These fairly lengthy notes present the proposal that the original populace and wealth numbers included in the “Historical Books” of the Old Testament have been multiplied by factors of 10 or 100 in order to provide more impressive numbers to a later audience. The date proposed for this multiplication is roughly 300 BC.
Readers of the Bible have long been impressed, if not perplexed, by the huge numbers of Israelites recorded in the several censuses of the Pentateuch and Historical Books, their immense armies, and their vast wealth. These huge numbers, aside from being impossibly large in relation to our knowledge of such numbers among other inhabitants of the Late Bronze/Iron Ages in the Near East, also appear to be interspersed with a few hints that far smaller numbers are intended in the various narratives. Here we will examine each occurrence of these very large numbers in light of proposing that an originally much smaller number has been multiplied by 100 (generally in the Pentateuch) or by 10 (generally in the Historical Books, Joshua Judges, 1-2 Samuel, 1-2 Kings, and 1-2 Chronicles), with a description of the reasons in support of the proposal in many of the cases. Some reasons I suspect that these numbers (10 and 100) may have been considered for this use are: a.) the ancients were not using a decimal system of numeric notation, so the alterations would not have been transparent, but b.) the editor working on the project would have been well-acquainted with basic math, so that he didn’t create any outright blunders in the process of increasing the numbers, though there are certainly enough oddities in the text to indicate that something has occurred concerning these unbelievably large numbers. Also c.) at some point, the smaller original numbers were perceived to be sufficiently “unimpressive” to an editor so as to need adjustment in light of such an editor’s contemporary situation.
I’ve placed this multiplication work at roughly 300 BC to begin with mainly because it’s a midpoint between the range of 350-300 in which the books of Chronicles were finished (Braun, WBC Introduction: Purpose and Date, end (p. ?); “fourth century” in Klein, 995), and the date for the appearance of the Septuagint and the beginning of its line of manuscript transmission, traditionally c. 250 (“3rd century” in Peters, 1095). There is a set of Numbers fragments from Qumran, dating to the first century BC containing some of the altered Levite numbers in Num 3: 4QLXXNum, covering Num 3.29?, 40-43, 50-51?; 4.1?, 5-9, 11-16 (Garcia Martinez, 1.294; Peters, 1095). Placing the alterations in the period of around 300 BC could also explain the motivation behind the alterations of the numbers as in reaction to contact with Greek literature and/or the very Greeks themselves and their army sizes and wealth. This period was that of the wars of the Ptolemies and the Seleucids over ownership of the Israelite lands. Prior to this was the period of the Persian Empire, with armies the size of which were enormous, and which empire possessed fabulous wealth.
The work of alteration would need to have had the approval of those responsible for manuscript transmission to other Jewish communities. We see, in the fictional Letter of Aristeas, that the manuscript from which the Septuagint is translated is sent officially from Jerusalem (LetAris 46, 176), implying that a request at other times also for manuscripts from Jerusalem will be dealt with through official priestly channels. Therefore, after the multiplied figures were introduced into the various books, at such an early period in the transmission of the books, the increased figures were guarranteed to be disseminated at the expense of the original figures, with the result that they are now entirely lost and only reconstructed here in theory. The altered numbers thus exist in all versions, and the only evidence of the alterations is internal, as described below in the notes on the various verses.
Although this began as simply a project of curious investigation into the possibility of multiplication by a factor of ten, the general approach appears to have been justified. Taken as a whole, the evidence weighs in the favor of my proposal for a multiplication of the numbers. All comments and bibliographic input are welcome. The investigation here proceeds in the order of the biblical books according to the NRSV, with general comments following. In cases where the original number is not clear, or where it may or may not have been altered, I have marked the reconstructed number with a question mark. In the notes, I have referred to the editor who at some point made the alterations as The Multiplier. The table presents the biblical citation in the first column; the number as it currently stands in the text, followed by “<” and then the proposed original number in the second column; and descriptions and notes in the third column. Many of the alterations are only to be determined by general likelihood, and thus bear only descriptions in the notes. Where there is compelling internal evidence for an item’s alteration, the notes are fuller.
|Gen 20.16||thousand < hundred||Shekels paid to Abraham by Abimelech after returning Sarah. (I’d like to investigate legal texts for similar instances of potential, but I wonder what to call a case of this? “Quasi-adultery”? If I ever find anything for any period, I’ll include the information here. In any case, I’ve noted this verse because 1,000 shekels is so very large a sum, and seems odd here.)|
|Ex 12.37||600,000 < 6,000||General number of Israelites, besides children.|
|Ex 14.7||600 < 60||“Select” chariots, not the chariot force as a whole (See Durham WBC, 190), which would probably be closer to 600.|
|Ex 32.23||3,000 < 300||Number of Israelites killed by the Levites. Note that Ex 32.29 implies that there is a roughly one-to-one ratio between “all the sons of Levi” (32.26) and the number of those killed. If the number is 3,000 (as it stands in the text), the number does not match even approximately the total number of the Levites given in Num 3.39, which is 22,000. My proposed adjustment of the number back to an original 300, however, fits the overal scheme of numbering better. (See below for the Num passages.)|
|Ex 38.26||603,550 < 6,035||This verse is quite obviously dependent upon the later adjusted census total in Num. Verses 25-28 as a whole appear to have been altered. 100 talents is an extraordinary amount of silver, and is obviously inflated, as is the amount of one full talent of silver used for each base (38.27), with two bases under each of the frames (Ex 36.20-38). This would be a sizable chunk of metal, of roughly 3250 cm^3 (with a given silver density of 10.5 g/cm^3, a shekel of 11.4 g, and 3000 shekels per talent), roughly the volume of two stacked reams of paper.
The figure of a beka or half-shekel per head would yield one talent, seventeen shekels, and one beka from a total of 6,035 Israelites. Obviously, one talent per base for 100 bases cannot be correct in such a case. I can only suggest that the figures have been altered in 38.25-28. In support of this suggestion, note the total of bronze given in 38.29-31, in comparison with the number of items which the almost 71 talents were formed into: 60 pillars at least 5 cubits high (38.18), 60 bases of bronze for the outer court (38.9-20), in addition to the altar, utensils, and several hundred tent-pegs (38.3). That so many more items were constructed out of much less weight of bronze than were constructed out of the given weight of silver supports that something has been tampered with in the section dealing with silver. Further, neither the gold (38.24) nor bronze section (38.29-31) specify the amount per item of the various metals utilized, as does that of silver with respect to the Tabernacle bases (38.27), making the silver section longer and more markedly different than the gold and bronze tallies.
My suggestion would be that the original of the silver section lacked mention of the census and the talent per base equation, and that the total number of talents and shekels of silver was originally different.
