Yes, by jewish tradition, 70 is the number of all nations -- in Babel, the one language was confused into 70 languages, and there are 70 bulls offered on behalf of all nations at the Feast of Tabernacles. In this sense, 70 can be a number meaning "all" or "all the peoples". Here are some citations with references.
Edersheim, contrasting the 70 missionaries and the twelve apostles:
Even these two numbers, as well as the difference in the functions of
the two classes of messengers, seem to indicate that the Twelve
symbolised the princes of the tribes of Israel, while the Seventy were
the symbolical representatives of these tribes, like the seventy
elders appointed to assist Moses. 1 This symbolical meaning of the
number Seventy continued among the Jews. We can trace it in the LXX.
(supposed) translators of the Bible into Greek, and in the seventy
members of the Sanhedrin, or supreme court
Edersheim, A. (1896). The Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah (Vol. 2, p. 136). New York: Longmans, Green, and Co.
- The 70 nations and languages in Babel, as per the Targum pseudo-Jonathan:
7. Then the Lord said to the seventy angels that stand before him: “Come then, let us go down, and confuse their language there, so that
they will not understand one another’s language.” 8. The Memra of the
Lord was revealed against the city, and with it seventy angels
corresponding to seventy nations, each having the language of his
people and the characters of its writing in his hand. He scattered
them thence upon the face of all the earth into seventy languages, so
that one did not know what the other said, and they killed one
another. And they stopped building the city. 9. That is why it was
called Babel, because there the Lord confused the language of all the
inhabitants of the earth; and from there the Lord scattered them upon
the face of the whole earth.
Cathcart, K., Maher, M., & McNamara, M. (Eds.). (1992). The Aramaic BibleB: Targum Pseudo-Jonathan: Genesis. (M. Maher, Trans.) (Vol. 1, Ge 11:7–9). Collegeville, MN: The Liturgical Press.
Other uses of 70:
XLV. MISHNAH-TRACTATE SUKKAH 5:6
A. ON THE FIRST FESTIVAL DAY OF THE FESTIVAL THERE WERE THIRTEEN BULLOCKS, TWO RAMS, AND ONE GOAT [NUM. 29:13, 16]. THERE
REMAINED FOURTEEN LAMBS FOR THE EIGHT PRIESTLY WATCHES. ON THE FIRST
DAY, SIX OFFER TWO EACH, AND THE REMAINING TWO, ONE EACH. ON THE
SECOND DAY, FIVE OFFER TWO EACH, AND THE REST, ONE EACH. ON THE THIRD
DAY, FOUR OFFER TWO EACH, AND THE REST, ONE EACH. ON THE FOURTH DAY,
THREE OFFER TWO EACH, AND THE REST OFFER ONE EACH. ON THE FIFTH DAY,
TWO OFFER TWO EACH, AND THE REST OFFER ONE EACH. ON THE SIXTH DAY, ONE
OFFERS TWO, AND THE REST OFFER ONE EACH. ON THE SEVENTH, ALL OF THEM
ON THE EIGHTH, THEY GO BACK TO DRAWING LOTS, AS ON THE [OTHER] FESTIVALS. THEY RULED: “WHOEVER OFFERED A BULLOCK ONE DAY
SHOULD NOT OFFER ONE THE NEXT DAY. BUT THEY OFFER THEM IN ROTATION.”
1. I:1: may we say that the Mishnah at hand accords with the view of Rabbi and not of rabbis vis à vis Rabbi?
2. I:2: Continuation of foregoing.
3. I:3: What do these seventy bullocks [listed in the above catalogue] stand for? “They stand for the seventy nations. What
does the single bullock [of the Eighth Day] stand for? It stands for
the singular nation.
Neusner, J. (2011). The Babylonian Talmud: A Translation and
Commentary (Vol. 5b, p. 283). Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Publishers.
Here is JPS commentary describing how the "70" descendents of Jacob is another type for "all":
seventy This harks back to Genesis 46:8–27, which lists all the male
descendants of Jacob through his wives and handmaids as follows: Leah
33 + Zilpah 16 + Rachel 14 + Bilhah 7 = 70. However, that total
includes Judah’s sons Er and Onan, who died in Canaan, as well as
Joseph and his two sons, Manasseh and Ephraim, who were already in
Egypt. The list there specifies that “all the persons belonging to
Jacob who came to Egypt—his own issue, aside from the wives of Jacob’s
sons—all these persons numbered 66.… Thus the total of Jacob’s
household who came to Egypt was 70 persons.” Clearly, seventy here is
a round number. Deuteronomy 10:22 repeats the same figure: “Your
ancestors went down to Egypt seventy persons in all.” This context
seems to include Jacob and Joseph but would certainly exclude Ephraim
and Manasseh. It does not include Jacob’s daughters-in-law and
granddaughters. The number seventy in the Bible is usually meant to be
taken as typological, not literal; that is, it is used for the
rhetorical effect of evoking the idea of totality, of
comprehensiveness on a large scale. Thus, in Genesis 10 precisely
seventy nations issue from the three sons of Noah, and these
constitute the entire human family.
Sarna, N. M. (1991). Exodus (p. 4). Philadelphia: Jewish Publication Society.
70 year exile in Babylon, also signifying totality (e.g. most are still in Babylon, in a spiritual sense)
70 names written on the rod of Moses (e.g. All the names of the elders): As for the rod in With the rod of God in my hand (Exod. 17:9), it is the one with God’s seventy names emblazoned upon it.
Braude, W. G., & Kapstein, I. J. (2002). Pĕsiḳta dĕ-Rab Kahăna: R. Kahana’s compilation of discourses for Sabbaths and festal days (2nd ed., p. 55). Philadephia, PA: Jewish Publication Society.
