ALLEGED CONTRADICTIONS OF THE BIBLE #19
Heaven prepared from eternity.
Hebrews 4:3; 11:16
Not till after Christ's ascension.
The word "prepare," in the first texts, denotes to create; in the last case, to adapt to ones character and needs. Heaven, as a place, was created from eternity; but the process of its adaptation to any given soul, in order to preserve the fitting relation to that soul's character and progress here below, may not be completed till the soul's earthly probation terminates. That is, a mutual preparation—of the soul for heaven and of heaven for the soul—may be now in progress.
Holy Spirit existing before man.
Not till later.
The text at the right does not refer at all to the beginning of the Spirit. The ellipsis is to be supplied in some such way as follows: "The Spirit which they that believe on him should receive, for the Holy Spirit was not yet [received by them]; because that Jesus was not yet glorified." The verb which is expressed suggests that which is to be supplied.379
Holy Spirit bestowed before Pentecost.
Not till that time.
Acts 1:5, 8; 2:1-4
In the first text, the words "Receive ye," etc, some hold that the imperative is here used for the future, "Ye shall receive." So Kuinoel. 380 Alford: "The presence of the Lord now was a partial and temporary fulfilment of his promise to return to them; the imparting of the Spirit now was a symbol and foretaste of what they should receive as Pentecost."
Ishmael about sixteen years of age.
Genesis 17:24-25; 21:5-8
Apparently very young.
The English version of verses 14-18 is peculiarly infelicitous, and makes a wrong impression. The "child" was not placed upon Hagar's shoulder, nor cast under the shrub, nor held in the hand, as an infant might have been. The Hebrew word here rendered "child," denotes, not only an infant, but also a boy or young man. 381 Ishmael was at the time some sixteen years of age. The growing boy would be much more easily overcome by the heat, thirst, and fatigue of
379 Codex B. followed by Lachmann and Meyer, supplies [Greek given]
380Compare, on the other hand, Winer's Grammar of N. T. Idiom, p. 312.
381 So Fuerst and Gesenius. The same word is applied to Joseph when seventeen years of age, Genesis 37:2, 30.
wandering than his mother, the hardy Egyptian handmaid. When he yielded to exhaustion she hastily laid him, fainting and half-dead, under the shelter of a shrub. Even after he was refreshed with water, he needed to be "held," that is, supported and led, for a time. 382
Israelites bondage 400 years.
Apparently a less time.
Genesis 12:4; 21:5; 25:26; 47:9
Two diverse theories are advocated by critics with regard to the duration of the servitude in Egypt. 1) Many 383 hold that its actual length was less than two hundred and fifteen years. They maintain generally that the "four hundred years" begin with the birth of Isaac, and the "four hundred and thirty," 384 with the call of Abraham. Isaac was born in the twenty-fifth year of Abraham's sojourn in Canaan; Jacob was born in Isaac's sixtieth year, and was one hundred and thirty when he descended to Egypt. This would leave but two hundred and fifteen years for the whole sojourn in Egypt; only a portion even of this latter period being spent in actual servitude. This hypothesis is open to weighty objections, some of which are: that the free, independent, nomad life of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, previous to the descent into Egypt, does not properly come under the head of servitude and affliction predicted in Genesis 15:13; that a large portion of the period was spent in Canaan, 385 while but one land, that of Egypt, is mentioned in the prediction; that the former country could not, in view of the Divine promise to Abraham, be characterized as a "land not theirs"; and that, on this hypothesis, the grandfather of Moses must have had in the lifetime of the latter 8600 male descendants, of whom 2750 were between thirty and fifty years of age! 386
2) It is maintained by the majority of modern critics 387 that the sojourn in Egypt occupied the whole four hundred or four hundred and thirty years. This theory, which allows ample time for the increase of the Israelites, and which meets the demands of the case in other respects, encounters the following objections: that Paul 388 reckons "four hundred and thirty years" between the promise
382 So Keil, Kurtz, Lange, and others in substance.
383Bengel, Baumgarten, Mr. Browne (Kitto, i. 509, and Ordo Saeclorum, pp. 295-316), and Mr. R. S. Poole (Smith's Bible Diet., i. 442-444), and others.
385See Genesis 26:2-3.
386Numbers 3:27-28; 4:36. Compare Green's "Pentateuch Vindicated," p. 129; Kurtz, Vol. ii. 144-145; Smith's Bible Diet., i. 450-451.
387Delitzsch, Ewald, Gesenius, Havernick, Hengstenberg, Hofmann, Jahn, Kalisch, Keil, Knobel, Kurtz, Lange, Michaelis, Ranke, Reinke, Rosenmiiller, Tiele, Tuch, Winer, etc.
to Abraham and the giving of the law (here, however, since the precise length of time did not affect his argument, we may suppose that he follows the commonly received view of his day, or, as Lange says, he may have regarded the death of Jacob as "the closing date of the time of the promise"); that the time was but four generations 389 (we have seen that this is equivalent to four hundred years); and that not enough names are given in the genealogy to cover so long a period (it has been conclusively shown by Kurtz and others, that the omission of several names in a genealogy was common; and that the words "bear" and "beget" are used with reference to somewhat remote ancestors. 390 Hence it is inferred that in Exodus 6:18-20 several generations have been omitted).
