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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

  • Deborah Hurn

    January 23, 2021 at 8:58 pm

    Population Increase

    When comparing the genealogies of those participating in the Exodus with the original seventy males of Jacob’s family, most commentators demonstrate that there were three to four generations born in Egypt.79 This is also suggested in the number of Pharaohs who came after the death of Joseph: the first started to oppress the Israelites (Ex 1:6-8), the second died when Moses was in Midian (Ex 2:23), and the third released Israel from Egypt after the plagues (3:10; 12:30-2; 14:8, 28). Israel was probably in Egypt about 200 years, not 430 years as given in Exodus 12:41 which appears to be the time from the covenant with Abraham until the law given to Moses (Gen 12:1-3 cp. Gal 3:17). The Septuagint and Syriac versions include the Patriarchal as well as the Egyptian period in the 430 years.80

    79 In Genesis 15:16 it is predicted that the fourth generation would return to Canaan, that is, those who were children at Exodus (cf. Num 14:29). Amongst the generation of those under twenty years of age at Exodus are found Moses’ sons and Zelophehad’s daughters, although the latter, being unmarried by the time of the conquest of Canaan, were probably born in the wilderness (Num 36:12). These are the third and fifth generation respectively from ancestors who were children when Jacob’s company went into Egypt (Kohath son of Levi, and Manasseh son of Joseph).
    80 “And the sojourning of the children of Israel, while they sojourned in the land of Egypt and the land of Chanaan, was four hundred and thirty years.” (Exo 12:40). Brenton, The Septuagint with Apocrypha (LXA).

    For the length of the Sojourn in Egypt, see the discussion thread

    How long was the sojourn in Egypt?