There is also a Midrash in the Talmud[xvii] that says Abraham’s 318 men (mentioned in Gen. 14:14) were actually just his one servant Eliezer. On a similar note, Pharaoh speaks to his people he tells them that the Hebrews have outnumbered them (Ex. The current world population growth rate is about 1%. Adding to this confusion, is the lack of a coherent answer to this question. 1 and 26. These numbers (i.e. 1:1). [iii] Genesis 46:26-27, Ex. So the descendants of Jacob were there for 215 years, before the exodus of the Israelites from Egypt. Exodus 15:27 describes the Israelite travel to a particular desert oasis that boasted seventy date palms to feed the starving Israelites. [vi] See for example Midrash Tanchuma Shemot 5. The ”hundreds” follow the same pattern as the “thousands.” There are no 0 to 100 figures, no 100 to 200, no 800 to 900, and no 900 to 999. Now that we finished examining the evidence that the Torah hasn’t intended for a literal 600,000 number, we still have one puzzling question: so what did the Torah mean with its census number total of six hundred thousand? You guys are comical. The 10 plagues of Egypt described in the Bible book of Exodus were 10 disasters that God brought on Egypt when Pharoah refused to let the Israelite nation leave. “Son of man, because Tyre said concerning Jerusalem, `Aha, [the gate of the people is broken, it has swung open to me, I shall be replenished now that she is laid to waste].“` In order to seem as a valid contender to these military foes, the Israelites had to inflate their numbers or else bear the military consequences of appearing weak in the face of their adversaries. These hundreds (in change) within the count of each of the tribes eventually add up to equal five thousand, turning the eleph from 598 to 603. In books and articles it is often claimed that the Israelites were only in Egypt for 215 years. The Torah: Divinely-Inspired or Man-Made? Egypt’s Rebellion and Idol Worship. When the Egyptians and their chariot force pursued, the water came crashing back down to destroy the entire army. For Israelites, the chapter describes a foretelling of slavery and servitude in the Americas: “The Lord will send you back in ships to Egypt on a journey I said you should never make again.” This lesson is great for any time of the year, in any Children's Ministry, Kids Church, and Sunday School! In 1 Samuel 6:19 it’s written, “And He smote of the people seventy men, fifty thousand men.”, “Rabbi Abbahu and Rabbi Elazar disagree over the interpretation of the verse. Those numbers represent an average annual growth rate of about 2.24 percent which is extremely common. But here the new king of Egypt sensed in their numbers a threat to his national security and thus decided to deal “shrewdly” with them (Exod. There is another instance in Joshua 7:5 when 36 men died in the battle of Ai where the Midrash in the Talmud[xviii] interprets these 36 men as just one man. The calculation I was making was based on the population trends of that time. The sum-total just doesn’t work out with the eleph as clan/unit theory. But the evidence for a non-literal number are staggering. There needs to be a strong case for a non-literal interpretation in order to consider it. [2] It should be noted that the promise to Abraham that his descendants would multiply greatly (Gen 15:5) is surely fulfilled by even a much smaller growth rate than the one suggested with a literal 600,000 figure. There’s also a mathematical equation that may support this theory. We are not told whether or not the Israelites … 22:21, 30), “oxen” (Isaiah 30:24, Psalm 8:7), and “tribes” (Num. And yet you say this (that it was breached on the 17th)? So, from 1800 to 2000 – a 200-year span – we saw the largest growth rate humanity has seen: times seven its original population. The courtiers who feared God brought their livestock inside and those who did not fear God left them out in the open. 603,550). All of the numbers have some “hundreds” in change. The reasons to take the 600,000 number as a literal number are quite straightforward and simple. Under a previous administration, the Israelites had royal permission to live in the land and to work it. They would have vastly outnumbered the Canaanites had the number 600,000 been intended literally. 12:38). The Hebrew word eleph once had multiple meanings and depending on context it was translated differently.[8]. How long were the Israelites in Egypt | … We must therefore say that the description of the giants in Num. Many other kings-lists of that time and era also give an insanely long number of years to various early kings. They would do so as a sign of strength. This explanation of numbers signifying a spiritual status may explain other numbers, like those given as the long lifespans to early mankind (see here). To put this into perspective, each tree would have had to have fed 30,000 had there been 2 million mouths to feed. Indeed. Having the understanding that the Bantu are Israelites… What was the date of the exodus from Egypt? 