Israelites dwelt in Heshbon 300 years.
A longer period.
If, following Josephus, 391 we allow twenty-five years for Joshuas period of rule, and ten years for Eleazar and the elders 392 who outlived Joshua, adding also the several periods of judgeship, and of servitude previous to Jephthah, as recorded in the book of Judges, we obtain three hundred and twenty-nine years; sufficiently near to the round number above.
Jacob's age at his flight, forty years
Genesis 26:34; 28:5
Genesis 41:46, 53; 45:6
Joseph was some thirty-nine years old at the time his father, aged one hundred and thirty, went down to Egypt; hence he was born when his father was ninety-one years old. But Joseph's birth occurring in the fourteenth year of the sojourn with Laban, it follows that Jacob, instead of being only forty years old, 393 was actually seventy-seven, 394 at the time of his flight into Mesopotamia. Besides, since Isaac was one hundred years old at the time of Esau's marriage, and lived to the age of one hundred and eighty, we have a period of eighty years for Jacob's tarry with his parents, his sojourn in Mesopotamia, and his return to his father at Hebron. 395
390See striking examples in Genesis 46:15,18, 22.
391 Antiq. v. 1, 29.
392Joshua 24:31, 38.
393 So Von Bohlen and Liitzelberger.
394 So Lange, Murphy, Keil, Kurtz, Hengstenberg, etc.
Jacob's sons—eleven born in thirteen years.
Genesis 29:20-21; 31:41
Within seven years.
Genesis 29:30-31; 30:25
Jacob served the "seven years" for Rachel, after his marriage with her. 396 In the first four years after the complex marriage, Leah bore four sons and Bilhah two; in the fifth and sixth years Zilpah had also two. In the sixth and seventh Leah bore two more children, and in the latter year Rachel bore Joseph. 397 Thus Jacob might have eleven sons born to him in seven years. Kennicott, Horsley, and Beer maintain that, according to the Hebrew text of Genesis 31:41, Jacob actually spent forty years in the employ of Laban, and that all his children, except Joseph, were born during the first thirty-four years. 398
And I appeared unto Abraham, unto
Isaac, and unto Jacob, by the name
of God Almighty, but by my name
JEHOVAH was I not known to them.
Name appears in the original of the
Genesis 4:1, 26; 5:29; 9:26
Some 399 think that the name was introduced in Genesis by anticipation, that Moses "antedated" a name which had just come into use for the first time; others 400 take the meaning to be, not that the name was not known before, but that it's full meaning was previously unknown; others that those special attributes of God, or that aspect of his character, which the name "Jehovah" indicates, had not been disclosed before.
Judges—period, about 300 years.
Some twenty texts in Judges and 1 Samuel
Four hundred and fifty years.
Adding together the several periods of rest, judgeship, and oppression specified in the above twenty texts, and allowing twenty years for Joshua's rule, we obtain four hundred and fifty years. But the best critics discard this method of reckoning, and hold that some of the judges were contemporaries, ruling in different portions of the land at the same time. The text from Acts has really no bearing upon the subject, since, according to the order of the Greek in the four oldest and best manuscripts, the correct rendering is, "He gave them their land as a possession about four hundred and fifty years; and, after that, he gave [to them] judges until Samuel the prophet." 401 It may be added that the chronology of the
397So in substance Lange and others.
398See Bib. Com., i. 177-178.
399Ebrard and Ewald.
400Aben Ezra, Calvin, Havernick, Munk, etc.
401 Smith's Bib. Diet., ii. 1514, note.
book of Judges is very uncertain, there being more than fifty different methods of reckoning the same. 402
Levites' service began at thirty.
1 Chronicles 23:24;
At twenty years of age.
1 Chronicles 23:3
2 Chronicles 31:17
In Moses' time the Levites from the age of twenty-five were employed in the lighter kinds of service; 403 while, for the transportation of the heavier materials of the tabernacle when the Israelites were on the march, 404 men older and stronger were required. 405 After the temple was built, its much less onerous service permitted the standard of age to be lowered to twenty years. After the age of fifty, the Levites were simply to "keep the charge," or guard in the tabernacle, but were exempted from all laborious duties. 406
Light created in the beginning.
Sun and moon on the fourth day.
The question is often sneeringly asked, "How is it that the Bible represents light as existing before the sun and moon were created"? Humboldt, 407 followed by Wagner and Schubert, 408 calls attention to the fact that light exists independent of the sun, that the earth becomes "self-luminous" in the northern light; that the earth, as well as other planets, particularly Venus, is capable in itself of developing a light of its own.
