Two years ago I wrote a post with a Table derived mostly from biblical texts showing that the world was a little over 6000 years old, or in 2014 precisely 6188 years old. Since then I have learned that one of those biblical periods I used was incorrect and as a result the age of the earth and the whole Universe, in fact, as of 2016, is only 5975 years. That is less than 6000 years and gives us only 25 years to the 6000th birthday for the whole creation. That would be worth celebrating! It would be so nice if that is when our Father in heaven has decided to send back His beloved Son in the Day of the Lord, when judgment comes upon the whole world (Revelation 20:11). But watch and pray!
In this new calculation, only the period of time, derived from Exodus 12:40, for the children of Israel entering Egypt to their exodus has been changed, based on new information. Then I derive a new creation date where I get 3959 B.C. for the year of the beginning.
The difference with the old date (4174 B.C.) has come about because of a problem with the reading of Exodus 12:40. That verse states that the children of Israel were in Egypt 430 years in most English Bible translations but actually it should read:
Exodus 12:40 Now the sojourning of the children of Israel who dwelt in Egypt [and in Canaan] was four hundred and thirty years. (KJVER)
Bold text is not found in modern English Bibles. I believe this was inadvertently lost. This is evidenced by the fact that the Septuagint (LXX), which is the Hebrew OT translated into Greek about 250 BC, but quoted here as it reads from its English translation (LXXE), renders it as follows:
Exodus 12:40 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.
This is further supported by the following arguments.
Moses was 80 years old when he left Egypt (Exodus 7:7). Moses father Amram lived to 137 years (Exodus 6:20) and his father Kohath lived to 133 years (Exodus 6:18). And we know Kohath was one of the 66 children of Israel (i.e of Jacob, Genesis 46:26) — specifically of Levi (Genesis 46:11) — who went with Israel into Egypt to live their after the famine had begun. Even if you assume Kohath was a newborn baby when he went into Egypt and his child Amram was born in the year of his father’s death and Moses was also born in the year of his father’s death, adding their ages to Moses’ age when he left Egypt we get: 133 + 137 + 80 = 350 years, which is much less than 430 years. That makes it mathematically impossible for the children of Israel to have been in Egypt 430 years, and the assumptions there were unrealistic anyway, so it is unlikely it could have been more than 250 years.
How do we explain it? The Apostle Paul wrote:
Galatians 3:16,17 Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He said not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to your seed, which is Christ. 17 And this I say, that the covenant, that was confirmed before of God in Christ, the law, which was four hundred and thirty years after, cannot disannul [cancel], that it should make the promise of none [no] effect.
Thus from the time that Abraham received the promise to the time Moses received the law was a period of 430 years. In addition it can be shown from the biblical texts that from the time Abraham received the promise to the time Jacob and his children entered Egypt was 215 years. See graphic below.
Start with Abram getting the blessing from God and departing from Haran when he was 75 years old (Genesis 12:1-4). Abram (or Abraham) was 100 years old when Isaac was born (Genesis 21:5) and Isaac was 60 years old when Jacob was born (Genesis 25:26) and Jacob’s pilgrimage ended with his arrival in Egypt with his children which was 130 years (Genesis 47:9). Add these to get 215 years.
So how did this error occur in most OT Bibles? It was probably a copyist error, which was passed on through the Masoretic text. The older Septuagint does not have this error, and even though the Septuagint may have other errors, the fact that the Apostle Paul supports the fact that the 430 year period was not the total time in Egypt but a longer period from the time of the promise to Abraham to Moses leaving Egypt and obtaining the law in Sinai, means that this argument is well supported.
The following video explains the period of sojourn in the lands of Canaan and Egypt in detail.
Please note I am not seriously stating anything about Christ’s return in the coming year of 6000! There are a few dates there that are not exactly agreed upon and scholars are still arguing over. One of them is the historical date of the construction of Solomon’s Temple. I have found that the above analysis (in the video) of the period of sojourn in Egypt particularly compelling and have no alternative but to accept that. Here is another good analysis that supports it. My timeline is also in quite good agreement (within 9 years) of this one, though there are a few differences.
- DOES THE AGE OF THE EARTH REALLY MATTER?
- DEVELOPMENT OF AN “OLD” UNIVERSE IN SCIENCE
- WHY IS A 6000-YEAR-OLD UNIVERSE SO HARD TO BELIEVE?
- BIBLICAL CHRONOLOGY I
- BIBLICAL CHRONOLOGY II
- THE BIG BANG IS NOT A REASON TO BELIEVE!
- 6-DAY CREATION OF THE UNIVERSE
- THE FOUNDATION OF GOD STANDS SURE
- AGE AS A QUALITY FACTOR OF HUMAN LIFE AFTER THE FLOOD