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Discussion Forum : Scriptures and Doctrine : 1 Samuel 13:1, 5 confusion

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Lucash
Member



Joined: 2009/2/10
Posts: 49
Kentucky

 1 Samuel 13:1, 5 confusion

Upon reading my Bible on my laptop, I came across these verses today. My ESV Bible says for verse 1: "Saul was . . . years old when he began to reign, and he reigned . . . and two years over Israel." Now I don't have my ESV study Bible with me, but I don't understand the ". . ." in both of those places. I looked it up online and to my astonishment I found different Bibles have different numerical values for Saul's age and the amount of time he ruled Israel! Can anyone please provide some sort of insight to this? For verse 5 my Bible says "And the Philistines mustered to fight with Israel, thirty thousand chariots and six thousand horsemen and troops [Josh. 11:4] like the sand on the seashore in multitude. They came up and encamped in Michmash, to the east of [ch. 14:23] Beth-aven." Now the controversal issue I have found here is the number of Chairots! 30,000 was quite a number for them in that day! I know the biggest army was about 1,000,000 men, but for that day and time, 30,000? I have read that chairots then held about 10-12 men and that there weren't 30,000 chariots, but rather 30,000 men in a number of chariots... So which is it? Does it literally mean 30k war chariots? I have also read some chariots were used to carry food and supplies as well. I would rather have more light shed on verse 1 because I don't understand why different translations have different numbers for Saul's age and for the amount of time he ruled...


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Lucas Hughes

 2009/9/29 15:05Profile
ginnyrose
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Joined: 2004/7/7
Posts: 7494
Mississippi

 Re: 1 Samuel 13:1, 5 confusion

You have a keen sense of observation, and that sense developes when one compares scripture with scripture, especially when you are studying history.

I never noticed the discrepancy before but I did some checking. And this is what I found.

I checked my NASB and it reads thus:
"Saul was thirty years old when he began to reign, and he reigned forty two years over Israel"

New King James Version: "Saul reigned one year; and when he had reigned two years over Israel"

Today's New International Version reads: "Saul was thirty years old when he became king, and he reigned over Israel forty - two years."

Confusing.

I checked Adam Clarke's (1762-1832) commentary and this is what he says - "A great deal of learned labor has been employed and lost on this verse, to reconcile it with propriety and common sense.I shall not recount the meanings put to it. I think this clause belongs to the preceding chapter, either as a part of the whole or a chronological note added afterwards.; as if the writer had said, "These things (related to chapter 12) took place in the first year of Saul's reign; and then he proceeds in the next place to tell us what took place in the second year, the two most remarkable years of Saul's reign. ..........

"And when he had reigned": this should begin the chapter and be read thus: "And when Saul had reigned two years over Israel, he chose him 3000," etc....The Septuagint has left the clause out entirely and begins the chapter thus: "And Saul chose to himself 3000 men out of Israel".

This is what I have found. You may find more learned scholars who can better answer this question. I have also observed that if there is any discrepancy between translations and within each translation - like comparing Kings with the Chronicle the discrepancy usually occurs in numbers of people, etc.

ginnyrose


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Sandra Miller

 2009/9/29 16:33Profile
Lucash
Member



Joined: 2009/2/10
Posts: 49
Kentucky

 Re:

Did some more studying on it and in Acts 13:21 says Saul reigned for "forty years". Some see this as an estimate, other translations (like your own NASB) plug in the 40+2 and say he reigned for 42 years. My ESV Bible says "the most likely explanation for the difficulties is that some numbers were lost from the text at a very early point in its transmission." It also says "Josephus, Jewish Antiquities 6.378, also has Saul reigning for 40 years, but the Latin text of that passage has 20 years, as does Josephus in Jewish Antiquities 10.143." Very weird, yet fascinating. Kind of like where did Cain's wife come from!?


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Lucas Hughes

 2009/9/29 23:39Profile
enid
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Joined: 2006/5/22
Posts: 2669
Nottingham, England

 Re:

If Saul was thirty when he became king, then how old was his son Jonathan who led a thousand men in battle? 1 Sam 13v2.

And somewhere during his 40 year reign, his son Jonathan had a son, Mephibosheth, who became lame at the age of 5, 2 Sam 4v4, and as an adult is looked after by David.

