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Sohail, What Biblical Discrepancies?

Reader comment on item: U.S. Improvising on Security Five Years After 9/11
in response to reader comment: Infidel and Bible

Submitted by Infidel (Canada), Sep 15, 2006 at 02:21

Sohail, These are the last two Biblical questions which I will answer for you. I'm doing this just in case you are serious about understanding the scriptures rather than simply trying to find fault with them.

You state that: "this number is to large because the population of Israel and Judah in 1000 BCE probably reached no more than 500,000."

According to Exodus 12:37, "and the children of Israel journeyed from Rameses to Succoth, about six hundred thousand on foot that were men, beside children." If I remember correctly, a male was considered a man if he was over 25 years old, and probably married. So far we have 600 thousand men and lets say 600 thousand women. Now lets say that each family has 3 children, that would mean 1,200,000 adults and 1,800,000 children. So now we have 3 million people.

Now Exodus 12:38 states: "and many other people went up with them." So we know that the minimum number people were at least 3 million, and adding "the many other people" we can assume 3 and a half to more than 4 million people.

Now lets address your alleged discrepancy in counting the soldiers.

There were 12 divisions of generals, who commanded monthly, and whose duty was to keep guard on the royal person, each having a body of troops consisting of 24,000 men, which, together, formed an army of 288,000 and as a separate detachment of 12,000 was attendant on the 12 princes of the 12 tribes mentioned in the same chapter , so both are equal to 300,000. These were not reckoned in this book, because they were in the actual service of the king as a regular militia. But 1Chronicles 21:5 joins them to the rest, saying , "all those of Israel were one million, one hundred thousand"; whereas the author of Samuel, who reckons only the eight hundred thousand, does not say "all those of Israel," but rather "and Israel were," etc.

It must also be observed that, exclusive of the troops before mentioned, there was an army of observation on the frontiers of the Philistines' country, composed of 30,000 men, as appears from chapter 6:1 which, it seems, were included in the number of 500,000 of the people of Judah by the author of Samuel. But the author of Chronicles, who mentions only 470,000 gives the number of that tribe exclusive of those thirty thousand men, because they were not all of the tribe of Judah, and therefore he does not say, "all those of Judah," as he had said, "all those of Israel,' but only, "and those of Judah." Thus both accounts may be reconciled.


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