Overall, I find the evidence to indicate that this section has been altered in order to reflect the editor’s/multiplier’s inflation of the census numbers in Num 1-2.
|Num 1.21; 2.11||46,500 < 465||Reuben. NOTE: Barnouin (282) has also suggested multiplication by 100 for the census lists, but gone in a completely different direction than I have gone.|
|Num 1.23; 2.13||59,300 < 593||Simeon|
|Num 1.25; 2.15||45,650 < 456||Gad. This number has been further enhanced, perhaps in a mistaken attempt at verisimilitude, by 50, which then is also included in the full total. Another reason for this may be that the Multiplier wanted to check his work, forcing him to re-total the tribal amounts, as a kind of double-checking help. See below at Num 26.7 for more on this.|
|Num 1.27; 2.4||74,600 < 746||Judah|
|Num 1.29; 2.6||54,400 < 544||Issachar|
|Num 1.31; 2.8||57,400 < 574||Zebulun|
|Num 1.33; 2.19||40,500 < 405||Ephraim|
|Num 1.35; 2.21||32,200 < 322||Manasseh|
|Num 1.37; 2.23||35,400 < 354||Benjamin|
|Num 1.39; 2.26||62,700 < 627||Dan|
|Num 1.41; 2.28||41,500 < 415||Asher|
|Num 1.43; 2.30||53,400 < 534||Naphtali|
|Num 1.46; 2.32||603,550 < 6,035||Total of Israelite men aged 20 and over|
|Num 3.22||7,500 < 75||Gershon|
|Num 3.28||8,600 < 86||Kohath|
|Num 3.34||6,200 < 62||Merari|
|Num 3.39||22,000 < 220||Total. The actual total of the figures above is 22,300 (according to the text figures) or 223 in my reconstruction. The extra three may be intended to reflect inclusion of Aaron and his two sons Eleazar and Ithamar within the number of Kohath (see Ex 6.14-20), yet excluding them from the total. This is supported by the explicit listing of Aaron’s sons in 3.1-4, mentioning the death of Nadab and Abihu, and thus having 3 males in Aaron’s family, as well as the further separate mention in 3.38.|
|Num 3.43||22,273 < 493?||This is the number representing the total number of the firstborn of Israel. It would be a problem if the Multiplier had simply multiplied the total, as he would then have had to change the text further in the following verses 44-51. I suggest that 273 is the original amount for the firstborn that exceeded the number of Levites. I further suggest that the Multiplier adjusted the total on Israelite firstborn to reflect his increased total for the Levites. Thus the original number was probably 220 (the original total of the Levites) + 273 = 493. Note also that the total of 493 firstborn (roughly 8% or one out of twelve) of 6,035 men, is a more realistic ratio for firstborn males than is 22,273 (roughly 4% or one out of twenty-five) out of 603,550.|
|Num 4.36||2,750 < 27||Working age Levites of Kohath. Multiplied by 100 and with added 50 for verisimilitude? See also below at Num 26.7.|
|Num 4.40||2,630 < 26||Working age Levites of Gershon. Multiplied by 100 and with added 30 for verisimilitude? See also below at Num 26.7.|
|Num 4.44||3,200 < 32||Working age Levites of Merari.|
|Num 4.48||8,580 < 85||Working age Levites total. Multiplied by 100, but including also the 50 added to Kohath and the 30 added to Gershon. See also below at Num 26.7.|
|Num 11.21||600,000 < 6,000||Israelites on foot|
|Num 16.49||14,700 < 147||Died by plague|
|Num 25.9||24,000 < 240||Number dead from the plague at the end of the 40 years of wandering|
|Num 26.7||43,730 < 437||Reuben. Note that the figure for Reuben was both multiplied by 100, and had 30 added.
There are only four figures and three totals where a simple decimal reduction of a number does not work without a certain adjustment. The cases are, as noted above Gad (Num 1.25; 2.15) and the totals for those sections (Num 1.46; 2.32); Kohath (Num 4.36) and Gershon (Num 4.40) and the total for that section (Num 4.48); and here Reuben (Num 26.7) and the total for this section (Num 26.51).
I have suggested that the reason for the addition of the 30 or 50 to the figures may be for verisimilitude, in order to mask the obvious multiplication of the various figures. Another suggestion is that, as these unusual figures occur only in cases were they are added to amounts that are later totalled into a larger amount, the additional figures were used after the stage of multiplication by the Multiplier in order to force him to check his work.
Note that otherwise, with my proposed original numbers, we see much more realistic numbers that are not multiples of 10 (always ending with one or more zeroes in our numerical notation). This was one of the initial observations that led me into this project.
|Num 26.14||22,200 < 222||Simeon|
|Num 26.18||40,500 < 405||Gad|
|Num 26.22||76,500 < 765||Judah|
|Num 26.25||64,300 < 643||Issachar|
|Num 26.27||60,500 < 605||Zebulun|
|Num 26.34||52,700 < 527||Manasseh|
|Num 26.37||32,500 < 325||Ephraim|
|Num 26.41||45,600 < 456||Benjamin|
|Num 26.43||64,400 < 644||Dan|
|Num 26.47||53,400 < 534||Asher|
|Num 26.50||45,400 < 454||Naphtali|
|Num 26.51||601,730 < 6,017||Total. Multiplied by 100, with the “verisimilitudinous” 30 of Reuben added.|
|NOTE: Despite the current form of both the censuses in Num, relating them solely to men of fighting age (“every male from twenty years old and upward, everyone able to go to war,” 1.20, etc), there is also a contrary tradition taking these numbers (or roughly thereof) to represent the entirety of the people in the Exodus party. This is seen in the general number in Ex 12.37 (“people, besides children”), and in Moses’ protestation in Num 11.21 regarding the meat which the Lord will provide.
Also note that in utilizing Lucas’ figure for average annual population growth, the total of 1,000 persons is exceeded in year 230, while 6,000 is not exceeded until year 384, and 10,000 is exceeded in year 428. Even though Lucas had a good idea, I don’t think figures of population increase in early 20th century Egypt are really all that comparable to those of a pastoral tribal group of the second millennium BC. It would probably be best to investigate the historical growth of a similarly sized group of Bedouin which has settled in an area in which they no longer need to struggle for subsistence, perhaps in the Nile Delta or one of the more fertile areas of modern Israel. That break from subsistence struggle would probably lead to a higher birthrate than the surrounding populace (note Ex 1.9-10 for a similar indication) in their new, less harsh surroundings.
In addition, aside from these figures, what is one to make of the reference to the (RB RB “great mixed crowd” of Ex 12.38? It may indicate the descendants of the retainers of the family of Jacob, and additional elements attracted to the group for whatever reason, which brings to mind a confederation of elements much like the ʿapiru of the Amarna Letters.