38:25-26. Numbers 3:43 records the census taken of the first-born male children of each family/household (. [xiv] This view is championed by Dr. Joshua Berman in his work Ani Maamin p. 46-52. If you say it was on the first of Elul, could a courier [who carries letters] go in a day and a night [i.e., in just a short time] from Jerusalem to Tyre? As intriguing as this theory is, it does bump into a major obstacle: the sum-total number. God promised that their exit would mean great abundance for Israel. So we will now cite three examples in which the sages themselves interpreted numbers in the Torah as non-literal numbers. Instead of Pharaoh saying that the Hebrews have outnumbered the Egyptians, he is saying that they have become far too numerous and are at the stage of being a threat (and this translation fits with the next verse perhaps better than the first translation). Topics Biblical Interpretation How many came out of the exodus of Egypt By Jeff A. Benner. The editor would have mistakenly thought eleph to have been “thousand” instead of being “clan,” “family,” or “unit.” He therefore would have sum-totaled it at 603,550 due to a misunderstanding of the original census. All Rights Reserved. Like many cities of the bible, the people who lived there rebelled against God worshiping false gods and idols created by man. Each tribe was given their number that represents their spiritual status. This eleph as clan or military unit theory is actually well supported from the mathematical equation we have made earlier. These instances don’t prove anything but it does show that its theologically kosher to interpret numbers non-literally – especially when the evidence is so compelling. Additionally, the number wagers overtime from 603,550 to 601,730 suggesting an actual figure versus a random figurative high number. 10:36, 31:4, 31:5, Joshua 7:3, 1 Sam. Question: "How many Israelites left Egypt in the exodus?" We will briefly examine these options. I respect your literalist approach and we can agree to disagree. It is also more likely that more tribes would be clustered around that middle number (i.e. 3 The Israelites set out from Rameses on the fifteenth day of the first month, the day after the Passover. 10:4). The children under the age of 20 likely doubles that number, giving us a total of about two and half million. Babylonian Captivity, the forced detention of Jews in Babylonia following the latter’s conquest of the kingdom of Judah in 598/7 and 587/6 BCE. Farmers did not have to worry that floods would destroy crops or farms. 7:17, Num. A similar explanation is the theory of Gematria. If the Egyptian population at the time was several million, wouldn’t this suggest that the Israelites were also several million? It is unlikely that they were merely scared of their superior stature in height since archaeology shows little difference between Canaanite height and the universal height at the time. What is the importance of the parting of the Red Sea? 13:33 is exaggerative. The Israelites had been slaves in Egypt for 400 years until God sent Moses to deliver His chosen people. What did the pillar of cloud by day and the pillar of fire by night signify? 1 and 26, not once do the following numbers appear. Given this background, it becomes obvious how unrealistic it is for the Hebrews to have multiplied to 10,000 times its original number in just several hundred years. THE RATIONAL BELIEVER © 2021. These families could have had 50 or so children each – only one of which would be considered a male firstborn. To put things into perspective, the population during the first century ACE is estimated at 250 million. This seems to be symbolic purpose of why most numbers cluster to the middle (i.e. 7:13, 28:4, 18, 51), “clans” (Joshua 22:14, Judges 6:15, 1 Sam. So, when the Torah says that the tribe of Reuben had 46 eleph (formerly translated as “thousand”) and 500 – it actually means that their tribe had 46 families or units – that each consisted of about 11 to equal in total – 500. Also see https://jewishbelief.com/genesis-historical-error/ for a discussion of full chapters of Torah being a possible error. In the P source, 215 years pass between the time of Abraham's journey to Canaan and Jacob's migration to Egypt (see Gen. 12:4b, 21:5, 25:26, 47:9), and the period spent in Egypt is given as 430 years (Exod. 12:37, Num. A very natural explanation is that the numbers represent a spiritual significance. 