1 Chronicles 10:6—Did all of Saul’s family die with him or not?

Problem: Here we read, “Saul and his three sons died, and all his house died together.” But, in 2 Samuel 2:8, Saul’s son Ishbosheth was not killed and was even later made king.

Solution: Ishbosheth was not encompassed by this statement, since he was not part of Saul’s house who had attended him or followed him to war. So he was not part of the group referred to as “all Saul’s men.” First Samuel 31:6 states that “Saul, his three sons, his armorbearer, and all his men died together [in battle] that same day.” Further, not all the grandchildren were killed, since Saul’s son Jonathan had a handicapped son named Mephibosheth who also survived (2 Sam. 4:4). It is understandable that someone in his condition was not part of Saul’s army and, therefore, did not die with Saul’s other men in battle.

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This excerpt is from When Critics Ask: A Popular Handbook on Bible Difficulties (Wheaton, Ill.: Victor Books, 1992). © 2014 Norman Geisler and Thomas Howe. All rights reserved. Used by permission. Click here to purchase this book.