There was 55 years of prosperity, then Joseph dies and it will be 143 years to the Exodus. Israel was in Egypt about 215 years. Now, Moses was 80 when they departed and were slaves all of that period. When you take the 215 years, minus the 80, you get 135 years. Deduct the 55 years of prosperity, that leaves 70 years they were not in slavery after Joseph.
Following Amenhemhat III, there were two more Pharaoh’s. Amenhemhat IV reigned nine years, then a woman, possibly his sister Sobekneferu, who reigned four years. After these thirteen years, a new dynasty arises, going into the second Intermediate Period. We have had in Egypt a “golden age” and now it will begin to decline. The 13th Dynasty will be 63 years. Remember, Egyptian chronologers are not like in the Bible. It can be tedious. Where the Bible gives the exact years someone reigned, it is not the case with the Egyptians. Things can get contradictory because of different “notes” on what was going on.
So, we have 13 years for the 11th and 12th dynasty, and 63 years for the 13th dynasty. This is a total of 76 years. That puts us in the ballpark of 70 years Israel was not in slavery after Joseph till the birth of Moses in Exo 2.1-10. He was called “Moshe” (Moses) by Pharaoh’s daughter, which means “delivered out of water.” Now, Leviathan is an animal in the Bible. It comes from the root “Levi” (Lamed, Vav, Yod) which means to twist or coil. It is used interchangeably between several “sea monsters” called “Tannin.” Put that together and you have “Lev’yi’tan”, twisted serpent or monster (Isa 27.1). The sea was seen as the domain of the enemy of God, Ha Satan and these various creatures in the Bible. Moses was delivered from the water. He was put in the reeds so that he would not be carried away by the current, so it was in shallow water. His name is prophetic because he is going to deliver the people from the “water” of slavery.
Let’s go to Acts 7.17-22. Stephen says he was a man of power in words and deeds. Josephus goes into an account about Moses when he was a prince of Egypt. He was a military commander who successfully defeated the Nubians, and we will have more on that later. Now, go to Num 12.1 where it says he married an Ethiopian woman, a Nubian. According to Josephus, this was the princess of the King of Nubia to be exact, given to him when he conquered them. Now, if that is accurate or not is not the point. What we have in Moses is that he was a picture of the Messiah, so we need to learn what we can about him.
Later, Moses killed an Egyptian task master who was abusing some of his brethren (Exo 2.11-14). The next day he finds out the Hebrew slaves know about it when two Hebrews were fighting and Moses intervened. They said to him, “Who made you prince or a judge over us. Are you intending to kill me as you killed the Egyptian?” He knows the secret is out. Who was this task master and why would Moses have to worry about killing him? Moses was a prince of Egypt and in line to be Pharaoh. The task master may have been an important court official.
In Exo 12.40-41 we have an interesting statement. It says, “Now the sojourning of the sons of Israel, who dwelt in Egypt (at the time), was four hundred and thirty years.” This time period goes back to Gen 15.6, and it included the time Israel dwelt in Canaan as sojourners as well. Then it says in v 41, “to the very day.” This refers to Nisan 15, the day Abraham cut the Covenant between the Halves in Gen 15. Deut 16.1 says that Israel came out of Egypt at night, not like the movies portray, and it was Nisan 15. The counting of the 430 years, therefore, began on a Nisan 15, “to the very day.” Gal 3.15-17 also refers to this time period of 430 years, beginning with Abraham and the Covenant between the Halves in Gen 15, to the departure from Egypt in Exo 12.40-41. So, they weren’t in slavery for 430 years. They were in the land of Egypt 215 years, but not slaves that whole time.