Overall, including looking at the reconstructed figures of the various armed forces below through the next several hundred years of Israel’s history, I’m inclined to take the roughly 6,000 figure as the total number of Israel, men women and children, and the mixed crowd with them, as the number of people involved in Israel’s exodus from Egypt. This is probably as close as anyone can possibly get to the actual numbers involved in that experience, working with the evidence that is now left to us.
|Num 31.4||thousand < hundred||From each tribe to go to war against the Midianites|
|Num 31.5||thousand < hundred||From each tribe to go to war against the Midianites|
|12,000 < 1,200||Total to go to war against the Midianites|
|Num 31.6||thousand < hundred||From each tribe to go to war against the Midianites|
|Num 31.28||500 < 5||One item out of this number of the soldiers’ spoils is to go to the Lord. Note that this alteration would require fewer and less complicated changes in calculating the following numbers for the Lord’s portions. Also, it’s a more likely percentage of loot for the Lord, who would certainly have received a higher percentage than the Levites, rather than the 0.2% in the current number, with the Levites receiving 2%. Note that in the end, with my proposed retroversion, the Lord’s share is 10% of the total, a tithe, which can be taken as support for this proposal in view of the same percentage donated by Abraham to the Lord in Gen 14.20, probably meant to be the aetiology for such practice. Thus the amount of items given to the Lord in the texts as it stands is original, with the other amounts changing as described below.|
|Num 31.32||675,000 < 6,750||Sheep total|
|Num 31.33||72,000 < 720||Oxen total|
|Num 31.34||61,000 < 610||Donkeys total|
|Num 31.35||32,000 < 320||Virgins total|
|Num 31.36, 43||337,500 < 3,375||Sheep in warriors’ and noncombatants’ halves|
|Num 31.38, 44||36,000 < 360||Oxen in warriors’ and noncombatants’ halves|
|Num 31.39, 44||30,500 < 305||Donkeys in warriors’ and noncombatants’ halves|
|Num 31.40, 46||16,000 < 160||People in warriors’ and noncombatants’ halves|
|Note: The lack of mention of the number of items given to the Levites in Num 31 is not surprising, as in my reconstruction the numbers would be quite small: 67 sheep/goats, 6 donkeys, 7 oxen, and 3 people.|
|Num 31.52||16,750 < 1,675||Shekels of gold in war spoils contributed by the commanders of the army (thus less than was actually retained by the army itself). I suggest that in this instance, there is a case of multiplication by only ten, although it is certainly possible that it was multiplied by 100, and had 50 added afterward as in the cases described at Num 26.7 above.
The clear sign of a multiplication of the figure is that the figure hasn’t been rendered as x talents and y shekels, as is common for large amounts of weight. The figure of 16,750 shekels would, at 3,000 shekels per talent, be 5 talents, 1,750 shekels, which is how one would expect to see it in the text. Thus I take this as an indication that the number has been mechanically multiplied by either 10 or 100.
|NOTE: Having now left the Pentateuch, the numbers seem generally to have been multiplied by only 10, rather than 100, throughout the rest of the historical books, with several exceptions which are noted below.|
|Jos 4.4||2,000 < 200||Distance to remain behind Ark. 2,000 cubits are roughly .6 miles or 900 meters, much too far to be a practicable limit. 500 feet or 90 meters is much more easily accomplished.|
|Jos 4.13||40,000 < 4,000||Size of group sent to battle at Jericho|
|Jos 7.3||thousand < hundred||Two or three of this unit are to battle at Ai, because it is so small.
NOTE: The Israelites experience the loss of 32 men in their first attempt at taking Ai (7.5), and this is seen as a drastic loss. This number 32 is certainly original, and indicates a smaller force than the 3,000 men, which I propose was originally 300. The loss of over 10% of a force would certainly be more traumatic than the loss of just over 1%.
|Jos 7.4||3,000 < 300||Size of force that went to attack Ai|
|Jos 8.3||30,000 < 300||Warriors to hide behind Ai in ambush. I suggest multiplication by 100 in this case for two reasons: 1.) in order to bring the original figure more in line with v. 12, where the reconstructed figure of 500 is given for those in hiding “behind” (=west) of Ai; 2.) three thousand men hiding between Bethel and Ai is obviously too large a number, no matter what the terrain (wooded or not). Multiplying the figure by 100 at this point was perhaps suggested by the “all the fighting men” of 8.1, in order to maintain the rough percentage of the total forces involved, 5%.|
|Jos 8.12||5,000 < 500||Warriors to hide behind Ai in ambush. The question remains whether these are the same troops, or (more unlikely) some in addition to those in 8.3? Perhaps the first two letters in one of the figures in vv. 3 and 12 has been mistaken at some point, H.M- or $L- being accidentally put for the other figure? This would yield an original figure of 300 or 500 in both places, which at some early point went awry.|
|Jos 8.25||12,000 < 1,200||Number of inhabitants killed at Ai|
|Jgs 1.4||10,000 < 1,000||Perizzites defeated at Bezek|
|Jgs 3.29||10,000 < 1,000||Moabites killed|
|Jgs 4.6||10,000 < 1,000||Warriors from Naphtali and Zebulun|
|Jgs 4.10||10,000 < 1,000||Warriors from Naphtali and Zebulun|
|Jgs 4.13||900 < 90||Chariots of Sisera|
|Jgs 4.14||10,000 < 1,000||Barak’s warriors|
|Jgs 5.8||40,000||In Song of Deborah. General size of Israel. Certainly 40,000 is original and simply a poetic exagerration of the total number of warriors, or a rough equivalence of the total population and not just the total number of warriors. The figure 40,000 is required here, for reasons of both meter and alliteration in the Hebrew of this verse. Opting for the 40,000 as original and maintaining the emphasis on its poetic usage (and not as an indicator of the size of the population or number of warriors, but as an exaggeration of such) is best.|
|Jgs 7.3||22,000 < 2,200||Number of warriors who left|
|10,000 < 1,000||Number of warriors remaining|
|Jgs 8.10||15,000 < 1,500||Size of Midianite army|
|120,000 < 12,000||Niumber of fallen Midianite warriors|
|Jgs 8.26||1,700 < 170||Shekel weight of 300 gold earrings.
