IZHARUL-HAQ READING CONTINUED.
IZHARUL-HAQ READING CONTINUED.
ERRORS IN THE CALCULATION OF THE ISRAELITES’S NUMBER.
We read in the book of Numbers (1:45-47) this statement: “So were all those
that were numbered of the Children of Israel, by the house of their fathers, from twenty years old and upward all that were able to go forth to war in Israel; even all they that were numbered were six hundred thousand and three thousand and five hundred and fifty. But the Levites after the tribe of their fathers were not number among them.”
These verses imply that the number of fighting people of the Israelites was
more than six hundred thousand. This number excludes the men, women and
children of the Levi Tribe and all the women of the other tribes of the Israelites and all those men who were under twenty years of age. If we include the number of all the people of Israelites excluded from this enumeration, their total
should not be less than twenty-five hundred thousand. This statement is wrong for five reasons.
THE FIRST REASON
The total number of men and women of the Israelites was seventy at the time
of their arrival in Egypt. This is evident from Genesis 46:27, Exodus 1:5 and Deuteronomy 10:22. The greatest possible period of their stay in Egypt is 215 years. It can not be more.
Perez the illegitimate son of Judah. Genealogically he happens to be the ninth forefather of the Prophet David (I Chr. 2:4-16) The author seems to have overlooked the fact that the Prophet David was in the ninth and not in the tenth generation of Perez, as is evident from Matthew 1:1-6, Luke 3:33 and I Chr. 2:4-16. This mistake has been admitted by some writers. Wiener says, “Perhaps the scribes made some mistake at the time of copying this number. G.T. NMenley has regarded this statement
as more acceptable but, at the same time, he could not overcome his religious preconceptions. He justified it by saying that this may be true as, miraculously, some supernatural elements
had been at work with the Israelites at the time. This justification does not stand up to reason in the face of the arguments presented by the author particularly reason number five.
It has been mentioned in the first chapter of the Book of Exodus that the sons of the people of Israel were killed and their daughters left to live, 89 years before their liberation from Egypt. Now keeping in mind their total number at their arrival in Egypt, the
duration of their stay in Egypt, and the killing of their sons by the King, if we
assume that after every twenty five years they doubled in number and their sons were not killed at all, even then their number would not reach twenty-five
thousand in the period of their stay in Egypt let alone twenty-five hundred
thousand. If we keep in view the killing of their sons, this number becomes a
THE SECOND REASON
It must be far from the truth that their number increased from seventy to
twenty-five hundred thousand in such a short period, while they were subjected
to the worst kind of persecution and hardships by the king of Egypt. In
comparison, the Egyptians who enjoyed all the comforts of life did not increase at that rate.
The Israelites lived a collective life in Egypt. If they are believed to have
been more than twenty-five hundred thousand it would be a unique example in
human history that a population of this size is oppressed and persecuted and
their sons killed before their eyes without a sigh of resistance and rebellion from them. Even animals fight and resist to save their offspring.
THE THIRD REASON
The Book of Exodus chapter 12 19 taken with them the cattle herds and
flocks, and the same book 20 also informs us that they crossed the river in a single night; and that they used to travel every day 21 and that Moses used to give them verbal orders to march 22.
THE FOURTH REASON
If the number were correct it would necessitate that they had a place for their camp large enough to accommodate twenty-five hundred thousand of people
along with their herds of cattle. The fact is that the area surrounding Mount
Sinai and the area of the twelve springs in Elim 23 are not sufficiently large to
have accommodated the Israelites and their cattle.
Elim is a place on the edge of the Red Sea with twelve fountains of water and seventy trees of dates, where according to the Pentateuch the Prophet Moses camped after the rescue of the
Israelites from Egypt (Exodus 15:27)
HE FIFTH REASON
We find the following statement in Deuteronomy 7:22.
“And the Lord, thy God will put out those nations before thee by little and
little: thou mayest not consume them at once, lest the beasts of the field increase upon thee”.
It is geographically true that Palestine extended nearly 200 miles in length
and ninety in breadth. Now, if the number of the Israelites was really twenty five hundred thousand, and they had captured Palestine after killing all its residents all at once, how was it possible for the beasts to have overcome the number of the Israelites, because had they been much less in number than
stated, even then, they would have been enough to populate such a small area.
Ibn Khaldun also refuted this number in his “Muqaddimma 24” Saying that,
according to the researches made by the scholars, the gap between Israel and
Moses is only three generations. It is unbelievable that in a period of only three generations they could increase to that number.
In view of the above arguments, it is obvious that the People of the Book
(The Christians and the Jews do not possess any arguments to prove their claim that the books of the Pentateuch were written or conveyed by the Prophet
Moses). It is, therefore, not binding upon us to believe in these books until irrefutable arguments to support their claim.
THE STATUS OF THE BOOK OF JOSHUA
We have already seen that the Pentateuch, which enjoys the status of being a fundamental book of the Christian faith, cannot be proved to be authentic and believable. Let us now proceed to find out the truth about the Book of Joshua, the next book in importance.
First of all, the name of the author of this book is not known with certainty,
and the period of its composition is also unknown 25. The Christian scholars profess five different opinions:
24 Ibn Khaldun presented some arguments against this number. One of them is that ancient strategy of war did not allow such a huge army to fight against the enemy, as one line of army
would be unaware of the other. The Persian Empire was larger and more powerful than the Israelites, as is understood by the invasion of Persia by Nebuchadnezzar. The Persian also
possessed extensive area of land, but the number of their army could never reach that number.
The largest number of their army was on the occasion of the battle of Qadasiya fought against the Muslims. It was one hundred and twenty thousand. In view of these facts, the number of
the warriors of the Israelites could not be imagined to be more than six hundred thousand people.
The Encyclopedia Britannica (viol. 3, page 154) admits that the author of this book was someone who had witnessed all the events that the book deals with. He was a citizen of the city of Edessa who must have been living in the period when this city was invaded by Persian
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