Such interpreters of science as Agassiz and Guyot have shown that light results from molecular action or combination. Hence, the command, "Light be," was simply another way of saying, "Let molecular action begin"—whereupon light was at once evolved. Professor Dana 410 says, "At last, through modern scientific research, we learn that the appearance of light on the first day, and of the sun on the fourth—an idea foreign to man's unaided conceptions—is as much in the volume of nature as that of sacred writ."
BAD UNDERSTANDING - THAT WHICH WAS COVERING THE EARTH [VAPOR CLOUDS - FIRMAMENT ETC.] BEGAN TO BE REMOVED TO LET THE LIGHT OF THE SUN AND MOON COME IN. THE BEGINNING OF DAY AND NIGHT STARTED. LOOKING FROM EARTH YOU WOULD SEE THE DAY LIGHT AND THE DARKNESS OF NIGHT - YOU'D SEE THE DIFFERENCE IN A 24 HOUR PERIOD. THE SECOND DAY - THE HEAVEN AND EARTH AS WE HAVE IT TODAY. THE THIRD DAY THE LAND AND SEAS AND VEGETATION ETC. OF THE LAND, WHICH WOULD NEED THE SUNLIGHT TO EXIST. THE FOURTH DAY CORRECTLY TRANSLATED BY FENTON - "HAD CREATED" - THE SUN AND MOON WERE ALREADY THERE. NOW THE DAY AND NIGHT FULLY IN MOTION TO NUTURE THE EARTH AS WE HAVE IT TODAY; FULLY READY FOR ANIMALS [LAND, SEA, AIR] AND MANKIND TO BE CREATED - Keith Hunt
402Keil, Commentary, p. 276, note.
404Numbers 4:4-15, 24-26, 31-33.
405 So Abarbanel, Aben Ezra, Lightfoot, Outram, and Reland.
407Cosmos, i. 97,188-189 (Sabine's trans.).
408See in Kurtz' Bible and Astronomy, pp. 427-432.
409Thompson's Man in Genesis and in Geology, pp. 15-32.
410Bibliotheca Sacra, January, 1856, pp. 114, 118.
Lord's supper instituted at Passover.
Mark 14:12-26; Luke 22:1,13-20
Upon the preceding day.
John 13:1-2; 18:28
Of the two leading theories the first is, that the Lord's supper was instituted on the evening following the fourteenth day of Nisan, at the legal time of the passover. Robinson412 maintains that the term "passover" sometimes comprises the whole paschal festival, or the feast of unleavened bread which began with the passover proper; that the expression "to eat the passover" may mean "to keep the paschal festival"; and that the "preparation of the passover," John 19:14, denotes simply the customary "preparation" for the Sabbath, which occurred in that paschal week. In this view, which relieves the difficulty, a host of critics413 substantially concur.
Others414 hold that the Savior and his disciples anticipated the passover by one day, partaking of a substitute upon the thirteenth day of Nisan. They suggest that there were two distinct days, both legal (one real, the other apparent time) for keeping the passover; or that the Jews had fallen behind a day in the computation, and our Savior corrected their error; or that they at this time purposely delayed a day. Both of the above theories find very able and ingenious defenders.
THE LATTER HAS PART OF THE TRUTH; THE JEWS HAD FALLEN BEHIND A DAY, MAKING ONLY 7 DAYS FOR PASSOVER AND FEAST OF UNLEAVENED BREAD; IT SHOULD BE A TOTAL OF 8 DAYS. THE WHOLE TRUTH IS IN MANY STUDIES UNDER "SABBATH AND FEASTS OF GOD" ON THIS WEBSITE - Keith Hunt
Man's days one hundred and twenty years.
A different period.
Genesis 11:11 13, 32
Either, there shall be a respite of one hundred and twenty years before the deluge, or human life shall gradually diminish to that length.415
THE FIRST IS THE TRUTH; THERE WOULD BE 120 YEARS TILL THE FLOOD - Keith Hunt
411 Paradise Lost, Book viL, line 243-249.
412 English Harmony, pp. 200-205.
413 So Andrews, Bochart, Davidson, Fairbairn, Gardiner, Hengstenberg, Lange, Lewin, Light-
foot, Milligan, Norton, Olshausen, Robinson, Schoettgen, Stier, Tholuck, and Wieseler.
414Alford, Bleek, Caspari, De Wette, Ebrard, Ellicott, Erasmus, Ewald, Grotius, Ideler, Liicke, Meyer, Neander, Sieffert, Suicer, Tischendorf, Tittmann, Westcott, Winer, Wratislaw, in substance.
415 See authorities in Bib. Com., on Genesis 6:3.
Moses feared the king of Egypt.
Exodus 2:14-15; 4:19 Acts 7:29
Did not fear him
He feared feared the king at first, but braved his anger at a later period.
Peter's denials at one time.
Luke 22:34; John 13:38
At another time.
