After forty years
7 Now it came about at the end of forty years that Absalom said to the king, "Please let me go and pay my vow which I have vowed to the LORD, in Hebron.
NASB  2 Samuel 15:7

David only ruled for a total of forty years …
4 David was thirty years old when he became king, and he reigned forty years.
5 At Hebron he reigned over Judah seven years and six months, and in Jerusalem he reigned thirty-three years over all Israel and Judah.
NASB  2 Samuel 5:4-5

SAB Contradiction 10

“Bible Contradiction”

Yes, it’s a serious problem! If David only reigned forty years, then it seems – according to rational thinking – impossible to suppose that Absalom rebelled against David after his funeral. Answering this supposed contradiction needs a closer look.

Six forgotten months

It is rather funny how little the SAB faultfinder is acquainted with his subject. He didn’t take the trouble to read the next Bible verse, in blue (2 Samuel 5:5). There we get the figures that David actually reigned forty years and a half (year)! As so often occurs in the Bible, when years are mentioned it is possible that a round figure is given without the remainder of the period shorter than one year; in this case six months. 

Copyist error?

Now it is a well known fact that many modern commentators on this passages suggest that a copyist error was made in 2 Samuel 15:7. Instead of ‘forty years’, they assume it should be read ‘four years’, supposing that six months at the end of David’s life is far too short a period for the revolt of Absalom. But how valid is this opinion? The uprising of Absalom had been planned long before (2 Samuel 15:1-6) and when the moment was there, the events moved swiftly. One month was enough for the beginning of the revolt until the restoration of David as king. Even Absalom’s successor, Sheba, the son of Bichri, was beaten quickly. Conclusion: the rebellions of Absalom and Sheba took place in the eve of David’s reign. Right after the festivities connected with his forty year jubilee. Copyist error? Of course not!

No Bible Contradiction