Answering The Atheist
March 13, 2005 / Volume 5, Issue 11
THE ATHEIST'S COMPLAINT:
1 Sam 7:1-2 says that the ark of covenant was brought to Abinadab's house and that it stayed there for 20 years. This was before Saul was made king (1 Sam 10:24). But according to 2 Sam 6:2-3, David removed the ark from Abinadab's house. And Acts 13:21 says that Saul (David's predecessor) was king for 40 years. So the ark must have been at Abinadab's house for more than 40 years. Is there a contradiction?
The 20 years mentioned by the writer is not the total time the ark spent in the house of Abinadab, but the time of Israel's lamenting after the Lord following the return of the ark. After the 20 years, Samuel spoke to all the children of Israel, calling them back to the Lord.
The next time the ark is mentioned, is in 1 Samuel 14:18 (although the Septuagint states this was the ephod, not the ark). From that time on, there is no mention of the ark, until 2 Samuel 6, when David sought to bring the ark from the house of Abinadab.
There is no contradiction.
This article is a response to Skeptic's Annotated Bible