyrian Udumi, Syriac ܐܕܘܡ), a Hebrew word meaning red, is a name given to Esau in the Hebrew Bible, as well as to the nation that purportedly traced their ancestry to him. ...


While J supports the priests descended from Aaron who were established in Jerusalem, the capital of Judah, J also treats God as a human-like figure, capable of regret, and being dissuaded, appearing in person at events. In many cases, in J, God is presented as about to embark on some terrible vengeance over mankind, and is dissuaded. For example, concerning the activities in Sodom and the other cities of the plain, J presents God as about to destroy the cities, but gradually being dissuaded by Abraham, until God consents to save it if there are even only as few as 10 worthy individuals within it. Likewise, during the exodus, J presents the complaints of the Israelites, and their failure to obey the laws strictly, as leading to God being about to abandon them, destroy them all, and raise Moses' descendents instead, but repented from the evil he thought to do to them when Moses dissuades him. Judah (יְהוּדָה Praise, Standard Hebrew Yəhuda, Tiberian Hebrew Yəhûḏāh) is the name of several Biblical and historical figures. ... Sodom can refer to: Sodom, a Biblical city that was said to be destroyed by God for the sins of its inhabitants. ... The article Exodus discusses the events related in the book of the Bible by the same name. ...


The J source is notable for its elegance, and richness of emotion.


Contrast with the Elohist

The Jahwist's story begins much earlier than the Elohist's, in fact, it begins at the beginning. Consequently, it introduces stories concerning the general human condition, both large tales such as the fall of man, Cain and Abel, as well as brief stories, like that of the Curse of Ham, and the tower of Babel. It also includes general creation stories, such as that of creation itself, the flood, and the badly truncated, and thus difficult to interpret, story of the Nephilim. It has been suggested that Eve (first woman) be merged into this article or section. ... Cain killing Abel, from a 15th century manuscript Cain and Abel are the first and second sons of Adam and Eve, born after the Fall of Man, whose story is told in the Hebrew Bible at Genesis 4 and in the Quran at 5:27-32. ... Ham (חָם, Standard Hebrew Ḥam, Tiberian Hebrew Ḥām, Ḫām, Geez ካም Kam: possibly warm; hot), according to the Genealogies of Genesis, was a son of Noah and the father of Cush, Mizraim, Phut, and Canaan. ... The Confusion of Tongues by Gustave Doré (1865) According to the narrative in Genesis Chapter 11 of the Bible, the Tower of Babel was a tower built by a united humanity to reach the heavens. ... This article is on mythology involving great floods. ... Artists impression of a Grigori or fallen one and his human bride. ...


Unlike the Elohist, the covenant involving Isaac in the Jahwist tale is one in which God freely makes it to an adult Isaac. The Jahwist thus contains a tale of Isaac meeting his wife, when she comes out at the provision of water, and repeats the tale of Abimelech confusing a wife for a sister with Isaac and his wife rather than Abram and his. Jacob later is described as meeting his wife in similar circumstances, his having helped some sheep to drink. This repetition may be deliberate, or may reflect variant versions of the same story being placed in the same work but with different names, possibly indicating two earlier sources on which the Jahwist work could be based. It has been suggested that Ishaq be merged into this article or section. ... Abimelech or Avimelech (אֲבִימֶלֶךְ / אֲבִימָלֶךְ father/leader of a king; my father/leader, a king, Standard Hebrew Aviméleḫ / Avimáleḫ, Tiberian Hebrew ʾĂḇîméleḵ / ʾĂḇîmāleḵ) was a common name of the Philistine kings, much as Pharaoh was of the Egyptian kings. ...


