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How can 2 Chronicles 9:25 say Solomon had 4,000 stalls when 1 Kings 4:26 says he had 40,000 stalls?

2 Chronicles 9:25 "Solomon had four thousand stalls for horses and chariots, and twelve thousand horses, which he kept in the chariot cities and also with him in Jerusalem."

1 Kings 4:26

“And Solomon had forty thousand stalls of horses for his chariots, and twelve thousand horsemen.”

King James Version (KJV)

2 Chronicles 9:25

ESV - 25 And Solomon had 4,000 stalls for horses and chariots, and 12,000 horsemen, whom he stationed in the chariot cities and with the king in Jerusalem.

Clarify Share Report Asked January 09 2021 My picture Jack Gutknecht

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Mini Tim Maas Retired Quality Assurance Specialist with the U.S. Army
In my opinion, discrepancies such as this do not reflect adversely on the inspiration of the original text, or raise critical issues with regard to the text's reliability or credibility on central issues of faith, but are more on the order of non-substantive clerical errors that arose during the centuries-long process of copying and transcription of the text (which, as I have understood it, scholars do not regard as having the same degree of inspiration or protection from error as the recording of the original text).

Also, these discrepancies are routinely pointed out in most biblical texts, indicating that there is no intention on the part of biblical compilers to somehow "cover them up" or conceal them.

January 09 2021 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

My picture Jack Gutknecht ABC/DTS graduate, guitar music ministry Baptist church
Solomon had 4,000 1 stalls for his chariot horses and 12,000 horses.

1 textual note The Hebrew text has “40,000,” but this is probably an inflated number.

If the number “40,000 stalls” stands, as in the KJV, no one seemed to be concerned that Solomon was disobeying God (Dt 17:16), Ryrie says in his RSB. Dt 17:16 says, “But he [the king] shall not multiply horses to himself, nor cause the people to return to Egypt, to the end that he should multiply horses: forasmuch as the LORD hath said unto you, Ye shall henceforth return no more that way.”

This is undoubtedly a copyist error. The ratio of 4,000 horses to 1,400 chariots, as found in the 2 Chronicles passage, is much more reasonable than a ratio of 40,000 to 1,400 found in the 1 Kings text.
The manuscripts from which the scribe worked may have been smudged or damaged and have given the appearance of being forty thousand rather than four thousand.


Likely, respected biblical commentators Keil and Delitzsch [I owned these 100 volumes at one time!] were correct when they stated that the 40,000 figure in 1 Kings 4:26 "is an old copyist's error."

“…differences might have been the result of an error of memory. A scribe may have looked at an entire line, memorized it, and copied it from memory without looking at it a second time during the copying process. When he went to write one of the numbers in the two passages, however, his memory failed him; what he thought he remembered the original text having said was not what it actually said.

If you stop to think about the extremely poor conditions under which most copyists worked (poor lighting, crude writing instruments, imperfect writing surfaces, etc.), it is not difficult to understand how inadvertent errors such as these might occur from time to time.” -From The Reality of Copyists' Errors
(B. Thompson and E. Lyons)

January 10 2021 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

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