A research into the origin, meaning and application of the divine names in the Pentateuch
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University of Cape Town
The author submits that none of the approaches including that of the documentary hypothesis, used by scholars to explain the various names for divinity in the Pentateuch, is adequate and he attempts to find and present a more satisfactory explanation for the variant divine names. With this purpose in mind he examines the Pentateuch as one unified whole. He assumes that the writer of the Pentateuch in recording the legends of the forefathers in substance as handed down to him, has in the Genesis writings made available to us the early Hebrew concepts of divinity. When however the writer of the Pentateuch uses the names for divinity both in the Genesis and in the other Pentateuch texts, he employs them in terms of his own concepts of divinity, using each designation to convey a specific meaning. The author examines the different names of God in relation to the texts in which they occur, and the passages containing these names are analysed in the light of the extant information on the background of the Hebrews in Egypt, Canaan and Mesopotamia, to ascertain the concepts of deity held by the patriarchs and to establish the criteria used by the writer in his choice of divine name. These criteria are tested in all the Genesis and Exodus texts in which the names of divinity appear.
Mirvis, L. 1974. A research into the origin, meaning and application of the divine names in the Pentateuch. University of Cape Town.