430 or 215 years in Egypt?

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Japhethite
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430 or 215 years in Egypt?

Post by Japhethite »

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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Re: 430 or 215 years in Egypt?

Post by Ged »

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:
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Re: 430 or 215 years in Egypt?

Post by Japhethite »

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?

------

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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Re: 430 or 215 years in Egypt?

Post by Thomas Raywood »

Yes, Japhethite, 1 Chron 7:22ff.

Not to come across as high minded, but it truly does baffle me how people can pour over scripture and its periphery with such zeal and yet do so in a way that lacks rigor. It's like eating too fast. It'll all go down, but then you'll have to throw some of it back up. Best to breathe along the way, take your time, and let the possibilities materialize.

Also best to question almost anything that just pops up somewhere as an info byte, and best to not spread too big a table.

So, now ...

Beriah, a sister (Sherah), Rephah, and Reshep, these four were children of Ephraim by, well, whoever his wife was. You can tell this from the word also in v.25, no matter what comes in between.

Your list should read
1Ephraim 2Resheph 3Telah 4Tahan 5Laadan 6Ammihud 7Non/Nun 8 Hoshea/Oshea/Jehoshua/Joshua.
Seven generations not ten, or eight generations in full.

On the other hand, to go back just a few verses, we find another line for Ephraim, from whoever THAT wife was, which reads
1Ephraim 2Shuthelah 3Bered 4Tahath 5Eladah 6Tahath 7Zabad 8Shuthelah
Again, eight generations in full.

The careless or inexperienced reader would assume there, that Ezer and Elead are either brothers or sons of Shuthelah. They are in fact sons of Ephraim. If not, the story makes no sense. It was these two who Ephraim lost to the men of Gath, and mourned over.

I love this particular snippet, because it shows something very important which (frankly) even very devoted people fail to even consider, namely that the "sojourn in Egypt" wasn't as monolithic as they imagine (or were told), at least not at first. Just as Joseph was free to venture off over and into Edom and the region of Hebron to mourn and bury Jacob, the sons of Jacob's sons and sons' sons were not "locked down" in Goshen. There again, by the mid-15th century all of Retjenu belonged to Egypt. They couldn't go much of anywhere without still being IN it.

Parts of some of the lists of generations can be even more difficult (FAR more difficult) than this to unravel. I fault no one for struggling with doing so. But in the public forum, our aim should always be to say either that something IS the case or that it's what MAY be the case. One of those two. What turns out the latter should never be presented as the former. And the only one who can safeguard against that is you.

To your larger point, no, there's no indication that there are any missing generations in the Levite line, 1Levi 2Kohath 3Amram 4Moses. Even names left OFF a list wouldn't be excluded from all the many passages.

No effort was made to elucidate a line for Zebulun. We cannot count either too few or too many generations for his line. We can only see that there were several different fathers OF his line producing several different sons, but no indication that those fathers were direct sons of Zebulun himself.

An untenable problem does also occur within the Judahite line though (1Hezron 2Ram 3Amminidab 4Nahshon), which is also just three generations from migration to Exodus, only not so severely as the Levite problem. (Like Kohath, Hezron is in Gen 46, but probably only as a youth of some age.) But what makes the Hezron segment so problematic, is the fact that extensive effort was put into describing Judahite genealogy, and extra effort STILL was made to document the line up to David (Nahshon being in that line). There's just no blaming this on oversight.

So, no, there's just not enough time in the long sojourn model to accommodate such strictures. Three or four generations in even just 300 years is absurd, much less more like a proposed 350+. It's just that few people study the problem deeply enough to come to that realization, and even some who do come to that realization are already socially obligated to stick to whatever their peers and mentors believe.

My studies show a sojourn that lasted a couple centuries, no more, and that's plenty enough time for eight full generations. Even in his first 130 years, despite himself not producing an heir until he was 81 years old, Jacob lived to see not only his own generation (obviously) but also sons, grandsons, and even two great grandsons (Hezron and Hamul). That itself is "two full generations and change" in just fifty years, which is an obvious analogue to four times as many in four times the time. There's just no argument there.
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Re: 430 or 215 years in Egypt?

Post by Peter Kirby »

Thomas Raywood wrote: Tue Apr 19, 2022 7:07 am Yes, Japhethite, 1 Chron 7:22ff.

Not to come across as high minded, but it truly does baffle me how people can pour over scripture and its periphery with such zeal and yet do so in a way that lacks rigor. It's like eating too fast. It'll all go down, but then you'll have to throw some of it back up. Best to breathe along the way, take your time, and let the possibilities materialize.

Also best to question almost anything that just pops up somewhere as an info byte, and best to not spread too big a table.