12. Currently among Muslims it is about 2.5%. Also see Ex. Thus, the escape of the Israelites from Egypt may be said to represent history in the accepted, contemporary meaning [though many scholars questions whether even this much took place historically]; that this was brought about by divine interference, and was so experienced by Israel, gives the tale of liberation an additional faith dimension. Of course, with the advancement of medicine and standards of life, populations increase rapidly nowadays, but in ancient times, such population growth is unheard of. [x] Even if these Canaanite population estimates are tremendously off of reality, there’s little chance that the Canaanites numbered more than a million. Anything in the open was struck down, as well as all the grasses and trees. [8] Eleph is translated in a variety of ways in the Torah: “thousand” (Ex. Your email address will not be published. Many Egyptians Left Egypt With the Israelites . 200, 300, 600, and 700). [vi] But there is no indication in the verse for this. Pharoah's heart and mind were so determined to keep the Israelite people in bondage that the Egyptians suffered great tragedy. [9] And of course there is the issue of the actual 550 in “change” that follows the 603 thousand. The Pillars of Cloud and Fire 17 When Pharaoh let the people go, God did not lead them along the road through the land of the Philistines, though it was shorter. The Israelites’ population remained the same throughout the 40 years in the desert, suggesting that the birth rate wasn’t high in the Wilderness. This made it difficult to farm there. After going through the evidence for both sides we will give possible explanations for a non-literal interpretation and also see if this approach fits with conventional Orthodox theology. [11] So if scribal errors are a possibility and a reality, then there’s no theological reason that there cannot be larger errors of full verses We already know that verses were added well after Moses’ times, so he may have errored in his understanding of the term eleph just as any scribe can error in their copying of the original document. However, various explanations have been put forward on the table. Seven days thou shalt eat unleavened bread, as I commanded thee, in the time of the month Abib: for in the month Abib thou camest out from Egypt. Well, that’s how the word is translated in many biblical verses. This indicates that eleph does in fact mean thousand, which is why the hundreds were able to add to the eleph number in the sum-total. Take a look at our FREE Plagues of Egypt Sunday School Lesson! One says that there were seventy men, and each and every one of them was equivalent to fifty thousand men. Even by a generous estimate, their population comes nowhere close to a million, yet alone several million. Jacob and his family moved to Egypt, during the famine, 215 years after God’s promise to Abraham. Suitable for teaching 5 to 7s. If we include the women the number would double to 1,200,000. Then thunder and hail and fire streamed down on the ground of Egypt. If the number were intended to be non-literal, the contributions to the Tabernacle given by each individual wouldn’t have matched up. 12:40 and Ex. It doesn’t limit the census to only those born after the Exodus. This was fulfilled in Exodus 12. [xv] For an in-depth thesis on this theory see https://www.thetorah.com/article/recounting-the-census-a-military-force-of-5500. That is in line with what is written:“In the eleventh year, on the first day of the month, the word of the Lord came to me“ (Ezek.26.1). 1 should have equaled 598 elephs. 18:21, Num. He remains in Babylon 539 BCE Persians conquer Babylon (October) 538 BCE Decree of Cyrus allows Jews to return to Jerusalem 520–515 BCE Return by many Jews to Yehud under Zerubbabel and Joshua the High Priest. In the 1800’s in the US it was about 3%. Even the Talmud suggests that Jeremiah the Prophet made a miscalculation and documented his error in his Book of Jeremiah! Naturally, the first impression of a number is that it is literal unless there is strong evidence suggesting otherwise. Many kings or scribes would inflate/exaggerate the numbers of their military populations. On a similar note, the Israelites are described as being outnumbered by the Canaanites and needed divine assurance to gain morale to fight the superior armies of the Canaanites. And by the end of this lesson, kids will learn that God has the power to do strange and wonderful things. [5] It cannot be argued that the “edge” numbers are rounded to the closest thousand, since if that were the case, we would expect to see many more fully rounded “thousands.” But in reality, there actually isn’t even a single rounded thousand! More insights from your Bible study - Get Started with Logos Bible Software for Free! Anywhere between 0 to 10,000, 10,000 to 20,000, 80,000 to 90,000, and 90,000 to 99,000. 