Braude, W. G., & Kapstein, I. J. (2002). Pĕsiḳta dĕ-Rab Kahăna: R. Kahana’s compilation of discourses for Sabbaths and festal days (2nd ed., p. 671). Philadephia, PA: Jewish Publication Society.
- 70 days is the point of no return in the Nazarite vows:
[IF HE SAID,] “LO, I AM A NAZIR WHEN A SON WILL BE BORN TO ME AND A
NAZIR FOR A HUNDRED DAYS,” [IF] A SON WAS BORN TO HIM BEFORE SEVENTY
DAYS [HAD PASSED], HE HAS LOST NOTHING. [IF THE SON WAS BORN] AFTER
SEVENTY DAYS, HE LOSES THE SEVENTY DAYS HE HAS OBSERVED, FOR THERE IS
NO CUTTING OF HAIR IN LESS THAN THIRTY DAYS [FROM THE BEGINNING OF THE
OBSERVANCE OF THE VOW].
Neusner, J. (2008). The Jerusalem Talmud: A Translation and Commentary. Peabody, Massachusetts: Hendrickson Publishers.
- In the Babylonian Talmud there are believed to be 70 languages (from Babel):
I.16 A. Said R. Simeon b. Laqish, “Whoever is careful about the
requirement of show fringes will in response enjoy the merit that two
thousand eight hundred slaves will serve him: ‘Thus says the Lord of
hosts, in those days it shall come to pass that ten men shall take
hold, out of all the languages of the nations, shall even take hold of
the skirt of him who is a Jew, saying, we will go with you’ (Zech.
8:23).” [The skirt is the fringe, there are four, and there are
seventy languages, hence seventy languages times ten men times four
corners, or 2800 (Freedman).
Neusner, J. (2011). The Babylonian Talmud: A Tra
nslation and Commentary (Vol. 2, p. 136). Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Publishers.
- The silver basins in the Tabernacle weighed 70 basins, corresponding to the 70 nations and the 70 names of God:
Giving an allegorical interpretation to the silver basins weighing
seventy shekels which were offered by the tribal chiefs at the
Tabernacle (Nm 7), the Yalkut Shimoni says:
This corresponds to the seventy names of God, to the seventy names
of Israel, to the seventy names of the Law, to the seventy names of
Now according to the rabbis, these seventy names of God represent the
seventy nations descended from Adam, each of which in its own way
acknowledges God. We find in the same book:
Israel has seventy names which correspond to the seventy names of
God, as it is written: “The praise of You, God, like Your name,
reaches to the ends of the earth.” (Ps 48:11)
This is equivalent to saying that there are as many names of God as
there are peoples on the earth, and that it is the same supreme God
who is worshiped under these different names. Particularly if we
consider that this number of seventy divine names does not correspond
to anything else in Judaism, it is clear that no other interpretation
Benamozegh, E. (1995). Elijah Benamozegh: Israel and Humanity. (M. Luria & B. McGinn, Eds., M. Luria, Trans.) (pp. 112–113). New York; Mahwah, NJ: Paulist Press.
- Isaiah 23:14-18 Tyre will be overcome after 70 years:
Wail, ships of Tarshish! For your fortress is destroyed. And this will
happen on that day: And Tyre will be forgotten seventy years, like the
days of one king. At the end of seventy years, it will be for Tyre
like the song of the prostitute: “Take a harp, go around the city,
forgotten prostitute! Do it well, playing a stringed instrument! Make
numerous songs, that you may be remembered.” And this shall happen: at
the end of seventy years, Yahweh will visit Tyre, and she will return
to her harlot’s wages, and she will commit fornication with all the
kingdoms of the world on the face of the earth. And this shall happen:
her merchandise and her harlot’s wages will be set apart for Yahweh;
it will not be stored up, and it will not be hoarded, but her
merchandise will be for those who live before the presence of Yahweh,
for eating to satiation and for fine clothing.
We are to forgive our brother seventy times seven times -- a reference to the time allotted to Israel to repent before the destruction of the Temple as given in Daniel's prophecy as well as to the general idea of the fullness of forgiveness -- e.g. seventy = all.
Babylonian Talmud has extensive - to the point of painful - discussions on Moses and the 70 judges. Here is a small excerpt.
FF. THE GREAT SANHEDRIN WAS MADE UP OF SEVENTY-ONE MEMBERS, AND THE SMALL ONE WAS TWENTY-THREE.
1. XXX:1: What is the reason for the position of rabbis who hold that it was seventy-one, as against Judah, who says
that it was only seventy, for they say that Moses was in addition to
them M. 1:6E?
2. XXX:2: Our rabbis have taught on Tannaite authority. “But there remained two men in the camp” (Num. 11:26). But
there are those who say, “Their names, Eldad’s and Medad’s remained in
the urn. For when the Holy One, blessed be he, said to Moses, “Gather
to me seventy of the elders of Israel” (Num. 11:16), Moses thought to
himself, “How shall I do it? If I choose six from each of the twelve
tribes, there will be two extra. If I choose five from each tribe,
there will be ten too few. If I choose six from one tribe and five
from another, I shall cause jealousy among the tribes.”
3. XXX:3: R. Simeon says, “They remained in the camp. When the Holy One blessed be he said to Moses, ‘Gather for me seventy
men’ (Num. 11:16), Eldad and Medad said, ‘We are not worthy of that
high position.’ Said the Holy One, blessed be he, ‘Since you
diminished yourselves, lo, I shall add greatness to your greatness.’ ”
Neusner, J. (2011). The Babylonian Talmud: A Translation and Commentary (Vol. 16, p. 631). Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Publishers.
etc. Many more references of 70 if you dig around, most can be traced to some notion of "all" "completeness" "universal"