Timeline: Abraham To The Exodus

Unlike previous generations, the Bible does not give Jacob’s age at the birth of his sons. Instead the Bible gives a reference from Jacob’s life to the Exodus directly. From that we can piece back together the years for the other events in the period.

Background

The Abraham to Exodus part of the chronology is different than earlier parts because we are now entering heavy narrative in Genesis. The numbers we need to reconstruct this part of the time line must be found through careful reading.

We also find when we tackle this problem that there are several apparent problems in this part of the chronology that must be overcome.

Overcoming these problems is as much a study in how to study the Bible as it is a mathematical puzzle.

Our strategy here will be two fold. First, we take a quick pass through this part of the time line and find the year on Adam’s calendar of the Exodus from Egypt. This can be easily established. Then we work through various "missing pieces" in order to find out when each of the men recorded in this part of the chronology actually lived.

What we find when we do this is some very surprising things about when various things happened in this part of Genesis

So, now, on to the Quick Pass at the Exodus date.

Quick Pass to the Exodus

There are just a few verses needed to span this section of the chronology to the Exodus. Recall, the article Timeline: Adam to Abraham established that Abraham was born in 8784 AA. We will build from that year and move towards the Exodus. We repeat the various verses we need to span this interval here for clarity.

5Abraham was a hundred years old when his son Isaac was born to him. Genesis 21:5 NIV

5And Abraham was an hundred years old, when his son Isaac was born unto him. Genesis 21:5 KJV

This is also repeated two other times.[1] [2] So we do not miss it. Abraham was considered very old to be having kids, both he and Sarah having laughed at the possibility and so the son’s name Isaac means "laughter."

Since Abraham was 100, the year of Isaac’s birth was 99 years after the year of Abraham’s first year, the year he was born. So the year of Isaac’s birth is 8784 AA + 100 - 1 = 8883 AA.

The next generation will see the birth of twins, which we turn our attention to next.

Twins Born to Isaac

The next generation is Jacob and Esau. They are born when Isaac is 60 years old.

24When the time came for her to give birth, there were twin boys in her womb. 25The first to come out was red, and his whole body was like a hairy garment; so they named him Esau. 26After this, his brother came out, with his hand grasping Esau's heel; so he was named Jacob. Isaac was sixty years old when Rebekah gave birth to them. Genesis 25:24-26 NIV

24And when her days to be delivered were fulfilled, behold, there were twins in her womb. 25And the first came out red, all over like an hairy garment; and they called his name Esau. 26And after that came his brother out, and his hand took hold on Esau's heel; and his name was called Jacob: and Isaac was threescore years old when she bare them. Genesis 25:24-26 KJV

This too is reasonably easy to compute the year of birth. Isaac’s year of birth was 8884 AA, which was his first year so 59 years later the twins are born. 8883 AA + 60 - 1 = 8942 AA.

Jacob Blesses Pharaoh

Abraham’s family grows large in Canaan. By this time there are about 70 people in it. But, times are not well. Famine has gripped the promised land and the family cannot survive on the land. Deliverance comes through a lost son who has ended up as prime minister of Egypt. To Jacob’s, great surprise.

At the invitation of Joseph, the lost son, the rest of the family decides to move to Egypt to escape the famine. When they arrive in Egypt Jacob has an audience with Pharaoh.

7Then Joseph brought his father Jacob in and presented him before Pharaoh. After Jacob blessed Pharaoh, 8Pharaoh asked him, "How old are you?"

9And Jacob said to Pharaoh, "The years of my pilgrimage are a hundred and thirty. My years have been few and difficult, and they do not equal the years of the pilgrimage of my fathers." Genesis 47:07-9 NIV

7And Joseph brought in Jacob his father, and set him before Pharaoh: and Jacob blessed Pharaoh. 8And Pharaoh said unto Jacob, How old art thou?How…: Heb. How many are the days of the years of thy life? 9And Jacob said unto Pharaoh, The days of the years of my pilgrimage are an hundred and thirty years: few and evil have the days of the years of my life been, and have not attained unto the days of the years of the life of my fathers in the days of their pilgrimage. Genesis 47:07-9 KJV

The year this happens is Jacob’s 130th and so we need add 129 years to his first year to discover the year from Adam. 8942 AA + 130 - 1 = 9071 AA.

