101 Bible Secrets
Bible Secret Number 29 

The 400 Years of Bondage

Audio read by Tom Parks -  MP3
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In Genesis 15:13 Abraham was told that his people would be afflicted for 400 years. Almost all scholars have taken this 400 years to be a round number. Is this the case?

The number "400" is absolutely literal Ė to the very year! Notice how this can be shown. In Abrahamís "vision" he was told he would die in a good old age, and he died at 175. He was told that after his death "his seed" would be afflicted as strangers for 400 years until the Amorite sins (the Canaanites) would come to full measure. It is interesting that from the year of Abrahamís death (as the "vision" said) there were exactly 400 years to the year when Joshua divided the land of the Amorites among the "seed of Abraham" (Joshua 14:7-10) Ė this is the year when the sins of the Amorites reached their fullness and Israel officially replaced them in the Land of Canaan.

There is a further way of proving this. This "400" years also blends precisely with another chronological indication of "430 years." Note that Moses said that the Exodus from Egypt by the Israelites commenced on the very day of the conclusion of a period of 430 years (Exodus 12:40,41). The apostle Paul stated that this period of 430 years began at a time when God made a covenant with Abraham and this covenant was very important to Paul. Paul used the later name of Abraham, not Abram (Galatians 3:14-19). The only time that a covenant was made with Abraham (as Paul stated) and after his name was changed from Abram was in Abrahamís year 99 as recorded in Genesis 17. This means that the apostle Paul reckoned 430 years from Abrahamís year 99 unto the year of the Exodus Ė and Moses said the Exodus started on the very day (the exact anniversary) of the end of the 430 years (Exodus 12:40,41). Thus, all one has to do is to add 430 years to Abrahamís year 99 and there is a grand total of 529 years from Abrahamís birth to the Exodus. Then add 46 years to the time that Joshua divided the land of the Amorites (Joshua 14:7-10) and the number 575 is reached from Abrahamís birth. But remember that Abraham lived to be 175 years of age (Genesis 25:7). So, one simply needs to subtract 175 from 575 and we arrive at exactly 400 years from Abrahamís death and the year when the sins of the Amorites reached maturity. This means that both the "400 years" in Genesis 15:13 are literal (to the very year), but that also the "430 years" of Moses (Exodus 12:40,41) and referred to by the apostle Paul (Galatians 3:14-19) are literal (to the very year).

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