13 JUNE 1908, Page 23


[Under this heading us votiee emelt. Books of the week as hew not been reserved for senor in other furms.1 The Book of Exodus. With Introduction and Notes by A. H. M'Neile, B.D. (Methuen and Co. 10s. 6d.)—This volume is one of the " Westminster Commentaries," a series appearing under the general editorship of Dr. Walter Look. Genesis was done by Dr. Driver, and Mr. M'Neile acknowledges in the handsomest way his obligations to that scholar. We do not maintain that the controversy about the date and authorship of the Pentateuch is closed ; but it should be conceded that the theory of a composite origin, the documents distinguished as .T, E, and P having been put together into the form which now exists, has a definite standing-ground withiu the borders of orthodoxy. The time is past when this could be put aside as a vagary of the critics. Chap. xii. may be taken as a significant example. Verses 1-20 contain an elaborate Passover ritual. This is assigned to P (the work of a succession of writers beginning with the Exile). In verses 21-24 a simpler ritual is given. The lambs are killed, and the blood sprinkled on the lintel and door-posts. This is I (the earliest in date, while 25-27 are an addition later than P, the last clause, however, being ancient). In xiii. 3 we have to note the past tense: "Itemembor this day, in which ye came out from Egypt." The coming out had yet to be accomplished. It is not to be expected that all critics will agree on details ; but the general outline is accepted with a consensus which cannot be ignored. Quite apart from this, there will be found in the intro- duction and notes a great abundance of interesting and valuable matter. Here is an example. It is in the annotation on xxviii. 17-20, in which the breastplate of the High Priest, with its twelve jewels, is described. A quotation is given from Clement of Alexandria. " The manifold (=Aurofsaos) wisdom of God reflects itself in the Saints, but not wholly in one Saint. The High Priest alone wears all the colours on His breast; of the rest it is said, 'there are diversities of gifts, of ministrations and of workings. "