Page 167 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 46

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LUR I E /OUR LIBRARY OF LOST BOOKS
159
T h e Sages w ere aw are o f th e fact th a t these verses were no t
in th e i r p r o p e r p lace an d th a t they had no connec tion with
th e s id rah o f B ehaa lo tekha . At one tim e they were p a r t o f a
la rg e r work which was fo rg o t ten , an d all th a t rem a in ed were
these two verses consisting o f eighty-five le tters . T h is work is
no t con s id e red to be as sacred as the res t o f the T o ra h , fo r
it was no t given a t Sinai. However, because o f its con ten ts which
speak o f th e g rea tne ss o f God it was d eem ed to be an im p o r tan t
book in its own r igh t.
T h e r em n a n t which we have o f this anc ien t book consists o f
two pa r ts : (a) a call to w ar — “Advance , O Lord! May You r
enem ies be sc a t te red ” etc., an d (b) summ a tion an d p ra ise fo r
the resu lts o f th e battle.
I t ap p e a rs th a t this was an anc ien t ba ttle song which the H e ­
brew tribes sang in th e i r wars aga inst th e ir enem ies when the
A rk would accom pany th e f igh te rs to the ba ttlefield . I t is pos­
sible th a t the song has to do with the wars fo u g h t d u r in g the
days o f the Pa tr ia rch s p r io r to the go ing down to Egypt. T h e
history o f these g en e ra tion s is w rap p ed in obscurity . T h e Priests
an d Levites, th e keepe rs o f th e T o r a h scrolls, d id no t value
the lite ra ry works th a t h ad p re c ed ed the giving o f the T o ra h
at Sinai an d supp re s sed an c ien t songs such as this one. It is
only because th e Divine N am e is m en tion ed in the two verses
th a t they were no t h id d en away an d th a t we have the rem n a n t
o f an an c ien t book th a t was fo rgo tten an d lost.
R eg a rd ing th e an tiqu ity o f these two verses, N aph ta li T u r -
Sinai has w ritten : “T h e se p rove rbs , which a re quo ted in the
T o ra h as the words which Moses spoke when the A rk was to
set ou t an d when it ha lted , were no t solitary sayings th a t were
app lied only to this situa tion , bu t anc ien t fo rm u lae d a t in g even
to pre-Mosaic tim es .” T u r -S in a i states fu r th e r : “Such fo rm u lae ,
which a re fo u n d also in th e Song o f D ebo rah (Judg . 5:4-5),
in Psalm 65 an d in th e poetic d ia logues o f the book o f Job ,
a re to be viewed as quo ta tion s from anc ien t writings which al­
lude to even ts o f an early age .” 1
II.
Historical Writings From First Temple Times
In the h istorical books o f th e Bible — Samuel, Kings and
1. See his
The Language and the Book
(Hebrew, Jerusalem, 1955), pp. 8, 10.