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Mingled People

MINGLED PEOPLE (Heb. ‘ērev, from ‘ărav, to mix). The same Hebrew word is translated “mixed multitude,” “other people,” and “all...of foreign descent” in some versions of Exod.12.38 and Neh.13.3. In the former passage the reference is to non-Israelite people who left Egypt with the Israelites. In Jer.25.20 and Jer.50.37 the term is used as an expression of contempt for the mixed blood of certain of Israel’s enemies. In Num.11.4 such a motley body seduced Israel to sin.

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia (1915)


(2) In Jer 25:20; 50:37, "mingled people" is a term of contempt for the hybrid blood of certain of Israel’s enemies. Something of this same contempt may be contained in Ex 12:38, where a multitude of non-Israelite camp-followers are mentioned as accompanying the children of Israel in the exodus, and in Nu 11:4 it is this motley body that seduced Israel to sin. But who they were, why they wished or were permitted to join in the exodus, and what eventually became of them or of their descendants is a very perplexing puzzle. In Ne 13:3, the "mixed multitude" consists of the inhabitants of Palestine whom the Jews found there after the return from the exile (see Samaria). In accord with the command of De 23:3-5, the Jews withdrew from all religious intercourse whatever had been established with these.

NOTE.--The Hebrew noun for "mingled people" may or may not be connected with the verb translated "mingle" in Ezr 9:2; Ps 106:35; Da 2:43. On this see the lexicons.