Various Numerical Contradictions Between Verses in the Old Testament

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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