Monday, April 27, 2009

Sinai - P and J

One commonly cited difference between the sources is the J and P use the term "Sinai" while E and D use "Horeb". Each will be examined in a separate post, as well as traditional explanations for the difference.

"Sinai" appears 18 times in P, 6 times in J, 4 times in R, and 2 times in Other sources. It appears no times in E or D.

The following are all the references to Sinai in the Torah:

(R) Exod. 16:1: The whole Israelite community set out from Elim and came to the Desert of Sin, which is between Elim and Sinai, on the fifteenth day of the second month after they had come out of Egypt.

(P, R) Exod. 19:1-2: In the third month after the Israelites left Egypt — on the very day — they came to the Desert of Sinai. 2 After they set out from Rephidim, they entered the Desert of Sinai, and Israel camped there in the desert in front of the mountain.

(J) Exod. 19:11: And the LORD said to Moses, "Go to the people and consecrate them today and tomorrow. Have them wash their clothes 11 and be ready by the third day, because on that day the LORD will come down on Mount Sinai in the sight of all the people.

(J) Exod. 19:18: Mount Sinai was covered with smoke, because the LORD descended on it in fire.

(J) Exod. 19:20: The LORD descended to the top of Mount Sinai and called Moses to the top of the mountain.

(J) Exod. 19:23: Moses said to the LORD, "The people cannot come up Mount Sinai . . . ."

Note: Exodus 19 (the revelation at Sinai) has both E and J interspersed. We will see how persuasive the divisions are when we examine this chapter as a whole. But for now, we are assuming that the source divisions are correct and determining how well that explains the different characteristics of each source.

(P) Exod 24:16: . . . and the glory of the LORD settled on Mount Sinai.

(P) Exod. 31:18: When the LORD finished speaking to Moses on Mount Sinai, he gave him the two tablets . . . .

(J) Exod. 34:2: Be ready in the morning, and then come up on Mount Sinai.

(J) Exod. 34:4: So Moses chiseled out two stone tablets like the first ones and went up Mount Sinai early in the morning . . . .

(P) Exod. 34:29: When Moses came down from Mount Sinai with the two tablets

(P) Exod. 34:32: Afterward all the Israelites came near him, and he gave them all the commands the LORD had given him on Mount Sinai.

(P) Lev. 7:38: These, then, are the regulations for the burnt offering, the grain offering, the sin offering, the guilt offering, the ordination offering and the fellowship offering, 38 which the LORD gave Moses on Mount Sinai on the day he commanded the Israelites to bring their offerings to the LORD, in the Desert of Sinai.

(P) Lev. 25:1 (-2): The LORD said to Moses on Mount Sinai, "Speak to the Israelites and say to them: 'When you enter the land I am going to give you, the land itself must observe a sabbath to the LORD.

(P) Lev. 26:46: These are the decrees, the laws and the regulations that the LORD established on Mount Sinai between himself and the Israelites through Moses.

(P) Lev. 27:34: These are the commands the LORD gave Moses on Mount Sinai for the Israelites.

(P) Num. 1:1: The LORD spoke to Moses in the Tent of Meeting in the Desert of Sinai on the first day of the second month of the second year after the Israelites came out of Egypt.

(P) Num. 1:19: And so he counted them in the Desert of Sinai

(R) Num. 3:1: This is the account of the family of Aaron and Moses at the time the LORD talked with Moses on Mount Sinai.

(P) Num. 3:4: Nadab and Abihu, however, fell dead before the LORD when they made an offering with unauthorized fire before him in the Desert of Sinai.

(P) Num. 3:14 (-15): The LORD said to Moses in the Desert of Sinai, "Count the Levites by their families and clans.

(P) Num. 9:1 (-2): The LORD spoke to Moses in the Desert of Sinai in the first month of the second year after they came out of Egypt. He said, "Have the Israelites celebrate the Passover

(P) Num. 9:5: and they did so in the Desert of Sinai

(P) Num. 10:12: Then the Israelites set out from the Desert of Sinai and traveled from place to place until the cloud came to rest in the Desert of Paran.

(P) Num. 26:64: Not one of them was among those counted by Moses and Aaron the priest when they counted the Israelites in the Desert of Sinai.

(R) Num. 28:6: This is the regular burnt offering instituted at Mount Sinai as a pleasing aroma, an offering made to the LORD by fire.

(Other) Num. 33:15: They left Rephidim and camped in the Desert of Sinai.

(Other) Num. 33:16: They left the Desert of Sinai and camped at Kibroth Hattaavah.

(P) Deut. 33:2: his is the blessing that Moses the man of God pronounced on the Israelites before his death. He said: "The LORD came from Sinai and dawned over them from Seir; . . . ."

* * *

Sinai and Horeb are both names of the mountain where God appeared to Moses and the Hebrews. Yes Sinai is used exclusively by P and J, while Horeb is used exclusively by E and D. Standing alone, that strongly supports the DH. In a separate post, I will examine the traditional Jewish understanding of why this mountain has two names.

* * *

Update: see here for a particular problem with J and E.

blog comments powered by Disqus