2 Chronicles 14:9—How can this verse make reference to Zerah the Ethiopian, when there are no historical records of such a person?

Problem: When Asa was king in Judah, he was confronted by Zerah the Ethiopian who marshalled an army of 1 million men. However, there are no historical records of such a person. Is this an error?

Solution: This is not an error. It is true that until now no extra-biblical records of Zerah the Ethiopian have been found. However, simply because extra-biblical records of Zerah have not been discovered does not mean the biblical record is in error. To doubt the historical accuracy of the Bible on the basis of the silence of extra-biblical sources is to engage in faulty reasoning. Through the years, critics have doubted the existence of many historical figures of the Bible, only to be refuted by additional historical and archaeological discoveries (e.g., the existence of the Hittites and of Sodom and Gomorrah).

See All Problems

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.