Contradictions in the Bible

Below are a handful of contradictions in the Bible related to numbers, people, and what was said. They don't distract too much from the stories at hand and may even seem like minor details. Such contradictions and sloppy blunders are common in the retelling of stories by man... but they are not something one would expect if the scribes were documenting real events or were guided by God.

Disagreeance of Numbers

700 or 7,000 men in chariots?

2 Samuel 10:18 “And the Syrians fled before Israel, and David slew the men of seven hundred chariots of the Syrians, and forty thousand horsemen, and smote Shobach the captain of their host, who died there.”

1 Chronicles 19:18 “But the Syrians fled before Israel, and David slew of the Syrians seven thousand men which fought in chariots, and forty thousand footmen, and killed Shophach, the captain of their host.”

The chariots in the story are designed to hold one person, it would be impossible to have 10 people in each chariot.

800,000 & 500,000 or 1,100,000 & 470,000?

2 Samuel 24:9 “And 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.”

1 Chronicles 21:5 “And 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.”

700 or 7,000 horsemen?

2 Samuel 8:4 “And David took from him a thousand chariots, and seven hundred horsemen, and twenty thousand footmen: and David houghed all the chariot horses, but reserved of them for an hundred chariots.”

1 Chronicles 18:4 “And David took from him a thousand chariots, and seven thousand horsemen, and twenty thousand footmen: David also houghed all the chariot horses, but reserved of them an hundred chariots.”

2,812 or 2,818 children of Jeshua and Joab?

Ezra 2:6 “The children of Pahathmoab, of the children of Jeshua and Joab, two thousand eight hundred and twelve.

Nehemiah 7:11 “The Children of Pahathmoab, of the children of Jeshua and Joab two thousand eight hundred and eighteen

Chief of David’s captains killed 800 or 300?

2 Samuel 23:6 “The … chief among the captains … he lift up his spear against eight hundred, whom he slew at one time.”

1 Chronicles 11:11 “the chief of the captains: he lifted up his spear against three hundred slain by him at one time.”

Disagreeance of God's Word

Does God have respect to people…

Genesis 4:4 “And Abel, he also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of the fat thereof. And the LORD had respect unto Abel and to his offering:”

Exodus 2:25 “And God looked upon the children of Israel, and God had respect unto them.

Leviticus 26:9 For I will have respect unto you, and make you fruitful, and multiply you, and establish my covenant with you.”

2 Kings 13:23 “And the LORD was gracious unto them, and had compassion on them, and had respect unto them, because of his covenant with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and would not destroy them, neither cast he them from his presence as yet.”

Psalms 138:6 “Though the LORD be high, yet hath he respect unto the lowly: but the proud he knoweth afar off.”

…Or not?

Romans 2:11 “For there is no respect of persons with God.

2 Chronicles 19:7 “Wherefore now let the fear of the LORD be upon you; take heed and do it: for there is no iniquity with the LORD our God, nor respect of persons, nor taking of gifts.”

Acts 10:34 “Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons:

Ephesians 6:9 “And, ye masters, do the same things unto them, forbearing threatening: knowing that your Master also is in heaven; neither is there respect of persons with him.

Colossians 3:25 “But he that doeth wrong shall receive for the wrong which he hath done: and there is no respect of persons.

Will the earth perish…

Psalm 102:25-26 “The earth and the heavens are the work of thy hands. They shall perish.

Matthew 5:18 “For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.”

Matthew 24:35, Mark 13:31, Luke 21:33 Heaven and earth shall pass away; but my words shall not pass away.”

Hebrews 1:10-11 “Thou, Lord, in the beginning hast laid the foundation of the earth; and the heavens are the works of thine hands. They shall perish.

2 Peter 3:10 The heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.”

Revelation 21:1 “And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away.

…Or last forever?

Deuteronomy 4:40 “That thou mayest prolong thy days upon the earth, which the Lord thy God giveth thee for ever.

Psalm 37:29 “The righteous shall inherit the land, and dwell therein for ever.

Psalm 78:69 “The earth which he hath established for ever.

Psalm 104:5 “Who laid the foundations of the earth, that it should not be removed for ever.

Ecclesiastes 1:4 “One generation passeth away, and another generation cometh: but the earth abideth for ever.

Should we follow our own hearts?

Ecclesiastes 11:9 Walk in the ways of thine heart, and in the sight of thine eyes.”

Numbers 15:39 Seek not after your own heart and your own eyes.”

Does God tempt no one?

James 1:13 “Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man:”

Genesis 22:1 “And it came to pass after these things, that God did tempt Abraham, and said unto him, Abraham: and he said, Behold, here I am.”

Does man suffer their father’s sins?

Exodus 20:5 “Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity [sin] of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me;

Ezekiel 18:20 “The soul that sinneth, it shall die. The son shall not bear the iniquity of the father, neither shall the father bear the iniquity [sin] of the son: the righteousness of the righteous shall be upon him, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon him.”

Should we make graven images…

Exodus 20:4 Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth:”

Deuteronomy 4:23 “Take heed unto yourselves, lest ye forget the covenant of the LORD your God, which he made with you, and make you a graven image, or the likeness of any thing, which the LORD thy God hath forbidden thee.

…Or not?

Exodus 25:18 “And thou shalt make two cherubims of gold, of beaten work shalt thou make them, in the two ends of the mercy seat.”

Exodus 25:19 “And make one cherub on the one end, and the other cherub on the other end: even of the mercy seat shall ye make the cherubims on the two ends thereof.”

Exodus 25:20 “And the cherubims shall stretch forth their wings on high, covering the mercy seat with their wings, and their faces shall look one to another; toward the mercy seat shall the faces of the cherubims be.”