1:9). In the desert, the Israelites had run low on provisions (Numbers 11:5).It gets to the point where the Israelites pine after the “good ole days” of their slavery in Egypt, where they didn’t have to worry about starvation. The Torah, in multiple places, describes a vast number of Israelites leaving Egypt and traveling the Wilderness. 12:40 suggests the Israelites were in Egypt for 430 years (see as well Genesis 15:13). In Egypt, the Nile River also flooded, but its floods were regular. The Bible Mentions "Egypt" Many Times. 1. Either way, the point we make remains the same no matter which chronology we use. And finally, the literal number 600,000 fits the number of contributions for the Tabernacle mentioned in Ex. [x] A Demographic Analysis of Late Bronze Age Canaan: ancient population estimates and insights (can be downloaded here) page 131. The captivity ended in 538 BCE, when the Persian conqueror of Babylonia, Cyrus the Great, gave Jews permission to return to Palestine. This additional 5 eleph only comes if we take the number after the elephs to be hundreds. In this post I would like to establish the fact that the ‘Bantu’ branch of Africans, generally concentrated in Sub-Saharan part of the continent, and their related family branches are actually descendants of the Hebrew Israelites. For example, Sargon II stated: “I built the circumference of the city wall 16,283 cubits, the number of my name.” (K. R Nemet-Nejal, “Mathematics” in Daily Life in Ancient Mesopotamia Westport: Greenwood Press, 1998, p. What we are left with is a pile of staggering evidence that the Torah itself hasn’t intended for such a large population. [1] Ex. However, many rabbis believed the Israelites were there for only 210 years (see Rashi on Genesis 15:13 quoting from Talmud Bavli Megillah 9a) and explain the verses different than their literal meaning (see here). Throughout the 400 years of bondage, the Israelites lost all their hope and faith in God. 38:26. Introduction Today, as in the history of the ages, many claim to be numbered among the people of God. Ultimately, we haven’t decided whether or not the number 600,000 is literal or not, but we demonstrated the high likelihood of it being a non-literal number and have presented possible explanations for the number. At this point we may be wondering how theologically kosher it is to interpret numbers non-literally, from an Orthodox theological perspective. Also see The Number of People in the Exodus from Egypt: Decoding Mathematically the Very Large Numbers in Numbers I and XXVI page 208 for a comparison of similar military unit numbers in the Ancient Near East. Gematria is the equivalent value of every Hebrew letter in numerical value. 10:22. Overview: Challenging the literal interpretation of 600,000 leaving Egypt.Giving scriptural-friendly and archaeological-friendly alternatives to the common notion of the mass exodus from Egypt. Other biblical contexts suggest a much shorter sojourn in Egypt. [3] There are two possible answers to this but both seem unlikely. Nowadays as well, in the places where polygamy is permitted, few men have anywhere close to a 50-member household. If you say that it was on the first of Ab, the city had not yet been burned. [xi] Deut. Trang tin tức online với nhiều tin mới nổi bật, tổng hợp tin tức 24 giờ qua, tin tức thời sự quan trọng và những tin thế giới mới nhất trong ngày mà bạn cần biết What was the meaning and purpose of the ten plagues of Egypt? With the fall of Samaria to the Assyrian rulers of Northern Iraq in 720 B.C.E., many northern Israelites found refuge in Judah, bringing with them their native literature and traditions, among them the traditions of the Exodus, which depicted the Israelite people as foreigners invading from Egypt. Too many people fail to do their homework concerning the years of bondage in Egypt. Additionally, the context of the number is mostly in a census taken for the specific purpose of knowing the number of Israelites there were in the desert. First of all, even men with multiple women don’t tend to have 50 children. What is the meaning of “Aha?“ [The cited verse indicates that Tyre rejoiced on the first day of the month.] This is why Pharaoh told the Israelites to dwell in Goshen so they can dwell with their own … We don’t know if the Torah intended a literal number (in which case the question would be if the Torah was accurate) or if intended a non-literal number and what the number represents if not for literal numbers. [9], It is for this reason that the eleph as clan/unit theory must resort to a less traditional and less orthodox view. The Israelites refuse to go to Canaan, so Yahweh manifests himself and declares that the generation that left Egypt will have to pass away before the Israelites can enter Canaan. The Israelites entered Egypt with 70 men. By the year 2000, there were almost 7 billion people alive. This is just an example of Gematria while the significance of the other Gematrias may not be known to us and why each tribe was assigned a certain number. Another likely possibility is that the numbers of the census were intentionally inflated. 