Tuesday, February 28, 2023
HomeMust ReadWhat Does 40 Mean In The Bible

What Does 40 Mean In The Bible

Number 40 And Humility

What does the number 40 mean in the Bible?

God allowed the ancient Israelites, from time to time, to be harassed and dominated by certain enemies in order to chastise and humble them for their sins. The Philistines, in the southern and western parts of Israel’s land, harassed them from 1105 to 1065 B.C. God’s resolution to the harassment was Samson .

Spiritual Significance Of 7

The word seven is found 461 times in the New King James Version of the Bible. We find seven days of creation, Pharaohs dreams about seven good years and seven years of famine, seven days of Unleavened Bread, seven days of the Feast of Tabernacles, seven lamps on the gold lampstand in the tabernacle, seven days of marching around Jericho, seven churches of Revelation, seven seals, seven trumpets, seven last plagues and much more.

Numerous Bible reference works mention the significance of 7. For example, Seven has an eminent place among sacred numbers in the Scriptures, and is associated with completion, fulfilment and perfection. In the creation narrative God rested from his work on the 7th day, and sanctified it .

The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia notes that the significance of the number seven was widespreadfrom Babylon to India and China, as well as among the Celts and Germans. Could this not relate to Gods initial revelation of the seven-day week to all of mankind?

The number 7 plays a conspicuous part in a multitude of passages giving rules for worship or purification, or recording ritual actions. The 7th day of the week was holy . There were 7 days of unleavened bread , and 7 days of the Feast of Tabernacles . The 7th year was the sabbatical year .

Forty Appears In Various Places

The seventh longest book is Exodus, which has 1,213 verses and 40 chapters. Israel was intermittently ruled by a succession of people known as Judges from the time they arrived in the promised land until the reign of King Saul. They did not lead in a monarchical manner, but they impacted the populace since they stood in for God and were motivated to carry out his purpose. Judges like Othniel, Deborah, Barak, Eli, and Gideon held office for 40 years.

Saul, David, and Solomon, the first three human kings over the children of Israel, each ruled for forty years . King Joash, one of Judahs best rulers, presided over the divided kingdom for forty years.

Abraham tried to convince God not to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah if forty just individuals were discovered . When they got married for the first time, Isaac and Esau were both forty years old.

In the Old Testament, God flooded the world for forty days and forty nights of rain . All those who refused to turn to God after hearing Noahs sermon throughout the floods forty days and forty nights reflected Gods judgment on sinful people. The Egyptians embalmed the body of the patriarch Jacob for forty days after his passing in Egypt .

Recommended Reading: What Does The Bible Say About An Unbelieving Spouse

Significance Of 40 Days In The Church Today

Fr. Charles Nicholas Baz gives a great explanation of the significance of forty days in the lives of Christians today, following the teachings and examples of the Bible, saying:

The period of Forty Days is biblical in essence, for this is where it comes from, and this is why it is observed. As far as explaining the meaning of it, I prefer to use the following definition: A period of Forty Days signifies the completion in the realization of an event. …When something, specifically an event, is practiced and remembered for 40 days, it makes it real and present in our daily lives. It becomes sealed in our works and etched in our memory…

The Season of Advent is observed for forty days, typically, in order to make real the daily presence of Christ in our lives…

There are many other seasons in the Church which are either liturgical or personal which take the shape of forty days… It is simply the process that we call the Sanctification of Time. The Sanctification of Time, when conscientiously practiced, makes real in our daily lives the elements which we celebrate or commemorate. Thus, we can relate better to the Sacred Scriptures and to the Liturgical Life of our Faith.

Following the biblical examples of Moses, Ezekiel, and Jesus Christ, we still use the period of 40 days to prepare for the Nativity of Christ, through Advent, and the Resurrection of Christ, through Lent.

Advice For Number Forty

What Does the Number Forty (40) Mean or Represent in the Bible?

Accept change and embrace it. If you feel like your life needs to change, dont wait to make it happen the number forty is all about change. Be prepared to take chances. It serves as a reminder that fresh starts are always possible, so dont be hesitant to stretch yourself.

Embrace your gut feeling. It represents a warning to follow your instincts. Take action if something feels right. The sightings of the Holy Spirit are blessed occurrences that shouldnt be taken for granted. Last but not least, remember to have fun. Make sure to take the time to relish the journey since life is supposed to be enjoyed. You will be led by the number forty along the route. There arent many drawbacks associated with this number.

Don’t Miss: Why Fasting Is Important In The Bible

Being Set Apart And Redeemed From The World Salvation Through Faith And Action

Noah and the flood

The story of Noahs journey begins with a description of how corrupt and evil the world had become. God tells us He was sorry hed ever made man and decides to destroy the earth and most of humanity, and start anew.

But, were told, Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord . God explains His plans, tells Noah that He will establish a covenant with him, and gives him detailed instructions to build the ark. And then the bible simply tells us, Thus Noah did according to all that God commanded him .

