Posted by: biblestudyseattle | February 9, 2016

Working Through the Chronology

One of the great puzzles of the bible is the chronology.  The writers of scripture were very meticulous about keeping dates and length of lives.  God must have had a reason.  As you work through the numbers, some hangups occur.  One is Exodus 12:40: “The time the people of Israel lived in Egypt was 430 years.”  Jacob and his sons moved to Egypt when Joseph was 39 or 40.  Levi was older than Joseph, so he must have been at least 40.  He then lived at most 97 more years. (Exodus 6:16) His daughter was Kohath’s sister, and Moses’ mother.  Moses was 80 at the Exodus (Exodus 7:7).  Therefore Jochebed, Moses’ mother, must have been at least 253 years old when Moses was born!  The reality is she was much younger.  The 430 years counts from God’s covenant with Abraham.  “Now the Lord said to Abram,

“Go forth from your country,
And from your relatives
And from your father’s house,
To the land which I will show you;
And I will make you a great nation,
And I will bless you,
And make your name great;
And so you shall be a blessing;
And I will bless those who bless you,
And the one who curses you I will curse.
And in you all the families of the earth will be blessed.”

So Abram went forth as the Lord had spoken to him; and Lot went with him. Now Abram was seventy-five years old when he departed from Haran.  Abram took Sarai his wife and Lot his nephew, and all their possessions which they had accumulated, and the persons which they had acquired in Haran, and they set out for the land of Canaan; thus they came to the land of Canaan.”  Genesis 12:1-5

The LXX Septuagint is more accurate in this case: “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. ”  Exodus 12:40

430 years sojourning in Egypt and Canaan.


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