Jacob’s family would remain in Egypt and not return to Canaan for 430 years.[3]

Since 9071 AA was the first year in Egypt, they would remain there for another 429 years, making the last full year in Egypt 9071 AA + 430 - 1 = 9500 AA.

In the year 9501 AA, at Passover, in the first month, the whole assembly of the children of Jacob depart Egypt for the promised land. Note that the first year of Adam is the year 1, so the difference between this year of departure and Adam’s first year is 9500 years exactly.

This is interesting because there are further dates which will align on the half-millennium boundary we are seeing here. But, more on this later, back to our story.

Note that Jacob’s family would leave 430 years later, to the very day.[4] Since they left on the Passover the 15th day of the first month, they must have arrived in Egypt on the 15th day of the first month in the year of their arrival, 9071-01-15 AA. We assume it was sometime later in that year when Jacob had his audience with Pharaoh.

Now that we’ve made a quick trip to the Exodus, we need to back up and find out when the rest of the events of Genesis happened. There are some hard problems which must be solved before we can say we have it complete.

So, we turn our attention back to the time from Abraham to the Exodus again, this time taking a slower journey through this period, filling in some missing details.

Slow Trip to Exodus

The reason we had to take the quick trip through to the Exodus is because there appears to be a missing chronological key.

Jacob goes to Padan Aram and there agrees to work 7 years for his future father-in-law in order to buy his wife, but in a honeymoon night mixup, he finds he’s been slipped his beloved’s sister. No matter, says father of the bride, take them both, but remain here working for me another 7 years.

Jacob agrees, and in fact remains there another 13 years before returning home with wives, kids and flocks.

Throughout this dialog we are not told what age Jacob was when he started having kids, so we are unable, so it seems, to establish the time chronology through to the Exodus using the family genealogy recorded for us.

It turns out there is a date for this, but Jacob is not the one used to date the births of the sons. To find where that date is we need to start out ahead, at the Exodus and work backwards, finding out when his sons are born and thereby finding out what Genesis uses to date their births moving forwards across the time line.

Jacob’s Family in Egypt

Late in the year 9500 AA Moses along with his older brother Aaron appear before Pharaoh. Over about one month’s time they perform a series of miracles for Pharaoh, so he will believe that the God of the Bible was real, and so that Pharaoh would let the Hebrews out of Egypt to return to their homeland, Canaan.

7Moses was eighty years old and Aaron eighty-three when they spoke to Pharaoh. Exodus 7:7 NIV

7And Moses was fourscore years old, and Aaron fourscore and three years old, when they spake unto Pharaoh. Exodus 7:7 KJV

We also find in Exodus chapter 6 the family record of Aaron and Moses, the records of which provide the overall life lengths of certain individuals. The following table contains those values.

Name Life Length
Levi 137[5]
Kohath 133[6]
Amram 137[7]

We are not told how old these men are at the time they become fathers, so we are being given a different set of data. The only thing we are being told is their overall life span times. This is interesting because it can be strung together no other way besides end-to-end.

These might be absurd data values, ones without meaning, but if this is so there was no reason for the Holy Spirit to allow them to remain. Why use valuable biblical column inches with details such as this?

A simple check that we are at least close involves simply adding these numbers together. 137 + 133 + 137 = 407 years. This, combined with either Moses or Aaron’s age (83 years) at appearance before Pharaoh gives an answer at 490 years. This is not bad, if the Levi, the man in question went to Egypt at age 60 or so this works. But we want a precise answer, not a general one. This only tells us we are in the ball park.

