2 Samuel 24:24—Why does this passage say that David paid Araunah 50 shekels of silver when elsewhere it says he paid 600 shekels of gold?

Problem: When David offered to buy the oxen and the threshing floor for a sacrifice and altar to the Lord, 2 Samuel states that he paid for them with 50 pieces of silver. However, according to 1 Chronicles 21:25, David gave Araunah 600 shekels of gold. Which is the correct record?

Solution: Both accounts are correct. The passage in 2 Samuel 24 records David’s purchase of the oxen and the threshing floor. The passage in 1 Chronicles 21 states that David paid 600 shekels of gold “for the place” (v. 25). The Hebrew phrase that is translated “the place” includes more than just the oxen and the threshing floor. Araunah must have possessed a large portion of land on Mount Moriah which would prove valuable to David in the future.

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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.