Bible Contradiction? not so fast! Slow Down And Read Further!
A lot of times when people read the Bible they will see one thing and assume it is a Bible contradiction or be totally confused. It makes them stop to think hard about the passage at hand and about why is it written the way it is written, and how it all make sense logically. Atheists love to misrepresent and misinterpret types of things!
When confronted with a confusing passage or one that seems to make no sense that comes off as a contradiction it is best to slow down, think it over, then read further for it to be explained. Often times people who have the intention to find a contradiction in the Bible will simply think they find one and stop and not read further. If they only read further it will be explained and found to not be a real contradiction.
For this discussion Read Exodus 4-7.
One example I will present is Exodus 4:30,
“Aaron repeated everything the LORD had said to Moses and performed the signs before the people.“
What makes this verse confusing is that prior in the story God had specifically told Moses he would perform such duties. But Moses complained and said he was not a good speaker so he needed help. God then told Moses that Aaron would be his spokes person. The main verses on this part of the story are Exodus 4:13-17,
“Moses said, ‘Please Lord, send someone else.
Then the LORD’s anger burned against Moses, and He said, ‘Isn’t Aaron the Levite your brother? I know that he can speak well. And also, he is on his way now to meet you. When he sees you his heart will rejoice. You will speak with him and tell him what to say. I will help both you and him to speak, and will teach you both what to do. He will speak to the people for you. He will be your spokesman, and you will serve as God to him. And take this staff in your hand that you will perform the signs with.“
When reading this it seems confusing that in verse 30 Aaron is the one performing the signs with the staff and his hand. Before all of this Moses had met God at the burning Bush where God gave him directions on how to perform 2 sign miracles. One was throwing his staff onto the ground to make it turn into a snake, and the other was putting his hand inside his robe and pulling it out to become diseased and white and putting it back in and returning his hand to normal. In Exodus 4:30 it says that Aaron performed these signs. But if God gave Moses the direction to to them why is it said Aaron is doing them? When reading it, it feels very random. Is this a contradiction? It is not, and to find out why it is not you simply should read further into the story.
In chapter 7 of Exodus God specifically tells Moses to tell Aaron to perform the miracles. Verses 8-9 state,
“The LORD said to Moses and Aaron, ‘When Pharaoh tells you: Perform a miracle, tell Aaron: Take your staff and throw it down before Pharaoh. It will become a serpent.”
So not only could Aaron perform the miracle God gave direction to Moses to do, he could do it with his own staff. This is most likely because Moses gave the staff to him to carry. It did not have to be Moses’s staff necessarily. God allowed Moses to be silent and not be the spokesperson for God since he was afraid, and instead allowed Moses to tell Aaron to do everything for him including the miracles. Aaron even did many of the plague miracles as well, but later Moses performed the plague miracles. So according to what is written in Exodus 4:30 it is plausible that Moses also told Aaron the directions on performing the miracles as well.
It is plausible that God told Moses to tell Aaron to do the miracles even if it is not written down explicitly that he did in verses 4:14-17.” It was also not written down that Moses explained it to Aaron either in verses 27-28 where Moses and Aaron met and greeted. Verse 27 says “Moses told Aaron everything the LORD had sent him to say, and about all the signs He had commanded him to do.” It can be understood that in this sentence it is implied Moses also explained that Aaron would be the one to do them. It is obvious later in chapter 7 that this is so. Since Moses told Aaron to do the miracles in front of the Egyptians it is apparent this understanding that Aaron would be doing the miracles was established before he met the Israelite elders as well beforehand.
In verse 4:17 God says directly to Moses, “And take this staff in your hand that you will perform the signs with.” This does not negate Aaron being the one to do them. Saying “you will perform” can be understood as a general statement. It does not necessarily mean only Moses can and will do it, but a general term that it will be done by Moses and Aaron together. It could also be understood as a plural “you” with the understanding of “you and Aaron.” People speak this way all of the time in every day language today. Someone gives orders to someone that they MUST do something, yet that person oversees other people who are the ones who are physically going to do it. Whereas the person who was commanded to do them actually does not do the work. This happens in the military or any profession with a hierarchy. No one would ever accuse a general of a contradiction when he commands someone under him who is in charge of other men to do something, when it is the other men he is in charge of who do the work the general asked him to do. Moses was given special authority that he would “serve as God” to Aaron in 4:16. In 7:1 God told Moses that He made him like God to Pharaoh and Aaron is his prophet. So Moses could be told to do something by God, and then have Aaron do it for him instead of him doing it. There is absolutely no contradiction in this passage.
Exodus 4:30 is simply one verse that could be thought of as a contradiction without further reading in the passage, story, chapter, or book. Remember for the next time when reading the Bible you find something that is confusing to stop, relax, think it over, then continue reading. It will be explained eventually further in the Bible. Also, it never hurts to ask your pastor or seek out a respected Bible teacher on the topic that concerns you. Don’t give up, God will reveal the answer to you in His Word.