And the dwelling of the sons of Israel which they have dwelt in Egypt is four hundred and thirty years;
Exodus 12:40 Additional TranslationsClarke's Commentary on the Bible
Now the sojourning of the children of Israel, etc. - The statement in this verse is allowed on all hands to be extremely difficult, and therefore the passage stands in especial need of illustration. "That the descendants of Israel did not dwell 430 years in Egypt," says Dr. Kennicott, "may be easily proved, and has often been demonstrated. Some therefore imagine that by Egypt here both it and Canaan are to be understood. But this greater latitude of place will not solve the difficulty, since the Israelites, including Israel their father, did not sojourn 430 years in both countries previous to their departure from Egypt. Others, sensible of the still remaining deficiency, would not only have Egypt in the text to signify it and Canaan, but by a figure more comprehensive would have the children of Israel to mean Israel's children, and Israel their father, and Isaac the father of Israel, and part of the life of Abraham, the father of Isaac.
"Thus indeed," says Dr. Kennicott, "we arrive at the exact sum, and by this method of reckoning we might arrive at any thing but truth, which we may presume was never thus conveyed by an inspired writer." But can the difficulty be removed without having recourse to such absurd shifts? Certainly it can. The Samaritan Pentateuch, in all its manuscripts and printed copies, reads the place thus: -
Umoshab beney Yishrael veabotham asher yashebu baarets Cenaan, ubaarets mitsraim sheloshim shanah vearba meoth shanah.
"Now the sojourning of the children of Israel, and of their fathers, which they sojourned in the land of Canaan and in the land of Egypt, was 430 years." This same sum is given by St. Paul, Galatians 3:17, who reckons from the promise made to Abraham, when God commanded him to go to Canaan, to the giving of the law, which soon followed the departure from Egypt; and this chronology of the apostle is concordant with the Samaritan Pentateuch, which, by preserving the two passages, they and their fathers, and in the land of Canaan, which are lost out of the present copies of the Hebrew text, has rescued this passage from all obscurity and contradiction. It may be necessary to observe that the Alexandrian copy of the Septuagint has the same reading as that in the Samaritan. The Samaritan Pentateuch is allowed by many learned men to exhibit the most correct copy of the five books of Moses; and the Alexandrian copy of the Septuagint must also be allowed to be one of the most authentic as well as most ancient copies of this version which we possess. As to St. Paul, no man will dispute the authenticity of his statement; and thus in the mouth of these three most respectable witnesses the whole account is indubitably established. That these three witnesses have the truth, the chronology itself proves: for from Abraham's entry into Canaan to the birth of Isaac was 25 years, Genesis 12:4; Genesis 17:1-21; Isaac was 60 years old at the birth of Jacob, Genesis 25:26; and Jacob was 130 at his going down into Egypt, Genesis 47:9; which three sums make 215 years. And then Jacob and his children having continued in Egypt 215 years more, the whole sum of 430 years is regularly completed. See Kennicott's Dissertation on the Hebrew Text.
Treasury of Scripture Knowledge
The Samaritan Pentateuch reads, 'Now the sojourning of the children of Israel, and of their fathers in the land of Canaan and in the land of Egypt, was
430 years.' The Alexandrine copy of the LXX. has the same reading; and the same statement is made by the apostle Paul, in
Galatians 3:17 And this I say, that the covenant, that was confirmed before of God in Christ, the law, which was four hundred and thirty years after...
, who reckons from the promise made to Abraham to the giving of the law. That these three witnesses have the truth, the chronology itself proves; for it is evident that the descendants of Israel did not dwell
430 years in Egypt; while it is equally evident, that the period from Abraham's entry into Canaan to the Exodus, is exactly that number. Thus, from Abraham's entrance into the promised land to the birth of Isaac, was
25 years; Isaac was
60 at the birth of Jacob; Jacob was
130 at his going into Egypt; where he and his children continued
215 years more; making in the whole
430 years. sojourning.
Acts 13:17 The God of this people of Israel chose our fathers, and exalted the people when they dwelled as strangers in the land of Egypt...
Hebrews 11:9 By faith he sojourned in the land of promise, as in a strange country, dwelling in tabernacles with Isaac and Jacob...
Genesis 12:1-3 Now the LORD had said to Abram, Get you out of your country, and from your kindred, and from your father's house...
Genesis 15:13 And he said to Abram, Know of a surety that your seed shall be a stranger in a land that is not theirs, and shall serve them...
Acts 7:6 And God spoke on this wise, That his seed should sojourn in a strange land; and that they should bring them into bondage...
Galatians 3:16,17 Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He said not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to your seed...
Exodus 12:40 Parallel CommentariesChildren Dwelling Dwelt Egypt Four Hundred Israel Israelite Length Resided Residence Sojourning Thirty TimeChildren Dwelling Dwelt Egypt Four Hundred Israel Israelite Length Resided Residence Sojourning Thirty TimeTHE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica®.
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