(1 Sam. 6:19) How many were killed? 70 or 50,070?

CLAIM: Most manuscripts—especially the Masoretic Text—records that 50,070 men were killed. Only a few manuscripts record that 70 were killed. Which is true?

RESPONSE: 70 men were killed. The 50,070 number is definitely a transmission error. Archer writes, “Note that the alphabetic system of numerical notation needed only a few dots above or below to multiply by one thousand; thus the letter nun with two dots above it would signify 50,000.”[1] Therefore, we can see that it would be easy to introduce a scribal error here.

[1] Archer, Gleason L. A Survey of Old Testament Introduction: Revised and Expanded. Chicago, IL: Moody, 2007. 387.