It is noticeable that the Jahwist predominantly contains stories concerning the southern kingdom of Judah, which are not present in the Elohist source. For example, the Jahwist describes the tales of Esau, the eponymous ancestor of Edom, his anger against Jacob, and his reconciliation (which the Elohist also mentions), as well as a list of Edomite kings, which famously includes kings postdating Moses, the person traditionally said to have written the work, including that list of kings. Kingdom of Judah (Hebrew מַלְכוּת יְהוּדָה, Standard Hebrew Malḫut Yəhuda, Tiberian Hebrew Malḵûṯ Yəhûḏāh) in the times of the Hebrew Bible, was the nation formed from the territories of the tribes of Judah, Simeon, and Benjamin after the Kingdom of Israel was divided, and was named after Judah... Esau (Hebrew עֵשָׂו, Standard Hebrew ʿEsav, Tiberian Hebrew ʿĒśāw) is the son of Isaac and Rebekah and the older twin brother of Jacob in the biblical Book of Genesis, who, in the Torah, was tricked by Jacob into giving up his birthright (leadership of Israel) for a mess of pottage (meal... Edom (אֱדוֹם, Standard Hebrew Edom, Tiberian Hebrew ʾĔḏôm, Assyrian Udumi, Syriac ܐܕܘܡ), a Hebrew word meaning red, is a name given to Esau in the Hebrew Bible, as well as to the nation that purportedly traced their ancestry to him. ...


As well as Edom, the Jahwist, unlike the Elohist, is concerned with the cities of the plain, and their eponymous ancestor, Lot. The tale of Sodom and Gomorrah is from the Jahwist, and demonstrates the Jahwist's very human-like god, easily dissuaded from his original intent by Abram's bargaining. The story denigrating Moab and Ammon, the nations by the plain, as being descended from an incestuous relationship between Lot and his daughters, is also part of the Jahwist narrative. Lot is: Place Specific - A French département, see Lot (département) A French river, a tributary of the Garonne, see Lot River A Belgian town, see Lot, Belgium A Polish Airline, see LOT Polish Airlines Character Specific - A Biblical figure, the nephew of Abraham, see Lot (Biblical) Lot, a... According to the Bible, Sodom and Gomorrah (עֲמוֹרָה, Standard Hebrew , Tiberian Hebrew , ) —were two cities destroyed by God for their sins. ... Moab (מוֹאָב, Standard Hebrew Moʾav, Tiberian Hebrew Môʾāḇ Greek Μωάβ; Assyrian Muaba, Maba, Maab; Egyptian Muab) is the historical name for a mountainous strip of land in modern-day Jordan running along the eastern shore of the Dead Sea. ... Ammon or Ammonites (עַמּוֹן People, Standard Hebrew ʻAmmon, Tiberian Hebrew ʻAmmôn), also referred to in the Bible as the children of Ammon, were a people living east of the Jordan river, who along with the Moabites traced their origin to Lot, the nephew of the patriarch Abraham, and who were...


The Jahwist also provides some tales describing the political situation of the southern tribes, the most relevant of which is the tale of the rape of Dinah, a story which both explains the ownership of Schechem, and why the tribes of Simeon and Levi lack territory. The Jahwist also seeks to explain why despite being the firstborn, Reuben has little territory, though the story, involving Reuben and Bilhah in incest, is widely regarded by academics as having been abruptly truncated during redaction, only one line of it remaining in the torah. This article contains information that has not been verified and thus might not be reliable. ... This entry incorporates text from Eastons Bible Dictionary, 1897, with some modernisation. ... In the Jewish tradition, a Levite (לוי Attached, Standard Hebrew Levi, Tiberian Hebrew Lēwî) is a member of the Hebrew tribe of Levi. ... The Tribe of Reuben (רְאוּבֵן, Standard Hebrew Rəʾuven, Tiberian Hebrew Rəʾûḇēn) is one of the Hebrew tribes, founded by Reuben son of Jacob. ... In the Book of Genesis, Bilhah (בִּלְהָה Faltering; bashful, Standard Hebrew Bilha, Tiberian Hebrew Bilhāh) is a concubine of Jacob, and bears him two sons, Dan and Naphtali. ... Incest is sexual activity between close family members. ... Torah () is a Hebrew word meaning teaching, instruction, or law. ...


