The Number 40 In The Bible

Newport Oregon2

Acts 7:23

23″When he was forty years old, he decided to visit his own people, the Israelites.
24 When he saw one of them being mistreated, he came to his rescue and avenged the oppressed man by striking down the Egyptian.

  • Judgment against an Egyptian. When Moses was 40 Years old, he stroke down an Egyptian to rescue one of his people. 

Exodus 7:7

7 Moses was eighty years old and Aaron eighty-three when they spoke to Pharaoh.

  • Moses lived 40 years in Midian (Exodus 3:1) when God called him to pronounce judgment against Pharaoh by way of God’s plagues.

Numbers 14:32-34

32 But as for you, your corpses will fall in this wilderness.
33 Your children will be shepherds in the wilderness for forty years and bear the penalty for your acts of unfaithfulness until all your corpses lie scattered in the wilderness.
34 You will bear the consequences of your iniquities forty years based on the number of the forty days that you scouted the land, a year for each day. You will know my displeasure.

  • The judgment of 40 years. The judgment that was pronounced against the Israelites for not trusting in the LORD their God. They died in the wilderness without seeing the promised land.

Deuteronomy 34:7

7 Moses was one hundred twenty years old when he died; his eyes were not weak, and his vitality had not left him.

  • After 40 years of freeing Israel from the bondage of slavery in Egypt,  judgment was pronounced against Moses. He violated the LORD’s command by striking the rock (Numbers 20:6-12).

Most of the time in Scripture, the number 40 means judgment, as also seen in…

Genesis 7:4

4 Seven days from now I will make it rain on the earth forty days and forty nights,
and every living thing I have made I will wipe off the face of the earth.”

  • Within 40 days and nights, God will judge, and destroy the an habitants of the earth with the animals because of their constant evil acts.

Jonah 3:4-5

4 Jonah set out on the first day of his walk in the city and proclaimed, “In forty days Nineveh will be demolished!”
5 Then the people of Nineveh believed God. They proclaimed a fast and dressed in sackcloth—from the greatest of them to the least.

  • God gave the city of Nineveh 40 days to repent or else He was going to pour out His wrath on it. The people of Nineveh heeded the prophet Jonah’s warning and turned from their wickedness to repentance. 

What is Scripture trying to tell us with the number 40? God has limits to a person’s continuous rejection of His calling for repentance. The consequences are very serious.

In all the verses mentioned, God give them time to repent, and to those that did, they didn’t receive God’s wrath. But to those that did not repent, God’s full wrath was poured out on them.

If the Holy Spirit is convicting you today of something that you did that God considers evil, repent. Remember, He is giving you time. Don’t let that time pass you by before judgment gets pronounced on you.

When A Person Becomes A Christian, Does He Still Need To Confess When He Sins?

sin is like a wall
Sin in our lives becomes a wall that keeps us away from Jesus. Repenting of sin can break that wall.

Matthew 6:14

“For if you forgive people their wrongdoing, your heavenly Father will forgive you as well.”

Mark 11:25

“And whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him, so that your Father in heaven will also forgive you your wrongdoing.”

If you notice that forgiveness from the Father starts with your relationship with other people when it comes to showing them forgiveness.

The phrase “your heavenly Father will forgive you as well.” It assumes that the individual will ask [repent] for forgiveness when he falls into sin. 

By forgiving those who wronged you, it shows a characteristic of God in you. When you go to the Lord to confess your sins, He will forgive you.

Also, in both Matthew 6 & Mark 11, the statement is future tense. The passage is not only referring to when it occurs at the moment but, when it happens in the future which means that repenting is an ongoing process as we are living in a sinful body on a sinful world.

1 John 1:8-10

8 If we say, “We have no sin,” we are deceiving ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we say, “We don’t have any sin,” we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us.

To say that we do not sin anymore is to claim that we do nothing wrong all the time. That is self-deception. A person who convinces himself to believe that and does not confess his sins to the Lord, his relationship with Jesus who is the truth starts to die according to the passage in verse 8.

