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The Number Forty in Scripture

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Question:  First: rest assured we are not into numerology . But in our study of the Names of God, our verses we are studying deals with the Exodus . 40 years etc. What does the number 40 mean. Like for example 7 means completion, perfect.

Second Question: Where can I go to find more info on Nephilim in Num.13:32-14:4?

And what would be a good source to find the meaning of "numbers " Thanks!

Response:   The number "40" as you probably know is a fairly significant one in the Bible from the standpoint of its usage anyway. It is:

    1) the length of time it rained at the flood (Gen.7:12).

    2) the number of days our Lord was tempted (Matt.4:2).

    3) the three phases of Moses life (Acts 7:23-42), and, therefore, the number of years that the Israelites were in the desert (Acts 7:42; Heb.3:9).

From these examples I think it fair to say that "40" represents a sufficiency of time (and probably of quantity as well); that is, it is long enough or large enough to remove doubt; long enough and large enough to prove God's point (whatever that may be in context). In the three examples above, 40 days makes clear that the flood was from God, a true and complete judgment with complete results; 40 days of testing is enough to remove all doubt that only death could have kept our Lord from carrying out His Father's plan to letter regardless of opposition; 40 years in the desert also a completeness of testing and of judgment combined. The best numerological work of which I am aware (one that deals with the subject from a strictly conservative point of view) is J.J. Davis Biblical Numerology (Grand Rapids 1968). You might also get good mileage out of articles in a Biblical encyclopedia (such as The Anchor Bible Dictionary).   Here are some other links for the use of numbers and numerology in scripture:

Numbers, Letters, and the Mark of the Beast.

The Number 20

The Number 12 (question #4)

On the Nephilim, the issue is treated in detail in part 5 of The Satanic Rebellion (section III.1).  Please see also these links for that topic:

The Origin and Fate of the "Giants" of Genesis Chapter Six.


Dinosaurs, the Nephilim, Noah, et al.

Doubts about the Nephilim in Genesis 6

The Nephilim (in BB 2A: Angelology)

Yours in Christ,

Bob Luginbill

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