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In Matthew 10 we read of Yahshua's instruction to His twelve disciples before sending them out two by two. He directed them specifically to not take "sandals, or a staff" (vs. 10). But in clear contradiction, in the identical account in Mark, Yahshua told them to take a staff and to wear sandals (Mark 6:8-9). So, which one is correct? Did Yahshua tell them not to take sandals and staff, or to take them? One of the accounts cannot be correct. But the fact is, the "rightness" or "correctness" of these accounts is not found in determining which instruction Yahshua actually gave (for if it was, the Holy Spirit would have made no mistake in presenting the correct instruction), but rather in discerning what He is saying in the differences. We find that the "correct" instruction is entirely relevant to the specific gospel in which it was recorded - each book representing entirely different works of Yahweh.

Continuing this gospel comparison on this account, we find in Luke 9:3 that Yahshua's instruction to the disciples, in agreement with Matthew, was to not take a staff, and there was no mention of sandals. (John does not address this.) So, clearly there is an ordained contradiction in these accounts. What riddle then did Yahweh propound to us? It is this:

What is meant by the contradictions of Matthew, Mark, and Luke concerning the sandals and the staff?

Can you answer this riddle that He has propounded? Make no mistake, Yahweh did propound for us a riddle here, a very meaningful riddle. Let us consider another. The following comparison relates to Yahshua's triumphant entry into Jerusalem, just prior to His crucifixion.

In Matthew, Yahshua rode into Jerusalem on a donkey and a colt, entered into the temple, and cast out the moneychangers, all in one day (Matthew 21:1-17). In Mark, Yahshua rode into Jerusalem on a colt, entered into the temple and looked around, departed to Bethany to spend the night, returned to Jerusalem the following day, and then cast out the moneychangers (Mark 11:1-18). In Luke Yahshua, once again in agreement with the Matthew account, rode into Jerusalem on a colt, entered the temple, and cast out the moneychangers (Luke 19:28-46). Finally, in John we find an account entirely different from the other three gospels. After performing His first miracle of turning water into wine, Yahshua next went into the temple and cast out the moneychangers! Ten chapters later, Yahshua rode into Jerusalem on a young donkey, and there is absolutely no mention of a temple cleansing (John 2:1-17 and 12:12-19). So what is the riddle that Yahweh has propounded to us in these divine contradictions? It is this:

What is meant by the contradictions in Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John concerning Yahshua casting out the moneychangers?

Let us look at another account which is a little longer to review. All the events cited here took place immediately following Yahshua's feeding of the 5,000. We will not look at the similarities in these different gospel accounts, but rather note the differences.

In Matthew the disciples were sent out onto the sea where Peter walked on water, and was saved by Yahshua. The disciples in the boat then worshipped Yahshua, saying, "You are certainly God's Son" (Matthew 14:13-36). In Mark, we find that Yahshua "intended to pass by them" and not get into the boat; and instead of worshipping Him, to the contrary "their heart was hardened" (Mark 6:30-56). Thus once again the Mark account has an entirely, shockingly different meaning! And if these differences are not already striking enough, look at the Luke account. The disciples were never sent out onto the sea (in fact the word "sea" never appears in Luke), but instead they went to join Yahshua where He was alone! (This is an amazing contradiction, having substantial meaning!) There He taught them the cost of following Him and promised that some of those standing there "would not taste death" until they saw the "kingdom of God" (Luke 9:12-27). In John, Yahshua withdrew to the mountain, perceiving that the multitudes were intending to "take Him by force" and make Him king. Yahshua entered the boat with the disciples and "immediately the boat was at the land to which they were going" (John 6:1-21). So once again, what is the riddle Yahweh is presenting us in these striking contradictions?

What is the meaning of the contradictions in the accounts of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John regarding the boat journey (or the absence thereof) following the feeding of the 5,000?

Can you answer this riddle? One can be certain however that Yahweh is telling us something quite marvelous in these contradictions, since His word is perfect and is not error. (One of the most revealing and interesting studies comes from examining Matthew, Mark, and Luke's accounts of the feeding of the 5,000 up through the subsequent feeding of the 4,000, with the contradictions of the "six days" and the "eight days" at the end.)

The following does not qualify as a contradiction, as much as consistent and notable and, yes, even meaningful differences between these first three gospels; but we will note this as a riddle anyway. In Matthew and Mark we read the account of Peter and Andrew's response to Yahshua when He spoke to them - "Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men." In both books their response is recorded in the identical phrase - "And they immediately left the nets, and followed Him." Likewise, shortly after this at the same beckoning of Yahshua, James and John similarly in both of these books "left the boat and their father" (Matthew 4:20 & 22, Mark 1:18 & 20). But in decidedly different wording from Matthew and Mark, we read in Luke that these four disciples "left everything and followed Him" (Luke 5:11).

