A Conversation for Christianity: An Introduction
Vestboy Started conversation Feb 10, 2007
I know this is fairly close to the hootoo mystical number of 42 but this number 40 is of great interest.
Jesus had 40 days fasting and prayer in the desert; the Israelites had 40 days wandering in the desert. Jesus, before he was condemned to death, was sentenced to the worst flogging possible short of being flogged to death. This was 39 strokes.
Apparently 40 meant, at that time and within Judaism, something like "beyond counting". Maybe you can think of it like the loose use of "millions" when referring to things like "How many bad drivers did you encounter on the road today, dear?"
Nowadays we have a penchant for thinking that everything with a number attached has to be mathematically accurate rather than giving an emotional meaning. Yet we abandon that thought when describing bad drivers etc. for effect.
I enjoyed the article by the way.
Gnomon - time to move on Posted Feb 10, 2007
It was 40 years the Israelites spent wandering in the desert, not days. But I'm sure you knew that.
Vestboy Posted Feb 12, 2007
Oh, yeah, a bit longer than 6 weeks wasn't it. 40 days rain for Noah, too.
docsharp Posted Nov 11, 2007
When I was in Sunday school, 40 years ago, the teacher there said that 40 in the Bible just meant a very large number. This sounded logical otherwise we were in for the whole world being flooded everytime it rained on St Swythens day.
Key: Complain about this post