Another King James Bible Believer

2 Samuel 23:8 and 1 Chronicles 11:11 - Is there a contradiction?

2 Samuel 23:8 and 1 Chronicles 11:11 - How to explain an apparent contradiction of both Names and Numbers

2 Samuel 23:8 KJB - “These be the names of the mighty men whom David had: The TACHMONITE THAT SAT IN THE SEAT, chief among the CAPTAINS; the same was ADINO THE EZNITE: he lift up his spear against EIGHT HUNDRED, whom he slew at one time. “

1 Chronicles 11:11  KJB - “And this is the number of the mighty men whom David had; JASHOBEAM, an HACHMONITE, the chief of the captains: he lifted up his spear against THREE HUNDRED slain by him at one time.”

The differences between these two texts have been the source of many different opinions among the “scholars” and Bible versions that often reject the Hebrew readings or claim that the Hebrew texts have been corrupted.

Let’s first address the most obvious difference and then we will look at the others. The most obvious difference is the numbers 300 and 800. Some commentators like Jamieson, Fausset and Brown come right out and tell us “The text is corrupt in this passage; the number should be 300.”, while others offer several explanations that have been offered over the centuries to explain why the two different numbers may both be right.

As a King James Bible believer I naturally take the position that both numbers are correct and the Hebrew texts, all of which read 300 in 2 Samuel and 800 in 1 Chronicles, are not wrong.

We often read in Scripture of an individual empowered by God who killed a large number of men at one time. Shamgar killed 600 Philistines with the goad of an ox in Judges 3:31. Samson killed 1000 more with the jawbone of an ass in Judges 15:15.

 In 1 Samuel 30 we are told of events when a very large company of Amalekites had invaded the land and taken captive the wives and children of David. They pursued after them and verse 17 tells us: “And David smote them from the twilight even unto the evening of the next day: there escaped not a man of them, save 400 young men, which rode upon camels, and fled.” 

Here we are told that David smote them, and yet it was not just David all by himself, but he also had 400 other men with him who helped him - “But David pursued, he and the four hundred men” (1 Sam. 30:10)

Other examples abound of an individual being named as having killed thousands of people, when in fact it was both him and the men that were with him.  In 1 Samuel 29:5 the women danced and sang saying "Saul slew his thousands, and David his ten thousands." 

2 Samuel 8:5 tells us that "David slew of the Syrians two and twenty thousand men." and 2 Samuel 10:18 says: "David slew the men of 700 chariots of the Syrians, and 40,000 horsemen", and yet it was not David alone but the army of men that were with him too. 

Likewise in 1 Chronicles we read of one of the men who had charge over a large part of king David's army - "Moreover Abishai the son of Zeruiah slew of the Edomites in the valley of salt 18,000." This obviously was not just the man Abishai but he and the army that was with him in this battle.

One easy way to reconcile the apparent contradiction found here in the Hebrew texts (which by the way, no bible version I have seen yet has changed - they all read 300 in one and 800 in the other) is that 300 of these men were actually slain by this one man Adino all by himself, and the men that were with him in the battle killed the other 500. Thus the total was 800 men slain at one time and this larger number of 800 is attributed to him in 2 Samuel because he was their chief captain.

Other Problems with the Bible Babble Buffet Versions

Problem # 1 

KJB - 2 Samuel 23:8 - “These be the names of the mighty men whom David had: The Tachmonite THAT SAT IN THE SEAT, chief among THE CAPTAINS; the same was ADINO THE EZNITE: he lift up his spear against eight hundred, whom he slew at one time.”


The first problem that we find in today’s Bible Babble Buffet versions, is that they do not all follow the same Hebrew texts.  You will notice that the King James Bible mentions his name in 2 Samuel 23:8 as “Adino the Eznite”.  

