Bible Query from
Q: In 1 Chr, what are 1 and 2 Paraleipomenon?
A: In the Greek Septuagint translation 1 and 2 Chronicles were called 1 and 2 Paraleipomenon. Catholic Bible also use this name, but the contents are the same.
Q: In 1 Chr, why are there so many genealogies?
A: Chronicles likely was written later than kings, after the exile of Judah. It became important for the Jews to remember their ancestry, and so to remember who they were as a people. Some of the genealogies also show us part of the lineage of Mary and Joseph. See Hard Sayings of the Bible p.239-240, 735 Baffling Bible Questions Answered p.132-133 and Encyclopedia of Bible Difficulties p.216 for a more extensive answer.
Q: In 1 Chr, what is the difference in emphasis between the books of Chronicles and Kings?
A: There are a number of differences between these two writings.
Time: Chronicles was written later, during the exile. It emphasizes the genealogies, which would be important for the returning Jews.
Numbers: Chronicles is the most number-oriented book in the Bible, with the size of armies, and numbers of priests and descendants.
References: Kings mentions the Book/Annals of Kings of Israel, the Book/Annals of Kings of Judah, and the Book/Annals of Kings of Israel and Judah in 32 verses. Chronicles mentions books of various kings only 12 times, and it never mentions "the Book/Annals of the Kings of Judah" without mentioning Israel too.
Kingdom vs. Temple: Nehemiah as well as 1 and 2 Kings emphasize the kingdoms of Israel and Judah. Chronicles and Ezra also mention those, but they have a greater emphasis on the Temple.
International Affairs: Kings focuses on battles and alliances with Aram, Edom, Moab, and nearby kingdoms, including Egypt. Chronicles focuses on trading alliances with Hiram of Tyre, the Queen of Sheba, and Egypt.
Consequences of Wickedness vs. Repentance: Kings focuses more on the results of the sins of the kings, while Chronicles tells of their personal walk with God.
David: Chronicles does not tell us much about David, except that he wanted to build the Temple. Kings tells us almost nothing about David, since David was covered in 1 and 2 Samuel.
Solomon: Chronicles tells us little about Solomon, except as it related to building the temple and his wealth. With the exception of Pharaohís daughter, only Kings tell of the serious moral compromises Solomon made.
Manassehís repentance, which had no political impact, is mentioned only in Chronicles. Manasseh removed many idol altars, but his repentance had almost no effect on the kingdom.
Jehoiakim is given more attention in 2 Chronicles 36 than in 2 Kings 24.
Geography: Between the time of the Divided Kingdom and Hezekiah, Chronicles, being concerned with the Temple, has a southern emphasis on Judah, while Kings discusses both kingdoms at length. Consequently, Chronicles provides no dates or lengths of reign of the kings of Israel, while Kings provides information on both Judah and Israel. Kings also has more material on Elijah and Elisha.
Time Written: Chronicles was written later, and likely presumed the reader had a knowledge of Kings. Chronicles and not kings tells of the return of the Jews under the reign of Cyrus of Persia.
Lessons: The skeptical Asimovís Guide to the Bible p.412 says the Chronicler shows that material benefits accompany righteous action. However, Kings also show the consequences, of obeying or disobeying God.
735 Baffling Bible Questions Answered p.134 points out that no facts were hidden, as 1 and 2 Kings had been written before 1 and 2 Chronicles.
Q: In 1 Chr and 2 Chr, what are the discrepancies in numbers with Samuel and Kings?
A: The doctrine of inerrancy says that the Bible manuscripts were without error in the originals, but that some errors that do not affect faith or practice have crept in to the copies we have today. People who hold to inerrancy freely acknowledge the following as copyist errors in Samuel, Kings, and Chronicles. According to the Encyclopedia of Bible Difficulties p.221-222, and The Expositorís Bible Commentary volume 4 p.561-562, of the 18 to 20 copyist errors, about two-thirds have a larger number in Samuel and Kings than in Chronicles. The copyist errors are:
1 Sam 16:10 (eight sons) vs. 1 Chr 2:13-15 (seven sons)
2 Sam 8:4 (1,700 horsemen) vs. 1 Chr 18:4 (7,000 horsemen)
2 Sam 10:18 (700 charioteers) vs. 1 Chr 19:18 (7,000 charioteers)
2 Sam 23:8 (800 enemies killed) vs. 1 Chr 11:11 (300 enemies killed)
2 Sam 24:9 (800,000 + 500,000) vs. 1 Chr 21:5 (1,100,000 including 470,000) (possibly a copyist error, possibly not)
2 Sam 24:13 (7 years) vs. 1 Chr 21:12 (3 years)
1 Ki 4:26 (40,000 stalls) vs. 2 Chr 9:25 (4,000 stalls)
1 Ki 5:11 (20 cors of olive oil, Masoretic text, 20,000 cors Septuagint) vs. 2 Chr 2:10 (20,000 cors of olive oil)
1 Ki 5:16 (3,300 foremen) vs. 2 Chr 2:18 (3,600 foremen)
1 Ki 7:20b (200 pomegranates) vs. 2 Chr 3:16b (100 pomegranates)
1 Ki 7:26 (2,000 baths) vs. 2 Chr 4:5 (3,000 baths)
1 Ki 9:23 (550 chief officers) vs. 2 Chr 8:10 (250 chief officers)
2 Ki 8:26 (22 years old) vs. 2 Chr 22:2 (42 years old in Masoretic text. Had to be 22, or else would be older than his father)
2 Ki 24:8 (18 years old) vs. 2 Chr 36:9 (8 years)
Ps 60:1 (12,000) vs. 1 Chr 18:12 (18,000)
(Apparently I am missing three to five copyist errors.)
Q: In 1 Chr 1:32 is Keturah being Abrahamís concubine a contradiction with Keturah being Abrahamís wife in Gen 25:1, unless concubine and wife are synonymous terms, as the Muslim Ahmad Deedat says?
A: No they are not synonymous and no, this is not a contradiction. A concubine is a type of wife. Typically a concubineís children would not have the same inheritance as the children of a wife who was not a concubine. An honest Muslim should have no problem with this, because Mohammed had a concubine named Miriam the Copt. Theirs was a lawful relationship since she was a concubine, but she did not have the rights of Mohammedís non-concubine wives.
Q: In 1 Chr, 2 Chr, 1 Ki and 2 Ki, what were the major wars of the world at this time?
A: Here are the known wars of the world back then.
1003 B.C. David captures Jerusalem
1000 B.C. In China the Chou defeat the Shang Dynasty
c.998 B.C. Israel under David vs. Moab, 10K killed
c.997 B.C. Israel Civil War Absalom -2 Sam 18:7, 20K killed
969 B.C. Egypt sacks the city of Gezer as Solomonís wedding present
950 B.C. Libyan Shishak takes the Egyptian throne
926 B.C. Shishak of Egypt invades Judah
>926 B.C. Jeroboam/Abijah Israel/Judah fight, 500K killed
918 B.C. Shishak destroys Taanach
911-894 B.C. Assyrian Adad Nirari II campaigns
909 B.C. At Gibbethon, Israelites besiege Philistines
900 B.C. San Lorenzo, Mexico destroyed by revolt
897 B.C. Ethbaal overthrows King Phelles in Tyre
889-886 B.C. Assyrian Tukulti Ninurta II campaigns
884/3-878 B.C. Assyrian Ashurnasirpal II campaigns
866 B.C. Assyrian Ashurnasirpal II campaigns
859-824 B.C. Assyrian Shalmaneser III has 32 campaigns
858 B.C. Assyrian Ashurnasirpal II campaigns
858 B.C. Assyria fights the Urartu people
857 B.C. Attacked Bit-Adini (Eden)
857 B.C. Assyrians capture Carchemish
856 B.C. Assyria fights Urartu
853 B.C. At Qarqar, Assyrians vs. coalition tie
850-841 B.C. Assyrians fight Aramaeans
850 B.C. Assyria besieges Gannanatu
9th Century Hasanlu of Urartu burned
843 B.C. Assyrians sack Allabria, Parsua, Abdadani, Khaban, and Namri
841 B.C. Assyrians fight Hazael but fail to take Damascus
841 B.C. Jehu rebels and kills the kings of Israel and Judah
841 B.C. Assyrian defeats Parasca
839 B.C. Assyria campaigns in Cilicia
836 B.C. Near Hamadan Shalmaneser III fights the Medes
835 B.C. Assyrians sack the city of Shalmnas
832 B.C. At Arsanies, Assyrians defeat the Urartu people
831 B.C. Patinu rebels from Assyria
830-827 B.C. Assyria fights Urartu
828 B.C. Assyrians fight against Urartu and sack Musasin
826-820 B.C. Assyrian rebellion
824-805 B.C. Urartu Empire expands
809 B.C. Assyria fights Media
808 B.C. Assyrians fight Guzanu
807-806 B.C. Assyrians fight Mannaeans
c.806-804 B.C. Zakir of Hamath and Luash fight against the city Damascus
804-733 B.C. Further Urartu conquests
804-802 B.C. Assyrians attack Damascus and capture it
801 B.C. Assyria attacks Khubbushkia
800 B.C. Spartans conquer Laconia
800-799 B.C. Assyria fights Media
800-700 B.C. Nubia (Sudan) revolts from Egypt
798 B.C. Assyrians fight Lushia
797 B.C. Assyrians fight Namri
793-792 B.C. Assyria fights Media
791 B.C. Assyria attacks Khubbushkia
789-787 B.C. Assyria fights Media
Israel vs. Aramaeans -1 Kings 20:29, 127K killed
786 B.C. Assyrians fight Kisku
785-784 B.C. Assyria attacks Khubbushkia
-616-612 BC Assyrian Empire ends
771 B.C. At Hao in China, Rong barbarians kill Zhou King You
770 B.C. Rebellion against Chou; Chou move capital
745 B.C. The Assyrian king Tiglath-Pileser III captures the city of Damascus
743 B.C. Civil War in Assyria
743 B.C. Assyrians capture the town of Kashpuna, near Tyre and Sidon
743-740 B.C. Assyrians besiege Arpad
740 B.C. Spartans conquer Messenia
740-710 B.C. Scythian people overrun the Cimmerians
738 B.C. Yaudi in Syria revolts against Assyrians
736 B.C. Greeks take Phoenician Malta
735-715 B.C. Edomites capture Jews under Ahaz in 2 Chr 28:17
735-715 B.C. Philistines raid Judah under Ahaz in 2 Chr 28:18
734 B.C. Corinth takes Corfu from Eretians
734 B.C. Tiglath-Pileser sacks the city of Hazor in Israel
c.733 B.C. Israel defeats Judah 2 Chr 28:6, 120K killed
732 B.C. Assyrians capture Damascus
731-724 B.C. King Piye and the Napatans conquer Egypt
724-722 Assyrians besiege the city of Tyre
722 B.C. Assyrians put down a revolt in southern Chaldea
722 B.C. Sargon II of Assyria captures Samaria
721 B.C. Assyrians conquer Urartu
720 B.C. Assyria defeats Arpad, Simirus, Damascus, Samaria
720 B.C. Assyrians sack Arpad, Qarqar
717 B.C. Assyrians defeat Carchemish
715 B.C. Assyrians sack the Philistine cities of Ashdod and Gath
714 B.C. Sargon II raids Lake Van and the Mannai people in Armenia
713-679 Assyrians and Cimmerians attack Urartu
712 B.C. Assyrians conquer Ekron in Philistia
708 B.C. Assyrians capture Samsat in Anatolia
701 B.C. King Sennancherib and the Assyrians capture the town of Usse near Tyre
701 B.C. Assyrians besiege Sidon in Phoenicia
701 B.C. At Eltekah, Assyrians meet Egyptians
701 B.C. Assyrians sack Megiddo, Samaria, and Gibeah
701 B.C. Assyrians conquer Ekron
701 B.C. Assyrians sack Lachish many killed, 1.5K killed
701 B.C. Assyrians killed outside Jerusalem, 185K killed
700 B.C. Chalcis and Eretia fight
700 B.C. Assyria razes Karatepe
700 B.C. Assyria fights Kashku
698 B.C. Assyrians capture Tarsus
689 B.C. Assyrians sack Babylon
686 B.C. Assyrians fight Arabs
680 B.C. Cimmerians conquer Phrygia
678 B.C. Assyrians subdue Babylonian rebels
678 B.C. The Scythians attack the Assyrians
676-673 B.C. Assyrians besiege Sidon 3 years
675/671 B.C. Assyrians capture Memphis
674 B.C. At Sile, Egyptians defeat the Assyrians
672 B.C. Assyrians subdue Egyptians
671 B.C. The Assyrian king Esarhaddon captures the city of Memphis in Egypt
670 B.C. Egyptians rebel from the Assyrians
c.670 B.C. Scythians enter Mannai kingdom
669 B.C. The Assyrian king Esarhaddon dies marching against Egyptians
668 B.C. Argirus routes the Spartans
667 B.C. Ashurbanipal conquers Egypt
665 B.C. Ashurbanipal attacks Phoenicia and later Egypt
664 B.C. Tantamani frees Egypt
664-657 B.C. Pharaoh Psammetichus I unifies Egypt
653 B.C. Scythians dominate the Medes
653 B.C. Assyrians defeat the nation of Elam
653 B.C. Egypt is free of Assyria
652-643 B.C. Shamash-shum-ukin rebels against Assyrian king Ashurbanipal
c.650 B.C. Messenians revolt against Spartans
650 B.C. Scythians and Cimmerians raid Palestine
648 B.C. Assyrians sack Babylon
646 B.C. Assyrians exile the Elamite people
642-639 B.C. Assyrians attack Elam and sack Susa
638 B.C. At the Hong River in China, Chu defeat Duke Xiang of Song
633 B.C. Assyrians sack Thebes in Egypt
c.631/627 BC Medes under Kyaxares besiege Nineveh, capital of Assyria
630 B.C. The Di people attack north China
626/625 B.C. Babylonians gain independence
625 B.C. Kyaxares the Mede throws off the Scythians
623 B.C. The Di people attack north China
620 B.C. The Di people attack north China
615 B.C. Assyrian city of Arrapkha captured
614 B.C. Asshur captured
614 B.C. The Medes try to take the city of Nineveh
c.613-7-8/612 Medes sack Nineveh (Babylonians too late to help the Medes)
612 B.C. Medes conquer Armenia
612-609 B.C. Last of Assyrians destroyed
609-606 B.C. Babylonians raid North Israel
609/608 B.C. Egyptians destroy Megiddo & attack Gaza
606-605 B.C. Di attack north China
604 B.C. At Carchemish, Babylon defeats Egypt
11-12/605/604 Babylonians sack the city of Ashkelon in Philistia
603 B.C. Babylonians sack Ekron
601 B.C. Babylonians and Egyptians tie with heavy losses
599-598 B.C. Babylonians fight Arabs
3/16/597 B.C. Babylonians capture Jerusalem
596 B.C. Babylonians fight Elam
593 B.C. Egyptian Psamtik II + Greek, Phoenician, and Jewish mercenaries beat Cush
591 B.C. Egypt invades Nubia
589-587/586 B.C. Jews rebel against the Babylonians
586/5-573/2 B.C. Nebuchadnezzar II of Babylon besieges Tyre and captures it
581 B.C. Babylonians deport more from Judah
568-567 B.C. The leader Apries and Babylonians invade Egypt
559 B.C. Medes and Babylonians combine against Persians
Q: In 1 Chr and 2 Chr, 1 Ki and 2 Ki, what were the Mideast world events of this time?
A: Here are many of them.
969 B.C. Egypt sacks Gezer for Solomonís wedding present
950/945 B.C. Libyan Shishaq becomes Pharaoh of Egypt
926 B.C. Shishak of Egypt invades Judah
>926 B.C. Jeroboam of Israel fights Abijah of Judah 500K killed in 2 Chronicles 13:17
c.613-7-8/612 Medes sack Nineveh (Babylonians too late to help the Medes)
604 B.C. At Carchemish, Babylon defeats Egypt
970 B.C. Dedication of Solomonís Temple
c.870 B.C. The famine of Elijah in Israel
765 B.C. Plague in Nineveh
6/15/763 Total eclipse of the sun
759 B.C. Plague in Nineveh around Jonahís time
3/16/597 B.C. First major exile to Babylon
587/586 B.C. Judah taken captive to Babylon
538 B.C. Exiles return to Jerusalem
540-10/12/539 Persians conquer Babylonian Empire
336-6/323 B.C. Empire of Alexander the Great
Q: In 1 Chr 1:6, are these "Diphath" people the same as the "Riphath" people in Gen 10:3?
