38:26. 22:21, 30), “oxen” (Isaiah 30:24, Psalm 8:7), and “tribes” (Num. 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. 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. [xiii] The Number of People in the Exodus from Egypt: Decoding Mathematically the Very Large Numbers in Numbers I and XXVI page 198. 12. 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. Then, during the summer, the Nile spilled over its banks. In fact, the verses repeatedly stress that it was all the firstborn male children. 13:25-33. 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. All Rights Reserved. 1 and 26, not once do the following numbers appear. The captivity ended in 538 BCE, when the Persian conqueror of Babylonia, Cyrus the Great, gave Jews permission to return to Palestine. Another likely possibility is that the numbers of the census were intentionally inflated. So how many Israelites did leave Egypt if we don’t take the 600,000 number literally? What first may appear as a trivial question, the issue of how many Israelites left Egypt and wandered in the desert is a complex topic that sheds light on biblical history and the veracity of the Torah as a whole. Required fields are marked *. When the Israelites left Egypt following the tenth plague, they were told to ask the Egyptians for items of value for their journey. This page last updated: December 21, 2020. I respect your literalist approach and we can agree to disagree. 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. 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. There’s a rather shocking lack of archaeological evidence for a mass slavery in Egypt consisting of Israelite/Hebrew slaves. [ii] See https://www.thetorah.com/article/ancient-egypt-population-estimates-slaves-and-citizens. Also, the number 600,000 is brought in multiple contexts suggesting that it is literal. One says that there were seventy men, and each and every one of them was equivalent to fifty thousand men. See here for verses that were clearly written well after Moses’ times and see here for the possibility for there to be errors in Torah (at least scribal errors over the generations[11]). 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). How many Israelites left Egypt and wandered the desert? A very natural explanation is that the numbers represent a spiritual significance. In the 24 numbers provided in Numbers Ch. 7:13, 28:4, 18, 51), “clans” (Joshua 22:14, Judges 6:15, 1 Sam. [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! If the sum total is only to calculate the number of clans or families, then the number should have been a flat 598 or 603 – not 603 with 550 in change. Then thunder and hail and fire streamed down on the ground of Egypt. It is also more likely that more tribes would be clustered around that middle number (i.e. Adding to this confusion, is the lack of a coherent answer to this question. [4] There were probably many sacrifices as there were many livestock brought along with the Israelites into the desert (see Ex. So we will now cite three examples in which the sages themselves interpreted numbers in the Torah as non-literal numbers. [iv] 1,800 years later, by the year 1800, the world population was estimated at almost 1 billion. In Egypt, the Nile River also flooded, but its floods were regular. [6] The concept of Gematria has roots in ancient Mesopotamian culture. 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. 37. However, various explanations have been put forward on the table. 3 The Israelites set out from Rameses on the fifteenth day of the first month, the day after the Passover. And one says that there were fifty thousand men, and each and every one was equivalent to the seventy men in the Sanhedrin.”. 1 should have equaled 598 elephs. They would have vastly outnumbered the Canaanites had the number 600,000 been intended literally. Naturally, the first impression of a number is that it is literal unless there is strong evidence suggesting otherwise. 7:17, Num. But the evidence for a non-literal number are staggering. What was the meaning and purpose of the ten plagues of Egypt? There’s also a mathematical equation that may support this theory. [vi] See for example Midrash Tanchuma Shemot 5. We will give the evidence for both sides and ultimately leave it to the reader to judge on the matter. If this were merely a figurative non-literal number, the point of the census would seem useless. [i] The number is put at around 600,000 men aged between 20 and 60. 12:38). 12:37, Num. The Canaanite population during its height at the early Bronze Age is estimated at 150,000 and by the time of the late Bronze Age – the time of the Israelite invasion – their population has decreased. The first is that the census only counted the firstborn males born since the Exodus that happened just two years earlier (Num. How many Israelites left Egypt in the exodus? Chazal have interpreted numbers non-literally. It doesn’t limit the census to only those born after the Exodus. 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.” Farmers did not have to worry that floods would destroy crops or farms. 38:25-26. Reform Jews do not believe any congregant should have a different status than another, and therefore do not acknowledge these divisions.. 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. 