5 ¶ And Jacob rose up from Beersheba: and the sons of Israel carried Jacob their father, and their little ones, and their wives, in the wagons which Pharaoh had sent to carry him. 6 And they took their cattle, and their goods, which they had gotten in the land of Canaan, and came into Egypt, Jacob, and all his seed with him: 7 His sons, and his sons’ sons with him, his daughters, and his sons’ daughters, and all his seed brought he with him into Egypt. 8 And these are the names of the children of Israel, which came into Egypt, Jacob and his sons: Reuben, Jacob’s firstborn. 9 And the sons of Reuben; Hanoch, and Phallu, and Hezron, and Carmi. 10 And the sons of Simeon; Jemuel, and Jamin, and Ohad, and Jachin, and Zohar, and Shaul the son of a Canaanitish woman. 11 And the sons of Levi; Gershon, Kohath, and Merari. 12 And the sons of Judah; Er, and Onan, and Shelah, and Pharez, and Zerah: but Er and Onan died in the land of Canaan. And the sons of Pharez were Hezron and Hamul. 13 And the sons of Issachar; Tola, and Phuvah, and Job, and Shimron. 14 And the sons of Zebulun; Sered, and Elon, and Jahleel. 15 These be the sons of Leah, which she bare unto Jacob in Padanaram, with his daughter Dinah: all the souls of his sons and his daughters were thirty and three. 16 And the sons of Gad; Ziphion, and Haggi, Shuni, and Ezbon, Eri, and Arodi, and Areli. 17 And the sons of Asher; Jimnah, and Ishuah, and Isui, and Beriah, and Serah their sister: and the sons of Beriah; Heber, and Malchiel. 18 These are the sons of Zilpah, whom Laban gave to Leah his daughter, and these she bare unto Jacob, even sixteen souls. 19 The sons of Rachel Jacob’s wife; Joseph, and Benjamin. 20 And unto Joseph in the land of Egypt were born Manasseh and Ephraim, which Asenath the daughter of Potipherah priest of On bare unto him. 21 And the sons of Benjamin were Belah, and Becher, and Ashbel, Gera, and Naaman, Ehi, and Rosh, Muppim, and Huppim, and Ard. 22 These are the sons of Rachel, which were born to Jacob: all the souls were fourteen. 23 And the sons of Dan; Hushim. 24 And the sons of Naphtali; Jahzeel, and Guni, and Jezer, and Shillem. 25 These are the sons of Bilhah, which Laban gave unto Rachel his daughter, and she bare these unto Jacob: all the souls were seven. 26 All the souls that came with Jacob into Egypt, which came out of his loins, besides Jacob’s sons’ wives, all the souls were threescore and six; 27 And the sons of Joseph, which were born him in Egypt, were two souls: all the souls of the house of Jacob, which came into Egypt, were threescore and ten.
Verse 15 tells us for that either Dinah wasn’t Jacob’s only daughter or, as said earlier, the daughters could logically include daughters-in-law. Arguing about the count becomes nonsensical when we know everyone wasn’t included in the count of those that mattered to God’s ministry of reconciliation. There are obviously servants to consider, as well, which are not mentioned.
We also come to differences in the count given for different reasons at different times.
Exodus 1:5 And all the souls that came out of the loins of Jacob were seventy souls: for Joseph was in Egypt already.
Deuteronomy 10:22 Thy fathers went down into Egypt with threescore and ten persons; and now the LORD thy God hath made thee as the stars of heaven for multitude.
Acts 7:14 Then sent Joseph, and called his father Jacob to him, and all his kindred, threescore and fifteen souls.
Some argue about these differences with fundamentalists trying to gloss over what they fear naggingly in the back of their minds is an error in the text. However, the problem is with the modern reader who is infected with a mental problem I call modernism. You read the Bible like you would read the owner’s manual for your car rather than as you would read a letter sent to you from afar, in this case a distant time, a personal account of something dear to the writer. The Holy Ghost, through the wisdom and understanding, the meaning of Biblical inspiration which is not word-for-word dictation, given to Moses refers to events from the perspective of their importance to the point He is trying to get across (see Job 32:8; 2Peter 3:15). In one reference He may include wives who are not included in another or He may be referring to an event from another angle and only include specific others. The modern fundamentalist who claims to believe the Bible literally, which they don’t really, in their attempts to explain by juggling numbers what the Bible says, is really expressing their own disbelief and lack of faith by trying to explain a contradiction that isn’t there.
I went over this kind of thinking when I was discussing years back in my comments on 15:12-16 regarding the length of years that the Hebrews were to be persecuted. The point is all of the number references are correct and any differences can be explained by the Holy Ghost counting people in one who are not counted in another. We will find this again in the numbers who will die in a plague later in another book. Verses 26 and 27 warn us that our calculations may not be based on God’s calculations which will keep the doubter or the skeptic spinning his or her wheels trying to find an equation that will make him or her feel better.