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What is the Significance of the Number 40 In the Bible?

Summary:  Surprisingly a time period of 40 (days, weeks, years) is significant.  The information below is from Nave’s Topical Bible.  Each period of 40 units is related to testing, probation or being tried.  Also, notice each period ends with a time or item of blessing.

Forty from Nave’s Topical Bible Remarkable coincidences in the number


Of rain, at the time of the Flood Genesis 7:17

Of flood, before sending forth the raven Genesis 8:6

For embalming Genesis 50:3

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Of fasting

By Moses Exodus 24:18; 34:28; Deuteronomy 9:9,25

By Elijah 1 Kings 19:8

By spies in the land of promise Numbers 13:25

Of probation, given to the Ninevites Jonah 3:4

By Jesus Matthew 4:2

Christ’s stay after the resurrection Acts 1:3

Symbolical Ezekiel 4:6


Wanderings of the Israelites in the wilderness Exodus 16:35; Numbers 14:34

Peace in Israel Judges 3:11; 5:31; 8:28

Egypt to be desolated Ezekiel 29:11

To be restored after Ezekiel 29:13


Administered in punishing criminals Deuteronomy 25:3; 2 Corinthians 11:24


2 thoughts on “What is the Significance of the Number 40 In the Bible?

  1. Saul, David, and Solomon each reigned for 40 years.

  2. All these articles are so helpful. Thanks so much!!

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