 

"Adino the Eznite"

 

This is the reading found in the Hebrew texts and it is also the reading found in the JPS (Jewish Publication Society) 1917 translation, the Hebrew Names Version 2014, the Complete Jewish Bible 1998, the Bishops’ Bible 1568, the Geneva Bible 1587, Webster’s 1833, The Longman Version 1841,  Lesser O.T. 1853, The Jewish Family Bible 1864, the Smith Bible 1876, The Revised English Bible 1877, the Sharpe Bible 1883, Darby 1890, the Revised Version 1885, the ASV 1901, Rotherham’s Emphasized bible 1902, The Ancient Hebrew Bible 1907, the NASB 1963-1995, the NKJV 1982, The New Jewish Version 1985, the Third Millennium Bible 1998, The Koster Scriptures 1998, Complete Apostle's Bible 2003, The Judaica Press Tanach 2004, Green’s literal 2005, A Conservative Version 2005, Context Group Version 2007, Bond Slave Version 2009, New Heart English Bible 2010, The New European Version 2010, The Hebraic Transliteration Scriptures 2010, The Biblos Interlinear Bible 2011, World English Bible 2012, the International Standard Version 2014,  the Modern English Version 2014. 


And this online Hebrew interlinear Old Testament - http://studybible.info/IHOT/2%20Samuel%2023:8


However versions like the RSV, NRSV 1989, ESV 2011, NIV, NET and Holman Standard all remove the words “ADINO THE EZNITE”. Why do they do this?  Well, the NIV provides us with a footnote admitting that these words are found in the Hebrew texts as well as SOME Septuagint manuscripts, but that SOME other Greek Septuagint manuscripts omit the words “Adino the Eznite” and this is what they and these other versions have followed.

Here is the NIVs rendering of  2 Samuel 23:8 - “These are the names of David's mighty men: Josheb-Basshebeth, a Tahkemonite, was chief of the THREE; he raised his spear against eight hundred men, whom he killed in one encounter.”

NIV FOOTNOTES:  Hebrew; some Septuagint manuscripts suggest Ish-Bosheth, that is, Esh-Baal (see also 1 Chron. 11:11 Jashobeam). F79 Probably a variant of Hacmonite (see 1 Chron. 11:11)  F80 Some Septuagint manuscripts (see also 1 Chron. 11:11); Hebrew and other Septuagint manuscripts Three; it was Adino the Eznite who killed eight hundred men “

And here is the ESV’s 2 Samuel 23:8 - “These are the names of the mighty men whom David had: Josheb-basshebeth a Tahchemonite; he was chief of THE THREE.  He wielded his spear against eight hundred whom he killed at one time.“

ESV FOOTNOTES:  Or of the captains, 1 Chronicles 11:11; the meaning of the Hebrew expression is uncertain”


Problem # 2

The second problem we run into is the way some versions have translated different parts of the same text, even when they stay with the Hebrew.

In the King James Bible we read “the Tachmonite THAT SAT IN THE SEAT, chief among the CAPTAINS”

The NKJV says: “JOSHEB-BASSHEBETH the Tachmonite, chief among the CAPTAINS. He was called Adino the Eznite, because he had killed eight hundred men at one time.“

Then it footnotes - Literally One Who Sits in the Seat (compare 1 Chronicles 11:11) "captains" Following Masoretic Text and Targum; Septuagint and Vulgate read "the three".

The NKJV has made the phrase “that sat in the seat” another personal name - Josheb-Basshebeth - that confuses things even more.

Bible translations that have translated this Hebrew phrase as “that sat in the seat” are Wycliffe 1395, the Bishops’ Bible 1568, the Geneva Bible 1587, Webster's Bible 1833, The Longman Version 1841, The Jewish Family Bible 1864, Young’s 1898, The Ancient Hebrew Bible 1907, Lamsa’s translation 1933 of the Syriac Peshitta, Green’s literal 2005, the Judaica Press Tanach 2004, the KJV 21st Century 1994, the Third Millennium Bible 1998, The Hebraic Transliteration Scriptures 2010, and The Biblos Interlinear Bible 2011.


