Mingled People

Mingled People (עֵרֶב, e'reb, a mixture), spoken of a "mixed" multitude, such as accompanied the Israelites from Egypt (Ex 12:38), and joined them after their return from Babylon (Ne 13:3); but specifically (with the def. article) of the promiscuous mass of foreign auxiliaries, e.g. of Solomon (1Ki 10:15), of Egypt (Eze 30:5; Jer 25:20,24), of Chaldaea (Jer 50:37). "The phrase (הָעֶרֶב, ha- ereb), like that of the mixed multitude, which the Hebrew closely resembles, is applied in Jer 25:20, and Eze 30:5, to denote the miscellaneous foreign population of Egypt and its frontier-tribes, including every one, says Jerome, who was not a native Egyptian, but was resident there. The Targum of Jonathan understands it in this passage, as well as in Jer 1:19, of the foreign mercenaries, though in Jer 25:24, where the word again occurs, it is rendered Arabs. It is difficult to attach to it any precise meaning, or to identify with the mingled people any race of which we have knowledge. 'The kings of the mingled people that dwell in the desert,' are the same apparently as the tributary kings (A.V. 'kings of Arabia') who brought presents to Solomon (1Ki 10:15); the Hebrew in the two cases is identical. These have been explained (as in the Targum on 1Ki 10:15) as foreign mercenary chiefs who were in the pay of Solomon, but Thenius understands by them the sheiks of the border tribes of Bedouins, living in Arabia Deserta, who were closely connected with the Israelites. The 'mingled people' in the midst of Babylon (Jer 50:37) were probably the foreign soldiers or mercenary troops, who lived among the native population, as the Targum takes it. Kimchi compares Ex 12:38, and explains ha-ereb of the foreign population of Babylon generally, 'foreigners who were in Babylon from several lands,' or it may, he says he intended to denote the merchants, ereb being thus connected with the עֹרבֵי מִעֲרָבֵך of Eze 27:27, rendered in the A.V. 'the occupiers of thy merchandise.' His first interpretation is based upon what appears to be the primary signification of the root עָרִב, 'arab, to mingle, while another meaning, 'to pledge, guarantee,' suggested the rendering of the Targum 'mercenaries,' which Jarchi adopts in his explanation of 'the kings of ha-ereb,' in 1Ki 10:15, as the kings who were pledged to Solomon and dependent upon him. The equivalent which he gives is apparently intended to represent the French garantie. The rendering of the A.V. is supported by the Sept. σύμμικτος in Jeremiah, and ἐπίμικτος in Ezekiel." SEE MIXED MULTITUDE.

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