MemberApril 18, 2021 at 7:17 pm
I agree the armies of the early ANE were very small. Not sure about 20 men ?! but low hundreds is likely. So Abraham with his 300 men-at-arms was a force to be reckoned with and Abimelech had to mind his Ps and Qs.
This is part of the reason why I propose a total population at exodus of only 6000, the most likely “6-something” from the census figures of Num 1 and 26. The city tells of Jericho and Ai were only a few hectacres (I can find and cite the measurements and have done so before but I am not making a big point here). The estimated population of these tells *under attack or siege*, i.e. when everyone from the agricultural hamlets and pastures comes within the walls for temporary protection, is only about 1000-1500 people. Hazor somewhat more at 2000. Seriously, if the Israelite army was 600k men-at-arms, they wouldn’t even stop to conquer the cities, just move right into the land. There comes a point where the ‘inerrantists’ need to be a bit more pragmatic.