Can you explain the contradictions in regards to the age of Baasha mentioned in the Bible?

According to 1 Kings 15:33 Baasha began to reign over Israel in the third year of Asa, king of Judah, and reigned twenty-four years, making his death occur In the twenty-seventh year of Asa’s reign. In 2 Chron. xvi. i, however, we read that Baasha came up against Judah in the thirty-sixth year of Asa’s reign, i.e., nine years after his death, according to the chronology in ‘Kings. How can this discrepancy be explained?


The natural way of explaining such a difficulty would be to say that there has evidently been a transcriber’s error—_”tllirty_sjxth year of Asa” in 2 Chronicles 16:1, for thirty-sixth year. Baasha would then have become king early in the 3rd year of Asa, and reigned 24 years, a part of a year counting a year. Baasha would then have died probably toward the close of Asa’s z6th year, and have been succeeded by Elah his son in the same year. Such an error would in no way affect the inspiration of the Bible, but only manifest the carelessness of the transcriber. I once found in a new French Bible the following sentence:
“God resists the humble and gives grace to the proud.” I at once wrote to the B. & F.B.S., and far from accusing me of attacking the inspiration of the Scriptures, they thanked me and had a new sheet printed and inserted in the First Epistle of Peter in this French edition. It is certain that, apart from the inspiration of God, by which the chronicler wrote, he, as a man, had access to the Books of Kings, etc., and was quite as capable of noticing the discrepancy as the present questioner and answerer. Besides, if it was a transcriber’s error, why was it left and why did no variety of reading spring up? Again, the numbers “thirty-six” and “twenty-six” are very distinct in the Hebrew, and are given not in numbers, but in words, “twenty” being “‘esrim,” and “thirty,” shelöshim,” which are not easily confused, so why should we not seek some other explanation? There are good authorities who believe that the thirty-sixth year of Asa in Chronicles really refers to the year of the division of the kingdoms, which would be the i6th year of his reign. This fits in much better with the time necessary for the wars between Asa and Baasha, the building of Ramah; and this mode of reckoning was, in all likelihood, in general use at the time. In any case, if we knew all, all would be plain, and we can fall back with confidence on the words of the Apostle, “All Scripture,” (or Every Scripture) is given by inspiration of God.”

W.H.