Ezra 2:3-60

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Ezra 2:3-60: the people of Parosh, two thousand one hundred and seventy-two; the people of Shephatiah, three hundred and seventy-two; […] And these were the ones who came up from Tel Melah, Tel Harsha, Cherub, Addan, and Immer; but they could not identify their father’s house or their genealogy, whether they were of Israel: the sons of Delaiah, the sons of Tobiah, and the sons of Nekoda, six hundred and fifty-two;

Ezra 2:64: The whole assembly together was forty-two thousand three hundred and sixty,
Nehemiah 7:8-62: the sons of Parosh, two thousand one hundred and seventy-two; the sons of Shephatiah, three hundred and seventy-two; […] And these were the ones who came up from Tel Melah, Tel Harsha, Cherub, Addon, and Immer, but they could not identify their father’s house nor their lineage, whether they were of Israel: the sons of Delaiah, the sons of Tobiah, the sons of Nekoda, six hundred and forty-two;
Nehemiah 7:66: Altogether the whole assembly was forty-two thousand three hundred and sixty,

Ezra gives a list of people amounting to 29,808, but Ezra 2:64 and Nehemiah 7:66 say that the total population was 42,360, and Nehemiah gives a list of people amounting to 31,089.

Contradictions:
1. 29,808 people != 42,360 people
2. 29,808 people != 31,089 people

(Solving: 1)

There were family lines within Israel which had no genealogy recorded, but were still a part of the total number at the end of 42,360. Here's a possible example from Ezra 2:62: "These sought their listing among those who were registered by genealogy, but they were not found; therefore they were excluded from the priesthood as defiled."

(Solving: 2)

The difference between Ezra's listing and Nehemiah's listing is most likely just the result of scribal copying errors.

This is easy to see with the comparison table below:

Group Ezra Nehemiah Difference
Parosh 2172 2172
Shephatiah 372 372
Arah 775 652 123
Pahath-Moab 2812 2818 6
Elam 1254 1254
Zattu 945 845 100
Zaccai 760 760
Bani1 642 648 6
Bebai 623 628 5
Azgad 1222 2322 1100
Adonikam 666 667 1
Bigvai 2056 2067 11
Adin 444 655 211
Ater of Hezekiah 98 98
Bezai 323 324 1
Jorah2 112 112
Hashum 223 328 105
Gibbar3 95 95
Bethlehem and Netophah4 179 188 9
Anathoth 128 128
Azmaveth5 42 42
Kirjath Arim, Chephirah, etc.6 743 743
Ramah and Geba 621 621
Michmas 122 122
Bethel and Ai 223 123 100
Nebo 52 52
Magbish 156
Elam 1254 1254
Harim 320 320
Lod, Hadid, and Ono 725 721 4
Jericho 345 345
Senaah 3630 3930 300
Sons of Jedaiah 973 973
Sons of Immer 1052 1052
Sons of Pashhur 1247 1247
Sons of Harim 1017 1017
Sons of Jeshua and Kadmiel 74 74
Sons of Asaph 128 148 20
Sons of Shallum, Ater, etc. 139 138 1
Sons of Ziha, Hasupha, etc. 392 392
Tel Melah, Tel Harsha, etc.7 652 642 10

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