Why is the number 40 significant in the bible?

Old Testament:                                                                                                                                                                                              Fr Leo Benjamin (Pastor)

The children of Israel were 40 years in the wilderness.  Joshua 5:6

Moses was there with the LORD 40 days and 40 nights; he did neither eat bread nor drink water.  Exodus 34:27-28

And the rain was upon the earth 40 days and 40 nights. Genesis 7:12

40 stripes he may give him, and not exceed: lest, if he should exceed, and beat him above these with many stripes, then thy brother should seem vile unto thee. Deuteronomy 25:3

New Testament:

Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil. And when he had fasted 40 days and 40 nights, he was afterward ahungered. Matthew 4:1-2

To whom also he shewed himself alive after his passion by many infallible proofs, being seen of them 40 days, and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God: Acts 1:3



God uses the number 40 in scriptures as a time of testing or judgment bring His plans and dealings with man to a new beginning or the completion of Judgment.

Its Interesting human pregnancy takes around 40 weeks from conception to birth.

The number 40 is significant spiritually in the Bible, 40 represents change and transition; it has the concept of renewal and brings a new beginning. The number 40 represents the period of time it takes to transition from on spiritual state to another.

We need to ask ourselves during this Lenten season. Are you transitioning from one spiritual state to another? Like a mindset of death, to a renewed mind in Christ. Paul teaches in Romans 12:2 be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

The book of Job reminds us as we realize the purpose of this 40 days of lent, it is to change from one spiritual state to another when he says quoting  Job 42:5-6 “I have heard of thee by the hearing of the ear: but now mine eye seeth thee. Wherefore I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes.”


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