Thursday, November 26, 2015

The Self-Harmony of the Bible - 3 (Part Three)

Did Eli Correct His Sons?
Eli, the High Priest during the time of Samuel, did not correct his sons according to 1 Samuel 3:13. The skeptic, though, points out 1 Samuel 2:23-25, where he says Eli supposedly corrects his sons. Eli says there (NIV): “Why do you do such things? I hear from all the people about these wicked deeds of yours. No, my sons; the report I hear spreading among the LORD’s people is not good. If one person sins against another, God may mediate for the offender; but if anyone sins against the LORD, who will intercede for them?” But, does this really amount to contradiction? No, for his reproof was a slap on the wrist. He could have removed them from office, but he did not.

Were the Gibeonites Amorites or Hivites?
Joshua 11:19 says that the Gibeonites, who were spared by Joshua, but attacked by Saul, were Hivites, a nation of the Canaanites. However 2 Samuel 21:2 calls them Amorites, a separate Canaanite nation. The skeptic concludes that these verses are contradictory. However, it appears that “Amorite” was also used to describe all the Canaanite, for they were (at least for a while) the dominate nation of Canaan.[1] In the same way the Bible itself began to refer to the Israelites as Jews, despite the term at first denoting only those of the tribe of Judah. There is no contradiction; the Gibeonites were Hivites and Amorites.

[1] Insight on the Scriptures, Vol. 1 p.97 says: “Some commentators consider the term “Amorites” as used at Genesis 15:16 and 48:22 to represent the peoples of Canaan as a whole. The Amorites do appear to have been the principal or dominant tribe in Canaan at the time of the Israelite Exodus from Egypt. (Compare De 1:6-8, 19-21, 27; Jos 24:15, 18; Jg 6:10.) If this is so, then it would be understandable that, at times, other subordinate and related tribes should be referred to under the name of the dominant tribe of the Amorites.”

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