ABC:1 Kings 16

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Verse 6[edit]

Jim Meritt of Infidels.org claims there is a contradiction here in his section "When did Baasha die?"[1]

1 Kings 16:6 So Baasha slept with his fathers, and was buried in Tirzah: and Elah his son reigned in his stead.
7 And also by the hand of the prophet Jehu the son of Hanani came the word of the LORD against Baasha, and against his house, even for all the evil that he did in the sight of the LORD, in provoking him to anger with the work of his hands, in being like the house of Jeroboam; and because he killed him.
8 In the twenty and sixth year of Asa king of Judah began Elah the son of Baasha to reign over Israel in Tirzah, two years.

2 Chronicles 16:1 In the six and thirtieth year of the reign of Asa Baasha king of Israel came up against Judah, and built Ramah, to the intent that he might let none go out or come in to Asa king of Judah.

Meritt makes a very careless mistake here in asking "When did Baasha die?" Presumably he is assuming that the 1 Kings 16 passage says Baasha died in his 26th year (v. 8) while the 2 Chronicles 16 passage says Baasha still reigned in his 36th year. However, as anyone with reading comprehension should notice, the passages are not equivalent because 1 Kings 16:8 is referring to the 26th year of Asa as king over JUDAH, whereas 2 Chronicles 16:1 refers to the 36th year of Asa as king over ISRAEL. Israel was divided into two separate kingdoms, Judah and Israel, so the logical answer is that Baasha simply ruled Israel at least 10 years longer than he did Judah. What is more, the previous chapter, 1 Kings 15, even gives the time spans for when he reigned over the kingdoms of Judah and Israel separately. See e.g. the Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary which pointed this out in 1871 A.D.[2]

1 Kings 15:9 And in the twentieth year of Jeroboam king of Israel reigned Asa over Judah.
10 And forty and one years reigned he in Jerusalem. And his mother's name was Maachah, the daughter of Abishalom.
11 And Asa did that which was right in the eyes of the LORD, as did David his father.
12 And he took away the sodomites out of the land, and removed all the idols that his fathers had made.
13 And also Maachah his mother, even her he removed from being queen, because she had made an idol in a grove; and Asa destroyed her idol, and burnt it by the brook Kidron.

Additionally, as pointed out by the Bible Baptist Church in Ballincollig, 1 Kings 15:13 shows Asa co-reigned with his mother Maachah for several years.

"The '26th year of Asa’s reign' spoken of 1Kings 16:8 only speaks about the amount of time that Asa had reigned ALONE, and these '26 years' do not include the period he co-reigned with his mother queen Maachah before she made an idol and was dethroned (see 1Kings 15:10-13) which could have lasted ten years or more. This is very plausible as it wouldn’t be the first time that the author differentiates between a co-reign and an individual reign (see below). This explains the seeming inconsistency with Baasha still being alive in the '36th year of Asa’s reign' in 2Chron 16:1 (the '36 years' of 2Chron 16:1 including BOTH Asa’s co-reign and individual reign). A similar case arises in the records of how long Jotham reigned, which also seems at first sight to be contradictory (see 'contradiction' nos. 10 and 13 just below)."

-Bible Baptist Church in Ballincollig[3]

Sources[edit]

  1. Meritt, Jim (1992). A list of Biblical contradictions. Retrieved from http://www.infidels.org/library/modern/jim_meritt/bible-contradictions.html.
  2. Jamieson, Fauseset, & Brown (1871). Bible Commentary Critical and Explanatory. Retrieved from http://jfb.biblecommenter.com/2_chronicles/16.htm.
  3. Bible Baptist Church in Ballincollig. Supposed Contradictions. Retrieved from http://www.biblebc.com/ask_a_question/7questions/Names_Ages_Dates_Numbers.htm.