1 Samuel 6:19
Parallel Verses
New International Version
But God struck down some of the inhabitants of Beth Shemesh, putting seventy of them to death because they looked into the ark of the LORD. The people mourned because of the heavy blow the LORD had dealt them.

King James Bible
And he smote the men of Bethshemesh, because they had looked into the ark of the LORD, even he smote of the people fifty thousand and threescore and ten men: and the people lamented, because the LORD had smitten many of the people with a great slaughter.

Darby Bible Translation
And he smote among the men of Beth-shemesh, because they had looked into the ark of Jehovah, and smote of the people seventy men; and the people lamented, because Jehovah had smitten the people with a great slaughter.

World English Bible
He struck of the men of Beth Shemesh, because they had looked into the ark of Yahweh, he struck of the people fifty thousand seventy men; and the people mourned, because Yahweh had struck the people with a great slaughter.

Young's Literal Translation
And He smiteth among the men of Beth-Shemesh, for they looked into the ark of Jehovah, yea, He smiteth among the people seventy men -- fifty chief men; and the people mourn, because Jehovah smote among the people -- a great smiting.

1 Samuel 6:19 Parallel
Clarke's Commentary on the Bible

He smote of the people fifty thousand and threescore and ten men - The present Hebrew text of this most extraordinary reading stands thus: ויך באנשי בית־שמש - ויך בעם שבעים איש חמשים אלף איש vaiyach beanshey Beith-shemesh - vaiyach baam shibim ish, chamishshim eleph ish; "And he smote among the men of Beth-shemesh, (because they looked into the ark of Jehovah), and he smote among the people Seventy men, Fifty Thousand men."

From the manner in which the text stands, and from the great improbability of the thing, it is most likely that there is a corruption in this text, or that some explanatory word is lost, or that the number fifty thousand has been added by ignorance or design; it being very improbable that such a small village as Beth-shemesh should contain or be capable of employing fifty thousand and seventy men in the fields at wheat harvest, much less that they could all peep into the ark on the stone of Abel, in the corn-field of Joshua.

That the words are not naturally connected in the Hebrew text, is evident; and they do not stand better in the versions.

1. The Vulgate renders it thus: - Et percussit de populo Septuaginta viros; et Quinquaginta Milla plebis; "And he smote of the (chief) people Seventy men, and Fifty Thousand of the (common) people." This distinction, I suppose, St. Jerome intended between plebis and populus; which he might think was warranted by the אנשים anashim, and איש ish, of the Hebrew text.

2. The Targum of Jonathan is something similar to the Vulgate: - "And he smote בסבי עמא besabey amma, of the elders of the people Seventy men; ובקהלא ubekahala, and of the congregation Fifty Thousand men."

3. The Septuagint follow the Hebrew text: Και επαταξεν εν αυτοις ἑβδομηκοντα ανδρας, και πεντηκοντα χιλιαδας ανδρων; "And he smote of them Seventy men; and Fifty Thousand men." εκ του λαου, of the people, is added by some copies.

4. The Syriac has forty-five thousand less! It is as follows: wamacho Morio beamo chamesho alapin weshabein gabrin; "And the Lord smote among the people Five thousand and Seventy men."

5. The Arabic is nearly similar: "And the Lord smote among the people; and there died of them Five thousand and Seventy men." We have no other versions from which we can receive any farther light.

6. Josephus is different from all the rest, and has fifty thousand less, for he renders the place thus, Antiq. Jud. libe. vi., cap. i., sect. 4: Θργη δε και χολος του Θεου μετεισιν, ὡστε ἑβδομηκοντα των εκ της Βηθσαμης κωμησ-βαλων απεκτεινεν "But the displeasure and wrath of God pursued them so, that Seventy men of the village of Beth-shemesh, approaching the ark, which they were not worthy to touch, (not being priests), were struck with lightning." Here we find the whole fifty thousand is omitted.

7. Rabbi Solomon Jarchi, giving the opinion of other rabbins as well as his own, says, "Our rabbins say Seventy men, and each of them was worth fifty thousand men; or fifty thousand, every one of whom was worth the seventy of the Sanhedrin." This only shows embarrassment, but gives very little light.

All these discordances, together with the utter improbability of the thing, lead us to suppose there must be a corruption in this place, either by adding or omitting.

Dr. Kennicott has found three very reputable MSS. in which the words חמשים אלף איש chamishshim eleph ish, fifty thousand men, are wanting. The 1st, No. 84, a MS. from Holland; the 2d, No. 210, one of the Parisian MSS.; the 3d, No. 418, a MS. belonging to Milan; all three written about the beginning of the twelfth century, and numbered as above in Dr. K's Bible.

