When you think about the Exodus – when Moses lead the Israelites out of Egypt – what do you picture? There have been several movies & videos made about the event, so that may influence what shows up in your mind.
This year I have been reading through the Bible using YouVersion. I am in the book of Exodus and was reminded what a huge sea of humanity the Israelites were when they left Egypt.
Whenever I think of large crowds, I think of sporting events. Football games bring out big groups. Lucas Oil Stadium, home of the Indianapolis Colts, holds 63,000 people and they sell out on a regular basis. “The Horseshoe,” Ohio State’s football stadium, had a record attendance of just over 106,000 people for a game in 2009. That’s a whole lot of people! Both stadiums are big venues and when you are in them or see them on television, you are probably impressed. Imagine the traffic coming in and going out before and after the game.
With that small bit of perspective, read these words from Exodus 12:37-38b:
“The Israelites journeyed from Rameses to Sukkoth. There were about six hundred thousand men on foot, besides women and children. Many other people went up with them, and also large droves of livestock, both flocks and herds.”
600,000 men, just men, on foot. Then you have to add in the women and children. If you made the assumption that each family had just 2 kids, you are already at 2.4 million people…imagine if they had families for 5, 6 or more! Than it said “many other people went up with them.” Then you add all their livestock. Can you even picture that mass of people making a trip out of Egypt?
I grew up hearing about Moses and the 10 Plagues and the crossing of the Red Sea, but to imagine that many people leaving Egypt, it puts those events in a whole new light.
It speaks to God’s power to not only care for that many people and lead them through the Red Sea and the desert, but also to his patience that he could put up with that large of a group. Most of us get grumpy if we sit in a crowded car too long.
I think it’s pretty cool how the Bible still comes to life and God uses His Word to remind us of what He is able to do.