How Many Sheepdogs Protect The Sheep?

This Presidential election cycle has had some talk about a draft.

This talk made me think about the Book of Numbers, the Fourth of the Five books of Moses in the Old Testament.

In the Book of Numbers, we read about the first census in the bible as well as the first draft.

Numbers Chapter 1 Verse 1

In the second year after the Israelites’ departure from the land of Egypt, on the first day of the second month, the LORD said to Moses at the tent of meeting in the wilderness of Sinai:
2
* Take a census of the whole community of the Israelites,a by clans and ancestral houses, registering by name each male individually.
3
You and Aaron shall enroll in companies all the men in Israel of twenty years or more who are fit for military service.

We have an idea of the requirements for the first draft but how many were called up? After drafting from each of the tribes of Israel we fast forward to Numbers 1 Verse 44:

44
It was these who were enrolled, each according to his ancestral house, by Moses and Aaron and the twelve leaders of Israel.
45
The total enrollment of the Israelites of twenty years or more, according to their ancestral houses, everyone fit for military service in Israel—
46
the total enrollment was six hundred and three thousand, five hundred and fifty.


Let that sink in for a second.

603,550 were drafted to protect this tiny nation roaming around lost in the desert with minimal possessions.

By comparison, how many people are active members of our United States Armed Forces?

Let’s be fair, the Israelites didn’t have a Navy, Air Force, or Marine Corps so let’s just stick with our soldiers.

How many soldiers are active members of our Army?

Try less than 500,000.

For the first time in about a century, the United States Army is less than 500,000 while our population is greater than 320 million.

I get that technology has changed the way we fight wars but that’s still less than a quarter of a percent of our society defending a massive nation that’s rich beyond imagination.

And it’s shameful that somehow we still can’t provide basic benefits to many of them.

That is astonishing.

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