Was It 50,070 Or 70 Men Killed In I Samuel 6:19?
by David J. Stewart | November 2019
1st Samuel 6:19, “And he smote the men of Beth-shemesh, 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.”
Our text passage of Holy Scripture says that God killed 50,070 men of Bethshemesh, a small city 19 miles west of Jerusalem. All of the Devil's modern Bible versions say it was only 70 men that died. Uh, okay, this is definitely a contradiction! This is just another example of why you ought not use the modern Alexandrian Bible versions dear friend. I am just telling you the truth, because I CARE. The hallmark character trait of a Spirit-filled believer is CARING!
I consulted Ellicott's Bible Commentary and he said that it was impossible for 50,070 men to die, because the town was tiny and there weren't more than 70,000 people total in Israel. Folks, he is wrong! God killed 70,000 Israelites when David numbered the people, to teach David that the decisions he makes affects other people. 2nd Samuel 24:15, “So the LORD sent a pestilence upon Israel from the morning even to the time appointed: and there died of the people from Dan even to Beersheba seventy thousand men.” Throughout the Old Testament we read about the killing of hundreds of thousands of Israelites because of sin. So it is not unreasonable nor surprising that 50,070 men were slain by the Lord for tampering with the inspired Word of God contained in the sacred Ark Of The Covenant.
I'm tired of intellectuals tampering with the inspired Holy Bible. As far as I'm concerned, if the Bible says God killed 50,000,070 men, I would believe it! If the Bible said Jonah swallowed a whale, I would believe it! Some liberal claimed that the Egyptian Army couldn't possibly have drowned in the Red Sea, because at that particular time of year the water was only 2 feet deep. Well then what do Ya know, Pharaoh's Army drowned in just 2 feet of water! Amen! Praise God! God Word is always right!! God said, that settles it!!! Our great, merciful and living God is a miracle-working God!!!
Here again is our correct text passage from the inspired King James Bible...
King James Bible (KJB)
“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.”
And now here are the Devil's modern counterfeit Bible versions...
New International Version (NIV)
“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.”
New Living Translation (NLT)
“But the LORD killed seventy men from Beth-shemesh because they looked into the Ark of the LORD. And the people mourned greatly because of what the LORD had done.”
English Standard Version (ESV)
“And he struck some of the men of Beth-shemesh, because they looked upon the ark of the LORD. He struck seventy men of them, and the people mourned because the LORD had struck the people with a great blow.”
Berean Study Bible (BSB)
“But God struck down some of the people of Beth-shemesh because they looked inside the ark of the LORD. He struck down seventy men, and the people mourned because the LORD had struck them with a great slaughter.”
Easy-To-Read Version (ERV)
“But no priests were there to lead the celebration when the men of Beth Shemesh saw the Lord’s Holy Box. So the Lord killed 70 men from Beth Shemesh. The people of Beth Shemesh cried loudly because of this hard punishment.”
Christian Standard Bible (CSB)
“God struck down the people of Beth-shemesh because they looked inside the ark of the LORD. He struck down seventy persons. The people mourned because the LORD struck them with a great slaughter.”
Contemporary English Version (CEV)
“Some of the men of Beth-Shemesh looked inside the sacred chest, and the LORD God killed 70 of them. This made the people of Beth-Shemesh very sad,”
Good News Translation (GNT)
“The LORD killed seventy of the men of Beth Shemesh because they looked inside the Covenant Box. And the people mourned because the LORD had caused such a great slaughter among them.”
Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)
“God struck down the men of Beth-shemesh because they looked inside the ark of the LORD. He struck down 70 men out of 50,000 men. The people mourned because the LORD struck them with a great slaughter.”
Obviously, as in thousands of other Scripture passages, these conflicting Bible “versions” cannot all be accurate. That is why I often say that the man with two watches never knows what time it is! Likewise, how can a man know what God's Word is if he has multiple conflicting Bible “versions.” And may I kindly but truthfully say, the King James Bible is not a “version,” it is the inspired Word of God!!!
