The documentary hypothesis (DH) proposes that the first five books of the Old Testament (Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy, known collectively as the Torah or Pentateuch), represent a combination of documents from four originally independent sources. According to the influential version of the hypothesis formulated by Julius Wellhausen these sources and the approximate dates of their composition were:
The theological revolution that is reflected in the fifth book of the Pentateuch (Deuteronomy) and in what scholars call the Deuteronomic History, which consists of the books of Joshua, Judges, Samuel and Kings. To emphasize the differences heralded in the Deuteronomic literature, I contrast the concepts found in this literature with other books of the Bible, especially Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus and Numbers.
The sabbatical year is mentioned three times in the Torah. The first is in Exodus 23:10–11: “Six years you shall sow your land and gather in its yield; but in the seventh you shall let it rest and lie fallow. Let the needy among your people eat of it.” The emphasis in this passage is on letting the land lie fallow and the social benefits for the poor and impoverished.