Exodus 1:5
And all the souls that came out of the loins of Jacob were seventy souls: for Joseph was in Egypt already.
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(5) All the souls . . . were seventy souls. Comp. Genesis 46:8-27. The number is made up as follows:—Jacob himself, 1; his sons, 12; his daughter, Dinah, 1; his grandsons, 51; his grand-daughter Serah, 1; his great-grandsons, 4—Total, 70. His daughters, except Dinah, and his sons’ daughters, except Serah, spoken of in Genesis 46:7, are not included. If his female descendants were, at the time of his descent into Egypt, as numerous as the males, the entire number of those who “came out of his loins” must have been 132. To form a calculation of the number of persons who entered Egypt with him, we must add the wives of his sons and grandsons, and the husbands of his daughters and granddaughters. A further liberal allowance must be also made for retainers. (See the comment on Exodus 1:1.) It is not perhaps surprising that Kurtz, taking all these classes into account, should calculate that those who entered Egypt with Jacob amounted to “several thousands” (History of The Old Covenant, vol. ii. p. 149, E.T.).

Exodus 1:5. Seventy souls — Or persons, according to the computation we had, Genesis 46:27, including Joseph and his two sons. This was just the number of the nations by which the earth was peopled, (Genesis 10.,) for when “God separated the sons of Adam, he set the bounds of the people according to the number of the children of Israel,”

Deuteronomy 32:8.

1:1-7 During more than 200 years, while Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob lived at liberty, the Hebrews increased slowly; only about seventy persons went down into Egypt. There, in about the same number of years, though under cruel bondage, they became a large nation. This wonderful increase was according to the promise long before made unto the fathers. Though the performance of God's promises is sometimes slow, it is always sure.Seventy - See Genesis 46:27. The object of the writer in this introductory statement is to give a complete list of the heads of separate families at the time of their settlement in Egypt. See the note at Numbers 26:5. THE SECOND BOOK OF MOSES, CALLED EXODUS. Commentary by Robert Jamieson


Ex 1:1-22. Increase of the Israelites.

1. Now these are the names—(See Ge 46:8-26).

Seventy souls, including Jacob and Joseph, and his two sons. See Genesis 46:26,27 Deu 10:22. Or if they were but sixty-nine, they are called seventy by a round number, of which we shall have many instances. i.e. All that were of the same age with Joseph and his brethren.

And all the souls that came out of the loins of Jacob were seventy souls,.... "Souls" are put for persons; of the number seventy, and how reckoned; see Gill on Genesis 46:27. This was but a small number that went down to Egypt, when compared with that which went out of it; and that it should be compared with it is the design of its being mentioned, see Exodus 12:37,

for Joseph was in Egypt already; and is the reason why he is not reckoned among the sons of Jacob, that came thither with him; though rather it may be better rendered, "with Joseph who was in Egypt" (c); for he must be reckoned, and indeed his two sons also, to make up the number seventy; therefore Jonathan rightly supplies it,"with Joseph and his sons who were in Egypt,''See Gill on Genesis 46:27.

(c) "cum Josepho qui erat in Aegypto", Junius & Tremellius, Ainsworth, Noldius, No. 1197. p. 273. so the Arabic version, Kimchi, and Ben Melech.

And all the souls that came out of the loins of Jacob were seventy souls: for Joseph was in Egypt already.
5. all the souls that came out, &c.] As Genesis 46:26 (also P).

seventy souls] The number was traditional: cf. Deuteronomy 10:22 (where ‘with’ should be as). This passage shews that P interpreted the tradition in the sense of 70 souls without Jacob: other writers interpreted it in the sense of Deuteronomy 10:22, and made the number 70 souls including Jacob (cf. Genesis 46:8; Genesis 46:27 b). See the writer’s Genesis (in the ‘Westminster Commentaries’), pp. 365, 368. Soul in the sense of ‘person,’ though found occasionally elsewhere (but never in the earlier historical books), is peculiarly frequent in P (nearly 100 times).

Exodus 1:5To place the multiplication of the children of Israel into a strong nation in its true light, as the commencement of the realization of the promises of God, the number of the souls that went down with Jacob to Egypt is repeated from Genesis 46:27 (on the number 70, in which Jacob is included, see the notes on this passage); and the repetition of the names of the twelve sons of Jacob serves to give to the history which follows a character of completeness within itself. "With Jacob they came, every one and his house," i.e., his sons, together with their families, their wives, and their children. The sons are arranged according to their mothers, as in Genesis 35:23-26, and the sons of the two maid-servants stand last. Joseph, indeed, is not placed in the list, but brought into special prominence by the words, "for Joseph was in Egypt" (Exodus 1:5), since he did not go down to Egypt along with the house of Jacob, and occupied an exalted position in relation to them there.
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