Out of curiosity, how do you address the problem of Israel’s population in Exodus? Supposedly I’ve heard that the increase in population from 70 to 600,000 isn’t realistic?

I can see how one might wonder about this.  Well, let us assume 430 years for the time in Egypt.  I am not at all convinced that 70 is the correct initial number.  There may well have been slaves and servants in addition to the seventy mentioned, but let us use 70 as a working number.  Let us then assume 25 years for a "generation."   Let us also assume a birth rate of 1.7 per generation (in other words 3.4 children per couple on average, which is exceeded in some developing nations today).  Given that families back then had 5-10 children, this is an extremely low number.  If we divide 430 by 25, calculate 17 generation, then take 70 x 1.7^17 we get around 600,000 (actually, about 580,000).  This is not the only way to work this out, but it is one way to do so.
John Oakes


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