So, now ...

Beriah, a sister (Sherah), Rephah, and Reshep, these four were children of Ephraim by, well, whoever his wife was. You can tell this from the word also in v.25, no matter what comes in between.

Your list should read
1Ephraim 2Resheph 3Telah 4Tahan 5Laadan 6Ammihud 7Non/Nun 8 Hoshea/Oshea/Jehoshua/Joshua.
Seven generations not ten, or eight generations in full.

On the other hand, to go back just a few verses, we find another line for Ephraim, from whoever THAT wife was, which reads
1Ephraim 2Shuthelah 3Bered 4Tahath 5Eladah 6Tahath 7Zabad 8Shuthelah
Again, eight generations in full.

The careless or inexperienced reader would assume there, that Ezer and Elead are either brothers or sons of Shuthelah. They are in fact sons of Ephraim. If not, the story makes no sense. It was these two who Ephraim lost to the men of Gath, and mourned over.

I love this particular snippet, because it shows something very important which (frankly) even very devoted people fail to even consider, namely that the "sojourn in Egypt" wasn't as monolithic as they imagine (or were told), at least not at first. Just as Joseph was free to venture off over and into Edom and the region of Hebron to mourn and bury Jacob, the sons of Jacob's sons and sons' sons were not "locked down" in Goshen. There again, by the mid-15th century all of Retjenu belonged to Egypt. They couldn't go much of anywhere without still being IN it.

Parts of some of the lists of generations can be even more difficult (FAR more difficult) than this to unravel. I fault no one for struggling with doing so. But in the public forum, our aim should always be to say either that something IS the case or that it's what MAY be the case. One of those two. What turns out the latter should never be presented as the former. And the only one who can safeguard against that is you.

To your larger point, no, there's no indication that there are any missing generations in the Levite line, 1Levi 2Kohath 3Amram 4Moses. Even names left OFF a list wouldn't be excluded from all the many passages.

No effort was made to elucidate a line for Zebulun. We cannot count either too few or too many generations for his line. We can only see that there were several different fathers OF his line producing several different sons, but no indication that those fathers were direct sons of Zebulun himself.

An untenable problem does also occur within the Judahite line though (1Hezron 2Ram 3Amminidab 4Nahshon), which is also just three generations from migration to Exodus, only not so severely as the Levite problem. (Like Kohath, Hezron is in Gen 46, but probably only as a youth of some age.) But what makes the Hezron segment so problematic, is the fact that extensive effort was put into describing Judahite genealogy, and extra effort STILL was made to document the line up to David (Nahshon being in that line). There's just no blaming this on oversight.

So, no, there's just not enough time in the long sojourn model to accommodate such strictures. Three or four generations in even just 300 years is absurd, much less more like a proposed 350+. It's just that few people study the problem deeply enough to come to that realization, and even some who do come to that realization are already socially obligated to stick to whatever their peers and mentors believe.

My studies show a sojourn that lasted a couple centuries, no more, and that's plenty enough time for eight full generations. Even in his first 130 years, despite himself not producing an heir until he was 81 years old, Jacob lived to see not only his own generation (obviously) but also sons, grandsons, and even two great grandsons (Hezron and Hamul). That itself is "two full generations and change" in just fifty years, which is an obvious analogue to four times as many in four times the time. There's just no argument there.
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Re: 430 or 215 years in Egypt?

Post by Japhethite »

Since my posts in this thread/topic I wrote a much better paper which can be seen at https://www.academia.edu/46412988/The_4 ... _of_Exodus . (See also my new biblical-chronology paper at https://www.academia.edu/74497735/Bible ... ed_Part_1_ .)
But since that paper I had a long debate with Alex Young (and David Rice) and I have more evidences reasons for 430 years being the correct length as opposed to 215 yrs but which evidences have not yet been put in an updated version of the paper.

