Ezra’s Imperfect Notion of The Rules of Criticism Leads to Many Faults


Bismillahir Rahmanir Raheem
بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ ,

I would like everyone to compare the following verses. Both are attempting to explain the same genealogy as given in the Bible. Read them carefully and you’ll see that they don’t match:

1 Chronicles 8:29-35 (King James Version)
29And at Gibeon dwelt the father of Gibeon; whose wife’s name was Maachah:
30And his firstborn son Abdon, and Zur, and Kish, and Baal, and Nadab,
31And Gedor, and Ahio, and Zacher.
32And Mikloth begat Shimeah. And these also dwelt with their brethren in Jerusalem, over against them.
33And Ner begat Kish, and Kish begat Saul, and Saul begat Jonathan, and Malchishua, and Abinadab, and Eshbaal.
34And the son of Jonathan was Meribbaal; and Meribbaal begat Micah.
35And the sons of Micah were, Pithon, and Melech, and Tarea, and Ahaz.

1 Chronicles 9:35-44 (King James Version)
35And in Gibeon dwelt the father of Gibeon, Jehiel, whose wife’s name was Maachah:
36And his firstborn son Abdon, then Zur, and Kish, and Baal, and Ner, and Nadab.
37And Gedor, and Ahio, and Zechariah, and Mikloth.
38And Mikloth begat Shimeam. And they also dwelt with their brethren at Jerusalem, over against their brethren.
39And Ner begat Kish; and Kish begat Saul; and Saul begat Jonathan, and Malchishua, and Abinadab, and Eshbaal.
40And the son of Jonathan was Meribbaal: and Meribbaal begat Micah.
41And the sons of Micah were, Pithon, and Melech, and Tahrea, and Ahaz.
42And Ahaz begat Jarah; and Jarah begat Alemeth, and Azmaveth, and Zimri; and Zimri begat Moza;
43And Moza begat Binea; and Rephaiah his son, Eleasah his son, Azel his son.
44And Azel had six sons, whose names are these, Azrikam, Bocheru, and Ishmael, and Sheariah, and Obadiah, and Hanan: these were the sons of Azel.

We see the clear contradiction, it is obvious to anyone who can read that the two geologies are not the same despite their near proximity within 1 Chronicles, just differing from one Chapter, what makes it worse, is that they’re two chapters one right after the other!

Adam Clarke wrote, regarding these two genealogies:

This passage to the end of the 38th verse is found with a little variety in the names, 1 Chronicles 9:35-44.

The rabbins say that Ezra, having found two books that had these passages with a variety in the names, as they agreed in general, he thought best to insert them both, not being able to discern which was the best.

His general plan was to collate all the copies he had, and to follow the greater number when he found them to agree; those which disagreed from the majority were thrown aside as spurious; and yet, in many cases, probably the rejected copies contained the true text.

If Ezra proceeded as R. Sol. Jarchi says, he had a very imperfect notion of the rules of true criticism; and it is no wonder that he has left so many faults in his text.

According to Clarke, Ezra found two books each varying slightly and so he decided to include both, even though he must have known that one or both were wrong. He continues by saying no wonder Ezra had so many faults in his text because he was unable to distinguish truth from falsehood.

I know genealogy is not knowledge that is vital to the salvation of mankind, however, this should make apparent that the Bible must be verified before accepted. This is because if the God of the Bible allowed simple mistakes such as these, what other mistakes did He allow in a book meant to guide all of mankind?

wa Allaahu Alam.
[and Allaah knows best.]