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Mistakes in the Bible...?

First of all, hello to everyone - i'm pretty new around here...

i've got a question about some dates about David.
It's about two verses: 1 Chronicles 21:11, 12 and 2 Samuel 24:13.
In one place David has to choose between 3 years of famine and 3 months... 3days…, and in the other he has to choose between 7 years of famine, 3 months... 3 days…

but these passages refer to the same incident, so why is there this difference?

And if it's just a translation error, why would God allow this to happen to His word?
The point your trying to make is what?

And if it's just a translation error, why would God allow this to happen to His word?

Please dont ask such questions.. if you really want to know the answer seek God not man!
Not sure where you get your info. Sebi, I read both those and there is no incongruence between the two.

1 Chronicles 21:11, 12
"So Gad went to DAvid and said to him, "This is what the Lord says: Take your choice:12 three years of famine, three months of being swept away before your enemies, with their swords overtaking you, or three days of the sword of the Lord-days of plague in the land, with the angel of the Lord ravaging every part of Israel.' Now then, decide how I should answer the one who sent me." NIV

2 Samuel 24:13.
"So Gad went to David and said to him, "Shall there come upon you three years of famine in your land? Or three months of fleeing from your enemies while they pursue you? Or three days of plague in your land? Now then, think it over and decide how I should answer the one who sent me." NIV

Seems you have faulty information, maybe you read it incorrectly nor someone is feeding you lies. Maybe you would have the answer if you open the Bible yourself and sought the answer.
Seek the Word first Sebi, within it there is the Answer.
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I want to assure you that i've read these passages over and over again... In Romanian, English, and French, in different editions of the Bible and I always found this inaccuracy: in Samuel there are 7 years of famine but in Chronicles there are just 3. I don’t know what edition of the Bible that you quoted from, but I would like to see it…

At first, when I saw these passages I didn’t know what to think about the Bible. I mean, I trusted every word of it as being true, and from God. And I still do, but these verses just bother me a bit… I wanted to know someone else’s opinion about them.
Sebi, I don't have an answer for you - didn't read into the passages, but I have checked the passages in BibleGateway.com. The NIV gives 3 years in both passages, but the KJV, NKJV and Amplified Bible all give 3 years in 1 Chronicles and 7years in 2 Samuel. :love:
So you want a human opinion on these verses then right? Okay, here's my personal opinion Big Deal. A number may have been switched or whatever, in the eternal picture it doesn't make a difference. Did you read the part in the Bible where it say's that Jesus died for our sins? That's my favourite part. Opinions are easy. Want any more opinions? I got lots. :)
Welcome to TalkJesus Sebi . Your question is just that , a question . Thats what TalkJesus is about . I have to appologize to you for the warm welcome from our staff .Outside of Sunshine 307 , I think you have been treated ungodly to say the least . Be at peace . Mike
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Staff Member
New King James Version

1 Chronicles 21:11-12

11 So Gad came to David and said to him, “Thus says the LORD: ‘Choose for yourself, 12 either three[a] years of famine, or three months to be defeated by your foes with the sword of your enemies overtaking you, or else for three days the sword of the LORD—the plague in the land, with the angel[b] of the LORD destroying throughout all the territory of Israel.’ Now consider what answer I should take back to Him who sent me.”

2 Samuel 24:13
13 So Gad came to David and told him; and he said to him, “Shall seven[a] years of famine come to you in your land? Or shall you flee three months before your enemies, while they pursue you? Or shall there be three days’ plague in your land? Now consider and see what answer I should take back to Him who sent me.”

Pray and ask GOD for wisdom brother. Let GOD answer you directly. These are two authors that wrote two books. I don't think its a mistake at all but you need to investigate deeper with GOD. GOD's Word is infallible and I know for sure this is not a mistake.

