-3

"כִּי תֹאמַר בִּלְבָבְךָ רַבִּים הַגּוֹיִם הָאֵלֶּה מִמֶּנִּי אֵיכָה אוּכַל לְהוֹרִישָׁם׃"

Should you say to yourselves, “These nations are more numerous than we; how can we dispossess them?” (Deut 7.17)

According to Aish.com:

According to Rabbi Yonasan ben Uziel's translation of Exodus 12:37, there were 3 [more than 4.5] million Jews* in total who witnessed the giving of the Torah at Mount Sinai. It is probable that a comparable number of Jews left Egypt.

While the world population in 1500BC is estimated to be around 30M it is highly unlikely that EACH of the surrounding nations was far bigger than Israel (4.5M) so Israel needed to be scared.

Also historum.com estimates that most ancient nations count tens or hundreds of thousands at most, surely not millions.

How this can be explained?


*My edit - with 5 kids per family each family counted 7 persons, not 5 as claimed by Aish, a total of 4.2M plus all the widows that didn't die (300K) in Chet Hameraglim plus the elders over 60yo.

  • 5
    1: where do you see that each nation was larger than Bnai Yisrael? I've always read it as the totality of the nations were larger than B"Y, not necessarily each individual one. 2: are R' Yonason Ben Uziel and the census website working with the same estimates? Does the census website believe there were 3 million Jews, and does R' Yonason Ben Uziel believe the world population was 30 million? – Salmononius2 Aug 21 at 13:39
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    Your edit makes your second block quote no longer a quote from Aish. You should put your own thoughts and additions outside of the quote, as it looks inaccurate to portray the additional information as a quote from Aish. – Salmononius2 Aug 22 at 1:35
  • Please bring my answer to Salm back. – Al Berko Aug 22 at 5:27
  • @Salmononius2 Your second comment is right, I edited it – Al Berko Aug 22 at 5:30
  • Maybe they were only 600k Jews in total. The Talmud says that not all 6M had to be at Sinai. Even if it were 6M, consensus says they were 30M ppl so I see no problem if they are more numerous than Israel. – Turk Hill Aug 22 at 11:34

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