IX.4. How Many Died In the Plague?

Question: Can you explain the seeming contradiction between 1 Corinthians 10:8 and Numbers 25:1-9. In 1 Cor-inthians 10:8 it says that 23,000 died in the plague; however, in Numbers it says that 24,000 died.

Answer:  In Numbers 25:9 we are told,

"And those that died in the plague were twenty and four thousand."

This is the total amount that died in the entirety of the plague. If the man and woman who were responsible for this plague had not been destroyed, many more would have died. Please read Numbers 25:1-9 for the details.

The record Paul gives concerning this event in Numbers 25, is a warning to the Corinthians not to do the same thing. Let us read 1 Corinthians 10:8:

"Neither let us commit fornication as some of them (Numbers 25) committed, and FELL IN ONE DAY three and twenty thousand."

The answer is very simple. There were 23,000 that died in ONE DAY and 24,000 in the WHOLE plague. There would have been many more killed; if the sin had not been dealt with and the plague stopped. No contradiction.


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