[b-hebrew] birth rate in Captivity

Yigal Levin leviny1 at mail.biu.ac.il
Sat Oct 11 17:52:22 EDT 2008

Dear Doug,

I don't think that there is any rational explanation, nor do I think that 
one is needed. Jewish Midrash, working with the same data, calculated that 
the Israelites were actually in Egypt for 210 years, and that the 430 years 
began with Abraham. As an explanation for the Israelites' supernatural 
breeding, the rabbis explaned that that was what it was: supernatural - 6 
children at each birth.

In general, my personal attitude is that you either accept the text at face 
value or you don't. If you do, then obviously God was somehow involved in 
causing the Israelites the multiply so fast. This is certainly what the 
author intends. If you don't accept the text at face value, then why accept 
that they really went from 70 to 600000? Why accept the time-frame? Why 
assume that they ever "really" went to Egypt? These are all legitimate 
questions for a historian, and not for an exegete.

Yigal Levin

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Doug Belot" <dbelot at bigpond.net.au>
To: <b-hebrew at lists.ibiblio.org>
Sent: Saturday, October 11, 2008 11:24 PM
Subject: [b-hebrew] birth rate in Captivity

>I wonder please  could you give me a explanation on the 430 year period 
>that Israel spent in Egypt , it seems that only two or three generations 
>were born in Egypt , even tho the Israelites were considered proplific 
>breeders and went from 70 to 600000 ,
> Examples are Levi and son Kohath go into captivity ,  Amran is born to 
> Kohath  and then  Moses is born to Amram there Num 3:17, and Moses leads 
> Israel out , after 430 years .
> Levi much the same , Levi has Perez , Perez has Hezron , Num 1:7,  then 
> come captivity , Hezron has Ram in Egypt , Ram has Amminadab  , Amminadab 
> has Nahson , who leads Judah out , so only Ram and Amminadab and Nasho , 
> three generations are born in 430 years , is this meant to tell us that a 
> generation is 100 years or is there another reason why semingly birth rate 
> has declined , Gen 11:11-25  saw births at approx 30 years , why did they 
> lengthen to 100 approx in capivity
> doug belot
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