The four evangelists agree as to the number of the denials; but Matthew, Luke, and John represent them as occurring before the crowing of the cock; Mark as occurring before the cock should crow "twice." Mr. Warington,416 disregarding this trivial difference, takes the essential substance of Christ's words to be that, "in a few hours' time, ere early dawn, Peter should thrice deny his Master whom he now professed himself so ready to die for."
Alford, Whitby, and many commentators note that cocks are accustomed to crow twice—at or near midnight, and not far from daybreak. Inasmuch as few persons hear the first crowing, the term generally denotes the second. All the evangelists refer to this latter; but Mark with greater precision designates it as the "second crowing."
It seems probable that no one of the evangelists has mentioned all the denials by Peter during that sorrowful night. As the accusation was caught up, reiterated, and flung in his face by one and another of the servants and the guard, the terror-stricken man, in his agitation and in his anxiety to clear himself, would be likely to repeat the denial a considerable number of times, and in every variety of phrase. And, meanwhile, he would naturally be shifting about from place to place. This hypothesis accounts for the difficulty as to the persons who accosted him, and the places where he was when the denials were uttered.417
Samuel judged Israel all his days.
1 Samuel 7:15
Resigned at Saul's accession.
1 Samuel 8:5; 12:1
Samuel laid down the civil, but retained the ecclesiastical authority; so that, as Ewald 418 says, "he is still, as before the change, the revered prophet." This appears clear from 11:7, where an edict is issued in the name of Saul and of Samuel.
416 On Inspiration, pp. 140-141.
417 See, on these points, Whately's Essay on Dangers to Christian Faith, p. 353 (2d edition);
Journal of Sacred Literature, April, 1854, p. 84-92; Ebrard's Gospel History, pp. 425-427;
Andrews' Life of our Lord, pp. 473-475, 488-496.
418History of Israel, iii. 42.
Samuel's meeting with Saul, in seven days.
1 Samuel 10:8
Some two years after.
1 Samuel 13:8-11
Some think that the first appointment was kept, 11:14-15, and a second made, to which latter the thirteenth chapter refers. But Ewald 419 and Keil take the passage at the left as a mere general direction, that, if at any time Saul went down to Gilgal to offer sacrifice, he was to wait there till Samuel arrived.
Seed time and harvest unfailing.
Interrupted at times.
Genesis 41:54, 56; 45:6
The Hebrew word rendered "cease," in the first text, means to come to an end, to cease to be. A temporary interruption is not precluded. Besides, an unbroken succession of seasons is promised, but not necessarily of crops.
Sepulchre visited at sunrise.
At the early dawn.
Ebrard 420 thinks that Mary Magdalene—the only woman specified by John—came first and alone to the sepulchre. If so, she may have come "early, when it was yet dark"; while the other women did not arrive till "the rising of the sun." Or, of the two parties of women, 421 Mary Magdalene with her friends may have come at the earlier, the others at the later time.
Otherwise in the loose popular sense, the expression "rising of the sun" may denote the early dawn, when the rays of the coming sun just begin to redden the east. Thus, in Psalm 104:22, it is said, respecting young lions, "The sun ariseth, they gather themselves together, and lay them down in their dens"; yet it is well known that wild beasts do not wait for the actual appearance of the sun; at the break of day they retreat to their lairs. 422 Upon any of the above hypotheses, there is no discrepancy in the case.
Temple built 480 years after exodus.
1 Kings 6:1
At a different time.
Numerous texts in earlier books.
As to the oft-cited text, Acts 13:20, we have elsewhere seen that it has no bearing upon the present question. The period of time intervening between the exodus and the building of the temple is variously reckoned by scholars at from
419 History of Israel, iii. 29.
420Gospel History, pp. 447-448.
421 See infra, p. 328, note.
422 See Robinson's Harmony, p. 212; also, compare Judges 9:32-33.
480 to 741 years. 423 The Septuagint gives 440 years; Josephus, 424 592; Browne, 425 573; Clinton, 426 612; Rawlinson, 580 to 600. On the other hand, Bahr, Cassel, Ewald, 427 Keil, Rosch, 428 Thenius, Winer, 429 and others accept the number 480 as authentic. If we adopt the latter hypothesis, we may follow Bachmann, Cassel, Keil, 430 and others, in making several of the periods of rest, oppression, etc., in the Book of Judges, synchronous, thereby adjusting the whole amount so as to harmonize with 1 Kings 6:1. Or, we may regard the 480 as a numerical error; or, with Rawlinson, as "an interpolation" of a comparatively recent date.
Wandering of Israelites forty years.
Somewhat less time.
The deficiency was merely five days. In the first text, a round number is employed. Other examples of the use of round numbers are, Exodus 16:1,13-14, 35 and Joshua 5:10-12; also 1 Kings 6:1 and 37-38.
Worship of God—beginning.
Not till a later time.
