Gilbert House Fellowship #269: Genesis 38-40

Reconstruction of statue found at Avaris. Could this be Joseph?

IF THE Bible had truly been edited to make the apostles, prophets, and patriarchs look better, chapter 38 of Genesis would have disappeared centuries ago.

This week, we discuss the unseemly episode of Judah’s relationship with his daughter-in-law, Tamar, by whom he fathered Perez, an ancestor of Jesus.

We also discuss the history of the period to explain the timeline between Abraham and the Exodus, which is variously described as “four hundred years” (Gen. 15:13, Acts 7:6), “the fourth generation” (Gen. 15:16), and “four hundred and thirty years” (Ex. 12:40-41, Gal. 3:16-17).

How do we reconcile the 400/430 year discrepancy, and how do we square that with four generations (Jacob > Levi > Kohath > Amram > Moses), since Levi was an adult before Jacob and his family followed Joseph to Egypt?

Here’s the best answer, courtesy of Answers in Genesis ( In Abraham’s day, Egypt included the Levant, modern Israel, Lebanon, and western Jordan and Syria. So, the 430 years began with Abraham was called from Harran because he was in “Egypt” almost as soon as he crossed the Euphrates. The 400 years began when Ishmael, his son by Hagar the Egyptian, mocked and persecuted Isaac.

The “fourth generation,” of course, refers to Moses, counting his great-grandfather Levi as the first generation after Jacob.

Here is our timeline, based on this logic:

  • Amorite kingdom of Babylon founded — 1894 BC
  • Abraham born — 1951 BC
  • Abraham arrives in Canaan — 1876 BC
  • Isaac born — 1851 BC
  • Isaac marries Rebekah — 1811 BC
  • Hammurabi becomes king of Babylon — 1792 BC
  • Jacob and Esau born — 1791 BC
  • Abraham dies — 1776 BC
  • Hyksos take over Lower Egypt — c. 1750 BC
  • Isaac dies — 1671 BC
  • Jacob arrives in Egypt — 1661 BC
  • Jacob dies — 1644 BC
  • Joseph dies — 1590 BC
  • Ahmose drives Hyksos out of Egypt — c. 1550 BC
  • Moses leads the Exodus — 1446 BC
  • Joshua leads the Conquest — 1406 BC

NOTE: New dates for our tour of Israel! We will lead our next tour through the Holy Land March 25–April 3, 2025, with an optional three-day extension to Jordan featuring visits to Mount Nebo, Wadi Rum, and Petra. Our special guests are Timothy Alberino, Dr. Judd Burton, and Doug Van Dorn!

For more information, log on to

Click here for the complete archive of our New Testament Bible studies to date, and click here for the Old Testament studies to date. Or go to for all of the audio.


  1. Wow ! Thank you for the timeline about the 400 years . Fascinating !

  2. It’s possible that Potiphar the captain of the guard was the chief executioner, since the word for guard can mean slaughter. I find it interesting that he imprisoned Joseph rather than execute him…perhaps because he was aware of his wife’s lie…and of course, because God protected Joseph.

  3. Hello Mr and Mrs Gilbert,
    I just recently found your Bible study. I enjoy it very very much. I have two questions.
    1) are the names of the little g-gods real entities?
    2) I am looking for a good translation of the Dead Sea Scrolls. Can you point me in the right direction. The ones that I have found are not complete according to the reviews I have read.
    Thank you for your time, God bless you both.
    Ann Powell

    1. Author

      Hi, Ann: Thank you for your note! Yes, those entities are real, but there is no way to know their original names.

      As for the Dead Sea scrolls, we’re not aware of a complete authoritative translation. There may be one, but this isn’t an area we’ve studied in depth.

  4. Sorry, but I’m probably the most untechy
    person you have…HOW do I get to you on Sunday p.m.?
    I’m 83 & find the Internet a nightmare.
    Have been to Israel twice;,no longer able to go 😢
    Was at Elon Moreh in 96 to pray for Elections with Billye Brim; again in 97. Mind blowing experience then on the Wall just to the
    Left of Jaffa Gate🕊
    I also want to Register for the DEFENDER CONFERENCE; tried to no avail.

    1. Author

      Thank you for your note! Our Sunday program, assuming you mean this podcast, is not broadcast live. We upload it after we record it.

      We saw Elon Moreh from across the valley when we were at Joshua’s altar. Wow!

      The conference site is here: There is a link that takes you to the signup page, which is at Vimeo.

  5. Hi my name is Lou. I saw you on the Jim Bakker site for the first time. You shared info about the lawsuit that has been brought against Bro Jim. I live in Arkansas and I’m soo disappointed our Attorney General has joined with the action. I hear nothing about it here and would like to know the status, and if there’s anything I can take to help support Bro Jim. I voted for Mrs Rutledge in the past, she is thinking of running for governor here, but she will Not receive another yes vote from me. Thank you for All you do and I look forward to hearing from you!.Prayers and blessings!.Ms Lou Morrison

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