Biblical Timeline 215 or 430 Years in Egypt

Here’s another letter pointing out a possible error and an overlooked fact.

I have really enjoyed using the Bible Timeline along with my studies, and appreciate this awesome resource.  It really helps to have a clearer picture of all of the events and how they relate to one another.  Thank you for the PDF version of the timeline.  This is a great bonus!
I know that the timeline states that there may be inconsistencies due to a number of different factors, but I was curious about one in particular and hoping you could explain it to me.
The last verse of Genesis states that Joseph lived for a hundred and ten years, and I notice on the timeline that there is not a definite point marking his death.  Then in Exodus 12:40 it says that the Israelites lived in Egypt for a total of 430 years to the day when Moses lead them out.  On the timeline there is only about 200 years between the time when they came to Egypt and the Exodus of Moses.  This seems like a big discrepency, and I’m am interested to know why this doesn’t appear to line up with scripture.  I understand the enormous task of trying to put all of this information on a single resource, and I know it can’t be 100% accurate due to conflicts in the historical record.  I was just hoping you could help clear this up for me.

Here’s our response: The dating of  the time in Egypt – either 215 or 430 years – is one point of contention among those striving to develop a Biblical chronology.

We used James Ussher’s chronology for our biblical  dates.   As you know, his chronology is the most widely accepted.  The question becomes why did he place the dates when he did.  Bishop Ussher worked with a variety of biblical manuscripts and historical resources.  The verse you mention does say the Israelites lived in Egypt for 430 years in the Masoretic text.

Other manuscripts (the Samaritan Pentateuch and the Septuagint) add the words “and Canaan” after Egypt in the above quote, so that it reads “the length of time the Israelite people lived in Egypt and Canaan was 430 years”.  This makes the beginning of the 430 year period when Abraham arrived in Canaan.  This is 215 years earlier than Jacob’s arrival in Egypt, and would shorten the Israelites’ period in Egypt to 215 years (215 + 215 = 430).  This was the view taken by James Ussher.

However, in Acts 7:6, Stephen states that Abraham’s descendants were to be “enslaved and mistreated four hundred years”.    But  then in  Galatians 3:16-17 Paul makes reference to a 430 year period from Abraham leaving Haran to Moses receiving “The Law”. As you can see biblical chronologists work to coordinate all the verses and use multiple sources. I hope this makes sense.As to Joseph’s death, we’ve made a note to include that on our next update.

We appreciate any and all feedback on the Amazing Bible Timeline.  Each reprinting includes suggestions for enhancements so please keep sending them.

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8 comments… add one

  • REX

    Ancient history: danielpipes.org/comments/174565

  • Lujack Skylark

    Abraham lived 1992-1817 B.C. Isaac 1892-1712 B.C. Jacob 1832-1685 B.C. Moses 1575-1455 B.C. Jacob entered Egypt at age 130 in 1702 B.C. and the Exodus was in 1495 B.C. some 207 years later.
    Abraham’s older brother Haran died in 1925 B.C. some 430 years before the Exodus.

    Moses great grandfather Levi lived in Canaan for 45 years and Egypt 92 years. Moses grandfather Kohath lived in Canaan for 12 years and Egypt 121 years. Moses Father Amram spent all 137 years in Egypt and Moses was 80 years old at the time of the Exodus.

  • Lujack Skylark

    Joseph lived 1741-1631 B.C. Joseph was 39 years old when Jacob entered Egypt.

  • Lujack Skylark

    1495 B.C. is the Exodus some 480 years before king Solomon’s 4th year. Solomon’s actual reign is 1019-979 B.C. Rehoboam 979-962 B.C. Abijam 962-959 B.C. Asa 959-918 B.C. Jehoshaphat 918-893 B.C. Jehoram 893-885 B.C. Ahaziah 885-884 B.C. Athaliah 884-878 B.C. Jehoash 878-838 B.C. Amaziah 838-809 B.C. Uzziah 809-757 B.C.

    Jotham 757-741 B.C. Ahaz 741-725 B.C. Hezekiah 725-696 B.C. Manasseh 696-641 B.C. Amon 641-639 B.C. Josiah 639-608 B.C. Jehoahaz 608 B.C. Jehoiakim 608-597 B.C. Jehoiachin 597 B.C. & Zedekiah 597-586 B.C. Solomon’s Temple is destroyed in 586 B.C.