I tell you confidently that the inspired King James Bible is eternally correct!...
Did God slay "50,070" or "70" men in 1 Samuel 6:19?
"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." (1 Samuel 6:19, KJV)
Critics say the small town of Bethshemesh would not have had 50,070 inhabitants, so they side with the reading of "70" as found in a few Hebrew manuscripts and the LXX. However, a careful study of the context and the passage demonstrates that the Masoretic reading of 50,070 is correct.
First, the context suggests the 50,070 figure is correct. The description of "great slaughter" (מכה גדולה) is a clue of the magnitude of the death count. This same phrase is used in the following passages which also provide numerical figures to indicate the magnitude:
"And the Philistines fought, and Israel was smitten, and they fled every man into his tent: and there was a very great slaughter; for there fell of Israel thirty thousand footmen." (1 Samuel 4:10)
"Where the people of Israel were slain before the servants of David, and there was there a great slaughter that day of twenty thousand men." (2 Samuel 18:7)
The phrase "great slaughter" appears to describe a slaughter in the thousands or at least hundreds. We must wonder whether 70 would be too low to be considered a "great slaughter" in the context of biblical narratives where we frequently witness death counts in the hundreds or thousands.
Second, 1 Samuel 6:19 does not say 50,070 of the people of Bethshemesh died. It says 50,070 of "the people" died as the "LORD had smitten many of the people" and "the people" lamented over this. This general reference to "people" rather than to a particular town or nationality suggests that not all of the 50,070 slain were inhabitants of Bethshemesh. This portion of the narrative often describes individuals by their nationalities: e.g. Philistines, Ekronites (1 Samuel 5:10), Bethshemite (1 Samuel 6:18), children of Israel (1 Samuel 7:4). If the author meant that 50,070 Bethshemites were killed, he could have said, "even he smote of the Bethshemites fifty thousand and threescore and ten men," but the author did not say that. In fact, the author is often very specific when stating who are killed in these narratives, specifying the nationality of the slain:
"And they smote the Philistines...." (1 Samuel 14:31)
"And he gathered an host, and smote the Amalekites...." (1 Samuel 14:48)
"And Saul smote the Amalekites...." (1 Samuel 15:7)
1 Samuel 6:19 says "the people" died. There is no indication that these were all individuals from Bethshemesh. Therefore, there is no problem with the figure in the Masoretic text.
Amen that's good stuff! Dear reader, you can trust your inspired King James Bible!!!!!!!
Don't Mess With the Word of God
It is my personal belief that the only reason the men opened the Ark, after it was returned to Israel, was simply to see if anything had been removed by the Philistines. Little did they realize that they were opening a Pandora's Box! Interestingly, in the popular movie Indiana Jones, the German's out of curiosity open the Ark Of The Covenant that they found, and they all died! They clearly took that idea for the movie directly from the Holy Bible! ...
1st Samuel 6:19-20, “And he smote the men of Beth-shemesh, 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. And the men of Beth-shemesh said, Who is able to stand before this holy LORD God? and to whom shall he go up from us?”
I listened to the book of 1st Samuel yesterday, and I'm listening to 2nd Samuel today. The two sons of the prophet Eli (Hophni and Phinehas) were priests, who were committing open sin in the temple. God was very displeased. Eli their father did nothing to address the issue, which angered the Lord even further. Consequently, God gave Eli's sons into the hands of the Philistines during a battle, and the Ark of The Covenant was taken captive, and Eli at age 98 fell back and broke his neck when he heard that the Ark had been taken (1st Samuel 4:15-18). Oh how sin thrills and then it kills! Oh how sin fascinates and then it assassinates!
