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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?

  • Ken Griffith

    April 17, 2021 at 10:19 am

    The two passages, Exodus 12 and Galations 3, give different sets of endpoints for the 430 years.

    Exodus 12 refers to departing the Land of Misrayim “in the very same day.” This implies the sojourn began on the 15th of the month of Abib 430 years earlier. That fact that “they went out of Misrayim” though they were not yet out of Egyptian territory, suggests to me that he is measuring it by authority.

    Galatians 3 specifically refers to the promised seed, and quotes Genesis 12:7, “to your seed I will give this land.” That promise was made after he crossed the Euphrates into Canaan, but before he went into Misrayim a few verses later. The other endpoint of Galations 3 was the giving of the law on Mt. Sinai, which appears to have been 91 days after the Exodus.

    Therefore the Exodus 12 sojourn happened within the Galatians 3 time from the promise to the law. Abraham crossed the Euphrates weeks if not months before he went down into Egypt. The law was given three months after the Israelites departed from Egypt.

    Deborah, If you push the 430 years back to the calling of Terah, then it compresses the Egyptian portion of the sojourn to even less than 215 years. This is because we know that Abraham was 100, when Isaac was born, Isaac was 60 when Jacob was born, and that Jacob was 130 when he entered Egypt. So, Jacob’s entry into Egypt was 25+60+130 = 215 years after Abram crossed the Euphrates. If you take the 430 back another 20 years for Terah then it breaks Galatians 3, because that was to the “seed” land promise made when Abraham was in the land. It would also force the sojourn in Egypt proper to be less than 215 years.

    Neither the 4 centuries of affliction (Genesis 15) nor the 430 year sojourn were spent entirely under the rule of Misrayim. Rather, Moses counted the sojourn as having begun with Abram coming under Egyptian authority until the Israelites left Egyptian authority. In between, Abraham was free of Egyptian power for at least two decades until he came under the lordship of Abimelech. Jacob left Canaan and went to Haran for at least 14 years, and probably closer to thirty years, though Isaac was still living under the Philistine authority while Jacob was away.

    The afflictions that Isaac suffered under the Philistines are documented in Genesis 21 and 26. After Jacob returned to Canaan his daughter was raped, and then Joseph was sold into Egypt, with the entire family going down to Egypt 11 years later. And for that matter, even the time in Egypt was not 100% affliction. In Joseph’s lifetime the Israelites enjoyed 80 years of prosperity in Egypt. It was after his death that the worst affliction began.