NOTE: This is a clear case of multiplication. One gold earring each from 300 warriors (Jgs 7.4-8; 8.24-26), with the total weighing 1700 shekels would yield an average earring weight of nearly 2 ounces or 65 grams, which is obviously an improbable weight to hang from one’s ear. However, a total of 170 shekels would yield the entirely believable average weight of about 6.5 g per earring.
|Jgs 9.49||thousand < hundred||People who died in the Tower of Shechem, apparently the aristocrats of the city.|
|Jgs 12.6||42,000 < 4,200||Ephraimites killed with the Shibboleth test|
|Jgs 15.11||3,000 < 300||Men of Judah visiting Samson|
|Jgs 15.15||thousand < hundred||Killed by Samson with donkey jawbone|
|Jgs 15.16||thousand < hundred||Killed by Samson with donkey jawbone|
|Jgs 16.27||3,000 < 300||On roof of temple to watch Samson perform|
|Jgs 20.2||400,000 < 4,000||Israelite force to attack Benjamin. (Multiplied by 100. I propose this to be multiplied by 100 and not just 10, as are several of the following figures, because of the way the story is structured: two near-equal forces appear to be described, in the initial losses suffered by the Israelite forces, followed by the resort to deception in order to lure out the men of Benjamin in order for the Israelites to gain the upper hand. The 8 to 1 ratio of Israelites to Benjaminites depicted by the numbers as they stand in the text currently is absurd in such a story.)|
|Jgs 20.15||26,000 < 2,600||Warriors of Benjamin|
|Jgs 20.17||400,000 < 4,000||Warriors of Israel (Multiplied by 100.)|
|Jgs 20.21||22,000 < 220||Israelites killed first day (Multiplied by 100.)|
|Jgs 20.25||18,000 < 180||Israelites killed second day (Multiplied by 100.)|
|Jgs 20.34||10,000 < 1,000||Select troops of Israel in ambush.|
|Jgs 20.35||25,100 < 2,510||Warriors of Benjamin killed on third day|
|Jgs 20.44||18,000 < 1,800||Warriors of Benjamin killed near Gibeah|
|Jgs 20.45||5,000 < 500||Warriors of Benjamin killed on roads to Rimmon|
|2,000 < 200||Warriors of Benjamin killed near Gidom|
|Jgs 20.46||25,000 < 2,500||Warriors of Benjamin killed|
|Jgs 20.47||600 < 60||Warriors of Benjamin surviving|
|Jgs 21.10||12,000 < 1,200||Warriors of Israel sent to destroy Jabesh-gilead|
|Jgs 21.12||400 < 40||Virgins from Jabesh-gilead|
|1Sam 4.2||4,000 < 400||Israelites killed in battle with Philistines|
|1Sam 4.10||30,000 < 3,000||Israelites killed in battle with Philistines|
|1Sam 10.27b (addition in NRSV)||7,000 < 700||Transjordanian Israelites who escaped the Ammonites. Surely 7,000 additional inhabitants to any but the largest of cities in the ancient world is impossible. Even 700 would be accomodated only with difficulty.
[NRSV 10.27: But some worthless fellows said, ‘How can this man save us?’ They despised him and brought him no present. But he held his peace. Now Nahash, king of the Ammonites, had been grievously oppressing the Gadites and Reubenites. He would gouge out the right eye of each of them and would not grant Israel a deliverer. No one was left of the Israelites across the Jordan whose right eye Nahash, king of the Ammonites, had not gouged out. But there were seven thousand men who had escaped from the Ammonites and had entered Jabesh-gilead.]
|1Sam 11.8||300,000 < 30,000||Warriors from Israel mustered by Saul.|
|70,000 < 7,000 or
30,000 < 3,000 (MT)
|Warriors from Judah mustered by Saul.|
|1Sam 13.2||3,000, 2,000 & 1,000||These numbers appear to be original. Note how after a massive desertion Saul is said to have 600 men in 13.15.|
|1Sam 13.5||30,000 < 300||Philistine chariots. Must be multiplied by 100, as even 3,000 chariots is too many.|
|6,000 < 600||Horsemen of the Philistines|
(addition in NRSV)
|10,000 < 1,000||Men with Saul. NOTE: From Saul’s 2,000 in 13.2, which trickled down to 600 in 13.15 and 14.2, it then increases to 1,000 through defections from the Philistines of Hebrews (14.21) and those hiding in the hills nearby (14.21). Such would certainly not account for a rise of 9,400 men to 10,000.
[NRSV: So the Lord gave Israel the victory that day. The battle passed beyond Beth-Aven, and the troops with Saul numbered altogether about ten thousand men. The battle spread out over the hill country of Ephraim.]
|1Sam 15.4||200,000 < 20,000||Footsoldiers from Israel|
|10,000 < 1,000||Soldiers from Judah|
|1Sam 17.5||5,000 < 500?||Shekel weight of Goliath’s armor. A weight of 5,000 shekels is peculiar for two reasons: 1.) the weight is not thus rendered in talents and shekels, as one would expect; 2.) the weight is approximately 126 pounds, which is highly unlikely. A weight of 500 shekels would be more believable, being a heavy but manageable nearly 13 pounds. I have yet to find information on the weight of such scales and armor as has been recovered archaeologically, which would certainly decide the matter.|
|1Sam 24.2||3,000 < 300||Men chosen by Saul to hunt down David|
|1Sam 25.2||3,000||Sheep of the “very rich” man Nabal|
|1,000||Goats of the “very rich” man Nabal. Although these numbers seem to be impossibly large, the “very rich” epithet and the apparent power and influence of this man in comparison to David indicates that the figures may be original and not multiplications of 300 and 100 respectively.|
|1Sam 26.2||3,000 < 300||Men chosen by Saul to hunt down David|
|2Sam 6.1||30,000 < 3,000||Chosen men of Israel|
|2Sam 8.4||1,700 < 100 & 700||Supposedly horsemen, but there is a textual difficulty here. Both LXX and the parallel 1Chr 18.4 read a number of chariots followed by a number of horsemen. In this case, drawing on the parallels, I would posit the original to have been “one hundred chariots, seven hundred horsemen.” Note that these are said to be the numbers that David “took from” Hadadezer of Zobah, not that these are the totals of the forces of Zobah, or the totals destroyed/killed by David.|
|20,000 < 2,000||Soldiers of Zobah taken by David|
|100 < 10||The number of horses not hamstrung by David were for this many chariots.|
|2Sam 8.5||22,000 < 2,200||Arameans of Damascus killed by David when they came to help Zobah|
|2Sam 8.13||18,000 < 1,800||Edomites killed by David|
|2Sam 10.6||20,000 < 2,000||Arameans of Beth-rehob and Zobah hired by Ammonites|
|1,000 < 100||Soldiers of Maacah hired by Ammonites|
|12,000 < 1,200||Soldiers of Tob hired by Ammonites|
|2Sam 10.18||700 < 70||Chariot teams of Zobah killed by David|
|40,000 < 4,000||Horsemen of Zobah killed by David|
|2Sam 17.1||12,000 < 1,200||Soldiers to be gathered to hunt for David|
|2Sam 18.7||20,000 < 2,000||Israelites killed by David’s men|
|2Sam 19.17||thousand||Original (?) number of people from Benjamin who greeted David on his return|
|2Sam 24.9||800,000 < 8,000||Israelite swordsmen (Multiplied by 100)|
|500,000 < 5,000||Judahite swordsmen (Multiplied by 100)|
|2Sam 24.15||70,000 < 7,000||Plague victims throughout Israel|
|1Kgs 3.4||1,000 < 100||Burnt offerings by Solomon at Gibeon. Cogan & Tadmor place the number as in the realm of typological use (Cogan and Tadmor, 43). The possibility exists with the reconstructed figure of a habitual amount of offerings by Solomon in keeping with his royal status both before and after attaining the throne upon visiting the chief shrine.|
|1Kgs 4.26||40,000 < 4,000||Stalls for horses and chariots of Solomon
(See also 2Chr 9.25, where the original number is preserved. It was this curious discrepancy that initially led me into this investigation.)