So don't tell me that God couldn't kill 50,070 men for tampering with the sacred Ark Of The Covenant. In 2nd Samuel 6:1, God killed a man (Uzzah) for merely touching the Ark of The Covenant (in which was contained the Word of God), who was sincerely trying to steady it as it wobbled, to keep it from falling over. 2nd Samuel 6:6-7, “And when they came to Nachon's threshingfloor, Uzzah put forth his hand to the ark of God, and took hold of it; for the oxen shook it. 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.” The lesson to be learned is so obvious—DON'T MESS WITH GOD'S WORD!!!
God is fully capable of keeping His Word safe, don't you think? Look, God doesn't need your help or mine to correct the Holy Bible, or steady it, as countless fools are doing nowadays. The rotten 'Southern Baptist Convention' (SBC) has published two unholy Alexandrian versions in the past 16 years—the 'Holman Christian Standard Bible' (HCSB - 2003) and the 'Christian Standard Bible' (CSB - 2017). The despicable new CSB is gender-neutral. For example: In the Epistle of Galatians, the word “man” appears 26 times in the King James Bible, but has been reduced to only 6 times in the corrupt CSB! That is as wicked as Hell!
The unisex, gender-neutral, and homosexual agendas are all one and the same! God wants a man to be a man (rough, tough and decisive), and a woman to be a woman (soft, sweet and meek), and God has ordained that only MEN lead the marriage, home, church and society. It is no mere coincidence that to the same degree that homosexuals are rising to positions of power in politics, business and the courts, that the feminist and unisex movements are flourishing! They are all REBELLION!!!
Granted, men are not to lead by coercion, but by example, love and by being servants. Matthew 23:11, “But he that is greatest among you shall be your servant.” A godly husband is a servant to his wife, wanting to make her happy. My heart was warmed yesterday as I heard Alexander Scourby read 1st Samuel 1:5b, “But unto Hannah he gave a worthy portion; for he loved Hannah:” Hannah's husband Elkanah gave her an extra portion because HE LOVED HER! When you love someone, you want to give unto them, and provide for them, and be with them. Hannah would later begat a son, the godly prophet Samuel.
The Precious Blood of Jesus Sprinkled Upon the Mercy Seat in Heaven's Tabernacle
Here is a wonderful 37-page .PDF Bible study by Pastor M.R. DeHaan (1891-1965) titled: “The Tabernacle.” On page 23 we learn the contents of the Tabernacle (please read the Bible study for the meaning of the contents):
C). The contents of the ark (Ex. 25:16; Hebrews 9:4)
1). The 2 tables of stone (the law) Exodus 20:1-17.
2). A golden pot of manna Ex. 16:11-33, Num 11:1-9
3). Aaron’s rod that budded. Num 16-17:13.
What was the Tabernacle? In the early days of Israel, it was where God lived among the Hebrews in the Old Testament. The Tabernacle was literally a big tent. The Tabernacle was divided into THREE parts: the Outer Court, the Inner Court, and the Holy of Holies (as illustrated in the drawing below). Only the Levite priests were permitted into the Inner Court, and absolutely NO ONE but the high priest was allowed into the Holy of Holiness (and NOT WITHOUT BLOOD, or God would have killed him on the spot)! Things that are sacred are not to be taken lightly. The blood of Jesus is sacred! The Word of God is sacred. Marriage is sacred! Here is a helpful drawing illustrating the THREE divisions of the Tabernacle...
The Parts Of The Tabernacle
The outer court of the tabernacle was 150 feet long by 75 feet wide. A sheet of fine white linen - symbolizing the righteousness of Christ - enclosed it. That which separates those inside the church from those outside is not a different level of human righteousness, but the fact that those inside are clothed with the righteousness of Christ. The white linen also symbolizes the simplicity that should characterize the church. Babylon the harlot, on the other hand, is depicted in the book of Revelation as being grand and pompous in many ways “ quite a contrast to the simplicity of the Bride of Christ (cf. Rev.17:4 with 19:8). -SOURCE
The Tabernacle was the most sacred holy place in the Holy Land. The presence of God dwelt above the Ark Of The Covenant between the two Cherubims. Some preachers foolishly call this presence “The Shekinah Glory,” but that is a lie of the Devil. No pastor should ever use that unbiblical term! “She-kinah” in occultism refers to the female aspect of God, which biblically doesn't exist. God is completely masculine in nature. We are taught in the Bible about God “THE FATHER,” and God “THE SON,” and the Holy Spirit is always referred to with the masculine pronoun “HE”. This is another reason why I am against the modern gender-bending Bible versions, which corrupt the Word of God, sinfully removing the masculinity of the Holy Spirit...
