I Samuel 6:19

Discussion in '2000-02 Archive' started by Terry_Herrington, Aug 25, 2002.

  1. Terry_Herrington

    Terry_Herrington
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    The KJV in I Sam. 6:19 says, "And he smote the men of Beth-she'mesh, because they had looked into the ark of the LORD, even he smote of the people fifty thousand and threescore and ten men: and the people lamented, because the LORD had smitten many of the people with a great slaughter."

    I have read that this number is incorrect since there were not 50,000 people living in such a small town. Most of the study bibles, including the King James Study Bible, state that this number should be 70, not 50,000. Is this true?
     
  2. BrianT

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    There is some evidence that in certain places in the OT, totals like this have been added wrong somewhere along the line, due to the following information: in Hebrew, before vowels are added (the Hebrew was originally written without vowels), the word "thousand" is identical to the word for a military leader: "'lp".

    So since the Hebrew says 50 "'lp" and threescore and ten men, it may mean 50 military leaders and 70 regular soldiers, or 120 in total.
     
  3. Abiyah

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    Looking it up in Hebrew, it says, YHVH "struck
    of the people seventy men fifty thousand men."
    The next verse says that the strike of the Lord
    was great.

    One thing I have learned in my years is that
    the Word is always right, but people and their
    reasoning are faulty.
     
  4. BrianT

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    Hi Abiyah,

    I am not saying the Hebrew is wrong. I am saying there is possibly another way to translate it. What you quote is not Hebrew, but a translation of Hebrew into English.

    That's basically my point. [​IMG]
     
  5. DocCas

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    I suspect in this case, as in most cases, context will reveal the truth. The killing was refered to as a "great slaughter" in verse 19, and 50,000 is certainly a "great slaughter" while any of the other numbers would not be so considered. Also check 4:10 where we see 30,000 also being refered to as a very great slaughter. Now look at 11:8 to see the number of Jews in the battle, 330,000. That seems more consistant with the number 50,000 being slaughtered.

    The objection that such a small village could not contribute to such a "great slaughter" presumes the people were of that village. There is no contextual reason to believe that. They may well have represented an army arrayed against the Jews from all over the area! Nobody is suggesting the 330,000 men of the Jewish army were all locals! In one of the greatest battles in American History, the Battle of the Bulge, nobody lived there, but the armies came from all over Europe and the Americas. [​IMG]

    [ August 25, 2002, 07:47 PM: Message edited by: DocCas ]
     
  6. Abiyah

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    Well, that sure made me laugh! I am not sure
    what I was expected to do, though. Come on
    and write my answer in Hebrew? 8o)
     
  7. Pastor Larry

    Pastor Larry
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    There is a textual variant that omits the hamishim eleph that many scholars accept.
     
  8. Abiyah

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    BrianT --

    When I wrote:

    Well, that sure made me laugh! I am not sure
    what I was expected to do, though. Come on
    and write my answer in Hebrew? 8o)
    </font>[/QUOTE]I misunderstood you. Maybe I was tired. Now
    I realize that you thought I was reading an
    English translation of Hebrew, but those are
    my words, translating from Hebrew.

    I am sorry! I thought you were joking or some-
    thing. 8o)
     
  9. Abiyah

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    I did not know that. I checked our four Hebrew
    Bibles, and none even make a note about that.
    I understand, though, that most of the Hebrew
    manuscripts and the Septuagint say 50,070.

    Checking English Bibles, the NIV, it says 70
    as does the Amplified, two versions that I do
    not care for.
     
  10. BrianT

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    [​IMG] No problem. But my real point is that the word you translated into "thousand" can also be translated as "military leader", and in some cases (like this one) it can be hard to determine which is correct. This may also be the reason for the textual variation Pastor Larry mentioned: maybe a scribe somewhere along the line understood it to mean "thousand" but also figured that number was ridiculously high and thus assumed it was a mistake and took it out resulting in the variation, when in fact the Hebrew was correct but he was just translating it wrong. This is speculation of course. [​IMG]
     
  11. Pastor Larry

    Pastor Larry
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    The BHS references it under v. 19 as d-d &gt; pc MS. Meaning that some manuscripts do not contain that portion. Davis and Whitcomb say three of the most reliable do not contain it. I haven't done much research past that. Just citing what I know ... [​IMG]
     
  12. Abiyah

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    Well, it was more than Ii knew! It looks, though,
    like the experts disagree. 8o)
     
  13. tyndale1946

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    Abiyah I agree with you and certainly Doc Cas... I came up with the same number 50,070 and will not argue with it but accept it as is. It was a great slaughter and I give two thumbs up to Doc Cas illustrations... Others like to strain at a gnat and swallow a camel... IMHO!... Brother Glen [​IMG]

    [ August 26, 2002, 02:49 PM: Message edited by: tyndale1946 ]
     
  14. BrianT

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  15. DocCas

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    I fear the gentleman who wrote the article doesn't know what he is talking about! He claims:
    If he spent as much time studying the bible as he does criticizing it he may have noticed the above references are of two different things being counted. The first is counting the chariots, and the second is counting the men!
    Did he consider a 10 year coregency?

    [ August 26, 2002, 05:40 PM: Message edited by: DocCas ]
     
  16. Pastork

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    Right on, Doc!
     
  17. BrianT

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    There may be an error or two in the article, either due to author error or me retyping it. But regardless, I posted the article more for it's main point about eleph/alluph. Care to comment on that?
     

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