Now this might not be so striking were this pattern not equally repeated. For we find once again in these three gospels the identical pattern, this time in Matthew's response (the tax gatherer, not the book) to Yahshua's invitation to "Follow Me." As in the former case, Matthew and Mark once again provide precisely identical wording for Matthew's response to Yahshua's invitation - "And he rose (from his tax office) and followed Him" (Matthew 9:9, Mark 2:14). And once again in like pattern we find in Luke this more exacting message of leaving everything. In Luke 5:28 we read that Matthew "left everything" to follow Yahshua. While this may seem to be a small difference, in light of the consistent message, as well as the foreshadowed plan of Yahweh in the days ahead, prophetically this is most meaningful! So, let us see another riddle that Yahweh has propounded in His word.

Why in the gospel of Luke do we find the disciples leaving "everything," while in Matthew and Mark they leave their nets, their boat, and their father?

To answer these riddles, one must have a view of what each of the four gospels represent. Clearly, there are consistent and meaningful differences that identify each gospel with specific different works of Yahweh. For example, Matthew is uniquely the gospel that bears witness of two, in contrast to one. In Matthew there were two demoniacs that came to Yahshua, in contradiction to Mark and Luke where in the same account there was in each case only one demoniac (Matthew 8:28, Mark 5:2, Luke 8:27). In Matthew there were two blind men at Jericho following Yahshua and crying out to Him for mercy, once again in contradiction to Mark and Luke where in the same account at Jericho there was only one (Matthew 20:30, Mark 10:46, Luke 18:35). Then finally a third witness to this double phenomenon in Matthew, we find that Yahshua rode in on a donkey and a colt, and "on them He sat." While there are two donkeys in Matthew, in Mark and Luke Yahshua rode into Jerusalem on only one - "a colt" (Matthew 21:7, Mark 11:7, Luke 19:35). These repeated contradictions cannot in any way be accidental, erroneous, or incidental. Granted they and all the other contradictions have the appearance of being errors, but this is not the case if in fact the four gospels represent four striking separate works of Yahweh, which they do. This "hidden" meaning can be the only justification that these contradictions are in fact equally the intended writings of God. So once again, what is the riddle Yahweh has given us here?

What is the meaning of the doubling of characters in Matthew, in contradiction to Mark and Luke where they are singles?

Certainly, until one can discern the consistent application of these four gospels to four specific, separate, and identifiable works of Yahweh, one cannot discern the meaning of the riddles. To discern the riddles hinges upon understanding the comparative application of the four gospels.

Before leaving this brief comparison of the gospels, one final construction is worth noting per this matter of each gospel representing specific different works of Yahweh. We have seen that Yahshua very frequently used parables to communicate, but are you aware that there is not a single parable in the gospel of John? Not one! Why? When parables are so frequently recorded in the other three gospels, why are there no parables in John? This unique difference is the intentional design and order of the Holy Spirit, revealing a most important quality concerning that work which the gospel of John represents. While Matthew is uniquely the gospel that doubles, John is uniquely the gospel that contains no parables. Thus we find a parable in this absence of parables, not as a contradiction but in its uniqueness:

What is the meaning of the total absence of parables uniquely in the gospel of John?

One of the contradictions in the Bible that theologians of necessity have often sought to resolve has to do with the day on which Yahshua was crucified. Matthew, Mark, and Luke all agree that Yahshua was crucified on the day following Passover, having shared the Passover meal with His disciples the night of His arrest (Matthew 26:17-19, Mark 14:12-15, Luke 22:7-16). But in clear contradiction, John states that Yahshua was crucified specifically on Passover (as our Passover lamb), and that the meal He shared with His disciples was simply a "supper" (John 13:1-4, 18:28, 19:13-14 & 36). Were you aware of this contradiction? Its presence has created a storm of writings that have come up with every imaginable way to try and resolve it. But, such resulting contortions are not necessary if in fact Yahweh is saying something to us through this obvious contradiction.

What is the meaning of the contradicting day on which Yahshua was crucified - Passover or the day following Passover?

Let us now proceed to other contradictions found in the Old Testament. These primarily exist in the comparison of the similar accounts of Kings (along with Samuel) and Chronicles.

To begin with, one obvious contradiction found in these accounts is regarding the volume of Solomon's sea, located in the temple. In 1 Kings 7:26 we read that the sea had a volume of 2,000 baths, but in the same account recorded in 2 Chronicles 4:5 we read that the sea had a much larger volume of 3,000 baths. Which one is right - 2,000 or 3,000? This is a considerable difference! Once again though, from the standpoint of what Yahweh is truly speaking to us, the message in the contradiction is exceedingly far more important than the mere accuracy of the volume of this great vessel. Who really cares what its volume was? The true volume of that vessel has no affect upon us today. But, the far greater and infinitesimally more impacting question to be discerned is - What is Yahweh seeking to tell us by these contradicting volumes? Even as the New Testament is God's infallible word, equally so is the Old Testament. When Yahweh recorded the volume of the sea as containing two clearly different volumes in these two accounts, He seeks to tell us something very important by this contradiction. Here again Yahweh has provided us a riddle to discern:

What is meant by the contradiction of the two differing volumes in Solomon's sea, as recorded in 1 Kings and 2 Chronicles?