King James Bible (KJB) - John 16:13, “Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.”
New International Version (NIV 2011) - John 16:13, “But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.”
Isn't that terrible? I tell you, in a thousands subtle ways these new Bible versions are deadly. Please heed my warning friend, because I just want what's best for you in Christ.
Here is another helpful .PDF booklet by Evangelist Sam R. Ensor called: “The Tabernacle.”
As I mentioned, only the Levite priests were permitted into the Inner Court, and absolutely NO ONE but the high priest was allowed into the Holy of Holiness (and NOT WITHOUT BLOOD, or God would have killed him on the spot). That lamb's blood symbolized the precious blood of the Lamb of God, Who was crucified on Calvary's tree for your sins and mine...
Hebrews 9:2-12, “For there was a tabernacle made; the first, wherein was the candlestick, and the table, and the shewbread; which is called the sanctuary. And after the second veil, the tabernacle which is called the Holiest of all; Which had the golden censer, and the ark of the covenant overlaid round about with gold, wherein was the golden pot that had manna, and Aaron's rod that budded, and the tables of the covenant; And over it the cherubims of glory shadowing the mercyseat; of which we cannot now speak particularly. Now when these things were thus ordained, the priests went always into the first tabernacle, accomplishing the service of God. But into the second went the high priest alone once every year, not without blood, which he offered for himself, and for the errors of the people: The Holy Ghost this signifying, that the way into the holiest of all was not yet made manifest, while as the first tabernacle was yet standing: Which was a figure for the time then present, in which were offered both gifts and sacrifices, that could not make him that did the service perfect, as pertaining to the conscience; Which stood only in meats and drinks, and divers washings, and carnal ordinances, imposed on them until the time of reformation. But Christ being come an high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building; Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us.”
I love that passage of Scripture! I love that God explains and simplifies His Word so that we can understand it. God would have immediately taken the life of any high priest who entered into the Holy Place WITHOUT BLOOD! Why? It is simply because man is woefully sinful and cannot stand in the presence of a holy God. Therefore, we need a Mediator. That precious Mediator is the Lord Jesus Christ! 1st Timothy 2:5-6, “For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.” What a beautiful Bible verse!!! 1st Peter 1:18-19, “Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot:” The innocent slain lamb's blood (which the Old Testament high priest sprinkled upon the mercy seat atop the Ark of The Covenant), is the ONLY THING that prevented God from killing him!
What saith the Scripture? Hebrews 9:12, “Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us.” I love that Scripture! Jesus, BY HIS OWN BLOOD, entered into Heaven's Tabernacle, going into the Holy Place to obtain ETERNAL REDEMPTION FOR US!!! Praise God!!!!!!! Jesus presented Himself before the Father in Heaven, in the Holy Place. Hebrews 9:24-26, “For Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are the figures of the true; but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us: Nor yet that he should offer himself often, as the high priest entereth into the holy place every year with blood of others; For then must he often have suffered since the foundation of the world: but now once in the end of the world hath he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself.” Boy, that's great stuff!! JESUS PAID IT ALL!!!
