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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 7:45 pm

    The point is that the reference to a singular ‘seed’ (as per Gal 3:16), “and to your seed”, matches the wording of a promise that appears *too late* in Abraham’s life for the 430 yrs to start, i.e. when he was around 120 yrs old (Gen 22:17-18). We only know it is singular in this passage because of the pronominal suffix “his”. The ‘number’ of the noun זֶרַע zer’a can otherwise only be determined by context. So in Gen 13:15-16, where there are no indications of singularity or plurality by pronouns, you have to look to the context, and there the promise is clearly talking of a multitudinous offspring (‘seed’) “as the stars of the heaven”. So in fact there is no perfect match for St. Paul’s reference to the singular seed as an anchor for the 430 yrs between promise and Law.

    This does in fact help my proposal a lot. It means the door is open to interpret Genesis 11 in light of Stephen’s commentary in Act 7, and presume that the promise of a singular seed was made right at the start, to both Terah and Abram, in Ur of the Chaldees, when Abram was 55 yrs old. After Terah’s death, and some years after Abram had proven himself faithful to the calling by actually continuing on to Canaan, the promises are *reiterated* to Abram alone. This is consistent with the promises being reiterated also to Isaac (Gen 26:2-5) and to Jacob (Gen 35:9-12) after Abram’s death, and after they also had proven themselves to be faithful to the ‘family’ calling, originally given to Terah (although Abram was mature at the time and clearly participant).