Why can the Pasuk not mean literally, that they spent the entire 430 years in Egypt?


Rashi: Because even if one adds up all the years of K'has (who went down to Egypt with Ya'akov), Amram his son and the eighty years of Moshe his grandson, they will fall far short of 430 (let alone the fact that many of their years overlapped). 1


Rashi: In fact they spent two hundred and ten years in Egypt (See Bereishis, 42:2:1:1). See also Ramban, who explains that the tradition of two hundred and ten years began after the death of Ya'akov (in which case, they actually spent 227 years in Egypt).


Rashi writes that they spent only 210 years in Egypt. If so, why does the Torah write that they left Egypt after 30 years and 400 years?


Rashi, Ramban and Rashbam (on Pasuk 41): What the Torah means is that the last of the 430 years of Galus (over and above the years that the Avos spent in lands that were not theirs) were spent in Egypt, which they now left.


Targum Yonason: The verse means that they were 30 Shemitos of years (i.e. 210) in Egypt, until 400 years after Hashem told Avraham [of the exile].


Seeing as the Torah writes (in Lech Lecha, Bereishis 15:13) that the Galus would last 400 years, why does the Torah write here 430?


Rashi, Ramban #1 (citing the Seider Olam), Seforno, Rashbam and Targum Yonasan: The 400 1 years began from the birth of Yitzchak 2 (when Avraham was 100) whereas the Pasuk here counts from Bris Bein ha'Besarim, which took place 30 years earlier, (when he was 70 3 ).


Ramban #2: Hashem said 400 years, but he added (See 15:16) that the fourth generation would return, to hint that 400 years was Lav Davka, and that it would extend until the fourth generation of the Cana'anim. 4


Ramban #3 (citing the Ibn Ezra): Refer to Bereishis 15:13:4:3*.


Ramban #4: The 400 years that Hashem told Avraham began with the Bris Bein ha'Besarim. Hashem promised Avraham that his children would be in Galus for 400 years, that they would not return for four generations and that, after that, they would leave with a great possession. He did not however, specify exactly what 'after that' entailed. Consequently, whether they would leave immediately or only some time later would depend on their worthiness when the time arrived. And because when the time arrived, they were not worthy of redemption, 5 Hashem extended the Galus by 30 years. 6


Refer to 12:40:2:2.


Moshav Zekenim (41): When Hashem decrees exile on a nation, He exiles their Sarim. "Kol Tziv'os Hashem] refers to [Yisrael's] 7 Sarim and angels that were in Egypt for 430 years.


Yalkut Shimoni (Lech Lecha 62): Bnei Yisrael were there for 215 years, counting from the birth of Yosef' sons five years before Yakov descended, and they enslaved Yisrael and made them work day and night. 8


Kol Eliyahu (1:14): They were in Egypt only 210 years; 190 years were deducted due to the harshness of the slavery. The Ta'amim 'Kadma v'Azla' (went early) on "va'Ymareru Es Chayeihem" hint to this; their Gematriya is 190. Penimim mi'Shulchan ha'Gra (10:9) says that these Ta'amim on "bi'Vaneinu uv'Vnoseinu" hint that 190 years were deducted due to the abundance of children


As Hashem told Avraham in Lech-Lecha (15:13 [Rashi]).


Refer to 12:40:4:1.


When their sins would warrant their destruction (because Yisrael's remaining in the desert for forty years had nothing to do with the Emori's sins [Ramban]). It therefore transpires that Galus Egypt lasted 400 years plus another 30 years whilst they waited for the sins of the Emori to be complete (See Ramban, who cites a similar explanation regarding the Pasuk in Devarim 2:14).


See Yechezkel, 20:8 [Ramban]). Hashem would have extended it still longer, and it is only due to their harsh treatment (refer to 12:40:3:1*) and bitter cries that He had compassion on them and took them out (See for example Shemos, 2:23,24 and Devarim 27:7, as recorded in the Hagadah [Ramban]). The fact that Hashem gave the initial time of the Ge'ulah as 400 years also explains why the B'nei Efrayim left Egypt 30 years before the rest of the people (Sanhedrin, 92b [Ramban] See also opening Targum Yonasan in Parshas Beshalach). They calculated correctly. They did not err! (Ramban).


In the same way as He kept them in the desert due to the sin of the Spies, thereby causing their return to their land by another forty years, as a result of which the fourth generation did not return as Hashem had originally told Avraham.


Many sources (e.g. Pirkei d'R. Eliezer (24), Otzar ha'Midrashim (Aseres ha'Dibros 3), Ramban Devarim 32:12, Rikanti Devarim 32:5, R. Bechaye Shemos 25:18; also refer to 12:12:2:3) say that the other nations are under an angel, but Yisrael are directly under Hashem. However, we find "Micha'el Sarchem" (Daniel 10:21); Yalkut Shimoni (Vayishlach 132) says that Hashem appointed him over Yisrael. Zohar (2, Terumah 139a) calls him the Apotrofosa (overseer) of Yisrael. Shmos Rabah 18:5 implies that he is merely an advocate of Yisrael. Otzar Midrashim (Gan Eden; Gehinom DH l'Asid) calls also Gavriel a Sar of Yisrael. Sefer ha'Manhig (Tefilah 57) says that Refa'el is the third angel appointed over Yisrael to advocate for us. (PF)


Hadar Zekenim says like this, just he omitted counting from the birth of Yosef' sons. I do not understand counting double 215 years due to work at night, for the slavery began only after Yosef died! (PF)


Avraham was seventy-five when he arrived in Eretz Cana'an (as the Torah specifically wrote at the beginning of Lech-Lecha). So how can he have been seventy when the Bris Beis ha'Besarim took place?


Ramban: After the Bris Bein ha'Besarim, Avraham returned to Charan for another five years., when Hashem told him to move to Eretz Cana'an for good.

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