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Author Topic:   Exodus Part Two: Population of the Exodus Group.
Brian
Member (Idle past 3300 days)
Posts: 4659
From: Scotland
Joined: 10-22-2002


Message 1 of 142 (211067)
05-25-2005 7:46 AM


Since this issue has appeared in another thread that I want to keep focussed on direct evidence. I think that we need a new thread for this subject as it has already stimulated some off topic discussion.

There are actually two subjects to be discussed in relation to the numbers of people involved in the Exodus group.

1. Is it possible that a group of 70 plus can multiply to a group of 2-3 million in a period spanning 430 years, keeping in mind the time and place we are talking about?

2. Does the Bible itself actually support these figures?

My own answer to both questions is a resounding no. It is completely impossible for this population growth rate, and the Bible contains internal data to falsify the numbers involved.

First, can this growth rate be possible?

The New Encyclopaedia Britannica: Volume 25, Macropaedia, 1993.

Entry Population

Page 1041

“Before considering modern population trends separately for developing and industrialized countries, it is useful to present an overview of older trends. It is generally agreed that only 5,000,000-10,000,000 humans (i.e., one onethousandth of the present world population) were supportable before the agricultural revolution of about 10,000 years ago.

By the beginning of the Christian era, 8,000 years later, the' human population approximated 300,000,000, and there was apparently little increase in the ensuing millennium up to the year AD 1000. Subsequent population growth was slow and fitful, especially given the plague epidemics and other catastrophes of the Middle Ages.

By 1750, conventionally the beginning of the Industrial Revolution in Britain, world population may have been as high as 800,000,000. This. means that in the 750 years from 1000 to 1750, the annual population growth rate averaged only about one-tenth of 1 percent. The reasons for such slow growth are well known. In the absence of what is now considered basic knowledge of sanitation and health (the role of bacteria in disease, for example, was unknown until the 19th century), mortality rates were very high, especially for infants and children. Only about half of newborn babies survived to the age of five years. Fertility was also very high, as it had to be to sustain the existence of any population under such conditions of mortality.

Modest population growth might occur for a time in these circumstances, but recurring famines, epidemics, and wars kept long-term growth close to zero. From 1750 onward population growth accelerated. In some measure this was a consequence of rising standards of living, coupled with improved transport and communication, which mitigated the effects of localized crop failures that previously would have resulted in catastrophic mortality. Occasional famines did occur, however, and it was not until the 19th century that a sustained decline in mortality took place, stimulated by the improving economic conditions of the Industrial Revolution and the growing understanding of the need for sanitation and public health measures.”

The World Book Encyclopedia, World Book Inc, Chicago, 1999.

Page 673.

“Causes: For thousands of years, birth rates were high. However, the population increased slowly and sometimes declined because death rates also were high. Then, during the 1700’s and 1800’s, advances in agriculture, communication, and transportation improved living conditions in parts of the world and reduced the occurrence of many diseases. As a result, the death rate began to drop, and the population grew rapidly.”

page 674

“In the industrial countries of Europe and North America, many people flocked to the cities and took jobs in factories. In cities and in many rural areas, it was difficult to support a large family. People began to see reasons for having smaller families. As a result, birth rates in these countries began to fall. In the agricultural countries of Africa, Asia, and Latin America, declines in death rates plunged quickly without corresponding declines in birth rates. As a result, the population of low-income nations and the world increased rapidly.”

Population growth rates are obviously worked out by deducting the number of deaths from the number of surviving births, and then the rate is calculated.

The population growth rate for early 20th century Egypt (1907-37) was about 1.169% (A. Lucas ‘The Number of Israelites at the Exodus’ PEQ 1944-45, pp164-68). is a frequently referenced source in this debate). When this is applied to the Exodus group, we have a figure of just over 10,000. A figure that I think is still far too high given the background to the event.

Regarding the second issue, does the Bible even claim that there was this many, I believe that the Bible itself undermines this number.

In the Book of Numbers 3:42-43 we are told:

42 So Moses counted all the firstborn of the Israelites, as the LORD commanded him. 43 The total number of firstborn males a month old or more, listed by name, was 22,273.

How does this figure fit in with the overall picture?