Can we get more precise? Yes. Lets keep going with the math and solve this puzzle completely. We’ll take that scripture intends us to string these names together end-to-end. But, which brother, Aaron or Moses, is the one we are to use at the end of this sequence?

There is no strong biblical answer for either. Moses gets the better press in his later life, but his older brother becomes the high priest which as an office would continue through many more generations.

There is a pattern that we see in other places that the older brother gets the birthright unless something upsets that pattern. Aaron will eventually forge a calf-idol, at the prompting of the crowd or elders, but he is never explicitly thrown out of office for this, so we will follow the general pattern and favor the older brother here.

Without a strong case for either brother at this point, we need further confirmation, ie: a "back-check" where we revisit this and show it did turn out to be the right choice for some other reason. That other reason will turn out to be that our choice will agree across the time line to the one already developed.

We have enough data at this point to compute birth years for each of the men mentioned earlier.

Aaron appears at age 83 to Pharaoh in the year 9500 AA, 82 years earlier would be his first year, the year he was born. 9500 AA - 83 + 1 = 9418 AA.

Amram, Aaron’s ancestor, lives 137 years, so his first year is 9418 AA - 137 = 9281 AA. Note that there is no single year correction here because these lives are strung together end-to-end. We have no way to know what sort of correction to apply. It turns out none is needed.

Kohath, Amram’s ancestor, lives 133 years, so his first year is 9281 AA - 133 = 9148 AA. Again, no correction for any overlapping years, these are end-to-end lives.

Levi, Kohath’s ancestor, lives 137 years, so his first year is 9148 AA - 137 = 9011 AA. Again, no correction for any overlap.

So, what does this give us? Nothing in the lives of these men, appears to link to anything in Egypt, nor to the arrival in Egypt, so it must point at something else. But what?

The answer lies in the account of Jacob’s sons. We now know when one of them was born. Can we tell when the others were born? Yes, we can.

Jacob’s Sons

Jacob spent twenty years in Padan Aram.[8] While he was there he worked 7 years for each daughter [9] for a total of 14 years[10] he then worked 6 years for the flocks.[11] In total Jacob spent 20 years in Padan Aram[12] working for Laban.

We have a few other details, that do appear to matter. The first is that he arrived in Padan Aram after the 1st month, [13] so the 7 years he spends working for the first wife end early in his 8th year. His wedding week with Leah and his wedding week with Rachel are therefore somewhere early in the 8th year there.

Remember that like Noah, the seed is planted in one year, and the baby born in the next, unless we are told otherwise. Nowhere in this account are we told otherwise. So, the first baby born is in Jacob’s 9th year in Padan Aram. We are given a long sequence describing the births of the first 11 children.[14] The last, born on the road home, is recorded separately.[15] Since we are not told otherwise we again assume the normal case, of one baby per year.

What is unusual about this case is that there are different mothers through this list. The mother than matters for us here is Leah, the mother of the first four boys. We assume she goes through the normal cycle, while Rachel watches jealously.

This pattern is interesting because one son we already have the birth year for. We have already shown Levi to be born in 9011 AA. That means we can chart it, and discover the birth years of each of the sons of Jacob. The following chart shows the result.

Jacob’s Son Year Born
Reuben 9009 AA
Simeon 9010 AA
Levi -- Year Known 9011 AA
Judah 9012 AA
Dan 9013 AA
Naphtali 9014 AA
Gad 9015 AA
Asher 9016 AA
Issachar 9017 AA
Zebulun 9018 AA
Joseph 9019 AA
Benjamin 9020 AA

Since the first son was born in the 9th year in Padan Aram, this means that the first full year in Padan Aram must have been 9009 AA - 9 + 1 = 9001 AA.

This is interesting since Jacob’s dream at Bethel, were he saw a ladder was 500 years, almost to the day, as the children of Jacob departed Egypt for the promised land.