Despite the pre-occupation with the southern tribes, the Jahwist isn't entirely favourable to Judah, as it includes tales in which all of Judah's children are in some way blemished, Er being wicked in an unspecified way, Onan refusing to perform Levirate marriage, Shelah as being childless, and Pharez and Zarah being the children of prostitution and incest. The Jahwist also humiliates the northern hero of Joseph as the victim of attempted rape by Potiphar's wife, rather than the interpreter of dreams that the Elohist presents, and also casts Moses as a murderer in his youth. Look up ER on Wiktionary, the free dictionary ER or er may stand for: Er (biblical figure), the eldest son of Judah. ... Onan (אוֹנָן Strong, Standard Hebrew Onan, Tiberian Hebrew ʾÔnān) is a person described in the book of Genesis in the Bible. ... Levirate marriage is the practice of a woman marrying one of her husbands brothers after her husbands death, if there were no children, in order to continue his line. ... Shelah or Shela (שֵׁלָה Petition, Standard Hebrew Šela, Tiberian Hebrew Šēlāh) is the name of two persons in the Bible: The son of Arpachshad, and thus the grandson of Shem. ... In the Book of Genesis, Pharez or Péretz (פֶּרֶץ / פָּרֶץ Breach, Standard Hebrew Péreẓ / Páreẓ, Tiberian Hebrew Péreṣ / Pāreṣ) is the son of Judah by the Canaanitish woman Tamar. ... Zerah or Zérach (זֶרַח / זָרַח Sunrise, Standard Hebrew Zéraḥ / Záraḥ, Tiberian Hebrew Zéraḥ / Zāraḥ) (1. ... Joseph is a given name originating from Hebrew, recorded in the Hebrew Bible, as יוֹסֵף, Standard Hebrew Yosef, and Tiberian Hebrew YôsÄ“pÌ„. In Arabic, including in the Quran, the name is spelt يوسف or YÅ«suf. ... Potiphar or Potifar (Hebrew פּוֹטִיפַר / פּוֹטִיפָר, Standard Hebrew Potifar, Tiberian Hebrew Pôṭîp̄ar / Pôṭîp̄ār; Egyptian origin: p-di-p-rʿ the one whom Ra gave. ...


Compared with the Elohist, the Jahwist's tale extends further in time, presenting the description of how the Israelites were disuaded from a direct invasion of Canaan by the report of spies. The Jahwist also describes the circuitous route they took instead, conquering certain eastern lands as they went, leading to the presence of Israelite tribes east of the jordan, despite this being a northern story. It is sometimes difficult to separate the Jahwist and Elohist (unlike the very distinct Priestly source), and it may be the case that this tale actually belongs with the Elohist, the Elohist thus describing a central/northern conquest of Canaan by the northern tribes, and the Jahwist describing a southern invasion into the southern territory, the second half of the Jahwist tale, involving the invasion after the rebellion was quelled, being lost to redaction.


The Jahwist's religious concerns differ from those of the Elohist - it is the Jahwist that introduces the practice of circumcision, which, curiously, is not found in the Elohist source. The first circumcision, of Ishmael, is told in the Jahwist tale, as is the tale of Zipporah, at the inn, which is widely believed to be very truncated in the surviving torah, and consequently not very well understood, academically. Torah () is a Hebrew word meaning teaching, instruction, or law. ...


Generally, the Jahwist presents a less supernatural world than the Elohist, for example, by Moses having no supernatural powers, but instead acting as an intercessor who begs God to undo each of the Plagues of Egypt, after the Pharaoh has equally begged Moses for help. Nethertheless, the Jahwist is the only source involving talking animals, both in the tale of Adam and Eve, and also in the episode of the Ass of Balaam, neither of which appear in the Elohist work. The Plagues of Egypt (Hebrew: עשר מכות מצרים Eser Ha-Makot) are the ten calamities inflicted upon Egypt by God in the Biblical story recounted the book of Exodus (שמות), chapters 7 - 12, in order to convince Pharaoh (possibly Ramesses II) to let the Israelite slaves leave. ... Pharaoh (Arabic فرعون ) (Hebrew פַּרְעֹה ); is a title used to refer to the kings (of godly status) in ancient Egypt. ... WPA poster by Kenneth Whitley, 1939 The talking animal or speaking animal term, in general, refers to any form of animal which can talk or conduct speech. ... It has been suggested that Eve (first woman) be merged into this article or section. ... Binomial name Equus asinus Linnaeus, 1758 For other uses, see Donkey (disambiguation). ... Balaam (Hebrew בִּלְעָם, Standard Hebrew Bilʻam, Tiberian Hebrew Bilʻām; could mean glutton or foreigner, but this etymology is uncertain), is a prophet in the Bible, his story occurring in the Book of Numbers. ...


