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Sizes in ancient texts sometimes used hyperbole e.g. "as many as the grains of sand on the shore" is a typical example. But also a factor in ancient languages is that they used homonyms just as the English language does, and distinguished differences from context. (Example: "row" has several meanings in English, I can think of 3 immediately and there may be more.)

To take a biblical example, "אלפ" means thousand in ancient Hebrew. But it originally meant "head" or "head of an ox", and in context regarding numbers of people in the 12 tribes it also meant "head of the household".

So in Numbers 2 where you see the listing of the peoples, you might see a modern translation like: "The leader of the people of Judah is Nahshon son of Amminadab. His division numbers 74,600." Then: "The leader of the people of Issachar is Nethanel son of Zuar. His division numbers 54,400." And so on.

But if you add up all the numbers you get: 74,600+54,400+57,400=186,400; 46,500+59,300+45,650=151,450; 40,500+32,200+35,400=108,100; 62,700+41,500+53,400=157,600. Then 186,400+151,450+108,100+157,600=603,550. However there is something strange. If you then go right to numbers 3:43 it says: "The total number of firstborn males a month old or more, listed by name, was 22,273". So really -- if there were 603,500 men able to fight, but between them all they only had 22,273 firstborn sons? Something is wrong.

One attempt at handling this is to assume in context that Judah consisted of 74 households of 600 men, and Issachar had 54 households of 400 men, and so on. This approach results in 598 households of 5,550 men. But this results in too small of a number of men, because they couldn't have 22,273 firstborn sons. Or if it was 22 households with 273 firstborn sons, that is too few firstborn sons for 5,550 men.

So no matter how you slice it, the numbers are messed up. A clue exists in the name of the book (Numbers) but no one has I think ever figured out an explanation that satisfies everyone.

