Little old lady who lived in a shoe.

by peacefulpete 6 Replies latest watchtower bible

  • peacefulpete

    OK, it's been a while since I tossed out a Bible inconsistancy. This one is from Numbers 2:32 and 3:40-51.

    Numbers 2 says that there was 600,000 males in Israel over age 20. Numbers 3 says that there were just over 22,000 firstborn males, including those under 20 years old. This means that the Israelite women each had an average of at least 27 boys. Arguably that number could be doubled if the total census had included all males not just those over 20. Say 50 boys to a mother. Then add the girls and voila, each Israelite woman average about 100 kids.

    I know that there have been attempts to explain this obvious imposssibilty, but inevitably they require adding to the clearly written text.

  • belbab

    The first number is all the males in 12 tribes, over 20 years of age, probably up to 70 or 80 years of age, because Joshua and Caleb were old men when they went to war. The tribe of Joseph was divided into two tribes that is why there is twelve tribes plus the tribe of Levi.

    The second number is of the thirteenth tribe, the tribe of Levi.. One commentary explains the smaller number: The figure likely includes only those born since the exodus, when the requirement ot sanctify the first born was given. (See Exodus 13:1,2)


  • Narkissos
    The second number is of the thirteenth tribe, the tribe of Levi..

    Nope. The number of Levi is 22,000 exactly (!) according to v. 39, 22,300 if you actually add the previous partial figures in the MT. The 273 difference with the firstborn serves the double etiological motive of the text, i.e. (1) explaining the "sacred status" of the "Levites", (2) justifying the practice of redeeming the firstborn (from human sacrifice to Yhwh, cf. the earlier Ezekiel 20:25f) by money payment.

    I must admit I never thought of PP's calculation either. Perhaps Runningman did (he found a lot of very good ones).

  • peacefulpete

    Belbab, that is the usual explanation however it is not what the passage says. Verse 40 and 44 make very clear that ALL the firstborn totaled the 22k +. Verse 11-13 says when they were yet in Egypt Yahweh claimed all the then living firstborn to himself, they were his.

    13 for Mine [is] every first-born, in the day of My smiting every first-born in the land of Egypt I have sanctified to Myself every first-born in Israel, from man unto beast; Mine they are; I [am] Jehovah.'

    The number of firstborn then are not those born since the Exodus. The problem is simply that the writer did not think his proposal through.

  • mouthy

    Sounds to me like the writer was like me- couldnt do his arithmetic -Mine??? I couldnt work out 607-1914 ----This guy should have been disfellowshipped methinks !!!

  • theinfamousone

    i think it was the crack!!!

    the infamous one

  • belbab

    Peaceful Pete and Nark,

    Looks like I was too hasty in my reply. Thanks for setting me straight.

    I have been trying to find out why, Levi only had twenty two thousand compared with all the other sons who had from two to three times more.

    Only thing of interest I could find was Jacob's dying pronouncement upon Levi and Simeon. From the time of Jacob's decent into Egypt til the first census that Moses took in Numbers 1-3 Levi had 22000 and Simeon had 59300. However in the 38 years after the first census til the next (Numbers 26) Levi's number gained about 700 to a total of 23000. while during this same time Simeon decreased from 59300 to 22200 which latter number is approximately the same as Levi. Jacob's pronouncement upon them was: I will disperse them in Jacob and scatter them in Israel. A smaller number could be dispersed in a larger number, but a larger number could not be dispersed in a smaller number.


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