Well, George Buchnan Gray (A critical and exegetical commentary on Numbers, Edinburgh : T. & T. Clark, 1903) writes:

The unreality of the numbers is independently proved by comparing them with one another. Thus: the number of male firstborn is 22 273, allowing the number of female firstborn to be equal, the total number of firstborn is 44 546, and, therefore, the total number of Israelites being between 2,000,000 and 2,500,00, the average number of children to a family is about 50! Again, if, as is probable, the firstborn of the mother is intended (cp3:12), then, since the number of firstborn and of mothers must have been identical, there were 44,456 mothers: but the number of women being approximately the same as of men, the women over 20 numbered something over 600,000, and therefore only about 1 in 14 or 15 women over twenty were mothers! (page:13)

I think it is quite clear that the numbers involved in the Exodus account simply cannot be the 2-3 million presented by a very small minority of Bible believers, we need to reinterpret the information given.

So, two issues.

1. Is the 2-3 million a realistic number?
2. Does the Bible really claim this enormous population growth?

Brian.


Replies to this message:
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 Message 15 by Faith, posted 05-26-2005 3:19 AM Brian has responded

  
AdminAsgara
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Message 2 of 142 (211072)
05-25-2005 8:08 AM


Thread moved here from the Proposed New Topics forum.

  
Brian
Member (Idle past 3300 days)
Posts: 4659
From: Scotland
Joined: 10-22-2002


Message 3 of 142 (211076)
05-25-2005 8:26 AM


This is a reply to Faith from the other Exodus thread.

Yes I saw your qualifier and if it's even POSSIBLE to get multipled millions in a few years your qualifier is just useless.

The qualifier is the most important part of the issue. The time and place are extremely important to the popualtion growth. Even look at modern day growth rates. They are not uniform.

You have the wrong standards whatever they are.

LOL, how do you know they are wrong when you have no idea what they are? You claim that they are wrong and you have then you have the nerve to go an and say that you don’t even know what they are?

You assume things about the time period.

Sorry, but you assume that I (or anyone else) know nothing about the period in question. Just because you have no idea about the time period and how population growth is determined, don’t assume that no one does!

Obviously you are wrong.

Obviously I am, for no other reason than you say so. If you ever find out why I am wrong then don’t forget to post it.

The Bible contradicts you

The Bible contradicts itself! As you no doubt will have seen by now, the Bible may not even be claiming this population growth.

and whether you like it or not it IS evidence,

Stories written many years after the events it portrays are only evidence of stories written long after the event.

You have already been told a great many times that you cannot use a book as evidence ot support that book! It is circular reasoning.

and the ONLY evidence from the time.

Sorry, but the Bible is not a primary source, and it certainly isn’t from the time of the Exodus. Unless you have some evidence to support yet another empty claim, then your point is redundant.

So your statistics are just the vaporings of a man at a remove of 3000 years guessing out of the wrong part of his anatomy.

You have no idea what I am basing my conclusions on. Again, don’t assume that everyone is as ignorant about the subject as you are. I am not working at a remove of 3000 years, I am working with primary, contemporary sources.

I didn't bother to be accurate.

Of course you didn’t. But you seem unaware that it isn’t a case of doing a simple mathematical calculation, it is far more complex than picking a number out of the air that fits in with what you want to be real. For example, you just happened to pick ‘5’ out of the air because it fits the conclusion, you have no idea if a family of 5 is feasible or not do you?

I didn't care.

That much was obvious.

I knew your figures were underestimated by prejudice.

I am perfectly happy to admit that I am extremely prejudiced towards the evidence, it is the only way to be.

So it was 70 males. That increases the numbers, great.

Can’t fault your maths there Faith!

I picked 5 out of the blue.

Indeed you did, which is not what I call high quality research.

It doesn't seem a huge number of children.

In comparison to what? What was the average house size in ancient Egypt? What as the average settlement size? What was the average lifespan? You looked at none of these and expect anyone to accept your figures?

I assume the people were quite healthy despite their circumstances.

Why would you assume this? Based on what?

And yes I know there are other factors. All I calculated was number of births per generation. But the numbers are enormous.

The numbers are enormous and artificial.

You are challenging the ONLY KNOWN RECORD from over 3000 years in the future. That takes CHUTZPAH.

Sorry, but nothing you have is 3000 years old, which is too late for the exodus anyway.

Also, to call it the ONLY KNOWN RECORD is just silly.

If you have anything of substance then please post it.

Cheers.

