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How many erev rav people came out with Moshe from Egypt (Ex. 12:38)? Was it a few thousand only or more?

Please source.

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    I recall hearing that it was only the Eirav Rav who participated in the Chet Haegel, which if you compare the numbers to the people who were killed for that sin, gives around 3k. Jun 6, 2019 at 23:08
  • @Salmononius2 i heard in a shiur (Amnon Yitzchak) that it was 2x the number of jews which came out of egypt. though he did not give a source
    – michael
    Jun 7, 2019 at 5:27

2 Answers 2

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https://www.sefaria.org/sheets/293150?lang=bi

מכילתא דרבי ישמעאל י״ב:ל״ה:א׳ Mekhilta d'Rabbi Yishmael 12:35:1

וגם ערב רב וגו' מאה ועשרים רבוא דברי רבי ישמעאל. רבי עקיבא אומר מאתים וארבעים רבוא. רבי נתן אומר (מאתים) וששים רבוא.

"and also a great multitude": a hundred and twenty ten thousands - these are the words of R. Yishmael. R. Akiva says: Two hundred and forty ten thousands."

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Rashi, a medieval commentator, cites a midrash that suggests the erev rav numbered about 80% of the Israelites. This would mean that there were hundreds of thousands of erev rav who left Egypt along with the Israelites. However, other commentators reject this interpretation.

Other sources suggest more modest estimates. For example, the medieval commentator Ibn Ezra suggests that the erev rav were a small group of people who joined the Israelites during the Exodus but does not provide an exact amount.

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    Could you possibly find the source for that Rashi? I'd like to see the exact wording, because since there were roughly 3 million Jews (including women, elderly, children), then 2.4 Million Erev Ravs (R. Akiva's opinion) would be exactly 80% of 3 Million Jews. Could it possibly be saying that the total number of Erev Rav (2.4M) was equal to 80% of the Jews (3M)?
    – MosheSF
    Mar 27, 2023 at 16:33
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    Can you please clarify where the Rashi and ibn Ezra you refer to are? Are they around the same verse mentioned by OP (Ex. 12:38) or somewhere else?
    – Avraham
    Mar 28, 2023 at 0:27

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