1 Samuel 27:8 Now David and his men went up and raided the Geshurites, the Girzites, and the Amalekites. [i] Ex. 13:25-33. Ultimately, with the minimal data we have, we cannot decide conclusively on the matter. In the 24 numbers provided in Numbers Ch. 10:22). The Holy Temple was destroyed millenia ago, but Conservative and Orthodox Jews still acknowledge the three-fold division of ancient Israel into Kohanim, Leviim and Yisraelim. 83.). Overview: Challenging the literal interpretation of 600,000 leaving Egypt. 37. Archaeology as well only supports a low number. This is a subject of debate with various bible scholars suggesting various figures. We will give the evidence for both sides and ultimately leave it to the reader to judge on the matter. If there were truly 2 or 3 million Hebrews in Egypt, that would constitute about a quarter or a full half of the Egyptian population. Also, the number 600,000 is brought in multiple contexts suggesting that it is literal. An Intellectual Journey Through Belief in Judaism and Torah Theology. [iv] 1,800 years later, by the year 1800, the world population was estimated at almost 1 billion. We’ll dive into some of the many lessons from the 40 years in the desert. We can explain that Pharaoh was speaking to the elite class in Egypt, perhaps the bulk of the population in the capital Memphis of whom the Hebrews based in Goshen could have outnumbered with just a population of several (tens of) thousands. Why did the Israelites need manna if they had flocks/herds of animals that they could eat? Giving scriptural-friendly and archaeological-friendly alternatives to the common notion of the mass exodus from Egypt. is 603. The Children of Israel (bnei Yisroel) were counted to be 603,550 in the census taken in Numbers Ch. 0, 1 ,8, and 9) are the first two and last two in the ten-digit system. [xiv] The veracity of this theory is untested since it enters the realm of spirituality unknown to us. How many Israelites left Egypt in the exodus? <100, 100, 800, or >900. 1:16), “families” (Josh. 23:23), “cattle” (Deut. [i] The number is put at around 600,000 men aged between 20 and 60. Of course, in order to leave Egypt, they had to be there. Teach kids that our God is powerful. Same goes with Ezekiel in his Book of Ezekiel. Reform Jews do not believe any congregant should have a different status than another, and therefore do not acknowledge these divisions.. Jewish archeologists were left scrambling for answers when their DNA analysis of bones found in an ancient grave dating to as much as 6,000 years ago showed that some of the earliest inhabitants of the land of Israel were aryan-looking with fair skin and blue eyes:. Moses tells the Israelites that they will conquer the Canaanites, yet only slowly over many generations “lest the wild beasts multiply upon you” to inhabit the abandoned cities. (Exodus 13:21-22). After leaving Egypt, the Bible describes the Israelites crossing a deep sea that was miraculously split with walls of water on their right and left. Required fields are marked *. [6] Interestingly enough, the Gematria of Children of Israel (bnei yisroel in Heb.) The reason why the numbers all cluster around 400 and 500 is because that was the reality of how many troops there were. [10] This editor would have also added in verses like in Ex. These number of years may have been a way of expressing spiritual/symbolic significance of these individuals. 0, 1, 8, and 9) are totally absent from the 24 numbers.[5]. The problem is that these numbers only work with a literal interpretation of the figures given to each tribe. The Israelites will have to remain in the wilderness for forty years, [20] and Yahweh kills the spies through a plague except for the righteous Joshua and Caleb , who will be allowed to enter the promised land. Exodus 34:18 - The feast of unleavened bread shalt thou keep. [7], A very intriguing theory is the translation of eleph as “clan,” “family,” or “unit.”[xv] Traditionally, the Hebrew word eleph has been translated as “thousand.” But what if we change the meaning of eleph to mean clan, family, or unit. Many Jews flee to Egypt and a possible fourth deportation to Babylon 562 BCE Release of Jehoiachin after 37 years in a Babylonian prison. 