A Comprehensive List of Contradictions in the Bible, identified verse by verse and explained using the most up-to-date scholarly information about the Bible, its texts, and the men who wrote them.

#300. Is Bechar Benjamin’s son OR Ephraim’s son? (Gen 46:21; 1 Chr 7:6 vs Num 26:35)
#301. Were Ard and Naaman sons of Benjamin OR sons of Benjamin’s son Bela? (Gen 46:21 vs Num 26:40)
#302. Are Benjamin’s 5 sons Bela, Ashbel, Ahiram, Shephupham, and Hupham OR Bela, Ashbel, Aharah, Nohah, and Rapha? (Num 26:38-39 vs 1 Chr 8:1-2)

The Priestly genealogy preserved in Numbers 26 serves as a book-end to the whole wilderness period where the first registry, narratively speaking, was recorded in the Priestly tradition of Genesis 46:8-27 (see #76). In comparing the two lists—which for the most part are similar—we notice nevertheless some minor discrepancies, most of which deal with different spellings for names, or missed or unlisted clans (specifically compare the clans listed for the Simeonite, Gadite, and Danite tribes).

The particular contradictions listed for this post, however, deal with the traditions concerning Benjamin’s offspring, which textually evidence some interesting variations.

In contradiction #77, I noted that while Genesis 46 lists 10 sons for Benjamin, Numbers 26 lists only 5. But upon closer examination, we notice a few more textual discrepancies. Here is a look at Benjamin’s sons according to each of these variant traditions.

[EDIT] Try here http://contradictionsinthebible.com/bechar-benjamin-sons/ to get the columns to appear as they ought to if they are not. My apologies. . . looking for a better wordpress theme!

Genesis 46:21
Num 26:38-40


Ahiram ?


Shephupham ?

Ard & Naaman are listed as Bela’s sons

Bechar is listed as Ephraim’s son!

1 Chronicles 7:6
Jediael ?




Different sons are listed for Bela

1 Chronicle 8:1-3

Aharah ?
Nohah ?
Rapha ?





Even different sons are listed for Bela, among whom are Naaman & Shephuphan

It is clear from the above that there existed variations, disagreements, and editorial reworkings in the traditions surrounding Benjamin and his sons. In fact, these discrepancies are quite dramatic. The only constant in these variant genealogies is Benjamin’s firstborn son, Belar. Furthermore, it is difficult to ascertain the reasons behind these variations.

OK, short and simple for this post.

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I am a biblical scholar and historian of the early Christian period. But over the past 5 years I have become increasingly interested in the compositional history of the Hebrew Bible, especially the Pentateuch. In January 2013 I started posting 1 contradiction a day, with the aim of working through the entire Bible. Read more . . .

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