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Case for an Older Baalbek 3007 Thanos5150 11-Apr-18 06:04
Re: Case for an Older Baalbek 495 MDaines 11-Apr-18 08:28
Re: Case for an Older Baalbek 426 Origyptian 11-Apr-18 11:15
Re: Case for an Older Baalbek 398 Thanos5150 11-Apr-18 22:34
Re: Case for an Older Baalbek 377 Origyptian 12-Apr-18 13:25
Re: Case for an Older Baalbek 363 MDaines 12-Apr-18 13:39
Re: Case for an Older Baalbek 338 Eddie Larry 12-Apr-18 22:47
Re: Case for an Older Baalbek 362 Thanos5150 11-Apr-18 22:31
Re: Case for an Older Baalbek 340 Origyptian 12-Apr-18 13:01
Re: Case for an Older Baalbek 372 MDaines 12-Apr-18 13:25
Re: Case for an Older Baalbek 347 Audrey 12-Apr-18 17:49
Re: Case for an Older Baalbek 351 Origyptian 12-Apr-18 22:36
Re: Case for an Older Baalbek 336 Audrey 12-Apr-18 23:08
Re: Case for an Older Baalbek 340 Origyptian 13-Apr-18 01:44
Re: Case for an Older Baalbek 347 Thanos5150 13-Apr-18 03:07
Re: Case for an Older Baalbek 347 Eddie Larry 13-Apr-18 03:26
Re: Case for an Older Baalbek 326 Origyptian 13-Apr-18 04:00
Re: Case for an Older Baalbek 355 Audrey 13-Apr-18 03:16
Re: Case for an Older Baalbek 335 Origyptian 13-Apr-18 04:18
Re: Case for an Older Baalbek 431 Barbelo 11-Apr-18 11:41
Re: Case for an Older Baalbek 348 Thunderbird 11-Apr-18 15:02
Re: Case for no King Solomon 395 Thunderbird 11-Apr-18 15:19
Re: Case for no King Solomon 378 Thanos5150 11-Apr-18 22:51
Re: Case for an Older Baalbek 402 Audrey 11-Apr-18 16:42
Re: Case for an Older Baalbek 355 Thanos5150 11-Apr-18 23:11
Re: Case for an Older Baalbek 392 Eddie Larry 11-Apr-18 20:40
Re: Case for an Older Baalbek 349 Thanos5150 11-Apr-18 22:18
How Big Was The Forest? 350 Barbelo 11-Apr-18 23:25
Re: How Big Was The Forest? 384 Origyptian 12-Apr-18 13:58
Re: How Big Was The Forest? 381 Thanos5150 12-Apr-18 16:18
Re: How Big Was The Forest? 348 MDaines 12-Apr-18 16:54
Re: How Big Was The Forest? 330 Audrey 13-Apr-18 03:29
Re: How Big Was The Forest? 355 Thanos5150 13-Apr-18 15:20
Re: How Big Was The Forest? 359 Audrey 14-Apr-18 01:57
Re: How Big Was The Forest? 403 Eddie Larry 14-Apr-18 04:12
Re: How Big Was The Forest? 359 Barbelo 14-Apr-18 10:25
Re: How Big Was The Forest? 342 Eddie Larry 14-Apr-18 15:54
Re: How Big Was The Forest? 280 Barbelo 14-Apr-18 22:13
Re: How Big Was The Forest? 310 Eddie Larry 14-Apr-18 22:45
Re: Beer bottles Fly......Duck! 337 Thunderbird 14-Apr-18 22:26
Re: Beer bottles Fly......Duck! 304 Eddie Larry 14-Apr-18 22:37
Re: How Big Was The Forest? 315 Thanos5150 15-Apr-18 02:49
Re: How Big Was The Forest? 315 Eddie Larry 15-Apr-18 02:56
Re: How Big Was The Forest? 343 Thanos5150 15-Apr-18 03:36
Re: How Big Was The Forest? 342 Eddie Larry 15-Apr-18 04:21
Re: How Big Was The Forest? 367 Barbelo 15-Apr-18 05:45
Re: How Big Was The Forest? 313 Eddie Larry 15-Apr-18 14:00
Zagros, Shoulder of the Cosmic Matriarch 357 MDaines 16-Apr-18 07:41
Re: Zagros, Shoulder of the Cosmic Matriarch 333 Thunderbird 16-Apr-18 12:59
Re: Zagros, Shoulder of the Cosmic Matriarch 374 MDaines 16-Apr-18 13:30
Re: Zagros, Shoulder of the Cosmic Matriarch 350 Thanos5150 16-Apr-18 19:39
Re: Zagros, Shoulder of the Cosmic Matriarch 369 MDaines 17-Apr-18 07:40
Re: How Big Was The Forest? 317 Thanos5150 14-Apr-18 14:43
Re: How Big Was The Forest? 374 Mike D 20-Apr-18 13:15
Re: Did the Russians visit Baalbek? 304 Thunderbird 20-Apr-18 13:56
Re: How Big Was The Forest? 361 Thanos5150 20-Apr-18 16:00
Re: How Big Was The Forest? 323 Eddie Larry 20-Apr-18 16:09
Re: How Big Was The Forest? 330 Thanos5150 20-Apr-18 17:00
Re: How Big Was The Forest? 317 Eddie Larry 20-Apr-18 17:11