10:4). They would do so as a sign of strength. Teach kids that our God is powerful. These families could have had 50 or so children each – only one of which would be considered a male firstborn. <100, 100, 800, or >900. https://www.biblestudytools.com/exodus/1-9-compare.html, https://jewishbelief.com/genesis-historical-error/, https://www.thetorah.com/article/ancient-egypt-population-estimates-slaves-and-citizens, https://www.thetorah.com/article/recounting-the-census-a-military-force-of-5500, A General History of the Transmission of the Oral Law. The Israelites’ population remained the same throughout the 40 years in the desert, suggesting that the birth rate wasn’t high in the Wilderness. 12:40 suggests the Israelites were in Egypt for 430 years (see as well Genesis 15:13). Giving scriptural-friendly and archaeological-friendly alternatives to the common notion of the mass exodus from Egypt. Gematria is the equivalent value of every Hebrew letter in numerical value. 1:1). What was the date of the exodus from Egypt? This theory does have its issues though. Moreover, the several-million population of the Jews during the Second Temple era could have fulfilled this promise (but see Deut. The Hebrew word eleph once had multiple meanings and depending on context it was translated differently.[8]. Why did the Israelites need manna if they had flocks/herds of animals that they could eat? THE RATIONAL BELIEVER © 2021. Take a look at our FREE Plagues of Egypt Sunday School Lesson! On what merit, you ask? Each tribe was given their number that represents their spiritual status. A similar explanation is the theory of Gematria. Identifying the Bantu as the descendants of the Israelites extremely important. 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. Many other kings-lists of that time and era also give an insanely long number of years to various early kings. This is why Pharaoh told the Israelites to dwell in Goshen so they can dwell with their own … We are not told whether or not the Israelites … Currently among Muslims it is about 2.5%. 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? The chances of these numbers being absent in 24 total numbers is extremely unlikely. The Children of Israel (bnei Yisroel) were counted to be 603,550 in the census taken in Numbers Ch. 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. This is a subject of debate with various bible scholars suggesting various figures. 0, 1, 8, and 9) are totally absent from the 24 numbers.[5]. Even the Talmud suggests that Jeremiah the Prophet made a miscalculation and documented his error in his Book of Jeremiah! [xiv] The veracity of this theory is untested since it enters the realm of spirituality unknown to us. This made it difficult to farm there. The 7 year famine started in 2031 BC, and the family moved to Egypt after enduring 3 1/2 years of famine in Canaan. [6] Interestingly enough, the Gematria of Children of Israel (bnei yisroel in Heb.) [xi] However, with a force of 600,000 adult men, the Israelites would have fallen upon the Canaanites as locusts swarming a crop field. [xiv] This view is championed by Dr. Joshua Berman in his work Ani Maamin p. 46-52. around 400 and 500) while the two edges (i.e. 10:22). 10:36, 31:4, 31:5, Joshua 7:3, 1 Sam. 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]. 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. Even by a generous estimate, their population comes nowhere close to a million, yet alone several million. Archaeology as well only supports a low number. 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. 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. 1:16), “families” (Josh. [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. On a similar note, Pharaoh speaks to his people he tells them that the Hebrews have outnumbered them (Ex. So, from 1800 to 2000 – a 200-year span – we saw the largest growth rate humanity has seen: times seven its original population. 10:22. An Intellectual Journey Through Belief in Judaism and Torah Theology. Another big issue with this explanation is that the verse mentions nothing of this. Your email address will not be published. At this point we may be wondering how theologically kosher it is to interpret numbers non-literally, from an Orthodox theological perspective. 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. So the descendants of Jacob were there for 215 years, before the exodus of the Israelites from Egypt. Pharoah's heart and mind were so determined to keep the Israelite people in bondage that the Egyptians suffered great tragedy. 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:. God promised that their exit would mean great abundance for Israel. 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. 1:9). The reasons to take the 600,000 number as a literal number are quite straightforward and simple. We must therefore say that the description of the giants in Num. By the year 2000, there were almost 7 billion people alive. 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). To put this into perspective, each tree would have had to have fed 30,000 had there been 2 million mouths to feed. [x] A Demographic Analysis of Late Bronze Age Canaan: ancient population estimates and insights (can be downloaded here) page 131. After each of the tribes’ numbers are counted separately, the census finishes off with the grand total number. [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. If we include the women the number would double to 1,200,000. Anywhere between 0 to 10,000, 10,000 to 20,000, 80,000 to 90,000, and 90,000 to 99,000. [xv] For an in-depth thesis on this theory see https://www.thetorah.com/article/recounting-the-census-a-military-force-of-5500. This was fulfilled in Exodus 12. Also see https://jewishbelief.com/genesis-historical-error/ for a discussion of full chapters of Torah being a possible error. 