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[GR] > The Number 40

In the six hundredth year of Noah's life, in the second month, the seventeenth day of the month, the same day were all the fountains of the great deep broken up, and the windows of heaven were opened. And the rain was upon the earth forty days and forty nights.

Genesis 7.11

The Letter Mayim signifies water. Both its Standard (40) and Sofit (600) values first appear in conjuction the greatest hydrologic event in the history of the earth, The Flood of Noah (cf. An Ancient Witness).

The Number 40 is a fundamental structural number found throughout Scripture. It appears in both the text and the geometric structure of the Bible. It is used as the limit of the number of stripes that can be inflicted as punishment (Deuteronomy 25.1f):

If there be a controversy between men, and they come unto judgment, that the judges may judge them; then they shall justify the righteous, and condemn the wicked. And it shall be, if the wicked man be worthy to be beaten, that the judge shall cause him to lie down, and to be beaten before his face, according to his fault, by a certain number. Forty stripes he may give him, and not exceed: lest, if he should exceed, and beat him above these with many stripes, then thy brother should seem vile unto thee.

This appears in the ancient tradition, going back to the time of Paul (cf. 2 Corinthians 11.24), of "forty stripes save one" - that is, stripes - which was probably implemented as a hedge or fence about the law to ensure that it is not accidentally violated. It also manifests in the overall design of Scripture, with the 39 books of the Old Testament recording the fall into sin and the nearly constant punishment it brought down on men. The 39/40 split of the Bible is mirrored with incredible precision in the structure of the Inner Wheel of Isaiah.

The Number 40 also appears prominantly in the alphanumeric structure of the Ten Commandments, the heart of the Law that kills us because of our sin (cf. Two Divisions of the Law).

The Number 40

The Letter Mem


The Letter Mu


The LORD loves him [Is 48.14]


YHVH Ahavu

To/For me



Cord, Line [Zec 2.1]



Fat, Best [S# 2459]


Victory, Netsach (Ord)



The hand of the LORD [Ezek 1.3]


Pilot, Seaman [S# 2259]


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