|12,000 < 1,200||Horsemen of Solomon|
|1Kgs 4.32||3,000 < 300?||Number of proverbs by Solomon. Three hundred is alot too, but perhaps not strikingly enough for the later Multiplier.|
|1,005 < 105?||Songs by Solomon. As above.|
|1Kgs 5.11||20,000 < 2,000||Cors of wheat sent in payment to Hiram of Tyre|
|20 < 2,000||“Cors of oil” corrected to “baths of oil” per LXX. Original number would have been 2,000 baths. Sent to Hiram of Tyre as payment.|
|1Kgs 5.13||30,000 < 3,000||Levy of laborers|
|1Kgs 5.14||10,000 < 1,000||Laborers working per month|
|1Kgs 5.15||70,000 < 7,000||Laborers|
|80,000 < 8,000||Stonecutters|
|1Kgs 5.16||3,300 < 330||Supervisors|
|1Kgs 7.26||2000||Baths that the Molten Sea held. That this figure was left untouched indicates that the Multiplier knew his math well enough not to screw up this figure, which can be calculated from the other dimensions of the Sea. (See A. Zuidhof, “King Solomon’s Molten Sea and (π)” BA 45.3 [Sum 1982], 179-184)|
|1Kgs 8.63||22,000 < 2,200||Oxen sacrificed by Solomon at Temple dedication|
|120,000 < 12,000||Sheep sacrificed by Solomon at Temple dedication. NOTE: These two reconstructed figures are clearly in mind at 2Chr 30.24, where the number of sacrifices there is explicitly equated with these in the days of Solomon.|
|1Kgs 10.26||1,400||Number of Solomon’s chariots. Fits perfectly with the number of 4,000 stalls given in 2Chr 9.25 and reconstructed in 1Kgs 4.26.|
|12,000 < 1,200||Horsemen (not horses, as in NRSV) of Solomon. Same figure in 4.26.|
|1Kgs 12.21||180,000 < 18,000||Chosen troops of Judah and Benjamin|
|1Kgs 19.18||7,000||Faithful to Lord left in Israel. Original figure.|
|1Kgs 20.15||232||Young men/bureaucrats in Samaria. Original figure.|
|7,000 < 700||Soldiers in Samaria under the young men. Ahab’s time (873-852). More probable is 700, as the siege of Samaria was already in place, and was apparently enough of a surprise for Ahab not to be able to gather the full army into the city for assistance (1Kgs 20.12-15).|
|1Kgs 20.29||100,000 < 10,000||Arameans soldiers killed|
|1Kgs 20.30||27,000 < 2,700||Arameans killed by the falling wall (of Aphek?)|
|2Kgs 3.4||100,000 < 10,000||Lambs sent as tribute by Mesha of Moab|
|100,000 < 10,000||Rams’ wool sent as tribute by Mesha of Moab|
|2Kgs 5.5||10 < 1||Talent of silver with Naaman|
|6,000 < 600||Shekels of gold with Naaman. NOTE: Original figure of 600 was mechanically multiplied, rather than rendered into the proper “two talents” that 6,000 shekels would be.|
|2Kgs 13.7||50||Horsemen left to Jehoahaz of Israel (817-800) after several battles. Original number.|
|10||Chariots left to Jehoahaz of Israel (817-800) after several battles. Original number.|
|10,000 < 1,000||Footsoldiers left to Jehoahaz of Israel (817-800) after several battles. Although the other figures for the remnants of the army of Jehoahaz are original, the number of footsoldiers was probably seen to be too pitifully small as 1000, and so was raised to 10,000, which is still paltry in comparison with the Multiplier’s army sizes.|
|2Kgs 14.7||10,000 < 1,000||Edomites killed by Amaziah (798-769).|
|2Kgs 15.19||1,000 < 100?||Talents given to Pul (=Tiglath-Pileser III, 744-727) by Menahem of Israel, after extracting the amount from the “rich men” of the kingdom at the level of 50 shekels each. The total of 1,000 talents would yield a number of 60,000 wealthy men in Israel, which is highly unlikely. A total of 100 talents would yield a more believable 6,000 wealthy men. However, there is the matter of the Assyrian evidence for tirbute of talents in silver being generally more than 100 talents (COS 2, 302 ff). The alteration here could also be a change in the amount per head required of the wealthy: 500 shekels rather than 50?|
|2Kgs 18.23||2,000 < 200||The Rabshakeh tauntingly offers this many mounts if only Hezekiah can provide riders. There are two possibilities here: 1.) in such a taunt, the large number of 2,000 horses is used as an amount that the Assyrians can spare, won’t miss, and which they’d still overwhelm even if Hezekiah could somehow possibly provide riders; 2.) the smaller number of 200 is also meant to be insulting to Hezekiah, in that he is not even expected to be able to provide riders for so few horses. Note that these would have been Assyrian cavalry horses, of a type found on various reliefs (see Yadin, 384-385).|
(and Isa 37.36)
|185,000 < 1,850||Number of Assyrians that died during the night (also in Isaiah 37.36). The number as it stands is clearly too large. Multiplication by ten is all that has occurred in this book, but 100 was probably the figure used here, as even 18,500 is the size of an entire large army in this period. The siege of Jerusalem is described by Sennacherib, explicity mentioning siegeworks (COS 2.119B, ANET 287). Such would require a large force to construct (probably Judahite captives) and a military presence to supervise and eventually man the works. As Hezekiah had stopped up all the water sources in the area of Jerusalem (as noted in 2Chr 32.3-4), this may have contributed to a large number of deaths through lack of water, and perhaps to other illnesses related to drinking impure water. Perhaps the wily and soon-to-be-besieged Jerusalemites poisoned a few well-placed water sources? A possibility for such might be the Upper Pool mentioned in 18.17, from near which the Assyrian officials make their calls for surrender. The account of the deaths of the Assyrians in 2Chr reads “And the Lord sent an angel who cut off all the mighty warriors and commanders and officers in the camp of the king of Assyria” (32.20), which is ambiguous in that King Sennacherib of Assyria is placed at Lachish in 32.9, “with all his forces.” It appears that a smaller force was sent to intimidate and besiege Hezekiah in Jerusalem while the larger part of Sennacherib’s force was still at Lachish. A plague erupted, perhaps brought on by either the lack of fresh water or poisoned water outside Jerusalem, in which a sufficiently large number of soldiers died that Sennacherib withdrew from the siege of Jerusalem, but not from that of Lachish. I propose that the original number of soldiers to have died of plague was 1,850, multiplied by 100 to give us the fantastic number of 185,000. In fact, I wouldn’t be averse to the figure actually being 185, with its having been multiplied by 1,000, except that I’ve not seen any other figures throughout this investigation that appear to be multiplied by 1,000.|