Brian.


Replies to this message:
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Brian
Member (Idle past 3300 days)
Posts: 4659
From: Scotland
Joined: 10-22-2002


Message 4 of 142 (211083)
05-25-2005 8:51 AM


You said seventy MALES?

Yep, and I stick by that because the Bible is quite clear about it.
The information can be found in Genesis chapter 46.
These are the names of the sons of Israel (Jacob and his descendants) who went to Egypt:

1. Reuben the firstborn of Jacob.
2. Hanoch,
3. Pallu,
4. Hezron and
5. Carmi.
6. Simeon:
7. Jemuel,
8. Jamin,
9. Ohad,
10. Jakin,
11. Zohar
12. Shaul.
13. Levi:
14. Gershon,
15. Kohath
16. Merari.
17. Judah:
18. Er,
19. Onan,
20. Shelah,
21. Perez
22. Zerah
23. Hezron
24. Hamul.
25. Issachar:
26. Tola,
27. Puah,
28. Jashub
29. Shimron.
30. Zebulun:
31. Sered
32. Elon
33. Jahleel.

These were the sons Leah bore to Jacob in Paddan Aram, besides his daughter Dinah. These sons and daughters of his were thirty-three in all.

34. Gad
35. Zephon
36. Haggi
37. Shuni,
38. Ezbon
39. Eri
40. Arodi
41. Areli.
42. Asher
43. Imnah,
44. Ishvah,
45. Ishvi
46. Beriah
47. Heber
48. Malkiel.

18 These were the children born to Jacob by Zilpah, whom Laban had given to his daughter Leah—sixteen in all.

49. Benjamin
50. Bela
51. Beker
52. Ashbel
53. Gera
54. Naaman
55. Ehi
56. Rosh
57. Muppim
58. Huppim
59. Ard

22 These were the sons of Rachel who were born to Jacob—fourteen in all.

60. Dan
61. Hushim
62. Naphtali
63. Jahziel
64. Guni
65. Jezer
66. Shillem

25 These were the sons born to Jacob by Bilhah, whom Laban had given to his daughter Rachel—seven in all.

26 All those who went to Egypt with Jacob—those who were his direct descendants, not counting his sons' wives—numbered sixty-six persons.

27 With the two sons who had been born to Joseph in Egypt, the members of Jacob's family, which went to Egypt, were seventy in all.

67. Joseph
68. Manasseh
69. Ephraim
70. Jacob

Do you find any room for females in the 70?

NKJV says descendants, AV says "All the souls that came out of the loins of Jacob..." SOULS, not males.

Yep, descendants who are all male. You can read the texts for yourself and tell me where there is room for daughters, because Genesis 46 only lists ‘the sons of’.

Moses claims that they were all males as well:

Deuteronomy 10:22

Your forefathers who went down into Egypt were seventy in all, and now the LORD your God has made you as numerous as the stars in the sky.

Could it be that because females didnt pass on any titles or goods, that they weren't counted?

MULTIPLIED AND GREW EXCEEDINGLY MIGHTY, AND THE LAND WAS FILLED WITH THEM.

Yes, we are all familiar with the Exodus myths. So, if the land was filled with them then why is no one posting any direct evidence of them in the other thread?

You do know that everything you have posted this morning is nothing more than circular reasoning? You have shown absolutely nothing at all to support the biblical narratives other than the biblical narratives! This approach wouldn’t pass a first year high school assessment.

You cannot judge such a report by your own paltry assumptions from thousands of years in the future.

Which is not the approach being taken. Why do you assume that there is no sources for the period under discussion?

Why assume primacy of a book written as much as a thousand years after the event?

You know NOTHING of the circumstances of the time.

You have never actually studied history or archaeology have you Faith?

How do historians come to their conclusions about the past, do you think that they just make it up?

What do historians use to argue against the hypotheses of other historians?

Do you know what archaeology is?

You do not actually think that nothing remains from 3500 years ago do you?

You are extrapolating backwards from standards that do not apply to their time.

LOL, I think that this is exactly what you are doing.

If I wanted to study Egyptian populations I would look at surveys of the actual sites, contemporary texts, and comparative anthropology, I wouldn’t look at the modern day world.

