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A count of Israelite fighting men and Levites: Numbers 1–4

A census of fighting men gave the following:

Numbers 1:45-46 They were registered by families—all the men of Israel who were twenty years old or older and able to go to war. The total number was 603,550.

The Israelites had left Egypt just over a year earlier. In that time, they were to have been transformed from a mob of scared, runaway slaves to an organised army ready to start a new nation. It didn’t quite work out that way.