Supposed Bible Contradictions – Who Moved David to Number Israel?

Again the anger of the Lord was aroused against Israel, and He moved David against them to say, “Go, number Israel and Judah.” (2 Sam. 24:1)

1 Now Satan stood up against Israel, and moved David to number Israel. 2 So David said to Joab and to the leaders of the people, “Go, number Israel from Beersheba to Dan, and bring the number of them to me that I may know it.” (1 Chron. 21:1-2)

The opening verse of the closing chapter of 2nd  Samuel brings with it some interesting textual and theological questions. First we might ask, “Why ‘again?’” You’ll notice the beginning of the verse states, “Again the anger of the LORD was aroused against Israel…” What was the prior event of God’s anger that preceded this occasion of His righteous indignation? Perhaps the best answer is found in Israel’s previous nation-wide sin of supporting Absalom and/or the more recent Sheba-inspired rebellion. Next, why exactly was God’s anger aroused against Israel at the time of this text? We are not given the precise reason but we can rest assured, based upon Israel’s prior disobedience and God’s unfailing righteousness, that they were deserving of His wrath. Third, there’s the theological question, “In what way did the sinless Sovereign move or, better translated – ‘incite,’ David to number Israel?” 

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Preparing For The Lord’s Return (Phil 3:20)

For our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ (Philippians 3:20)

When Paul wrote to the church at Philippi he, at times, used words that would have special significance to those reading his epistle. Philippi had the unique distinction of being a Roman colony, a privilege that entitled its inhabitants to Roman citizenship even though they were approximately 800 miles away from Rome. Thus, the word “citizenship” carried significant overtones to those in Philippi. It meant that they were free from certain, if not all, taxes, spoke the Latin language, wore the Roman garb, and took great pride in that exclusive designation.

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Supposed Bible Contradictions – How Did Saul Really Die? (1 Sam. 31:4; 2 Sam. 1:10)

4 Then Saul said to his armorbearer, “Draw your sword, and thrust me through with it, lest these uncircumcised men come and thrust me through and abuse me.” But his armorbearer would not, for he was greatly afraid. Therefore Saul took a sword and fell on it.

(1 Samuel 31:4)

10 So I stood over him and killed him, because I was sure that he could not live after he had fallen. And I took the crown that was on his head and the bracelet that was on his arm, and have brought them here to my lord.”
(2 Samuel 1:10)

Have you ever told a story to make yourself look better than you are? Have you ever changed certain details while recounting a personal story in the hopes that you’d win favor, or approval, or applause with your hearer(s)? That appears to be exactly what the young man in 2nd Samuel was doing – a strategy which didn’t work out well for him. But nonetheless, his fabrication provides an explanation for the different accounts of Saul’s demise.

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Supposed Bible Contradictions – Who is With and Against Jesus? (Lk 9:50; 11:23)

49 Now John answered and said, “Master, we saw someone casting out demons in Your name, and we forbade him because he does not follow with us.” 50 But Jesus said to him, “Do not forbid him, for he who is not against us is on our side.” (Lk. 9:49,50)

“He who is not with Me is against Me, and he who does not gather with Me scatters.” (Lk. 11:23)

Shortly after the familiar apostolic debate – ‘which one of us is the greatest?’ (Lk. 9:46) – and shortly after Jesus perceived the thoughts of His disciples and gave them an illustration, along with some instruction, about true greatness (vs.47-48), John, for whatever reason, called Jesus’ attention to something he and the others had seen at some earlier time; namely, a man who wasn’t among them but was casting out demons in Jesus’ name (vs.49). A quick glance at the verse reminds us that this guy was being used in this way. This was not a case like in the book of Acts where the seven sons of Sceva tried to cast out a demon in the name of “Jesus whom Paul preaches” and it didn’t work (Acts 19:13b). Here, the guy was actually casting out demons in Jesus’ name. So all we know about this man, which is very little, suggests that he believed in Jesus and was being used by God to advance the kingdom of God.

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Supposed Bible Contradictions – Is Jesus Eternal or the Firstborn of All Creation? (Jn. 1:3; Col. 1:15)

All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. (Jn. 1:3)

He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. (Col. 1:15 NASB)

The answer to the question posed in the title of this teaching is yes – Jesus is eternal andHe is the firstborn of all creation. While there isn’t a contradiction that exists between both of those suppositions, there can appear to be one if the use of the word firstborn in Colossians 1:15 is misunderstood.

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