Exodus 1:5 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Exodus 1:5, NIV: "The descendants of Jacob numbered seventy in all; Joseph was already in Egypt."

Exodus 1:5, ESV: "All the descendants of Jacob were seventy persons; Joseph was already in Egypt."

Exodus 1:5, KJV: "And all the souls that came out of the loins of Jacob were seventy souls: for Joseph was in Egypt already."

Exodus 1:5, NASB: "All the people who descended from Jacob were seventy people, but Joseph was already in Egypt."

Exodus 1:5, NLT: "In all, Jacob had seventy descendants in Egypt, including Joseph, who was already there."

Exodus 1:5, CSB: "The total number of Jacob's descendants was seventy; Joseph was already in Egypt."

What does Exodus 1:5 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Moses, the author of the book of Exodus, notes that the descendants of Jacob were "seventy persons." This seems to be a deliberately round number, rather than an exact count of the family. The extended family would have been well over seventy at this time, especially including servants. The same number seventy is also recorded in Genesis 46:27. This included Joseph, Joseph's wife, and his two sons Manasseh and Ephraim, though they were "already in Egypt."

The emphasis of the number seventy in this verse is primarily focused on the contrast between the small number of people in Jacob's family when they entered Egypt versus the size of the nation of Israel 400 years later (Exodus 12:40). By the time of Moses, the "sons of Israel" included hundreds of thousands of men. Scholars estimate the entire nation at over two million people at the time of the Exodus. God had fulfilled His promise to turn Abraham into a nation (Genesis 12:1–3).