A more obscure but nonetheless significant contradiction (since any time Yahweh seeks to communicate anything to man is significant) is found in 1 Kings 8:66 and 2 Chronicles 7:10. Once again these two passages are the accounts of the identical event, this time the dedication of Solomon's temple. The dedication was during the feast of Tabernacles, and in 1 Kings we read that the people were sent home on the "eighth day," which would have been on the twenty-second day of the seventh month. In contrast, 2 Chronicles tells us that the people were sent home "on the twenty-third day of the seventh month." So again we see a clear contradiction. And again we ask - What is it Yahweh is seeking to tell us in this divine contradiction? What is the riddle He has propounded?

What is the meaning of the contradiction in 1 Kings and 2 Chronicles regarding the date in which the people were sent home from the dedication of Solomon's temple during Tabernacles?

Let's consider another riddle Yahweh has given us. This riddle is particularly unique in that it has information in it everyone knows, and that is - Who killed Goliath? From a child we all know the story of David and Goliath. Young David took his slingshot and five smooth stones and smote the giant Goliath in the head, killing him. Right? But did you know there is a contradiction in the Bible concerning who killed Goliath? As with the preceding examples, we find that Samuel and Chronicles share passages that are almost identical. Samuel and Kings combine together to cover the same time period covered in Chronicles.

We read in 1 Chronicles 20 a five verse account of the fate of the giants of Gath, including Goliath. In verse 5 we read - "And there was war with the Philistines again, and Elhanan the son of Jair killed Lahmi the brother of Goliath the Gittite, the shaft of whose spear was like a weaver's beam." Now let us compare this passage with the almost identical five verses in 2 Samuel 21 that cover verse by verse the same information, with exception to one noticeable point - who killed Goliath. In verse 19 we read - "And there was war with the Philistines again at Gob, and Elhanan the son of Jaare-oregim the Bethlehemite killed Goliath the Gittite, the shaft of whose spear was like a weaver's beam." Therefore we must ask - Did David kill Goliath or did Elhanan? The Scriptures have two different people killing the same man, Goliath. Factually, this makes no sense, but to propound a riddle, this is par excellence.

What is meant by the contradiction of two different men killing Goliath - both David and Elhanan?

And if you think this is the only contradiction there is concerning the deaths of men, look again. Yahweh has provided us with numerous riddles, foolish contradictions that confound the wise; hidden riddles, like the hidden dream of King Nebuchadnezzar; mirror riddles, that show us that which will be.

With all the interest in Armageddon, one should be interested in knowing what events have taken place in the town from which that valley got its name - Megiddo. If you want to know what will happen at Armageddon (meaning, valley of Megiddo), then examine the unusual and contradicting set of circumstances surrounding Megiddo. Time will reveal that what will indeed occur at Armageddon, is as illusive to discern as the actual account regarding the deaths at Megiddo of two Judah kings.

We read in the second book of Kings that two kings died at Megiddo. Ahaziah, king of Judah, was shot by the men of Jehu at Ibleam, and wounded "he fled to Megiddo and died there" (9:27). Likewise, the good king Josiah, also of Judah, went out to do battle with Pharaoh Neco of Egypt, and Neco "killed him at Megiddo. And his servants drove his body in a chariot from Megiddo, and brought him to Jerusalem and buried him ..." (23:29-30). But what do the parallel accounts of these events in Chronicles reveal? Let us see. You may be surprised.

In 2 Chronicles 22:9 we read that Ahaziah did not die at all in Megiddo, but that he fled south to Samaria (which was south of Ibleam), was brought to Jehu (who was either at Jezreel where he next killed Jezebel or at Ibleam), and was put to death. According to 2 Chronicles then, Ahaziah was killed in Jezreel or Ibleam, and never went to Megiddo. And how about King Josiah; according to 2 Chronicles, where did he die? We read - "And the archers shot King Josiah, and the king said to his servants, 'Take me away, for I am badly wounded.' So his servants took him out of the chariot and carried him in the second chariot which he had, and brought him to Jerusalem where he died ..." (35:23-24). Thus we see that according to 2 Chronicles, Josiah explicitly died in Jerusalem, not in Megiddo as recorded in 2 Kings.

Thus we have another set of perplexing contradictions surrounding the deaths of two more men; both according to Kings dying in Megiddo, but in Chronicles dying in entirely different places - Jezreel or Ibleam and Jerusalem - and even in marked different scenarios. So here we have another riddle from Yahweh:

What is the meaning of two kings of Judah dying in Megiddo in Kings, but in entirely different locations and scenarios in Chronicles?

These and other contradictions provide us some marvelous and highly rewarding insights into both the ways as well as the works of Yahweh: the ways of Yahweh in that He takes the foolish things - contradictions - to shame the wise; the ways of Yahweh in that He hides His truths in these contradiction riddles in order to reveal His "Daniel;" the works of Yahweh in that in these and other mirror riddles He reveals in a mystery what He will accomplish. And once again, as pointed out concerning the gospels, one cannot discern these riddles in Samuel/Kings and Chronicles without an understanding of what these differing accounts represent in relation to the works of Yahweh. As each gospel represents a different work of Yahweh, likewise Samuel/Kings and Chronicles represent different works. Otherwise, these contradictions are puzzling items to be ignored or used by dissenters to denigrate and bring doubt to the Scriptures.


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