1 Chron 21:5
ben.crick at argonet.co.uk
Wed Dec 15 13:02:37 EST 1999
On Wed 15 Dec 1999 (08:04:02), rhutchin at aol.com wrote:
> A question on the following--
> 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.
> Does the Hebrew text indicate that we should understand this as--
> 1. All they of Israel were a thousand thousand and an hundred thousand
> men OF WHICH four hundred threescore and ten thousand men were from Judah.
> 2. All they of Israel were a thousand thousand and an hundred thousand
> men; IN ADDITION, there were four hundred threescore and ten thousand men in
> Judah (making the total one million five hundred threescore and ten
You may find this of interest:
1. Difficulties with Hebrew alphanumericals:
a) extra noughts added: 700 chariots 2 Sam 10:18;
7000 chariots 1 Chron 19:18.
... or dropped: 40000 stalls 1 Kings 4:26;
4000 stalls 2 Chron 9:25.
b) a digit dropped out: 18 years old 2 Kings 24:8;
8 years old 2 Chron 36:9.
c) a numeral omitted: Saul was - year old 1 Sam 13:1;
..thirty years old (Septuagint version).
2. Confusion between /'eLeP/ and /'aLLuWP/:
a) 'eLeP means I a thousand (1,000);
II a family Judges 6:15; or clan Zech 9:7; 12:5-6;
III a military unit: platoon, company, battalion.
b) 'aLLuWP means I a chieftain Gen 36:15-43;
II a chiliarch or captain of an /'eLeP/;
III a regular army soldier or officer.
c) Attack on Gibeah (Judges 20). 400,000 footmen makes better sense
if we put 'aLLuP for 'eLeP: 400 "professional soldiers".
The Benjamite force is 26 regulars plus 700 territorials. This and
the subsequent statistics make better if we make this distinction.
The sacred consonantal text is not changed; only the Massoretic
d) Assault on Ai (Joshua 7-8). 36 casualties in 7:5 is disastrous!
In 8:3, a comparable ambush is of 30 'aLLuP, Regulars.
e) David's feast at Hebron (1 Chron 12). 340,800 distinguished guests!
Only because Captains of 100s and Captains of 1000s got counted as
100 and 1000 respectively and were totalled up!
f) Ben Hadad's attack on Aphek (1 Kings 20:27-30). The little
Israelite army killed 100 not 100,000 infantry. The collapse of
the wall killed 27, not 27,000.
g) The Ethiopian Invasion (2 Chron 14:9 and 25:12). The invading force
was 1,000 not 1,000,000 warriors. 10 not 10,000 were pushed off the
top of the rock.
I will leave you to make sense of 1 Chronicles 21:5 8-)
Revd Ben Crick, BA CF
<ben.crick at argonet.co.uk>
232 Canterbury Road, Birchington, Kent, CT7 9TD (UK)
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