The Bible wasn’t written in a vacuum, it belongs in the real world, and archaeology has helped to illuminate that world. Unfortunately for the bible inerrantist, archaeology has shown that the early books of the Bible are quite unreliable

Brian


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PaulK
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Posts: 15646
Joined: 01-10-2003
Member Rating: 2.8


Message 5 of 142 (211088)
05-25-2005 9:08 AM
Reply to: Message 3 by Brian
05-25-2005 8:26 AM


Some comments:

The initial list of 70 is given in Genesis 46. It excludes wives but includes a few daughters. Some of those listed are likely to be too young to be married (e.g. the sons of Perez). Others might have several wives. But it should be noted that a few, and only a few, of the grandchildren of Jacob - and not the oldest - are listed as having children themselves, suggesting that there had been a high infant mortality rate, and maybe some of the wives, too had died.

All things considered the figure of 140 is probably not too far off. Certainly it should be more than 70.

Using the figure of 140, to get to a population of 2,000,000 in 430 years requires that the population double about every 31 years (31 years & 2 months is a closer approximation). I do not believe that this can be considered remotely plausible except under very favourable conditions, unlikely to be found for an extended period of time anywhere in the Ancient world.


This message is a reply to:
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Brian
Member (Idle past 3300 days)
Posts: 4659
From: Scotland
Joined: 10-22-2002


Message 6 of 142 (211094)
05-25-2005 9:24 AM
Reply to: Message 5 by PaulK
05-25-2005 9:08 AM


I left the daughters mentioned out because by just listing the males we can get the 66 mentioned in Genesis 46.

But, even if we include Dinah (though it does say excluding Dinah 46:15) and Serah (texts just says she was their sister 46:17) isn't this an unusually high ratio of male children to female children?

I calculated that 70 growing to 2.5 million, was roughly 2.47% over 430 years.

In excel, 70*1.0247^430

Brian.


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PaulK
Member
Posts: 15646
Joined: 01-10-2003
Member Rating: 2.8


Message 7 of 142 (211095)
05-25-2005 9:34 AM
Reply to: Message 6 by Brian
05-25-2005 9:24 AM


You should count Dinah and Serah instead of Er and Onan - having already died some time before (I would guess 20 years or more) they can't really be included in the group going to Egypt. The daughters are presumably mostly married off - but 2 out of 70 still seems on the low side to me, especially if we assume that some of those counted are not yet adult. However, the shortage - and distribution - of great-grandchildren seems to be more serious to me.

The 2.47% figure seems about right. It gives a doubling time of 28.4 years - explained by the lower start figure and higher end figure.


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Brian
Member (Idle past 3300 days)
Posts: 4659
From: Scotland
Joined: 10-22-2002


Message 8 of 142 (211130)
05-25-2005 11:43 AM
Reply to: Message 7 by PaulK
05-25-2005 9:34 AM


The 2.47% figure seems about right. It gives a doubling time of 28.4 years

In the interests of valid historical research we should apply this 2.47% to other groups as well, which doesn't leave anough room on the planet to fit everyone in.

Can you imagine if we applied that 2.47% to the whole of the near eastern population, over a period of 430 years!

Of course, the bible brigade will invoke more magic to explain this one.


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Cold Foreign Object 
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Posts: 3417
Joined: 11-21-2003


Message 9 of 142 (211255)
05-25-2005 5:43 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by Brian
05-25-2005 7:46 AM


Darwinist Dilemma / Proof of Divine.
Hi Brian:

Even though you do not argue in the Evolution topics by your own admission, there is a valid point in those debates which affects this one.

When a Creationist says "billions and billions of persons yet the net take of purported unearthed hominid fossils is anywhere from 2 - 6 thousand."

Darwinists respond: "There was never 'billions and billions' of persons to begin with....."

The Creationist point is that the billions of persons today results in a handful of disputed hominid fossils.

Darwinists say the ancient world never contained massive populations to begin with.

My point:

The Darwinists are right.

The Great Flood in 3140? BC wiped everyone out.

After the Flood the Bible profusely has God telling everyone in sight to be "fruitful and multiply".

Onan was killed for violating this edict.

The Scriptures constantly say that God was with Israel to multiply them BECAUSE their posterity must become as "the sand on the seashore/stars of heaven" in order for God to fulfill His promise to Abraham.

Now Brian, you have posted excerpts from sources which elicit by assumption that the population claims in Scripture are exaggerated.