God required Noah and his family to physically do all the work on the arkto find and gather the wood, hammer it together, heat the pitch to seal things, and provision the boat. We dont know how long this took, but for a boat that size it was a major undertaking. Noah definitely had to work for this!

Finally God came to Noah and gave him a seven-day warning to gather the animals , and then get his family into the ark. Noah had to take all these actions on faith. They couldnt just pray and *believe* that God would save themGod required them to put that faith into ACTION.

However, their actions alone could not fully accomplish their salvation. Now it was Gods turn.

Once He closed the arks door , God poured out His judgment on the earth for 40 days and nights:

God provided a means of survival for His chosen people, a way of leading them through a watery wilderness . They were shepherded through desolation, fully sustained by God.

Where In The Bible Does It Talk About The Titans

The Bible talks about the titans a few times.

The first time is in Genesis 6:1-4, where we read that God created the ark with seven pairs of clean animals and two unclean animals. These animals were to be sacrificed to please God, but before they were sacrificed, they were used to repopulate the earth after the flood.

The second time we see titans in the Bible comes in Psalm 74:13-14,

13 You divided the sea by Your strength You broke the heads of the sea monsters in the waters.

14 You crushed the heads of Leviathan You gave him as food for the creatures of the wilderness.-

Recommended Reading: What The Bible Says About Judging Others

What Does This Mean

Testing: With all of these mentions of the number 40, we see that God clearly had a reasoning behind this time period. I think one of the most noteworthy concepts is that 40 is often used as a time period of testing and growth. When we see the Israelites in the Wilderness or Jesus in the desert, or God giving Nineveh a 40-day warning, it reveals that 40 was often used by God to test people. Whether it was days or years, the Lord used 40 to try His people and see their true dedication.

Hope:Maybe you feel like you are in the midst of a trial or testing? Maybe you are feeling humbled by God? This is not a wasted time. We see that the Lord provided each day for the Israelites in the wilderness and that angels ministered to Jesus during His time of fasting and testing. No one wants to go through times of trial and growth, but what I love about the number 40 is that there is an end date. The number 40 reminds us that if we are in the middle of a hard season, it is not forever. This will pass and we will hopefully be stronger and closer to our Savior afterward.

What Is The Meaning Of 40 Days In The Bible

40 Days: What is the Biblical Meaning?

The phrase 40 days in the Bible designates a period of time to complete an important spiritual challenge. When the Bible uses that phrase, something challenging that leads to spiritual growth is always taking place within the context of 40 days. Often, the spiritual challenge involves repentance from sin and strengthening faith, such as the story of the great flood and Noahs Ark and the stories of Ezekiel, Jonah, and David and Goliath. At other times, the spiritual challenge involves overcoming temptation, as Jesus did in the desert wilderness. A 40-day challenge may also involve a vital meeting with God, like Moses encounter with God on Mount Sinai and Elijahs journey to meet with God on Mount Horeb. Finally, the Bible uses the phrase 40 days to refer to the challenge that Jesus gave people who encountered him between his Resurrection and Ascension to believe in the good news of the Gospel and to begin saving relationships with God. The Bibles use of 40 days is consistent with its use of the number 40 overall, which also signifies the time during which some sort of spiritual challenge takes place such as the 40 years that Israelites spent wandering in the desert before reaching the Promised Land.

Also Check: When Was The Bible Assembled

Some Secret Meanings Of Number 40

There are many secrets behind Angel number 40. In general, this powerful number represents change, change, challenges and decisions, but it also takes time and patience to fix or develop all of these things.

There are also many myths about this number, and all of them can be understood if you think it is an angel number. The number 40 is commonly found in the Bible text but also in other spiritual and religious sources.

Goliath Mocked And Taunted Israel For 40 Days

Goliath, as you likely know from the famous story in the Bible, was a huge and intimidating Philistine soldier who took pleasure in humiliating the Israelites. The Philistine and Israelite armies stood on opposite sides for 40 days. Every day, a new Hebrew warrior or solider would come out to meet Goliath face-to-face, only to be destroyed. After 40 days, David, a young shepherd from Bethlehem, the youngest and smallest of his family, was sent by God to defeat the Philistines, opening a new chapter for the Israelitesnamely, the solidification of the kingdom of Israel.

For forty days the Philistine came forward and took his stand, morning and evening. 1 Samuel 17:16

Don’t Miss: How Many Heavens Are In The Bible

Three Kings In The Bible Reigned For 40 Years Each: Saul David And Solomon

The three great and well-known Hebrew kings, Saul, David and Solomon, each ruled for 40 years. Thats not a coincidence. 40 years is considered a generation in the Bible .

For these three kings, this time period of 40 years also contains a warning: 20 years of their rule was marked by prosperity and 20 years by ruin. It characterizes the Prophet Samuels trepidations over instituting kings in the first place: eventually, theyll take from the people more than they give.

