10. When did Absalom rebel against David?

Posted: April 23, 2013 in Uncategorized

2sam 15:7 ≠ 2sam 5:4

2 Samuel 15:7 At the end of four [KJV: forty] years, Absalom said to the king, “Let me go to Hebron and fulfill a vow I made to the LORD.

2 Samuel 5:4 David was thirty years old when he became king, and he reigned forty years.

2 Samuel 15 records Absalom’s rebellion against his father, king David. The King James Version (KJV) reflects the Masoretic Text of 2 Samuel 15:7 in saying that this happened after forty years, but this obviously can’t be right if the total length of David’s reign was forty years as 2 Samuel 5:4 says.

So is this a contradiction? Not really. It’s just another case of a copying error entering the Hebrew where a scribe has mistakenly written “forty” instead of “four”, as Josephus, the Syriac manuscripts, and many Septuagint manuscripts show. Many of these manuscripts have been discovered in the 400 years since the KJV was published.

The Reason Project says it decided to base their claims on the KJV because of “its popularity, perceived authenticity, lack of copyright restrictions and the fact that it has not been subjected to cosmetic editing, as have some of the more modern versions of the Bible.” The discovery of hundreds of manuscripts since the KJV was published showing that many of these alleged contradictions are just trivial copying errors wouldn’t have played a part would it? Surely not.

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