The latter passage is of doubtful interpretation. It may refer to the first institution of the regular, solemn, public worship of Jehovah, in place of the former private, arbitrary, irregular service as seen in the sacrifices of Cain and Abel 431. Murphy thinks that at this time men first began to address God in prayer and thanksgiving. Previously their worship had been mute adoration.
It was wood.
Exodus 27:1, 8
423 See some fourteen different estimates, Ordo Saeclorum, pp. 6-7.
424Antiq. viii. 3, 1.
425Ordo Saeclorum, p. 703.
426Fasti Hellenici, Essay on Scripture Chronology.
427Vol. ii. pp. 368-369.
428In Studien und Kritiken, 1863, pp. 712-742.
429Real-W6rterbuch, ii. 327-329.
430See their respective Commentaries upon the book of Judges.
So Kurtz, Vol. i. p. xvi.; also, Lange.
The altar in question was a kind of coffer, made of stout acacia planks covered with plates of bronze. When about to be used, its interior was filled with earth or stones, the whole being levelled, so as to form a kind of hearth. It was, therefore, strictly speaking, an altar case,432 "hollow with boards."
1 Chronicles 11:13
2 Samuel 23:11
It is doubtful whether the two passages refer to the same incident. If they do thus refer, [Hebrew given] lentils, has been confounded with [Hebrew given ]barley.
THE HEBREW IS NOTICEABLY DIFFERENT, SO THE FIRST THOUGHT IS CORRECT - Keith Hunt
Cattle of Egypt—all died.
Exodus 9:3, 6
Some animals survived.
Exodus 9:19-21; 14:7, 9
The first passage seems to imply that all the horses, asses, camels, oxen, and sheep of the Egyptians died; yet, the latter passages show that their cattle and horses did not all die.
1) The term "all" is often used in a loose sense to denote the mass, the great
majority—such a quantity that what remains is nothing in comparison. 433 This use of the word is due in part to "the want of universal terms in Hebrew." 434
The plague was limited to animals "in the field," 9:3. Sir Gardner Wilkinson 435 tells us that some animals were stall-fed in Egypt. This explains the restrictive clause, "in the field"; as also, the existence of cattle among the Egyptians after the plague.
The Hebrew word rendered "cattle," in the text referred to in the ninth chapter, denotes neat cattle, and the smaller animals, but seldom, if ever, includes horses. 436 These considerations obviate the difficulty.
AH YES INDEED "ALL" OFTEN IN SCRIPTURE HAS A LIMIT…..LUKE "ALL THE WORLD WENT TO BE TAXED/ENROLLED…." THOSE IN CHINA OBVIOUSLY NEVER WENT - Keith Hunt
Cannot be straightened.
Ecclesiastes 1:15; 7:13
The first text refers to moral defects. The design and tendency of the Gospel is to remedy these; to change dishonesty and perversity into equity and simplicity, and haughtiness into humility.
432See Jahn, Bib. Archaeol., § 329; Kurtz, iii. 142; also, Exodus 27:8.
433 So Aben Ezra, Ben Gershon, and Keil. See examples of this use, 1 Samuel 1:21 and 22\ Matthew 3:5 and Luke 7:30.
434R. S. Poole in Smith's Bible Diet., iii. 2541.
435 Ancient Egyptians, i. 96 (2d series); similarly Abarbanel and Rashi.
436Gesenius says the word is "strictly used only of sheep, goats, and neat cattle, excluding beasts of burden. . . . More rarely asses and camels are also comprehended."
The other passages refer to natural ox constitutional defects. As a rule, these are remediless. One born an idiot can never, by any process of education, become a man of talent; a person born without eyes can never have the defect remedied by human skill. Zockler, with Hengstenberg and Hitzig, observes, "Human action and effort, in spite of all exertion, cannot alter that which has once been arranged and fixed by God." In the Vulgate, Ecclesiastes 1:15 is rendered singularly, thus: "The number of fools is infinite"
Earth founded upon the seas.
Founded upon nothing.
The first passage asserts that the earth is established above the waters, so that they will not overflow and destroy it; the second text—the words of an uninspired man—may refer to the scientific truth that the earth hangs free without support in space.
NOT SURE WHAT "UN-INSPIRED" HAS TO DO WITH IT; THE FACT IS THE EARTH DOES HANG FREE IN SPACE, AS WE WOULD LOOK AT IT FROM SAY THE MOON - Keith Hunt
Some 437 assert that the fact of the earth's being moistened by an ascending mist or exhalation, does not harmonize with its previous submergence in water. As if the earth upon emerging from the briny moisture which could not support vegetation, would not afterward become dry, and need dews and rains!
THE EARTH COMING FORTH FROM WATERS COVERING IT, AND LANDS BROUGHT INTO BEING; A MIRACLE OF DRYING OUT THE LAND WAS ALSO DONE BY GOD, SO MOISTURE TO NURISH THE VEGETATION, TREES, FLOWERS ETC. WAS INDEED NEEDED - Keith Hunt
Golden calf burnt and ground.
Burnt, stamped, and ground.