Origin of the Jahwist text

J is thought to have been composed by collecting together the various stories and traditions concerning Judah and its associated tribes (Levi, Judah, Simeon, and Reuben), and weaving them into a single text. J also contains traditions associated with Edom, and with the plain - Moab and Ammon, nations which bordered the southern tribes, and which Judah considered to have the same ethnic origin as itself, being descended from Esau, and Lot's two daughters, respectively. Edom (אֱדוֹם, Standard Hebrew Edom, Tiberian Hebrew ʾĔḏôm, Assyrian Udumi, Syriac ܐܕܘܡ), a Hebrew word meaning red, is a name given to Esau in the Hebrew Bible, as well as to the nation that purportedly traced their ancestry to him. ... Moab (מוֹאָב, Standard Hebrew Moʾav, Tiberian Hebrew Môʾāḇ Greek Μωάβ; Assyrian Muaba, Maba, Maab; Egyptian Muab) is the historical name for a mountainous strip of land in modern-day Jordan running along the eastern shore of the Dead Sea. ... Ammon or Ammonites (עַמּוֹן People, Standard Hebrew ʻAmmon, Tiberian Hebrew ʻAmmôn), also referred to in the Bible as the children of Ammon, were a people living east of the Jordan river, who along with the Moabites traced their origin to Lot, the nephew of the patriarch Abraham, and who were... Esau (Hebrew עֵשָׂו, Standard Hebrew ʿEsav, Tiberian Hebrew ʿĒśāw) is the son of Isaac and Rebekah and the older twin brother of Jacob in the biblical Book of Genesis, who, in the Torah, was tricked by Jacob into giving up his birthright (leadership of Israel) for a mess of pottage (meal... Lot and his Daughters, Hendrik Goltzius, 1616. ...


Some independent source texts thought to have been embedded in it include

J is thought to derive from amongst the Aaronid priesthood, and to reflect their polemic opinions in the text. J has a reduced focus on Moses' importance (the priests of Shiloh were more likely to be descended from Moses (thus being Mushites) than from Aaron), and supports the symbols controlled by the Aaronid religion such as the Ark and the Jerusalem Temple. J never mentions the Tent of Meeting or the Nehustan associated with the Shiloh priesthood. J also reflects the polemic against the King of Israel's changes to the religion, attacking the Golden Calfs he set up (having one of the ten commandments against molten gods - the Cherubim of Judah's temple were only gold plated). The Blessing of Jacob is a poem that appears in Genesis at 49:1b-27. ... The Song of the Sea is a poem which appears in Exodus at Exodus 15:1b-18. ... The Nehustan is a bronze snake which the Bible alleges was created by Moses, and had the power to heal snake-bites. ...


External links

  • The Jahwist source isolated, at wikisource

  Results from FactBites:
 
Jahwist - Japan (1692 words)
The Jahwist thus contains a tale of Isaac meeting his wife, when she comes out at the provision of water, and repeats the tale of Abimelech confusing a wife for a sister with Isaac and his wife rather than Abram and his.
The Jahwist also provides some tales describing the political situation of the southern tribes, the most relevant of which is the tale of the rape of Dinah, a story which both explains the ownership of Schechem, and why the tribes of Simeon and Levi lack territory.
The Jahwist also humiliates the northern hero of Joseph as the; victim of attempted rape by Potiphar's wife, rather than the interpreter of dreams that the Elohist presents, and also casts Moses as a murderer in his youth.
Jahwist at AllExperts (1419 words)
The Jahwist also provides some tales describing the political situation of the southern tribes, the most relevant of which is the tale of the rape of Dinah, a story which both explains the ownership of Schechem, and why the tribes of Simeon and Levi lack territory.
The Jahwist also seeks to explain why despite being the firstborn, Reuben has little territory, though the story, involving Reuben and Bilhah in incest, is widely regarded by academics as having been abruptly truncated during redaction, only one line of it remaining in the torah.
The Jahwist also humiliates the northern hero of Joseph as the victim of attempted rape by Potiphar's wife, rather than the interpreter of dreams that the Elohist presents, and also casts Moses as a murderer in his youth.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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