Internal Contradictions Of The Bible The Bible

Var­i­ous Numer­i­cal Con­tra­dic­tions Between Vers­es in the Old Testament

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Mohd Elfie Nieshaem Juferi

Var­i­ous numer­i­cal con­tra­dic­tions can be seen between the vers­es con­tained with­in the Old Tes­ta­ment. We note the fol­low­ing numer­i­cal dis­crepen­cies, as follows :

  • II Chron­i­cles 36:9 says that Jehoiachin was 8 years old when he became king. II Kings 24:8 says Jehoiachin was 18 years old when he became king. 
  • II Samuel 10:18 talks about David slew the men of 700 char­i­ots of the Syr­i­ans and 40,000 horse­men and Shobach the com­man­der. But I Chron­i­cles 1:18 says that David slew the men of 7000 char­i­ots and 40,000 footmen 
  • In 1 Kings 7:26, the sea in Solomon’s tem­ple had a vol­ume of 2,000 baths but in 2 Chron­i­cles 4:5, the same sea had a much larg­er vol­ume of 3,000 baths. 
  • In I Kings 9 : 27 – 28, we are told that Hiram sent four hun­dred and twen­ty tal­ents of gold to King Solomon, but yet 2 Chron­i­cles 8:18 informs us that King Solomon received four hun­dred and fifty tal­ents of gold from Hiram. 
  • I Chron­i­cles 9:25 says that Solomon had 4000 stalls for hors­es and char­i­ots. I Kings 4:26 says that he had 40,000 stalls for hors­es, only. 
  • Ezra 2:5 talks about an exile Arah hav­ing 775 sons. Nehemi­ah 7:10 talks about the same exiled Arah hav­ing 652 sons. 
  • In Ezra 2:8, the num­ber of Zat­tu’s chil­dren that returned from Baby­lon was nine hun­dred and forty and five, yet in Nehemi­ah 7:13, only eight hun­dred and forty-five retuned from Babylon. 

The strongest defence” that the mis­sion­ar­ies have put for­ward for these numer­ous dis­crepen­cies in the num­bers is that all these errors are all due to scrib­al errors” or that all these errors are insignif­i­cant” to Chris­t­ian doc­trine. But obvi­ous­ly, as we have out­lined in the method­ol­o­gy, argu­ments along these lines are prob­lem­at­ic. After all, if God is indeed the author of the Bible, giv­ing divine inspi­ra­tion” to the scribes who wrote the Bible, would He be so incom­petant and care­less to have over­looked the numer­i­cal dis­crepen­cies and con­cen­trates on doc­trine, only ?


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