Perhaps the omission in these MSS. was occasioned by a mistake of the transcriber, which might have easily happened, because of the word איש ish, which occurs both after שבעים shibim and after אלף eleph; for, having written the first, and taking his eye off, when he recommenced he might have supposed he had written the latter, and so proceed, leaving the words in question out of his copy. Two, three, or more persons might have been thus deceived, and so produce the above MSS.; or the mistake once made, all the MSS. copied from that would show the same omission. The common reading may be defended, if we only suppose the omission of a single letter, the particle of comparison כ ke, like, as, or equal to, before the word חמשים chamishshim: thus כחמשים kechamishshim; the passage would then read: "And he smote of the people Seventy men, equal to Fifty Thousand men;" that is, they were the elders or governors of the people.

Some solve the difficulty by translating, "He slew Seventy men Out Of fifty thousand men." There are various other methods invented by learned men to remove this difficulty, which I shall not stop to examine; all, however, issue in this point, that only Seventy Men were slain; and this is, without doubt the most probable. The Fifty Thousand, therefore, must be an interpolation, or be understood in some such way as that mentioned above. But the omission of the particle of similitude solves every difficulty; and this would account for the reading in Josephus, who in his recital would naturally leave out such an explanation of the worth of the seventy men, as his Roman readers could not easily comprehend such comparisons.


Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

he smote

Exodus 19:21 And the LORD said to Moses, Go down, charge the people, lest they break through to the LORD to gaze, and many of them perish.

Leviticus 10:1-3 And Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron, took either of them his censer, and put fire therein, and put incense thereon...

Numbers 4:4,5,15,20 This shall be the service of the sons of Kohath in the tabernacle of the congregation, about the most holy things...

Deuteronomy 29:29 The secret things belong to the LORD our God: but those things which are revealed belong to us and to our children for ever...

2 Samuel 6:7 And the anger of the LORD was kindled against Uzzah; and God smote him there for his error; and there he died by the ark of God.

1 Chronicles 13:9,10 And when they came to the threshing floor of Chidon, Uzza put forth his hand to hold the ark; for the oxen stumbled...

Colossians 2:18 Let no man beguile you of your reward in a voluntary humility and worshipping of angels...

1 Peter 4:17 For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us...

fifty thousand As it is very improbable that the village of Beth-shemesh should contain, or be capable of employing,

50,070 men in the fields at wheat harvest, much less that they could all peep into the ark, and from the uncommon manner in which it is expressed in the original, it is generally allowed that there is some corruption in the text, or that some explanatory word is omitted. The Hebrew is {shiven ish, chasmishim aileph ish}, literally, `seventy men, fifty thousand men:' so LXX (). Vulgate, septuaginta viros, et quinquagint millia plebis, `70 (chief) men.' But the Syriac, chamsho alphin weshivin gavrin, `5000 and

70 men;' with which the Arabic agrees; while Josephus has only () seventy men; and three reputable MSS of Dr. Kennicott's also omits `50,000 men.' Some learned men, however, would render, by supplying () mem, `70 men; fifty out of a thousand; ' which supposes about

1400 present, and that a twentieth part were slain.

The Practice of Piety in Glorifying God in the Time of Sickness, and when Thou Art Called to Die in the Lord.
As soon as thou perceivest thyself to be visited with any sickness, meditate with thyself: 1. That "misery cometh not forth of the dust; neither doth affliction spring out of the earth." Sickness comes not by hap or chance (as the Philistines supposed that their mice and emrods came, 1 Sam. vi. 9), but from man's wickedness, which, as sparkles, breaketh out. "Man suffereth," saith Jeremiah, "for his sins." "Fools," saith David, "by reason of their transgressions, and because of their iniquities,
Lewis Bayly—The Practice of Piety

Adam's Sin
Q-15: WHAT WAS THE SIN WHEREBY OUR FIRST PARENTS FELL FROM THE ESTATE WHEREIN THEY WERE CREATED? A: That sin was eating the forbidden fruit. 'She took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also to her husband.' Gen 3:3. Here is implied, 1. That our first parents fell from their estate of innocence. 2. The sin by which they fell, was eating the forbidden fruit. I. Our first parents fell from their glorious state of innocence. God made man upright, but they have sought out many inventions.' Eccl
Thomas Watson—A Body of Divinity

Cross References
Exodus 19:21
and the LORD said to him, "Go down and warn the people so they do not force their way through to see the LORD and many of them perish.

Numbers 4:5
When the camp is to move, Aaron and his sons are to go in and take down the shielding curtain and put it over the ark of the covenant law.

Numbers 4:15
"After Aaron and his sons have finished covering the holy furnishings and all the holy articles, and when the camp is ready to move, only then are the Kohathites to come and do the carrying. But they must not touch the holy things or they will die. The Kohathites are to carry those things that are in the tent of meeting.

Numbers 4:20
But the Kohathites must not go in to look at the holy things, even for a moment, or they will die."

2 Samuel 6:7
The LORD's anger burned against Uzzah because of his irreverent act; therefore God struck him down, and he died there beside the ark of God.

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