IOW, the excerpts evidence opposite of what one would expect an ancient source to record.

But the ancient source implies at least 2 1/4 million Hebrews vacated Egypt in a matter of days.

CONCLUSION:

Lets assume your excerpts are correct, that their evidence should apply to populations in ancient times.

The fact that the Bible, which claims to be the word of God, says He blessed and multiplied Israel is evidence of His existence - how else did Israel become as such (2 1/4 million) ?

The population claims for Israel supports Divine control - which is the foundation message of the Bible AND THE ONLY CONTEXT THE CLAIM APPEARS IN.

Ray Martinez

This message has been edited by Ray Martinez, 05-25-2005 05:07 PM


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MangyTiger
Member (Idle past 4694 days)
Posts: 989
From: Leicester, UK
Joined: 07-30-2004


Message 10 of 142 (211293)
05-25-2005 7:47 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by Brian
05-25-2005 7:46 AM


There are actually two subjects to be discussed in relation to the numbers of people involved in the Exodus group.

1. Is it possible that a group of 70 plus can multiply to a group of 2-3 million in a period spanning 430 years, keeping in mind the time and place we are talking about?

2. Does the Bible itself actually support these figures?

In Message 9 Ray Martinez says:

But the ancient source implies at least 2 1/4 million Hebrews vacated Egypt in a matter of days.

This suggests a third area you could investigate if so inclined - is this reasonable or even possible? The logistics of moving that sort of number of people might raise some interesting issues.

On the other hand maybe two concurrent threads/conversations with Ray and Faith is enough for you :)


Oops! Wrong Planet

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Faith
Member
Posts: 33889
From: Nevada, USA
Joined: 10-06-2001
Member Rating: 1.2


Message 11 of 142 (211294)
05-25-2005 7:57 PM
Reply to: Message 3 by Brian
05-25-2005 8:26 AM


This is a reply to Faith from the other Exodus thread.
Yes I saw your qualifier and if it's even POSSIBLE to get multipled millions in a few years your qualifier is just useless.
======
The qualifier is the most important part of the issue. The time and place are extremely important to the popualtion growth. Even look at modern day growth rates. They are not uniform.
======
You have the wrong standards whatever they are.
======
LOL, how do you know they are wrong when you have no idea what they are?

You spelled them out. They are based on modern statistics. There are none from the time in question except the Bible itself. Contradicting the only record from the time in question makes your methods, shall we say, unscientific?

You claim that they are wrong and you have then you have the nerve to go an and say that you don’t even know what they are?

YOu spelled it out. A bunch of suppositions based on current statistics extrapolated to a time you know nothing about.

You assume things about the time period.

Sorry, but you assume that I (or anyone else) know nothing about the period in question. Just because you have no idea about the time period and how population growth is determined, don’t assume that no one does!

You gave statistics based on current conditions in that part of the world and current population figures.

Obviously you are wrong.
===
Obviously I am, for no other reason than you say so. If you ever find out why I am wrong then don’t forget to post it.

Many times already.

The Bible contradicts you

The Bible contradicts itself! As you no doubt will have seen by now, the Bible may not even be claiming this population growth.

It certainly does. I quoted Exodus 1 to the effect that they MULTIPLIED ENORMOUSLY even under affliction and that eventually Pharoah was worried because they were outstripping even the Egyptian population. The figure of 2-3 million 430 years later in a healthy population isn't even particularly excessive especially given such a description.

and whether you like it or not it IS evidence,
======
Stories written many years after the events it portrays are only evidence of stories written long after the event.

In that case then suppositions about the time written 3500 years afterward are CERTAINLY not evidence!

You have already been told a great many times that you cannot use a book as evidence ot support that book! It is circular reasoning.

You do not know what circular reasoning is. Few here seem to as many on your side commit this particular fallacy quite frequently. Referring to a single report is simply referring to a single report. When you have nothing else THAT's the evidence. Your statistics from 3500 years later are a pathetic joke as evidence.

and the ONLY evidence from the time.
====
Sorry, but the Bible is not a primary source, and it certainly isn’t from the time of the Exodus. Unless you have some evidence to support yet another empty claim, then your point is redundant.

I have many sources that attribute it to Moses who was there. LOTS better evidence than the fantasies of someone 3500 years in the future. Fact remains, the BIBLE REPORTS ON THE EXODUS. You have nothing remotely close to it for evidence, just wild imagination.