In lieu of what I just said, I am astonished that thousands of horrible pastors today promote Dr. John MacArthur, who denies what I just taught you from the Scriptures! Mr. MacArthur says that Jesus' literal liquid blood stayed in the dirt at the cross, and is NOT applied to the Mercy Seat in Heaven today. I'm not kidding. Here is what he heretically says:
“It is not the actual liquid that cleanses us from our sins, but the work of redemption Christ accomplished in pouring it out.” —Dr. John MacArthur
Mr. MacArthur is wrong! In the popular John MacArthur Study Bible, in his commentary for Hebrews 9:12-24, Pastor MacArthur states that “BY HIS OWN BLOOD” merely refers to Christ's death, and not Jesus' actual physical blood. WHAT A LIAR!!! When the Bible says, “BY HIS OWN BLOOD,” it means exactly that! If God meant death, then He would have said death, but He didn't! How did Jesus sprinkle His blood upon the heavenly Mercy Seat, if it is not literal blood? Hebrews 12:24, “And to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel.” Oh friend, run as fast as you can away from Pastor John MacArthur!!! Run away from any minister who denies that Jesus' literal blood is sprinkled on the heavenly Mercy Seat.
I just showed you from Hebrews 9:7b that the Old Testament high priest was forbidden from entering into the holy place “WITHOUT BLOOD.” Hebrews 9:7, “But into the second went the high priest alone once every year, not without blood, which he offered for himself, and for the errors of the people:” So what in the world makes any preacher think that Jesus could appear in the presence of His Father WITHOUT BLOOD??? What saith the Scripture? Hebrews 9:24, “For Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are the figures of the true; but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us:” Please don't miss this Bible verse that I just quoted, because it is 100% irrefutable PROOF of what I am teaching. This is sound doctrine!
The Bible says that Christ did not enter into the holy places “MADE WITH HANDS” (i.e., the Old Testament holy of holies); but rather, Jesus is entered “into heaven itself,” into the heavenly Holy Place “now to appear in the presence of God for us:” (Hebrews 9:24b). Isn't that so beautiful? Sure it is, and John MacArthur is a devil in the pulpit, a minister of unrighteousness (2nd Corinthians 11:13-15), who requires at least SEVEN THINGS to be saved, and says children cannot be saved! Yet, I am hated by pastors for exposing John MacArthur as a big bad wolf in sheep's clothing!!! My What Big Teeth You Have Grandma! Or I should say, My What Big Teeth You Have John MacArthur!!! I'm not kidding! Matthew 7:15, “Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.”
I love the Epistle of Hebrews! The Scripture here teaches us about the sacred Old Testament Tabernacle and important work of the priests. It has been wisely said that the Old Testament is the New Testament CONCEALED, and the New Testament is the Old Testament REVEALED. I like that truth.
One of the great joys of the Christian life is contending for the faith, and I love doing it, even though I hate criticizing churches. I know the pain of being an outcast by local Baptist churches, for merely trying to open pastor's eyes to the very truths I have presented to you in this important article, earnestly from my heart. Galatians 4:16, “Am I therefore become your enemy, because I tell you the truth?” Thank you for reading this.
END OF ARTICLE
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righteous thing that I can do!”
—Pastor Jack Hyles, a quote from the MP3 sermon titled: “God's Reversal Of Psalms 51”
1st Corinthians 16:24, “My love be with you all in Christ Jesus. Amen.”
BELIEVE “THE GOSPEL” 2B SAVED!
Confession Is Never A Requirement For Salvation
'The Gospel' In Just One Minute(by Pastor Max D. Younce)
John 3:16, “For God
so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son,
that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
“As a blind man has no idea of colors, so we have no idea of the manner
which the all-wise God perceives and understands all things.” —Isaac Newton (1642-1727)
Another Gospel Which Is Not Another (a red-hot MP3 by Dr. Curtis Hutson exposing Lordship Salvation)
“If you have to look at
your life to prove that you are saved, it proves that you're not!”
—Pastor Ralph Yankee Arnold; an excellent quote from the awesome YouTube sermon titled, “Why Lordship Salvation is WRONG! | MP3.”