GOD bless you.
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I must say that I am truly sorry ! My original post was very rude and being the human I am I go to the flesh... I am very sorry and I ask that you forgive me. So you know Sebi I do not know why the difference in scripture and even after my rude comment I have continued to find an anwser. Again I am truly sorry please forgive me

Love in Christ
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Thats the Bobbie we all love and know . We all rush in our responses at times . Bobbie , you are humble and a blessing to us all . Peace be with you . Mike :love:
dont know about this verse but yeah, sometimes there are mistakes in the bible. For example, I both a new translation bible for a freind and there were some errors in it. But it had correction at the back. So, maybe same has happened with you, check.
how can God let this happen? You have to know, our bible was not thrown from above. People wrote it, ofcourse people driven by God's spirit. So, may be they made a mistake printing it, may be editing, may be not. Dunno really. But don't let this pull you back. May be God has something to teach you through this, Every thing that's from him is for the better.
God bless
that's ok bobbie... it's no problem

thank you all for your opinions on this issue
if you've got more to say, please do it...
Sebi, I told my husband about your verses there and he looked it up thru his John MacAurther Computer program and in it is say's that it was a mistake and it is indeed 3 yrs. There can be a number of reason for this occurance, was the KJV interpreted from the original scrolls? Were KJV the interpreters understanding it? etc. It can a be question saved to ask God about when we meet Him.
The events in these passages are not obscure but rather monumental facts surrounding the realization of where the temple would be built and the Alter of the Lord placed. Discrepancies in these texts remaine in the Hebrew manuscripts as translated in the KJV. Those translations that do not have them have abandoned the Hebrew text and resorted to the Greek Septuagint which harmonized this discrepancy around 200BC. The Alexandrian translators of the Septuagint did this in many other points as well: this being the reason the Rabbis in Jerusalem and Babylon did not recognize the Septuagint as an authoritative version.

That these apparent discrepancies are here today in the Hebrew texts is a testimony to the scribe’s faithfulness in copying them. That being so, is it in error, or is there a reason for the 7 years in Samuel and the 3 years in Chronicles?

Jesus upheld the integrity of the Hebrew text when he said, "not one jot or title shall pass away till all be fulfilled." Moreover His argument to the scribes and Pharisees, "How then doth David call him lord?" is actually based on the presence of one yode (jot) in the Hebrew text: here it meant the difference between the Lord and my Lord. Even though bested in this argument the Rabbis would not remove the Jot to help their cause. Even though 3/7 years looks like a contradiction, I would be leery of removing it. There are other differences in these 2 passages, some very profound, others minor, while at the same time there is much that is word for word the same. I would say, seek an answer that reconciles the apparent difference.

HISTORICAL CONTEXT: there is right before this census by David, another event of a 3 year famine that moved David to enquire as to why God was sending it. (2 Sam. 21:1-10). This famine may have been reckoned together with the 3 years in the threatened famine, and given the overage of a few months we have 2nd Samuel's 7 years. In other words both texts are true, just viewed from a different perspective. I am sure some of the rabbis would have ventured this explanation. The time continuity of a judgment because of the house of Saul and now, also the house of David both striking Israel at the same unbroken time would have struck deeper into the heart of David as he resolved it was better to fall into the hands of God than man. Remember: Saul was slain along with Jonathan and afterwards mutilated.

There is so much more when we accept this difference as genuine, I do not have time here to write, but if you will study both passages and contexts, God will open to you His reasons.
God Bless your efforts....DGB
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2nd Samuel 24 and 1st Chronicles 21

These parallel accounts deal with David’s sin in numbering the people of Israel, the three days’ pestilence, and the purchase of Araunah’s threshing floor that became the site of the temple and the alter of sacrifice. These events are as important to the divine government of the Davidic kingdom in its temple period, as say the Declaration of Independence is to American government. Errors of record transmission, whether copy or gloss, are not logical at this point.

These passages are alike in structure as well as many individual words. There is elaborating detail in each that is not in the other. This is due to the different emphases of the two books. Considering how important these passages are, major or glowing differences must be due to the originals, and we must assume are explainable in the context of the rest of scripture. God would have us search the scriptures to find his original intent in giving them to us. Doubt has been suggested by some few men regarding the accuracy of the number given to the years of famine in them. Hebrew, Greek, and Christian scholars alike for at least 2200 years have answered these doubts, and the majority saw no reason to change the apparent discrepancies.