So your statistics are just the vaporings of a man at a remove of 3000 years guessing out of the wrong part of his anatomy.

You have no idea what I am basing my conclusions on.

You gave your methods. You referred to statistics from the 20th century. You imposed current climate and agricultural conditions on a time 3500 years ago.

Again, don’t assume that everyone is as ignorant about the subject as you are. I am not working at a remove of 3000 years, I am working with primary, contemporary sources.

My my my. Funny you didn't use them in that case.

I didn't bother to be accurate.
======
Of course you didn’t. But you seem unaware that it isn’t a case of doing a simple mathematical calculation,

Why do you think I called it klutzy? I simply calculated possible births per generation and didn't even add the generations together just to find out how many generations it would take to get 3 million starting with 70. I got 14 million births in the 14th generation. LOTS of room to subtract for deaths, lower birth rates, etc.

it is far more complex than picking a number out of the air that fits in with what you want to be real. For example, you just happened to pick ‘5’ out of the air because it fits the conclusion, you have no idea if a family of 5 is feasible or not do you?

I know from the genealogies of the Hebrews that it's not a bad guess.

I didn't care.

That much was obvious.

I knew your figures were underestimated by prejudice.

I am perfectly happy to admit that I am extremely prejudiced towards the evidence, it is the only way to be.

Evidence? Laugh, choke.

It doesn't seem a huge number of children.
======
In comparison to what? What was the average house size in ancient Egypt? What as the average settlement size? What was the average lifespan? You looked at none of these and expect anyone to accept your figures?

I'm judging from the Hebrew genealogies, that list only males. Five is not a huge number.

I assume the people were quite healthy despite their circumstances.
=========
Why would you assume this? Based on what?

Exodus 1.


You are challenging the ONLY KNOWN RECORD from over 3000 years in the future. That takes CHUTZPAH.
=========
Sorry, but nothing you have is 3000 years old, which is too late for the exodus anyway.

Sorry 3500. Ballpark numbers ought to qualify considering that nothing YOU have is even a couple of hundred years old. And you rely on the same kind of anachronistic thinking to date the Biblical record that you use to number the Exodus.


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Faith
Member
Posts: 33889
From: Nevada, USA
Joined: 10-06-2001
Member Rating: 1.2


Message 12 of 142 (211313)
05-25-2005 9:13 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by Brian
05-25-2005 7:46 AM


Before considering modern population trends separately for developing and industrialized countries, it is useful to present an overview of older trends. It is generally agreed that only 5,000,000-10,000,000 humans (i.e., one onethousandth of the present world population) were supportable before the agricultural revolution of about 10,000 years ago.

Since the Exodus occurred ca 3500 years ago we're fine with agriculture.

By the beginning of the Christian era, 8,000 years later, the' human population approximated 300,000,000, and there was apparently little increase in the ensuing millennium up to the year AD 1000. Subsequent population growth was slow and fitful, especially given the plague epidemics and other catastrophes of the Middle Ages.

Is this based on Roman censuses or what?

By 1750, conventionally the beginning of the Industrial Revolution in Britain, world population may have been as high as 800,000,000. This. means that in the 750 years from 1000 to 1750, the annual population growth rate averaged only about one-tenth of 1 percent. The reasons for such slow growth are well known. In the absence of what is now considered basic knowledge of sanitation and health (the role of bacteria in disease, for example, was unknown until the 19th century), mortality rates were very high, especially for infants and children. Only about half of newborn babies survived to the age of five years. Fertility was also very high, as it had to be to sustain the existence of any population under such conditions of mortality.

Most of this seems reasonable for the period in question.

Modest population growth might occur for a time in these circumstances, but recurring famines, epidemics, and wars kept long-term growth close to zero. From 1750 onward population growth accelerated. In some measure this was a consequence of rising standards of living, coupled with improved transport and communication, which mitigated the effects of localized crop failures that previously would have resulted in catastrophic mortality. Occasional famines did occur, however, and it was not until the 19th century that a sustained decline in mortality took place, stimulated by the improving economic conditions of the Industrial Revolution and the growing understanding of the need for sanitation and public health measures.”

Likewise this seems reasonable for the period in question.

The World Book Encyclopedia, World Book Inc, Chicago, 1999.

Page 673.

