Friday, July 23, 2010

Is there a contradiction in the Word of God?

Q: In the Bible, 2nd Samuel 24:9 gives the total population of Israel as 800,000 whearas 1st Chronicles 21:5 says it was 1,100,000, solve this question. Is there a discrepancy in the word of God?

A: George Williams was an outstanding Christian of the 19th century. He knew seven languages including Hebrew and Greek. He held high the inspiration, authority and purity of the Scriptures. He could see Christ all through the Bible.

He tackled problems such as the conflict on the numbering of fighting men between the accounts of 2 Samuel 24:9 and 1 Chronicles 21:5. He resolves the conflict by stating that the 1,100,000 soldiers of the 1 Chronicle passage included 300,000 young men not counted as “valiant” with the 800,000 soldiers of the 2 Samuel passage.

The Bible Knowledge Commentary says:

The figures in 1 Chronicles are 1,100,000 men in Israel and 470,000 in Judah, but the chronicler wrote that the Levites and Benjamites were not included (1 Chron. 21:5-6). The reconciliation of the data may lie in the possibility that 1,100,000 describes the grand total for Israel including the standing army which consisted of 12 units of 24,000 men each (288,000, 1 Chron. 27:1-15) plus 12,000 especially attached to Jerusalem and the chariot cities (2 Chron. 1:14). These 300,000 subtracted from 1,100,000 would yield the 800,000 figure in 2 Samuel 24:9. Also the chronicler may not have included the 30,000-man standing army of Judah (6:1) whereas they were included in chapter 24. This would raise the 470,000 total of Chronicles to the 500,000 of Samuel. This is only one solution, but with so little information available as to how the sums were obtained nothing further can be said with certainty.

I personally believe that in 1 Chron 21:6 the scripture states that the commander of David's army who took the sensus did an incomplete work of counting, by not fully counting the tribe of Levi and Benjamin. This shows that the Scripture does not show disparity or discrepancy in itself. The Scripture cannot be wrong at any time, so it was an human error that is clearly described in the Scripture. In other words, because of the difference of opinion between the king and the commander, wrong sensus report was secretly supplied by the commander Joab to the king, his subordinates and the two nations seperately. This is the reason for the difference between 2nd Samuel 24:9 and 1 Chronicles 21:5. Judah emphasis was given for the book of Chronicles because it was recorded by them. Israel emphasis was given for the book of Samuel because it was recorded by them for the general public.


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