How many Jews left Egypt?
Jacob's family came to Egypt with a total of 70 people (Exodus 1:5). After 430 years of brutal slave labor, that number rose to about 600,000 men (Exodus 12:37), which is remarkable considering the fact that many of the people would have died under cruel and dangerous work conditions. The book of Numbers begins with a national census (1:45-46). This census was conducted after the exodus from Egypt and it totals 603,550 men above the age of 20. Since these figures apply only to adult males, it has been traditionally assumed that the total number of participants including women and children, could have approximated 2.5 million people.
Some believe that the number could have been much higher than that. The estimated 2.5 million people is reached by estimating that the men would have been married and each family having at least 2 children. Among the Jewish people of ancient culture, large families were considered an honor. It is reasonable to believe that families would have totaled many more children than just two. If the number of children per family were just four, then the number of people that left Egypt could have been 3.5 million people.