Some argue that the Bible is contradictory concerning how many stalls of horses Solomon had. The argument is that 1 Kings 4:26 says that Solomon had 40,000 stalls of horses, but 2 Chronicles 9:25 says that Solomon had 4,000 stalls of horses. However, there are at least two reasonable explanations that solve this alleged contradiction in the Bible.
Scriptures – Did Solomon Have 4,000 or 40,000 Stalls of Horses?
1 Kings 4:26 – 40,000
Solomon also had 40,000 stalls of horses for his chariots, and 12,000 horsemen.1 Kings 4:26
2 Chronicles 9:25 – 4,000
And Solomon had 4,000 stalls for horses and chariots, and 12,000 horsemen, whom he stationed in the chariot cities and with the king in Jerusalem.2 Chronicles 9:25
The Answer – Did Solomon Have 4,000 or 40,000 Stalls of Horses?
There are at least two reasonable explanations that resolve the supposed discrepancy between 1 Kings 4:26 and 2 Chronicles 9:25:
- There was a copyist error
- 2 Chronicles 9:25 says there were 4,000 stalls “for horses and chariots”
1. There Was a Copyist Error
This is probably the most likely explanation. The footnote for the ESV translation of 1 Kings 4:26 says this:
Hebrew; one Hebrew manuscript (see 2 Chronicles 9:25 and Septuagint of 1 Kings 10:26) 4,000Foornote for 1 Kings 4:26
It is reasonable to believe that a tired scribe could easily mistake 40,000 and 4,000.
2. 2 Chronicles 9:25 says “for horses and chariots”
It may be significant to note that 1 Kings 4:26 says that Solomon had “40,000 stalls of horses for his chariots”, and 2 Chronicles 9:25 says that Solomon had “4,000 stalls ”’for horses and chariots”’.”
If Solomon had stalls that contained both horses and chariots, these stalls would obviously need to be much larger than stalls that contained only horses, and there would be much fewer of these larger stalls. That Solomon had different stalls for horses only and for horses and chariots combined could explain the difference between the numbers in 1 Kings 4:26 and 2 Chronicles 9:25.
Foundational Principles Regarding Bible Difficulties
There are some foundational principles that apply to all alleged and apparent contradictions in the Bible. To read more, see Bible Difficulties: Foundational Principles.
Related to “Did Solomon Have 4,000 or 40,000 Stalls of Horses?”
To read more answers to alleged and apparent contradictions in the Bible, see “Contradictions” in the Bible Answered.
These books are also excellent resources: