Abigail’s Father

Many years ago, I picked up Alleged Discrepancies of the Bible by John W. Haley. I haven’t looked at it much, but thought it might be helpful to post some of these online, since the Bible is always under attack from within and without the Church. So, without further ado, here is the first discrepancy:

II Samuel 17.25 : Now Absalom had set Amasa over the army instead of Joab. Amasa was the son of a man named Ithra the Ishmaelite, who had married Abigail the daughter of Nahash, sister of Zeruiah, Joab’s mother.

In II Samuel Abigail’s father is Nahash, while in Chronicles it is Jesse:

1 Chronicles 2: 13,16: Jesse fathered Eliab his firstborn…And their sisters were Zeruiah and Abigail.

Haley says: “The rabbis say that both names belonged to the same person; Ewald and Keil, that Abigail’s mother had a former husband, Nahash, previous to her marriage with Jesse.”

Either of these solutions is plausible. This is a fairly weak “discrepancy.”

4 thoughts on “Abigail’s Father”

  1. They didn’t have a term for grandfather or grandson in the OT. They used circumlocutions to describe distant genealogical relationships and any male in your genealogy was considered your father. Throw in the concept of adoption through Levirate marriage and genealogies can get quite confusing. This is also why there are discrepancies about who was Joseph’s father in the genealogies of Matthew and Luke.

    from Jimmy Akin’s blog
    “Ancient Jewish genealogies often skipped generations, in part because there were no terms for “grandson” and “grandfather.” Any male one was descended from was one’s “father,” regardless of how many generations back he was. Similarly, any male descended from you was your “son,” no matter how many generations down the line he was. This is why the Hebrews were called “the sons of Israel” hundreds of years after the original Israel (Jacob) died.

    Potentially, this could explain why Shealtiel is said to have more than one father. In biblical genealogies, as soon as one moves more than one generation back, a person does have more than one father.”

    1. James Jordan says:
      “Moreover, the post-exilic Jewish community was very concerned with genealogy, as 1 Chronicles 1-8 shows. The lists of names in Ezra-Nehemiah make the same point. Additionally, this concern is shown in Ezra 2:62, where we read, “These searched their ancestral registration, but they could not be located; therefore, they were considered unclean and out of the priesthood.” If genealogy is so important, why would there be “gaps” and mere “family names” included? Clearly, the concern was to establish who was who, generation by generation. The oft-heard assertion that there are gaps in the genealogies is offered far to glibly. The only reason we know of a few gaps is that they are filled in other places. (!)”
      I’d encourage you to read all of his work on chronology, including this:

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