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Did Solomon have 40,000 stalls for horses or 4,000

Yet another “contradiction” that people like to use against the Bible is the apparent discrepancy between the Bibles recorded stalls for horses that Solomon had.

In 1 Kings we are told that Solomon had 40,000 stalls

 

1 Kings 4-26 And Solomon had forty thousand stalls of horses for his chariots, and twelve thousand horsemen.

 

However in 2 Chronicles we are told that he had 4,000

 

2 Chronicles 9-25 And Solomon had four thousand stalls for horses and chariots, and twelve thousand horsemen; whom he bestowed in the chariot cities, and with the king at Jerusalem.

 

That is a big error. Some 36,000 stalls difference. This is another that is often put down to the copyist error.

 

Many modern versions “correct” this error here and change 1 Kings to 4,000 and not 40,000 such as the NIV

1 Kings 4-26 Solomon had four thousand stalls for chariot horses, and twelve thousand horses. NIV

 

Of course in English it could be an easy mistake. After all it is just one ‘0’ difference. 4 ‘0’s’ instead of 3 or vise versa. However the Hebrew is different. The words were written out.

 

The Hebrew in this verse is אַרְבָּעִ֥ים ’ar-bā-‘îm it is the written Hebrew number 40. The Hebrew number for 4 is אַרְבַּעַת ’ar-ba-‘aṯ the words are similar but the ending is not.

The NIV translates this as 4

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.

There is not a lot of explaining required and no deep study to answer this “contradiction”. It simply disappears when we just look at the language used in the 2 verses themselves,

 

In 1 Kings it says that King Solomon had 40,000 stalls OF Horses FOR his chariots. Clearly Solomon had 40,000 horses.

However 2 Chronicles says that he had 4,000 stalls FOR Horses AND chariots.

One says that the stalls were for the  horses that were FOR the chariots and the other says the stalls for horses AND the chariots.


The “contradiction” is resolved by a simple mathematical equation.

40,000 horses, 4,000 chariots with horses. 40,000 ÷ 4,000 = 10

There were 10 horses per chariot.

 

Solomon had 40,000 stalls for the horses. 1 stall per horse. He also had 4,000 stalls for the horses AND chariots together.

When we just look at the actual text there really is no contradiction at all.  


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