The story of Israel starts with the Birth of Abraham. God chose him out of the nations to be the father of His chosen nation through whom He would reveal His Plan of Redemption.
“So Abram departed as the Lord had spoken unto him, and Lot went with him and Abram was 75 years old when he departed out of Haran.” Genesis 12:4.
As soon as Abram obeyed and entered Canaan the Lord appeared to him and promised him possession of the Land (Genesis 12:7; Acts 7:5).Thus God entered into covenant and made promise to Abram when he was 75.
This was the start of the sojourning in a foreign land.
This sojourning is described in Exodus 12:40, 41: “Now the sojourning of the children of Israel (who dwelt in Egypt), was 430 years. And it came to pass at the end of the 430 years, even the selfsame day it came to pass, that all the hosts of the lord went out from the Land of Egypt.”
For about the first 215 years they were travelling nomads mainly in the land of Canaan. They then entered Egypt because of the famine and dwelt there for a further 215 years. They increasingly came under Pharaoh’s oppression. This was ended by the Exodus when the nation of Israel was born.
Galatians 3:16,17: “Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, “And to seeds,” as of many, but as of one, “And to thy seed,” which is Christ. And this I say, that the COVENANT, that was confirmed before of God in Christ, the law which was 430 years AFTER, cannot annul, that is should make the promise of none effect.”
*75 + 430 gives a total of 505 years from Abram’s Birth to the Exodus (15 years too many).
“And Sarai, Abram’s wife took Hagar her maid the Egyptian, after Abram had dwelt 10 years in the land of Canaan and gave her to her husband Abram to be his wife. And he went into Hagar and she conceived.” Genesis 16:3, 4a. Therefore Abram was 85 when this happened.
“And Abraham was 100 years old when his son Isaac was born unto him.” Genesis 21:5. Therefore Isaac was born 15 years (100 – 85) after Abram sinned and Ishmael was conceived! For these 15 years Ishmael occupied the place of the promised seed to continue the line to Messiah. It was only through Isaac God would forward his Plan of Redemption. Thus for 15 years God’s Redemption Program was suspended by this ‘work of the flesh’ until Isaac was born. Therefore these 15 YEARS ARE UNRECKONED TIME! 505 – 15 = 490 years! - on RC we have exactly 490 years. Praise the Lord! Abraham’s Birth to the Exodus forms a 490 year Forgiveness Cycle.
*This has a clear application to our own lives. Our attempts to fulfil God's plan in the activity of the flesh (because we do not believe His promise) will only get in the way and delay what God wants to do in and through our lives.
* Abraham was God’s representative so his unbelief caused a 15 year delay of unreckoned time. Genesis jumps over the unreackoned time. Silence. Near the end of this 15 years God appeared again to Abraham (who is still in unbelief) to rebuke him and call him back to fellowship and faith concerning his promised seed, Isaac, the key to the plan of redemption going forward (Genesis 17).
*Now try and COMPLETE the chronology of this period yourself by filling the gaps of the chart provided here, before you check on the answers below.
*Other dates in this period:
“And He said unto Abram “Know of a surety that YOUR SEED shall be a stranger in a land that is not theirs (and shall serve them, and they shall afflict them) 400 years. And also that nation whom they shall serve will I judge and afterward shall they come out with great substance…. In the fourth generation they shall come here again, for the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet full” (Genesis 15:13,14,16).
“And God spoke on this wise, That his SEED should sojourn in a strange land, (and that they should bring them into bondage and treat them evil) 400 years” (Acts 7:6).
“And the nation to whom they shall be in bondage I shall judge said God: and after that shall they come forth and serve Me in this place”(Acts 7:7).
Notice the time period of 400 years is given during which Abraham’s seed (not Abraham) would sojourn in other nations. What event could initiate these 400 years? Now Abraham was 75 when he received the Covenant. Isaac was born 25 years later when Abraham was 100 (Genesis 21:5). So thirty years after the Covenant Isaac would be 5. This is the starting point of the 400 years.
The first major event of Isaac’s life happened at this time: “And the child grew and was weaned and Abraham made a great feast the same day that Isaac was weaned. And Sarah saw the son of Hagar the Egyptian which she had born unto Abraham mocking. Wherefore she said unto Abraham, “Cast out this bondwoman and her son: for the SON OF THIS BONDWOMAN SHALL NOT BE HEIR WITH MY SON, even with Isaac”. So 30 years after the Covenant Isaac, age 5 was weaned. During the celebration Ishmael mocked him. This mocking marked the start of the affliction of Abraham’s promised seed as they sojourned. This affliction started here in Canaan and ended in the Egyptian slavery. Until this point Abraham had not officially recognised Isaac as the true seed. Therefore Ishmael the elder son still stood in a position to inherit. Therefore Sarah requested that Ishmael be cast out from the family, from his position and his inheritance. God agreed with Sarah“for in Isaac shall thy seed be called” (Genesis 21:12). Thus God established Isaac fully as the rightful seed and inheritor of the Covenant. In Genesis 21:14 Abraham sends Ishmael away- a vital action by Abraham. You must cast out the product of your flesh for the fruit and work of the spirit to be established in your life. Abraham had to make that hard decision.
