The significance of 40 and 50
This is nothing clever. Any simple Bible
search will reveal this and more. Most believers know the most significant
instances but itís quite surprising in how many places they turn up. Itís
also interesting to see how 40 is often associated with some judgement
while 50 is associated with grace and mercy.
Here are instances of 40 and in some places 80. You donít have to be clever,
just do word search. This skips some references to ďforty thousandĒ and forty in
references to measurements...
- It rained 40 days and 40 nights. (Genesis 7:12)
- Isaac was forty years old when he married Rebekah. (Genesis 25:20)
- They spent forty days embalming Israel (Genesis 50:3)
- Moses was 40 when he left Egypt (Acts 7:23) and thenÖ
- Moses spent 40 years tending sheep before he spoke to Pharaoh. (Exodus
7:5) and thenÖ
- Moses led Israel for 40 years. (Deuteronomy 29:5)
- Joshua was 40 years old when he went out as a spy. (Joshua 14:6)
- The spies spent 40 days. (Numbers 13:25)
- Israel spends 40 years in the desert.(Numbers 14:33 Exodus 16:35)
- Moses was in the cloud on the mountain for forty days and nights. (Exodus
- Punishment of 40 lashes. (Numbers 14:33)
- The land had rest for 40 years. (Judges 3:11)
- Eli was judge for 40 years. (1 Samuel 4:18)
- Goliath defies Israel 40 days before David slays him. (1 Samuel 17:16)
- David reigned 40 years. (2 Samuel 5:4)
- Solomon reigned 40 years. (1 Kings 11:42)
- Jehoash reigned 40 years (2 Kings 12:1)
- Egypt will be desolate for 40 years. (Ezekiel 29:12)
- Jonah gave Nineveh 40 days warning. (Jonah 3:4)
- Jesus is tested for 40 days in the desert. (Mark 1:13)
- Jesus is dead 40 hours.
- Jerusalem is levelled 40 years after Jesus death. (Matthew 24:2, Luke
Here are just some instances where 50 and multiples of 50 occur.
- 50 cubits is in the dimensions of the Arc (Genesis 6:15) and in the
tabernacle (Exodus 27:12) and in the numbers of the fittings of the tabernacle
(Exodus 26:5), and the dimensions of Solomonís palace (1 Kings 7:2).
- (Genesis 7:24) During the flood the waters rose for one 150 days and then
(Genesis 8:3) gradually receded for 150 days. A total of 6 times 50 days.
- Itís the gap between Passover and the Feast of Weeks, Pentecost (Leviticus
- Every 50 years is a Jubilee. Land is returned to its original owners; itís
a year of rest; a holy year; and bond servants are released (Leviticus 25)
- Levites retire at 50. (Numbers 4:3)
- People were grouped in 50ís 100ís and 1000ís with leaders over them in
both civil and military matters. (Deuteronomy 1:15)
- The price of a bride, fifty shekels of silver (Deuteronomy 22:29).
- 100 prophets hidden, 50 to a cave. (1 Kings 18:4)
- 50 prophets witness Elijah taken up to heaven (2 Kings 2:7).
- Jesus made them sit in groups of about 50 (Luke