A: Probably yes. This was likely a scribal error, and we have no other record of the Riphath people. See the Wycliffe Bible Dictionary p.1474 for more info.
Q: In 1 Chr 1:10, how was Nimrod a mighty hunter on the earth?
A: The Hebrew word in 1 Chronicles 1:16 (pronounced gib-BOR) simply means "mighty", which could mean a skilled hunter, a skilled warrior, a champion, a giant, or mighty in another way. Lancelot Brentonís Septuagint translation renders this as "mighty hunter" with a footnote saying in Greek a giant, a hunter. In some way, Nimrod was a "giant" among men, whether it was his physical size or his warlike skill. Many Christians believe that Nimrod hunted men, as a warrior and Empire builder. Some people see in the Sumerian accounts of Gilgamesh a tradition of the first Empire builder, and perhaps the Bible is referring to this man as Nimrod.
This echoes what Genesis 10:9 says about Nimrod. The Hebrew noun here (pronounced TSAH-yid) means a hunter. Lancelot Brentonís Septuagint translation says "giant hunter" in Genesis 10:9.
Today some can be "giants" in battle, or in business, but it does not do them any good after they die.
Q: In 1 Chr 1:42 should it be "Jakan" of "Akan/Waqan"?
A: The Masoretic text says Jakan (pronounced Yakan), but The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia vol.6 p.1 says the grammar appears to lack the necessary conjunction we (and), so perhaps it should be Akan/Waqan.
Q: In 1 Chr 2:3, why did Judah marry a Canaanite?
A: The prohibition against intermarrying with the Canaanite enemies of Israel was not given until Mosesí time, 400 years later.
Q: In 1 Chr 3:5, was the name of Bathshebaís father Ammiel, or Eliam as 2 Sam 11:3 says?
A: This is most likely a copyist error due to the "l" and "m" being transposed in Hebrew. "Eliam means "God/god is a kinsman" and "Ammiel means "A kinsman is God/god". Since Chronicles was written later than 2 Samuel, it is more likely that the name in 2 Samuel is preserved correctly. "Ammiel" is in 1 Chronicles 3:5 in both the Masoretic Text and Septuagint, so this transposition occurred before the Greek Septuagint translation was made. See 1001 Bible Questions Answered p.323 and the Wycliffe Bible Dictionary p.516, and The Expositorís Bible Commentary : volume 4 p.339 for similar answers. The Wycliffe Bible Dictionary p.516 also says an ancient Hebrew seal has been found with the name "Eliam".
Q: In 1 Chr 3:5-8, 14:4-7, and 2 Sam 5:14-16, who exactly were Davidís Sons?
A: 2 Samuel 5:14-16, 1 Chronicles 3:5-8, and 1 Chronicles 14:4-7 all say: Shammua, Shobab, Nathan, Solomon, Ibhar, Elishua (Elishama in 1 Chronicles 3:5-8), Nepheg, Japhia, Elishama, Eliada, and Eliphelet. 1 Chronicles 3:5-8 said Elishama twice while the others have Elishua and Elishama. In addition 1 Chronicles 3:5-8 also mentions Eliphelet a second time, and Nogah. 1 Chronicles 3:5-8 might have a typo for Eliphelet a second time, but David could have had more sons besides the ones listed.
Q: In 1 Chr 3:8; 14:5, how do you pronounce "Elpalet" or "Elophelet"?
A: These are the same person. Elpalet is pronounced as "el-PA-let" with two short eís and a long a, according to the Wycliffe Bible Dictionary p.524. Crudenís Concordance does not have Elophelet, but it pronounces Elpalet the same.
Q: In 1 Chr 3:9, were there possibly nine sons ahead of Solomon for the throne, as the skeptical Asimovís Guide to the Bible p.402 conjectures?
A: There could be, if the sons of David were given in order of their birth. Certainly Amnon, Absalom, and Adonijah were older than Solomon, and Solomon was born when David was older. However, nothing dictates that this list is in the order of their birth.
Q: In 1 Chr 3:15, was Shallum/Jehoahaz the fourth son of Josiah?
A: No, because Zedekiah, the son listed third, was only ten years old in 609 B.C., when Jehoahaz became king at 23, as The Expositorís Bible Commentary volume 4 p.290 says.
There is a point of Bible interpretation to learn here. Every time you see a list of children, it does not necessarily mean the children were born in order of the list.
Q: In 1 Chr 3:16, was Shallum the personal name of the king with the throne name of Jehoahaz, as the skeptical Asimovís Guide to the Bible p.403 suggests?
A: Christian commentators agree that Shallum as another name for Jehoahaz. However, whether Shallum was a personal name he was born with, or a nickname he acquired later is not known.
Q: In 1 Chr 3:19, was Zerubbabelís father Pedaiah, or Shealtiel as Ezra 3:2,8; 5:2; Nehemiah 12:1; Haggai 1:1,12,14; 2:2,23; and Matthew 1:12 say?
A: Some children have both a biological father and an adopted father. Shealtiel was the older brother of Pedaiah were brothers according to 1 Chronicles 3:17-18. Shealtiel was the oldest, but there are times when the oldest male heir does not have a son to carry on the royal succession. Christian scholars give two different answers.
Pedaiah died, and Shealtiel adopted Zerubbabel. This was both a charitable thing to do, and provided Shealtiel with a royal successor. See When Critics Ask p.201-202 and the Encyclopedia of Bible Difficulties p.316-319 for more info on this answer.
Shealtiel died, and Pedaiahís oldest was to carry the line of Shealtiel and royal succession. See The Bible Knowledge Commentary : Old Testament p.595 for more info on this answer.
Q: In 1 Chr 3:22-23, how do you pronounce "Shemaiah", Hattush", "Igeal", and "Elioenai"?
A: Very carefully.
Seriously, according to the Wycliffe Bible Dictionary, these are pronounced as follows:
Shemaiah - "she-MA-ya" with a long e, the first a long, and the last a with a dot over it.
Hattush - "HAT-ush" with two short vowels,
Igeal - "I-ge-al" with a long i and e, and a dot over the a. Crudenís Concordance says the same.
Elioenai - EL-i-o-E-ni" with the first two vowels short and the last three long.
The Anchor Bible Dictionary volume 3 p.383 pronounces Igal in Hebrew as "YIG-al" with a long a.
Q: In 1 Chr 4:3, how do you pronounce "Hazelelponi"?
A: It is pronounced as "HAZ-e-lel-PO-ni" with the a, o, and i long and the eís short, according to the Wycliffe Bible Dictionary p.761. Crudenís Concordance says the same, except that it has the first e as long.
Q: In 1 Chr 4:6-7,22, how do you pronounce "Tekoa", "Naarah", "Temeni", Haahashtari" and "Chozeba "?
A: According to the Wycliffe Bible Dictionary, these are:
Tekoa - te-KO-a with a short e, long o, and a dot on top of the a.
Naarah - NA-a-ra, with the first a long and the last two aís with dots over them.
Temeni - TEM-e-ni with the two eís short and a long i.
Haahashtari - HA-a-HASH-ta-ri with the first and last aís long, the middle a short, and the other two aís with dots above them.
Chozeba - ko-ZE-ba with the first two vowels long, and a dot over the a.
Q: In 1 Chr 5:10,19,20,22 who are the Hagrites?
A: We had no archaeological records of the Hagrites, until Assyrian inscriptions, under Sennacherib and Tiglath-Pileser III, were found that mentioned the Hagrites as an Aramaean tribe. The Hagrites are not just descendants of Hagar, as Psalm 83:6 mentions both the Hagrites and Ishmaelites along with other eastern peoples.
While the Wycliffe Bible Dictionary p.742 says the later writers Strabo and Ptolemy (5.19.2) and mention the Agraioi living in northern Arabia, the liberal Anchor Bible Dictionary volume 3 p.24 says they are not the same.
Pliny in NH 6.159-161 also mentions the Agraei, and these are probably the people of Hofuf-thaj in the al-Hasa oasis in northern Arabia on the Persian Gulf, and unrelated to the Hagrites despite the similarity of names.
