The number 40 is significant in the Bible as it is the number of testing, preparation and leadership, as well as the harbinger of something new. (Jewish Wisdom in the Numbers)
We see this pattern many times in the Scriptures:
In a dramatic new beginning, rain fell for 40 days and nights during the Flood before the waters stopped and the world was repopulated. (Genesis 7:4)
Moses lived in Egypt for 40 years, was prepared for leadership in Midian for 40 years; and finally led the children of Israel in the wilderness for 40 years as a new nation.
Moses fasted on Mount Sinai for 40 days and nights before he went down the mountain with the Ten Commandments.
“Moses was there with the LORD forty days and forty nights without eating bread or drinking water. And he wrote on the tablets the words of the covenant — the Ten Commandments.” (Exodus 34:28)
Goliath challenged the Israelites twice a day for 40 days before David defeated him, which began a great following by the people. (1 Samuel 17:16)
Yeshua was tested by the devil in the wilderness for 40 days before He began His public ministry.
“Then Yeshua was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. And when He had fasted forty days and forty nights, afterward He was hungry. Now when the tempter came to Him, he said, ‘If You are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread.’” (Matthew 4:1–3)
The period from the resurrection of Yeshua to His ascension was 40 days, a period of preparing the disciples for the work that lay ahead. (Acts 1:3)
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