Saul also had 2 sons, Abinadab and Malchishua who died when he died.

Also, Saul had another son, Ishbosheth, who was 40 when he became king, 2 Sam 2v10.

So, if anyone can figure out King Saul's age etc, we would be interested to know.

God bless.

 2009/9/30 6:07Profile
ginnyrose
Member



Joined: 2004/7/7
Posts: 7494
Mississippi

 Re:

The NASB says Saul was 40 YO when he began to reign and he ruled 32 years. 1 Samuel 13:1. (EDIT: NASB, not KJV)

Right at the beginning of Saul's rule, son Jonathan was active in his rule.

Apparently Jonathan was next in line to rule, assuming the oldest son would inherit the throne by virtue of birth order. We do have him tell David that he, David, would rule instead of him. 1 Samuel 23:17.

David was 30 YO when he began to reign, 2 Samuel5:4, and he ruled 40 yrs. So this would mean David was born AFTER Saul became king.

AND it also would mean that Jonathan was old enough to be David's dad.

Ishbosheth was 40 YO when he became king. 2 Samuel 2:10, which means he would have been 8 YO when his dad became king; was 10 yrs. older then David when he became king.

The NASB says Saul was 40 YO when he began to rule and he reigned 32 yrs over Israel. To me this makes a lot of sense.

I have another question. 1 Samuel 6:19 says that God smote 50,070 people because they had looked into the ark of the covenant. Now that is a lot of people. It uses the word 'slaughter' it must mean they died.

My question: when did these people die? Apparently it did not happen immediately, or did it? If it would have been immediately, seems to me the people would have caught on and quit before 50,070 died. Anyhow, this incident boggles my mind with more questions, astonishment - and leaves me shaking my head.

What did the rest of you all find about Saul's age?

ginnyrose


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Sandra Miller

 2009/9/30 9:53Profile
Leo_Grace
Member



Joined: 2009/6/14
Posts: 703


 Re:

Hi ginnyrose.

Quote:
I have another question. 1 Samuel 6:19 says that God smote 50,070 people because they had looked into the ark of the covenant. Now that is a lot of people. It uses the word 'slaughter' it must mean they died. My question: when did these people die? Apparently it did not happen immediately, or did it? If it would have been immediately, seems to me the people would have caught on and quit before 50,070 died. Anyhow, this incident boggles my mind with more questions, astonishment - and leaves me shaking my head.


In the NIV it says 70 people, not 50,070.

 2009/9/30 12:22Profile
ginnyrose
Member



Joined: 2004/7/7
Posts: 7494
Mississippi

 Re:

Quote:
In the NIV it says 70 people, not 50,070.



Well.....now if that don't beat anything I've ever read! I checked different translations on www.biblegateway.com and you are right. Of those that I looked at only the NASB and the KJV give this high number. All the others say 70....

Adam Clarke also wrestles with this figure, thinking that 50,000 is way too high a figure....but why is it there?

ginnyrose


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Sandra Miller

 2009/9/30 20:21Profile
elharris
Member



Joined: 2009/8/10
Posts: 59


 Re:

Someone who didn't know nothing about horses, and modes of transporation, got chariots confused with "wagons". A chariot carried 1 man basically with an armor bearer. Ever watch Ben Hur? Now he drove a chariot.

Kind of the difference between a Fighter jet and a troup transport truck, is a chariot and a wagon.

I've trianed horses most of my life, and drove teams also. Rode in a chariot and the still have chariot races out west, but call them "cutter races".

Here's some info

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pbQvpJsTvxU

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5qmJNBfS0A8

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chariot

Regards,
el harris

 2009/9/30 21:02Profile
Lucash
Member



Joined: 2009/2/10
Posts: 49
Kentucky

 Re:

Quote:
In the NIV it says 70 people, not 50,070.



It also says 70 in my ESV.

My Bible study group last night were talking about why certain things were left out of the Bible. Some said "Because God didn't want us to know" but I mean you could give your own answer. Personally I think he just wants us to maintain focus on reading His Word. I know I have spent the past two days fumbling over 1 Sam. 13:1. I would admit I have lost focus in reading my Bible because of it. But at least I have stayed in His Word!


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Lucas Hughes

 2009/10/1 10:42Profile





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