THE 430 YEARS – THE 400 YEARS
The following material is being presented here to give a more accurate understanding of the
430 years of
years the Israelites were in slavery.
This can be accomplished by looking at the ages of the men who lived through this period of
time. God has recorded their ages at critical times in each of their lives to give us a better
appreciation of the continuity and interaction of them and their history.
This continuity explains how their experiences and prophecies were passed down to Moses
who recorded all of them for us. The starting point will be Ex. 12:40 (all scripture is quoted from
the New King James version unless otherwise noted). “Now the sojourn of the children of Israel
who lived in Egypt was four hundred and thirty years.” Note: Israel here represents the whole
family, beginning with Abraham. Therefore, it means that the sojourn starts with Abraham and
should not be taken to mean only the time the Israelites spent in Egypt as is shown in Galatians
3:16-17 “Now to Abraham and his Seed were the promises made. He does not say, ‘And two
seeds, as of many, but as of one, And to your Seed, Who is Christ. And this I say, that the law,
which was 430 years later, cannot annul the covenant that was confirmed before by God in
Christ, that it should make the promise of no effect.’”
The questions which need answers are: 1. At what point in Abraham’s life did the 430 years
begin, and 2. When did the 400 years begin? The following will show their relative position in
The 400 year prophecy is stated in
that your descendents will be strangers in a land that is not theirs, and will serve them, and they
will afflict them 400 years.’” There are two important points to note here. This prophecy pertains
to Abraham's descendents, not to him, and because he had no descendents at this time the
starting point for the 400 years laid in the future.
Abraham was 100 years old at Isaac’s birth, and 75 years old when God gave him the first
promise. Gen.12:4 “So Abraham departed as the Lord had spoken to him, and Lot went with
him. And Abraham was 75 years old when he departed from Haran.” This would account for 25
years, so that the beginning of the 400 years would need to occur at another juncture in his life.
That occasion is shown in
a great feast on the same day that Isaac was weaned.” Verse 12 of this same chapter: “But God
said to Abraham, ‘Do not let it be displeasing in your sight because of the lad or because of your
bondwoman. Whatever Sarah has said to you listen to her voice; for in Isaac your seed shall be
called.’” This verse puts God’s stamp of approval on Isaac as Abraham’s seed by sending Hagar
and Ishmael away. This is the point at which the 400 year prophecy begins; five years after
Isaac’s birth. This is when God lets Abraham know that his seed is in Isaac and no other. The 25
years, plus the 5 years totals 30 years; the difference between the 400 years and the 430 years.
It should be clear that the 400 years and the 430 years culminate at the same time in
would dwell in a foreign land, and that they would bring them into bondage and oppress them
four hundred years.”
Now, start counting the years forward from
the death of Joseph.
dream at the start of the seven years of plenty.
second year of the famine, making Joseph 30 plus 7 years of plenty, plus 2
years of famine, or 39 years when his father came to Egypt. This shows
Joseph’s birth at Jacob’s age of 91 years.
Abraham was 75 years old when he left Haran, and 100 years at Isaac’s birth 25
Isaac was 60 at Jacob’s birth 60
Jacob went to Egypt 130
This shows the elapsed time from the beginning of the 430 years to Jacob’s
arrival in Egypt. Total 215
Joseph dies at 110 years – see
in Egypt peacefully during Joseph’s lifetime. 215 plus 71 = 286, and 430 minus 286 = 144 years
of slavery in Egypt. This 144 years of slavery assumes that it started at Joseph’s death.
Based on this the following observations can be made. The Israelites came out of slavery at
the 430th year when Moses was 80 years old. Moses died at 120 years of age; (Deut.34:7), so
subtracting 40 years of wandering would make Moses 80. Figuring back from 430 years, minus
Moses’ age of 80 at the time of the Exodus to arrive at his birth year, which was 350 years after
the original promise given to Abraham. The 350 years minus the 286 years to Joseph’s death
leaves 64 years. This means Moses was born 64 years after Joseph died.
The starting points of the two prophecies are 30 years apart, but once the 400 year prophecy
begins they run simultaneously to the concluding point of
Israelites spent in slavery in Egypt would have been 144 years.