The Evangelical Universalist Forum

Contradictions: OT V OT

Please add any scripture in the OT that contradicts itself and reasons why.

Numbers 23
19 God is not man, that he should lie,
or a son of man, that he should change his mind.

Jeremiah 18
7 If at any time I declare concerning a nation or a kingdom, that I will pluck up and break down and destroy it, 8 and if that nation, concerning which I have spoken turns from its evil, I will relent of the disaster that I intended to do to it. 9 And if at any time I declare concerning a nation or a kingdom that I will build and plant it, 10 and if it does evil in my sight, not listening to my voice, then I will relent of the good that I had intended to do to it.

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Don’t see how this is a contradiction. God says that he will smite those who disobey his commandments, and sure enough thats what happened. God always keeps his side of the deal, but the people do not keep theirs.

Numbers 23 says God doesn’t change his mind. Jeremiah 18 describes circumstances that induce God to change his mind.

…so then you look at CONTEXT to see what is going on and what said statements might actually be about; lest you be left dumbfounded by such crass literalism that uncritical thinking leaves you with. Example:

No man has seen God

Man has seen Jesus

Therefore Jesus is not God


God cannot be tempted

Jesus was tempted

Therefore Jesus was not God


See the weakness of such literal puerile pondering.

You talking to qaz?

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“Again the anger of the Lord was kindled against Israel, and he incited David against them, saying, “Go, count the people of Israel and Judah.”” (2 Samuel 24:1)

Satan stood up against Israel, and incited David to count the people of Israel.” (1 Chronicles 21:1)

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Numbers 23 doesn’t say saying God wasn’t going to change his mind at one particular time. It’s an argument against God changing his mind based on God’s ontology. Unless you think “context” shows that God’s ontology changed between Numbers and Jeremiah (which would contradict Malachi 3:6), I don’t see what arrangement you could possibly be making that this is not a contradiction.

Obviously if you just pluck a verse out with no context then you can make a verse sound like almost anything. God is being compared to Baal & the point was that God is not whimsical or capricious.
In the bible there are numerous times where a promise from God is conditional based on the response from the listener, so God changed his mind many times but not based on being capricious.

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I’ve thought about Numbers 23 some more and now agree that it doesn’t necessarily contradict Jeremiah 18.

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I don’t think anyone here thinks God is capricious. Regarding conditional prophecies, do you think Jeremiah 18 contradicts Deuteronomy 18:22.

Early O.T. assumes “other gods” exist- but that Israel’s supreme “God of gods” has no rivals:
Ps. 86:8; 97:9; 95:3; Dt. 10:14-17; 1 Kgs.11:4f; 2 Kgs 17:35-39; Jos. 24:23f.

The later prophets come to see: other ‘gods’ don’t even actually exist: Isa. 44:6-20!

Proverbs 26:
Verse 4
Answer not a fool according to his folly, lest you be like him yourself.

Verse 5
Answer a fool according to his folly, lest he be wise in his own eyes.

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Your Idea of a fool could be construed as judgemental.

You are quite ambiguous.:thinking:

Leviticus presents sacrifices that assured ‘forgiveness,’ defined as restoring God’s covenant blessings which sins had taken away. And Israel’s use of sacrifices appears to please God and indeed make ‘atonement’ (1:6,9; 4:27-35).

But later prophets denounce such trust, urging that God does not really want sacrifice. What’s actually needed is a righteous and merciful life: “Your sacrifices, what are they to me? says the Lord… I have no pleasure in the blood of lambs and goats. Who has asked this of you? Stop bringing meaningless sacrifices… I desire mercy, not sacrifice.” (Isa 1:10-17; Hos 6:6; Mic 6:6-8).

This may have been a case of God having now had a gutful of their sacrificial insincerity, wherein they had turned what had been instituted for their benefit into an abomination, and so now says… Enough!!

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Amen, in a progressive revelation, it can seem that even God is portrayed as able to learn from the frustrating trial and error of instituting various approaches; and hopefully saves the best for last :slight_smile:

That interferes with the idea of foreknowledge though doesn’t it? If God changes His mind and needs trial and error, it implies He must be unaware in advance of outcomes.

Not really Michael… for her wickedness God had decreed destruction on Nineveh and yet at their positive turning to Jonah’s negative proclamation God himself also repented, i.e., He changed His mind — this of course really upset Jonah’s self-righteous sensitivities.

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Deuteronomy 18:22
when a prophet speaks in the name of the Lord, if the word does not come to pass or come true, that is a word that the Lord has not spoken; the prophet has spoken it presumptuously. You need not be afraid of him.