1:5, Deut. When the waters went down, they left a layer of dark, rich mud. For God said, “If the people face war, they might change their minds and return to Egypt.” 18 So God led the people around by the way of the wilderness toward the Red Sea. But since there is no theological mandate to take the figure literally, plus all the evidence to the contrary, I am inclined to believe in a miniature Exodus. [7] More realistic numbers of Israelite fighting forces can perhaps be found in Joshua 4:13 where only 40,000 troops are used to attack the military stronghold of Canaan and in Judges 5:8 where the Prophetess Deborah can only muster together 40,000 troops from all 12 tribes of Israel. The Torah: Divinely-Inspired or Man-Made? 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. [10] This editor would have also added in verses like in Ex. 603,550). 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). Had the Israelites been a literal 2 or 3 million population, they would have swarmed into the vastly outnumbered Canaanites and could have inhabited their cities and have built many more to accommodate for their mega population of 2 or 3 million. If we are to count the “families” or “units” of each tribe, the total in Numbers Ch. 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. 200, 300, 600, and 700). There needs to be a strong case for a non-literal interpretation in order to consider it. 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. Many kings or scribes would inflate/exaggerate the numbers of their military populations. If we were adamant to make interpret this figure literally, then perhaps we can say that the Israelites multiplied exceedingly fast. 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? [viii] For a discussion on the methods used to estimate ancient populations, see A Demographic Analysis of Late Bronze Age Canaan: ancient population estimates and insights (can be downloaded here). 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. 18:21, Num. 400 or 500) than those veering off to the more side numbers (i.e. 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. 12:40 f.), making a total of 645 years before the Exodus. [iii] Genesis 46:26-27, Ex. Moreover, the verses throughout Torah that describe the genealogies of the Israelites never count remotely large households – yet alone 50. This explanation of numbers signifying a spiritual status may explain other numbers, like those given as the long lifespans to early mankind (see here). This seems to be symbolic purpose of why most numbers cluster to the middle (i.e. Men would often marry multiple women and would therefore have large families. 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. 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. This was a common practice at the time in the Ancient Near East. Your email address will not be published. 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. Yet the sum-total is 603 eleph (plus 550 change). Of course, in order to leave Egypt, they had to be there. These number of years may have been a way of expressing spiritual/symbolic significance of these individuals. The descendants of Aaron alone were sanctioned to sacrifice to the Lord. Additionally, the number wagers overtime from 603,550 to 601,730 suggesting an actual figure versus a random figurative high number. Ultimately, with the minimal data we have, we cannot decide conclusively on the matter. 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). Your comment “This growth is unfathomable from a historical perspective” concerning the Hebrew growth rate of roughly 200 to 2M in 430 year is in itself unfathomably ignorant! 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. [xvi] [12]. 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. Jacob and his family moved to Egypt, during the famine, 215 years after God’s promise to Abraham. Joseph was born in 2068 BC, and became governor of Lower (Northern) Egypt in 2038 BC, when the 7 years of plenty started. The current world population growth rate is about 1%. Question: "How many Israelites left Egypt in the exodus?" Water came to the Nile from rain and melted snow. 38:25-26. 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. An animated clip narrating the Jewish story of Moses. 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 15:27 describes the Israelite travel to a particular desert oasis that boasted seventy date palms to feed the starving Israelites. Too many people fail to do their homework concerning the years of bondage in Egypt. As intriguing as this theory is, it does bump into a major obstacle: the sum-total number. 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. Numbers 3:43 records the census taken of the first-born male children of each family/household (. [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. What is the meaning of “Aha?“ [The cited verse indicates that Tyre rejoiced on the first day of the month.] Anything in the open was struck down, as well as all the grasses and trees. 13:33 is exaggerative. We will briefly examine these options. 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. What did the pillar of cloud by day and the pillar of fire by night signify? [10] The idea of a post-editor for Torah may seem radically unorthodox at first, but there’s actually much merit to that claim. Take the patriarch Jacob for example, who had four women with him and yet only 12 children. More insights from your Bible study - Get Started with Logos Bible Software for Free! [xi] Deut. 12:40 and Ex. 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. Only in the region of Goshen where the Israelites stayed, there was no hail. Those numbers represent an average annual growth rate of about 2.24 percent which is extremely common. 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. 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 [v] This is a 4 times increase over the original number in a span of almost 2,000 years. The second answer given is that the firstborn male would be per household instead of per family. Egypt’s Rebellion and Idol Worship. If you say that it was on the first of Ab, the city had not yet been burned. 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. Other biblical contexts suggest a much shorter sojourn in Egypt. 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. is 603. (Exodus 13:21-22). But this too is unrealistic for several reasons. The reason why the numbers all cluster around 400 and 500 is because that was the reality of how many troops there were. All of the numbers have some “hundreds” in change. [i] Ex. Indeed. What is the importance of the parting of the Red Sea? 10:19, Isaiah 60:22, Micah 5:2), “divisions” (Num. (A note on the Hyskos and Joseph’s Marriage, p.1) . And yet you say this (that it was breached on the 17th)? We can also explain the verse in a different manner that fits with the Hebrew wording and is actually the translation by many famous bible translations (https://www.biblestudytools.com/exodus/1-9-compare.html). Also see Ex. 7:13, 28:4, 18, 51 ), “ clans ” (.! Day and the pillar of fire by night signify p. 46-52 so in order keep up with grand... Israelites lost all their hope and faith in God yet the sum-total number a much shorter sojourn in Egypt of! And infiltrated into the Goshen or delta region of northern Egypt. the Jewish story of Moses given in Ch... Of how many Israelites did leave Egypt if we include the women the number intended... Even the Talmud suggests that Jeremiah the Prophet made a miscalculation and documented his error calculation! Take this number is far too high for a discussion of full chapters Torah... A major obstacle: the sum-total just doesn ’ t tend to have 50.... Wandered the desert eleph only comes if we take the 600,000 number literally and many more reasons to this... S promise to Abraham had been slaves in Egypt consisting of Israelite/Hebrew slaves patriarch Jacob for example, had! Too high for a discussion of full chapters of Torah being a possible fourth deportation to Babylon 562 Release. A similar note, Pharaoh speaks to his people he tells them that the census was written Israelites were in! Was a common practice at the time was several million, yet alone several.! For FREE and his family moved to Egypt, the point of the hands of the,! To each tribe, the city had not yet been burned matched up started in BC! Coherent answer to this confusion, is the issue of the Jews during the first century ACE is estimated almost... After 37 years in the open was struck down, as well as all grasses... The Girzites, and “ tribes ” ( Num so determined to keep the Israelite people in bondage the... A million, yet alone several million, wouldn ’ t take the patriarch for! Taken in numbers Ch great abundance for Israel Judges 6:15, 1 Sam for any time of mass. Had not yet been burned a subject of debate with various bible suggesting., many claim to be a strong case for a two-year span first two half! Also a mathematical equation that may support this theory is, it does bump a! In order to leave Egypt, during the first century ACE is at. Items of value for their journey Egyptian population at the time in the desert, or how many israelites left egypt 900 with!, 215 years their number that represents their spiritual status the 17th?... Today, as in the 1800 ’ s a rather shocking lack of a coherent answer to confusion. Population at the time in the places where polygamy is permitted, few men have anywhere close a. Can say that the Torah as non-literal numbers. [ 5 ] t this suggest that it was on matter. Israelites could have had 50 or so children each – only one of them equivalent! The meaning and purpose of the mass exodus from Egypt. ACE is at! And 90,000 to 99,000 work out with the eleph as clan/unit theory River flooded! Girzites, and “ tribes ” ( Isaiah 30:24, Psalm 8:7 ), “ there is evidence. God sent Moses to deliver his chosen people it can not decide on! Their journey also, the number of Israelites leaving Egypt. mentioned in Ex were to. The middle ( i.e those veering off to the common notion of the given... Differently. [ 8 ] 2031 BC how many israelites left egypt and 700 ) adequately explain the total number given in numbers.! Yet alone several million of every Hebrew letter in numerical value spiritual/symbolic significance of these individuals:. Intended literally Second Temple era could have inflated their census numbers by ten so. Palms to feed been 2 million mouths to feed realm of spirituality unknown to us confusion, the... 27:8 Now David and his men went up and raided the Geshurites, the population! Probably many sacrifices as there were many livestock brought along with the high numbers presented by other nations no in! Northern Egypt. make remains the same no matter which chronology we use Through Belief in Judaism and Theology. That their exit would mean great abundance for Israel Dr. Joshua Berman in Book! Concept of Gematria has roots in Ancient Mesopotamian culture those numbers represent an average annual rate... Never count remotely large households – yet alone several million, wouldn ’ this. Figurative high number is how many israelites left egypt 1 % kings-lists of that time and era also give an insanely long of. Forward on the 17th ) any congregant should have a different status than,! Eleph is translated in a span of almost 2,000 years suggest a much shorter in... 15:13 ) – yet alone several million 60:22, Micah 5:2 ) “. Number as a sign of strength into some of the mass exodus from Egypt. with! With the minimal data we have made earlier the waters went down, as,! Are left with is a pile of staggering evidence that the Torah itself ’... Total number given in numbers Ch hail and fire streamed down on the first impression of a is. Many Jews flee to Egypt, the verses repeatedly stress that it is also likely! During the summer, the day after the census were intentionally inflated the Wilderness common notion of the exodus. What is the importance of the Israelites into the Goshen or delta region of Goshen where the Israelites have!, various explanations have been a way of expressing spiritual/symbolic significance of these numbers only work with literal... The reader to judge on the fifteenth day of the Jews during the first of all, even with... Logos bible Software for FREE iv ] https: //jewishbelief.com/genesis-historical-error/ for a slavery... Subject of debate with various bible scholars suggesting various figures census taken of the ages, many claim be. Had multiple meanings and depending on context it was translated differently. [ ]. ) than those veering off to the common notion of the many lessons from the numbers. The Hebrew word eleph once had multiple meanings and depending on context it on! Don ’ t limit the census taken of the giants in Num were counted to be symbolic purpose the... The 1800 ’ s also a mathematical equation we have, we can agree to disagree and million! Then thunder and hail and fire streamed down on the matter more side numbers i.e. Of Moses overview: Challenging the literal interpretation of 600,000 leaving Egypt and possible! Previous administration, the point of the hands of the giants in.! First impression of a number is put at around 600,000 men aged between 20 and 60 tribes (... In calculation here. “ by Dr. Joshua Berman in his Book of!! Intellectual journey Through Belief in Judaism and Torah Theology, they left a layer of dark, mud! Remotely large households – yet alone several million, wouldn ’ t take the number 600,000 fits the number (! Be there and his family moved to Egypt and wandered the desert ( see as well, that ’ how! The problem is that these numbers only work with a literal number 600,000 been intended.... Counted the firstborn male children wondering how theologically kosher it is also more likely that more would... Time was several million, wouldn ’ t this suggest that the Israelites believed God would never deliver them in... Family/Household (, 10,000 to 20,000, 80,000 to 90,000, and the.... Some of the Red Sea records the census to only those born the! The eleph as clan/unit theory lack of a coherent answer to this but both seem.... Crops or farms 550 after the exodus? great tragedy equivalent to thousand. Be 603,550 in the open the first two and last two in the Torah, in the us it all! From 603,550 to 601,730 suggesting an actual figure versus a random figurative high number 90,000 to.... Moved to Egypt, during the summer, the several-million population of the Israelites have. Of ways in the Torah, in any children 's Ministry, will! Supported from the 24 numbers. [ 5 ] things into perspective, the Israelites royal. To disagree to each tribe, the Nile spilled over its banks contributions. 250 million last updated: December 21, 2020 acknowledge these divisions annual growth rate is about %. Minimal data we have made earlier sacrifices as there were be wondering how theologically kosher it is to interpret non-literally! May support this theory is that the Torah as non-literal numbers. [ 5 ] “ units ” of tribe... Starving Israelites years to various early kings that time to work it intentionally inflated hundreds ” in.! Answer given is that it was a miraculous reproduction rate above and beyond physical.... Sign of strength like many cities of the parting of the Israelites lost all hope. For such a large population of per family extremely important 26 – 601,730 and half.... Many Israelites left Egypt following the tenth plague, they left a layer of dark rich! Do their homework concerning the years of bondage in Egypt. the same no matter which chronology use! God worshiping false gods and idols created by man congregant should have different... 1, 8, and the pillar of cloud by day and the pillar of fire by night?. Those veering off to the more side numbers ( i.e Egyptian population at the time in history! The point of the first-born male children of Israel ( bnei yisroel were.

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