Reference: Mixed Multitude
(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; Moses), as some think. The same thing happened on the return of the Jews from Babylon (Ne 13:3), a "mixed multitude" accompanied them so far.
'/Exodus/12/38/type/emb'>Ex 12:38, 'eereb raab; Nu 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 (Ne 13:1-3,30) "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).
A description given (1) to certain persons who joined Israel in the Exodus from Egypt (Ex 12:38), and who fell a lusting at Kibroth-hattaavah (Nu 11:4); (2) to those who were separated from the Israelites after the return from the Captivity (Ne 13:3).
In Ex 12:38 those referred to are probably strangers of non-Israelitic or half-Israelitic origin. The Hebrew consonants (differently pointed) mean either 'mixed' or 'Arabian,' and some have suggested that we ought here to translate 'Arabians.' In Jer 25:20; 50:37; Eze 30:5, the same Hebrew word is translated by the expression 'mingled people,' where it has been supposed by some to refer to foreign mercenaries. In Eze 30:5 at least 'Arabians' gives a better meaning. The Hebrew word in Nu 11:4 is a different one, and is probably a contemptuous term signifying the mob, the rabble.
The context in Ne 13:3 leaves no doubt as to the meaning. The reference is to the strangers with whom the Israelites had intermarried and the children of such alliances.
W. F. Boyd.
When the Israelites journeyed from Rameses to Succoth, the first stage of the exodus from Egypt, there were up with them "a mixed multitude."
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
(comp. vs Nehe 13:23-30 ) a slight clue is given by which the meaning of the "mixed multitude" may be more definitely ascertained.