Sam, Chr & Josephus

Ian Hutchesson mc2499 at
Sun Mar 11 11:56:58 EST 2001

Dear all,

Some time ago I mentioned the possibility that both Sam/Kgs and Chr used an
earlier work, and that this Vorlage was also used by Josephus. This matter
came up in a private conversation I was having and I thought the people on
this list might be interested and perhaps have some thoughts.

If we compare 2 Sam 8:3-14, 1 Cr 8:3-13 and Josephus AJ 7,5,1-4:

Sam                 Chr               Josephus
3                   3                 1
Hadadezer son       Hadadezer         Hadadezer (Artazaros) son
  of Rehob            ---               of Rehob (Araos)
Monument at the     Monumento all'      ---
  Euphrates           Euphrates         Euphrates

4                   4                 2
1700 horsemen       1000 chariots     1000 chariots
                    7000 horsemen     7000 horsemen
8                   8                 3
Betah               Tibhath           Betah  (Battaiai)
Berothai            Cun               Machon (Makwni)
  ---               sea of bronze     sea of bronze
                      of Solomon        of Solomon
9                   9                 4
King Toi            King Tou          King Toi (Qainos)  Q = theta
 (in LXX Qoou        and Qwa)
10                  10
Joram               Hadoram           Joram (damned Whiston. Adoramos)

13                  12
David defeats       Abishai defeats   Abishai defeats
  the Edomites        the Edomites      the Edomites

Some of the things in Chr we can explain:

1) Tibhath (+bxt) has a metathesis b/t (Sam: b+x),
2) There is some connection between Cun (kwn), e Machon (makwn),
   (presupposing there's an omega in the Greek of Josephus),
3) Tou shows the equivocation between waw e yod noted from Qumran,
4) Hadoram is probabloy an editorial change from a Ja- (at least
   yw-, from yhw-) name for a goy to a Had- name.

The choice of David instead of Abishai in Samuel is also programmatic. 1700
horsemen is a relatively transparent error.

The LXX doesn't have any of the toponyms Betah, Berothai, Tibhath or Cun
(though LXX 2Sam has a place called Masbak)! Obviously, Josephus didn't use
LXX tradition here.

Hopefully though, in comparing the above-mentioned passages one can see that
neither Samuel nor Chronicles can be the original source. And how I am more
trustful of Josephus in these matters now. He seems closer to my
hypothetical Vorlage than the others, not withstanding his epitomizing

If I am right, and at least in the chosen passage it seems to me I am, this
should indicate quite a late emergence of these separate "history"
traditions, given Josephus's apparently more faithful approach to his
source. (This follows another earlier post which places the esdras/Ezra
tradition of the high priestly lineage earlier than Chr and Ezra -- but not
1 Esdras -- after Josephus.)

What do ye make of the data?


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