By confessing our sins to Jesus, He will faithfully, all the time we repent, forgive us and put us in right standing with Him again. When a child of God is in disobedience, He will not use us as we are in sin and He is a holy God as Isaiah 59:2 reveals, “But your iniquities have built barriers between you and your God, and your sins have made Him hide His face from you so that He does not listen.”

Sin is a wall that gets between you and God. The wall will separate you from the Lord which will hinder your prayers from reaching Him as sin keeps you away from His presence. We see this in Micah 3:4 which says, “Then they will cry out to the LORD, but He will not answer them. At that time He will hide His face from them because of the evil they have done.”

1 John 2:1

“My little children, I am writing you these things so that you may not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father—Jesus Christ the Righteous One.”

  • Advocate-[an intercessor] When we sin and go to Jesus to confess our sins, He will support us and speak on our behalf to the Father in heaven. 

God’s Word helps us from sinning against the Lord and keeps us in right standing by feeding our faith. We see this in Psalms 119:9 which says, “How can a young man keep his way pure? By keeping Your word.”


In verse 11 of the same chapter, it says, “I have treasured Your word in my heart so that I may not sin against You.”

The Scriptures are very clear, confess your sins to Jesus so that your relationship with Him stays strong or else it will start to deteriorate.

When We Don’t Forgive, We Look Wicked In God’s Eyes


Emphasis added by SpaniardVIII

Matthew 18:21-35

21 Then Peter came to Him and said, “Lord, how many times could my brother sin against me and I forgive him? As many as seven times?” Peter wanted to look merciful in the eyes of his Lord but he still fell short of God’s standards when it came to forgiveness. 22 “I tell you, not as many as seven,” Jesus said to him, “but 70 times seven. The number that Jesus proposed is a reference to limitless times.
23 For this reason, the kingdom of heaven can be compared to a king who wanted to settle accounts with his slaves. Jesus now gives an illustration of what really happens to a person when God forgives him. The king represents Jesus and the slave, us. 24 When he began to settle accounts, one who owed 10,000 talents was brought before him. One talent was equal to 6,000 denarii. According to Matthew 20:2, one denarius was a day’s wage. The slave’s debt was 60 million denarii which was impossible to pay. The debt represents our sins which is impossible to erase. 25 Since he had no way to pay it back, his master commanded that he, his wife, his children, and everything he had be sold to pay the debt. The word “sold” here means to be cast out of God’s presence and end up in hell to pay for our sins. 26 “At this, the slave fell facedown before him and said, ‘Be patient with me, and I will pay you everything!’ 27 Then the master of that slave had compassion, released him, and forgave him the loan. When we humble ourselves and cry out to Jesus for mercy and repent, He will forgive all of our debt (sins). 28 “But that slave went out and found one of his fellow slaves who owed him 100 denarii. He grabbed him, started choking him, and said, ‘Pay what you owe!’ How would we look in Jesus’ eyes when we won’t forgive someone who has wronged us with something small, while Jesus forgives all of our offenses against Him? 29 “At this, his fellow slave fell down and began begging him, ‘Be patient with me, and I will pay you back.’ 30 But he wasn’t willing. On the contrary, he went and threw him into prison until he could pay what was owed. Not to forgive someone their wrong against you is to forget what Jesus did for you. It also shows a lack of maturity and Christlikeness in us when we won’t forgive a friend, a family or a stranger.
31 When the other slaves saw what had taken place, they were deeply distressed and went and reported to their master everything that had happened. Jesus will take notice of your unforgiving heart and will bring your action into account. 32 “Then, after he had summoned him, his master said to him, ‘You wicked slave! I forgave you all that debt because you begged me. Wickedness is seen or manifested in unforgiveness. 33 Shouldn’t you also have had mercy on your fellow slave, as I had mercy on you?’ The Lord will correct you by the conviction of the Holy Spirit in how wrong you are and will remind you that He forgave your sins which was much more than what that person did to you.
34 And his master got angry and handed him over to the jailers to be tortured until he could pay everything that was owed. 35 So My heavenly Father will also do to you if each of you does not forgive his brother from his heart.” Finally, Jesus finished by warning His disciples and all those who are saved by their message that if we do not forgive, prepare yourselves to be disciplined severely until you are convicted of your sins and repent.