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!
Ard & Naaman are listed as Bela’s sons
Bechar is listed as Ephraim’s son!
Different sons are listed for Bela
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.