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Consummate Deist

David's Census

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Consummate Deist

Recently the subject of King David’s census came up and the contradictions between 1 Chronicles and 2 Samuel’s tally of “fighting men”. I don’t really remember or care which one said which, but the sum result was 1,100,000 warriors. Presently, it is estimated that for every warrior fielded, it takes 20 non-warriors (civilian and/or military) to support that individual. Things were different in ancient times, the infrastructure was not as complex nor were weapon systems (such as the Mark 4 single shot sling that fired the cal. 70 smooth river rock) as advanced or complex. It (based on known figures for Greek Hoplites and Roman Legionaries) is estimated that it took 5 non-warriors to field each warrior in David’s army (this takes into consideration duplicates such as one armorer can service 4 -5 men). This would include blacksmiths, armorers, leather workers, herdsmen (for the cavalry and chariot horses), shepherds, farmers, millers, butchers, river rock gatherers, etc and does not include wives and children of all those above. This would give a conservative population of 6,600,000 people in David’s kingdom. The kingdom had an area of approximately 18750 sq miles, giving a population density of 352 persons per square mile. The People’s Republic of China has an area of approximately 9,596,960 sq. mi. and a population of 1,306,313,812 giving a population density of 136 persons per square mile. The PRC can not (even with modern high yield farming techniques) feed it’s population and must import millions of tons of staples each year to avert starvation of it’s citizens. This brings us to the question (and point ) of this lengthy posting – how could David’s kingdom feed a people whose population density was almost 3 times larger than the most populous country in history, with only a Bronze Age agricultural system? This would require the agricultural output of most of the known world of that time. This also has to take into consideration that the entire population of that area (Jew, Roman, and non-Jew) during Constantine’s reign (306 CE) was only 6,500,000. Any ideas on this subject? - CD thumbsup.gif

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Something Like Laughter

maybe the tally included all men capable of bearing arms including all of the armorers, blacksmiths, and everyone else.

just an idea

Edited by Something Like Laughter

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Consummate Deist

I pointed that out when I mentioned duplicates. It is kinda hard to be an armorer, farmer, herdsman, etc on the front lines and wars tend to go on and on....Good try though. - CD thumbsup.gif

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Travelling Man

Another possible explanation is that "warrior" had the meaning of "every swinging Richard in the Army is a warrior", and that the numbers included all the cooks, armorers and tailors...

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GIDEON MAGE

MAYBE IT MEANS SOMETHING SYMBOLIC, LIKE MANY OF THE HEBREW NUMBERS?

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The Raven
Recently the subject of King David’s census came up and the contradictions between 1 Chronicles and 2 Samuel’s tally of “fighting men”.  I don’t really remember or care which one said which, but the sum result was 1,100,000 warriors.  Presently, it is estimated that for every warrior fielded, it takes 20 non-warriors (civilian and/or military) to support that individual.  Things were different in ancient times, the infrastructure was not as complex nor were weapon systems (such as the Mark 4 single shot sling that fired the cal. 70 smooth river rock) as advanced or complex.  It (based on known figures for Greek Hoplites and Roman Legionaries) is estimated that it took 5 non-warriors to field each warrior in David’s army (this takes into consideration duplicates such as one armorer can service 4 -5 men).  This would include blacksmiths, armorers, leather workers, herdsmen (for the cavalry and chariot horses), shepherds, farmers, millers, butchers, river rock gatherers, etc and does not include wives and children of all those above.  This would give a conservative population of 6,600,000 people in David’s kingdom. The kingdom had an area of approximately 18750 sq miles, giving a population density of 352 persons per square mile.  The People’s Republic of China has an area of approximately 9,596,960 sq. mi. and a population of 1,306,313,812 giving a population density of 136 persons per square mile.  The PRC can not (even with modern high yield farming techniques) feed it’s population and must import millions of tons of staples each year to avert starvation of it’s citizens.  This brings us to the question (and point ) of this lengthy posting – how could David’s kingdom feed a people whose population density was almost 3 times larger than the most populous country in history, with only a Bronze Age agricultural system?  This would require the agricultural output of most of the known world of that time.  This also has to take into consideration that the entire population of that area (Jew, Roman, and non-Jew) during Constantine’s reign (306 CE) was only 6,500,000.  Any ideas on this subject? - CD  thumbsup.gif

650706[/snapback]

Very interesting. Something with an area that small and a population density nearly three times that of China, I see as almost impossible. The only answer I have is that something was terrible miscalculated, because as you stated, I also don't know how it's possible to be able to come up with the required food with bronze age technology. Even with today's technology 6,600,000 people is a large amount to supply for, and even more an army at war.

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Amalgamut

Ohhh God....another "bible contradiction."

You can find this answer(s) in the "101 Contradictions" thread.

Edit..as far as the getting that many people to fight is beyond me.

Edited by Amalgamut

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hyperactive
Ohhh God....another "bible contradiction."

