Time Line

430 Years Sojourning

Moses gives us the first important date. Moses had an observance of the 430th anniversary of Israel’s sojourning at the time of the Exodus from Egypt. Israel’s sojourning began when Abraham left his land in Ur and went into the land of Canaan: “Now the time that the children of Israel dwelt in Egypt was four hundred and thirty years. And it came to pass at the end of four hundred and thirty years, even the selfsame day it came to pass, that all the hosts of Jehovah went out from the land of Egypt.” (Exodus 12:40-41). It is important to note that according to Moses, the Exodus from Egypt was on the 430 years commemoration of the sojourning of Israel.

The 430 years started with Abraham leaving Ur and ends when Moses made the Exodus statement. To gain further understanding, let us take a look at the moment the 430 years begins: “They went forth with them from Ur of the Chaldees, to go into the land of Canaan; and they came unto Haran, and dwelt there” (Genesis 11:31). Abraham chose to go with his father out of Ur and into the land of Canaan. Abraham did not need to do this as seen in Genesis 11:27. His brother Nahor did not go with him, so one can discern that Abraham had a choice. God called Abraham out of Ur in Genesis 15:7, saying, “I am Jehovah that brought thee out of Ur of the Chaldees, to give thee this land to inherit it.” Abraham listened to God and did as God asked by leaving Ur. From the moment Abraham left his home in Ur, he became a sojourner, and his descendants remained so, as Moses pointed out, 430 years later at the time of Exodus from Egypt.

Moses’ statement compares Abraham’s Exodus of Ur to Israel’s Exodus from Egypt. Moses states that 430 years earlier, on the very same day, 15 Nisan, Abraham left his home in Ur. The fact that Abraham started his sojourn on the same day 430 years earlier, just as Israel was leaving Egypt, would be a uniting factor. Abraham left Ur in order to seek out God. Israel also left the sinful country of Egypt seeking God. Moses is comparing Abraham to Israel in a fashion that would empower them to unify around a form of a rallying call.

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