Ezra 2:65 vs. Nehemiah 7:67, numerical discrepancy

Biblical error allegation:  In Ezra 2:65, there are 200 male and female singers, while in Nehemiah 7:67, there are 245 male and female singers

[Ezra 2:65] besides their 7,337 male and female slaves; and they also had 200 male and female singers.


[Nehemiah 7:67] besides their 7,337 male and female slaves; and they also had 245 male and female singers. 

Answer: First, Both Ezra and Nehemiah agree that the total was 42,360 (Ezra 2:64 & Nehemiah 7:66). And if we sum up their two lists respectively will give us 29,818 for Ezra, and 31,089 for Nehemiah. Further calculations show that Nehemiah lists 1765 persons who are not in Ezra, and Ezra has 494 not mentioned in Nehemiah. By adding Ezra’s 494 to Nehemiah’s total, and adding Nehemiah’s 1765 to Ezra’s total, we find that they will both add up to 31,583, with every name being on both lists. Subtracting 31,583 from 42,360 gives a difference of 10,777. This difference was not broken down by name or town because they were not associated with the former Southern Kingdom. Both [Ezra 2:1] and [Nehemiah 1:3] hint that the list’s purpose was to name those of the Southern Kingdom who returned from Babylon. The 42,360 is the whole or total assembly of Israelites. Since there were long years gap from Ezra to Nehemiah in their returns to Jerusalem, I believe there was adjustment made in Ezra’s time, that 45 were added to the previous 200 singers. This 45 must be coming from the undesignated or unnamed 10,777 people in the list.

Second, assuming that this slight numerical disagreement occurred, this cannot discount the veracity of the history since there are many categories or figures that are agreeing. Just like when there are two witnesses testifying against you that you robbed a house. One witness stated that, he saw you went out from the house at 3 a.m. last night carrying a large bag, you wore a black jacket and a cap. The other witness also stated that he also saw you went out from the house carrying a large bag at around 2:30 a.m. last night, you wore a black jacket and a cap. The verdict is you actually robbed that house since there are many agreeing testimonies despite the minutes differential of time.

Third, we should identify from whom the information comes, is it from God or not, and which type of information is this, is it prophetic or historical? As you know, the Bible contains not just prophetic but also historical information. In the historical side, the Bible could contain any event. For instance, King David lusted Uriah’s wife Bathsheba in the Bible, this is not good information, but it should be put in the record since it actually happened. Early Christians were not hiding something even hideous matter (this proves that Christians did not correct the Bible contrary to the accusation of Islam, if so, you could not find any numerical discrepancy inside it). This numerical contradiction is historical. The Bible is God-inspired when it comes to the words of prophesy. Kindly read the verses below;

[2 Peter 1:20] “Above all, you must understand that no prophecy of Scripture came about by the prophet’s own interpretation of things. For prophecy never had its origin in the human will, but prophets, though human, spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit”

[Revelation 22:18-19] I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this scroll: If anyone adds anything to them, God will add to that person the plagues described in this scroll. And if anyone takes words away from this scroll of prophecy, God will take away from that person any share in the tree of life and in the Holy City, which are described in this scroll.

God is only concerned on matters of prophesy. A Scripture containing a prophetic blunder like Quran is certainly not from God.


ALSO READ: Psalms 102:25-26 Versus (Ecclesiastes 1:4 and Psalms 78:69)

Author: Renz Pejana Silawan

The author is just a simple man, He was a carving and carpentry sub-contractor. But lately, he discovered that his true passion is writing. He studied at the University of San Jose-Recoletos, took up Bachelor of Science in Industrial Engineering. The fear of death knocked on his mind when he aquired 3 lumps on his neck in 2010. He realized that the most important thing to a man is eternal life. He found out that the Bible is consistent in its teaching and backed up by spiritual and physical evidences. Today, he is happy knowing that there is a God who will receive him in the afterlife. And he wants to share this discovery to all people who are willing to accept this good news.

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