So, let’s go back to Exo 1.1-6. Now, we have a link with Joseph and the Exodus. In Gen 50.22-26, Joseph says that “God will take care of you” twice. Other versions say “visit you” and in the Stone Tanak it is “remember you” but the Hebrew is “Pakod Yifkod.” In the Stone Chumash commentary on these verses it says, “Signs of the redemption. Joseph told his brothers a secret sign of the redemption that Jacob had confided to him in the last moments of his life. Some day, Jacob prevented him from saying when, a redeemer would come to the enslaved Jews in Egypt. He would tell them that God had declared “Pakod Pakod’ti”, or “I have indeed remembered (visited) you”, just as Joseph now promised his brothers, “V’elohim pakod yifkod et kem”, meaning “but God will surely remember (visit) you.” The implication of the term is that after a long period of time which seemed as if God had “forgotten” his people, he would manifest his presence, as if he remembered them.” This is certainly the implication in Luke 19.44 where he rebukes the people for not recognizing “the time of your visitation” (or “when I remembered you as promised”). In Exo 3.16 God does indeed tell Moses that “I am indeed concerned about you” (“pakod’ti”). In Exo 13.19 it says, “And Moses took the bones of Joseph with him, for he had made the sons of Israel solemnly swear saying, ‘God shall surely take care of you (“pakod yifkod”) and you shall surely carry my bones from here with you.'” This is the same phrase that Joseph said in Gen 50.24.
Let’s talk about the carrying out of the bones of Joseph. There is a lot of speculation that Israel crossed the Red Sea at the Gulf of Aqaba. Explorers (and we use the term loosely) said they found chariot wheels and a land bridge that went across to Midian. This can’t be true because it contradicts Scripture. They could not have crossed at that site because it was too far to go in less than three days. Moses had told Pharaoh that the Word of the Lord said that Pharaoh was to let the people go so they could serve him “three days.” To the Children of Israel he said they were going into the promised land. That is why they took the bones of Joseph with them. Both of these comments came from the Lord, and we know that God cannot lie. So, when Pharaoh came after them, it had to be in that three day period. They will cross at the Gulf of Suez. Pharaoh knows that there was a vow to take the bones of Joseph with them when Israel left the land to go back to Canaan (Gen 50.25). By doing this “Joseph’s tomb was empty.” His tomb was at a place called “Sukkot” and when the Greeks came in, they called the place “Succos” which is derived from Sukkot. We will get into this aspect more later. Let’s work on “visit” (pakod yifkod).
In Luke 19.41-44 we read where Yeshua wept over the city of Jerusalem. In Jewish liturgy, it says that when Messiah came he would weep over the city, but where did they get that from? It is found in 2 Sam 15.30 and when David was fleeing from Absalom. It says, “And David went up the ascent of the Mount of Olives and wept as he went, , and his head was covered and he walked barefoot. Then all the people who were with him each covered his head and went up weeping as they went.” It is now part of the liturgy at Sukkot. In Luke 19, Yeshua weeps over the city on the descent/ascent to the Mount of Olives (19.37) and he gives a prophecy about the coming destruction of Jerusalem because “you did not recognize the time of your visitation (remembered you).” This is a direct reference back to what Joseph said in Gen 50.24-25. Joseph mentions “visit” two times, one is in reference to the first redemption with Moses and the other is a reference to the second redemption. Now, let’s take this a little deeper.
In Luke 1.67-68 it says that Zechariah began prophesying and says “He has visited us and accomplished the redemption for his people.” This also a direct reference back to what Joseph said. Gabriel has appeared to Zechariah while he was praying the Shemoneh Esrai, or 18 Benedictions (also called the Amidah meaning “standing prayer”) at the Altar of Incense. He is told by Gabriel that he is going to have a son who will herald (“The Voice”-Isa 40.3) the Messiah. We know what prayer he was praying when Gabriel appeared, and it was Amidah 15, found in all Jewish prayer books. He doubts, and becomes deaf and dumb until Luke 1.68. Notice he says “and accomplished redemption for his people.” We have started the Messianic Redemption with the birth of his son, and he is using terminology from the first redemption (“visit”).
In Part 5, we will pick up here and discuss what prayer Zechariah was praying in the Temple. For those with a Siddur, go the the 18 Benedictions and #15 called “The Messianic King.” We will discuss this in greater detail in Part 5.