430 or 215 years in Egypt?

Discussion about the Hebrew Bible, Septuagint, pseudepigrapha, Philo, Josephus, Talmud, Dead Sea Scrolls, archaeology, etc.
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Japhethite
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430 or 215 years in Egypt?

Post by Japhethite » Mon Jul 20, 2020 3:41 pm

The following is a list of reasons why I favour the period of the Hebrews in Egypt between Joseph and the exodus as 430 years not "215" years.

The Massoretic text of Exodus 12:40 says 430 years in Egypt.

The Septuagint & Samaritan doesn't mention any "215" years, it only says 430 years in Egypt and Canaan. No ancient text except Josephus mentions any 215/220 yrs.
The "in Egypt & Canaan" might not relate to the two times from Abraham to Joseph and Joseph to Moses. Only Galatians 3 says 430 years from Abraham to Moses. In Egypt & Canaan could refer to Canaan under Egyptian sphere of influence/dominance. 1 Chronicles 7:21-24 seems to imply that some of the Hebrews were living in Canaan during the time the others were in Egypt.

Jewish sources place the Flood in 1656 am and the exodus in 2666 am, which gives a 1000 years from the flood to the exodus, which seems to match with 600 years from Abraham to Moses, and 430 years from Joseph and Moses. The Turin Papyrus gives 955 yrs from the 1st dynasty to the end of the 8th dynasty, while the Book of Sothis has 955 yrs from the 1st dyn to the 15th/16th dyn.

While the Levite genealogy only has 4 generations from Levi to Moses (Levi - Kohath - Amram - Moses), some other tribal genealogies have more generations than that such as the one from Ephraim to Joshua ("10 generations reach from Joshua back to Ephraim: Joseph, Ephraim, Beriah, Repham, Resheph, Telah, Tahan, Laadan, Ammihud, Elishama, Nun, Joshua".) The Ephraimite genealogy can not be contracted, but the Levite one could be missing generations.
Reuben Pallu Eliab Nemuel/Dathan/Abiram.
Levi Kohath Amram Moses.
Judah Perez Hezron Ram Aminadab Nahshon Salmon/(Rahab).
Zebulun Elon/Helon Eliab.
Manasseh Machir Gilead Hepher Zelopehad Mahlah.
Manasseh Machir daughter Segub Jair.
Ephraim Beriah Repham Resheph Telah Tahan Laadan Ammihud Elishama Nun Hoshea/Joshua.

Some scholar has claimed that in the genealogy of Levi to Moses in Exodus, the Hebrew particle that indicates direct son of is lacking with the begats between Levi & Kohath and between Kohath & Amram, whereas the Genesis ones are direct sons of, which implies possible gaps in the Levite genealogy? (Though a critic has said to me that it is not true?)

Joseph certainly matches 3rd-4th dynasty, Moses certainly matches (6th &) 12th dynasty. The period between 4th dyn & 12th dyn is more likely 430 years than 215 years. Joseph 430 before Moses would be ca 1800s bc which would also fit 3rd-4th dynasty in relation to the 1st dynasty being ca 2000s bc after the Flood (& Babel?)

Genesis 15:13-16 & Acts 7:6 says foreigners in a land not theirs and serve them 400 years, which surely only fits Egypt and not also Canaan. (A land not lands.) Acts 13:17 seems to confirm this.

Josephus on one hand says "Concerning the affliction that befell the Hebrews in Egypt, during 400 yrs" "And 400 yrs did they spend under these afflictions", and on the other hand says "Concerning the interval of 220 yrs from the death of Isaac to the Exodus out of Egypt. "They left Egypt ... 430 yrs after our forefather Abraham came into Canaan, but 215 yrs only after Jacob removed into Egypt."

How many years would it take to increase from 70/72 souls who came with Jacob to 600000 who left with Moses?

Rohl having "Joseph in the (11-)12th dyn" & "Moses in the (12-)13th dyn" has Joseph & Moses too close together, plus he has Joseph too late in overall Egyptian dynastic history (while Joseph is earlier in overall Biblical history). Joseph was only 13 generations after the Flood, and it would be hard to fit 10/11 dynasties in that period, and the 1st dynasty has to come after the Flood (and after Babel ca 2000s bc?)

Some possible matches in ancient Egyptian history sources for 430 years include:
500 yrs reign god-king Geb? Shu & Geb are mentioned in the el-Arish account which is similar to the exodus story. (Shu also appears in the 3 Hermes (Set, Shu/Num, Thoth) which may correspond with the 3 reincarnations Seth, Moses, Samuel in Jewish tradition.)
450/400 years reign of Osiris?
350 yrs reign god-king Set?
300 yrs reign god-king Horus?
350 yrs chaos between demi-gods dynasty & Menes?
"8 demigods for 217 years before 15 generations for 443 years before 16th dynasty" of Syncellus is possibly similar to the biblical 215 yrs Abraham to Joseph, and 430 yrs Joseph to Moses?
Surid (3rd/4th dyn) was 300 yrs before "flood" in Masoudi.
The events in the legend of "Horus (Behdeti of Edfu) versus the adversaries of Re(- Harakhty)" are said to have taken place in the year 363 in the reign of Re-Harakhty, and this story is similar to the el-Arish account which is similar the the exodus story.

