In the Book of Numbers two censuses are taken of the Israelites in the desert. Only the men over 20 years of age and fit to bear arms are counted, and the total comes to 603,550, which would put the total of Israelites in the desert, including women and children and somewhere between 1 and 2 million.
My question is this; Is this figure incorrect? Is it exaggerated? I keep hearing/reading that this figure and various other figures in the OT, for example the numbers killed in battles, is over-exaggerated.
The problem is, if something as simple as the number of people in a census is wrong in the Bible, doesn’t that shake the reliability of everything in the Bible?
I’m hoping that the answer is that the figures add up and there is no problem, but that may not be the case.
Anyway, all answers and help appreciated! Thanks.