Re: 430 years: || Gal 3:16-17 (cf. Gen 12:1-4, 10; 22:18)
Re: 400 years: -| Gen 15:13 (See notes); Acts 7:6
Re: 4 Generations: -| Gen 15:16
Start at 2,021 AM (Abraham is 75 (Gen 12:4)
- 25 yrs (to Isaac's birth: 2,046 am - Gen 21:5)
- 60 yrs (to Jacob's birth: 2,106 am - Gen 25:26)
130 yrs (to Jacob entering Egypt: 2,236 aM - Gen 47:28)
= 215 yrs (from covenant promise, to entering Egypt)
215 yrs (before Egypt. 3 generations.)
215 yrs (in Egypt. Prophesied as 4 generations - as lifespans were shrinking.)
= 430 yrs
2,451 AM (430 from the promise to Abram at age 75 to the Exodus)
1,446 bc (according to notes for 1 Kings 6:1)
My most likely estimation for the starting point of the 430 yr prophecy is currently the point where Abraham left Haran and began receiving covenant promises, and began sojourning per God's call. (See supplementary notes on Gal 3:17).
Gal 3:16-17 says that the law came 430 years after the promise (referring to Abraham).
Ex 12:40 says that "the time that the sons of Israel lived in Egypt was 430 years."
Yet it is impossible that the starting point of the 430 be the time that God began covenanting with Abraham AND at the time that Jacob's son's moved to Israel. At this point, we must acknowledge that there is a discrepancy here, when these passages are taken at face value. The goal is not to figure out which one is correct (four we presume that both are correct when interpreted properly), rather than goal is to understand which passage may be accepted literally, and how does that impact the interpretation of the other?
after spending some time studying this, I have come to the conclusion that Paul's description in Galatians is as it sounds (the 430 began at the time of promise), and it is actually this passage (Ex 12:40-41) which must be understood a little more deeply. Even though there were not technically "sons of Israel" at the time when Abraham came out of Haran, yet it is Biblically consistent to interpret the actions of father Abraham as those of the sons of Israel because they were understood to yet be "in his loins," so to speak, in the same sense that Levi "paid tithes to Melchizedek" by virtue that Abraham actually did so while Levi was "still in the loins of his father..." (Heb 7:9-10).
It can be seen in other sources that this was understood in ancient Judaism, as well. The Septuagint (which was likely the Bible of choice in Jesus day), actually words Ex 12:40 as follows:
"And the sojourning of the children of Israel while they sojourned in the land of Egypt AND THE LAND OF CHANAAN was four hundred and thirty years." - LXX, English Translation
This corresponds to Josephus understanding as well:
- (318) They left Egypt in the month of Xanthicus, on the fifteenth day of the lunar month; four hundred and thirty years after our forefather Abraham came into Canaan, but two hundred and fifteen years only after Jacob removed into Egypt." Antiquities 2.318
This is also the view held by the SDA Commentators:
"40. Four hundred and thirty years. The discussion on Gen. 15:13 points out that Paul’s statement in Gal. 3:17 and other evidence make it clear that this 430 years includes the period from Abraham’s call to leave Haran to Jacob’s actual descent into Egypt 215 years later, and that the interval between Jacob’s entry into Egypt and the Exodus was another 215 years. Since in the time of Moses, Palestine was considered a part of the Egyptian empire, it is not strange to find an author of that period including Canaan in the term “Egypt.” Not being familiar with the political situation in Moses’ time, but feeling that the 430 years included the patriarchal sojourn in Canaan, the translators of the LXX specifically included within this period the time of their sojourn “in the land of Egypt and the land of Canaan.” The prophecy that the fourth generation of those who had entered Egypt would leave it (Gen. 15:16), and its recorded fulfillment (Ex. 6:16–20), make impossible any other explanation of the 430-year period." - SDABC
Also, Abraham's original sojourn from Haran, merely passed through the land of Canaan, and his actual first destination was Egypt anyway (Gen 12:4-10):
"So Abram went forth [out of the land of Haran] as the Lord had spoken to him...Now there was a famine in the land; so Abram went down to Egypt to sojourn there..."
In this sense, the "children of Israel" DID begin their sojourn in Egypt 430 years before the Exodus, not from the time of Jacob's arrival there, but from the time that God gave the promise to Abraham, just as Paul says:
"Now the promises were spoken to Abraham and to his seed...the Law, which came four hundred and thirty years later, does not invalidate a covenant previously ratified by God, so as to nullify the promise." - Ga 3:16–17