This is another good example of where the Bible explains itself. Let’s begin with the simple answer. This has long been a Jewish belief – hence why Paul apparently believed it. We do know several facts for sure. Just how long were the Israelites in Egypt? But there are different ideas of how long they spent there and for how long they were enslaved. However, the focus of these verses is the SOJOURN of the children of Israel. Literally, this sojourn began when Abraham left Ur at the age of 70. Or was it a lower number, around 215 years? The Children of Israel did not immediately become slaves when Joseph died, not until another Pharaoh arose who did not know Joseph (say 30-40 years minimum, a generation) so the Israelites were slaves in Egypt something around 100 years before the Exodus. The Israelites were in Egypt for generations but the whole time was not spent in slavery. It turns out that the actual length of time that the Israelites were in Egyptian slavery was far less than 430 years. Under a previous administration, the Israelites had royal permission to live in the land and to work it. After the plagues were done, and Pharaoh finally let the Israelites go, they wandered in … David Gadeloff has an undergraduate degree in chemistry and is a consultant on building violations removal in New York. This video explains how long the Israelites were in Egypt. 19:2 For they were departed from Rephidim, and were come [to] the desert of Sinai, and had pitched in the wilderness; and there Israel camped before the mount. At first, it was a good life; in fact, far better that the drought conditions they escaped from in Canaan. In Exodus 12:40 we read: The dwellings of the children of Israel that they dwelt in Egypt were 430 years. 19:1 In the third month, when the children of Israel were gone forth out of the land of Egypt, the same day came they [into] the wilderness of Sinai. First, the Bible says in (Ex 7:7) that Moses was 80 years old when the 10 plagues started after he spoke to Pharaoh. As a nation, they were destined to bless the world. So then, the proposition that the Israelites were actually in Egypt only 215ish years (some calculate 210, by the way) is not made only by Christians in order to accommodate Galatians. But were they actually in slavery for 430 years? Brief summary the video: 1:10). But based on the evidence shown, the Israelites were actually in Egypt for only 215 years. By taking verses from here and there we can build up a picture of the timing of Israel's sojourn in Egypt. But here the new king of Egypt sensed in their numbers a threat to his national security and thus decided to deal “shrewdly” with them (Exod. Verse 41 reiterates that after 430 years all … Some argue that Exodus 12:40-41 shows conclusively that the Israelites were slaves in Egypt for 430 years. Rashi’s commentary on the verse in question is that the Israelites were indeed in Egypt for only 210 years, since this is the sum one comes to when counting the lifespans of Jacob, Levi, Kohath, Amram, and Moses. But then we are told in both Genesis 15:13 and in Acts 7:6 that they would leave Egypt after only 400 years (NOT 430 years)! The Exodus of the Israelites from Egypt (1830 painting by David Roberts) (Photo credit: Wikipedia) By Mike Exton The Bible Comes Alive We are told in both Exodus 12:40-41 and in Galatians 3:17 that the Israelites left Egypt after 430 years. According to this chronology, the Israelites lived prosperously in Egypt for 116 years. 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