Some argue that the Bible is contradictory concerning the question, “Did Jacob worship at the head of the bed or leaning on his staff?” The argument is that Genesis 47:31 says that Jacob worshipped at the head of the bed, but Hebrews 11:21 says that he worshipped leaning on his staff. However, there is a very easy solution that solves this alleged contradiction.
Scriptures – Did Jacob Worship at the Head of the Bed or Leaning on His Staff?
Genesis 47:31 – Jacob Worshipped at the Head of the Bed
And he said, “Swear to me”; and he swore to him. Then Israel bowed himself upon the head of his bed.Genesis 47:31
Hebrews 11:21 – Jacob Worshipped Leaning on His Staff
By faith Jacob, when dying, blessed each of the sons of Joseph, bowing in worship over the head of his staff.Hebrews 11:21
The Answer – Did Jacob Worship at the Head of the Bed or Leaning on His Staff?
The Two Options Are Not Mutually Exclusive
Being at the head of the bed and leaning over a staff are not mutually exclusive. It is entirely possible for a person to be leaning over his staff, while standing at the head of the bed.
There is simply no necessary contradiction between these two verses because both can be true at the same time. The answer to this alleged Bible contradiction is simple.
Foundational Principles Regarding Bible Difficulties
There are some foundational principles that apply to all alleged and apparent contradictions in the Bible. To read more, see Bible Difficulties: Foundational Principles.
More Answers to “Contradictions” in the Bible
To read more answers to alleged and apparent contradictions in the Bible, see “Contradictions” in the Bible Answered.
These books are also excellent resources: