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2 Chronicles

14:8 And there came out against them Zerah the Ethiopian with an host of a thousand thousand, and three hundred chariots; and came unto Mareshah.

How could the Ethiopians have an army so large when the world was a much smaller place back then. Wikipedia quotes that there were less than 20 million people on the planet. Are these figures true ?

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1 Answer 1

RaSh"I, Metzudath Tziyon, Metzudath David and "Yemei Kedem" (MaLBI"M???) say nothing on this. (http://hebrewbooks.org/pdfpager.aspx?req=39985&st=&pgnum=162) However, if we look at other examples of numbers being used that way, we find, for example, in the Shabbath morning prayer service, in Pesukei DeZimra, that "A thousand thousand thousands of thousands and tens of thousands of tens of thousands" ("Elef Alef Alfei Alafim VeRibbei Revavoth", (in Nishmath Kol Ḥai)) is used not for literal numbering but to indicate an overwhelming number that cannot realistically be tallied.

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