How Many Men Did david Slay 700 or 7000? And Were There 40,000 Horsemen or Footmen?


Supposed contradiction and verses:

How many men did David slay? 700 or 7000? And were there 40,000 horsemen or footmen?

2nd Samuel 10:18

And the Syrians fled before Israel; and David slew the men of seven hundred chariots of the Syrians, and forty thousand horsemen, and smote Shobach the captain of their host, who died there.

1st Chronicles 19:18

But the Syrians fled before Israel; and David slew of the Syrians seven thousand men which fought in chariots, and forty thousand footmen, and killed Shophach the captain of the host.


   First, the atheist actually poses a false contradiction because of an assumption. 2nd Samuel tells us it is the men OF 700 chariots while 1st Chronicles tells us it is 7000 men who fought in chariots. Let us look at our current and recent military. I will use a cannon for example. There would be a company of men that operates a cannon. If one got wounded, sick, or even died….would it have to bring its operation to a halt? No! There would be others who would come in to take over as these situations arose. This is no different. The fact that there were 7000 men over 700 chariots fighting in chariots, tells us, there were 10 men assigned to a chariot. Battles drug on for long periods of time. The chariot riders would tire so someone else would have to take over. Also, people would get wounded or be killed. You couldn’t just let a valuable piece of armory like that just sit there! Thus, the team of men per chariot. So, when David won this battle, he slew the men of 700 chariots, which totaled 7000 men. As for the question of 40,000 footmen or horsemen, the answer is both! The writer in each circumstance, chose to include what he felt was important to capture for the book. The non-inclusion of one point neither makes it a contradiction, nor invalid. This is no different than what you see from one newspaper to another or one news show to another today when covering the same exact story. There is no contradiction!

In His Grace,

            Mike Harris


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