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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?

  • Deborah Hurn

    April 18, 2021 at 7:08 pm

    I had some text on this problem in the OP, so will repost here. ‘Scuse the KJV, this was an old article:

    The 430 years are usually calculated from when Abraham was seventy-five years of age (Gen. 12:4), for it is argued that the promise of the land as a possession to his singular seed did not occur until Abraham was already in Canaan (Gal. 3:16,17; Gen. 12:7). Nevertheless, there is some disagreement about which of the promises Paul refers to when he cites the words, “And to thy seed” (Gal. 3:16). Some are confident that the first reference to a singular seed occurs in the promise given to Abraham after the sacrifice of Isaac: “and thy seed shall possess the gate of his enemies; and in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed” (Gen. 22:17,18). This promise, however, was given quite late in Abraham’s life, when he was nearly 120 years old. To begin the 430-year countdown to the giving of the Law at that point leaves insufficient time for the various stages set out in the tables below. [that is the chart in my photos here. ]

    The only recorded promise that contains the exact words, “and to thy seed”, was given after Lot separated from Abraham: “for all the land which thou seest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed for ever. And I will make thy seed as the dust of the earth: so that if a man can number the dust of the earth, then shall thy seed also be numbered” (13:15,16). However, this passage generally speaks of a plural seed, with emphasis on the great number of Abraham’s future descendants. From both Paul’s words in Galatians 3:16,17 and Stephen’s in Acts 7:2-7 it is reasonable to conclude that a promise of the singular seed was made very early in Abraham’s pilgrimage, indeed right at the first, even though this aspect is not so clearly detailed in the first recorded promise (Gen. 12:1-3).