Re: How Big Was The Forest? 330 Barbelo 20-Apr-18 20:47
Re: How Big Was The Forest? 327 Origyptian 20-Apr-18 21:45
Re: How Big Was The Forest? 439 Barbelo 20-Apr-18 22:57
Re: Case for an Older Baalbek 337 Thanos5150 12-Apr-18 00:53
Re: Case for an Older Baalbek 314 Eddie Larry 12-Apr-18 03:56
Re: Case for an Older Baalbek 338 Corpuscles 12-Apr-18 00:34
Re: Case for an Older Baalbek 339 Thanos5150 12-Apr-18 01:39
Re: Case for an Older Baalbek 362 Eddie Larry 12-Apr-18 03:52
Re: Case for an Older Baalbek 314 Thanos5150 12-Apr-18 04:36
Re: Case for an Older Baalbek 343 Eddie Larry 12-Apr-18 14:12
Re: Case for an Older Baalbek 347 Thanos5150 12-Apr-18 14:44
Re: Case for an Older Baalbek 296 Eddie Larry 12-Apr-18 17:01
Re: Case for an Older Baalbek 368 Thanos5150 13-Apr-18 00:47
Re: Case for an Older Baalbek 264 Eddie Larry 13-Apr-18 03:40
Re: Case for an Older Baalbek 378 Audrey 13-Apr-18 05:44
Re: Case for an Older Baalbek 337 Thanos5150 14-Apr-18 01:32
Re: Baalbek.....Home of the God's 323 Thunderbird 13-Apr-18 15:14
Re: Baalbek.....Home of the God's 342 Audrey 14-Apr-18 02:30
Re: Case for an Older Baalbek 336 Audrey 12-Apr-18 19:42
Re: Case for an Older Baalbek 300 Eddie Larry 12-Apr-18 20:43
Re: Case for an Older Baalbek 311 Audrey 12-Apr-18 16:56
Re: Case for an Older Baalbek 339 Eddie Larry 12-Apr-18 17:08
Re: Case for an Older Baalbek 319 Origyptian 12-Apr-18 21:42
Re: Case for an Older Baalbek 299 Eddie Larry 12-Apr-18 22:41
Re: Case for an Older Baalbek 331 Origyptian 12-Apr-18 22:58
Re: Case for an Older Baalbek 292 Eddie Larry 13-Apr-18 17:52
Re: Case for an Older Baalbek 329 Thanos5150 13-Apr-18 19:06
Re: Case for an Older Baalbek 327 Origyptian 13-Apr-18 21:08
Re: Case for an Older Baalbek 355 Thanos5150 13-Apr-18 21:37
Re: Case for an Older Baalbek 313 Origyptian 13-Apr-18 22:06
Re: Case for an Older Baalbek 321 Thanos5150 13-Apr-18 22:41
Re: Case for an Older Baalbek 364 Origyptian 14-Apr-18 15:14
Re: Case for an Older Baalbek 315 Jon Ellison 14-Apr-18 22:20
Re: For God's sakes Lee!... 324 Thunderbird 16-Apr-18 00:15
Some Give A Shit 373 Barbelo 12-Apr-18 05:11
Re: Some Give A Shit 369 MDaines 12-Apr-18 07:48
Re: Some Give A Shit 325 Audrey 12-Apr-18 20:42
Re: Some Give A Shit 352 Barbelo 12-Apr-18 21:43
Re: Some Give A Shit 325 Audrey 12-Apr-18 23:21
Re: Some Give A Shit 310 Barbelo 13-Apr-18 00:44
Re: Case for an Older Baalbek 368 Origyptian 12-Apr-18 15:03
Re: Case for an Older Baalbek 337 Thanos5150 12-Apr-18 17:11
Re: Case for an Older Baalbek 364 MDaines 12-Apr-18 17:55
Re: Case for an Older Baalbek 334 Origyptian 12-Apr-18 22:18
Re: Case for an Older Baalbek 328 Thunderbird 12-Apr-18 22:53
Re: Case for an Older Baalbek 317 Audrey 13-Apr-18 00:28
Re: Case for an Older Baalbek 361 Thunderbird 13-Apr-18 03:31
Re: Case for an Older Baalbek 322 Thanos5150 12-Apr-18 04:46
Re: Case for an Older Baalbek 387 Race Jackson 12-Apr-18 22:54
Re: Case for an Older Baalbek 374 MDaines 13-Apr-18 08:20
Re: Case for an Older Baalbek 356 Audrey 14-Apr-18 00:40
Re: Case for an Older Baalbek 380 MDaines 14-Apr-18 08:04
Re: Case for an Older Baalbek 378 Manu 13-Apr-18 18:10
Re: Case for an Older Baalbek 350 Thanos5150 13-Apr-18 19:28
Re: Case for an Older Baalbek 332 Manu 13-Apr-18 19:50
Re: Case for an Older Baalbek 337 Thanos5150 13-Apr-18 20:53
Re: Case for an Older Baalbek 340 Manu 13-Apr-18 21:31
Re: Case for an Older Baalbek 325 Barbelo 13-Apr-18 20:26
Re: Case for an Older Baalbek 156 Thanos5150 14-Sep-19 15:17
Re: Case for an Older Baalbek 177 Eddie Larry 14-Sep-19 15:50
Re: Case for an Older Baalbek 234 engbren 17-Sep-19 03:13


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