200 years before Christ, Grecian Hebrews of the western Diaspora in Alexandria produced the Septuagint translation for their Hellenistic brethren. Editorial liberties were taken to make the translation more congenial to the Hellenistic mind set. Alfred Edersheim’s classic Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah in chapters 3-4 has a detailed discussion of this effort. The NIV translators have apparently a similar motive, and have fallowed the Septuagint so as to gloss the discrepancy of the seven year’s famine in Samuel as apposed to the three year’s in Chronicles. And for cursory understanding, no damage is done. But if the Holy Spirit had breathed seven in one passage and three in the other, there must be a reason for it, as in the other differences between these two texts.

This study thread is intended to discover those spiritual biblical reasons. Our God does not contradict Himself, and He is not the author of confusion. His reasons will be edifying and applicable to a life of godliness. If we must dispute, let it be to establish the truth letting scripture shine upon scripture. I hope this will be an open study and we all will bless one another: Iron sharpeneth Iron.

What is the different emphasis of Samuel and Chronicles? Where is that shown in the differences of these two texts? What are the main teachings and minor teachings in each text? What exactly are all the differences and why are they different? And how is this edifying? These are some preliminary questions, may we fallow them each and all. I am a bit excited to see what God opens up to us all. Note: presupposition of this study = Masoretic text is accurate and intentional; the differences are real and preserved faithfully.

Remember the rules of the forum: consider before you weigh in, so that those who read herein may be blessed. …DGB
The First Verses

1 Chronicles 21
1And Satan stood up against Israel, and provoked David to number Israel.

2 Samuel 24
1And again the anger of the LORD was kindled against Israel, and he moved David against them to say, Go, number Israel and Judah.

Here the cause of David’s action to number the people in his kingdom is accounted for. In Samuel, it is the, "and again" anger of Yahweh against Israel: where in Chronicles, it is Satan who stands up against Israel. The Holy Spirit gives us these differing accounts on purpose. In Samuel’s account God’s covenant anger against the nation of Israel is forefront in his mind (the same anger, as behind the 3+ years famine they are currently in for Sauls sin); whereas in the Chroniclers account the determination of Satin’s hatred of Messiah's people is in the forefront. These are both true and we learn important truths: 1) God is in absolute control; 2) Satin cannot work harm unless God allows it; 3) God uses evil intentions of evil beings, not withstanding, to work His own perfect will. God would move David against them so He allows Satin’s machinations against Israel to provoke David to number Israel. Forefront in the Chronicler’s account, David has allowed Satan to influence his decisions; this must be reckoned with and despised Israel rescued. Forefront in Samuel’s, God’s anger against Israel’s covenant breaking would even bring the king after his own heart their sworn protector out against them. Separate dramatic elements of the same event are being unfolded to tell the whole story. Both Israel and David have sin that must be reckoned with, and neither can blame the other for their own sin. This is something Christian married couples must learn, as well as Churches in regards to their fellow members. I am reminded of Eph. 6:12, for we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. God’s love of, and his anger against Israel are both true. God’s Love and wrath toward David are true too. How else could you tell this story? The truth is established in the mouths of two witnesses.

Chronicles only mentions Israel where Samuel adds: Israel and Judah. In the chronicles it is the inclusive purpose “to number Israel” that is the concern. In Samuel, it is important to distinguish between them: this distinction reminds me of Psalms 114: 1, 2. This makes me think that apart from the dominion of God on earth through Israel, Samuel is also concerned in a particular way with Gods sanctuary on earth through Judah.

Two facts: 1) the census was never fully completed, though totals are given; 2) the slaying angle was halted in Judah where the future temple was to be built.
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Second verses

2 So David said to Joab and to the leaders of the people, “Go, number Israel from Beersheba to Dan, and bring the number of them to me that I may know it.” (1Chronicles 21)

2 So the king said to Joab the commander of the army who was with him, “Now go throughout all the tribes of Israel, from Dan to Beersheba, and count the people, that I may know the number of the people.” (2 Samuel 24)

Here is the account of David’s decree. The top is what Satan provoked David to do, and the bottom is what the LORD moved David to do in the different perspectives of the same event. The differences are 1) “to Joab and to the leaders of the people” / “To Joab the commander of the army who was with him,”; 2) “go number Israel,” / “count the people,”; 3)”from Beersheba to Dan”/ “from Dan to Beersheba,”; and 4) Samuel elaborates: “Throughout all the tribes of Israel,”

(So David, the king, said to Joab, the commander of the army who was with him, and to the leaders of the people, “Go, number Israel from Beersheba to Dan, throughout all the tribes of Israel from Dan to Beersheba, and count the people, and bring the number of them to me that I may know the number of the people.) This can be woven into one statement, but their differences will be important to the themes and emphasis of each separate account.