Goguet 438 and Stah l439 say that natron, which abounds in the East, has, like tartaric acid, the power of reducing gold to powder—and this the sooner, if the gold be previously heated. Moses, having pulverized the gold in this way, mixed it with water, and caused the Israelites to partake of the nauseating liquid.
Davidson 440 explains the case, as follows: In preparing ores of gold and silver for the smelter, stamps, or massive beams shod with iron, and weighing as much as eight hundred pounds, are used. These are lifted by machinery, and let fall upon the ore contained in iron troughs. If overstamped, or "stamped
437See in Davidson's Introd. to Old Testament, i. 36.
438Smith's Bible Diet., i. 345.
439Hawks, Monuments of Egypt, p. 228.
440Introd. to Old Testament, i. 254-255.
dead," as it is termed, the fine particles float away and are lost. Gold, from its great malleability, is peculiarly liable to suffer thus. The gold of which the calf was made was designedly and indignantly over-stamped; and, when cast into the stream, would float away. As this author thinks it would impart no special taste to the water.
Wilkinson 441 mentions that, in the towns of Egypt, certain persons were employed to pound various substances in large stone mortars with heavy metal pestles. When well pounded, the substance was taken out, sifted, and the larger particles returned to the mortar. This process was continued, till a sufficient degree of fineness was secured.
Moses may have cast the image into the fire to change its form; or—if it were made of wood and covered with plates of gold—to destroy its combustible part, afterwards employing some one of the processes above described.
Images taken away.
2 Samuel 5:21
They were burned.
1 Chronicles 14:12
The Hebrew expression rendered to take away may also mean to destroy.
Leadership of the cloud satisfactory.
Geddes and others 442 object that if the cloud had been a reliable guide, the Israelites would not have needed Hobab to be to them "instead of eyes," as knowing "how they were to encamp in the wilderness." But, God is not wont to do that for man which the latter might do for himself. The pillar of cloud determined the general route to be taken, the place of encampment, and the length of tarry in each location; yet human prudence was by no means precluded with respect to arranging the encampment so as to combine most advantageously the circumstances of water, pasture, shelter, supply of fuel, medicinal or nutritive plants or substances, and the like, in or near the station. In all these particulars, Hobab's experience, and knowledge of the desert, would be exceedingly useful, as supplementary to the guidance of the cloud.
Manna—taste, like wafers made with honey.
Like fresh oil.
441 Ancient Egyptians, iii. 180-181; Hengstenberg, Egypt and Books of Moses, p. 217.
442See in Graves on Pentateuch, p. 481 (sixth edition).
443Kurtz, Vol. iii. pp. 214-215, 258, 281.
The Jewish interpreters and Kurtz say that, in its natural state, it tasted like "cakes with honey," but cooked or ground, like "fresh oil." The Septuagint employs in the first passage a word which is interpreted by Athenaeus and the Greek scholiasts as denoting "a sweet kind of confectionery made with oil."
Molten sea—appendages, knops.
1 Kings 7:24
Otherwise called oxen.
2 Chronicles 4:3
The "knops" may have been in the form of miniature oxen. Or, as De Wette and Rawlinson think, here may be a copyist's error, [Hebrew given] , knops or gourds, for [Hebrew given] , oxen.
DON'T THINK A COPYIST ERROR, ENOUGH DIFFERENCE IN THE HEBREW TO ELIMINATE THAT IDEA; WHEN YOU KNOW HOW THE SCRIPTURES WERE COPIED, SUCH AN ERROR WOULD NOT COME ABOUT - Keith Hunt
Mosaic law—character, cruel.
Conducive to happiness.
The words "fiery law," in the first text do not imply cruelty in the law, but may refer to the illuminating power of that law, or to the marked exhibitions of divine glory when the decalogue was given. 444
It may be added that those who stigmatize the Mosaic law as "cruel," are probably not aware that in point of clemency it compares favorably with the laws of other nations in ancient, as well as modern times. In the Mosaic law only some seventeen capital crimes are mentioned. 445 The laws of the Roman kings, and the twelve tables of the decemviri were full of cruel punishments. 446 In the English code, about two hundred years ago, there were one hundred and forty-eight capital crimes, "many of them of a trivial nature, as petty thefts and trespasses upon property." In England, in the eighteenth century, it was a capital crime to break down the mound of a fishpond, to cut down a cherry tree in an orchard, to steal a handkerchief or other trifle, of above the value of twelve pence, privately from another's person. In Sir Wm. Blackstone's time (a.d. 1723-1780), no less than one hundred and sixty 447 offences (almost ten times as many as in the Mosaic code), were declared by act of parliament to be capital crimes, worthy of instant death. 448
These facts should silence those who are perpetually inveighing against the "barbarity of the Mosaic code."
445 Wines, Laws of the Ancient Hebrews, p. 263.
446Montesquieu, Spirit of the Laws, Book vi. chapter 15.
