How many Jews did Moses lead to the promised land?
Strictly speaking Moses did indeed lead the children of Israel
to the promised land. He did not lead them into the land because of
his own sin, but he led them close to the point of entry. They were
not still wandering in the wilderness but were preparing to enter.
This is made clear in:
Numbers 33:50 (King James Version) 50And the LORD spake unto
Moses in the plains of Moab by Jordan near Jericho, saying, Thus
Moses was at the place where they were gather waiting to go in.
This is repeated in chapter 35:1. It is also stated where Moses
went to see the land, from Mount Nebo, before he died. This is not
in the wilderness but opposite the land of Canaan: Deuteronomy
32:48-49 (King James Version) 48And the LORD spake unto Moses that
selfsame day, saying, 49Get thee up into this mountain Abarim, unto
mount Nebo, which is in the land of Moab, that is over against
Jericho; and behold the land of Canaan, which I give unto the
children of Israel for a possession: Deuteronomy 34:1-4 (King James
Version) Deuteronomy 34 1And Moses went up from the plains of Moab
unto the mountain of Nebo, to the top of Pisgah, that is over
against Jericho. And the LORD shewed him all the land of Gilead,
unto Dan, 2And all Naphtali, and the land of Ephraim, and Manasseh,
and all the land of Judah, unto the utmost sea, 3And the south, and
the plain of the valley of Jericho, the city of palm trees, unto
Zoar. 4And the LORD said unto him, This is the land which I sware
unto Abraham, unto Isaac, and unto Jacob, saying, I will give it
unto thy seed: I have caused thee to see it with thine eyes, but
thou shalt not go over thither. Obviously, Moses had to be in a
place of some height, as well as in a place of some relative
proximity for him to see the land of Canaan. Neither of these would
apply if he was 'wandering in the wilderness.'
The numbers of the Israelites are listed twice in the book of
Numbers where two censuses are conducted.
The result of the first census conducted earlier in the time in
the wilderness was given in:
Numbers 1:46 (King James Version) 46Even all they that
were numbered were six hundred thousand and three thousand and five
hundred and fifty
This number would most closely approximate the number of
those who came out from Canaan.
Strictly speaking, the Bible does not say that Moses led the people to the Promised lad, because it says he died while they still wandered in the wilderness.
However, the Book of Exodus, supported by the Book of Numbers, does say that Moses led 600,000 fighting men from Egypt. This is considered to mean approximately 2.5 million men, women and children. We know that the total population of Egypt was 3.5 million people at the time attributed to the Exodus and, if true, this would have left Egypt with a depleted economy and only 1 million people remaining.
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