Today we follow Levi’s line down from entry into Egypt until Exit. Just reminding you how much “I love” genealogy; NOT.
To help me out with following our text I, once again, turned to Excel and made a spreadsheet. I’m curious first of all why Reuben and Simeon were listed with the sons they entered Egypt with. Was this because it was “rude” to skip them on our way to Levi’s tribe? We don’t learn anything more of Reuben and Simeon’s lines beyond their sons. No future generations mentioned HERE.
When tracing Levi’s line we see that two generations of his “tribe” entered Egypt and it took another four before they would exit Egypt. So four generations had never seen the Promised Land. They had only heard it in stories and probably songs.
We are given the death ages of three of Levi’s “tribe”, including Levi himself. Adding all these ages together we get 407 years. We know that the ages listed are NOT the ages these individuals had their first child or even the first one listed in direct relation to Moses. Therefore Israel was not in Egypt for that length of time. I was trying to figure out exactly how long they were slaves but I haven’t found that answer. I did come across one website where they speak of the 400 years of affliction and the 430 years of sojourning. I will give you a link to that page and let you decide what you think. I have a feeling that later on in another section of genealogy I might come up with more answers. Until then, I will just look at what is before me and accessible to me now.
There were two points of interest in this reading to me in our reading. The first one is that Moses’ mother was also his great aunt. “Amram took as his wife Jochebed his father’s sister, and she bore him Aaron and Moses” (verse 20a).
The second point is that Aaron took his wife from the tribe of Judah. That wife is two generations farther out than he is. Talk about a “May December marriage.” Judah’s line didn’t have any children for quite some time because of the death of his first two sons and his reluctance to give his third son the same wife. Perez, if born in the right generation would have been Judah’s grandson instead of his son. Maybe they weren’t that far apart in age.
It is amazing to me how much work I go through when I hit a genealogy section. I start tracing who is who and how they got there. I had no idea who Amminadab was but the name sounded familiar so I googled it. Low and behold, he is in the line of Jesus. I didn’t immediately remember him from Jesus’ genealogy nor his son who was Aaron’s wife’s brother. I liked discovering that the two lines worked together.
Who knows, maybe I am beginning to like genealogy after all. I have a feeling it is more that I feel the need to find SOMETHING in the genealogy that I am compelled to read to make it interesting to me. I’ll go down any “rabbit trail” I can and map it all out in Excel just so I can make sense of it. I’m grateful and saddened about the lack of more information though. I enjoyed tracing the ages and who was alive when from Adam to Abraham but I don’t think I could keep ALL the branches straight if I were given them. My tree would look like a twisted olive tree or maybe just REALLY lopsided in some areas.
Father God, thank You for giving me a curious nature. My curiosity drives me to find answers. But You also put limits on it for me and for that I am also VERY grateful! I don’t know how long I would be searching if I tried to “establish” every answer to all my questions. I am content to say that some answers will not be known this side of Heaven. And some of my answers will come later on as we walk further in Your word.
One of those answers MAY turn out to be the number of years the children of Israel were in Egypt. I don’t want to take anyone else’s word for it. I want to see it in Your word first. I like some of the ideas and insight that others post but if they don’t line up, they don’t go in my heart.
Thank You Holy Spirit for always making God’s word come alive to me. It amazes me how, even in the most mundane parts, You bring something out for me to ponder. That is what I pray for each time we meet together in study. Thank You for that answer to prayer. I KNOW I do not exhaust the depths of what we study. Those other nuggets are for another day. Maybe that is a big part of why I KEEP coming back, even to the overly familiar stories.
This reminds me of reading the book Love You Forever by Robert Munch. I read it several times before I noticed the cat in the story. It was on every page and followed the child throughout his life. When he moved out though he got a cat of his own that would no doubt follow his daughter throughout her life. Something hidden in the pictures that wasn’t seen until I looked a little deeper. Keep me digging deeper in You word Father! I LOVE looking at Your “scrapbook”!!!