447 One writer says, "nearly three hundred"; see "Romilly," in Appleton's New American Cyclopaedia (first edition).
448Blackstone's Commentaries, iv. 4, 15-18 (Christian's edition, New York, 1822).
Exodus 19:12, 21-24
Might be approached.
The Israelites were commanded to "set bounds" about the mount; perhaps, to build a fence or hedge of some kind. At the blast of the trumpet they were to leave their encampment, and go up to the foot of the mountain. But they were forbidden to "break through" the bounds or barrier, that is, to pass a certain limit, under penalty of death. 449
Nothing new on earth.
Some things are new.
Isaiah 43:19; 65:17; Jeremiah 31:22
Obviously, in relation to the Creator, nothing is new, for nothing is unforeseen or unexpected to him. And something similar may be said of man, viewed as a race, since the phenomena of nature recur in regular order, and history ever tends to repeat itself. But, with reference to any specific man or generation of men, many things are "new."
Paschal offering, a lamb or kid.
Might be from the herd.
The Hebrew word "seh" means both a lamb, and a kid.450 This fact relieves some apparent incongruities in our version. In the second text, the term "pass-over" includes not only the proper paschal sacrifice, but also the offerings 451 (some of which were taken from the "herd") of the succeeding six days; as is clear from the next verse: "seven days shalt thou eat unleavened bread therewith." As to Exodus 12:9 compared with Deuteronomy 16:7; the Hebrew term "bashal" means sometimes to cook in water; at other times, to roast or broil. 452
ALL PASSOVER QUESTIONS AND SEEMING CONTRADICTIONS, ARE ANSWERED IN MY MANY STUDIES ON THE TOPIC, UNDER "SABBATH AND FEASTS OF GOD.." - Keith Hunt
Parable of the talents.
Of the pounds.
Strauss asserts that these are discordant versions of the same parable; but Chrysostom, Gerhard, Alford, and Trench, 453 have shown that they are separate parables, addressed to quite distinct groups of hearers, in different states of mind, and needing different admonitions.
449Kurtz, iii. 115-116.
450See Exodus 12:5.
452Compare 2 Samuel 13:8; 2 Chronicles 35:13; particularly, the latter text.
453On Parables, p. 220 (American edition).
Strange gods, real existences.
Psalm 96:4-5; Isaiah 44:9-10,17
They are nothing.
1 Corinthians 8:4-5; 10:19
Paul, in asserting that "an idol is nothing in the world," does not deny the existence of the idol, but simply that it has any power to help or harm the worshipper. As Crusius has remarked, not the existence, but the divinity, of the idol is called in question.
Sun and moon put to shame.
Their glory increased.
The two passages combined are a poetic prediction that in a coming day, the light of the sun and the moon, though increased sevenfold, will be outdone and thrown into the shade by the revelation of the transcendent glory of Jehovah.
Version of affair—one form.
Genesis 42:7-20, 30-34: 43:3-13
A different form.
Tuch refers the variation to the inaccuracy of the narrate Judah. It may be that the agitation and alarm of the speak modified his narrative to some extent. At all events, his accuracy is not vouched for by the sacred historian.
Vessels made for the temple.
2 Chronicles 24:14
Not made at the time.
2 Kings 12:13-14
The statement in Kings simply amounts to this; that none of the money contributed was employed in making vessels, so long as the repairing of the temple was in progress. What became of the surplus that remained this author does not tell us. But the chronicler supplements the narrative with the information that this surplus was afterwards expended in making vessels for the temple.454
Waters of Egypt turned to blood.
Some not changed.
Exodus 7:22, 24
We may take the word "all," in the nineteenth and twentieth verses, in the loose popular sense, 455 as implying far the greater part; the exceptions being so few and insignificant that the author overlooks them entirely. Some water remained unchanged, upon which the magicians operated, and which
454 So Bahr, Keil, and Rawlinson.
455 So Keil, and Hengstenberg (Egypt and Books of Moses, pp. 109-110). The latter points out the use of universal terms throughout the narrative, "all the trees" broken by the hail, etc. The idiom is a very common one in all languages.
the Egyptians drank during the interval. Kurtz 456 thinks that only Nile water, whether in the river or in vessels, was changed, the water in the wells being unaffected. Mr. R. S. Poole 457 suggests that "only the water that was seen" was smitten, that the nation might not perish. Mr. Alexander 458 thinks that "the water when filtered through the earth on the bank of the river, was restored to its salubrity." This agrees with the statement that "all the Egyptians digged round about the river for water to drink" (verse 24). Any one of these hypotheses obviates the difficulty.
Water upon Mt. Carmel abundant.
1 Kings 18:32-35
The drought very severe.
1 Kings 17:7; 18:5
A rationalistic author sarcastically observes that the writer of Kings, in representing Elijah as using so much water 459 at his sacrifice, apparently forgot the long-continued drought, which, having lasted more than two years, must have dried up the mountain streams and the river Kishon supplied by them.
