Re: 4,000 years from Adam to Christ (was 'ish list)

Date: Mon May 13 2002 - 14:26:52 EDT

  • Next message: JW Burgeson: "RE: Another thing people can throw rocks at"

    Hello Gordon,

    You wrote: We are told that Israel lived in Egypt exactly 430 years (Exodus

    I don't believe we are. Neither do many Bible scholars. It depends on how the
    Hebrew here is read. If you have a Hebrew interlinear you can see that
    Ex.12:40 actually reads, "The time of the dwelling of the sons of Israel, who
    had lived in Egypt, was 430 years." The "dwelling" that is there referred to
    can be understood to have been the total amount of time the Israelites dwelt
    in both Canaan and Egypt, from the time Abraham first entered Canaan. That
    this is what the Hebrew text actually means was understood by both the
    writers of the Samaritan Pentateuch and the Septuagint. For, as a footnote in
    the NIV tells us, both of these versions of the Old Testament say that the
    "430 years" was the time the Israelites lived in "Egypt and Canaan."

    This is also clearly the way that the apostle Paul understood the "430 years"
    of Ex. 12:40,41. For in Galatians 3:16,17 Paul wrote, "The promises were
    spoken to Abraham and to his seed. The Scripture does not say 'and to seeds,'
    meaning many people, but 'and to your seed,' meaning one person, who is
    Christ. What I mean is this: The law, introduced 430 years later, does not
    set aside the covenant previously established by God and thus do away with
    the promise." So Paul understood that the "430 years" referred to the period
    of time which began when Abraham first entered Canaan. For it was at that
    time that God made His promise to Abraham concerning Abraham's "seed." (Gen.

    In Gen. 15:13 God told Abraham that his descendants would be "enslaved and
    mistreated for 400 years." However, as you pointed out, Abraham's descendants
    "weren't enslaved right away." In fact Bible historians tell us that the
    Israelites did not become slaves in Egypt until long after they first entered
    Egypt. Their slavery is believed to have actually lasted more in the area of
    200 years, not 400 years. So then, to what did God refer when He said that
    Abraham's descendants would be "enslaved and mistreated" for 400 years? Bible
    chronology reveals that the mistreatment of Abraham's descendants at the hand
    of Egyptians began exactly 30 years after Abraham first entered Canaan, when
    Abraham's oldest son Ishmael, whom he had fathered by his wife's Egyptian
    maid servant Hagar, began ridiculing his younger half brother Isaac. This
    persecution of Isaac by Ishmael was considered to be of such a serious nature
    that it resulted in God instructing Abraham to expel both Ishmael and Hagar
    from the land in which they then lived. (Gen. 21:1-20)

    You wrote: I see no scriptural justification for assuming that certain events
    must be separated by exactly some multiple of 1000 years.

    Nothing in Scripture indicates that the creation of Adam and the birth of
    Christ must have been separated by exactly 4,000 years. However, that is what
    my study of Bible chronology reveals took place. With that in mind, it seems
    reasonable to assume that is what all the 40s and 400s in Scripture may have
    symbolically pointed to.

    You wrote: Such an assumption has been used to produce the rumor that
    scientists had accounted for Joshua's long day and to make false predictions
    about the date of Christ's Second Coming.

    Much of the content of Scripture has been improperly used. I am certainly not
    making any predictions for the time of Christ's return. It is true that
    studies of Bible chronology have been improperly used for such purposes. It
    is also true that studies of Bible prophecy have been improperly used for
    such purposes. Simply because some of the contents of Scripture can be and
    are sometimes misused does not mean that they cannot be properly, and even
    very beneficially, used for the purpose God intended.


    This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : Mon May 13 2002 - 20:06:13 EDT