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mixed multitude Summary and Overview

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mixed multitude in Easton's Bible Dictionary

(Ex. 12:38), a class who accompanied the Israelites as they journeyed from Rameses to Succoth, the first stage of the Exodus. These were probably miscellaneous hangers-on to the Hebrews, whether Egyptians of the lower orders, or the remains of the Hyksos (see EGYPT T0001137; MOSES T0002602), as some think. The same thing happened on the return of the Jews from Babylon (Neh. 13:3), a "mixed multitude" accompanied them so far.

mixed multitude in Smith's Bible Dictionary

When the Israelites journeyed from Rameses to Succoth, the first stage of the exodus from Egypt, there were up with them "a mixed multitude." #Ex 12:38; Nu 11:4| They were probably the offspring of marriages contracted between the Israelites and the Egyptians; and the term may also include all those who were not of pure Israelite blood. In Exodus and Numbers it probably denoted the miscellaneous hangers-on of the Hebrew camp, whether they were the issue of spurious marriages with Egyptians or were themselves Egyptians, or belonging to other nations. The same happened on the return from Babylon, and in #Ne 13:3| (comp. vs Nehe 13:23-30 ) a slight clue is given by which the meaning of the "mixed multitude" may be more definitely ascertained.

mixed multitude in Schaff's Bible Dictionary

MIXED MULTITUDE , an expression occurring Ex 12:38; Num 11:4, and Neh 13:3, and denoting people who congregated with the Israelites without being of pure Israelite blood. By some it is explained as referring to the offspring of mixed marriages between Israelites and those nations among which they lived; by others as referring simply to those hangers - on who are always found hovering on the outskirts of a great camp.

mixed multitude in Fausset's Bible Dictionary

Exodus 12:38, 'eereb raab; Numbers 11:4, hasaph suph; like our English "riff-raff," a mob gathered from various quarters; accompanied Israel at the Exodus from Egypt. All those not of pure Israelite blood. As at the return from Babylon (Nehemiah 13:1-3; Nehemiah 13:30) "they separated from Israel all the mixed multitude ... strangers." Probably among the mixed multitude at the Exodus were the remains of the Hyksos or followers of the shepherd kings who invaded from the N. and ruled Egypt, beginning with Salatis master of Avaris, Tanis, or Zoan, and ending with Apophis, their last king, expelled by Aahmes I the "new king that knew not Joseph." Hated in Egypt, they naturally emigrated with Israel (compare Josephus contra Apion, 1:14, section 26).