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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).

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  • Mingled People
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