See The Bible Knowledge Commentary : Old Testament p.597 and the for more info.
Q: In 1 Chr 5:20 (KJV), what does "intreated" mean?
A: This means to "entreat" or "ask".
Q: In 1 Chr 5:22, since this war was from God, how could God be a God of peace?
A: God will ultimately cause all wars to cease (Psalm 46:9). Until that time comes though, sometimes fighting a war advances the cause of peace, and the Israelites were fighting a war here for Godís peace and the protection of the Transjordan tribes.
Gleason Archer in Encyclopedia of Bible Difficulties p.219-220 questions the underlying assumption of pacifism saying: "Is it really a manifestation of goodness to furnish no opposition to evil? Can we say that a truly good surgeon should do nothing to cut away cancerous tissue from his patient and simply allow him to go on suffering until finally he dies? Can we praise a police force that stands idly by and offers not the slightest resistance to the armed robber, the rapist, the arsonists, or any other criminal who preys on society? How could God be called Ďgoodí if He forbade His people to protect their wives from ravishment and strangulation by drunken marauders, or to resist invaders who have come to pick up their children and dash out their brains against the wall?
No policy would give freer rein to wickedness and crime than a complete surrender of the right of self-defense on the part of the law-abiding members of society."
See When Critics Ask p.202-203 for more info.
Q: In 1 Chr 6:10 (KJV), what does "execute the priestís office" mean?
A: This means to serve in the capacity of the priestís office.
Q: In 1 Chr 6:16,26-28, was Samuelís father from Levi, or was Samuel an Ephraimite as 1 Sam 1:1 says?
A: The Levites had no territory of their own but were scattered throughout Israel. Samuelís father was a Levite, but they lived in the Ephraimite territory. When Critics Ask p.155, Encyclopedia of Bible Difficulties p.220, Hard Sayings of the Bible p.239, and even the skeptical Asimovís Guide to the Bible p.269-270 all agree on this answer.
Q: In 1 Chr 6:28 (Masoretic text), was the oldest of Samuelís oldest son Vashni, or Joel as 1 Sam 8:2 says?
A: Samuelís oldest son was named Joel. The Masoretic text has a copyist error and omits Joel and says "firstborn, the second Abijah" according to Greenís literal translation. The NRSV footnote says the Hebrew says, "Vashni, and Abijah for the second Abijah, taking the second as a proper name." The Septuagint and Syriac both list the sons as Joel and Vashni.
The NIV and NKJV, and The Expositorís Bible Commentary volume 3 p.615 also mentions this.
Q: In 1 Chr 8:33, was Ner Saulís grandfather, or Saulís uncle?
A: There were probably two men named Ner, and the second one was named after his grandfather. See When Critics Ask p.203-204 for more info.
Q: In 1 Chr 8:33, is Esh-ball the same person as Ish-bosheth in 2 Sam 2:8?
A: Probably so. Baal can mean master, Lord, or a Canaanite idol. Saul named his son Ish (man) of Baal, most likely with the intent of master or Lord. The writers or copyists probably changed the name to "bosheth" meaning shame. See 735 Baffling Bible Questions Answered p.112 for more info.
Q: In 1 Chr 9:1, what was the Book of Kings?
A: This was not the books of 1 and 2 Kings in the Bible. Rather, these were secular records of kings. When Critics Ask p.204 mentions that is was not uncommon for inspired books of the Bible to cite secular books, or for Paul to even cite pagan poets, when they spoke the truth about something.
Q: In 1 Chr 10:6, how did all of Saulís house die out, since Ishbosheth still lived according to 2 Sam 2:8?
A: 1 Chronicles 10:6 says that "all his house" referred to his three sons who died with him. It did not include Saulís infant grandson, Mephibosheth. While Scripture does not say why Ishbosheth was not with Saul, or why Ishbosheth (who was almost 40 at the time) was not included in "Saulís house" here, perhaps it is because Ishbosheth was the son of Saul by a concubine.
See When Critics Ask p.204 for more info.
Q: In 1 Chr 10:8-10, why would a victorious army strip the dead?
A: They would collect the swords, spears, other weapons, and even valuables the soldiers might have been carrying, but most importantly, they would collect the armor. These would be used for their own troops, and could also be displayed as trophies of war.
Q: In 1 Chr 10:11, how do you pronounce "Jabesh-gilead"?
A: It is pronounced as "JA-besh-GIL-e-ad" with the first a and last e long, according to the Wycliffe Bible Dictionary.
Q: In 1 Chr 10:13-14, did Saul not inquire of the Lord, or did Saul ask of the Lord In 1 Sam 28:6?
(This is a repeat of the discussion on 1 Samuel 28:6)
A: While this could be a copyist error, both the Hebrew Masoretic text and the Greek Septuagint say the same, and there is a simpler explanation than copyist error.
There is a world of difference between doing something, and doing something sincerely.
The Hebrew word shalal in 1 Samuel 28:6. means to inquire, request, demand, beg, or borrow. The Old Testament uses this word 19 other times. It does not necessarily mean to insincerely ask. Rather, it is a general word for ask, and it could be sincere or insincere.
The Hebrew word darash in 1 Chronicles 10:14 means primarily to follow, and by implication to seek or ask or worship. In the 41 other places the Old Testament uses this word, it is something that people either entreat of God or entreat of idols, but not both.
In contrast to the use of shalal in 1 Samuel 28:6 when Saul asked of God, 1 Samuel 28:7 uses the word darash when Saul went to the witch of Endor.
While Saul might have casually asked, he certainly did not inquire of God using the established means of the priests. Remember, Saul had killed all the priests of Nob, except for Abiathar. Abiathar had taken the ephod with him when he escaped in 1 Samuel 23:6.
Saul could inquire of the Lord, but without repentance it is hard for the inquiry to be sincere after he had killed most of Godís priests who could do the inquiring.
See When Critics Ask p.205, Bible Difficulties and Seeming Contradictions p.228, and 1001 Bible Questions Answered p.17 for more info.
Q: In 1 Chr 11:10-12:40, what are some of the unusual people mentioned here?
A: Here are some of them.
Zelek in 11:39 was an Ammonite,
Uriah and Ismaiah were Gibeonites.
There were Benjamites in 1 Chronicles 12:29, and both Benjamites and Gibeonites would typically be aligned with Saul.
David had Pelethites and Kerethites, which were Philistines in his army.
There were 4,600 Levites and 3,700 Aaronites.
Thus David had the quality of winning over to his side even people who would normally be his enemies.
Q: In 1 Chr 11:10-12:40, how can we have the character and personality so that even our former enemies want to be at peace with us?
A: David was a passionate man; he loved his friends deeply, and hated those who were evil or treacherous. Yet David could respect some of his opponents, such as Massa and Abner, who were honorable men. David was a loyal man. He was loyal to his troops, and he rewarded those who were loyal. David was a man skilled in war, who as time went on, looked like he might becomes victorious. All kinds of people will follow someone who looks like they will be successful. Most importantly though, David was Godís man, obeying God as a leader, and godly Israelites would recognize they should be following David.
It is interesting to contrast the loyalty Davidís men, the Israelites and Davidís family had toward David early in his reign, with the numerous problems David had with disloyal people later in his reign. The turning point was the loss of respect many had for David after the affair with Bathsheba and the murder of his loyal soldier Uriah. It only takes a small amount of treachery to erase other peopleís memories of your loyalty.
Q: In 1 Chr 11:10-12:40, what is significant about the number from each tribe?
A: First, letís look at the numbers.
Judah 6,800 - apparently when Saul was chasing David, few in Judah publicly gave support to David.
Simeon 7,100 - Simeon was a small tribe, so this small number would be expected.
Issachar 200 chiefs
Transjordan tribes 120,000
If David had a standing army of this many, he would not need to run from Saul, or even the Philistines for that matter. Rather, these were people who declared allegiance to David. Apparently all the men in the Transjordan tribes declared allegiance to David, though it is unclear how many actually served as his soldiers. Davidís original soldiers were outcasts and refugees from various tribes. Issachar was hard-pressed for land up north, so apparently many came to join David.
