[b-hebrew] Israel "in" Egypt 215 or 430 years ?

Harold R. Holmyard III hholmyard at ont.com
Thu Aug 19 19:03:44 EDT 2004

Dear Peter,

>Genesis 15:13: Here I won't bother with the textual details as there 
>is no difficulty. But we should remember that Abraham was already a 
>stranger in a country not his own, so this 400 year period can 
>easily be understood as starting from that time. True, they were not 
>at this time enslaved or mistreated, but in the Hebrew the timescale 
>refers to all three preceding clauses without implying that all 
>three will be simultaneously true for all of the time.
>So I would consider the issue entirely open, whether the 430 (or 
>400) years is from Abraham to Moses or from the move to Egypt until 
>Moses. The chronology is not tied down either way.

HH: It's true that the fathers were in a country not their own, but 
the following verbs seem to give clarity by their form. The first one 
is W(BDWM, which, whatever its precise meaning, implies a 3mp subject 
and a 3mp object. There has to be an antecedent for both pronouns. 
The antecedent for one is "your seed," and the antecedent for the 
other has to be "a land which is not theirs." So it is a land that is 
not theirs that will enslave them and afflict them. This needs to be 
a particular land, I think, the one whose inhabitants enslave and 
afflict them.

					Harold Holmyard

More information about the b-hebrew mailing list