IX.9. Was Israel In Bondage to Egypt 400 Years or 430 Years?

Question:  In Genesis 15:13 the Bible says Israel shall serve the Egyptians 400 years, but in Exodus 12:41 it says they were in Egypt 430 years. Is this a contradiction?

Answer:  In Genesis 15:13, God prophesied that Israel would be AFFLICTED in Egypt for 400 years. Notice carefully,

"...Know of a surety that thy seed shall be a stranger in a land (Egypt) that is not theirs, and shall serve them; and they shall AFFLICT them four hundred years."

The first 30 years in bondage, Israel was not persecuted, but as they multiplied and a new pharaoh took office, things changed. In Exodus 1:8,

"Now there arose up a new king over Egypt which knew not Joseph."

Beginning with this king and continuing for 400 years. Israel was treated as a slave and put to hard labor. Read all of Exodus, Chapter One.

Now, in Exodus 12:41 we are given the total number of years Israel was in Egypt.

"And it came to pass at the end of the four hundred and thirty years, even the selfsame day it came to pass, that all the hosts of the LORD went out from the land of Egypt."

No contradiction at all. Exodus 12 gives the total number of years in Egypt; while Genesis 15 gives the number of years afflicted. From Adam until now, the whole world has been afflicted by sin and death, but we thank God,

"For he hath made Him (Christ) to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him (Christ)." - 2 Corinthians 5:21

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