|1Chr 5.18||44,760 < 4,476||Warriors in Transjordan|
|1Chr 5.21||50,000 < 5,000||Camels|
|250,000 < 25,000||Sheep|
|2,000 < 200||Donkeys|
|100,000 < 10,000||Human captives|
|1Chr 7.2||22,600 < 2,260||Warriors of Tola of Issachar in David’s time|
|1Chr 7.4||36,000 < 3,600||Others of Issachar|
|1Chr 7.5||87,000 < 8,700||Total for Issachar|
|1Chr 7.7||22,034 < 2,234?||Warriors of Beka of Benjamin|
|1Chr 7.9||20,200 < 2,020||Warriors of Becher of Benjamin|
|1Chr 7.11||17,200 < 1,720||Warriors of Jediael of Benjamin|
|1Chr 7.40||26,000 < 2,600||Warriors of Asher|
|1Chr 9.13||1,760||Original number. Compare Nehemiah 11.|
|1Chr 12.24||6,800 < 680||Spearmen of Judah. Came to Hebron to make David king. NOTE: It appears that the Multiplier took these numbers not to represent those who made a show of loyalty to the new king by meeting him in Hebron, but that he took the numbers as intended to represent all the warriors/Levites/priests in the nation. Thus he multiplied the numbers in order to create a more impressive population count, as was his habit throughout the Historical Books.|
|1Chr 12.25||7,100 < 710||Warriors of Simeon. Came to Hebron to make David king.|
|1Chr 12.26||4,600 < 460||Levites. Came to Hebron to make David king.|
|1Chr 12.27||3,700 < 370||Priests. Came to Hebron to make David king.|
|1Chr 12.29||3,000 < 300||People from Benjamin. Came to Hebron to make David king.|
|1Chr 12.30||20,800 < 2,080||People from Ephraim. Came to Hebron to make David king.|
|1Chr 12.31||18,000 < 1,800||People from 1/2 of Manasseh. Came to Hebron to make David king.|
|1Chr 12.32||200 < 20||Chiefs of Issachar. Came to Hebron to make David king.|
|1Chr 12.33||50,000 < 5,000||Warriors of Zebulun. Came to Hebron to make David king.|
|1Chr 12.34||1,000 < 100||Commanders from Naphtali. Came to Hebron to make David king.|
|37,000 < 3,700||Spearmen of Naphtali. Came to Hebron to make David king.|
|1Chr 12.35||28,600 < 2,860||Warriors from Dan. Came to Hebron to make David king.|
|1Chr 12.36||40,000 < 4,000||Warriors from Asher. Came to Hebron to make David king.|
|1Chr 12.37||120,000 < 12,000||Warriors from Reuben, Gad, 1/2 Manasseh. Came to Hebron to make David king.|
|1Chr 18.4||1,000 < 100||Chariots taken by David from Zobah.|
|7,000 < 700||Horsemen taken by David from Zobah.|
|20,000 < 2,000||Soldiers taken by David from Zobah.|
|100 < 10||Horses (for that number of chariots? as in 2Sam 8.4) not hamstrung by David in Zobah.|
|1Chr 18.5||22,000 < 2,200||Arameans killed|
|1Chr 18.12||18,000 < 1,800||Edomites killed|
|1Chr 19.6||1,000 < 100||Talents sent from Ammon to Zobah to hire help against David|
|1Chr 19.7||32,000 < 3,200||Chariots hired (!) by Ammonites|
|1Chr 19.18||7,000 < 700||Aramean charioteers killed by David|
|40,000 < 4,000||Aramean soldiers killed by David|
|1Chr 21.5||1,100,000 < 11,000||Swordsmen in Israel. Multiplied by 100.|
|470,000 < 4,700||Swordsmen in Judah. Multiplied by 100.|
|1Chr 21.14||70,000 < 7,000||Plague victims in Israel after the census.|
|1Chr 22.14||100,000 < 1,000||Talents of gold provided by David for Temple. Multiplied by 100.|
|1,000,000 < 10,000||Talents of silver provided by David for Temple. Multiplied by 100.|
|1Chr 23.3||38,000 < 3,800||Levites over 30 years of age.|
|1Chr 23.4||24,000 < 2,400||Levites assigned to work in the House of the Lord|
|6,000 < 600||Levites assigned to work as officers and judges|
|1Chr 23.5||4,000 < 400||Levites assigned to work as gatekeepers|
|4,000 < 400||Levites assigned to work as musicians|
|1Chr 26.30||1,700 < 170||Hashabiah and relatives oversee work W of Jordan|
|1Chr 26.32||2,700 < 270||Jerijah and relatives overseen work E of Jordan|
|1Chr 27.1||24,000 < 240||(Thirteen times in this chapter.) The tallies refer to the “commanders of the army” (1Chr 27.3), not the army itself, as the Multiplier misunderstood. Multiplied by 100.|
|1Chr 29.4||3,000 < 300||Talents of gold of Ophir. David’s personal treasure contributed to Temple construction.|
|7,000 < 700||Talents of refined silver. David’s personal treasure contributed to Temple construction.|
|1Chr 29.7||5,000 < 500||Talents of gold. General donation to Temple.|
|10,000 < 1,000||Darics of gold. General donation to Temple. NOTE: This figure of 10,000 would probably, like shekels, have been rendered in talents and remainders of darics. It was probably mechanically multiplied by 10, without thought of the awkwardness of the figure.|
|10,000 < 1,000||Talents of silver. General donation to Temple.|
|18,000 < 1,800||Talents of bronze. General donation to Temple.|
|100,000 < 10,000||Talents of iron. General donation to Temple.|
|1Chr 29.21||1,000 < 100||(3 times in this verse.) Bulls, rams, and lambs sacrificed.|
|2Chr 1.6||1,000 < 100||Burnt offerings offered by Solomon at Gibeon.|
|2Chr 1.14||1,400||Number of Solomon’s chariots (original?)|
|12,000 < 1,200||Horsemen, not “horses” as in NRSV.|
|2Chr 2.2||70,000 < 7,000||Laborers|
|80,000 < 8,000||Stonecutters|
|3,600 < 360||Supervisors|
|2Chr 2.10||20,000 < 2,000||(4 times in this verse.) Cors of crushed wheat, cors of barley, baths of wine, baths of oil paid to Hiram of Tyre|
|2Chr 2.17||153,600 < 15,360||aliens in Israel|
|2Chr 2.18||70,000 < 7,000||Laborers|
|80,000 < 8,000||Stonecutters|
|3,600 < 360||Supervisors|
|2Chr 4.5||3,000||Capacity of Molten Sea in baths. 1Kgs 7.26 has 2,000. Zuidhof, 181, suggests a smaller capacity bath in usage in the Persian period.|
