How many oversaw the building of the temple under Solomon?

Posted on May.29, 2009. Filed in 1 Kings, 2 Chronicles. Average rating: 1.5 / 10 (Rate It).

The building of the temple under Solomon was a huge project, with many workers involved in it. Both 1 Kings and 2 Chronicles state the size of the work-force, but they disagree as to how many supervisors there were.

According to 1 Kings, there were 3,300 to oversee the project:

Solomon also had seventy thousand labourers¬†and eighty thousand stonecutters in the hill country, besides Solomon’s three thousand three hundred supervisors who were over the work, having charge of the people who did the work. [1 Kings 5:15-16]

According to 2 Chronicles, the number was 3,600:

Solomon conscripted seventy thousand labourers and eighty thousand stonecutters in the hill country, with three thousand six hundred to oversee them. [2 Chronicles 2:2]

So how many oversaw the building of the temple?

N.B. All posts are written in a style sympathetic to the claim of Biblical error, even in cases where the author ("Errancy") disagrees with the claim. See the About page for the site's philosophy.

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  1. 1

    There seem to be three responses here:

    1. This is a scribal error. The original numbers matched.

    2. Both numbers are approximations anyway, and 3300 is approximately equal to 3600.

    3. The 3300 mentioned in I Kings refers to those who were over the work. The additional 300 in the II Chronicles account might have had oversight over the workers precisely when they were not working.

    Obviously, these accounts cannot all be true. In fact, at most one of them is. But any one of them adequately answers the charge of error.

  2. 2
    Dr Rusty Randall

    It seems clear to me, Solomon added 300 more supervisors to the job.

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