Now the sons of Israel journeyed from Rameses to Succoth, about six hundred thousand men on foot, aside from children. And a mixed multitude also went up with them, along with flocks and herds, a very large number of livestock.
The Hebrew wasn’t the only one who back-packed it out of Pharaoh’s backyard. Among the Hebrew’s exodus from Egypt was a mixed multitude of people consisting of native Egyptians, hired servants, and foreign travelers1. Not only is the ethnicity of mixed culture, but no doubt, there also exists mixed motives for joining the Hebrew Hikers
There’s an element of curiosity here: Why would the stranger join himself to these Hebrews? Why would a traveler decide to link himself with these prior paltry slaves? Perhaps it was for the wealth that was being accumulated by those who were departing2. Or perhaps for some it was on account of the sudden adventure3 and the thought of a new unknown future ahead. Yet while these Israelites were parting company from the Egyptians, weren’t they heading into the scorching desert?4 What would possess a man to risk pitiless heat if there were other less hazardous lifestyle choices to make? Is he some thrill-seeking junkie taking on the danger of life-challenging conditions? Or perhaps the choice to voyage with these Hebrews was on the basis of some emotional trauma. Had his firstborn become victim in the midnight slaughter as he lived among the Egyptians? Possibly the stranger is emotionally devastated from Egypt’s influence and subsequent “death by association” upon his firstborn son. Would a trek, then, into the insufferable wilderness take his mind away from another sort of pain he feels like the girl today who’s “cutting” her wrists to relieve the other pain of a depressed life? Is it a trade out, one pain for another?
Listen, there may be a thousand reasons why the stranger would pack his bags and hitchhike his way with the company of Hebrews through a wilderness. Yet there is one incentive warranting our attention: “In those days ten men from all the nations will grasp the garment of a Jew saying, ‘Let us go with you, for we have heard that God is with you.’”5 Could it be that the stranger had met the Hebrew’s God and had been taken back by all that he saw? Unlike the hardened Pharaoh, this Egyptian, this foreigner had eyes to see and had become astounded instead of angry and acrimonious. He had learned what Moses’ father-in-law had become convinced of: that the Lord is greater than all the gods, and that it had been proven exceedingly!6
Whatever incentive will cause you to gather up your life and bear with Jehovah’s people—in spite of a threatening wilderness facing them—may you come to this estimation AND supremely anchor your thoughts to this truth: it is proven exceedingly that Jehovah is greater than all …and to bind yourself to Him is to really live! No matter your motives, if you go with us, whatever good the Lord does for us, we will do for you.7