The story of Abraham in Gen. xi 27-xxv 10 (11) is structured by two different literary layers in Gen. xv. The basic layer, consisting of V. 7-11, 17, 18, was originally connected with Gen. xiii 18. It must be assigned to the pentateuchal redaction, because it builds upon both Gen. xiii 14-17 and the priestly mentions of departure in xi 31; xii 4b, 5. The pentateuchal redaction wanted to demonstrate that Jahwe will not take back his promise of land for the descendants of Abraham, because he has obliged and laid upon himself a conditional curse in the presence of Abraham. Within the conception of the pentateuchal redaction Gen. xv 7ff.* has the function to finish the first part of the story of Abraham (xi 27-xiii 18; xv 7ff.*), which is dominated by the subject "the land for Abraham and his descendants". The subject of the second part (xv 1-xxv 11) can be described as "the descendants of Abraham and his life until his death".A later redactor integrated V. 1-6*, 12-16, 19-21. He wanted to emphasize that the faith of Abraham, trusting God to fulfill his promise of a physical heir and unnumbered descendants (V. 1-6*), gives Jahwe reason to lay upon himself a conditional curse in order to guarantee the promise of the land. This is furthermore the reason, why Jahwe told Abraham that the promise of land will only be fulfilled in a distant future (V. 12-16). In the view of the redactor Gen. xv is the starting point of the second part of the story of Abraham, in which he wanted to tell how Jahwe fulfills his promise of protection and of a physical heir for Abraham (xv 1bα, 4).
Für das Problem, ob Leviten- und Asylstädte Realität oder Theorie waren, ist die Analyse von Num. xxxv und Jos. xx l-xxi 42 von entscheidender Bedeutung. Diese Texte sind unterschiedlich voneinander abhängig. Der Verfasser von Num. xxxv 1-29* setzt in V. 9ff. den nachexilischen Grundbestand der Erzählung über Asylstädte in Jos. xx* voraus, die als Ausführungsbericht zu Dtn. xix 1ff. entstand. Ein Bearbeiter glich Jos. xx an Num. xxxv 9-15 an und verfaßte als Ausführungsbericht zu Num. xxxv 1ff.* den Grundbestand der Erzählung über Levitenstädte in Jos. xxi*. Er verteilte hier 48 Städte so auf die Leviten, daß die Aaroniden nicht weniger Städte als die anderen drei Gruppen erhielten. Die Zahl der Levitenstädte wurde in Num. xxxv 6f. nachgetragen. Da Num. xxxv und Jos. xx l-xxi 42 durchgehend erst aus nachexilischer Zeit stammen, gab es keine Leviten- und Asylstädte. Die Theorie der Asylstädte geht auf das deuteronomische Gesetz zurück, die Levitenstädte sind eine (spät)nachexilische Theorie.
Recent research has mostly argued against the traditional claim that the Pentateuch contains the documents of the Yahwist, the Elohist and the priestly writer (the new documentary hypothesis). After a survey of recent theories (I) the essay argues for the validity of this hypothesis (II). The priestly document is an own source and ends with the death of Moses (Dtn 34:1a*, 7-9). Furthermore it is demonstrated that there existed a yahwistic pre-priestly narrative structure from Gen 12 to Num 24 which originated in the time of Solomon. Against recent theories the Patriarchs were first literarily connected with the exodus by this Yahwist, and not by an exilic Yahwist or by P. The existence of the Elohist from the northern kingdom around 760 is proven by various arguments. Finally, the essay ends with remarks on the redactions of the (exilic) Jehowist and the pentateuchal redactor.
In earlier research Dtn 34:1a*, 7-9 are mostly regarded as fragments of the priestly report of Moses' death. Since 1988 this has often been denied; however, the present article argues for the traditional position. The absence of a priestly notice on Moses' death ist no proof against P, since the pentateuchal redaction had only used fragments of the priestly report for the birth of Esau and Jacob (Gen 25:19, 20, 26b) as well. Further it is demonstrated that Aaron's death (Num 20:22bff.*), Num 22:1, the announcement of Moses' death and the appointment of Joshua (Num 27:12ff.) belong to P and prepare for the death of Moses. The age of Moses in Ex 7:7 (P) confirms that P knew the oldest deuteronomistic layer in Dtn 3:23ff.*; 31:1-8* and 34:1-6*.