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Hebrew Studies 41 (2000) 273 Reviews to classical henneneutics and a necessary concern with the slaveryfreedom -life stakes of sibling-religions whose God is the Author of All. ZevGarber Los Angeles Valley College Valley Glen, CA 91401 zevgarber@juno.com EXODUS 1-18. By George W. Coats. FOTL IIA. pp. xiv + 178. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1999. Paper, $24.00. In this thorough, traditional fonn-critical analysis of Exod 1-18, Coats starts with the existing text and works backward through the traditional sources-giving most attention to P and J-to arrive at the smallest identifiable oral units. At each stage, Coats pursues the issues of structure, genre, setting, and intention. First, Coats identifies three "frameworks," major units of tradition, in Exod 1-18: 1) the Exodus Saga (Exod 1:1-13:16); 2) the Moses Saga (Exod 1:15-Deut 34:12); and 3) the Wilderness Traditions (Exod 13:17-Deut 34:12). His first chapter analyzes the first two of these overlapping frameworks in their fmal (present literary) stage, their P version, and their J version. While numerous. independent units dominate the wilderness traditions, Coats fmds primarily the P and J sources in Exod 1:1-13:16. P portrays the exodus as a cultic event. By contrast. J combines the exodus story with a heroic saga of Moses. Coats speculates that these heroic materials were passed on from father to son as part of the "national" history and may have belonged originally to entertaining story-tellers. rather than to an institution. Second, in chapter two. Coats examines the individual units in Exod 1:1-13:16. He identifies various redaction units (1:1-14; 2:23-25; 4:19-23; 12:37-42); Moses' adoption legend (1:15-2:10); the story of Moses' marriage (2:11-22); vocation accounts (3:1-4:18; 6:2-7:6); stories of vocation execution (4:27-31; 5:1-6:1); the sign cycle. the legend of Moses and Aaron's empowerment (7:7-10:29); the legend of the death of the first born, the Passover sign (11 :1-12:36); and various stories of cultic ordinances (12:43-51; 13:1-16). Here. Coats notes the major breaks between 6:1 and 6:2 and between 10:29 and 11:1. The first break leads him to the traditional observation of Hebrew Studies 41 (2000) 274 Reviews multiple sources (P and J). Thus, the present text has two vocation accounts , each of which follows the pattern: commission, objection, reassurance . The second account intends to make Aaron a more visible partner in the exodus. Coats justifies his observation about the second break (that between 10:29 and 11:1) with an analysis of the literary structure of the sign cycle (individual signs follow the pattern: divine instructions, execution, response). He describes that cycle both as a chiasm of parallel scenes and as an evolving conflict between Moses and Pharaoh. The result leaves the Passover sign as an independent tradition. P uses this tradition to interpret the exodus as a cultic event By contrast, the J account reveals an older tradition about failed negotiations which led to a secret flight from Egypt with spoil. Once again, these different traditions reflect different settings: the cult and the family. In chapter three, Coats begins the form-critical process anew with the framework of the wilderness traditions (Exod 13:17-18:27). While this section has a much looser structure than the exodus traditions, an itinerary structure and the motif of divine guidance unify these originally independent traditions. Notably, the itinerary structure reveals that the sea-crossing (and the crossing of the Jordan) is part of the wilderness, rather than the exodus, traditions. That same structure also indicates that the Sinai traditions are part of the wilderness traditions, rather than independent. The guidance motif depicts the divine overcoming of various privations including enemy, thirst, and hunger. Each of these units follows the pattern: crisis, complaint, Moses' intercession with YHWH, and YHWH's response. As he has previously, Coats notes that an early positive guidance tradition has been overwritten by negative murmuring motifs at a pre-J stage. In chapter four, Coats...

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Additional Information

ISSN
2158-1681
Print ISSN
0146-4094
Pages
pp. 273-275
Launched on MUSE
2011-10-05
Open Access
No
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