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DID MOSES
WRITE THE BOOK
OF GENESIS?

The promiscuous editing of Genesis -
Spinoza and the story of Judah


     If Moses wrote the Torah in the Bible, and if Moses was the famous author of Genesis then it must be explained why the story of Judah has obviously been edited in an awkward manner, with separate sources brought together in an arrangment that is not logical and makes no sense. Who wrote the Bible, and in particular who wrote the book of Genesis. The editing of the story of Judah in Genesis provides one of the finest examples of redaction criticism and source criticism in the Bible, and was first analyzed by Spinoza centuries ago (Spinoza often being called the father of modern Biblical analysis). The story of Judah in Genesis is just one example of so many others, which demonstrates that Moses, or no other single author, wrote the Torah, or the book of Genesis.

     There are conflicts between manuscripts and conflicts within individual works. Genesis was composed of variant source materials. Numerous doublets occur (the same story told in different versions) and there are also clear indications of the spinning together of variant traditions. For the following, I tip my hat to Spinoza. The story of Judah and Tamar is found in Genesis chapter 38, and has been inserted awkwardly into the Joseph narrative (it interrupts the flow, and the difficulties it introduces indicates that it was appended from an entirely separate body of source material and that the choice of the spot of insertion was made arbitrarily).

     Joseph was sold to the Egyptians by the Midianites.

"At about that time Judah went down from his brethen." (Genesis Chapter 38 verse 1)

     This cannot refer to what immediately precedes this statement, but something else.

     Consider the following. From the time that Joseph was sold towhen Jacob went to Egypt, 22 years passed. Joseph was 17 when sold as a slave to the Egyptiansand he was 30 when Pharaoh called him from prison. Add seven years of plenty, and two years offamine before Jacob arrived and you get a total of 22 years. In this brief period the followingevents must have taken place ...

     Judah married at the beginning of this period and had threechildren from one wife. The oldest then married, died, and his brother succeeded him (the famousOnan 'seed spilling' story). Then Judah had intercourse with his daughter-in-law. Having found herby the side of the road, he assumed she was a harlot. She bore twins from this union and thenthe oldest twin became a father, and all of this in 22 years. (Judah hypocritically decided that sheshould be burned to death for playing the harlot, but relented). When Jacob came to salutePharaoh, he was 130 years old. Deduct 22 years of sorrow for Joseph, 17 years for his age, and 7years of service for Rachel, and Jacob must have been 84 when he married Leah. Dinah wouldhave been 7 when raped by Shechem and Simon and Levi would have been 11 and 12 when theyspoiled the city in revenge. From all this Spinoza drew the OBVIOUS conclusion that thesource materials were 'promiscuously' collected and tossed into a heap.

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