|2Chr 7.5||22,000 < 2,200||Oxen sacrificed by Solomon. NOTE: See 2Chr 30.24, where the number of sacrifices are said to be similar to those made there. The numbers there correspond more closely to my proposed originals.|
|120,000 < 12,000||Sheep sacrificed by Solomon.|
|2Chr 9.25||4,000||Stalls for horses and chariots. NOTE: It was this figure and the corresponding figure in the text at 1Kgs 4.26 (40,000) which led to this investigation. I propose that the Multiplier somehow missed multiplying this figure in his multiplication work. This slip had the fortunate effect of attracting my curiosity and leading to the work represented on this page, which, from my perspective, appears to be demonstrative.|
|12,000 < 1,200||Horsemen of Solomon|
|2Chr 11.1||180,000 < 18,000||Troops of Judah and Benjamin assembled by Rehoboam (928-911). Notice the slight increase in the number of soldiers over the numbers given for David’s reign for Judah (1Chr 21.5) and Benjamin (1Chr 7.7-1), 4700 and about 6600 respectively, total ~11,300. The increase of over 50% over a period of more than 40 years and probably closer to 80 is not unbelievable.|
|2Chr 12.3||60,000 < 6,000||Cavalry of Shishak, in 925 or 924.|
|2Chr 13.3||400,000 < 4,000||Army of Abijah (911-908). Multiplied by 100.|
|800,000 < 8,000||Army of Jeroboam (928-907). Multiplied by 100.|
|2Chr 13.17||500,000 < 5,000||The number of Jeroboam’s army slain. Multiplied by 100.|
|2Chr 14.8||300,000 < 3,000||Army of Asa (908-867) from Judah. Multiplied by 100.|
|280,000 < 2,800||Army of Asa from Benjamin. Multiplied by 100.|
|2Chr 14.9||million < 10,000||Army of Zerah of Kush. Multiplied by 100. Notice the number of the chariots (merely 300) was not multiplied.|
|2Chr 15.11||700||Oxen sacrificed by Asa. NOTE: I’m taking this as original, though it occurs in a series of passages in which numbers are still multiplied by 100. It is not an unreasonable number of war spoils originating in a 10,000 man army.|
|7,000||Sheep sacrificed by Asa. Same NOTE as above.|
|2Chr 17.11||7,700||Twice in this verse. Rams, male goats brought by Arabs to Jehoshaphat (870-846). Could the number 7 in the thousands and hundreds be considered a ritual marker in the number of animals, perhaps indicating a treaty or tribute? Probably original numbers.|
|2Chr 17.14||300,000 < 3,000||Warriors of Judah under Adnah, reign of Jehoshaphat (870-846). Multiplied by 100.|
|2Chr 17.15||280,000 < 2,800||Warriors of Judah under Jehohanan, reign of Jehoshaphat. Multiplied by 100.|
|2Chr 17.16||200,000 < 2,000||Warriors of Judah under Amasiah, reign of Jehoshaphat. Multiplied by 100.|
|2Chr 17.17||200,000 < 2,000||Warriors of Benjamin under Eliada, reign of Jehoshaphat. Multiplied by 100.|
|2Chr 17.18||180,000 < 1,800||Warriors of Benjamin under Jehozabad, reign of Jehoshaphat. Multiplied by 100.|
|2Chr 25.5||300,000 < 30,000||Warriors of Judah from out of men 20 years old and upward. Reign of Amaziah (789-769). NOTE: From here on through chapter 28, the multiplication is only by 10. After that point, the numbers are original and non-multiplied.|
|2Chr 25.6||100,000 < 10,000||Warriors hired from Israel by Amaziah for 100 talents of silver. NOTE: The number of warriors hired has obviously been multiplied. Taking the 100 talents as original, and 3,000 shekels per talent, notice that 100 talents of silver would yield for 100,000 men only 3 shekels each. If the number were originally 10,000 men, the price would be 30 shekels, which is a more believable payment for mercenary work.|
|2Chr 25.11||10,000 < 1,000||Men of Seir (=Edomites) killed by Amaziah|
|2Chr 25.12||10,000 < 1,000||Captives of Seir taken by Amaziah and thrown off the top of Sela.|
|2Chr 25.13||3,000 < 300||Number of people killed in Judah by the dismissed mercenaries from Israel.|
|2Chr 26.12||2,600 < 260||Number of the heads of the ancestral houses. Reign of Uzziah (785-733)|
|2Chr 26.13||307,500 < 30,750||Army under command of the heads of houses|
|2Chr 27.5||100 < 10||Talents of silver given by Ammonites to Jotham (759-743) at accession.|
|10,000 < 1,000||Cors of wheat given by Ammonites to Jotham at accession.|
|10,000 < 1,000||Cors of barley given by Ammonites to Jotham at accession.|
|2Chr 28.6||120,000 < 12,000||Warriors of Judah killed by Pekah of Israel (735-732) during the reign of Ahaz of Judah (743-727).|
|2Chr 28.8||200,000 < 20,000||Captives of Judah taken (and returned) by Israel. NOTE: This is the last multiplied figure in 2Chr. The rest of the figures appear not to have been altered.|
|2Chr 29.33||3,000||Number of sheep and goats brought for sacrifice at Hezekiah’s reopening of the Jerusalem temple.|
|2Chr 30.24||1,000||Bulls contributed by Hezekiah for assembly’s offerings for a second seven days of Passover.|
|7,000||Sheep contributed by Hezekiah for assembly’s offerings.|
|1,000||Bulls contributed by officials for assembly’s offerings.|
|10,000||Sheep contributed by officials for assembly’s offerings. NOTE: 30.26 indicates an equation with the days of Solomon. The reference is to the set of doubled seven day celebrations at the dedication of the altar in the new Temple in Jerusalem, 2Chr 7.4-10. There the text has Solomon sacrificing 22,000 oxen and 120,000 sheep. But the equation here in 2Chr 30.24 would seem to indicate the numbers would be roughly similar. My reconstruction of the figures in 2Chr 7.4, taking them as having been multiplied by 10, yields 2,200 oxen and 12,000 sheep. These reconstructed figures are more appropriate to the equation made here in 30.26 with the 2,000 bulls and 17,000 sheep offered, which figures are indeed at least in the ballpark of the reconstructed figures, but far fewer than the figures in the text. Why would the author hark back to a time when the offerings were ten times as much as being offered here as a happy thing? I don’t think he did.|