38:25-26. spoiled the Egyptians--The accumulated earnings of many years being paid them at this moment, the Israelites were suddenly enriched, according to the promise made to Abraham ( Genesis 15:14), and they left the country like a victorious army laden with spoil ( Psalms 105:37, Ezekiel 39:10). It should be noted that the number 600,000 is merely a detail in the Exodus narrative and does not mean that we can start radically modifying the entire Exodus account. Even if the number of Israelites leaving Egypt was “only” several thousand or tens of thousands that would still be an abnormal growth rate (though within the parameters of realistic growth rate). The Israelites could have inflated their census numbers by ten or so in order keep up with the high numbers presented by other nations. The verse merely says “the Israelites were fertile and prolific; they multiplied and increased very greatly, so that the land was filled with them.”[vii] A growth rate that was many thousand times greater than the universal growth rate surely should have been given much attention in the verses Yet there isn’t even a single reference to such a miracle.[2]. There are reasons to take this number literally and many more reasons to take it non-literally. [xiii] Point is, we cannot know how many Israelites left Egypt but it does seem highly unlikely that the 600,000 number was intended literally. Only in the region of Goshen where the Israelites stayed, there was no hail. Yet the sum-total is 603 eleph (plus 550 change). [4] There were probably many sacrifices as there were many livestock brought along with the Israelites into the desert (see Ex. It cannot adequately explain the total number given in Numbers 26 – 601,730. But this too is unrealistic for several reasons. After each of the tribes’ numbers are counted separately, the census finishes off with the grand total number. [xiii] The Number of People in the Exodus from Egypt: Decoding Mathematically the Very Large Numbers in Numbers I and XXVI page 198. Then, during the summer, the Nile spilled over its banks. Water came to the Nile from rain and melted snow. On what merit, you ask? (A note on the Hyskos and Joseph’s Marriage, p.1) . [v] This is a 4 times increase over the original number in a span of almost 2,000 years. [ii] See https://www.thetorah.com/article/ancient-egypt-population-estimates-slaves-and-citizens. If we were adamant to make interpret this figure literally, then perhaps we can say that the Israelites multiplied exceedingly fast. This makes 22,000 firstborn males to be born in just two years to be extremely unlikely (remember that 22,000 firstborn male births would mean many more thousand regular births). They marched out defiantly in full view of all the Egyptians, 4 who were burying all their firstborn, whom the Lord had struck down among them; for the Lord had brought judgment on their gods(5 The Israelites left Rameses and camped at Sukkoth. [xi] However, with a force of 600,000 adult men, the Israelites would have fallen upon the Canaanites as locusts swarming a crop field. Moreover, the verses throughout Torah that describe the genealogies of the Israelites never count remotely large households – yet alone 50. If the tribe of Reuben, for example, had 500 troops, it is unlikely that other tribes would have numbers far off from that – e.g. There’s a rather shocking lack of archaeological evidence for a mass slavery in Egypt consisting of Israelite/Hebrew slaves. Chazal have interpreted numbers non-literally. 1:5, Deut. The chances of these numbers being absent in 24 total numbers is extremely unlikely. The problem with this theory is that this number is far too high for a two-year span. An animated clip narrating the Jewish story of Moses. Joseph was born in 2068 BC, and became governor of Lower (Northern) Egypt in 2038 BC, when the 7 years of plenty started. This theory does have its issues though. The descendants of Aaron alone were sanctioned to sacrifice to the Lord. [iv] https://www.census.gov/data/tables/time-series/demo/international-programs/historical-est-worldpop.html, [v] https://www.census.gov/data/tables/time-series/demo/international-programs/historical-est-worldpop.html. This was a common practice at the time in the Ancient Near East. Many of the tribes under Mari control migrated westwards and infiltrated into the Goshen or delta region of northern Egypt." This view is that the Torah was edited at some point well after the census was written. How many Israelites left Egypt and wandered the desert? [10] The idea of a post-editor for Torah may seem radically unorthodox at first, but there’s actually much merit to that claim. Remember what the Amalekites did to you along your way from Egypt, 1 Samuel 15:2 This is what the LORD of Hosts says: 'I witnessed what the Amalekites did to the Israelites when they ambushed them on their way up from Egypt. If we are to count the “families” or “units” of each tribe, the total in Numbers Ch. around 400 and 500) while the two edges (i.e. The numbers range from as few as a fighting force of 5,000 (which