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Forty Years

Updated: Feb 26, 2022

Number Forty is a significant Number

After doing some research I realized that there are a lot of periods and events that involved Forty and took place throughout the Bible which I found interesting. The number 40 seems to be generally associated with

Periods of Testing, Trials or Probation.

The Forty Years Events

The rains (in Noah’s day) fell for 40 days and nights

For yet seven days, and I will cause it to rain upon the earth forty days and forty nights; and every living substance that I have made will I destroy from off the face of the earth.

Genesis 7:4 KJ

Israel ate Manna for 40 years

And the children of Israel did eat manna forty years, until they came to a land inhabited; they did eat manna, until they came unto the borders of the land of Canaan.

Exodus 16:35 KJV

Moses led Israel from Egypt at age 80 (2 times 40), and after 40 years in the wilderness, died at 120 (3 times 40 =120)

And Moses was a hundred and twenty years old when he died: his eye was not dim, nor his natural force abated. Deuteronomy 34:7 KJV

Therefore, God made Israel wander for 40 years

And your children shall wander in the wilderness forty years, and bear your whoredoms, until your carcases be wasted in the wilderness.

After the number of the days in which ye searched the land, even forty days, each day for a year, shall ye bear your iniquities, even forty years, and ye shall know my breach of promise. Numbers 14:33-34 KJV

40 stripes were the maximum whipping penalty

Forty 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 KJV

God allowed the land to rest for 40 years

And the land had rest forty years. And Othniel the son of Kenaz died.

Judges 3:11 KJV

God again allowed the land to rest for 40 years

So let all thine enemies perish, O Lord: but let them that love him be as the sun when he goeth forth in his might. And the land had rest forty years.

Judges 5:31 KJV

God again allowed the land to rest for 40 years

Thus was Midian subdued before the children of Israel, so that they lifted up their heads no more. And the country was in quietness forty years in the days of Gideon. Judges 8:28 KJV

Abdon (a judge in Israel) had 40 sons

And he had forty sons and thirty nephews, that rode on threescore and ten ass colts: and he judged Israel eight years. Judges 12:14 KJV

Israel did evil; God gave them to an enemy for 40 years

and the children of Israel did evil again in the sight of the Lord; and the Lord delivered them into the hand of the Philistines forty years.

Judges 13:1 KJV

Eli judged Israel for 40 years

And it came to pass, when he made mention of the ark of God, that he fell from off the seat backward by the side of the gate, and his neck brake, and he died: for he was an old man, and heavy. And he had judged Israel forty years.

1st Samuel 4:18 KJV

Egypt to be laid desolate for 40 years

No foot of man shall pass through it, nor foot of beast shall pass through it, neither shall it be inhabited forty years.

And I will make the land of Egypt desolate in the midst of the countries that are desolate, and her cities among the cities that are laid waste shall be desolate forty years: and I will scatter the Egyptians among the nations and will disperse them through the countries. Ezekiel 29:11-12 KJV

The Forty Years Reigns Event

Saul reigned for 40 years

And afterward they desired a king: and God gave unto them Saul the son of Cis, a man of the tribe of Benjamin, by the space of forty years. Acts 13:21 KJV

Ishbosheth (Saul’s son) was 40 when he began reign

Ishbosheth Saul’s son was forty years old when he began to reign over Israel and reigned two years. But the house of Judah followed David. 2nd Samuel 2:10 KJV

David reigned over Israel for 40 years

David was thirty years old when he began to reign, and he reigned forty years.

2nd Samuel 5:4 KJV

And the days that David reigned over Israel were forty years: seven years reigned he in Hebron, and thirty and three years reigned he in Jerusalem. 1st Kings 2:11 KJV

Solomon reigned same length as his father; 40 years

And the time that Solomon reigned in Jerusalem over all Israel was forty years

1st Kings 11:42 KJV

Jehoash (Joash) reigned 40 years in Jerusalem

In the seventh year of Jehu Jehoash began to reign; and forty years reigned he in Jerusalem. And his mother’s name was Zibiah of Beersheba. 2nd Kings 12:1 KJV

The Forty Socket Silver Events

The sockets of silver are in groups of 40

And thou shalt make forty sockets of silver under the twenty boards: two sockets under one board for his two tenons, and two sockets under another board for his two tenons.

And their forty sockets of silver; two sockets under one board, and two sockets under another board. Exodus 26 :19; 21 KJV

The Forty Years Measure Events

40 baths (measurement) were size of lavers in Temple

Then made he ten lavers of brass: one laver contained forty baths: and every laver was four cubits: and upon every one of the ten bases one laver. 1st Kings 7:38 KJV

The holy place of the temple was 40 cubits long

And the house, that is, the temple before it, was forty cubits long. 1st Kings 6:17 KJV

Ezekiel’s (symbolic) temple is 40 cubits long (Ezekiel 41:2).

And the breadth of the door was ten cubits; and the sides of the door were five cubits on the one side, and five cubits on the other side: and he measured the length thereof, forty cubits: and the breadth, twenty cubits. Ezekiel 41:2 KJV

The courts in Ezekiel’s temple were 40 cubits long

In the four corners of the court there were courts joined of forty cubits long and thirty broads: these four corners were of one measure. Ezekiel 46:22 KJV

The Forty Days and Forty Nights Events

Goliath presented himself to Israel for 40 days

And the Philistine drew near morning and evening, and presented himself forty days

1st Samuel 17:16 KJV

The spies searched the land of Canaan for 40 days

And they returned from searching of the land after forty days. Numbers 13:25 KJV

Elijah had one meal that gave him strength 40 days

And he arose, and did eat and drink, and went in the strength of that meat forty days and forty nights unto Horeb the mount of God. 1st Kings 19:8 KJV

Ezekiel bore the iniquity of the house of Judah for 40 days

And when thou hast accomplished them, lie again on thy right side, and thou shalt bear the iniquity of the house of Judah forty days: I have appointed thee each day for a year. Ezekiel 4:6 KJV

God gave Nineveh 40 days to repent

And Jonah began to enter into the city a day’s journey, and he cried, and said, yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown. Jonah 3:4 KJV

Jesus fasted 40 days and nights

And when he had fasted forty days and forty nights, he was afterward a hungered.

Matthew 4:2 KJV

Jesus was tempted 40 days

Being forty days tempted of the devil. And in those days, he did eat nothing: and when they were ended, he afterward hungered Luke 4:2 KJV

And he was there in the wilderness forty days, tempted of Satan; and was with the wild beasts; and the angels ministered unto him. Mark 1:13 KJV

Jesus remained on earth 40 days after resurrection

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

Moses was with God in the mount, 40 days, and nights

And Moses went into the midst of the cloud, and gat him up into the mount: and Moses was in the mount forty days and forty nights. Exodus 24:18 KJV

Moses was again with God 40 days and 40 nights

And he was there with the Lord forty days and forty nights; he did neither eat bread, nor drink water. And he wrote upon the tables the words of the covenant, the ten commandments. (Exodus 34:28 KJV).

Women are pregnant for 40 weeks (time of testing)

I have long time holden my peace; I have been still and refrained myself: now will I cry like a travailing woman; I will destroy and devour at once. Isaiah 42:14 KJV


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