Near the end of 2Kgs and 2Chr, the Multiplier ceased multiplying for some reason, and the numbers are unaltered after 2Kgs 19.34 and 2Chr 28.8. Thus, overall there is a clear progression, in sync with the growth of the nation(s), armies and economics involved, from multiplication by 100 in the Pentateuch, then by 10 from Joshua through most of 2 Kings and 2 Chronicles, and finally with the numbers left in their original state at the end of 2Kgs and 2Chr. This consistency in approach could suggest that the Multiplier had in mind at least an ideal size for pre-exilic Israel, and altered the figures in order to consistently keep the figures, especially regarding army size, close to that ideal, which ideal was apparently well over two million persons. This, however, doesn’t itself explain why various other amounts (spoils, tribute, offerings, etc.) were multiplied into fabulous numbers as well. Another option is that it suggests that the Multiplier, without understanding of the factors of population and econcomic growth in the region, could not believe the smaller, original numbers to be correct, and set about to remedy the perceived errors. This, however, leaves unexplained the unaltered figures at the end of 2Chr. I would suggest, however, in a combination of the two suggestions above, that the approach could have been a calculated increase by the Multiplier in all the various affected numbers in order to approach what he perceived to be numbers congruent with his and others’ expectations of the “Golden Age” of pre-exilic Israel and Judah, when, in his world of multiplied numbers, millions of fabulously wealthy Israelites lived in the Land (unlike in his own days?), who, as time went on, had their numbers drained by wars and exiles and their wealth drained by tribute (as in his own days?), until the amounts near the end of 2 Chronicles and just before Judah fell to the Babylonians (and thus the end of the “Golden Age”), which amounts are in the end only normally impressive and not exemplary of the utterly incredible amounts of wealth of his earlier number multiplication work, which numbers clearly depict Israel/Judah as of a size and wealth to equal the other great empires in the region, especially the Persian. Note Herodotus’ number of 1,700,000 for Xerxes’ army (7.60), and the fabulous wealth of Susa which went to Alexander (Diodorus Siculus, 17.71.1: 120,000 talents of gold and silver). While some would no doubt consider these incredible numbers to have been original to the various narratives (e.g., Davies), there is enough evidence (as explained in the notes above) that the large numbers appear to be secondary in quite a few of their occurrences, so that this proposal needs to be at the very least considered and investigated further. Clearly the numbers were altered in a deliberate manner, with the method suggested here seeming entirely the most likely and least convoluted solution among those currently under discussion (see esp. Davies for an overview; see Humphreys for a “Mendenhall redux” complete with mathematics; how Humphreys and his respondent McEntire missed the number of tribes of Israel as thirteen is not obvious). Not only does the proposal presented here explain the reason for the large numbers in Exodus and Numbers, it provides for the restoration of historically believable numbers there and for all periods involved, throughout the historical books: all are simply the result of multiplication by 100 or by 10, with only a very few exceptions (namely, Ex 38.25-28 and Num 3.43).
ANET: Ancient Near Eastern Texts Relating to the Old Testament. Third Edition with Supplement. Ed. James B. Pritchard. Princeton: Princeton Univ. Press, 1969
Barnouin, M. “Les recensements du livre des Nombres et l’astronomie babylonienne.” VT 27 (1977) 280-303
Braun, Roddy. 1 Chronicles. Eds. David Hubbard and Glenn Barker. Word Biblical Commentary 14. Electronic edition. Dallas: Word Books; Logos Library System, 1998.
Charlesworth, James. Old Testament Pseudepigrapha. 2 vols. New York: Doubleday, 1983, 1985.
Cogan, Mordechai. I Kings. AB 10. New York: Doubleday, 2001.
Cogan, Mordechai and Hayim Tadmor. II Kings. AB 11. Doubleday, 1988.
COS: William W. Hallo and K. Lawson Younger, eds. The Context of Scripture. 3 vols. Leiden: Brill, 1997-2002
Davies, Eryl. “A Mathematical Conundrum: The Problem of the Large Numbers in Numbers I and XXVI.” VT 45 (1995) 449-469.
Durham, John. Exodus. Eds. David Hubbard and Glenn Barker. Word Biblical Commentary 3. Electronic edition. Dallas: Word Books; Logos Library System, 1998.
Garcia Martinez, Florentino and Eibert J. C. Tigchelaar. The Dead Sea Scrolls Study Edition. 2 vols. Leiden: Brill, 1998.
Humphreys, Colin. “The Number of People in the Exodus from Egypt: Decoding Mathematically the Very Large< Numbers in Numbers I and XXVI.” VT 48(1998)/2, 196-213
Klein, Ralph W. “Chronicles, Books of 1-2.” Pages 992-1092 in volume 1 of Anchor Bible Dictionary, edited by David Noel Freedman. 6 volumes. New York: Doubleday, 1992.
Lucas, A. “The Number of Israelites at the Exodus.” PEQ 76 (1944) 164-168.
McEntire, M. “A Response to Colin J. Humphreys’s ‘The Number of People in the Exodus from Egypt: Decoding Mathematically the Very Large Numbers in Numbers I and XXVI.'” VT 49(1999)/2, 262-263.
Mendenhall, George E. “The Census Lists of Numbers 1 and 26.” JBL 77(1958)/1, 52-66.
Moran, William. The Amarna Letters. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1992.
de Odorico, Marco. The Use of Numbers and Quantifications in the Assyrian Royal Inscriptions. Helsinki: Neo-Assyrian Text Corpus Project, 1995.
Peters, Melvin K. H. “Septuagint.” Pages 1095 to 1104 in volume 5 of Anchor Bible Dictionary, edited by David Noel Freedman. 6 volumes. New York: Doubleday, 1992.
Yadin, Yigael. The Art of Warfare in Biblical Lands. 2 vols. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1963.
Zuidhof, Albert. “King Solomon’s Molten Sea and (π)” BA 45.3 (Sum 1982), 179-184