Exodus 12:37

37 And the children of Israel journeyed from Rameses to Succoth, about six hundred thousand on foot that were men, beside children.

Exodus 12:37 Meaning and Commentary

Exodus 12:37

And the children of Israel journeyed from Rameses to Succoth,
&c.] Rameses was a place in Goshen, or rather the land of Goshen, from whence the country was so called; (See Gill on Genesis 47:11). The Targum of Jonathan takes it to be Pelusium, or Sin, now called Tinah, formerly the strength of Egypt, and which lay at the entrance of it, and says it was one hundred and thirty miles to Succoth; and Jarchi says one hundred and twenty. But the distance between these two places was not so great; for Succoth from Rameses it is computed was eight miles F6 only. The latter place is so called by anticipation; for it was now a desert, as Josephus F7 says, which he calls Latopolis, but had its name Succoth from the children of Israel pitching their tents there; for the word signifies tents or tabernacles. The number of the children of Israel when they came out of Egypt

were about six hundred thousand on foot, that were men, besides
and which is confirmed by the account that Chaeremon F8 the Heathen gives, who makes the number of those drove out of Egypt, as he calls them, 250,000; and says that when they came to Pelusium, they found there 380,000 left there by Amenophis; which makes in all 630,000. And so Philo the Jew says F9, they were above 600,000, besides old men, children, and women, that could not easily be numbered; and the word "about" will admit of it, since it may be used not to diminish, but to increase the number; and it is certain that in the second year after they were come out of Egypt, their number was 600,550 without the Levites, who were not numbered; and they that were numbered were such as were twenty years old and upward, and able to go forth to war, ( Numbers 1:9 ) ( 2:32 ) and such were those here, as Jarchi observes; so that if there were 600,000 men of twenty years old and upwards, able to bear arms, besides women, children, and old men, it may well be thought that in all there were no less than near two millions and a half; for, according to the ordinary proportion allowed in other nations of four to one between the number of the whole people in a nation, and those men fit to bear arms, that the number of the Israelites alone, of all ages and sexes which went out of Egypt along with Moses, will amount to 2,400,000 souls F10; which was a prodigious increase of seventy persons in little more than two hundred years, and a most marvellous thing it was, that in so large a number of persons there was not one feeble among them, ( Psalms 105:37 ) .


F6 See Bunting's Travels, p. 81.
F7 Ut supra, (antiqu. l. 2.) c. 15. sect. 1.
F8 Apud Joseph. contr. Apion, l. 1. sect. 32.
F9 De Vita Mosis, l. 1. p. 625.
F10 Bp. of Clogher's Chronology of the Hebrew Bible, p. 271. See Judah Leon's Relation of Memorable Things p. 2.

Exodus 12:37 In-Context

35 And the children of Israel did according to the word of Moses; and they borrowed of the Egyptians jewels of silver, and jewels of gold, and raiment:
36 And the LORD gave the people favour in the sight of the Egyptians, so that they lent unto them such things as they required. And they spoiled the Egyptians.
37 And the children of Israel journeyed from Rameses to Succoth, about six hundred thousand on foot that were men, beside children.
38 And a mixed multitude went up also with them; and flocks, and herds, even very much cattle.
39 And they baked unleavened cakes of the dough which they brought forth out of Egypt, for it was not leavened; because they were thrust out of Egypt, and could not tarry, neither had they prepared for themselves any victual.