To recap some reasons why I favour 430 over 215 include:
- Exodus says "children of Israel" which can't mean before Jacob/Israel. This also proves that the Septuagint writers or readers have altered the text because the "children of Israel" contradicts the "in Egypt and Canaan".
The covenant and promise/prophecy was also renewed with Isaac and then Jacob.
- The increase from 70 souls to 600 thousand men + women & children better fits 430 than 215 yrs.
- Egyptian sources have lengths closer to 430 than 215. (I have complied a list and notes after a debate with Eric Aitchson but not yet published it.)
- The 10 generations from Ephraim to Joshua can't be contracted but the "4" generations from Levi to Moses can be lengthened (ie have gaps). Also Genesis' 4 generations must be between Levi and Moses (4) not between Abraham and Moses (7).
- Jewish sources correspond Jacob's time in Aram and his leaving there with the exodus, and Jewish sources say one reason the Jewish elders believed God had spoken to and sent Moses was because his words recalled God's and Jacob's and Joseph's prophetic/promise words that God would visit them and bring them out of Egypt back to Canaan, which to me both imply that the idea that the "seed" in the 400 yrs can't be from Isaac.
- The "land not theirs" can't be the same as the land given to Abraham's seed which latter they are brough "back" to at the end of the 400 yrs.
Also in the "seed" as Isaac theory the problem is sources contradict on when to start to ca 215 years from Abraham/Isaac to Jacob. When Abraham leaves Haran? When promise/covenant? When Isaac born? When Isaac died?
- Josephus has both 400 yrs in Egypt and 215 yrs in Egypt in different places, which proves he knew a proto-Massoretic tradition equally or more old than the Septuagint one.
- The MT is more reliable than the LXX & FJ & SP & Jerome because the latter are influenced by Greek & Egyptian.
- Genesis is more reliable than Acts/Stephen & Galatians/Paul because the later may be influenced by LXX or SP, despite messianic/christian view that Stephen/Paul is inspired. Galatians & Acts are only spiritually reliable not historically infallible. The wording of Genesis verses also seems to me to clearly imply 400 yrs in Egypt.
- No original text except Josephus says 215, they all say only 430 or 400. 215 is only supposedly implied in SP & LXX.
- 400 is 4 x 100 or 40 x 10. 400/430 yrs fits with 40 yrs & 40 days in bible.
- 1656 yrs to Flood and Exodus at 2666 am requires 400 yrs in Egypt, and the number significantly links with 666.
- We can't mix MT dates (1656, 290/350/420, 215) & LXX (215, 215) dates like Usher did.
- 215 in Egypt has Abraham and Joseph too low/late in BC/BP dates, and too short between Flood and Moses (MT) or too long between Flood and Joseph (LXX). Joseph best matches 3rd-4th dynasty, and Moses best matches 6th and/or 12th dynasty, not any later.

So I am confident that 430 is right, not 215.
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Re: 430 or 215 years in Egypt?

Post by Japhethite »

Thomas Raywood wrote: Tue Apr 19, 2022 7:07 am Yes, Japhethite, 1 Chron 7:22ff.

....

Beriah, a sister (Sherah), Rephah, and Reshep, these four were children of Ephraim by, well, whoever his wife was. You can tell this from the word also in v.25, no matter what comes in between.

Your list should read
1Ephraim 2Resheph 3Telah 4Tahan 5Laadan 6Ammihud 7Non/Nun 8 Hoshea/Oshea/Jehoshua/Joshua.
Seven generations not ten, or eight generations in full.

On the other hand, to go back just a few verses, we find another line for Ephraim, from whoever THAT wife was, which reads
1Ephraim 2Shuthelah 3Bered 4Tahath 5Eladah 6Tahath 7Zabad 8Shuthelah
Again, eight generations in full.

The careless or inexperienced reader would assume there, that Ezer and Elead are either brothers or sons of Shuthelah. They are in fact sons of Ephraim. If not, the story makes no sense. It was these two who Ephraim lost to the men of Gath, and mourned over.

....

To your larger point, no, there's no indication that there are any missing generations in the Levite line, 1Levi 2Kohath 3Amram 4Moses. Even names left OFF a list wouldn't be excluded from all the many passages.

....
I'm not sure you are right to omit Beriah & Rephah/Repham and Elishama, but even if so whether one counts 10/9 or "8/7" it doesn't really matter alot because it is still much more than the Levite and Judahite genalogies and can't be any shorter (unless they are all eldest direct sons/daughters and shortest generations while the Levite/Judahite ones would have to be the reverse). "Son/daughter" is not always direct, sometimes descendant.
Since Levite counts 4 from Levi to Moses I count 10 from Joseph to Joshua. If you manage to count 4 from Isaac to Amram its all relative to the Ephraimite one, and you'd be making the time even less than 215 in Egypt becos only 1 or 2 generations from ***** (who was already born before entering Egypt) to Amram/Moses.
Ephraim is the *youngest* son of Joseph the 2nd *youngest* son of Jacob. The 430 yrs starts from Jacob's entry into Egypt. Though Joshua is younger than Moses.
And remember the census numbers of the tribes. To increase from 70 to 600000 is alot more than 215 years, even though they increased alot in Exodus 1. Divide that by 12 for each tribes increase.

I have seen evidence for a gap at/after/before Kohath (in addition to Gedge's evidence) but I can't remember and didn't write it down. The genealogical relation of Jochebed is one. So I don't agree that there is no evidence of any gap in the Levite genealogy.

