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Hey I'm here to ask about the supposed contradiction in Kings and Chronicles, what was Ahaziah's age? It definitly cannot be 40+ since he'd be as old/older then his father, hence the verse which is about 40 must be false or a mistranslation, so how do we reconcile this? Rashi's pirush, or Malbim are not of much use and complicated to understand.
Is there a way for Ahaziah to live until he's 40 to be crowned again? After his father's death? As David Kimchi proposed?

Sources : II chronicles 22:2 vs II Kings 8:26

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  • Why is being complicated to understand a disqualification? Lots of things in life are complicated and true.
    – N.T.
    Oct 13, 2022 at 20:58
  • Hi @KaijixPapa and welcome to Mi Yodeya! I don't understand why you are disregarding Rashi or the Malbim when they spell it out?
    – Dov
    Oct 13, 2022 at 21:05

2 Answers 2

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Rather than looking at the Rashi at Divrei HaYamim II 22:2 which is perhaps worded in a more technical manner as it jumps straight into the problem without framing it accordingly, and given the fact that there is no Rashi on the verse in Malachim II 8:26, are you aware that there is a Rashi later on Melachim II 9:29 which perhaps says it over in a more simplified way:

He starts off by showing the evident problem:

...Here it states, “Achazyohu was twenty-two years old when he became king,” but in Divrei Hayomim [it states], “He was forty-two years old when he reigned.” Yehorom, his father, lived for forty years, no more, as it is stated, concerning him, “He was thirty-two years old when he became king, and he reigned eight years [in Yerusholayim].” How then is it possible for a son to be two years older than his father?

Rashi therefore explains that it is a very simple technicality as per the Seder Olam and Tosefta:

Rather, twenty years before he was born, which is two years before his father was born, this decree was issued. From the day that Asa took Omri’s daughter in marriage for Yehoshophot his son, a decree was issued upon the House of Dovid that it be destroyed with the House of Achov. And similarly it states, “And from God [it was decreed] for the ruination of Achazyohu, that he come to Yorom, etc.” Thus it is taught in Seder Olam and in the Tosefta of [Maseches] Sotah.

Only issue is that Rashi points out there appears to be no reference anywhere in Tanach for this marriage, meaning it might be going on another marriage from which we can balance out the numbers:

However, in all of Scripture, we do not find that Yehoshophot married Omri’s daughter. However, I did find in Divrei Hayomim, “And he intermarried with Achov.” Perhaps this [refers to] his sister whom he married. He married her in the thirty-first year of Asa, as it is stated, “In the thirty-first year of the reign of Asa, [King of Yehudah], Omri reigned [over Yisroel].” And we learned in Seder Olam that he reigned over the entire kingdom, for six years before then he reigned over half the people, and when Asa took his [Imri’s] daughter in marriage to [his son] Yehoshophot, Imri gained prestige, and they assassinated Tivni. Proceed and calculate from the thirty-first year of Asa until Achazyohu’s death and you will find them to be forty-two [years].

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  • I hope breaking it into bitesize pieces makes it more easy to understand?
    – Dov
    Oct 13, 2022 at 21:32
  • One, question, this explains it but the verse doesn't imply that, the verse says Ahaziah was 42 not the decree, is there another instance in the hebrew of such happening or a similar thing in the tanakh? Oct 13, 2022 at 22:39
  • @KaijixPapa There are many other cases of discrepancies being explained similarly in Melachim.
    – N.T.
    Oct 14, 2022 at 1:27
  • I be am challenging this view at all, but I’m really having difficulty understanding it. Perhaps a more simplified explanation, for the more textually challenged? Nov 17, 2022 at 16:36
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Scholars of textual criticism consider the difference to be a copyist's error transcribing 4 instead of 2 in the first number of the age when they began to reign, now which side they erred no one knows for sure. Attempts to explain this by explanations that are not found in the scriptures have no scientific validity and are restricted to the theological sphere, it seems to me that you want an exact and technical explanation and this is the most accurate there is, as well as other inconsistencies as in reign of Jeconiah, began to reign at 8 or 18 years old? Here the same explanation fits, only this time they omitted or added the 1, which side of the books is the question. Only an addendum, some Greek and Syriac versions of 2 Chronicles 22:2 finds the age of 22 when he began to reign, only the Masoretic text which the modern translations are based on does not contain this version.

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  • 1. Study of scripture is never "scientific". 2. This is the Judaism SE and by definition theological. 3. The presupposition in Jewish study of these books is that they were divinely inspired and do not always mean what they appear to mean on the surface. That is a matter of historical belief. 4. A method of study that removes the books from their historical context and understanding is the opposite of scientific.
    – N.T.
    Oct 14, 2022 at 1:32
  • It is scientific because it is registered in something palpable and in which there are several versions that can be compared and based on judging the value of these testimonies, the papyri say, for example the oldest version of the Tanach is the Septuagint, this means that it originated from greek? No way. How do we know not? Is it because of the Letter of Aristeas? Textual style can explain up to the time it was written, book of Daniel has parts in Aramaic and some expressions from Hellenistic times and so on.
    – Thales
    Oct 14, 2022 at 1:43
  • Science means testable hypotheses with predictable outcomes. In terms of history, all you get is educated guesses.
    – N.T.
    Oct 14, 2022 at 21:39
  • Textual criticism is not history but forensic investigation. Its objective is not to deconstruct traditions, beliefs or cultures, but to reconstruct an accurate image of the time, circumstance in which they were written. Whoever evaluates textual criticism is making a historical evaluation, subject to various strands and currents of thought, but the empirical evidence is indisputable. Many Jews accept the claims of textual critics without feeling outraged or disrespected, only the most orthodox still remain unshaken that it was Moses who wrote the Torah and so on.
    – Thales
    Oct 14, 2022 at 22:04
  • No disrespect, but it is all just educated guesses, usually from a mindset that starts by dismissing the claims of history. Your second sentence is just drinking the kool-aid. Most textual critics do an execrable job of looking at the text from the lens of archaeology and similar documents in history. See "On the Reliability of the Old Testament" by Kenneth A. Kitchen.
    – N.T.
    Oct 16, 2022 at 2:44

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