Q: What's the Significance of the Number 40 in the Bible?
Selected from our Questions and Answers program
A: The numbers in Scripture are significant, but don't try to build up too much on numbers. After all, the Bible is not a book on arithmetic or mathematics. However, numbers are significant in Scripture. Number 7 is not the number of perfection, but the number of completion. And there's a difference between perfection and completeness. But 40 seems to be the number of testing. You see that in the time of Noah the waters abated after 40 days. In other words, that was a complete time of judgment by water of the earth. Moses spent 40 years in Egypt. He had a complete test given to him there. In fact, he took his "BD Degree" out in the desert of Midian — that is, the "Backside of the Desert" degree. God retrained him there. Also, the Lord Jesus was tested 40 days. So I think it's the number of testing.
What were the differences in the ministries of John the Baptist and Jesus? In this rich beginning of Jesus’ public ministry, come learn the significance of baptism, repentance, and what the kingdom of God really means.All Sermons by Dr. J. Vernon McGee