Whence did Elijah obtain water? Blunt 460 thinks that, since Carmel is upon the coast, sea water was employed. Bahr suggests that the brook Kishon was not dry, and that the water may have been obtained thence. Robinson 461 expresses the opinion that the transaction took place at the foot of the mountain; perhaps, at some Tell (hill) near the permanent fountains of the Kishon.
But Dean Stanley, 462 with Van de Velde, J. L. Porter, Rawlinson, Tristram, and Prof. C. M. Mead, 463 speak of a perennial fountain, a little below the summit of Carmel, from which the water was almost certainly obtained. Stanley, quoting Van de Velde, describes it as "a vaulted and very abundant fountain, built in the form of a tank with a few steps leading down to it, just as one finds elsewhere in the old wells or springs of the Jewish times." Prof. Mead, at a recent visit, found the water in this fountain more than nine feet in depth, and suggests that it may have been considerably deeper in Elijah's time. He says that the "trench" dug by the prophet would contain some twelve to twenty-four quarts only. He found upon the summit of Caramel, and not very far distant from the aforesaid
457 Smith's Bible Diet., iii. 2540.
459Fuerst and Gesenius say that the word rendered "barrels" in our version, means buckets or pails. Translated "pitcher," Genesis 24:14-20.
460Coincidences, p. 199.
461 Physical Geography of the Holy Land, p. 31, and note.
462Sinai and Palestine, p. 347, and note. Comp. Josephus, Ant. viii. 13, 5.
463Bibliotheca Sacra, Oct. 1873, pp. 672-696.
fountain, "a rocky surface, artificially smoothed, about eight feet square, around the edge of which had been dug a groove an inch or two in depth."
This may have been the very spot where Elijah vindicated the patriarchal faith, and where Jehovah "answered by fire" the prayer of his servant the prophet.
AND THIS IS TO SAY NOTHING OF A MIRACLE FROM GOD, TO HAVE WATER THERE WHEN ELIJAH NEEDED IT - Keith Hunt
We have now reviewed carefully, yet of necessity rapidly, the "discrepancies" of the Bible. We have aimed to include all that are worthy of even a cursory glance; and we trust that the candid reader will feel that, in the great majority of cases, we have stated, or at all events suggested, fair and adequate solutions. When we consider the long interval of time—from eighteen to thirty-three centuries—which has elapsed since the several books of scripture were written; and that during all but four centuries of this time they have been circulated and transmitted in manuscript; and the additional fact that our knowledge of antiquity is exceedingly limited and imperfect—many minute, and sometimes important, circumstances pertaining to every event having passed irrecoverably from the memory of mankind—when these disadvantages which attend the investigation of the subject are taken into account, it surely can not be too much to believe that, if in any instance the explanation adduced should seem inadequate, a knowledge of all the circumstances of the case would supply the missing link, and solve the supposed discrepancy to the complete satisfaction of every reasonable mind.
END OF THE BOOK
THE READER SHOULD NOW BE ABLE TO CLEARLY SEE THAT MANY "BIBLE SCHOLARS" KNOW THERE ARE SEEMINGLY CONTRADICTIONS IN THE BIBLE. THEY HAVE SPENT MUCH TIME IN STUDYING THEM, AND ANSWERING THEM. THE BIBLE WAS WRITTEN IN A WAY THAT IF WHOEVER WANTED TO DISCARD IT, REJECT IT…..THEY SURE COULD. GOD IS NOT NOW CALLING ALL PEOPLES TO SALVATION IN THIS AGE; THIS IS SEEN CLEARLY FROM ROMANS CHAPTER 9 THROUGH TO 11.
THERE IS AMPLE EVIDENCE [FROM CREATION] TO PROVE GOD EXISTS; AND SO BEING THE CASE, THAT GOD HAS THE POWER TO WRITE AND PRESERVE HIS WORD TO MANKIND.
JESUS SAID MAN WAS TO NOT LIVE BY BREAD ALONE BUT BY EVERY WORD THAT CAME FROM GOD. THE BIBLE HAS TO BE STUDIED, ALL OF IT. YOU MUST FIND ALL VERSES ON ANY PARTICULAR TOPIC OF THE BIBLE, TO FIND THE TRUTH ON THAT TOPIC. YES IT TAKES SOME EFFORT, SOME RESEARCHING, SOME STUDY, TO LIVE BY EVERY WORD OF GOD.
THE REWARD FOR SO THEN DOING IN THE WORKS YOU LIVE [REWARDED BY WORKS; SAVED BY GRACE] , WILL BE ACCORDING AS YOU HAVE DONE.
BEING SAVED BY GRACE THROUGH FAITH, IS ONE SUBJECT THAT VERY FEW REALLY KNOW THE TRUTH ABOUT. THAT MOST IMPORTANT TRUTH IS MADE EASY TO UNDERSTAND IN MY STUDY ON THIS WEBSITE CALLED "SAVED BY GRACE."