Bible Nonsense: 70 Jews/Hebrews in Egypt reproduce like rabbits (66 children per woman) to become 3 million in 215 years!
[Here is an example, from Humphreys of the illogical nonsense contained in the Bible. The Jews weren't any good at math, and so their fairy tale stories in the Bible fall apart when looked at carefully. Here is an article by Humphreys, studying 2 claims in the Bible that relate to the Pharaohs. In the first one, the ages of Abraham and his wife defy logic, and yet she has children. In the next one, 70 Hebrews, who are brought into Egypt become 3 million in such a short period of time that each woman has 66 children. Jan]
The two primary books of the Old Testament – Genesis and Exodus – refer to ‘Pharaoh’ 155 times. Curiously, not once in either book is Pharaoh identified by name – and yet, in fact, the references are to many different pharaohs, across many centuries. The anomaly is all the more telling in that the holy books are not lacking in naming numerous sundry and incidental characters. For example, the grandmother, of the grandmother, of King Asa of Judah was Abishalom, should you be interested! (1 Kings 15.10). But this style of literature should be familiar to us all: "Once upon a time, in a land far away, was a bad king. And in the forest, David played … "
It’s called a Fairy Tale.
Out of Egypt
Let’s remind ourselves of Israel’s supposed early encounters with the diverse kings of Egypt. In the sacred history of the Jews, the ‘father of the races’ Abraham is placed in Babylonia, anachronistically re-labelled Chaldea, a term more appropriate to the empire of Nebuchadnezzar in the 600s BC. The character of Abraham alternates between bedouin pastoralist and landed grandee. Neither has the slightest claim to historical veracity.
Abraham’s wife Sarah – an irresistible beauty at 70
An unnamed (possibly blind) pharaoh whisked this babe from the Levant into his harem – and rewarded Abraham with "sheep, oxen, asses, menservants, maidservants, she asses and camels."
The nonsense begins
Abraham – and Unnamed Pharaoh No. 1
To identify this pharaoh choose any date between 2300 BC – 1400 BC. Abraham’s supposed existence hinges exclusively on biblical sources and working backwards from the supposed existence of Solomon, several centuries later.
The Good Book informs us that there is a 10-year age gap between Abraham and his wife/half-sister Sarah (Genesis 17.17). Thus when the Patriarch gets God’s call to leave Haran, Sarah is already a pensioner (he is 75, so she is 65) (Genesis 12.4.) After wandering in Canaan, a spate of altar building and camping in the mountains, famine drives the old fellow and his missus down into Egypt (Genesis 12.12).
Abraham fears his wife’s "great beauty" will get him killed so they concoct the ruse that "she’s my sister." Sure enough, Sarah gets fast-tracked into the harem of ‘Pharaoh’ – but the duped king gets a nasty case of plague. Though the trick is unmasked, Abraham is allowed to leave – with Sarah and, it seems, with all his ill-gotten gains.
The Patriarch, his Wives, his Egyptian Slave, and King Abimelech
Tired of waiting for her god-promised pregnancy (she’s now 75), Sarah encourages Abraham to impregnate his compliant slave Hagar (Gen. 16). The result is Ishmael (he who will father 12 ‘Arab’ princes).
13 years pass in the town of Hebron, during which time Abraham heads up a military force to rescue his nephew Lot, captured by 4 raiding kings (Gen. 14). The invaders are "utterly routed" near Damascus (and Abraham gets blessed by the mysterious priest/king Melchizedek).
In contrast, when Abraham takes a "sojourn" in Gerar, the remarkable warrior/sage again fears Sarah’s "great beauty" will get him killed. For a second time they employ the "she’s my sister" ruse. King Abimelech takes Sarah into his harem and Abraham collects another bounty (Gen.20.1,18). Luckily the Philistine king gets a private message from God and sends the happy couple on their way.
The 90-year-old Sarah now gives birth to Isaac, gets Hagar and Ishmael thrown out the tent, and lives to the ripe old age of 127 (Genesis 23.2).
Abraham, 137 at the time of Sarah’s death, is still in the prime of life and takes Keturah as his new wife. She produces for him not one but six more children. The old goat does not himself check out until he is 175 years old.* Hmm.
Isaac doesn’t get to meet a pharaoh. Perhaps the trauma of ritual abuse when he was a boy made him a bit of a stay at home. His dad sends a servant out to get him a wife and when Isaac gets to the ‘famine strikes Canaan’ bit his fidelity to Yahweh causes him NOT to go down into Egypt – the exact opposite of his dad’s behaviour. Believe it or not, Isaac and his wife Rebekah use the "she’s my sister" trick on the hapless King Abimelech – in Genesis 26.1,14!
Jacob, trickster son of Isaac, is the guy who fathers the ancestors of all 12 tribes. Amazingly, he also gets to wrestle with God himself! (Genesis 32.24) – hence his new name ‘Isra’EL’ (‘El has conquered’). Jacob gets to Egypt as an old man. He meets a pharaoh – after his favourite son Joseph has made the big time. It seems unnamed Pharaoh No. 2 asks Jacob his age (a sprightly 130 – and he lives a further 17 years in ‘Goshen’!) and receives a blessing in return.
Joseph and Unnamed Pharaoh No. 2: the "Sojourn"
Choose any date between 1900 BC – 1500 BC for this pharaoh – there’s no evidence that Joseph ever existed either.
Abraham got to meet the great king of Egypt by having a real babe as a wife; Joseph (his great grandson) got to meet Pharaoh by being a real babe himself.
It seems that the wife of Potiphar, captain of the imperial guard (who had bought Joseph), got the hots for the young man – but he was having none of it. Thrown into prison on a false charge (Genesis 39) he made a name for himself by "dream interpretation." This, it seems, is enough to get him catapulted before the god/king himself.
Once again, an Egyptian monarch is shown to be amazingly credulous. On the strength of a 14-year forecast of ‘good’ and ‘bad’ harvests the inexperienced, foreign pastoralist is made Grand Vizier and given command of the world’s most important agricultural economy. Fat chance.
But this – would you believe – is the foundation stone of the Hebrew presence in Egypt. Joseph’s reorganised agronomy saves Egypt and a grateful Pharaoh sends carts to bring Joseph’s clan to Egypt:
"all the souls of the house of Jacob, which came into Egypt, were three score and ten." – Genesis 45.27.
A handful of Hebrews take up residence in Egypt, multiply prodigiously, and – in the familiar story – are first enslaved then set free. 70 persons arrive and multiply with a phenomenal, rabbit-like, fecundity to reach 3 million in 215 years – an average of 66 children per female! (430 years is often quoted but in the original version of the story – as reiterated in the Septuagint and by Josephus – half of that time was spent in Canaan.)