chapter  15
Detecting Falsified Counts
WithDavid S. Salsburg
Pages 10

This chapter examines some numbers that appear in the canonized books of the Hebrew Bible. The books of the Hebrew Bible were written and assembled over a period of about 2200 years. The rabbis were confronted with a large number of books and several different versions of some books. When someone sits down to write numbers out of his or her head, no matter how haphazard or “random” that person thinks he or she is doing it, there is going to be a psychological phenomenon known as “digit preference.” The British soldier of fortune, T. E. Lawrence, has a possible answer in his book, The Seven Pillars of Wisdom. The Book of Esdras I in the Apocrypha provides an example of faked data in the lists of the numbers of each family unit who returned to Jerusalem to rebuild the Temple after the Babylonian Exile.