Background Probability

The Agnostic Popular Front has moved to its new home at Skeptic Ink, and will henceforth be known as Background Probability. Despite the relocation and rebranding, we will continue to spew the same low-fidelity high-quality bullshit that you've come to expect.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Contradiction #4 - Mystery Mom of Abijam

The response to this problem is typically something along the lines of "Maachah is the daughter of Uriel and the granddaughter of Absalom" and this solution hinges on whether the Hebrew word "daughter" in 1 Kings 15:2 should be taken to mean "granddaughter" instead. I checked a couple of Hebrew lexica, and sure enough the word בַּת (bath) is one of very wide semantical extent, and can be used to describe literal daughters, adopted daughters, daughters of a tribe, and essentially any female descendants of a given ancestor, as in C.S. Lewis' coinage of "daughters of Eve" for all human females.

As to the problem of Maacha/Michaiah, the typical explanation is that the latter name is a theophoric honorific, while the former is a given name. The Bible doesn't actually state this, but it does have a plenitude of both throne names and theophoric names, so it's not an implausible explanation. Moreover, it seems likely to me that the chronicler had access to the four books of the kingdoms (Samuel and Kings) and therefore wouldn't have gotten the names just plain wrong.

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