When one organizes a new undertaking today, many people will join for a variety of reasons. Some people join for only the very best of reasons, some join for unacceptable reasons, but many join for lesser or pragmatic reasons, such as a shortage of land in Davidís time. Today, many people do things due to hope of reward or fear of bad consequences if they do not help. These motives are OK, and the Bible does not criticize them. However, the best motivation is unconditional agape love, for God and for other people.
Q: In 1 Chr 11:11, did the Tachmonite kill 800 men, or did the Hachmonite kill 300 men in 2 Sam 23:8?
A: See the discussion on 2 Samuel 23:8 for the answer.
Q: In 1 Chr 11:19, how would David have drunk the blood of his men who brought water?
A: David did not, this is just a figure of speech. David is saying that if he drank the water these men risked their lives to give to him, he would not be holding in high enough respect the blood of his soldiers who got water for him. See 735 Baffling Bible Questions Answered p.133 for more info.
Q: In 1 Chr 11:22, what are lionlike men?
A: These are men whose courage, strength, and ability to fight were so great that they were compared to lions. The NKJV translates this as "two lion-like heroes of Moab". The NIV translates this as "Two of Moabís best men". The NASB and NRSV translate this as "two sons of Ariel of Moab". Ariel is the Hebrew word for lion.
Q: In 1 Chr 12:7, was God displeased with them taking a census, or with Joab not counting Levi and Benjamin?
A: God was displeased with them taking a census.
Q: In 1 Chr 12:7, why was God displeased with them taking a census?
A: See the discussion on 2 Samuel 24:1 for the answer.
Q: 1 Chr 12:32 (KJV), should it be "200,000" men of Issachar or 200 chiefs?
A: The King James translator made a mistake here. The Hebrew clearly says "200 chiefs" as Greenís literal translation, and the NIV. The Hebrew also says "all their relatives", which would make 200,000 men plus all their relatives a large number.
Q: In 1 Chr 13:9-10, why did God kill Uzza?
A: Uzza and others probably were surprised at his death. After all, Uzza was just trying to help out when the oxen stumbled. However, Uzza, and everyone else had forgotten an important point: Godís holy things were to be treated with proper respect. God had already told them the proper way to carry the ark. They were not obeying, and if they had obeyed, there would have been no oxen to stumble. This points out two types of obedience: your own way and Godís way.
In your own way of serving God, you serve God as you feel like doing so, and you think God should appreciate everything you do, and there is no standard. It is impossible to be disobedient, only less or more obedient.
In Godís way of serving Him, you serve God as He has commanded. However, within what God has said, God appreciates freewill offerings and good things of our own initiative. (2 Corinthians 8:10-12; 9:7, especially 9:17). God has standards and rules (2 Timothy 2:5). If you are disobedient in some things, then you are disobedient (James 2:9-11). If you want to be an instrument of God for noble purposes, you cannot be so until you cleanse yourself from ignoble things (2 Timothy 2:20-21).
Q: In 1 Chr 14:1, why was Hiram so friendly toward David?
A: In addition to personal friendship, the Phoenicians and Israelites shared a common enemy in the Philistines.
Q: In 1 Chr 14:4-7, how do you pronounce the names of Davidís sons?
A: Here is how the names are pronounced according to the Wycliffe Bible Dictionary. All vowels are either short or have a dot over them unless otherwise noted.
Shammua - "sha-MU-a" with a long u.
Shobab - "SHO-bab" with a long o.
Nathan - "NA-than" with a long a.
Solomon - "SOL-o-mon" with all short vowels.
Ibhar - "IB-har" with a short i and a dipthong a.
Elishua - "EL-I-SHU-a" with a long u. (Crudenís Concordance says the same)
Elpelet - "el-PA-let" with a long a and short eís.
Nogah - "NO-ga" with a long o.
Nepheg - "NE-feg" with the first e long and the second e short.
Japhia - "ja-FI-a" with a long i and a dot over each a. (In Hebrew they pronounced "j" as "y", but we pronounce it as "j" in English.)
Elishama - "e-LISH-a-ma" with a long e.
Beeliada - "be-e-LI-a-da" with two long eís and a long i.
(or) Eliada - "e-LI-a-da" with a long i.
Eliphelet - "e-LIF-e-let" with the first e long
(or) Eliphalet - "e-LIF-a-let with the first e long
Q: In 1 Chr 14:14-15 (KJV) (NKJV), were there many mulberry trees in Palestine?
A: The Hebrew word here is uncertain. If it is "mulberry", there are 12 species of mulberry. The black mulberry is a native of western Asia, but the Greeks and Romans also cultivated it according to the Encyclopedia Britannica (1956) volume 15 p.948. The NASB, NIV, and NRSV all say "balsam trees". The Bible Knowledge Commentary : Old Testament p.606 also says "balsam trees".
Q: In 1 Chr 15:20,28, what are Psalteries and Alamoth?
A: They were musical instruments, but we do not know today what they looked like.
Q: In 1 Chr 15:29, how do you pronounce "Michal"?
A: The Wycliffe Bible Dictionary pronounces this a "MI-kal" with a long i and a dot over the a.
Q: In 1 Chr 15:29, why do people, even some believers, sometimes despise others?
A: There are at least two reasons.
1. Some expect standards of others. If people violate their standard, they might be unforgiving and never respect them again. Michal lost her respect for her husband.
2. Some despise others if they others have hurt them, and they refuse to forgive.
We Christians should not despise anyone.
Q: In 1 Chr 16:3 (KJV), what is a flagon?
A: This King James Version word means a large cup or drinking vessel.
Q: In 1 Chr 16:13, how were they chosen of God?
A: Collectively, they were Godís chosen people and chosen nation. That is the primary meaning here. However, individually, many of them were the elect of God. The elect are those chosen by God, before the foundation of the world, to go to Heaven.
Q: In 1 Chr 16:25-26 and Ps 97:7, does the Bible teach there are many gods?
A: Sure. The Bible teaches there are many idols, but only one true God. Mormons look in vain for this verse to support their saying there are many [legitimate] gods. See When Critics Ask p.241 and When Cultists Ask p.66 for more info.
Q: In 1 Chr 17:2-15, why did Nathan contradict himself here?
A: Nathan at first spoke incorrectly, because he was not speaking as a prophet. He would have been a false prophet if he had said, "Thus says the Lord", or even if he simply said God told him this incorrect statement. Rather, Nathan spoke off the cuff on his own authority. Also note that even speaking this way, God corrected him immediately.
Jehovahís Witnesses sometimes point to this passage to try to show that true prophets (such as they allege the Watchtower organization to be) can still be true prophets even though they have made false prophecies. However, they claim to be a prophet, and the Watchtower Society made official prophecies of Christís return that were false.
The Catholic Church also claims the Pope speaks infallibly, but only if he speaks "ex-Cathedra". However, is almost a non-issue, as Popes throughout history have only spoken "ex-Cathedra" seven or eight times.
The Mormon Church also claims to have prophets who are infallible, when they are speaking as prophets. Joseph Smith and Brigham Young both made false prophecies.
Q: In 1 Chr 17:16-27 and 1 Chr 28:2-4, why is Davidís attitude commendable here?
A: David was certainly disappointed that his long-term desire, which was good, was vetoed by God. Nevertheless, David accepted this news humbly, and still worked to store up material for his son Solomon to build the temple.
Q: In 1 Chr 18:3, did David defeat Hadarezer, or Hadadezar in 2 Sam 8:3?
A: This difference in the Hebrew is very likely a copyist error. Bible Difficulties & Seeming Contradictions p.130 says that the Hebrew letters corresponding to "d" and "r" are similar to each other.
Q: In 1 Chr 18:4 (KJV), what does "houghed" mean?
A: The NASB, NIV, NKJV, and NRSV translate this as "hamstrung" the horses. This means to cut the Achillesí tendon, so that the horses can still walk, but they cannot run anymore.
Q: In 1 Chr 18:4, was David right to keep 100 chariots?
A: No. Deuteronomy 17:16-17 says the king was not to multiply chariots and horses. David apparently thought 100 chariots was not too many, but this set the stage for Solomon to have many chariots and horses, as 2 Chronicles 9:28 and 1 Kings 10:26-29 show.
Q: In 1 Chr 18:12, were 18,000 Edomites killed, or 12,000 as Ps 60:1 says in the heading?
