ABC:1 Chronicles 1

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Verse 36[edit]

TheThinkingAtheist.com claims the Bible is wrong about the following passage, and makes the following comments:[1]

Genesis 36:11 And the sons of Eliphaz were Teman, Omar, Zepho, and Gatam, and Kenaz.

Five sons.

1 Chronicles 1:36 The sons of Eliphaz; Teman, and Omar, Zephi, and Gatam, Kenaz, and Timna, and Amalek.

Seven sons.

This is one of those cases where the critics just doesn't understand the Bible wasn't written in modern English, but that the Old Testament was written in ancient Hebrew. We translated the Hebrew word ben as "sons" but it's not used the way we would use it today. The following is the interlinear showing the ancient Hebrew words as seen in manuscripts like the Dead Sea Scrolls.

1 Chronicles 1:36 The sons <ben> of Eliphaz; <'Eliyphaz> Teman, <Teyman> and Omar, <'Owmar> Zephi, <Ts@phow> and Gatam, <Ga`tam> Kenaz, <Q@naz> and Timna, <Timna`> and Amalek. <`Amaleq>

By that I mean it simply means any male children descended from the person in question, not necessarily members of one's direct family. When C.S. Lewis (a Christian apologist) wrote the "Chronicles of Narnia" he actually followed the Biblical example of referring to the human children as "sons of Adam" and "daughters of Eve."[2]

TheThinkingAtheist.com probably intentionally omitted the crucial next verse showing this was what was occurring. If they had quoted v. 12 and not just v. 11 it would have been very clear that Amalek was indeed descended from Eliphaz, just not a son, but rather a grandson.

Genesis 36:11 And the sons of Eliphaz were Teman, Omar, Zepho, and Gatam, and Kenaz.
12 And Timna was concubine to Eliphaz Esau's son; and she bare to Eliphaz Amalek: these were the sons of Adah Esau's wife.
13 And these are the sons of Reuel; Nahath, and Zerah, Shammah, and Mizzah: these were the sons of Bashemath Esau's wife.
14 And these were the sons of Aholibamah, the daughter of Anah the daughter of Zibeon, Esau's wife: and she bare to Esau Jeush, and Jaalam, and Korah.
15 These were dukes of the sons of Esau: the sons of Eliphaz the firstborn son of Esau; duke Teman, duke Omar, duke Zepho, duke Kenaz,
16 Duke Korah, duke Gatam, and duke Amalek: these are the dukes that came of Eliphaz in the land of Edom; these were the sons of Adah.

Timna was actually the name of Eliphaz' wife, but it appears a later descendant was named after her, probably in her honor, as seen from both passages. Since it was a female name, it may be that Timna was actually a daughter yet considered a ruler or "Duke" (Hebrew alluwph[3]) nonetheless because of her heritage, and counted as a Canaanite ruler.

Genesis 36:40 And these are the names of the dukes that came of Esau, according to their families, after their places, by their names; duke Timnah, duke Alvah, duke Jetheth,

1 Chronicles 1:51 Hadad died also. And the dukes of Edom were; duke Timnah, duke Aliah, duke Jetheth,

At any rate, there is no contradiction. The critic just didn't realize that the Hebrew word translated "sons" is closer to our word "descendants" than "sons" in modern English.

Sources[edit]

  1. TheThinkingAtheist. Bible Contradictions. Retrieved from http://www.thethinkingatheist.com/page/bible-contradictions.
  2. Human. WikiNarnia. Retrieved from http://narnia.wikia.com/wiki/Human.
  3. Brown, Driver, Briggs and Gesenius. Hebrew Lexicon entry for 'alluwph. The KJV Old Testament Hebrew Lexicon. Retrieved from http://www.biblestudytools.com/lexicons/hebrew/kjv/alluwph.html.