Fighting men in Judah (2 Samuel 24:9)
2 Samuel 24:9— (Question #2) “This passage gives the round figure of 500,000 fighting men in Judah, which was 30,000 more than the corresponding item in 1 Chronicles 21:5.”
1 Chronicles 21:6 clearly states that Joab did not complete the numbering, as he had not yet taken a census of the tribe of Benjamin, nor that of Levi’s either, due to the fact that David came under conviction about completing the census at all. Thus the different numbers indicate the inclusion or exclusion of particular unspecified groups in the nation. We find another reference to this in 1 Chronicles 27:23-24 where it states that David did not include those twenty years old and younger, and that, since Joab did not finish the census, the number was not recorded in King David’s Chronicle.
The Bengali rationalist Aroz Ali Matubbar has pointed out a similarly perplexing numerical issue with the Qur’ān ‘s inheritance law in Sura Nisa 4:11-12 and 176: When a man dies, and is leaving behind three daughters, his two parents and his wife, they will receive the respective shares of 2/3 for the 3 daughters together, 1/3 for the parents together [both according to verse 11] and 1/8 for the wife [4:12] which adds up to more than the available estate. A second example: A man leaves only his mother, his wife and two sisters, then they receive 1/3 [mother, 4:11], 1/4 [wife, 4:12] and 2/3 [the two sisters, 4:176], which again adds up to 15/12 of the available property. There may be ways of reconciling this, but it is a numerical perplexity.