So Gad came to David, and told him, and said unto him, Shall seven years of famine come unto you in your land? or will you flee three months before your enemies, while they pursue you? or shall there be three days' pestilence in your land? now consider, and see what answer I shall return to him that sent me.
Read Chapter 24
George Leo Haydock
Seven. Paralipomenon, three; which makes the contrast more striking. (Haydock)
The Septuagint, and some copies of the Arabic version, have the latter number. (Calmet)
Gad might first propose seven, and then reduce it to three. (Menochius)
But did the prophet deliver the message twice? Usher pleads for the truth of both numbers, though he says, "It was always my opinion, that the Hebrew copy of the Old Testament has been no less exposed to the errors of writers, than that of the New, and all other books. "(Synt. p. 219.) Boxtorf also declares, "it is better piously to believe that both is right. "Why? "because both is written. "(Antic. p. 401 and 420!) The contradiction, in fact, seems to have been occasioned by the mistake of a numeral letter, g (3) for z (7). (Kennicott)
Usher, Malvenda, adopt an hypothesis, beautiful enough, but destitute of proof, when they say that God proposed three years in punishment of David's criminal curiosity. But as that famine would have immediately followed the three years' scarcity, already endured, (chap. xxi.) and during the seventh, or sabbatical year, nothing could be reaped, the famine would thus rage for seven years. (Calmet) Salien places the 62nd sabbatical year at this very time, the year of the world 3017, and terminates the famine occasioned by the cruel injustice of Saul, the year before Christ 1013, which cannot agree with the aforesaid system. (Haydock)