"500 years to Moses/Azrail" in a (Moslem/Arab?) tradition?
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Ged
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Re: 430 or 215 years in Egypt?

Post by Ged » Mon Jul 20, 2020 11:13 pm

Japhethite wrote:
Mon Jul 20, 2020 3:41 pm
While the Levite genealogy only has 4 generations from Levi to Moses (Levi - Kohath - Amram - Moses), some other tribal genealogies have more generations than that such as the one from Ephraim to Joshua ("10 generations reach from Joshua back to Ephraim: Joseph, Ephraim, Beriah, Repham, Resheph, Telah, Tahan, Laadan, Ammihud, Elishama, Nun, Joshua".) The Ephraimite genealogy can not be contracted, but the Levite one could be missing generations.
Reuben Pallu Eliab Nemuel/Dathan/Abiram.
Levi Kohath Amram Moses.
Judah Perez Hezron Ram Aminadab Nahshon Salmon/(Rahab).
Zebulun Elon/Helon Eliab.
Manasseh Machir Gilead Hepher Zelopehad Mahlah.
Manasseh Machir daughter Segub Jair.
Ephraim Beriah Repham Resheph Telah Tahan Laadan Ammihud Elishama Nun Hoshea/Joshua.

Some scholar has claimed that in the genealogy of Levi to Moses in Exodus, the Hebrew particle that indicates direct son of is lacking with the begats between Levi & Kohath and between Kohath & Amram, whereas the Genesis ones are direct sons of, which implies possible gaps in the Levite genealogy? (Though a critic has said to me that it is not true?)
Yes, I agree with your conclusion, :thumbup: Here is my paper showing a likely genealogy of Levi:
The science of arranging time in periods and ascertaining the dates and historical order of past events.

Japhethite
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Re: 430 or 215 years in Egypt?

Post by Japhethite » Tue Oct 06, 2020 3:47 am

In relation to whether the period between Jacob coming to Egypt and the exodus from Egypt was 215 or 430 yrs some one in another group raised the issue of 4 generations in the Genesis 15 verses, which I had not even dealt with in trying to resolve the question. So I thought I would also add my comments on the 4 generations to the piece that I posted here above.

The 4th generation in Genesis 15 is an interesing point but I don't see that it is anywhere near certain or enough evidence for the period in Egypt being 215 yrs not 430 yrs. 4th generation of which tribe or dynasty? How is anyone sure it relates to the Levite line? The Levite genealogy in Exodus may contain gaps, some one said that the "begats" there are not direct son of like in the 10 patriarchs ones in Genesis? The generations in Matthew 1 skip some people. Also some other tribes genealogies have more generations. There are 10 generations between Ephraim and Joshua! (Compare the conventional "480 yrs = 12 generations" theory. Compare Syncellus' "8 demigods for 217 years before 15 generations for 443 years".)

Paul's words in Galatians 3 are not necessarily definitely meaning between Abraham and exodus, and he may have been using the Septuagint or Samaritan text. Other verses in Genesis 15 and Acts 7 (and Acts 13) seem to mean between Jacob and exodus. The generations might be figurative or represent something we don't know. How long is a generation? Massey said 4 generations of a 100 yrs. Josephus in one place says 215 but in another place he says 400 yrs in Egypt. I don't think we can separate the 400 yrs and 4 generations in the Genesis verse, it seems to imply the 400 yrs and 4 generations are the same, not that 400 yrs is from Abe to exodus and 4 generations only from Jacob to exodus within that? If anything the 400 yrs bit words seem more definitely refering to the time in Egypt, while the 4th generation is not so clearly and is more possible to be from Abraham than the 400 yrs is. Maybe the "generation" refers to the 4 Levites whole lifespans not just the time they begat the sons?

The bible gives no definite connection of the 4 generations of Genesis 15 with the "4" Levite generations of Exodus. Exodus gives no ages for when the sons were born.

The Genesis 15 verse doesn't say how long a "generation" (English translation) is. Evidence for the 4 generations maybe being generations of a 100 yrs includes: God was speaking to Abraham who begat Isaac at a 100. The 400 yrs and 4 generations in the same verse(s) may imply 4 generations of a 100 years. The exodus is 2/3rds of the way through "40 notional "generations" of 100 years each making up the 4,000 years (from Creation to Rededication or Christ), with Aaron, the first High Priest, being the 26th generation from Adam".

If the 400 yrs and 4 generations are uncertain which exact period they match, maybe the 4 generations could even be from the new king who knew not Joseph?

"In the 4th generation" might be a way of saying in the 400s (between 400 and 500 years) since saying "in the 400th year" would be exactly 400 years whereas it was 430 yrs?

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Thanks for your reply above Ged. I've only just rejoined academia so hadn't had a chance until now to look at your paper (sorry). I'll get back to you when I've looked at it. Interesting that you are also in New Zealand as I am too!
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