four hundred and thirty years

Exodus 12:41

12:41 four hundred and thirty years. This 430 years of “sojourning” in Egypt (Exodus 12:40) seems to conflict with the statement by God to Abraham that his seed would be a stranger in a land that would “afflict them four hundred years” (Genesis 15:13) and the statement by Stephen to the same effect (Acts 7:6). These numbers are not just round numbers (note the stress here on “the selfsame day”). Varied interpretations have been offered for the discrepancy of the thirty years, but the most obvious seems the inference that the first thirty years in Egypt (seventeen years before Jacob died, thirteen years after his death) were years of favor under Pharaoh, but when the new king arose “which knew not Joseph” (Exodus 1:8), then the Israelites were soon resented and persecuted, and eventually enslaved, remaining in such disfavor for exactly four hundred years.

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