Well, I'm a little behind but I am starting to read through 40 days of prayer for the purpose of preparing for Easter. I'm also contemplating what I could give up for lent in order to have a daily reminder of what we celebrate at Easter.
I was curious to know more about all of the areas of Scripture that talk about 40 days being significant.
Here's what I found on the "all-reliable" wikipedia...
- Rain fell for "forty days and forty nights" during the flood
- Spies explored the land of Israel for "forty days." (Numbers 13)
- The Hebrew people lived in the Sinai desert for "forty years". This period of years represents the time it takes for a new generation to arise.
- Moses' life is divided into three 40-year segments, separated by his fleeing from Egypt, and his return to lead his people out.
- Several Jewish leaders and kings are said to have ruled for "forty years", that is, a generation. (Examples: Eli, Saul, David, Solomon.)
- Goliath challenged the Israelites twice a day for forty days before David defeated him.
- Moses spent three consecutive periods of "forty days and forty nights" on Mount Sinai
- A mikvah consists of 40 se'ah (approximately 200 gallons) of water
- 40 lashes is one of the punishments meted out by the Sanhedrin, though in actual practice only 39 lashes were administered.
- One of the prerequisites for a man to study Kabbalah is that he is forty years old.
- Before the temptation of Christ, Jesus fasted "Forty days and forty nights" in the Judean desert.
- Forty days was the period from the resurrection of Jesus to the ascension of Jesus.
- In modern Christian practice, Lent consists of the 40 days preceding Easter. In much of Western Christianity, Sundays are excluded from the count; in Eastern Christianity, Sundays are included.
- In the Old Testament, it rained for 40 days and 40 nights in the great flood in which all land living being perished except those on Noah's ark.
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I hope you'll join me!