Does God lie or change his mind?

Exodus 32:14 “So the Lord changed his mind and did not bring on his people the disaster he threatened.”

Numbers 23:19 “God is not like men, who lie; He is not a human who changes his mind. Whatever he promises, he does; He speaks and it is done.”

Disagreeance of Jesus' Life

Who was at the tomb?

An angel?
Matthew 28:2 “And, behold, there was a great earthquake: for the angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat upon it.

Or a young man?
Mark 16:5 “And entering into the sepulchre, they saw a young man sitting on the right side, clothed in a long white garment; and they were affrighted.”

Or two men?
Luke 24:4 “And it came to pass, as they were much perplexed thereabout, behold, two men stood by them in shining garments:

Or two angels?
John 20:12 “And seeth two angels in white sitting, the one at the head, and the other at the feet, where the body of Jesus had lain.”

Was Jesus given vinegar with gall or wine and myrrh?

Matthew 27:34 “They gave him vinegar to drink mingled with gall: and when he had tasted thereof, he would not drink.”

Mark 15:23 “And they gave him to drink wine mingled with myrrh: but he received it not.”

Did two women go at dawn or one woman before dawn?

Matthew 28:1 “In the end of the sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to see the sepulchre.”

John 20:1 “The first day of the week cometh Mary Magdalene early, when it was yet dark, unto the sepulchre, and seeth the stone taken away from the sepulchre.”

Was Jesus silent during his trial or did Jesus speak during his trial?

Matthew 27:12-14 “And when he was accused of the chief priests and elders, he answered nothing. Then said Pilate unto him, Hearest thou not how many things they witness against thee? And he answered him to never a word; insomuch that the governor marvelled greatly.”

John 18:19-38 “The high priest then asked Jesus of his disciples, and of his doctrine. Jesus answered him, I spake openly to the world; I ever taught in the synagogue, and in the temple, whither the Jews always resort; …Jesus answered him…He denied it, and said, I am not…Jesus answered himJesus answered…”

Jesus tells the apostles of his upcoming death and resurrection but in John 20:8-9 the apostles were not aware of this.

Matthew 20:18-19 “Behold, we go up to Jerusalem; and the Son of man shall be betrayed unto the chief priests and unto the scribes, and they shall condemn him to death, And shall deliver him to the Gentiles to mock, and to scourge, and to crucify him: and the third day he shall rise again.”

John 20:8-9 “Then went in also that other disciple, which came first to the sepulchre, and he saw, and believed. For as yet they knew not the scripture, that he must rise again from the dead.”

More Disagreeances

Did Abraham have multiple sons…

Genesis 16:15 “And Hagar bare Abraham a son: and Abram called his son’s name, which Hagar bare, Ishmael.
Genesis 21:2-3 “For Sarah conceived, and bare Abraham a son is his old age …. And Abraham called him Isaac.

Genesis 25:1-2 “Then again Abraham took a wife, and her name was Keturah. And she bare him Zimran, and Jokshan, and Medan, and Midian, and Ishbak, and Shuah.

Galatians 4:22 Abraham had two sons; the one by a bond-woman, and the other by a free woman.”

…or only one son?

Hebrews 11:17 “By faith Abraham when he was tried, offered up Isaac, … his only begotten son.”

Genesis 22:2 “Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac, … and offer him there for a burnt offering.”seven thousand men which fought in chariots, and forty thousand footmen, and killed Shophach, the captain of their host.”

Was Ahimelech Abiathar’s son…

2 Samuel 8:17 “And Zadok the son of Ahitub, and Ahimelech the son of Abiathar, were the priests; and Seraiah was the scribe;”

1 Chronicles 18:16 “And Zadok the son of Ahitub, and Abimelech the son of Abiathar, were the priests; and Shavsha was scribe;”

1 Chronicles 24:6 “…and Ahimelech the son of Abiathar…”

…or father?

1 Samuel 23:6 “And it came to pass, when Abiathar the son of Ahimelech fled to David to Keilah, that he came down with an ephod in his hand.”

Was Aijalon of the Dan or Ephraim tribe?

Joshua 21:23-24 “And out of the tribe of Dan, Eltekeh with her suburbs, Gibbethon with her suburbs, Aijalon with her suburbs, Gathrimmon with her suburbs; four cities.”

1 Chronicles 6:66-69 “And the residue of the families of the sons of Kohath had cities of their coasts out of the tribe of Ephraim. And they gave unto them, of the cities of refuge, Shechem in mount Ephraim with her suburbs; they gave also Gezer with her suburbs, And Jokmeam with her suburbs, and Bethhoron with her suburbs, And Aijalon with her suburbs, and Gathrimmon with her suburbs:”

Was Ahaziah 22 or 42?

II Kings 8:26 Two and twenty years old was Ahaziah when he began to reign.”

II Chronicles 22:2 Forty and two years old was Ahaziah when he began to reign.”

Has no one seen God…

John 1:18 “No man hath seen God at any time.”

Exodus 33:20 “Thou canst not see my face: for there shall no man see me, and live.”

John 6:46 “Not that any man hath seen the Father, save he which is of God [Jesus], he hath seen the Father.”

I John 4:12 “No man hath seen God at any time.”

…Or han man seen God

Genesis 32:30 “For I have seen God face to face.”

Exodus 33:11 “And the Lord spake unto Moses face to face, as a man speaketh unto his friend.”

Isaiah 6:1 “In the year that king Uzziah died I saw also the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple.”

Job 42:5 “I have heard of thee by the hearing of the ear: but now mine eye seeth thee.”