555 Difficult Bible Questions Answered

54. How Many of the Children of Israel Entered Canaan?




The number of adults over twenty years of age who left Egypt is stated in Exodus 12:37, a* about six hundred thousand. Allowing the normal proportion of children to such a host we may infer that the total number was probably between one and two millions. Three or four months later, when they were at Sinai, a more careful count was made and the number of adults is then given (Ex. 38:26) at 603,550. Two years later another census was taken and the number is stated (Num. 2:32) at exactly the same figure, but as the Levites were not included and there were 22,000 of them, we may assume that by that time the adults numbered about 625,000. Thirty-eight years later, immediately after a pestilence had swept away large numbers and just before entering Canaan, another census was taken. The figures are given (Numbers 26*21) at 601,730, which shows a slight decrease. Of these only two—Joshua and Caleb—were left of the adults who crossed the Red Sea. With these exceptions, the entire adult generation died in the wilderness.