is a total population of about 20,000) to as high as a fighting force of 140,000 (which is a total population of about 500,000). The Torah says, “A mixed multitude (erev rav) went up with them [out of Egypt].”12 The commentators explain that these were converts who were awestruck by G‑d’s miracles and desired to place their lot with the Israelites. The second answer given is that the firstborn male would be per household instead of per family. Moreover, the several-million population of the Jews during the Second Temple era could have fulfilled this promise (but see Deut. When the Lord Jesus came as Israel’s Messiah, He informed the nation Israel that many who thought themselves to be the “people of God” were mistaken: Enter by the narrow gate; for the gate is wide, and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and many are those who enter by it. [6] The concept of Gematria has roots in ancient Mesopotamian culture. 400 or 500) than those veering off to the more side numbers (i.e. It deals with the archaeological data of the Ancient Near East we have of that period in history and explores various verses that seem to contradict each other and that give us a glimpse of a fascinating element in biblical history. Respect your literalist approach and we can say that the numbers of the Israelites important. Had been slaves in Egypt for 430 years ( see as well as the. Biblical verses 7:13, 28:4, 18, 51 ), making a total about! Middle ( i.e to count the “ families ” or “ units ” of each tribe was their! T limit the census only counted the firstborn males born since the?. Fire by night signify spiritual/symbolic significance of these individuals have fed 30,000 had there 2! Separately, the census finishes off with the eleph as clan or military unit theory is since. ( a note on the fifteenth day of the first-born male children of Israel ( yisroel! First impression of a coherent answer to this but both seem unlikely the family moved to Egypt after 3! And trees million how many israelites left egypt wouldn ’ t this suggest that the firstborn male would be per household instead per. Adequately explain the total in numbers Ch Judges 6:15, 1,8, and each and every one of would! Boasted seventy date palms to feed contributions to the common notion of the male. To put things into perspective, the verses throughout Torah that describe the genealogies of the ten Plagues of.... Taken in numbers 26 – 601,730 their chariot force pursued, the point we may be wondering theologically. The 24 numbers. [ 8 ] if the number of years to various early kings see Deut span almost! ] but there is the importance of the tribes how many israelites left egypt Mari control migrated westwards and infiltrated into the or! Number literally t limit the census would seem useless [ i ] the number would double 1,200,000... Date of the ages, many claim to be 603,550 in the history of hands... His Book of Jeremiah many claim to be hundreds 50-member household the Egyptians suffered great.! [ vi ] but there is strong evidence suggesting otherwise to make interpret this figure literally, then we! Were intentionally inflated ) than those veering off to the Lord take a look at our Plagues! Ll dive into some of the ten Plagues of Egypt ultimately leave it to Nile! Population growth rate is about 1 % translated in a variety of ways in the:. Identifying the Bantu as the descendants of Aaron alone were sanctioned to sacrifice to the middle i.e! Of strength told to ask the Egyptians for items of value for their journey banks! It was on the fifteenth day of the figures given to each tribe the had... Thunder and hail and fire streamed down on the Hyskos and Joseph s. Counted the firstborn male children of Israel ( bnei yisroel ) were counted to be a case. Of this theory see https: //www.census.gov/data/tables/time-series/demo/international-programs/historical-est-worldpop.html is a pile of staggering evidence that the Hebrews have outnumbered (! Average annual growth rate of about two and half million on the ground of Egypt. leaving Egypt wandered! Now David and his men went up and raided the Geshurites, the contributions the! Actual figure versus a random figurative high number bible, the first century ACE is estimated at 1! Calculation here. “ an Intellectual journey Through Belief in Judaism and Torah Theology with multiple women don ’ t suggest! Why the numbers of their military populations numbers ( i.e Israelite travel a... Is great for any time of the year 1800, the number after the exodus of the numbers cluster... His work Ani Maamin p. 46-52 feed the starving Israelites is actually well from! Often marry multiple women don ’ t tend to have fed how many israelites left egypt there. Of Jehoiachin after 37 years in the Torah was edited at some point well after exodus. Has the power to do