You can find this answer(s) in the "101 Contradictions" thread.

651530[/snapback]

by now you should know there are many that question the Book of Inconsistant Beliefs, Faiths, and Expectiations.

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Amalgamut
by now you should know there are many that question the Book of Inconsistant Beliefs, Faiths, and Expectiations.

651536[/snapback]

Yes, I have.

And it gets rather tiresome when I repeat myself so many times.

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hyperactive
by now you should know there are many that question the Book of Inconsistant Beliefs, Faiths, and Expectiations.

651536[/snapback]

Yes, I have.

And it gets rather tiresome when I repeat myself so many times.

651569[/snapback]

but... but... but... if you say it often enough it must be true!

** yay for talking cats and magic hats **

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Jodie.Lynne

Well, actually, you have to keep repeating it, and drowning out all the competition. THEN it becomes true.

Remember, "PRAVDA" means truth. But the truth changes to fit the needs of the state.

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Amalgamut
but... but... but... if you say it often enough it must be true!

** yay for talking cats and magic hats **

651579[/snapback]

I wasn't implying that. It's just that it seems the same things get asked on this board over and over and over and over and over again. You tell a skeptic one answer, and a few days later it seems the same question arises. Then you tell them the same answer again. And its a never ending cycle. Oh well I guess thats just how things are.

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Consummate Deist
Another possible explanation is that "warrior" had the meaning of "every swinging Richard in the Army is a warrior", and that the numbers included all the cooks, armorers and tailors...

That has already been addressed and answered, wars last a while, but armies still have to eat and replace leather, metal and other commodities even if the armorers, tailors, etc are part of the army.....I haven't even factored in wives, old folks or kids yet!

MAYBE IT MEANS SOMETHING SYMBOLIC, LIKE MANY OF THE HEBREW NUMBERS?

doubtful, the results of a census are the results of a census. What is symbolic about that?

You can find this answer(s) in the "101 Contradictions" thread.

I don't see a question asked, I only see the imposssiblity of that particular story. You can not feed that number of people (three times the density per sq mi of Communist China) with a Bronze Age agricultural stystem! No questions, just facts! - CD thumbsup.gif

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Amalgamut
You can not feed that number of people (three times the density per sq mi of Communist China) with a Bronze Age agricultural stystem!  No questions, just facts!  - CD  thumbsup.gif

651633[/snapback]

Yes, but you cannot turn water in to wine or raise the dead either. At least without some miracle happening. Maybe it was just another miracle from God? Who knows.....

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Something Like Laughter

to find a good answer, it would be necessary to find out more about ANE warfare, what equipment the average footsoldier used, how often battles were fought, on what scale, etc. if the majority of the army was equipped with just cloth "armor," a wooden shield, spear, and a short blade of some sort, then it would need a lot less maintenence than a roman legion marching around in chainmail or lorica segmentata with pilum.

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Consummate Deist
to find a good answer, it would be necessary to find out more about ANE warfare, what equipment the average footsoldier used, how often battles were fought, on what scale, etc. if the majority of the army was equipped with just cloth "armor," a wooden shield, spear, and a short blade of some sort, then it would need a lot less maintenence than a roman legion marching around in chainmail or lorica segmentata with pilum.

Several things here - the average Bronze Age warrior (any nationality) carried a wooden shield with bronze boss, possibly a bronze rim and bronze reinforcements, a helmet of some type (usually boiled bull hide or boar tusk), armor (usually leather, again possibly boiled bull hide, with bronze plates attached, a bronze sword, a bronze knife and finally a bronze tipped javelin or spear. This is not considering the specialized troops deployed such a archers, charioteers, cavalry, and slingers; all of which would require specialized equipment and repair ability. Next, only Imperial Roman Legions wore chain mail and that was 1200 years later. The Gauls were the inventors of chain mail and it wasn't until after the founding of the Empire and the necessity of a standing army (prior to that the Republican soilders were required to furnish their own equipment and only a wealthy man could afford chain mail). Next thing, David supposedly ruled an empire; an empire that was surrounded by several competing empires (Assyrian, Babylonian, Egyptian, ect) all of which maintained a large standing army out of necessity. David would have had to maintain a large standing army also out of necessity. People think that just because these above mentioned empires were quiescient, that they had "shot their wad" for the time being. This is not true, out of necessity they had recalled their out-country based troops to the home land, but they still were powers to be reckoned with. Warfare during that time period was brutal, uncomprimising, and horrifically bloody. There was no "Time out, I have to go plant my crops, shear my sheep, forge new swords, arrowheads and spear heads, butcher oxen for food and cure the leather to repair armor!" A well trained, well supplied standing army was the only way an empire ,such as David and Solomon supposedly ruled , could have continued to exist. As for miracles, that is a typical Christian pipe-dream cop out - we are discussing history and economics here, not mythology - CD thumbsup.gif

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