THE NUMBER 40:
As indicated by many references contained herein, the Holy Scriptures disclose to us that the number 40 is used by God to represent a period of testing, preparation and/or judgment. For instance, the Old Testament shares that Moses spent 40 days and 40 nights with the LORD on Mount Sinai and fasted the entire time (Exodus 24:18 & Exodus 34:28); Elijah walked "40 days and 40 nights to the mountain of God, Horeb” -another name for Sinai (1 Kings 19:8).
In the New Testament (Matthew 4:1-11, Mark 1:12-13, Luke 4:1-13), Jesus was driven by the Holy Spirit into the Judean Desert after His baptism. He spent 40 days and 40 nights praying and fasting there, being tempted by the evil one as He prepared for His three year Ministry. 40 days also marks the time between Christ’s Resurrection and Ascension (Acts 1:3).
NEW AMERICAN BIBLE REFERENCES
CANONICAL ORDER—THE NUMBER 40