A: This most likely is a copyist error, as Bible Difficulties & Seeming Contradictions p.130-131 points out.
Q: In 1 Chr 19:2, was this Nahash the Ammonite the same Nahash who oppressed the Israelites in 2 Sam 10:4?
A: No, because the older Nahash lived 50 years earlier. It is not uncommon for a son to be named after his father or grandfather. See The Expositorís Bible Commentary volume 4 p.401 for more info.
Q: In 1 Chr 19:3-4, why did King Hanun the Ammonite do such a foolish thing as to humiliate Davidís ambassadors?
A: It could be due to a lack of knowledge of the Israeliteís strength, his upbringing and pride, or the thought that Davidís army might be exhausted after fighting the Syrians. Hanun did not try to fight David, merely insult him, and that was very foolish.
Q: In 1 Chr 19:10-11, why would Joab put the armyís elite against the Syrians, and the army masses against the Ammonites?
A: The Syrians fought with chariots (1 Kings 22:30-33), and chariots were very effective against inexperienced soldiers, or soldiers armed with only swords and shields. The elite soldiers, presumably with bows and long spears, knew how to handle chariots. A chariot force using arrows would not be able to defeat a larger infantry force using arrows. Chariot charges often put to flight infantry forces, but if the infantry had long spears and did not panic, the chariot charge would be stopped. Alexander from Macedon knew these things many years later, when his small, highly trained force of primarily infantry time and time again defeated the larger armies of horsemen and chariots of the Persian Empire.
Q: In 1 Chr 20:3 (KJV, NASB), did Joab cut the people of Ammon with saws?
A: No. Note that in the King James version and NASB, the word "them" is in italics, which means they recognized "them" was not in the Hebrew. Rather, they put the people to work sawing and cutting.
Q: In 1 Chr 21:1, did God have David number the Israelites in a census, or did Satan?
A: It was Satan directly, and God indirectly. See the discussion on 2 Samuel 24:1 for the answer.
The skeptical Asimovís Guide to the Bible p.409 has a paragraph explaining that the Hebrew word satan means adversary as well as Satan. However, Asimov offers no hypothesis as to who this adversary would be, if it were not Satan.
Q: In 1 Chr 21:1, did the Hebrew concept of Satan come from the Persians, as the skeptical Asimovís Guide to the Bible p.409 says was very likely?
A: No. Certainly the serpent spoke and tempted Eve in Genesis 3, had non-natural abilities, including speech and intelligence. Most curiously, Asimovís Guide to the Bible p.410 even mentions the serpent in the garden of Eden, but fails to see anything supernatural claimed with an intelligent, talking serpent.
Job, which some think is one of the earliest books of the Bible, discusses Satan in detail, as does Isaiah. Saying that those books discussion of Satan shows those to be post-exilic is circular reasoning.
Q: In 1 Chr 21:1, why would David want a census of Israel?
A: Ultimately, God allowed Satan to tempt David to do it. Immediate reasons why David might want to number Israel were pride in the nation, for better taxation, for future forced labor, and for enlisting or drafting men for war.
Q: In 1 Chr 21:4, was Joab right to obey David here, since Joab knew it was against Godís will?
A: Joab was in a tight spot. He should obey the king, unless the king commanded him to do something against what God had said.
There was no command against a census, but Joab felt (correctly) that this was not what God wanted.
There was no direct command, so Joab did what was best. He expressed his opposition, but obeyed the king anyway. There was some ambiguity in Davidís command, whether to count the Levites or not, and Joab interpreted it the way he thought best.
This is a different situation from pastors in Germany during World War II. Hitler had told them that since he was the leader of Germany, they should not criticize anything he did. Within reasons Christians are to honor government leaders and obey them. However, when Hitler started removing the Jews, the Bible specifically said we are to defend the oppressed (Isaiah 1:17), and Godís direct command contradicted what Hitler said.
Q: In 1 Chr 21:5, were there 1,100,000 total fighting men, or 1,300,000 as 2 Sam 24:9 shows?
A: See the discussion on 2 Samuel 24:9 for the two possible answers.
Q: In 1 Chr 21:12, were three years of famine threatened, or seven years as 2 Sam 24:13 says?
A: We are not sure, as the famine did not occur. This was a copyist error, as the Encyclopedia of Bible Difficulties p.221-222 says.
Q: In 1 Chr 21:15, how powerful are Godís angels?
A: They are not all-powerful, but in order to destroy all of Jerusalem, only a single angel was needed. When Jesus was going to the cross, He said that if He asked, the Father would give him 12 legions (perhaps 60,000) angels in Matthew 26:53.
Q: In 1 Chr 21:15, how did the Lord repent of evil here?
A: The Hebrew word here means physical harm as well as moral evil. God had the angel there, visible to David, to threaten what would happen to Jerusalem.
One lesson we can see here is that Godís revealed plans for a person can change when that person repents or changes.
Q: In 1 Chr 21:17, why did God make the people suffer because of Davidís sinful decree?
A: First what is not the answer, and then the answer.
In this life, people often suffer for the sins of others. Babies born to mothers addicted to cocaine are born addicted to cocaine too, and they have reduced mental capacity. It has been fairly common for whole nations to suffer greatly, because of the grandiose ambition of one leader. Life on earth is not equitable, and it will not be equitable in this fallen world, until God sets everything right on Judgment Day.
While the preceding is true, that is not the answer for this situation. Here it is God Himself who is actively killing many Israelites because of the sin of David, one man.
David was proud of his earthly power, especially his army, and God reduced the people of whom David was proud. Also, we do not know exactly who all of Davidís warriors were. One speculation is that God had some angels augment Davidís army, and Satan saw this and asked for an accounting of what was going on here.
One might falsely define suffering as God not lengthening a healthy life as much as possible, or causing a nation to expand as much as possible. God is under no obligation to automatically bless us. When we do received blessings from God we should be thankful, not demanding for more. God loves us very much, and wants to bless us, but do not forget that much of this life is preparation for the life to come, and God does not want to bless us so much that we forget that.
Q: In 1 Chr 21:24, how can we apply Davidís principle not to give to God a sacrifice that costs David nothing?
A: There might be many ways to apply this principle, but one simple application is teaching your children. As soon as your children are old enough to make a little money doing chores, let their church offerings be their own money, and not you giving them money for offering.
Q: In 1 Chr 22:2, was the forced labor started David, or under Solomon?
A: Solomon had forced labor of non-Israelites on a large scale, but David started it. Both this and keeping some chariots were examples of David disobeying God in relatively small ways, and Solomon amplifying those things. As a parent, are there "small" sins in your life that your children might amplify? David also had a census, and Solomon had a census too.
Q: In 1 Chr 22:14, did David give 100,000 talents of gold for the future temple, or only 3,000 talents as 1 Chr 29:3-4 says?
A: 1 Chronicles 29:3 answers this question. David dedicated the 100,000 talents of plunder from conquering Syria, Moab, and Edom. 1 Chronicles 29:3 says that David gave of his personal treasures "over and above everything I have provided". See Encyclopedia of Bible Difficulties p.222-224 and When Critics Ask p.205 for more info.
Q: In 1 Chr 24:8-8, how do you pronounce "Malchijah"?
A: The Wycliffe Bible Dictionary and Crudenís Concordance pronounces this names as "mal-KI-jah" with a long i, and the first a short. Note the accent is on the second syllable.
Q: In 1 Chr 24:15 and Neh 10:20, what is interesting about Hezir?
A: Archaeologists have found in the Kidron Valley just outside of Jerusalem a series of tombs belonging to the descendants of Hezir. See the Rose Book of Bible Charts, Maps & Time Lines p.78 for more info.
Q: In 1 Chr 24:31: 26:13, why were they casting lots here?
A: This was a simple, impartial way to assign duties when the order had no significance. Today people do the same thing when they "draw straws" to see who has a position. While God can direct casting lots or drawing straws, there is no meaning that God directed the results any more than if they had voted, gone by birthdays, or used some other means.
Q: In 1 Chr 25:1,3, why would people prophesy with harps?
A: There was no restriction on prophets using any non-sinful thing they wished while prophesying. David also prophesied using the harp.