“Causes: For thousands of years, birth rates were high. However, the population increased slowly and sometimes declined because death rates also were high.

Now see, what went on "for thousands of years" up to the Industrial Revolution or even the Middle Ages they don't know. A Bible believer may reasonably suppose a great population explosion from Adam and Eve on up to the Flood, and quite high after the Flood too. Japhath had seven sons, Shem had five, Ham had four; daughters are not listed. Within a few generations they were tribes and soon nations (Genesis 10).

Then, during the 1700’s and 1800’s, advances in agriculture, communication, and transportation improved living conditions in parts of the world and reduced the occurrence of many diseases. As a result, the death rate began to drop, and the population grew rapidly.”

page 674

“In the industrial countries of Europe and North America, many people flocked to the cities and took jobs in factories. In cities and in many rural areas, it was difficult to support a large family. People began to see reasons for having smaller families. As a result, birth rates in these countries began to fall. In the agricultural countries of Africa, Asia, and Latin America, declines in death rates plunged quickly without corresponding declines in birth rates. As a result, the population of low-income nations and the world increased rapidly.”

Population growth rates are obviously worked out by deducting the number of deaths from the number of surviving births, and then the rate is calculated.

Uh huh, but most of what you've quoted here is completely irrelevant. It says nothing about the actual conditions in Egypt at the time in question. It's all projections. The most irresponsible thing is to make extrapolations to events THERE IS NO POSSIBLE WAY TO CHECK. But this kind of thinking is taken for the height of legitimate science here. RIDICULOUS.

The population growth rate for early 20th century Egypt (1907-37) was about 1.169% (A. Lucas ‘The Number of Israelites at the Exodus’ PEQ 1944-45, pp164-68). is a frequently referenced source in this debate). When this is applied to the Exodus group, we have a figure of just over 10,000. A figure that I think is still far too high given the background to the event.

This is LUDICROUS!! Population rates from the TWENTIETH CENTURY applied to the FIFTEENTH CENTURY B.C. With a straight face yet!!!!

Regarding the second issue, does the Bible even claim that there was this many, I believe that the Bible itself undermines this number.

In the Book of Numbers 3:42-43 we are told:

42 So Moses counted all the firstborn of the Israelites, as the LORD commanded him. 43 The total number of firstborn males a month old or more, listed by name, was 22,273.

How does this figure fit in with the overall picture?

Well, George Buchnan Gray (A critical and exegetical commentary on Numbers, Edinburgh : T. & T. Clark, 1903) writes:

The unreality of the numbers is independently proved by comparing them with one another. Thus: the number of male firstborn is 22 273, allowing the number of female firstborn to be equal, the total number of firstborn is 44 546, and, therefore, the total number of Israelites being between 2,000,000 and 2,500,00, the average number of children to a family is about 50! Again, if, as is probable, the firstborn of the mother is intended (cp3:12), then, since the number of firstborn and of mothers must have been identical, there were 44,456 mothers: but the number of women being approximately the same as of men, the women over 20 numbered something over 600,000, and therefore only about 1 in 14 or 15 women over twenty were mothers! (page:13)

I think it is quite clear that the numbers involved in the Exodus account simply cannot be the 2-3 million presented by a very small minority of Bible believers, we need to reinterpret the information given.

Small minority? Even THAT statistic is a joke!!!

HAS to be that the Israelites couldn't add, right? Couldn't be that YOU and the honoroable Mr Gray got something wrong about who exactly was counted, could it? Naa, your understanding of what they meant 3500 years ago not to mention your ability to do simple arithmetic is of COURSE WAY superior to theirs.

Fact is it isn't quite as you think:


Commentary on Numbers 42 by Matthew Henry, 17th century English minister.

http://www.blueletterbible.org/tmp_dir/c/1117067657-8341.html#7

Here is the exchange made of the Levites for the first-born. 1. The first-born were numbered from a month old, v. 42, 43. Those certainly were not reckoned who, though first-born, had become heads of families themselves, but those only that were under age; and the learned bishop Patrick is decidedly of opinion that none were numbered but those only that were born since their coming out of Egypt, when the first-born were sanctified, Ex. 13:2.