Verses 3 and 4

3And Joab answered, The LORD make his people an hundred times so many more as they be: but, my lord the king, are they not all my lord's servants? why then doth my lord require this thing? why will he be a cause of trespass to Israel?
4Nevertheless the king's word prevailed against Joab. Wherefore Joab departed, and went throughout all Israel, and came to Jerusalem. (1 Chronicles 21)

3And Joab said unto the king, Now the LORD thy God add unto the people, how many soever they be, an hundredfold, and that the eyes of my lord the king may see it: but why doth my lord the king delight in this thing?
4Notwithstanding the king's word prevailed against Joab, and against the captains of the host. And Joab and the captains of the host went out from the presence of the king, to number the people of Israel. (2 Samuel 24)

This is Joab’s acceptance of the king’s word with slightly different elaborations of his remonstrance against it. In the Satan hates Israel motif: “are they not all my lord’s servants?” “Why require this thing?” and “Will he be a cause of trespass to Israel?” In the Yahweh has a cause against Israel motif: “Why doth my lord delight in this thing?” Advancing the satanic theme, Joab goes out and does the job coming back to Jerusalem (fate a’ comply). Advancing the convent anger theme, Joab and his captains of the host being prevailed upon start off on the task (more detail needed).
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Next verses
5And Joab gave the sum of the number of the people unto David. And all they of Israel were a thousand thousand and an hundred thousand men that drew sword: and Judah was four hundred threescore and ten thousand men that drew sword.
6But Levi and Benjamin counted he not among them: for the king's word was abominable to Joab.
7And God was displeased with this thing; therefore he smote Israel.
8And David said unto God, I have sinned greatly, because I have done this thing: but now, I beseech thee, do away the iniquity of thy servant; for I have done very foolishly. (1Chronicles21)

5And they passed over Jordan, and pitched in Aroer, on the right side of the city that lieth in the midst of the river of Gad, and toward Jazer:
6Then they came to Gilead, and to the land of Tahtimhodshi; and they came to Danjaan, and about to Zidon,
7And came to the strong hold of Tyre, and to all the cities of the Hivites, and of the Canaanites: and they went out to the south of Judah, even to Beersheba.
8So when they had gone through all the land, they came to Jerusalem at the end of nine months and twenty days.
9And Joab gave up the sum of the number of the people unto the king: and there were in Israel eight hundred thousand valiant men that drew the sword; and the men of Judah were five hundred thousand men.
10And David's heart smote him after that he had numbered the people. And David said unto the LORD, I have sinned greatly in that I have done: and now, I beseech thee, O LORD, take away the iniquity of thy servant; for I have done very foolishly. (2 Samuel 24)

1,100,000 (Israel), and 470,000 (Judah), this is the tally in the Chronicle motif. And 800,000 (Israel), and 500,000 (Judah), are the tallies in the covenant anger motif. This difference is not a problem unless it is first assumed that both accounts record one report-back to David. Joab deliberately withholds counting Levi and Benjamin in the Chronicle report; though this is the higher figure, it is not withstanding incomplete (remember this is in the despised and machinated Israel motif.). In the Samuel report, the 9 month 20 days report, the figure is less complete for Israel, however, more complete for Judah (remember Judah has an added significance to the covenant anger motif.) This is the largest “glowing” discrepancy 1,570,000 does not equal 1,300,000 and the total mean difference in figures is 330,000. This would be an error of 20-25% or one man in every four/five. Never the less, David’s response is to the numbers as given in each thread.