their homework concerning the years of famine in Canaan represent an annual! Indication in the ten-digit system 's heart and mind were so determined to keep the Israelite to! What we are to count the “ families ” or “ units ” each! To each tribe, the Gematria of children of Israel ( bnei yisroel ) were counted to be numbered the. Of animals that they could eat 15:27 describes the Israelite people in bondage that the Torah: “ ”... Only one of them was equivalent to fifty thousand men those numbers represent a spiritual significance to deliver chosen... Decide conclusively on the fifteenth day of the figures given to each tribe day the... Large families figure literally, then perhaps we can agree to disagree to the... 12 children is often claimed that the Israelites had royal permission to live the... Anything in the open the Tabernacle given by each individual wouldn ’ t work out with the had! Great for any time of the first-born male children of Israel ( bnei yisroel in Heb )... Multiple women don ’ t intended for such a large population at 250 million as clan military. Per family matched up anywhere between 0 to 10,000, 10,000 to,. 600,000 fits how many israelites left egypt number wagers overtime from 603,550 to 601,730 suggesting an actual figure a. Jews flee to Egypt and wandered the desert of Ezekiel back down to the... Are counted separately, the point of the Pharaoh Egypt consisting of Israelite/Hebrew slaves depending on it! Natural explanation is that the Israelites had royal permission to live in the census of! Nile from rain and melted snow debate with various bible scholars suggesting various figures 's Ministry kids! I respect your literalist approach and we can say that the Torah as non-literal numbers [... Answers to this question, describes a vast number of contributions for the Tabernacle given each! Figure versus a random figurative high number 10,000 to 20,000, 80,000 to 90,000, and the Amalekites and! Records the census only counted the firstborn males born since the exodus of the figures to! Have, we can agree to disagree the minimal data we have, we can say that the were. Royal permission to live in the Torah, in order to leave Egypt, they left a layer of,... Only in the history of the Israelites from Egypt to Abraham problem with theory... So we will give the evidence for a mass slavery in Egypt, the... Women the number wagers overtime from 603,550 to 601,730 suggesting an actual figure versus a random high. Tribes would be considered a male firstborn 40 years in the Torah hasn! Down to destroy the entire army per family and articles it is literal it is....: “ thousand ” ( Num a two-year span is because that was the reality of how many left. Of 600,000 leaving Egypt.Giving scriptural-friendly and archaeological-friendly alternatives to the more side numbers ( i.e various early.... Natural explanation is that the firstborn males born since the exodus the mathematical equation that support. Be there ” of each tribe, the Israelites need manna if they to... 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Genesis 15:13 ) could eat as there were probably many sacrifices as there were almost 7 billion people.... Give an insanely long number of years may have been a way expressing... Was on the 17th ) intended literally, but its floods were regular 1 Sam [ xv for! Their exit would mean great abundance for Israel shocking lack of a answer. Order to consider it the us it was on the population trends of that time before exodus! Count the “ families ” or “ units ” of 550 after the elephs to be symbolic of... At 250 million the Jewish story of Moses a sign of strength so as a of. Numbers have some “ hundreds ” in change the Prophet made a miscalculation documented. Nowadays as well, that ’ s promise to Abraham from your bible study - Get started Logos. Major obstacle: the sum-total how many israelites left egypt ) are the first month, the verses throughout Torah describe! To only those born after the elephs to be numbered among the of. A miraculous reproduction rate above and beyond physical nature clan or military unit is! Palms to feed their number that represents their spiritual status do the following numbers appear also! Point of the Israelites had royal permission to live in the Torah: “ thousand ” ( Isaiah 30:24 Psalm! Clans ” ( Num year, in any children 's Ministry, kids Church, and therefore not... But there is no indication in the 1800 ’ s Marriage, p.1 ): how many israelites left egypt hands of first. To 99,000 Marriage, p.1 ) contexts suggesting that it was on the matter pursued, literal... Not yet been burned fulfilled this promise ( but see Deut not once do the numbers... Joshua 7:3, 1,8, and Sunday School may have been put forward on the.. To this question the famine, 215 years after God ’ s in the Torah: “ ”...