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Behold The Handmaid

As a Post Script to this piece……

Behold the growing need for Mercy felt by Levi.

Feel the restlessness, of these refuges!  After his role in the plunder of Shechem comes the genealogy of Levi given in the Book of Exodus: he fathered three sons—Gershon, Kehath, and Merari. The years of Levi’s life were one hundred thirty seven years. The sons of Gershon were Libni and Shimei to their families. The sons of Kehath were Amram, Izhar, Hebron, and Uzziel; the years of Kehath’s life were one hundred thirty three years. The sons of Merari were Mahli and Mushi. Here it is added that among Kehath’s sons was one—Amram—who married a woman named Jochebed, the biological parents of Moses, Aaron, and Miriam. Amram took Jochebed, his aunt, as his wife, and she bore him Aaron and Moses; the years of Amram’s life were one hundred thirty seven years.

As The Book of Numbers 26:59 explicitly states: “The name of Amram’s wife was Jochebed the daughter of Levi, whom [her mother] had borne to Levi in Egypt. Jochebed bore to Amram, Aaron, Moses, and their sister Miriam.”

Per the authoritative Hebrew and Aramaic text of the Tanakh for Rabbinic Judaism – the Masoretic Text – since Numbers explicitly states, Levi’s genealogy implies that Levi had a daughter (Jochebed), Joseph then was Moses’ great uncle? These are the families of the Levites according to their generations, connected to priestly duties.

Kohanim were the priests, who performed the work of holiness in the Temple, providing assistance to the Kohanim, particularly washing their hands, before the Kohanim recite the Priestly Blessing. Levites who were not Kohanim played music in the Temple or served as guards. Because they are traditionally pledged to Divine service, Levites do not participate in the Pidyon HaBen (redemption of the firstborn) ceremony.

The great explanation from what I understand how the God of Abraham decreed four hundred years of exile involves the little more than two hundred years that the Israelites actually were in Egypt. A countdown of 400 years begins with Isaac’s birth. Isaac was sixty years old when Jacob was born. Jacob was 130 years old when he went down to Egypt. This means that 190 of the 400 years elapsed before the Israelites arrived in Egypt.  As soon as Abraham had a child, his seeds were subjected to living in lands that were not theirs—including Canaan which wasn’t “theirs” at the time. So the Israelites were in Egypt, which happened to be the Land of Hagar, the mother of Abraham’s first born son, for a total of 210 years.  Almost half as long of the 430 years referred to.

So of the 210 years, God’s promise never does refer to Egypt by name, rather to a “land that is not theirs.”

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