This is interesting data, and provides two more threads which we need to work through further. The first is that Joseph’s birth year is given, and we also know details of his life and arrival in Egypt. Before we address Joseph, we need to find the forward key which gets the birth table we just presented, keyed to time working forward instead of backward from the Exodus. That key is Jacob’s uncle Ishmael.

Uncle Ishmael

The chronology we are following is built around the family line from Adam through to the first high priest, Aaron. In all cases except for one, the time sequence at each generation is built from the time sequence of the one before. The one exception is Ishmael. We turn our attention now to Ishmael.

Ishmael’s father, Abraham, was called to go to Canaan from this point, through the rest of his life, Abraham will hear from God.

1The LORD had said to Abram, "Leave your country, your people and your father's household and go to the land I will show you. 2"I will make you into a great nation and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. 3I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you."

4So Abram left, as the LORD had told him; and Lot went with him. Abram was seventy-five years old when he set out from Haran. Genesis 12:1-4 NIV

1Now the Lord had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father's house, unto a land that I will shew thee: 2And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing: 3And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.

4So Abram departed, as the Lord had spoken unto him; and Lot went with him: and Abram was seventy and five years old when he departed out of Haran. Genesis 12:1-4 KJV

Once in Canaan, God continues to speak, telling Abraham that to his offspring God will give the land. [16]

After Abraham has walked with God for awhile, he spoke again. This time is recorded for us as well.

1After this, the word of the LORD came to Abram in a vision: "Do not be afraid, Abram. I am your shield, your very great reward."

2But Abram said, "O Sovereign LORD, what can you give me since I remain childless and the one who will inherit my estate is Eliezer of Damascus?" 3And Abram said, "You have given me no children; so a servant in my household will be my heir."

4Then the word of the LORD came to him: "This man will not be your heir, but a son coming from your own body will be your heir." 5He took him outside and said, "Look up at the heavens and count the stars -- if indeed you can count them." Then he said to him, "So shall your offspring be."

6Abram believed the LORD, and he credited it to him as righteousness.

7He also said to him, "I am the LORD, who brought you out of Ur of the Chaldeans to give you this land to take possession of it."

8But Abram said, "O Sovereign LORD, how can I know that I will gain possession of it?"

9So the LORD said to him, "Bring me a heifer, a goat and a ram, each three years old, along with a dove and a young pigeon."

10Abram brought all these to him, cut them in two and arranged the halves opposite each other; the birds, however, he did not cut in half. 11Then birds of prey came down on the carcasses, but Abram drove them away.

12As the sun was setting, Abram fell into a deep sleep, and a thick and dreadful darkness came over him. 13Then the LORD said to him, "Know for certain that your descendants will be strangers in a country not their own, and they will be enslaved and mistreated 400 years. 14But I will punish the nation they serve as slaves, and afterward they will come out with great possessions. 15You, however, will go to your fathers in peace and be buried at a good old age. 16In the fourth generation your descendants will come back here, for the sin of the Amorites has not yet reached its full measure."

17When the sun had set and darkness had fallen, a smoking firepot with a blazing torch appeared and passed between the pieces. 18On that day the LORD made a covenant with Abram and said, "To your descendants I give this land, from the river of Egypt to the great river, the Euphrates -- 19the land of the Kenites, Kenizzites, Kadmonites, 20Hittites, Perizzites, Rephaites, 21Amorites, Canaanites, Girgashites and Jebusites." Genesis 15:1-21 NIV

1After these things the word of the Lord came unto Abram in a vision, saying, Fear not, Abram: I am thy shield, and thy exceeding great reward.

2And Abram said, Lord God, what wilt thou give me, seeing I go childless, and the steward of my house is this Eliezer of Damascus? 3And Abram said, Behold, to me thou hast given no seed: and, lo, one born in my house is mine heir. 4And, behold, the word of the Lord came unto him, saying, This shall not be thine heir; but he that shall come forth out of thine own bowels shall be thine heir. 5And he brought him forth abroad, and said, Look now toward heaven, and tell the stars, if thou be able to number them: and he said unto him, So shall thy seed be. 6And he believed in the Lord; and he counted it to him for righteousness.

