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The documentary hypothesis is the idea among higher critics that the Pentetauch, or Torah, is a composite work consisting of several sources. These include the J (Jahwist) source, which uses the divine name "Jehovah" or "Yahweh" exclusively; the E (Elohist) source, which uses the divine name "Elohim" exclusively; the P (Priestly) source, which includes various priestly instructions, weights and measures; and the D (Deuteronomist) source, which includes the book of Deuteronomy. Some critics also clasify Deuteronomy, Joshua, Judges and the books of Samuel and Kings as the "Deuteronomistic History." According to the hypothesis, a redactor (possibly Ezra) combined these sources into the form we have today.

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