Eight sons
10 Thus Jesse made seven of his sons pass before Samuel. But Samuel said to Jesse, “The Lord has not chosen these.”
11 And Samuel said to Jesse, “Are these all the children?” And he said, “There remains yet the youngest, and behold, he is tending the sheep.” Then Samuel said to Jesse, “Send and bring him [David]; for we will not sit down until he comes here.”

1 Samuel 16:10-11  NASBu

12 Now David was the son of the Ephrathite of Bethlehem in Judah, whose name was Jesse, and he had eight sons. And Jesse was old in the days of Saul, advanced in years among men.
1 Samuel 17:12  NASBu


Seven sons
13 and Jesse became the father of Eliab his firstborn, then Abinadab the second, Shimea the third,
14 Nethanel the fourth, Raddai the fifth,
15 Ozem the sixth, David the seventh;

1 Chronicles 2:13-15  NASBu


SAB Contradiction 247


The problem
It is a most interesting question of how many brothers David had. Were there eight brothers according to the book of 1 Samuel or were there seven according to 1 Chronicles?


The nature of prophetical records
As mentioned earlier, we have to reckon with the way prophetical writing was done in Old Israel. Prophets wrote what they saw and heard and from that moment it was custom to not change that. It was not only a religious presupposition to not change what God had spoken, but in the prophetical culture of Old Israel it was also daily custom to not change notes and reports. This meant that all sort of texts entered into the Holy Scriptures as the prophetical writers were eager to deliver all these texts in a proper way.


In 1 Samuel we read the story of David being young, was anointed to become king in Israel. At that moment Jesse had eight sons, as is clearly stated in chapter 16:10-11 and 17:12.

In 1 Chronicles we read an enumeration of Jesse’s sons, seven in number. However, this list is of much later date representing the descendants of patriarch Judah. As there is one son of Jesse lacking the conclusion is justified that one son of Jesse died early, with the result that David being the eighth, became later the seventh (living) son.


No Bible Contradiction