c-6 Horses, Horsemen, Stalls & Chariots for King Solomon
Suggested copyist error in the Masoretic Text regarding numbers supposedly include mention of the numbers of stalls that
Solomon maintained for horses & chariots. The numbers of stalls
noted in 1 Kings 4:26 differs from that in 2 Chronicles 9:25, and
some think both numbers are inconsistent with the numbers of chariots &
horsemen noted in 1 Kings 10:26 & 2 Chronicles 1:14. Actually, amplification is involved, and all of the numbers can be consistent with each other.
1 Kings 4:26
And Solomon had forty thousand stalls of horses for his chariots, and twelve thousand horsemen.
2 Chronicles 9:25
And Solomon had four thousand stalls for horses and chariots, and twelve thousand horsemen; whom he bestowed in the chariot cities, and with the king at Jerusalem.
1 Kings 10:26
Solomon gathered together chariots and horsemen: and he had a thousand
and four hundred chariots, and twelve thousand horsemen, whom he
bestowed in the cities for chariots, and with the king at Jerusalem.
2 Chronicles 1:14
Solomon gathered chariots and horsemen: and he had a thousand and four
hundred chariots, and twelve thousand horsemen, which he placed in the
chariot cities, and with the king at Jerusalem.
First we note that the number
of horsemen is 12,000 in all of these verses, and the number of chariots,
noted in 1 Kings 10:26 & 2 Chronicles 1:14, is consistently 1,400.
With the number of horsemen greatly exceeding that of the chariots, the horsemen likely perform chariot duty intermittently, taking
turns in doing this, and it's likely that the many horses distributed among the cities of Israel would be
with a likely few hundred or so chariots distributed among each of the major cities designated as chariot cities, and each chariot requiring multiple horses, the number of horses and stalls to house them can greatly exceed the number of chariots. Further, there would be a need
for two kinds of stalls, a smaller type housing each horse
for the long term, and a larger type needed to accommodate
the chariots. The latter would also serve as a place to restrain the
horses during hitching so that this could be achieved without having
to deal with variant temperaments of the beasts that could complicate
the hitching effort if it had to be accomplished in open spaces, so these stalls would accommodate chariots & horses.
2 Chronicles 9:25 amplifies 1 Kings 4:26, adding a
supplemental detail. The 1 Kings passage notes 40,000 smaller stalls
housing Solomon's many horses for the long term, while 2 Chronicles
amplifies the matter by including the 1400 larger stalls housing chariots. and also housing horses temporarily,
before and during the hitching process.
Further, from the conditions noted above, we see why there could be large differences in the noted numbers of horses & horsemen, and the numbers of horses & chariots, and the numbers of horses & stalls, and the numbers of horsemen & chariots, and the numbers of stalls & chariots.