Doomed to the Wilderness

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The number of people who died each year in the wilderness


After the Jews sent spies into the land of Canaan they were punished. It was decreed that all 603,550 Jews (males above the age of 20) would perish in the wilderness instead of instead of going into the land. Tosefos writes that an equal number of people died each year that the Jews remained in the wilderness. (Tannis 30b) The Jews were in the wilderness for a total of 40 years. Since the spies returned during the Jews second year in the wilderness the Jews in the wilderness died over 38 years. (MaHaRSh”A on Baba Basra 121a) How many Jew died per year (rounded down to the nearest whole person)?


603,550 / 38 = 15,882.89

15,882 people per year.