Given the nature of this census expedition there is no problem with seeing both these numbers in the same report, if the report be acknowledged to be incomplete and not finalized, which the context suggests.

David acknowledges foolishness in both accounts; the fool says in his heart there is no God. David is brought to realize that he has commissioned this census outside of his love and trust in God, just as any godless king would do: he has been used by Satan, so the iniquity of God’s servant in relation to Israel must be dealt with (Chronicles, do away with the iniquity). In the covenant theme, it is David’s heart that smites him: “take away” strikes me as a bit more personal, heart talk, where “do away” seems more external. Both are true and needed.

I think of our Lord’s instruction regarding how we ought to pray: the whole Lord’s Prayer, but notably: “And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.” Our enemy the Devil walks about as a roaring lion seeking whom he may devourer. Were it is we fail to live by faith, we could easily be provoked, moved, by Satan to do damage to others. Oh, Lord prevent us. As costly, as pomp, as kingdom business, as in the court, as this census and these numbers may be, still sin and the removal of its iniquity is far more important. These census figures were forever left in an indefinite form. Faithful scribes never worried themselves over trying to change them, for they were not important in light of the fallowing events. And lastly I am reminded of our Lords exhortation, “If thou bring thy gift to the alter, and there rememberest that thy brother hath ought against thee, leave there thy gift before the alter, and go thy way: first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift.” What is more important?

In the Satan’s hate thread, it is important to see how abominable the whole thing was to Joab, yet he serves the king. In both threads David realizes, on his own, the “greatness” of his sin. And in the covenant anger thread, a list of towns and lands must be pertinent. I wonder why and how?
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The choice verses: The offer

9And the LORD spake unto Gad, David's seer, saying,
10Go and tell David, saying, Thus saith the LORD, I offer thee three things: choose thee one of them, that I may do it unto thee.
11So Gad came to David, and said unto him, Thus saith the LORD, Choose thee
12Either three years' famine; or three months to be destroyed before thy foes, while that the sword of thine enemies overtaketh thee; or else three days the sword of the LORD, even the pestilence, in the land, and the angel of the LORD destroying throughout all the coasts of Israel. Now therefore advise thyself what word I shall bring again to him that sent me. (1Chronicles 21)

The above is substantially the same as below. With the exception of the 3 years above and the 7 years below, the lines can be woven together into one statement leaving no detail out. It should be obvious now that the covenant anger theme is consistent with joining the famines into a total period of years, having the same cause. Also, in the Satan stands up against Israel motif the 3 next years is what God proposed if David so chose.

11For when David was up in the morning, the word of the LORD came unto the prophet Gad, David's seer, saying,
12Go and say unto David, Thus saith the LORD, I offer thee three things; choose thee one of them, that I may do it unto thee.
13So Gad came to David, and told him, and said unto him, Shall seven years of famine come unto thee in thy land? or wilt thou flee three months before thine enemies, while they pursue thee? or that there be three days' pestilence in thy land? now advise, and see what answer I shall return to him that sent me. (2 Samuel 24)

Not only had there been 3+ years of famine coming into this event, but there was also substantial opposition to the reign of David in the common populous, in the leadership of the tribes, and in his own court. Within a short time David will be fleeing Absalom’s usurpation, painfully allowing the hail of curses and stones hurled down by a vindictive relative of king Saul. Draught is an indication of divine judgment. Few were those who believed the last 3+ years should be blamed on Saul (he has been dead for some time). Was not David’s temple turned down by God for he was a bloody man? Had he not recently sent 7 descendants of Saul to their deaths, Israelis, at the hands of some foreign enemies of Saul, appealing to some ancient promise supposedly given them? And Absalom is so handsome and pleasant. These unbelieving notions had the support of that which could be seen. To think otherwise you would have to believe what the religious authorities partial to David were saying was the will of God. All they needed to bear fruit was a popular occasion which Absalom provided for their unbelief. David had substantial enemies of which to fear both within and without his kingdom at this time. These two options left him in the hands of men; three days are short, and God is merciful.
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thanks xDICEx for your opinion... it really lets me see things from a whole new perspective. Thank you for the attention you payd to this passages - it's more than what i did...

God bless!

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