The significance of 40?

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David FCC

Puritan Board Freshman
Can anyone help me with regard to the significance of the number 40 in scripture. For example:

Rain fell 40 days and nights
Christ fasted for 40 days

There are plenty other examples, I just wondered what if anything it meant.

Many thanks

David
 

Vytautas

Puritan Board Freshman
40 seems to be a number of judgment or that of a trail. Another example is the apostle Paul being whipped one less than 40, so that the judgment would not be as cruel.
 

OPC'n

Puritan Board Doctor
Usually it is a sign of change from one state to another. So in the flood, you have a change in pre-flood to post-flood, with Moses on the Mt. of Sinai you have a change in no law to law given, with Christ's temptation you have an untempted Christ and then Christ passing that temptation, which is huge!, with Christ coming down for 40 days to speak with His disciples after His death is a change from Jewish known truths to Christian known truths etc.

-----Added 1/31/2009 at 12:27:02 EST-----

Ok, I just looked up what Sproul says about it and he says that it is an introduction into a new age....he says it better than I do! But of course he does...he's the man! ;)
 

Marrow Man

Drunk with Powder
A biblical generation was 40 years. Israel spent 40 years in the wilderness. Some of the reigns were for 40 years.
 

Theognome

Burrito Bill
As someone who is now 41, I can tell you it is VERY SIGNIFICANT! :lol:

I received ruptured diverticulitis for my 40th birthday, so I understand the significance.

As mentioned in the thread, 40 years is a biblical generation as well as a symbol of judgment (40 lashes being capital punishment, 40 days of rain, etc.) Also, while age 30 was the minimum for entering the ministry in ancient Hebrew cultis, in the same context an 'elder' (fully mature person) was someone age 40 or over. Thus by age 40 an ancient Hebrew man should be wise enough to council in the gates of the city.

Theognome
 

Stomata leontôn

Puritan Board Sophomore
As someone who is now 41, I can tell you it is VERY SIGNIFICANT! :lol:
Yes!

Forty is young enough to be handsome and fit and old enough to know better, but I have no idea what this has to do with the thread or why I am saying this. Was it not Aristotle who said that a man is smartest at around forty? A lucky very few will peak one day at fifty. Maybe it means that 40 is both handsome and wise, so then, obviously, the sons of Noah got off the ark after forty days at their handsomest and yet very wise. :lol:
 

Skyler

Puritan Board Graduate
As someone who is now 41, I can tell you it is VERY SIGNIFICANT! :lol:
Yes!

Forty is young enough to be handsome and fit and old enough to know better, but I have no idea what this has to do with the thread or why I am saying this. Was it not Aristotle who said that a man is smartest at around forty? A lucky very few will peak one day at fifty. Maybe it means that 40 is both handsome and wise, so then, obviously, the sons of Noah got off the ark after forty days at their handsomest and yet very wise. :lol:

At their handsomest and mostest wisest. :p

Aside from that:

Wikipedia said:
Forty is an octagonal number, and as the sum of the first four pentagonal numbers, it is a pentagonal pyramidal number. Adding up some subsets of its divisors (e.g., 1, 4, 5, 10 and 20) gives 40, hence 40 is a semiperfect number.

Given 40, the Mertens function returns 0. 40 is the smallest number n with exactly 9 solutions to the equation φ(x) = n.

Forty is the number of n-queens problem solutions for n = 7.

Since the greatest prime factor of 402 + 1 = 1601 is prime and obviously more than 40 twice, 40 is a Størmer number.

40 is a repdigit in base 3 (1111) and a Harshad number in base 10.

Negative forty is the temperature at which the Fahrenheit and Celsius scales correspond; that is, −40°F = −40°C. It is referred to as either "minus forty" or "forty below".

42 is far more interesting, however. ;)

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