How many charioteers were killed, 700 or 7,000?

2 Samuel 10:18 and 1 Chronicles 19:18

  1. 700 charioteers (2 Samuel 10:18) - "But the Arameans fled before Israel, and David killed 700 charioteers of the Arameans and 40,000 horsemen and struck down Shobach the commander of their army, and he died there."
  2. 7,000 charioteers (1 Chronicles 19:18) - "And the Arameans fled before Israel, and David killed of the Arameans 7,000 charioteers and 40,000 foot soldiers, and put to death Shophach the commander of the army."

This is most probably a copyist error. Notice how the number is off by a single zero; that is, by a single notation of a digit. According to "Alledged Discrepencies of the Bible," page 382, regarding the characters used to designate numbers, "Nun final Final Nun, was mistaken for dotted Zayin Zayin," would account for the copyist error in the text. Most probably, the correct number is 7,000 charioteers.


About The Author

Matt Slick is the President and Founder of the Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry.