Jehovah`s Witness/can I have your thought
Why is there a contradiction?
2 Samuel 24:1 (ASV)
And again the anger of Jehovah was kindled against Israel, and he moved David against them, saying, Go, number Israel and Judah.
1 Chronicles 21:1 (ASV)
And Satan stood up against Israel, and moved David to number Israel.
>That's a BLASPHEMY!!! Can you explain why?
Thanks and L.F.
Well Dave, first off, let's not automatically assume the Bible contains a contradiction when it does not. I have found in my studies over the years, that what may initially seem like a contradiction, is usually a failure on my part to either understand, or properly read the wording. I do not believe that we should take the approach of assuming that a contradiction exists, and we certainly should NOT say "that's a blasphemy", when the fault is in our understanding, and not the Bible itself.
Now, let's look at this supposed "contradiction". I will use the King James Bible, if you don't mind. It reads....
2 Samuel 24:1- "And again the anger of the LORD was kindled against Israel, and he moved David against them to say, Go, number Israel and Judah."
1 Chronicles 21:1- "And Satan stood up against Israel, and provoked David to number Israel."
I assume you are asking me why one passage says that God moved David to number Israel, and the other says it was the devil.
One possible explanation, is to understand that Satan only does what God allows him to do. Such was the case of Job, when it is clear from reading the first chapter, that Satan was the one who DIRECTLY smote Job, but it was God Who gave the permission to do so. This was viewed in an indirect sense, of God "being moved against Job", although it was actually Satan who did the afflicting. Consider the following verses from Job, showing both Satan and God, being said to be responsible.....
Job 1:11- "But put forth thine hand now, and touch all that he hath, and he will curse thee to thy face."
(Satan challenges God to remove the hedge of protection from around Job, and also challenges God to afflict him.)
Job 1:12- "And the LORD said unto Satan, Behold, all that he hath [is] in thy power; only upon himself put not forth thine hand. So Satan went forth from the presence of the LORD."
(God removes the hedge of protection, and allows Satan to DIRECTLY afflict Job's possessions and his family.)
But notice that Job acknowledges God's role in it....
Job 1:21- "And said, Naked came I out of my mother's womb, and naked shall I return thither: the LORD gave, and the LORD hath taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD."
(Even though it was Satan who directly afflicted Job's possessions and his children, it was God Who allowed it indirectly, by removing the hedge of protection).
Job 2:3- "And the LORD said unto Satan, Hast thou considered my servant Job, that [there is] none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil? and still he holdeth fast his integrity, although thou movedst me against him, to destroy him without cause."
(Notice that God Himself takes responsibility for what happened to Job, even though it was Satan who did it directly.)
Job 2:5- "But put forth thine hand now, and touch his bone and his flesh, and he will curse thee to thy face."
(Again, Satan challenges God to afflict Job's own personal health.)
Job 2:6- "And the LORD said unto Satan, Behold, he [is] in thine hand; but save his life."
(God doesn't directly afflict Job's health, but does allow Satan to do it.)
Job 2:7- "So went Satan forth from the presence of the LORD, and smote Job with sore boils from the sole of his foot unto his crown."
So, from the above verse (Job 2:7), WHO was it that smote Job? Now, who was it in Job 2:3, that's hand was moved against him? It was God's.
So, in Job's case, it was Satan who was directly responsible, but God who allowed it to happen by removing the protection. No contradiction at all....just 2 different perspectives.
Finally, consider the end of the chapter, in Job 42:11-
Job 42:11- "Then came there unto him all his brethren, and all his sisters, and all they that had been of his acquaintance before, and did eat bread with him in his house: and they bemoaned him, and comforted him over all the evil that the LORD had brought upon him: every man also gave him a piece of money, and every one an earring of gold"
The same can be similarly said of the passages you listed. Oftentimes in Scripture, God is said to "do" something, on the basis that He merely permitted it, but did not do the act directly. You need to understand that Hebrew idiomatic speech allows for this type of language.
God is said to have hardened Pharoah's heart, yet, Pharoah made his own choice in the matter. God merely sent Moses into Egypt, and directed the circumstances by which Pharoah would willfully reject God's will, and God knew in His foreknowledge that Pharoah WOULD reject Him. Its not as if Pharoah was a great guy and WOULD have listened to God, but God didn't let him.
Consider also 2 Thess. 2:11-12-
"And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie:
That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness."
Notice that GOD "sends a strong delusion that they should believe a lie". Its the same principle. Did God LIE to them? Of course not...God does NOT lie...EVER. But yet, it says He sends a delusion that they should believe a lie. But on what basis? On the basis of their prior REJECTION of the truth. When a person rejects the truth, and persists in unrighteousness when they have opportunity to repent and turn to God, then God allows them to be deceived....just like many in this forum who have refused the true Gospel of Christ.
Also, there is another great explanation of this, found at the website of www.carm.org. A paragraph that I believe explains it well, says....
"God incited David to number Israel because God was angry with David. Ultimately, God wanted to teach David not to trust in his number of fighting men, but to trust in Him. So, He moved to let David count the fighting men of Israel. He used Satan to do it which is why in 1 Chronicles 21:1, it says Satan moved David to count the men. Both are true. God most probably either sent Satan or allowed Satan to incite David. But, how can God send Satan to do a job and yet God is not responsible for the sin? Simple.
God's authority extends even over Satan. God can use Satan to accomplish His ultimate will by simply giving permission to Satan to do that which Satan already desires to do. We see this in the crucifixion of Christ where evil men brought Jesus to death. Yet, at the same time, it was the predetermined plan of God that this be done."
I guess I take exception to your calling something in the Scriptures "blasphemy", without even considering the possibility that maybe you were just missing something in the proper understanding. That is a pretty dangerous position to take. Especially since the word "blasphemy", by definition, is to "speak irreverently against/about God". So, to accuse God's inspired Word of blasphemy, is to basically say that God's Word speaks irreverently of its Author.
I have found it is best to not place my human understanding above the Scriptures, but rather, when I see a "problem" in the Bible, I have learned to just automatically ASSUME the problem is with me, and not the Scriptures. Why? Because that has been the case 100% of the time, thus far.
Thanks for writing, and have a good day.