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Numbers 11:

21But Moses said, “Here I am among six hundred thousand men on foot, and you say, ‘I will give them meat to eat for a whole month!’ 22Would they have enough if flocks and herds were slaughtered for them? Would they have enough if all the fish in the sea were caught for them?”

Which sea did Moses have in mind?

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The word יָם (yam) is a very general and frequent word in the OT that can refer to any sea such as:

  • Mediterranean sea, Num 13:29, 35:5, etc
  • Red sea, Num 14:25, Deut 1:40, etc
  • Dead sea, Num 34:3, 12, Deut 3:17, etc
  • Sea of Galilee, Num 34:11, Josh 13:27, etc
  • a great river such as the Nile, Nah 3:8, Isa 19:5, etc
  • The great bronze basin in the temple court, 1 Kings 7:23, 25:13, etc

However, the word can denote the sea generally as opposed to land such as Gen 1:26, 28, 9:2, Ex 20:11, Hagg 2:6, Amos 6:12, Ps 24:2, etc.

The instance in Num 11:22 is an example of Hebrew hyperbole where Moses is suggesting that the hordes of Israel could not be fed even of all the fish in the sea were available. That is, יָם (yam) is simply all the seas on earth.

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  • +1 I can't do any better.
    – Perry Webb
    Sep 28, 2021 at 0:02

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