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Allow me to explain (1 of 439)

November 23, 2010

Full explanation was yesterday. All of these are going to be collected here.

1. How many men did the chief of David’s captains kill? 2 Sam 23:8, 1 Chron 11:11

I admit this one had me stumped for a couple minutes, but not the way I think it was intended to.

2 Samuel 23:8//
These are the names of the mighty men whom David had: Josheb-Basshebeth the Tachmonite, chief among the captains. He was called Adino the Eznite, because he had killed eight hundred men at one time.

1 Chronicles 11:11//
And this is the number of the mighty men whom David had: Jashobeam the son of a Hachmonite, chief of the captains; he had lifted up his spear against three hundred, killed by him at one time.

Josheb-Basshebeth, aka Adino, killed 800 men. Jashobeam killed 300.

I went back and forth a couple times, and then back and forth from YouVersion to the poster. One guy killed 800 and the other guy killed 300. Is this really seen as a contradiction?

There are two different names and two different heritages mentioned for the two different men.

The real contradiction, it would seem, is in who is the chief of David’s captains. Assuming that’s what the poster meant, let’s go there.

When in doubt, Step #1 is checking different translations. The Bible wasn’t written in English, after all, and there are several English translations available. Some translations are more literal than others. The NASV is is considered by many to be a more accurate translation of the original text, albeit sometimes harder for the modern reader.

The NASV of the 1 Chronicles verse is a little different than the NKJV:

1 Chronicles 11:11 (NASV)//
These constitute the list of the mighty men whom David had: Jashobeam, the son of a Hachmonite, the chief of the thirty; he lifted up his spear against three hundred whom he killed at one time.

Biblos.com is a great resources for getting to the original Hebrew.

  • The Hebrew word for “of the captains” in 2 Samuel 23:8 is “shaliysh,” which indicates a general of the third rank.
  • The Hebrew word for “of the captains,” or “of the thirty” in 1 Chronicles is “sheloshim” or “sheloshim,” meaning “thirty.”

That means:

  • Josheb-Basshebeth the Tachmonite, in 2 Samuel, was the chief of the third-rank generals.
    He killed 800 men.
  • Jashobeam the son of a Hachmonite, in 1 Chronicles, was the chief of thirty men.
    He killed 300 men.

No contradiction at all. Just a lazy translation of “of the captains.”

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