  • Thomas

    Hyksos kings at Avaris:
    Sheshi 1702-1699 B.C., Yakubher 1699-1690 B.C. Khyan 1690-1660 B.C. Apepi I 1660-1619 B.C., Apepi II or Khamudi 1619-1608 B.C.
    Kings at Thebes:
    Tao II………1632-1631 B.C.
    Kamose……1631-1628 B.C.
    Ahmose…..1628-1603 B.C. drives the Hyksos out of Egypt.
    Joseph served the Egyptian kings living at Itj-tawy:
    Senusret III……..1724-1685 B.C.
    Amenemhet III…1685-1640 B.C.
    Amenemhet IV…1640-1631 B.C.
    Joseph lived 1741-1631 B.C. Joseph dies in 1631 B.C. an Egyptian civil war occurs.
    Queen Sobekneferu….1631-1628 B.C. wars against Kamose.
    (Abydos Egyptian kings lists shows after Amenemhet IV the next king is Thebean Ahmose. Amenemhet I slew Thebean Mentuhotep IV and Thebean Ahmose family slew Amenemhet IV some 212 years later.)
    Joseph rode the second chariot in Egypt and Egyptian horsemen escorted Jacob’s body to Canaan. (Genesis 41:42-43 & Genesis 50:7-9) Chariots were used in ceremonies only when Joseph lived. Horse skeleton discovered at Buhen Nubia dated to Senusret III’s reign. Hyksos Canaanites traded horses for bread. (Genesis 47:13-17) during the global famine. (Genesis 41:57)

    Senusret III had annexed Canaan after God had terrorized the cities around Shechem. (Genesis 35:1-6) Senusret III had fought a battle around Shechem.

    The Bible and ancient history match up!

  • Tom

    The Amorites were powerful for 400 years (Genesis 15:13-16) Amorite/Babylonian kings reigned at Babylon for 300 years 1895-1595 B.C. The Amorites were powerful 1595-1495 B.C. in Lebanon and Syria. The 430 years is from the time Haran died to the Exodus. 1925-1495 B.C.

    Thutmose III did not die in 1434 B.C. Thutmose III died in 1495 B.C. as he was the Exodus pharaoh.

  • Lujack Skylark

    Joseph’s global famine (Genesis 41:57) now has been verified! Spread the news! Educate the world to ancient world history connected with Biblical History.

    Shang Dynasty emperor Ching Tang some Chinese historians stated his reign began in 1747 B.C. There are others who believe his reign began in 1675 B.C. Chinese emperor Ching Tang was recorded having a seven year famine verifying Joseph’s seven year famine in Genesis chapter 41. This seven year famine occurred 1704-1697 B.C. Emperor Ching Tang must have been reigning during this time in world history.

    JOSEPH 7 YEAR FAMINE

    Joseph lived for 110 years 1741-1631 B.C. (Genesis 50:26) Joseph age 30 (Genesis 41:40-46) became governor of Egypt in 1711 B.C. There was 7 years of great harvest and the second year of famine Joseph age 39 in 1702 B.C. met his father Jacob age 130 (Genesis 47:9) in Egypt. Global famine 1704-1697 B.C. (Genesis 41:1-57)

    (1) Jacob brought the starving Hebrew people into Egypt settling near Biblical On (Genesis 41:45) Heliopolis, Egypt in 1702 B.C.

    (2) Starving Hyksos Canaanite chieftain Sheshi lead his people into Avaris, Egypt trading their horses for bread (Genesis 47:13-17) in 1702 B.C. during the world famine. (Genesis 41:57)

    (3) Starving Minoans from Crete also settle in Egypt’s delta in 1700 B.C. Other Minoans migrate to mainland Greece in 1700 B.C. spreading their Minoan culture there.

    (4) Starving Indo-European Sealanders invade Amorite Babylon king Abi-Eshuh 1710-1684 B.C. settling in southern Babylonia in 1700 B.C. Abi-Eshuh dams up the Tigris river trying to starve the Sealanders out.

