Overview Timeline of Exodus

Fig. 1 – This gives us an idea of when the exodus occurred assuming the 430 years began in Genesis 17 when Abraham was 99. Levi’s birth was extrapolated earlier while looking at Genesis, when Jacob is about 87. Levi’s death is given to us in Exodus 6:16 at 137 years.


Fig. 2 – Here is the alternative for when the 430 years starts, when the Israelites enter into Egypt. This is compared with the figure above to see the difference.



Fig. 3 – We are first going to consider the idea of Israel being in Egypt for 430 years. Moses and Aaron are 80 and 83 respectively when the exodus occurs, so their father Amram must have been alive 80 years before the exodus to have sired them.


Fig. 4 – Exodus 6:16-20 gives us the lifespans of the pertinent people in the lineage from Levi to Moses. Levi’s son Kohath was born before they entered into Egypt (Genesis 46:8, 11). Below shows him as an infant entering in. Kohath lives to 133 years and sires several children including Amram. Below we assume the latest possible time for Amram to have been born, near the death of Kohath. Amram lives to 137 years. Unless there are some missing generations that Moses neglected to inform us about, there is no way the Israelites could have been in Egypt for 430 years. There is at least an 83 year gap between the death of Amram and the birth of Moses! Also recall God’s prophecy to Abraham that the fourth generation would return to Canaan (Gen. 15:16).


Fig. 5 – Now let us consider the alternative case. So far things seem to work out.


Fig. 6 – Below is the extreme case given above in Fig. 4 concerning Kohath and Amram. It is possible, but very unlikely. It seems like an important detail to have left out had Amram joined them in the exodus.


Fig. 7 – This case appears to be more likely, keeping Kohath and Amram on a slightly sliding timeline. I place Kohath here, because I do not believe Levi had any children before Joseph was sold as a slave. I place Amram as early as I do because Levi’s daughter Jochebed ends up marrying Amram, so their ages were probably comparable. Levi had her after entering into Egypt (Num. 26:59). Enslavement is said to have begun after a king arose that did not know Joseph—this was likely after Joseph’s death, but we are not told how long after. The latest enslavement began was just prior to Moses’ birth. The truth is probably somewhere in between.


Fig. 8 – Below, we see Judah’s lineage overlaid. I estimate Judah being born about a year after Levi, as we looked at earlier. Perez and Hezron, Judah’s son and grandson, were born before they entered into Egypt (Gen. 46:8, 12). I have spaced out Ram, Amminadab, and Nahshon. Ram seems to be around before enslavement began, so Elihu, Job’s younger friend, may be his kin (Job 32:2). Nahshon leads Judah in the exodus and the wilderness, and later dies in the wilderness (Num. 2:3; 14:26-35). Salmon is either born in the wilderness, or less than 20 years before the exodus since he ends up marrying Rahab, former harlot from Jericho (Matt. 1:3-5).

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