7And he said unto him, I am the Lord that brought thee out of Ur of the Chaldees, to give thee this land to inherit it. 8And he said, Lord God, whereby shall I know that I shall inherit it? 9And he said unto him, Take me an heifer of three years old, and a she goat of three years old, and a ram of three years old, and a turtledove, and a young pigeon. 10And he took unto him all these, and divided them in the midst, and laid each piece one against another: but the birds divided he not. 11And when the fowls came down upon the carcases, Abram drove them away.

12And when the sun was going down, a deep sleep fell upon Abram; and, lo, an horror of great darkness fell upon him. 13And he said unto Abram, Know of a surety that thy seed shall be a stranger in a land that is not theirs, and shall serve them; and they shall afflict them four hundred years; 14And also that nation, whom they shall serve, will I judge: and afterward shall they come out with great substance. 15And thou shalt go to thy fathers in peace; thou shalt be buried in a good old age. 16But in the fourth generation they shall come hither again: for the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet full.

17And it came to pass, that, when the sun went down, and it was dark, behold a smoking furnace, and a burning lamp that passed between those pieces.a burning…: Heb. a lamp of fire 18In the same day the Lord made a covenant with Abram, saying, Unto thy seed have I given this land, from the river of Egypt unto the great river, the river Euphrates: 19The Kenites, and the Kenizzites, and the Kadmonites, 20And the Hittites, and the Perizzites, and the Rephaims, 21And the Amorites, and the Canaanites, and the Girgashites, and the Jebusites. Genesis 15:1-21 KJV

Abraham is given a great thing at this point, but he does not follow through that belief with action and he proceeds to take matters into his own hand by marrying his wife’s maid, Hagar.

This wedding takes place after he has been in Canaan for 10 years.[17] Abraham was called to Canaan when he was 75 years old, as we have shown above. He remains there 10 years, or through his 85th year. Then, in the next year, his 86th he weds Hagar and in that same year has a son by her named Ishmael.[18] The idea that this all happens in the same year is emphasized by an expression which says he slept with her, and she conceived[19] emphasizing the sudden nature of this conception.

What this is telling us is that Ishmael, unlike the other people in our story, is identified as being born late in the year, in this case late in Abraham’s 86th year, the same year the seed was planted. Since we know that Abraham’s first year was 8784 AA we know his 86th year was 8784 AA + 86 - 1 = 8869 AA. This time, we have a birth who’s placement in the year is unusual, unusual enough that we must track it.

When in this year was Ishmael born? We are not given a date, but it must have been in what we would call the "fourth quarter" of the year, since it takes about 9 months to have a baby, for a conception to occur in the same year as birth requires the birth to be late in the year.

We are told that Ishmael will live for 137 years[20] so what year is the last year of his life? To run this number out we stop for a moment and put his first year as the year 8871 AA, though his first year did overlap into the previous year. His 137th year is then 8871 AA + 137 - 1 = 9006 AA, though we are running about a quarter year late, so Ishmael did not make it into the last quarter of that indicated year.

The last year that Ishmael’s nephew Jacob works for his first wife is 9007 AA. He weds and sleeps with his new wives early in 9008 AA and has his first child in the normal way in 9009 AA. The year of Ishmael’s death has the same purpose in this chronology as the 500th year of Noah. It is after this year that we should start looking for children.

Ishmael is the chronological key which links the time sequence going forward. His death foretells the soon coming 12 sons of Jacob, the patriarchs of the 12 Tribes. This is an interesting coincidence. After Jacob had stolen Esau’s birthright, Esau married back into Ishmael’s family. Ishmael had been promised 12 rulers too, and Esau is being shown by the chronology that these could have been his if he had not despised his birthright.

