But every woman shall ask of her neighbor, namely, of her who dwells near her house, articles of silver, articles of gold, and clothing; and you shall put them on your sons and on your daughters. So you shall plunder the Egyptians.” Exodus 3:22
I can’t help thinking of the movie Speed with Keanu Reeves. He’s commandeered a man’s sports car and ripped the door off. Before jumping from that speeding car onto a moving bus, he politely asks the guy if he may borrow his cell phone. The response?
The God of Israel has turned their water to blood, killed their livestock, inflicted them with disease, destroyed their crops and killed every first-born man and animal in the country. Every Egyptian is standing in what’s left of their homes, surrounded by devastation, the bodies of their loved ones, and there’s a knock on the door. It’s a Hebrew slave.
“Excuse me, but…can I have your stuff?”
“Take the stuff!”
Without U-Hauls, just how much stuff did they take? Let’s start with how many Israelites there might have been. When they first showed up in Egypt it was just Jacob and families coming to be with Joseph where all the food was. Genesis 46:27 tells us that “And the sons of Joseph who were born to him in Egypt were two persons. All the persons of the house of Jacob who went to Egypt were seventy.”
The Exodus happened 430 years later, and those 70 had grown to over two million! Without going into all of the population models covered by Dr. Lennart Moller in his book, The Exodus case, I’ll just tell you that’s a conservative estimate. The book of Numbers bears this out.
Numbers 1:17-50 gives us a count of all the fighting men over the age of 20 just two years after the Yam Suph (Red Sea) crossing; 603,460! Obviously, that doesn’t count old men, young men, women, and children. Every one of them could carry something!
Additionally, remember that the Israelite’s livestock was spared, and Egyptians who believed were given a chance to bring their servants and animals into shelter before the hail killed the rest.
Between people and animals, that’s a lot of bodies to carry a lot of loot!
“Sarah! Let mommy put these necklaces on you before we hit the road. Benjamin, put these plates in your sack. Sweetheart, do you like this amulet on me? Does this linen dress make me look fat? Don’t leave that goat behind!”
Like I said…lots of bodies carrying lots of stuff.
And don’t forget Mr. Ipuwer, he of the famous papyrus:
“Gold and lapis lazuli, silver and malachite, carnelian and bronze… are fastened on the neck of female slaves.”
The evidence is that the Israelites made out like bandits! After all, where do you think they got all of that gold to make the Golden Calf when they felt Moses was a tad overdue from his visit on Mt. Sinai with God? I can tell you they didn’t go to Jared!
NEXT – Which way did they go?