*Sarah’s death. “Now Sarah lived 127 years …” Genesis 23:1. Sarah was 90 when she bore Isaac. (Genesis 17:17). So Isaac was 37 when she died. Abraham was 100 years old when Isaac was born so Abraham was 137 when Sarah died.
*The marriage of Isaac: “Isaac was 40 years old when he took Rebekah …to be his wife”. Genesis 25:20. So this took place 3 years after Sarah’s death, when Abraham was 140.
*The birth of Esau and Jacob: “And afterward his brother came forth with his hand holding onto Esau’s heel so his name was called Jacob, and Isaac was 60 years old when she gave birth to them” Genesis 25:26. Isaac was 60, 20 years after their marriage. So Abraham was 160 years old.
*Abraham’s death: “And these are all the years of Abraham’s life that he lived, 175 years” Genesis 25:7. Isaac is now 75.
*Joseph’s birth requires a small calculation because it is nowhere stated directly in scripture.
(1). “Joseph was 30 years old when he stood before Pharaoh” Genesis 41:46. Joseph was 30 when he began to rule.
(2). Joseph revealed himself to his brethren after 9 years of rule.
“Now therefore be not grieved, nor angry with yourselves, that ye sold me hither, for God did send me before you to preserve life. Forthese 2 years has the famine been in the land and yet there are 5 years, in the which there shall neither be earning nor harvest”.Genesis 45:5,6. Joseph first ruled in the 7 years of plenty. Now a further 2 years of famine were completed leaving 5 to go. Therefore at this time he had completed 9 years of rule. So Joseph was 39.
(3)Therefore Jacob came into Egypt after Joseph had 9 years of rule. Joseph began to rule at 30. Therefore he was 39 when Jacob came. Now when Jacob arrived Pharaoh asked him his age. “Jacob said unto Pharaoh, “The days of the years of my pilgrimage are an 130 years”Genesis 47:9.
So, Jacob was 130 when he entered Egypt and his son Joseph was 39 at the same time. Therefore Jacob was 91 when Joseph was born.
This was 251 years after Abraham’s Birth.
*The selling of Joseph into Egypt, “which happened when he was 17” (Genesis 37:2). This would be 268 years after Abraham’s Birth.
*Isaac’s death. “And the days of Isaac were 180 years”. Genesis 35:28.
Isaac was born when Abraham was 100.
So Isaac died 280 years after Abraham’s Birth.
*Joseph began to rule at age 30 (Gen 41:46).
This was 281 years after Abraham’s Birth.
*Jacob and his familiy entered Egypt 9 years later.
This was 290 years after Abraham’s Birth.
*Seventeen years later Jacob died. “Jacob lived in the land of Egypt 17 years, so the whole age of Jacob was 147 years”. Genesis 47:28.
307 years after Abraham’s Birth.
*Joseph was born when Jacob was 91 at the end of Jacob’s 14 years serving Laban in payment for his daughters (Genesis 25:28). So Jacob’s flight and the time he started serving Laban was at age 77. He served 14 years and continued a further 6 years for cattle before leaving Laban (Genesis 31:38).
*Joseph’s death. “So Joseph died being 110 years old and they embalmed him and he was put in a coffin in Egypt” Genesis 50:26.
Thus Joseph lived 110 Years. He was born 250 years after Abraham’s Birth and therefore died 360 years after Abraham’s Birth.
*Exodus picks up the story with the Birth of Moses. “And when he was full 40 years old it came into his heart to visit his brethren the children of Israel” Acts 7:23. He smote the Egyptian (Acts 7:24) and fled soon after that to Midian (Acts 7:29). He spent 40 years in Midian.“And when 40 years were expired (fulfilled) there appeared to him in the wilderness of mount Sinai an Angel of the Lord in a flame of fire in a bush”. Acts 7:30.
1. Moses in Egypt - 40 years (Acts 7:23)
2. Moses in Midian - 40 years (Acts 7:30)
3. Moses in the wilderness after the Exodus - 40 years. So Moses lived - 120 years.
This is confirmed in Deuteronomy 34:7. “Moses was 120 years old when he died”
We now know the Chronology of Moses to the Exodus. We have also filled in the Chronology from the birth of Abraham to the death of Joseph. What remains to find out is the time between Joseph’s death and Moses’ birth. There seems to be a gap in the chronology here. Nowhere are we told this length of time. However we shall see that scripture’s chronology is complete. Using the 430 years of Exodus 12 and Galatians 3 we can deduce that the time from Joseph’s death to Moses’ birth is 64 years.
*Finally we can quickly verify the fact that the 430 years from Abraham’s Covenant to the Exodus is nearly divided in two. The first 215 years they mainly sojourned in Canaan. The second 215 years they settled in Egypt where they eventually became slaves there; (if you start going into 'Egypt' and settling into it, then you will become a slave to it before long). If you look at the chart the 430 years begins with the Covenant, 75 years after Abraham’s birth. If you go forward 215 years that would be 290 years after the Covenant. You will see that at this time (290 years) Jacob came to Egypt with all his sons to settle there. So the second 215 years until the Exodus were spent in Egypt. Again we can see God’s design in the perfect division of the 430 years into two halves.