However, if a Mormon claims that Joseph Smith used an occultic book of a false [Egyptian] religion as merely an inspiration to write the Mormon Scripture called the Book of Abraham, it would almost be a case of using an idolatrous, evil book to get what is allegedly Godís word. It is "almost" the case, because the Mormon who said it was not accurately representing what Joseph Smith himself said. Smith said he "translated" the book, and he even had the Egyptian hieroglyphs next to the alleged English translation to show it. Furthermore, Joseph Smith even wrote a ludicrous book, Egyptian Alphabet and Grammar, that proves that Joseph really claimed he was supernaturally translating Egyptian hieroglyphs.
By the way, the Mormon Church today still has copies of the original English manuscripts of the Mormon Book of Abraham, Egyptian Alphabet and Grammar, and an Egyptian papyrus has been found in a museum that matches, both in characters and pictures what Joseph Smith used for "translating".
Q: In 1 Chr 28:2-4, what is good about Davidís attitude here?
A: David undoubtedly was disappointed that he was not the one to build Godís temple. However, he was not only thankful for the many things God had given him, David focused on God and not Himself. The Temple was a monument to God, not David, and David had no reason to be angry, since he did not view the temple as a monument to himself.
Q: In 1 Chr 28:9,10,20; 2 Chr 6:2; 8:11; 1 Ki 3:3-13; 8:23; 9:8-9; 11:9-14, 2 Sam 11:24-25, how could these passages all refer to the same person? (an atheist asked this question)
A: They all do refer to Solomon. Six points to consider in the answer.
Some consistency: Solomon was consistently an intelligent man and a temple builder. Solomon used his wisdom and building skills for God, especially early in his life. Later in his life he used his skills to build temple to idols too. Some people are driven to build and achieve, the question is, how much of it will be for God?
Shocking: If it does not seem surprising and shocking to you that Solomon, who was chosen to build the Temple, prayed such a beautiful prayer to God, and wrote books of the Bible, should fall into sin, then perhaps you have not read these passages very carefully yet. It is shocking, and the atheist who asked this can be excused for questioning if this is the same person.
Yet it happens: This definitely is the same person. Just as Judas could leave everything to follow Jesus, and then later betray Him; just as Demas could sacrifice to accompany Paul on his journeys, and then leave because Demas loved the world (2 Timothy 4:10), people can change. God watches over us and preserves us, but believers have a choice of whether or not to fall away. Some people escape the worldís corruption by knowing our Lord, and then are entangled (2 Peter 2:17-22). Others never deny the faith, but they compromise by trying to serve both God and idols or God and money.
Why did Solomon change? In Solomonís case, scripture gives a clear answer in 1 Chronicles 11:1-4. Solomon compromised by marrying foreign wives, either for love or for political alliances. That compromise led him further astray as his wives turned his heart after other gods.
We can learn that the people who are around you can have a powerful influence on you, if you let them. A consequence of little compromises is that, without prompt repentance, they can lead to bigger and bigger compromises.
The Bible is serious about every believerís own responsibility to be diligent (Hebrews 6:11), examine ourselves (2 Corinthians 13:5), and be on guard (Matthew 10:16-17). Otherwise, a man or woman of God can greatly fall, as shocked Yahweh worshippers and delighted Chemosh worshippers discovered.
Q: In 1 Chr 29:2, what is the difference between building something for men and building it for God?
A: If you build something for a man, you should build it as he wants, and it does not need to last any longer than he needs it. If you build for God, you build for His glory, not your own, and you should build it as God wants, and not your own way. If you are building something for God, you should build it to last for eternity. One other distinction is that it is not physical building, money, and things that you build for God, but lives and character, both in yourself and others.
Q: In 1 Chr 29:19, since David asked God for a good thing, to give Solomon a heart to keep Godís commandments, why did Solomon later turn away from God?
A: God was with Solomon and greatly blessed Solomon, but God never said he would take away Solomonís ability to choose obedience or disobedience, regardless of what David would pray. Solomon was given all the wisdom he needed, but God chose to give Solomon (and us) free agency.
By the way, the statement "God never influences our free will" is not true. God was rather active in interfering with Saul of Tarsus on the road to Damascus. However much external stimulus God applied though, it was still up to Saul to respond.
Q: In 1 Chr and 2 Chr, what are some of the earliest manuscripts that still exist today?
A: Dead Sea scrolls: (c.1 B.C.) 1 copy The Dead Sea Scrolls Today p.30 and the Wycliffe Bible Dictionary p.436-438. Dead Sea scroll researcher Nathan Jastrum says this was a small fragment. (Issues etc. radio program 4/17/99.) The Meaning of the Dead Sea Scrolls p.433 mentions a fragment called 4Q522 frag 9, and contains 1 Chronicles 7:24 and 2 Chronicles 28:18. A picture of parts of 2 Chronicles 28:27-29:3 (containing approximately 55 letters) is shown on p.119.
Christian Bible manuscripts, from about 350 A.D., contain the Old Testament, including 1 and 2 Chronicles. The Papyrus Egerton 4 manuscript of the 3rd century A.D. is a Greek copy of part of 2 Chronicles, according to The Complete Text of the Earliest New Testament Manuscripts p.97.
Papyrus Egerton 4 (3rd century A.D.) preserves part of 2 Chronicles (The Complete Text of the Earliest New Testament Manuscripts p.97 and The Text of the Earliest New Tetament Greek Manuscripts (1999,2001) by Comfort and Barrett p.107)
Vaticanus (325-350 A.D.) has preserved all of 1 and 2 Chronicles.
Alexandrinus (c.450 A.D.) has preserved all of 1 and 2 Chronicles.
Sinaiticus (340-350 A.D.) has preserved 1 Chronicles 9:27-19:17.
Q: Which early writers referred to 1 Chronicles?
A: Pre-Nicene writers who referenced or alluded to verses in 1 Chronicles are:
Philo the Jew of Alexandria (15/20 B.C.-50 A.D.) refers to 1 Chronicles 7:14. The Preliminary Studies ch.8 (43) p.307
Melito/Meleto of Sardis (170-177/180 A.D.) lists all the books of the Old Testament, and he includes every book we have except Nehemiah and Esther. Fragment 4 From the Book of Extracts p.759.
Hippolytus (222-235/6 A.D.) alludes to 1 Chronicles 3:15, when he mentions that Josiah had five sons: Jehoahaz, Eliakim, Johanan, Zedekiah, or Jeconiah, and Sadum [Shallum]. Fragment from the Commentary on Daniel ch.1 p.177
Origen (225-254 A.D.) quotes 1 Chronicles 16:8 as "Again, in First Chronicles".
Origen (240 A.D.) mentions "the First Book of Paralipomenon" which is another name for 1 Chronicles. Commentary on the Song of Songs prologue p.49
Lactantius (c.303-c.325 A.D.) quotes 1 Kings 9:6-9 which is also 1 Chronicles 7:19-22 in The Divine Institutes book 4 ch.18 p.121.
Eusebius of Caesarea (318-339/340 A.D.)
Athanasius (367, 325-373 A.D.)
Ephraim/Ephrem (350-378 A.D.)
Gregory Nanzianus (330-391 A.D.) mentions Chronicles as one book in his poem of scripture. Gregory's poem is (in Greek) in Gregory vol.37 of Migne's Patrologia Graeca, cols. 471-474 (Carmina Dogmatica, Book 1, section 1, Carmen XII) See http://www.bible-researcher.com/gregory.html for more info.
Epiphanius of Salamis (360-403 A.D.) (Implied)
Rufinus (374-406 A.D.)
Jerome (373-420 A.D.)
Augustine of Hippo (388-430 A.D.)
Sulpicius/Sulpitius Severus (363-420 A.D.) mentions 1 Chronicles as Chronicles in History book 1 ch.7 p.73 and History book 1 ch.46 p.93
Council of Carthage (218 bishops) (393-419 A.D.)
Q: What are the Dead Sea Scroll verses from 1 and 2 Chr?
A: 2 Chronicles 28:27; 29:1-3 are preserved in 4Q118 (=4QChr) according to The Meaning of the Dead Sea Scrolls p.423 and The Dead Sea Scrolls Translated p.482.
Q: In 1 Chr, what are some of the translation differences between the Hebrew and Greek Septuagint?
A: Here are a few of the translation differences. The first phrase is from the Hebrew and the second from the Greek Septuagint translation. To get a sampling, this part focuses on chapter 1.