And the time that Solomon reigned in Jerusalem over all Israel was forty years. 1 Kings 11:42

Then they asked for a king, and God gave them Saul the son of Kish, a man of the tribe of Benjamin, for forty years. Acts 13:21

David was thirty years old when he began to reign, and he reigned forty years. 2 Samuel 5:4

Here are some additional examples of 40 in the Bible:

  • 40 lashes was the maximum whipping penalty
  • God allowed the land to rest for 40 years
  • Abdon, a judge in Israel, had 40 sons
  • Israel did evil God gave them to an enemy for 40 years
  • Eli judged Israel for 40 years
  • Ishbosheth was 40 years old when he began to reign
  • The holy place of the temple was 40 cubits long
  • Elijah had one meal that gave him strength for 40 days
  • Joash reigned 40 years in Jerusalem
  • Egypt to be laid desolate for 40 years
  • God gave Ninevah 40 days to repent
  • Jesus remained on earth 40 days after the resurrection

You may also enjoy this short video on meaning of 40 in the Bible. Sort of an overview of this post.

Where Does The Bible Mention 40 Days And 40 Nights

What Is Meaning Of 40 In The Bible

The span of 40 days and 40 nights is referenced in both the Old and New Testaments no less than twenty-four times.

A few notable examples include:

– The 40 days and 40 nights of rainfall that covered the earth during the Great Flood .

– The 40 days and 40 nights Moses spent on Mt. Sinai on two separate occasions .

– The 40 days the spies of Israel spent scouting the Promised Land beyond the Jordan River .

– The 40 days the Philistine giant Goliath taunted the armies of Israel in the Valley of Elah .

– The 40 days the prophet Elijah traveled in his flight from Queen Jezebel until he reached Mount Horeb .

– The 40 days the prophet Ezekiel lay bound and on his side as a symbolic lesson of the forty years of unrighteousness that had plagued and crippled the house of Judah .

– The 40 days and 40 nights that Jesus fasted in the wilderness and was tempted by the devil before beginning His public ministry .

– The 40 days after that Jesus spent with His disciples after His resurrection .

Each of these examples references a specific period in the Bible. On their own, they may not seem to have much connection. However, from these instances, a pattern and powerful theme emerges.

Recommended Reading: Who Is God Bible Study

Why Is This Important For Us To Understand

Today, we still ascribe importance to 40 days and 40 nights. In Christianity, the period between Lent and Easter is 40 days . It is a time of holiness, when Christians remember the sacrifice of Christ and explore their own continuing process of sanctification, or becoming more Christ-like. Some give up a bad habit or take on a positive new practice during these 40 days. Its our way today of honoring and modeling the clear significance of 40 days and nights in the Bible, and specifically the time Jesus spent fasting and enduring temptation in the desert.

Forty is an interesting number. The word quarantine is said to derive from it, specifically the Italian word quarantina, and the Centers for Disease Control note that in old times, ships arriving in Venice from infected ports were required to sit at anchor for 40 days before landing. This would presumably give diseases time to die off.

Forty is also the typical number of weeks a woman is pregnant before she gives birth to a child.

But its religious significance is its most important. Today, consider whether God wants you to use a period of 40 days and nights to learn a crucial lesson, end a negative practice, or adopt a new way of walking closer with Him.

Related articles

The Significance And Meaning Of Number 40 In The Bible

I am looking for someone to help me answer these questions.

  • Why Noah built the Ark in 40 days.
  • Why the rain/storm lasted for 40days.
  • Why the Israelites walked through the desert for 40 years.
  • Why the tower of barbel was built in 40 days.
  • Why Jesus Christ fasted for 40days.
  • Why Jesus Christ ascended to heaven after 40 days,
  • Why Moses had to spend 40 days with God, and fasting before he got the 10 Commandments Tablets
  • Why it took 40 days threat from Goliath against the Army of Israel before he was killed by David
  • Why David later had a total reign of 40 years over the nation of Israel
  • Why Elijah had to trekked, fasting for 40 days running away from Jezebel
  • 40 days and 40 years in the Bible is HIGHLY SYMBOLIC

  • Why life begins at 40.
  • Why even Pass mark starts at 40.
  • Whats so special about 40???

    You May Like: What Does The Bible Say About Why We Are Here

    Uses For The Number Forty

    Whenever you feel stuck, try repeating the number forty to yourself. Every day, say it out loud to yourself, and allow the energy of the number to direct you. Your intentions and goals for the coming year should be written down and kept in a visible location. It will keep you on course and progressing in the direction of your objectives.

    If youre starting a new endeavor, be motivated by the number 40. As you work toward your objectives, it will assist you in maintaining your motivation and focus. Make sure to have fun while going through the procedure because the number 40 is about transformation and fresh starts. Dont take life too seriously its intended to be lived. Along the journey, let yourself unwind and enjoy yourself.


    Most Popular