Problem #3

Reading “chief among the CAPTAINS” are the 
The Ancient Hebrew Bible 1907, RV, ASV, NASB, NKJV, NET, Darby, Youngs, Holman, Hebrew Names Bible, Green’s literal 2005, the Third Millennium Bible 1998 and The Biblos Interlinear Bible 2011


However the RSV, ESV, NIV say: “chief OF THE THREE” If this all sounds confusing, that’s because it IS! 


One of the weirdest versions I found out there in Bible Babble Buffet Land is the 2009 Catholic Public Domain version. This is how it actually reads in 2 Samuel 23:8 - 

"These are the names of the valiant of David. Sitting in the chair was the wisest leader among the three; HE WAS LIKE A VERY TENDER LITTLE WORM IN A TREE, who killed eight hundred men in one attack."!!!

I kid you not. That's how it actually reads.

 

Solving the Apparent Contradiction

Now, let’s attempt to address the different names found in these two texts as they stand in the King James Bible and see if there is a believing way to explain this “apparent contradiction” without claiming, as many do, that the Hebrew texts have been totally corrupt and there is no way of figuring out what God intended to be written here in His Book.

Here are the two verses again as they stand in the King James Bible, and many others too.

2 Samuel 23:8 KJB - “These be the names of the mighty men whom David had: The TACHMONITE that sat in the seat, chief among the captains; the same was ADINO THE EZNITE: he lift up his spear against EIGHT HUNDRED, whom he slew at one time. “

1 Chronicles 11:11  KJB - “And this is the number of the mighty men whom David had; JASHOBEAM, an HACHMONITE, the chief of the captains: he lifted up his spear against THREE HUNDRED slain by him at one time.”

Explaining the differences

Both Jashobeam and Adino the Eznite are the names of this one and the same man. It is not at all uncommon for men in the Bible to have two and even three different names.

For example, Joshua is also called Oshea and even Jehusua. “And Moses called Oshea the son of Nun Jehosua.” Numbers 13:16.  The father in law of Moses is called both Reul (Exodus 2:18) and Jethro (Exodus 3:1).  The king of Babylon is called both NebuchadNezzar and NebuchadRezzar.  And the apostle Peter is known as Peter, Cephas and Simon. And we also have the case of Saul who also was called Paul. (Acts 13:9)

Sometimes a man’s “second name” has to do with his official office or was associated with some well known feat he had accomplished. According to Strong’s concordance, the name Adino means “slender” referring to a spear and "Eznite" comes from a root word meaning "sharp".

So Jashobeam was apparently nicknamed "Sharp & Slender" because of his great skill with the spear and it was with a spear that he killed 300 men himself and 800 if you include the men under his command. Remember, the name Adino IS in the Hebrew text, but versions like the NIV, ESV, NET and Holman just omit it.

When we get to the names “the Tachmonite” in 2 Samuel 23:8 and “an Hachmonite” in 1 Chronicles 11:11, both these names are closely related and seem to be a reference to his official position as "a chief" among David’s mighty men who “sat on the seat”.

Both Strong and Easton’s Bible Dictionary say they are similar names for the same thing. The word Tachmonite is found only one time and means “sagacious” or “wise” and the name Hachmonite again is found only one time and means “skilful”.

Both seem to be his more official names, much like the names of Pharoah  (Genesis 12:15; Exodus 7:3; 1 Kings 3:1; Jeremiah 37:5 and Ezekiel 30:24) and as Nehemiah was also called “the Tirshatha”, since he was the appointed governor.  See Nehemiah 7:65,70; 8:9 and 10:1.  

I and many others believe the King James Bible is absolutely correct and the underlying Hebrew texts have not been corrupted. The Bible believer looks for solutions to apparent contradictions, while the bible agnostics, skeptics and scoffers look for “errors” so they can feel better about their own basic unbelief and justify their rebellion against God and His written words.

 All of grace, believing the Book,  

Will Kinney


Return to Articles - http://brandplucked.webs.com/articles.htm