1 Chr 1:11-23 In Masoretic text and Alexandrine Septuagint, but not in other Septuagint
1 Chr 1-9 has numerous spelling differences between different Hebrew texts and Septuagint texts. See 1 Chr 1 Chr 1:29-31 for an example.
1 Chr 1:4 "Shem" vs. "sons of Noah: Shem"
1 Chr 1:5 "Javan and Tubal" vs. "Jovan, Helisa, Thobal"
1 Chr 1:6 "Diphath" (most Hebrew texts) vs. "Riphath" (many Hebrew texts, Septuagint, Vulgate)
1 Chr 1:7 "Elishah and Tarshish, Kittim, and Dodanim" vs. "Helisa, and Tharsis, the Citians, and Rhodians."
1 Chr 1:7 "Dodanim" vs. "Rhodans/Rhodanim" (Septuagint, Syriac, Vulgate)
1 Chr 1:9 "Raamah" vs. "Regma"
1 Chr 1:16 "Nimrod" vs. "Nebrod"
1 Chr 1:17 "Aram, and Uz" (Masoretic texts) vs. "Aram. The sons of Aram: Uz" (one Masoretic text and some Septuagint)
1 Chr 1:17-23 "and Arphaxad, and Lud, (etc. down to verse 24) Shem, Arphaxad, Shelah, Eber" (Masoretic texts) vs. "and Arphaxad, Sala, Eber" (most Septuagint)
1 Chr 1:22 "Obal" (most Masoretic texts) vs. "Ebal" (some Masoretic texts and Syriac) vs. (absent) (Septuagint)
1 Chr 1:24 "Arphaxad" vs. "Arphaxad, Cainan" (some Septuagint)
1 Chr 1:29-31 "Nabaioth, then Kedar, and Adbeel, and Mibsam, Mishma, and Dumah, Massa, Hadad, and Tema, Jetur, Naphish, and Kedemah." vs. "Nabaeoth, and Kedar, Nabdeel, Massam, Masma, Iduma, Masse, Chondan, Thaeman, Jettur, Naphes, Kedma" (This is an example how the names are different in Hebrew and Greek.)
1 Chr 1:32 "Sheba and Dedan" vs. "Daedan, and Sabai"
1 Chr 1:34 "Esau and Israel" vs. "Jacob, and Esau". (Jacob was later renamed to Israel)
1 Chr 1:36 "Zephi" (most Masoretic texts) vs. "Zepho" (many Masoretic texts, some Septuagint, and Syriac. Genesis 36:11 also says "Zepho".)
1 Chr 1:36 "Kenaz, and Timna, and Amalek" (Masoretic text and most Septuagint) vs. "Kenaz by Timna, and Amalek" (some Septuagint and Genesis 36:12)
1 Chr 1:40 "Alian" (most Masoretic texts) vs. "Alvan" (many Masoretic texts and some Septuagint. Also Genesis 36:23) vs. "Alon" (most Septuagint)
1 Chr 1:43 "kings who reigned in the land of Edom before any kings reigned over the sons of Israel: Bela the son of Beor" vs. "kings, Balac the son of Beor"
1 Chr 1:44 "from Bozrah" vs. "of Bosorrha"
1 Chr 1:50 "Pai" (most Hebrew manuscripts) vs. "Pau" (many Hebrew manuscripts, some Septuagint, Vulgate, and Syriac. Genesis 36:39 also says "Pau") vs. "Phogor" (most Septuagint)
1 Chr 1:50 "Pai, and his wifeís name: Mehetabel the daughter of Mezahab." vs. "Phogor".
1 Chr 1:51 "And Hadad died; and the chiefs of Edom were: chief Timhan; chief Aliah; chief Jetheth; chief Aholibamanh; chief Elah; chief Pinon, chief Kenaz, chief Teman, chief Mibzar, chief Magdiel and chief Iram." vs. "The princes of Edom: prince Thamna, prince Golada, prince Jether, prince Elibamas, prince Elas, prince Phinon, prince Kenez, prince Thaeman, prince Babsar, prince Magediel, prince Zaphoin."
1 Chr 2:6 "Dara" vs. "Darda" (some Septuagint, some Syriac Targums. See 1 Kings 4:31) vs. "Darad" (most Septuagint)
1 Chr 2:42 "Mesha" vs. "Mareshah"
1 Chr 2:50 "The son" vs. "The sons" (Septuagint, Vulgate)
1 Chr 3:5 "Bathshua" (most Hebrew manuscripts) vs. "Bathsheba" (one Hebrew manuscript and the Vulgate. 2 Samuel 11:3 also says "Bathsheba") vs. "Bersabee" (Septuagint)
1 Chr 4:3 "the father of Etam" vs. "the sons of Etam"
1 Chr 4:13 "Hathath" vs. "Hathath and Meonothai"
1 Chr 5:24 "and Epher" vs. "Epher"
1 Chr 6:28 (absent) vs. "Joel" (Septuagint, Syriac, Arabic, 1 Samuel 18:2). See the footnotes in the NIV, NKJV, and NRSV, and The Expositorís Bible Commentary vol.3 p.615.
1 Chr 6:28 "Vashni and Abijah" vs. "the second Abijah"
1 Chr 7:28 "Ayyah" (some Masoretic texts) vs. "Gaza/Gazza" (many Masoretic texts, Septuagint, Targum, Vulgate)
1 Chr 8:30 "Baal" vs. "Baal, Ner"
1 Chr 9:41 "Tahrea" (Masoretic, Septuagint) vs. "Tahrea and Ahaz" (Masoretic, Syriac, Arabic, Targum, Vulgate)
1 Chr 11:11 "thirty" (Masoretic and some Septuagint, Vulgate) vs. "three" (some Septuagint)
1 Chr 11:20 "Abshai" vs. "Abishai" (Septuagint, Vulgate, Targum, 2 Samuel 23:18)
1 Chr 11:20 "three" (Masoretic, Septuagint, Vulgate) vs. "thirty" (Syriac)
1 Chr 11:21 "of the Three" vs. "of the Thirty"
1 Chr 12:33 "to help" vs. "to help David"
1 Chr 15:18 "Zechariah, Ben," (Masoretic text, Vulgate) vs. "Zechariah" (Septuagint)
1 Chr 17:5 "but I have gone from tent to tent, and from one tabernacle to another. vs. "but I have been in a tabernacle and a tent"
1 Chr 18:6 "David place men" vs. "David put garrisons" A garrison is a group of soldiers assigned to guard a fort or other place. (Septuagint, Vulgate, and 2 Samuel 8:6)
1 Chr 18:16 "Abimelech" (most Masoretic texts) vs. "Ahimelech" (some Hebrew manuscripts, Vulgate, and Syriac. Also 2 Samuel 8:17).
1 Chr 20:2 "crown of their king" vs. "crown of Milcom" (Septuagint, Vulgate and 1 Kings 11:5,33)
1 Chr 20:3 "[work with] saws" vs. "cut them with saws"
1 Chr 23:7 "of the men of Gershon" (Masoretic) vs. "to the Gershonite" (Masoretic according to NRSV) vs. "And for the family of Gedson" vs. "The sons of Gershon" (Vulgate) vs.
1 Chr 23:10 "Zina" vs. "Zizah" (Septuagint, Vulgate)
1 Chr 24:15 "Happizzez" vs. "Aphses (Septuagint, Vulgate)
1 Chr 25:3 "Jeshaiah" vs. "Jeshaiah, Shimei" (one Masoretic text, Septuagint according to NKJV and NRSV) vs. "Iseas" (Septuagint)
1 Chr 26:17 "were six Levites" vs. "were six Levites each day"
1 Chr 26:20 "As for the Levites, Ahijah was in charge" vs. "their fellow Levites were in charge"
1 Chr 27:6 "Ammizabad was his division" vs. "Ammizabad was in charge of his division"
1 Chr 27:24 "number of the annals" vs. "book of the annals"
Bibliography for this question: the Hebrew translation is from Jay P. Greenís Literal Translation and the Septuagint rendering is from Sir Lancelot C.L. Brentonís translation of The Septuagint : Greek and English. The Expositorís Bible Commentary volume 3, and the footnotes in the NASB, NIV, NKJV, and NRSV Bibles also were used.
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