Why is there a difference in the number of sons of Jesse in 1 Samuel & 1 Chronicles

1 Samuel 16:10-11 Jesse had seven of his sons pass by Samuel. But Samuel said to him, "The LORD has not chosen any of these." 11 Then he asked Jesse, "Are these all the sons you have?" Jesse answered, "I still have the youngest son. (David) He is out taking care of the sheep."

1 Chronicles 2:13 Jesse was the father of Eliab his firstborn; the second son was Abinadab, the third Shimea, 14 the fourth Nethanel, the fifth Raddai, 15 the sixth Ozem and the seventh David.

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    – user25930
    Commented Mar 29, 2019 at 18:34
  • There are four ways of interpreting the seven sons of verse 10, depending on whether they are meant to either include or exclude the first three and/or David. Chronicles seems to support the reading that they are meant to include both.
    – Lucian
    Commented Mar 31, 2019 at 15:43

1 Answer 1


Gill mentions 3 possibilities:

But Jesse had eight sons, 1 Samuel 16:10, one of them therefore is not reckoned, either because he was by another woman, and the writer only mentions those that were of the same mother with David; this is the opinion of Aben Ezra and Kimchi;

some say he was dead before David came to the kingdom;

some take the eighth to be a grandson of Jesse

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