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Home Forums Existence of the Israelites in Egypt How long was the sojourn in Egypt? Reply To: How long was the sojourn in Egypt?

  • Thomas Donlon

    January 4, 2021 at 9:35 pm

    I’m tending toward believing the shorter time frame. It seems the Apostle Paul wrote the Galatians this.

    “The promises were spoken to Abraham and to his seed. Scripture does not say “and to seeds,” meaning many people, but “and to your seed,” meaning one person, who is Christ.
    What I mean is this: The law, introduced 430 years later, does not set aside the covenant previously established by God and thus do away with the promise.” (Gal. 3:16-17 NIV)

    This indicates the time frame was from the making of the covenant to the the giving of the law.

    Dr. Steven Collins (the excavator of Tall Al Hammam) in his book Discovering the City of Sodom has also ventured into the weeds of this discussion in Appendix A of the aforementioned book. He interprets Genesis 15 this way using brackets to clarify how he understands the verse.

    Then Yahweh said to him, “Know for certain that your descendants will be strangers in a country not their own. [first, in Canaan], and they will be enslaved mistreated [second, in Egypt] four hundred years [total for Canaan and Egypt]. But I will punish the nation they serve as slaves [Egypt], and afterward they will come out with great possessions…. In the fourth generation your descendants will come back here [to Canaan from Egypt]….” Dr. Collins also goes on for several pages about a certain genealogy in 1 Chronicles 7:10-16 where Dr. Collins uses linguistic arguments that I can’t follow, to support his belief that Ephraim’s genealogy is way too long to be entirely sequential. So maybe we have a genealogy that is way too long if he is wrong in his interpretation. And yet other times perhaps proponents of a longer sojourn are more likely to see other shorter genealogies as being “telescoped.”

    Discovering the City of Sodom is a good book by the way. He argues that Sodom is on the NORTH side of the Dead Sea. Points out the Hebrew word for the area which Lot went to describes how the area looked visibly. Tall Al Hammam was an impressive city. Destroyed by fire and blast with “trinitite” on one side of pottery fragments and what not. People blasted to pieces. The heat was from an incoming meteor that cooked the area briefly as hot as a nuclear explosion. As frequently is the case too (like Tunguska Siberia on the morning of 30 June 1908 which “flattened an estimated 80 million trees over an area of 2,150 km² of forest” … source Wikipedia for these well known details) meteor or tiny asteroids or comet fragments create an oversize affect as they enter the atmosphere streaming in perhaps at 70,000 mph. This creates incredible wind resistance and resultant heat and often shatters the incoming object and it often explodes in the atmosphere.

    Question though: With all the contention over the Biblical text, what does the archaeology show about how long slaves were in Egypt? Avaris was excavated. Good evidence that it was started by people from Syria and one was rewarded with his own little pyramid and big statue and then after they became slaves for some number of years that I don’t know, the site of Avaris was abandoned for another number of years that I don’t know. it was suddenly abandoned along with some other slave sites. Did the archaeologist who did the digging and worked Avaris for decades have a sense of the time involved in this?