The Number 40


Could you shed any light on the meaning of the number 40 as it is utilized many times in the Bible?

Appreciate your help.


The number forty is often associated with probation, trial, or discipline. It rained for 40 days and 40 nights during the flood. The Israelites, Moses, Elijah, and Jesus all underwent 40 day trials, as did the 12 spies in the promised land. Moses spent 40 years in Midian after killing the Egyptian soldier, and the Israelites endured a 40 year testing in the wilderness after turning back. Jonah gave Nineveh a 40 day warning of judgment. The Roman method of interrogation consisted of 40 lashes.