Yahwist vs Elohist Essay

This essay has a total of 600 words and 4 pages.

Yahwist vs Elohist

The stories of the Yahwist and the Elohist have many similarities as well as differences.
The main reason why they are this way is because they each have their own separate
accounts of Yahweh. They are however linked together by the “Older Federation Story.” In
this essay I will attempt to compare and contrast the story of the Yahwist and the Elohist
and explain their respective goals, backgrounds, and historical circumstances.

The main focus of the Yahwist story was Judah but it also concentrated on the David-Zion
story. The beginning of the story discusses the creation of Adam and Eve in Genesis and
it goes all the way until the destruction of the Tower of Babel. In the story, Yahweh
also instills faith in Abraham by saying that he will make a great nation. He proved this
through the David-Zion story. Abraham is the promise getter and David is the promise
fulfiller. I think that this is the most important part of the story because this is the
basis of the history of Judah. The Yahwist also takes from the “Older Federation Story”
because the story discusses the transformation of Israel from a federation to an empire.
David plays a major role in helping to build up Jerusalem. The one major thing that he
did that helped to unify the empire was to bring the ark of Yahweh into the city. In the
David-Zion story, God and David go hand in hand. The people of Israel believed that the
following the Davidic king was a sure-fire way to be blessed by god.

The Elohist story also builds a sense of community. This story concentrated on the
Moses-Sinai story. It is ironic because this story came about when the ideas of Israel as
well as Yahweh seemed to be fading away. This narrative was also built upon the “Older
Federation Story.” The one major difference is how Abraham shows complete and total
obedience to God. He proves this obedience by rising out of his bed and moving just
because God told him so and also willing to sacrifice his son Isaac. This idea of
obedience is the central theme of the story. This story concentrates more on the
Exodus-Sinai story and the formation of the covenant at Mount Sinai. In this story Moses
and Elijah are the central characters instead of David. All in all, both stories portray
how Yahweh is the most powerful God. The Elohist also used the “Older Federation Story”
to create and identity for Israel.

Even though the stories of the Yahwist and Elohist differed on the surface they share a
commonality in that they both helped to create a sense of community for Israel and Judah.
They both use the “Old Federation Story” as a base for the creation of their own
respective stories. In short, they give Israel and Judah a specific identity.

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