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  • Tommy Miller

    June 10, 2021 at 10:57 pm

    Michele, you ask an interesting question concerning the grammatical style of Gn. 1:9-10 and Ex. 14:21-22 potentially arguing for mutual Mosaic authorship. I went to my library hoping a Hebrew scholar had already spoken to the issue, but to no avail. My rudimentary Hebrew skills also proved deficient. But I can see much similarity in the vocabulary of both. Nonetheless, I am unconvinced that vocabulary alone argues for a common author.

    The JEDPers (Graf, Wellhausen, et. al.) would no doubt posit that, indeed, Moses was not the author: Genesis is Elohist, the Exodus passage is Yahwist. To the contrary, I denounce the poor scholarship of Documentarianism for several reasons, but especially on the grounds that Jesus attributed both Genesis and Exodus directly to Moses (Mt. 19:3-9; Mk. 12:26).

    So I thought to tackle your question another way: the Rabbis may have already made the connection you suggest in their writings. I looked for any correlation between Gn 1:9-10 and Ex. 14:21-22 in the Talmud (both Bavli and Yerushalmi), in Rashi’s Commentaries on Bereishis (Genesis) and Shemos (Exodus), in my limited collection of Dead Seas Scroll literature, and also in the works of Josephus. Then, I expanded the search for in a fairly voluminous collection of Logos resources (12,155). I did not exhaust my print editions of Edersheim or Schurer.

    Still, I have yet to find a single commentator, linguist, historian, theologian, or Jewish writer who has previously affirmed the link you are suggesting. Short of a well-versed Rabbi, perhaps Jacob Neusner, or a more recent expert on Jewish literature, like David Instone-Brewer, could be of assistance.

    In summation: I cannot say that the two passages have never been connected. That would require reading everything ever written on the subject. I am simply relating that my idea to research the issue via scholarship, apart from grammatical style, has thus far turned up empty. It would be extremely beneficial if a grammarian could weigh-in on the discussion.