Shuthelah might be Setka son of Djedefre (Joseph), since Jacob said count any further children of Joseph as of Ephraim or Manasseh.
Ephraim is probably Khafre/Chephren so we know who his wife was.

So even if you cast doubts on the Ephraimite it still doesn't prove 215 anymore than 430.

(Added rant: No personal offense to Thomas etc bu really I am getting totally mad at every damn jot and tiddle always having annoying clever uncertainties. Why damn God allows so much doubts and lies and waste of time and effort is beyond me and makes me doubt there is any God. Why God don't you darn prove/disprove, I'm sick of the elite always getting away with casting doubts or lies. Never simple always turns out massive time and effort. I shouldn't have to waste me damn life in always answering clever cunning doubts and "complications". Always another darn clever doubt. And always trying to make me look all dumb/wrong and them all right gods.)
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Re: 430 or 215 years in Egypt?

Post by Thomas Raywood »

Japhethite wrote: Sun Apr 24, 2022 2:21 am Why damn God allows so much doubts and lies and waste of time and effort is beyond me and makes me doubt there is any God. Why God don't you darn prove/disprove, I'm sick of the elite always getting away with casting doubts or lies. Never simple always turns out massive time and effort.

God openly acknowledges having placed both his work and his legacy in the hands of unreliable men. After all, that's half or more of the entire OT narrative. So the thing to keep in the front of your mind is the fact that, yes, if scripture contains points of not only weakness but outright impenetrability, not to mention points of contradiction, it's because the men who had charge over refining and preserving the texts made a royal mess of it.

By the fall of Samaria, Israel (the league of ten northern tribes) had long since turned its back on the "religion of their fathers." And while king Hezekiah of the Judahite/Benjamite alliance is alleged, at least, to have held true to the faith and even to have been serious about reform, even by the time of the reign of his son (Manasseh), the kingdom of Judah had succumbed, as well, to pagan practices.

By the reign of king Josiah, just a hundred years after the kingdom of Israel was dismantled, they didn't even know what the Torah was. Well, that's what both Kings and Chronicles says. So even though Josiah is said to have taken a stab at reviving the religion, within another half a century the kingdom of Judah too was dismantled, leaving in its wake just a few faithful, so to speak, left to piece things back together later on.

Its that post-exilic tradition which is responsible for the lions' share of what all the books contain, or at least for how the material is presented. In some respects they did masterful work, but they struggled mightily to rightly interpret the meaning of all the texts at their disposal, especially while adding new material. And there was in-fighting, which is why we ended up with two different strains (the Septaugintal and the Masoretic).

Initially, it is clear, scribes went it alone. There was a collective memory, so to speak, in the form of an oral tradition. They'd have been wise to take that seriously. Doing so probably would have prevented the split, and would have prevented some errors.

But in response to this recalcitrance, it's the oral tradition camp which won the day, which is why the Septuagint stands at variance from the Hebrew version in not insubstantial ways. This breakaway sect, having taken full advantage of regional Hellenization, won the popular vote. This is why most of the NT references to the OT are Septuagintal. But even the fact that they're not ALL Septuagintal just goes to show how active and alive this split was even into the first century AD.

Then the original strain, the Hebrew traditionalists, responded to this loss of favor by, themselves, splitting, which is why we see Pharisaic and Sadduceic sects in full bloom by the time Rome arrived. One branch of that split went in precisely the opposite direction —having learned from their mistakes and from the successes of their earlier rival (the breakaway sect)— and instead of remaining recalcitrant became full-fledged proponents of an oral tradition, even an Oral Torah. (They even took "credit," among themselves at least, for the very FACT of a Septuagint —the fruit of what psychology calls cognitive dissonance— but any penetrating dive into that nonsense fleshes it out as pure propaganda.) Then, true to their nature, in due time they became recalcitrant even about their own ORAL tradition, codifying IT, and making it no less binding than the original, written one. Some piece of work. (This assumes you're familiar with the Talmud and all its adjuncts.)

So, no, it's not God's fault. It's the fault of human incompetence and worse. And any people he would have picked, honestly, would have done the same thing —which is part of the whole point of the story. So, if we want to know what's what, we just have to suck it up and do the work. But since there is, indeed, a God, he's right there willing to lead. These things do take time though. Do the work, stay in prayer, and avoid at all costs making it about you.
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Re: 430 or 215 years in Egypt?

Post by Japhethite »

Thanks. Though sometimes it seems it is more due to humans trying to be too smart/cunning/clever rather than incompetence. The elite brag they can make black look white and white look black, and want to keep us forever busy wasting our time.
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