1. Exposition

Is the number 10,000 realistic?

Judges 3:29 (ESV)

29 And they killed at that time about 10,000 of the Moabites, all strong, able-bodied men; not a man escaped.

This figure seems quite high if understood literally. To get around the problem, some reinterpret the Hebrew term for thousand: it can also mean clan, and so the numbers may refer to the military force one clan could muster, hence of the clan, in which case Israel’s present victory was over ten large Moabite military units. It seems preferable, however, to treat ten thousand as a literary figure, and so the number ten thousand represents a total victory; Moab is completely destroyed.1