FRIDAY MORNING MANNA 

Biblical Numerology: NUMBER FOUR – Part II

The Significance of Number Forty in the Bible

Forty is the numeric symbol of test, testing; probation.

I. FORTY DAYS

Length of the Flood . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Gen. 7: 17, N.K.J.V.
“Now the flood was on the earth forty days. The waters increased and lifted up the ark, and it rose high above the earth [fifteen cubits upward, vs. 20].” “And the waters prevailed on the earth 150 days.” v. 24. A Biblical month is 30 days.

Jacob (Israel’s) Embalming . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Gen. 50: 2, 3.
“Joseph commanded his servants to embalm his father. So the physicians embalmed Israel. Forty days were required for him, for such are the days required for those who are embalmed; and the Egyptians mourned for him seven days.” Jacob was buried in the cave of Machpelah were Abraham and his wife, Sarah, Isaac, and his wives, Rebekah and Leah were buried. Ch. 49: 28-33; 50: 1-14. Embalming was not generally practiced by the Hebrews, but an Egyptian custom. Jacob and Joseph, both of whom died in Egypt, were embalmed according to Egyptian methods. Gen. 50: 2, 3, 26.

Moses at Mount Sinai . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Exo. 24:18.
“So Moses went into the midst of the cloud and went up into the mountain. And Moses was on the mountain forty days and forty nights.”

Spies inside Canaan . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Num. 13: 25
“And they returned from spying out the land after forty days.” By God’s command, twelve spies were sent by Moses, one leader from each of the 12 tribes. See vs. 1-24, 26-33. Of the 12 only Caleb and Joshua “brought home a good report.”

Moses’ Amazing Intercessory Prayer for Rebellious Israel . . . . . . . . .Deut. 9: 25-29.
“Thus I prostrated myself before the Lord; forty days and forty nights I kept prostrating myself, because the Lord had said He would destroy you.” V. 35. As a type of Christ, he was the greatest leader of God’s people, historian of creation and the law.

Goliath Arrogantly Presents Himself to Israel’s Army. . . . . . . . . . . . .1 Sam. 17: 16.
“And the Philistine drew near and presented himself forty days, morning and evening.” See verses 1-15, 17-58.

Elijah’s Fast . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 Kings 19: 2, 8
“Then Jezebel [a type of the persecuting church of the last days, Rev. 2: 20] sent a messenger to Elijah, saying, ‘so let the gods do to me, and more also, if I do not make your life as the life of one of them [executed Baal priests and prophets] by tomorrow at this time.” V. 2. “So he arose, and ate and drank; and he went in the strength of that food forty days and forty nights as far as Horeb, the mountain of God.”
Jezebel. Rev. 2: 20. “For the account of the historical Jezebel see 1 Kings 16; 31; 18: 13; 19: 1, 2; 21: 5-16, 23-25; 2 Kings 9: 30-37. It would appear that, as Jezebel sponsored the worship of Baal [sun-god] in Israel (1 Kings 21: 25) . . . . As applied to the Thyatira period of Christian history, the figure of Jezebel represents the power that produced the great apostasy of the medieval centuries (see Additional Note on Daniel 7; see on Rev. 2: 18; cf. Rev. 17.” – Footnote, “Jezebel,” An Exhaustive E.G. White Commentary on Revelation, p. 559.

Nineveh’s Probation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Jonah 3: 4.
“And Jonah began to enter the city on the first day’s walk. And he cried out and said, ‘Yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown.” V. 4 See verses 5-10. Nineveh, one of the world’s greatest cities, was founded by Nimrod (Gen. 10: 11) soon after the dispersion from the tower of Babel. It was located at the east bank of Tigris and was the capital of the Assyrian empire. Its patron goddess was Ishtar. The leaders repented under Jonah’s warnings. But its final apostasy was after Jonah’s time, was destroyed in 612 B.C. Jonah is the one book of the Bible dedicated to city evangelism.

Christ’s Temptation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Luke 4: 1, 2
“Then Jesus, being filled with the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan, and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness, being tempted for forty days by the devil. And in those days He ate nothing, and afterward, when they [the 40days] had ended, He was hungry.”
“Many claim that it was impossible for Christ to be overcome by temptation. Then He could not have been placed in Adam’s position; he could not have gained the victory that Adam failed to gain. If we have in any sense a more trying conflict than had Christ, then He would not be able to succor us. But our Savior took humanity, with all its liabilities. He took the nature of man, with the possibility of yielding to temptation. We have nothing to bear which He has not endured.” – E. G. White, Desire of Ages, p. 117.

II. FORTY STRIPES

Limit for scourging . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Deut. 25: 2, 3.
“Then it shall be, if the wicked man deserves to be beaten, that the judge will cause him to lie down and be beaten in his presence, according to his guilt, with a certain number of blows. Forty blows he may give him and no more, lest he should exceed this and beat him with many blows above these, and your brother be humiliated before your sight.” This was during the Mosaic dispensation.

Paul’s, one less . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .2 Cor. 11: 24
“From the Jews five times I received forty stripes minus one.” – The Jews were the first bitter persecutors of Christ’s disciples at the beginning of the New Testament church, followed by pagan Rome, then papal Rome, particularly those who preserved the God’s weekly memorial of creation, the seventh-day Sabbath.