Joseph in Egypt

As we saw earlier, Ishmael was the only man not in Aaron’s genealogy who was used to establish the chronology between Adam and Aaron. Only one other man in this entire era, not in the chronology, has his life length given. This man is Joseph. Altogether, Joseph lives 110 years.[21]

What we turn our attention to now is the life story of Joseph, and show the various years in which the events of Joseph’s life take place. What we’ll learn from this is that there was an unusual chronology in the time of the famine in Egypt.

Joseph’s Dreams

When Joseph was seventeen[22] events began to unfold that would see him a slave in Egypt. After bringing a bad report to their father about their flock tending skills, Joseph’s brother begin to hate him.

When Joseph begins to have dreams about his brother’s and their eventually bowing down to him they only hate him all the more.

His brothers eventually conspire to kill Joseph, but Reuben the oldest, convinces them to put Joseph in a cistern. Before Reuben can rescue his brother, a caravan of Ishmaelites purchases Joseph as a slave and eventually sells him in Egypt. The price put on Joseph’s head? 20 shekels. [23]

This price, 20 shekels, is giving us the age of Joseph when he is sold as a slave, one shekel per year. This is consistent with the Denarius/Day principle we saw in the article titled Time Transforms, this time it is 1 unit of currency for 1 year of life.

The math for this is based on the year of Joseph's birth from the table above. 9019 AA + 20 - 1 = 9038 AA.

Joseph’s story continues in Egypt were he ends up as a manager over the household of Potiphar, one of Pharaoh’s officials, the captain of the guard.[24] [25] It is here in Potiphar’s service that Joseph learns the language and ways of the Egyptians. Then, through the lustful desires of Potiphar’s wife, Joseph ends up in the king’s prison.[26]

Joseph was so skilled in administration that he even ended up running the prison.[27] This is important enough to mention that this is God preparing Joseph for his later life as Prime Minister of Egypt. Joseph starts out as a young man learning and being mentored by a member of Pharaoh’s court. It continues with the rigors of prison and then will continue with his later job in Pharaoh’s court.

After some number of years Joseph interprets the dreams of Pharaoh’s cup bearer and baker. His correct interpretations will warrant an invitation to interpret Pharaoh’s dreams 2 years later.[28] At that point Pharaoh is so impressed with Joseph that Pharaoh makes him prime minister of Egypt. The time when Joseph enters Pharaoh’s service is Joseph’s 30th year.[29]

The math for finding this year of entering Pharaoh's service is 9019 AA + 30 = 1 = 9048 AA.

We have also already established that Jacob, Joseph’s father, arrived in Egypt and blessed Pharaoh in 9071 AA.

The difference between these two dates is 23 years, not what we would expect. It turns out this is correct. Lets work through it in detail.

The last time that Joseph’s brothers arrive in Egypt they are told that 2 years of famine have passed and that 5 years remain.[30] The time it takes to go fetch Jacob, the family and flocks, is enough to push into a new year their arrival being in the middle of the first month, at the time of Passover. So we put 9071 AAas the 3rd year in the 7 years of famine. This means that famine in Egypt was from 9069 AA through 9075 AA. We also know that there were to be 7 years of plenty before the 7 years of famine. This a butted 7 years before so 9062 AA + 7 = 1 = 9068 AA were those years of plenty when Joseph collected grain for sale through the famine.

If Joseph entered Pharaoh’s service in 9048 AA and the time of plenty starts in 9062 AA, what gives? We have a problem. Or do we? It helps here to look at the dreams of Pharaoh.

1When two full years had passed, Pharaoh had a dream: He was standing by the Nile, 2when out of the river there came up seven cows, sleek and fat, and they grazed among the reeds. 3After them, seven other cows, ugly and gaunt, came up out of the Nile and stood beside those on the riverbank. 4And the cows that were ugly and gaunt ate up the seven sleek, fat cows. Then Pharaoh woke up.

