I know that Samuel David Luzzatto (1800-1865) said that we served all 400 years in Egypt as opposed to just 210. Are then any other "famous" commentators that say this?

  • Do you have a link that shows this - as in following a dateline it doesn't jive. Jan 28, 2011 at 3:40
  • He seems to do so in Sh'mos 6:20, in calculating the genealogical timeline of the Amram-Moshe-Aharon family. Link: tora.us.fm/tnk1/jdl/MefarsheyTanach002-06.htm
    – WAF
    Jan 28, 2011 at 3:58
  • It is also evident in the context of the original havtacha in B'reshis 15:13. Link: tora.us.fm/tnk1/jdl/MefarsheyTanach001-15.htm
    – WAF
    Jan 28, 2011 at 4:02
  • I wonder, though, how Shadal would explain I Chron. 6:18-23, which traces the descent of Heiman (a contemporary of King David) back to Yaakov. There are 18 generations listed from Korach to Heiman, which fits nicely with the roughly 450 years from Moshe to David, four generations per century, so presumably no one is skipped. But then why would it suddenly leave out several links in the chain from Korach back to Yaakov?
    – Alex
    Jan 28, 2011 at 16:30
  • @Alex It is the rule not the exception that Chazal's genealogies involve people living unusually long periods of time before giving birth.
    – Double AA
    Jan 2, 2013 at 7:05

1 Answer 1


None that I know of.

Although in Daas Mikra (Shemos, vol. 1 p. 234 n. 85), where they cite Shadal's approach, they mention another interesting one, from Moshe David (Umberto) Cassuto: that the 430 years mentioned in Ex. 12:40 are actually "man-years" calculated along the line from Levi to Aharon. Supposing that Levi was about forty years old when they came down to Egypt [which sounds a little dubious to me - Yosef was 39 at the time, and Levi was a good few years older, so he should have been about 43], and Kehos was 20, then Levi lived there 97 years (out of his 137), Kehos 113 (out of his 133), Amram 137, and Aharon was 83 when they left; 97+113+137+83=430. (The actual number of calendar years would obviously have been a lot less than 430 according to this approach, since there's no reason to assume that any of them were born around the time of their father's death.)

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