III. FORTY YEARS

Isaac’s Age at Marriage . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ..Gen. 25: 20
“Isaac was forty years old when he took Rebekah as wife, the daughter of Bethuel the Syrian of Padan Aram, the sister of Laban the Syrian.”

Israel’s Manna-based Diet Preparation for Canaan. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Exo. 16: 35
“And the children of Israel ate manna forty years, until they came into an inhabited land; they ate manna until they came to the border of the land of Canaan.”
“God designs that the subject of health reform shall be agitated . . .For it is impossible for men and women, with all their sinful, health-destroying, brain-enervating habits, to discern sacred truth, through which they are to be sanctified, refined, elevated, and made fit for the society of heavenly angels in the kingdom of glory. . . . If men will cherish the light that God in mercy gives him upon health reform, he may be sanctified to the truth [John 17: 17], and fitted for immortality.” – Ibid, Testimonies, vol. 3, p. 162.

Israel’s Wilderness Wandering Due to Stubbornness . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Num. 32: 13
“So the Lord’s anger was aroused against Israel, and He made them wander in the wilderness forty years, until all the generation that had done evil in the sight of the Lord was gone.”

Wore Same Pair of Sandals . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Deut. 29: 5
“And I have led you forty years in the wilderness. Your clothes have not worn out of you, and your sandals have not worn out of your feet.”

King Saul’s Reign. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Acts 13: 20-22.
“After that He gave them judges for about 450 years until Samuel the prophet. And afterward they asked for a king; so God gave them Saul the son of Kish, a man of the tribe of Benjamin, for forty years. And when He had removed him [Saul], He raised up for them David as king, to whom also He gave testimony and said, I have found David, the son of Jesse, a man after My own heart, who will do all My will.”

King David’s Reign . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 Kings 2: 11
“The period that David reigned over Israel was forty years. Seven years he reigned in Hebron, and in Jerusalem he reigned thirty-three years.”

King Solomon’s reign . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1 Kings 11: 42
“And the period that Solomon reigned over all Israel was forty years.”

IV. FOURSQUARE

Altar of Burnt Offering. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Exo. 27: 1
“You shall make an altar of acacia wood, five cubits long and five cubits broad—the altar shall be square—and its height shall be three cubits.”
“The whole burnt-offering had its origin at the gate of Eden. (Gen 4: 4; 8: 20), and extended the cross; and it will never lose its significance as long as mankind is subject to temptation and sin. The entire sacrifice was laid upon the altar and burned (Lev. 1: 2-9), typifying not only a surrender of sin, but a consecration of the entire self to the service of Christ. . . . The whole burnt offering was a type of the full consecration that must come into every life that God can use to His glory. Paul urged the fulfilling of the antitype in the following words: ‘I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.’ (Rom. 12: 1). The offering of the most costly animal was only an abomination to the Lord unless it was accompanied by the surrender of the heart and life of the one who offered it. (Isa. 1: 10, 11; Amos 5: 22).” – Stephen N. Haskell, The Cross and Its Shadow, pp. 132, 133.

Breastplate of the High Priest . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Exo. 39: 8, 9.
“And he made the breastplate, artistically woven like the workmanship of the ephod, of gold and blue and purple and scarlet thread, and fine linen thread. They made the breastplate square by doubling it; a span was its length and a span its width when doubled.” Vs. 8, 9.
“Over the ephod was the breastplate, the most sacred of the priestly vestments. . . . It was in the form of a square . . .The border was formed of a variety of precious stones, the same that form the twelve foundations of the city of God (see below). Within the border were 12 stones set in gold, arranged in rows of four, and, like those in the shoulder-pieces, engraved with the names of the tribes. The Lord’s direction was, ’Aaron shall bear the names of the children of Israel in the breastplate of judgment upon his heart, when he goeth in unto the holy place, for a memorial unto the Lord continually.’ (Exo. 28: 29). So Christ, the great High Priest, pleading His blood before the Father in the sinner’s behalf, bears upon His heart the name of every repentant, believing soul. . . . At the right and left of the breastplate were two large stones of great brilliancy. These were known as the Urim and Thummim. By them the will of God was made known through the high priest. When questions were brought for decision before the Lord, a halo of light encircling the precious stone at the right was a token of the divine consent or approval, while a cloud shadowing the stone at the left was an evidence of denial or disapprobation.”- E. G. White, Patriarchs & Prophets, p. 351.
“Like Aaron, who symbolized Christ, our Savior bears the names of all His people on His heart in the holy place. Our great High Priest remembers all the words by which he has encouraged us to trust. He is ever mindful of His covenant.”- Ibid, Christ’s Object Lessons, p. 148. The breastplate in the whole armor of God (Eph. 6) is righteousness.

The New Jerusalem City in Heaven . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Rev. 21: 16.
“And the city is laid out as a square, and its length is as great as its breadth. And he measured the city with the reed; twelve thousand furlongs. Its length, breadth, and height are equal.” See verses 1-27. Foursquare: “There is beauty inherent in right proportion, perfect balance, and congruity. For various four square items See Exo. 27: 1; 28: 16; 30; 2; 9: 9; 2 Chron. 3: 8; Eze. 41: 21; 43: 16; 45: 2; 48: 20.” (Continued next week)