ABC:2 Chronicles 13

From BibleStrength

Verse 1

Jim Meritt of claims there is a contradiction here in his section "The mother of Abijah".[1] The ReasonProject also lists this as a Bible contradiction with the headline "Who was Abijam's mother?"[2]

As correctly pointed out by Apologetics Press author Eric Lyons, the Bible authors were not confined by today's modern English style of writing. The Old Testament authors frequently refer to descendants as the "son" or "daughter" of X descendant when they were in fact the grandson, great-grandson, granddaughter, great-granddaughter, or even further back. You see, "son" and "daughter" are modern English terms, but the Bible was not authored in English. Translators like those involved with the KJV were actually translating Hebrew words thousands of years old, and trying to find English words (which themselves are now centuries out of date) to best translate them into.

In other words, the verses complement one another, Abijah was the son of Maachah who in turn was called the descendant of both Absalom and Uriel of Gibeah. Both Absalom and Uriel are thus in her lineage. For example, if you've ever seen or read 'Narnia' you will observe they imitate the Bible's style of referring to individuals as "Son of Adam" or "Daughter of Eve".[4] As correctly pointed out by Lyons, it is not uncommon for the Bible to thus refer to a descendant as the son or daughter of someone who is descended farther back in their lineage. This is simply a stylistic language difference that can be readily observed in the Bible.

Absalom is frequently referred to as the descendant of Maachah, daughter of Talmai King of Geshur. In fact, when he fled from his father David, he went to stay with his mother's side of the family, his grandfather Talmai, King of Geshur. Gibeah thus would have been a city within the land of Geshur. Other cities said to be in Geshur included Ramah (1 Samuel 22:6) and Migron (1 Samuel 14:2), and it was near Mount Ephraim (Judges 19:16). It was said to be in Aram (translated by the KJV as Syria - 2 Samuel 15:8). The exact location of Geshur and Gibeah is disputed.

At any rate, there's no contradiction, the Hebrew word translated son (Hebrew ben[5]) just meant descendant and could be used to refer to grandchildren and great grandchildren as well.


  1. Meritt, Jim (1992). A List of Biblical Contradictions. Internet Infidels.
  2. Marlow, Andy (2009). Contradictions in the Bible. Project Reason.
  3. Lyons, Eric (2004). Who was Abijah's Grandfather? Apologetics Press.
  4. Human. WikiNarnia.
  5. Brown, Driver, Briggs and Gesenius. Hebrew Lexicon entry for Ben. The KJV Old Testament Hebrew Lexicon.]