The fourth book of the Torah is called (Heb) במדבר [bemidbar] = (Eng) in the wilderness. But for some reason, according to the Christian tradition, it is called as Numbers.

In this article we will discuss THE NUMBER of the Jews in Israel at different stages of history.



The following table illustrates the information published by the Israel Central Bureau of Statistics. These data were relevant by the end of 2014.

quantity age 0 – 19 age 20 – 44 older then 44 total
female 1,018,200 1,028,900 1,066,300 3,113,400
male 1,069,900 1,036,500 942,300 3,048,700
total 2,088,100 2,065,400 2,008,600 6,162,100
% age 0 – 19 age 20 – 44 older then 44 total
female 16.5% 16.7% 17.3% 50.5%
male 17.4% 16.8% 15.3% 49.5%
total 33.9% 33.5% 32.6% 100.0%


The data have been taken here:

Please note that the number of the battle-ready men in the population was about 16.8%. If we exclude the Levites from this number, we’ll get about 15.5% – we will need this number below.


The Exodus began in the early 12th century BC (read the articles “Cronology of the Fathers“).

One year after the beginning of the exodus Moses had counted the battle-ready men:

תורה, ספר במדבר

א,מה וַיִּהְיוּ כָּל-פְּקוּדֵי בְנֵי-יִשְׂרָאֵל, לְבֵית אֲבֹתָם, מִבֶּן עֶשְׂרִים שָׁנָה וָמַעְלָה, כָּל-יֹצֵא צָבָא בְּיִשְׂרָאֵל.  א,מו וַיִּהְיוּ, כָּל-הַפְּקֻדִים–שֵׁשׁ-מֵאוֹת אֶלֶף, וּשְׁלֹשֶׁת אֲלָפִים; וַחֲמֵשׁ מֵאוֹת, וַחֲמִשִּׁים. א,מז וְהַלְוִיִּם, לְמַטֵּה אֲבֹתָם–לֹא הָתְפָּקְדוּ, בְּתוֹכָם.  {פ}


Bible, Book 4 Numbers, Chapter 1, Verses 45 – 47

45 And all those that were numbered of the children of Israel by their fathers’ houses, from twenty years old and upward, all that were able to go forth to war in Israel; 46 even all those that were numbered were six hundred thousand and three thousand and five hundred and fifty. 47 But the Levites after the tribe of their fathers were not numbered among them.


A simple calculation shows the number of the Jews:

603,550 / 15.5% * 100% ≈ 3,900,000


King David ordered a census of the population:

כתובים, דברי הימים

א כא,ה וַיִּתֵּן יוֹאָב אֶת-מִסְפַּר מִפְקַד-הָעָם, אֶל-דָּוִיד; וַיְהִי כָל-יִשְׂרָאֵל אֶלֶף אֲלָפִים וּמֵאָה אֶלֶף אִישׁ, שֹׁלֵף חֶרֶב, וִיהוּדָה, אַרְבַּע מֵאוֹת וְשִׁבְעִים אֶלֶף אִישׁ שֹׁלֵף חָרֶב.


Bible, 1 Chronicles, Chapter 21, verse 5

Joab gave up the sum of the numbering of the people to David. All those of Israel were one million one hundred thousand men who drew sword: and in Judah were four hundred seventy thousand men who drew sword.


A simple calculation shows the number of the Jews in kingdom of David:

1,570,000 / 15.5% * 100% ≈ 10,000,000

50 years later king Rahavaam divided the country into two separate states:

– the Kingdom of Judah – about 3,000,000 people.

- the Kingdom of Israel – about 7,000,000 people – those 10 tribes, that would be “lost” during the invasion of the Assyrian king Tiglath-Pileser III and his successors between 731 and 701 years B.C. To find out where they were “lost”, read the articles “Full Circle” and “The Golden Triangle”.


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