Get it? ONLY those not yet heads of families are counted as first born, meaning it's a small proportion of the total of first borns that were counted. That also means there were many more mothers than Gray counted too. Also, not that the number difference is great, but the tribe of the Levites was not counted in the total number because this whole passage is about the Levites being an exchange for the first born of the other tribes. Also the sanctification of the firstborn in Exodus 13:2 may very likely mean that none born before that event were counted, and since that event was very recent that suggests a MUCH larger number of first-born in the overall population.

If you debunkers would JUST give a smidgen of the benefit of the doubt to the original report, you wouldn't be so prone to making such outrageous uncharitable and unscientific and irrational guesses about stuff you know nothing about.

So, two issues.

1. Is the 2-3 million a realistic number?
2. Does the Bible really claim this enormous population growth?

Yes and yes.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by Brian, posted 05-25-2005 7:46 AM Brian has responded

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arachnophilia
Member (Idle past 319 days)
Posts: 9069
From: god's waiting room
Joined: 05-21-2004


Message 13 of 142 (211362)
05-26-2005 2:13 AM
Reply to: Message 4 by Brian
05-25-2005 8:51 AM


women
Do you find any room for females in the 70?

hate to be a pain and all, but.

wives don't count.

quote:
Genesis 46:26-27

All the persons belonging to Jacob who came to Egypt -- his own issue, aside from the wives of Jacob's sons -- all these persons numbered 66. And Joseph's sons who were born to him in Egypt were two in number. Thus the total of Jacob's household who came to egypt was 70 persons.


it doesn't say the women didn't come. the wives just weren't regarded as important, as they weren't descendants of jacob.

here's one of your problems:

18. Er,
19. Onan,

quote:
Genesis 46:12

-- but Er and Onan had died in the land of Canaan;


they didn't come. the 33 contains jacob, and dinah. granted. you can get to 33 your way, so it's debatable. except that there is proof that some women are counted:

34. Gad
35. Zephon
36. Haggi
37. Shuni,
38. Ezbon
39. Eri
40. Arodi
41. Areli.
42. Asher
43. Imnah,
44. Ishvah,
45. Ishvi
46. Beriah
47. Heber
48. Malkiel.

18 These were the children born to Jacob by Zilpah, whom Laban had given to his daughter Leah—sixteen in all.

count 'em again. you have FIFTEEN. not sixteen. so you forgot someone. and that someone is serah, who was a woman. that puts your total at 71.

and just to be extra sure that +1 variance is not jacob himself, they gave us an intermediate count: 66 who came to egypt from jacob's household. the three of the four who were not counted in that were joseph and his two sons. the fourth has to be jacob, so jacob is counted.

so the 70 has to count dinah and serah, who were women, and NOT er and onan, who were dead.

i wouldn't have noticed this, of course, had i not just made a very similar list.


אָרַח

This message is a reply to:
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arachnophilia
Member (Idle past 319 days)
Posts: 9069
From: god's waiting room
Joined: 05-21-2004


Message 14 of 142 (211363)
05-26-2005 2:15 AM
Reply to: Message 6 by Brian
05-25-2005 9:24 AM


But, even if we include Dinah (though it does say excluding Dinah 46:15) and Serah (texts just says she was their sister 46:17) isn't this an unusually high ratio of male children to female children?

yes, it is.

*shrugs* it's a weird book sometimes.


אָרַח

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Replies to this message:
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Faith
Member
Posts: 33889
From: Nevada, USA
Joined: 10-06-2001
Member Rating: 1.2


Message 15 of 142 (211364)
05-26-2005 3:19 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by Brian
05-25-2005 7:46 AM


I think it is quite clear that the numbers involved in the Exodus account simply cannot be the 2-3 million presented by a very small minority of Bible believers, we need to reinterpret the information given.

Gallup poll says we're no small minority:

Last December Moyers received an environmental award from Harvard University. About three paragraphs into the speech, after attacking the Bush administration, Moyers said: "James Watt told the U.S. Congress that protecting natural resources was unimportant in light of the imminent return of Jesus Christ. In public testimony he said, 'After the last tree is felled, Christ will come back.' Beltway elites snickered. The press corps didn't know what he was talking about. But James Watt was serious. So were his compatriots out across the country. They are the people who believe the Bible is literally true -- one-third of the American electorate if a recent Gallup poll is accurate

http://www.frontpagemag.com/Articles/ReadArticle.asp?ID=18157


This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by Brian, posted 05-25-2005 7:46 AM Brian has responded

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