5He fell asleep again and had a second dream: Seven heads of grain, healthy and good, were growing on a single stalk. 6After them, seven other heads of grain sprouted -- thin and scorched by the east wind. 7The thin heads of grain swallowed up the seven healthy, full heads. Then Pharaoh woke up; it had been a dream. Genesis 41:1-7 NIV

1And it came to pass at the end of two full years, that Pharaoh dreamed: and, behold, he stood by the river. 2And, behold, there came up out of the river seven well favoured kine and fatfleshed; and they fed in a meadow. 3And, behold, seven other kine came up after them out of the river, ill favoured and leanfleshed; and stood by the other kine upon the brink of the river. 4And the ill favoured and leanfleshed kine did eat up the seven well favoured and fat kine. So Pharaoh awoke. 5And he slept and dreamed the second time: and, behold, seven ears of corn came up upon one stalk, rank and good.rank: Heb. fat 6And, behold, seven thin ears and blasted with the east wind sprung up after them. 7And the seven thin ears devoured the seven rank and full ears. And Pharaoh awoke, and, behold, it was a dream. Genesis 41:1-7 KJV

The actual dream comes as a pair of dreams, each giving a 14 year interval. Later in the chapter Joseph indicates that these are one and the same dream which is why this is traditionally placed as a single 14 year interval, but there is a clue that these are actually two sequential events that are about to fall upon Pharaoh. The clue?

39Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, "Since God has made all this known to you, there is no one so discerning and wise as you. 40You shall be in charge of my palace, and all my people are to submit to your orders. Only with respect to the throne will I be greater than you."

41So Pharaoh said to Joseph, "I hereby put you in charge of the whole land of Egypt." Genesis 41:39-41 NIV

39And Pharaoh said unto Joseph, Forasmuch as God hath shewed thee all this, there is none so discreet and wise as thou art: 40Thou shalt be over my house, and according unto thy word shall all my people be ruled: only in the throne will I be greater than thou.be ruled: Heb. be armed, or, kiss 41And Pharaoh said unto Joseph, See, I have set thee over all the land of Egypt. Genesis 41:39-41 KJV

Joseph is first put in charge of Pharaoh’s Palace, and then later, put in charge of the whole land of Egypt.

Why?

Because Pharaoh was not stupid, he needed to see Joseph work for himself. If Joseph could not be trusted with the palace, he could not be trusted with the country.

The duplication of the dreams firmly establishes that God will do what he says, but it also shows that it will happen twice. The 14 year discrepancy in the chronologies being the time when these events will happen to Pharaoh’s house, before they happen to the entire country.

10He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much: and he that is unjust in the least is unjust also in much. Luke 16:10 KJV

10"Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much. Luke 16:10 NIV

When Joseph was ready, and the country needed him, not just Pharaoh’s people, he was then made second highest ruler in the country.

This is actually an example we will see later where the king (in this case Pharaoh) represents his country and walks through the events that the country is to go through before the rest of the country actually does it. This is seen in Nebuchadnezzar’s time.[31]

I read an article about the various historical records that support the truth of this entire account. The article is lost somewhere on the Wyatt web site.

In that story Wyatt reported finding an Egyptian inscription that reported 7 years of famine before 7 years of plenty. This appears wrong to the people reading the inscription. It is not. The Egyptians recorded it as it happened.

To wrap up this section, we have shown that there was a 14 year period where Joseph was prime minister trainee in Pharaoh’s palace and then made full Prime Minister when the second 14 year interval began. This second period is the one with all the "press", the earlier one was in Pharaoh’s house.

This fits the chronological data perfectly and completes our chronology to the Exodus. What remains for us to cover next? Exodus to Solomon’s reign. Which is what we turn our attention to next.

Egypt -- Loose Ends

There are several other references to time contained in this section of the Bible which we should address before moving on to Moses and the Exodus.

