MemberFebruary 12, 2022 at 12:17 pm
Today, I happen to be reading Numbers 22, and truly the descriptions of the king of the Moabites, as you shared in your scripture passage above, conveys more than just an army of Israelites but a population as large as an entire nation! My KJV says in Numbers 22:5 that the king of the Moabites described Israel by saying: “Look, a people has come from Egypt. See, they cover the face of the earth, and are settling next to me!”
I do ponder about their fear and dread of the Israelites because he witnessed what the Lord had done to the Amorites through the Israelites. So the reputation of God and the Israelites had caused a great fear in addition to the population size of Israel. Numbers 22:2-3 records “Now Balak the son of Zippor saw all that Israel had done to the Amorites. And Moab was exceedingly afraid of the people because they were many, and Moab was sick with dread because of the children of Israel.”
So, in addition to the enormous population size that they had become over 400 years since Jacob and his sons settled in Goshen, Egypt, and back then those generations had large families, they feared the reputation of the Israelites and their God.
I agree with you that the population accounts in the Bible about the Israelites are realistic as more than an army size because each tribe was an army size. It must have been a population size of a nation. Pharaoh was threatened by the number of them. The king of Moab was threatened by the number of them. That seems to be a pattern.