Time in the Bible

We tend to think that the Bible follows a chronological order, but often it does not. For example, in Genesis 38 you will read of the marriage of Judah and that he had three sons. You will also read of the death of his wife and two of his sons, as well as his fornication after the death of his wife. Then when you read Genesis 39 you will read of Joseph entering Egypt and his happenings down there for 22 years.
When you read Genesis 38 do not think that it all took place between the time that Judah and his brothers sold Joseph and his arrival in Egypt. What Moses did in writing the account was to show what Judah did during those 22 years.
Chapter 38 begins, “It came to pass at that time that Judah departed from his brothers, and visited a certain Adullamite whose name was Hirah. And Judah saw there a daughter of a certain Canaanite whose name was Shua, and he married her and went in to her. So she conceived and bore a son, and he called his name Er. She conceived again and bore a son, and she called his name Onan. And she conceived yet again and bore a son, and called his name Shelah. He was at Chezib when she bore him” (Genesis 38:1-5).
It came to pass at the time that Judah and his brothers sold Joseph, that Judah left his brothers and that he did the things mentioned in Genesis 38. When Moses finished writing those things, he went back in time and began writing of the arrival of Joseph in Egypt and what he did while there.
Chronology does exist in the story of the Bible, but the primary purpose of the Bible is not chronology, rather God wanted to show us His love for man.

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