Slavery in Egypt

Two different time spans are given for the time in Egypt. 430 years is given as the total,[32] while 400 years are given as the time in Egypt as slaves. [33] [34]

The difference between these times has to do with the adjective slavery. The sons of Jacob are in Egypt for a grand total of 430 years, but they do not become slaves until they have been there 30 years. (430 - 400 = 30)

The year of the start of slavery can thus be computed. 9071 AA + 30 = 9101 AA the start of slavery.

Also, computed from the other end, the year of the Exodus, 9501 AA - 400 = 9101 AA, the date of the start of Slavery in Egypt.

Four Generations in Egypt

Abraham was told that his descendants would be in Egypt for 4 generations.[35] There are 2 ways that this can be considered fulfilled. The first is the 4 generations recorded in the genealogies, Levi, the first generation in Egypt, Kohath, Amram and Aaron make up those four generations.

This answer, though technically correct is not satisfying since there are end-to-end time segments used to construct it and that implies there were other generations between.

Another answer is to take a strict definition of generation as being 120 years, exactly. This is the standing life length given as the new length at the time of Noah’s flood.[36]

4 such generations are 4 * 120 = 480 years. This is at fist glance longer than the 430 years spent in Egypt by the Hebrews, but when we take 9500 AA as the last year in Egypt, the 1st year in this interval is 9500 AA - 480 + 1 = 9021 AA. Curiously, Jacob’s last son Benjamin is born in 9020 AA. This is a better solution to the issue of 4 generations and provides yet another confirmation that we have the birth placements right for Jacob’s sons.

Abraham’s 99th Year

When Abraham was 99 years old,[37] the text of the Bible says he was told that God had changed the covenant between God and Abraham. It was being increased - many nations were to come from him, his name was changed from Abram to Abraham and his wife’s name was changed from Sarai to Sarah. As a sign of this he and his household were to undergo circumcision.

When this happened his son Ishmael was 13 years old.[38] As we established earlier, Ishmael was born in the last quarter of Abraham’s 86th year, so Ishmael’s 13th year is from the fourth quarter of Abraham’s 98th year through to the point in the fourth quarter of Abraham’s 99th year when this covenant change takes place.

Alignment With the Base Calendar

So far we have assumed, without elaboration, that the various years we have been counting off from Adam are synchronized with the base calendar of God. This assumption needs further elaboration.

If this assumption is wrong, we could expect each generation to have an accurately recorded life length, but that those lengths overlap with each other in ways which generate error at each generation. If there is such error, there would be no reason to so carefully record the chronology in the way done here. To establish long distance chronology a different strategy would be needed.

There are other places where long distance chronologies are given, and we typically see that the base chronology has tough parts to understand which is why the long distance times are given.

Since we have no long distance times given from Adam to the arrival in Egypt, we must assume that the times given across this age are good enough for calculating the overall time.

Summary

This article covered the time from Abraham up through the Exodus. The next season in the chronology is the times surrounding Moses. We turn to that next.



1. Genesis 17:17
2. Romans 4:19
3. Exodus 12:40
4. Exodus 12:41
5. Exodus 6:16
6. Exodus 6:18
7. Exodus 6:20
8. Genesis 31:38
9. Genesis 29:18
10. Genesis 31:41
11. Genesis 31:41
12. Genesis 31:38
13. Genesis 29:14
14. Genesis 29:31
15. Genesis 48:7
16. Genesis 12:7
17. Genesis 16:3
18. Genesis 16:16
19. Genesis 16:4
20. Genesis 25:17
21. Genesis 50:22
22. Genesis 37:2
23. Genesis 37:28
24. Genesis 37:36
25. Genesis 39:1
26. Genesis 39:20
27. Genesis 39:22
28. Genesis 41:1
29. Genesis 41:46
30. Genesis 45:6
31. Daniel 4:1
32. Exodus 12:40
33. Genesis 15:13
34. Acts 7:6
35. Genesis 15:16
36. Genesis 6:3
37. Genesis 17:24
38. Genesis 17:25