Second Samuel 24:9

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2 Samuel 24:9: Then Joab gave the sum of the number of the people to the king. And there were in Israel eight hundred thousand valiant men who drew the sword, and the men of Judah were five hundred thousand men.

1 Chronicles 21:5: Then Joab gave the sum of the number of the people to David. All Israel had one million one hundred thousand men who drew the sword, and Judah had four hundred and seventy thousand men who drew the sword.

Second Samuel says that Israel had 800,000 men and Judah had 500,000 men, but First Chronicles says that Israel had 1,100,000 men and Judah had 470,000 men.

1. Israel had 800,000 men != Israel had 1,100,000 men.
2. Judah had 500,000 men != Judah had 470,000 men.

(Solving: 1)

A possible solution may be found along these lines. So far as Israel (ie, the tribes north of Judah) is concerned, the 1 Chronicles figure includes all the available men of fighting age, whether battle seasoned or not. But from 2 Samuel 24 we learn that Joab's report gave a subtotal of "mighty men" ('ish hayil), ie, battle-seasoned troops, consisting of 800,000 veterans. But in addition there may have been 300,000 more men of military age who served in the reserves but had not yet been involved in field combat. These two contingents would make up a total of 1,100,000 men — as 1 Chronicles reports them, with employing the term 'ish hayil.(1)

(Solving: 2)

The number may have been rounded in Second Samuel, but left in its more precise form in First Chronicles.


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