Could the 40 years in the wilderness begin from original Passover?


I think there is a chronological mistake on the La Vista website in How Long Was the Egyptian Bondage?

This page suggests that the 40 years in the wilderness commenced after Mt. Sinai. That isn't upheld by Scripture.

If you look for example at Deuteronomy 1:3 and Joshua 5:6 for example, it becomes quite clear that God counted the 40 years as commencing with the Passover meal on the night of the death of the firstborn of Egypt and ending with the first Passover in the promised land prior to the attack on Jericho.

I would also suggest that although the 430 of Exodus 12:40-41 should definitely be taken as an exact number that the phrase 400 years in other places may simply be a rounded number. I say this because you assert that the enslavement began 13 years after the death of Jacob and I am not certain that we can be dogmatic on that the way we can on Exodus 12:40-41. If, however, you know of a verse that demonstrates that 400 should be viewed as an exact number, I would like to see it - because it would be very nice to be able to say with certainty when the enslavement began.


"For the children of Israel walked forty years in the wilderness, till all the people who were men of war, who came out of Egypt, were consumed, because they did not obey the voice of the LORD-to whom the LORD swore that He would not show them the land which the LORD had sworn to their fathers that He would give us, "a land flowing with milk and honey"" (Joshua 5:6).

This states that forty years were in the wilderness. It doesn't demonstrate that the 40 years began while in  Egypt.

"It is eleven days' journey from Horeb by way of Mount Seir to Kadesh Barnea. Now it came to pass in the fortieth year, in the eleventh month, on the first day of the month, that Moses spoke to the children of Israel according to all that the LORD had given him as commandments to them" (Deuteronomy 1:2-3).

Again the starting point of the forty years isn't given, but the verse does note that it takes 11 days to get from Mount Sinai (Horeb) to Kadesh Barnea. It was at Kadesh Barnea where the wilderness wandering began (Numbers 32:8). God stated, "So the LORD'S anger was aroused against Israel, and He made them wander in the wilderness forty years, until all the generation that had done evil in the sight of the LORD was gone" (Numbers 32:13). I know of nothing that stated they already served over a year of the sentence at the time this was stated.

What I attempted to show in How Long Was the Egyptian Bondage? is that there is no need to explain anything away as rounding. Using 400 years of slavery matches all the time periods given. One looks to rounding when there is no other available explanation for an apparent discrepancy. Just because a state value happens to be in in a nice round number, like 40 or 400, it doesn't necessarily imply that it has been rounded beyond the given units it is measuring.