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Home Forums Evidence for Biblical miracles The population of the Israelites during Exodus Reply To: The population of the Israelites during Exodus

  • Thomas Donlon

    January 23, 2021 at 6:53 pm

    Hi Frank LaSala,

    My mind isn’t totally made up … and even when it is — I still am usually open to new information. I’ll start off by remarking that you’ll likely find additional arguments and thoughts on both sides of the population of the Exodus question in the 8 hours of bonus disks that are in the Red Sea Miracle Part 1 Collector’s Edition. Tim Mahoney gave some examples of his family genealogy where there were very large families in his lineage going back several generations. I can’t recall the exact numbers that he mentioned but many were over ten children in families as I vaguely recollect. And also in the past people got married earlier. There are two main views of the length of time the Israelites were in Egypt. The view I hold is Galatians 3:17 which indicates from the giving of the promise to Abraham (n Canaan) to the giving of the law was 430 years. Others such as the esteemed Dr. Petrovich have argued for a full 430 years in Egypt based on Exodus 12:40-41. The discussion does involve some textual variants and that is complicated but you could probably find that discussion on the appropriate Discussion forum on this HFS website.

    However that is just a side issue. A full 430 years does a better job in allowing a mathematical model to easily reach a large number. And though I’m not sure, I think the shorter sojourn time which subtracts the lifetimes of Isaac and Jacob from the 430 years (to get a different amount of time in Egypt) still has something like over 200 years of sojourning in Egypt. Now you are right about the four generations in Egypt. BUT the only real example I think was in Levi’s line which had a touch of the old ages that the patriarchs were living to. Tim and maybe some scholar or knowledgeable person in the Collector’s Edition extra material, or maybe in the Movie DVD (I don’t know) pointed out that while there were four generations of some lines, of those that got married earlier and had many kids I think even 11 generations were postulated for those in that category. Marrying young and having a lot of kids, in a newly tamed area of Egypt that had new flood control due to the “Waterway of Joseph” could have had accounted for the explosive growth the Bible talks about.