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Mixed Multitude

MIXED MULTITUDE (עֵ֥רֶב רַ֖ב, mixed crowd, Exod 12:38; Neh 13:3; אֲסַפְסֻף, H671, rabble, riffraff, Num 11:4).

The heterogeneous camp followers who escaped with the Israelites from Egypt (Exod 12:38). Not descended from Jacob (or at best half-breeds), they had no ancestral affiliation with the God of Abraham and thus were the first to crave the food of Egypt (Num 11:4). Hebrew ’ărāḇ, “Arabia,” may collectively denote the desert-dwellers of N Arabia (1 Kings 10:15; Ezek 30:5; Jer 25:20, 24; v. 24 also mentions the ’ereb, the “mingled people” [KJV] or “mixed tribes” [RSV]). Either Heb. term (from same root) may be equivalent to the Shasu-bedouin, often mentioned in 18th and 19th dynasty Egyp. records as peoples defeated by the pharaohs, or who entered the Delta in times of famine (ANET, 243, 247, 254, 259).

See also

  • Mingled People