    (5) Starving Indo-European tribes invade Dravidan dominated India in 1700 B.C. Indo-Europeans destroy the Dravidan Mohenjo-Daro civilizatin in 1700 B.C.

    (6)Starving Indo-European tribes invade western China in 1700 B.C. Chinese archaelogist discovered Indo-European mummies in western China. The Indo-Europeans introduced the Chinese to the horse driven chariot. NOTE: Indo-European Kassites were first to use the horse driven chariot attacking Babylon in the reign of Amorite Babylon king Samsu-iluna 1750-1711 B.C. in his 9th year in 1741 B.C. NOTE: Joseph age 30 was given the Egyptian pharaoh’s 2nd chariot in 1711 B.C. (Genesis 41:43)

    (7) Chinese Shang Dynasty very early in the dynasty recorded a 7 year famine verifying Joseph’s account of the 7 year global famine in Egypt. (Genesis 41:57)

    (8) The American agricultural Indians establish the Poverty Point Mound Culture in Louisiana in 1700 B.C. building their first city in North America during the world famine.

    (9) Olmecs migrate into the Yucatan Peninsula in 1700 B.C. Archaeologist state the Olmecs invented plumbing and the Olmecs were interested in water conservtion at this time in world history.

    (10) Joseph’s account of the world famine (Genesis 41:57) is supported by archaelogy and the migrations of ancient people’s in 1700 B.C. Why not pass this information along to people who are interested in Biblical history.

  • Dennis

    The 430 year period from Abraham leaving Haran until the very day that the children of Israel left Egypt can be calculated within the books of Genesis and Exodus, the first 30 years of which was not part of the Egyptian oppression.

    “So Abram departed as the Lord had spoken to him, and Lot went with him. And Abram was seventy-five years old when he departed from Haran.” Genesis 12:4

    [NOTE: God’s promise to Abraham and his leaving Haran starts the calculation for the 430 year prophecy. See note under Exodus 12:40, 41 and Galatians 3:16,17 below.]

    “Now when the sun was going down, a deep sleep fell upon Abram; and behold, horror and great darkness fell upon him. Then He said to Abram: “Know certainly that your descendants will be strangers in a land that is not theirs, and will serve them, and they will afflict them four hundred years.” Genesis 15:12, 13

    “Now Sarai, Abram’s wife, had borne him no children. And she had an EGYPTIAN maidservant whose name was Hagar.” Genesis 16:1

    “Abram was eighty-six years old when Hagar bore Ishmael to Abram.” Genesis 16:16

    “Abraham was ninety-nine years old when he was circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin. And Ishmael his son was thirteen years old when he was circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin. That very same day Abraham was circumcised, and his son Ishmael.” Genesis 17:24-26

    ” Now Abraham was one hundred years old when his son Isaac was born to him.” Genesis 21:5

    [NOTE: This was 25 years after leaving Haran and Ishmael was 14.]

    “So the child [Isaac] grew and was weaned. And Abraham made a great feast on the same day that Isaac was weaned. And Sarah saw the son of Hagar the EGYPTIAN, whom she had borne to Abraham, scoffing. Therefore she said to Abraham, ‘Cast out this bondwoman and her son; for the son of this bondwoman shall not be heir with my son, namely with Isaac.'” Genesis 21:8-10

    [NOTE: Children were not weaned until the age of 5. Abraham was 105, Ishmael was 19, it was 30 years since leaving Haran, and the EGYPTIAN persecution by Hagar and Ishmael started the 400 year prophecy.]

    “Now the sojourn of the children of Israel who lived in Egypt[a. the Samaritan Pentateuch and Septuagint read Egypt and Canaan.] was four hundred and thirty years. And it came to pass at the end of the four hundred and thirty years—on that very same day—it came to pass that all the armies of the Lord went out from the land of Egypt.” Exodus 12:40, 41

    “Now to Abraham and his Seed were the promises made. He does not say, “And to seeds,” as of many, but as of one, “And to your Seed,” who is Christ. And this I say, that the law, which was four hundred and thirty years later, cannot annul the covenant that was confirmed before by God in Christ.” Galatians 3:16,17

    [NOTE: Paul says that from when God made the first promise to Abraham, until the 10 commandments were given, was 430 years.]

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