In this same chapter we read: "And it came to pass, when Moses had made an end of writing the words of this law in a book until they were finished." This writing on that day ended the forty years of Moses' literary career. It would seem certain from the "notes" and "explanations" which Moses has given us in Genesis that they were written by him when he was at the edge of the Promised Land. With these inspired tablets before him, tablets written from the earliest days, he is compiling his book, possibly necessitating the transcription of these ancient records into the current language of the people. Most reverently does he handle them, for they are the record of God's dealing with their fathers of old. The first thing that impresses us as we read them now, is that he regards the old wording as so sacred that usually he avoids making unnecessary alterations to the text even to modernise words. He leaves the original ancient expressions and place-names just as he finds them, though they are no longer in current use. In order that they may be understood by this people—a new generation just entering the land—he explains the ancient records by adding the contemporary place-names alongside the ancient names, and sometimes he states that the name is retained "to this day."

 

from page 80, New Discoveries in Babylonia about Genesis