40 Day References in Torah

Throughout the Torah, 40 days signifies deep change and significant transformation.

Torah

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1) … in another seven days I will bring rain on the earth, {and it will rain for] forty days and forty nights, and I will obliterate every living substance that I have made, from the face of the earth. (Bereishis 7:4) There was rain on the earth forty days and forty nights. --(Bereishis 7:12) There was a Flood on the earth for forty days. The waters increased and lifted the ark, and it rose [high] above the earth. (Bereishis 7:17) At the end of forty days, Noach opened the window of the ark which he had made. (Bereishis 8:6)

Rashi, one of the foremost exegetes on the Torah, likens these forty days to the measurement (forty se'ah) of water required for purification. These forty days purified the world.

2) And Moshe came into the midst of the cloud, and went up into the mountain. Moshe remained on the mountain for forty days and forty nights. (Shemos 24:18)

3) He [Moshe] remained there with Ad-noy for forty days and forty nights. He did not eat bread nor drink water, and he wrote on the tablets the words of the covenant, the Ten Commandments. (Shemos 34:28)

4) They returned from spying the land, at the end of forty days. (Bamidbar 13:25)

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5) When I went up the mountain to take the stone tablets, the tablets of the covenant that Ad-noy made with you, I remained on the mountain forty days and forty nights; I ate no bread and drank no water. (Devarim 9:9)

6) When, at the end of forty days and forty nights, Ad-noy gave me the two stone tablets, the covenant tablets, (Devarim 9:11) I prostrated myself before Ad-noy as before, forty days and forty nights, bread I did not eat nor water did I drink; for all of your sin that you sinned by doing what is evil in Ad-noy's eyes to anger Him. (Devarim 9:18) I prostrated myself before Ad-noy the forty days and the forty nights that I prostrated myself, because Ad-noy intended to destroy you. (Devarim 9:25) And I remained on the mountain like the previous time, forty days and forty nights, and Ad-noy accepted my prayer that time, too; Ad-noy was unwilling to harm you. (Devarim 10:10)

Nach

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1) And when you complete these, you shall lie on your right side a second time, and you shall bear the iniquity of the house of Judah; forty days, a day for a year, a day for a year, I have given it to you. (Ezekiel 4:6)

2) And he arose and ate and drank, and he went with the strength of this meal forty days and forty nights, up to the mountain of the Lord, Horeb. (I Kings 19:8)

3) And the Philistine drew near morning and evening, and presented himself forty days. (I Samuel 17:16)

4) And Jonah commenced to come into the city, one day's walk, and he proclaimed and said, "In another forty days Nineveh shall be overturned!" (Jonah 3:4)

Talmud

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1) …and presented himself forty days. R. Johanan said: [The period] corresponds to the forty days in which the Torah was given. --(Sotah 42b)

2) 'R. Judah b. Baba testified concerning five things: ...that wine which was only forty days old was poured as a drink-offering upon the altar, and that the continual morning sacrifice was offered [as late as] at the fourth hour [of the day]'. (Niddah 8a)

3) Wine is unappealing until it is forty days old. (Sanhedrin 70a)

4) Once a certain disciple went down before the Ark in the presence of R. Eliezer, and he drew out the prayer to a great length. His disciples said to him: Master, how longwinded this fellow is! He replied to them: Is he drawing it out any more than our Master Moses, of whom it is written: The forty days and the forty nights [that I fell down]? (Berakoth 34a)

5) To effect a union between man and woman is as difficult as the dividing of the Red Sea, as it is written: God makes the solitary dwell in houses; He brings out the prisoners unto prosperity. But is it really so? Did not Rav Judah say in Rav's name: Forty days before the embryo is formed, a heavenly voice goes forth and says: The daughter of so and so for so and so? — There is no difficulty: this applies to the first marriage; the earlier statement, to the second. (Sanhedrin 22a)

6) Ulla said: I myself drank Babylonian beer and it is more efficacious than these [waters]; provided, however, that one had discontinued [drinking] it for forty days --(Shabbath 110a)

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7) Ten things adversely affect one's study: [among them}passing under a bridge under which water has not flowed for forty days... (Horayoth 13b)

The place is not considered desolate until after forty days without water.

8) For palpitations of the heart he should take three barley-cakes and streak them with liamak which has been made less than forty days before, and eat it and wash it down with wine well diluted. (Gittin 69b)

9) ...Rav Judah has said in the name of Rav: Forty days before the creation of a child, a Bath Kol issues forth and proclaims, The daughter of A is for B; the house of C is for D; the field of E is for F! (Sotah 2a)

10) R. Judah b. Baba testified five things ... that wine forty days old was poured as a drink-offering on the altar... --(Berakoth 27a)

Zohar

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1) Rabbi Chiya stood up and walked along, weeping, accompanied by Rabbi Yosi. He fasted from that day on for forty days so that he might meet with Rabbi Shimon. They told him, you are not fit to see him. He then wept and fasted for another forty days. They showed him Rabbi Shimon and Rabbi Elazar his son, in a vision. They were discussing the interpretation of that certain word, which Rabbi Yosi mentioned IN THE NAME OF RABBI SHIMON (PAR. 45). And many thousands were listening to his words. (Prologue 10:50)

2) The journey of Yisrael in the desert WAS COMPLETED in the fortieth year. Forty years before the body is resurrected, the soul awaits it in the land of Israel. IT APPEARS THEN that in the fortieth year OF THE WAITING OF THE SOUL IN THE LAND OF ISRAEL, the bodies will rise from the dust. After forty days the rain stopped, this is the meaning of the verses "And the rain was upon the earth forty days and forty nights" (Beresheet 7:12), and "it came to pass at the end of forty days, that Noach opened" (Beresheet 8:6). (Toldos 6:49)

3) Rabbi Shimon dismounted and said to him: Indeed it is written, "Then I abode in the mountain forty days and forty nights" (Devarim 9:9). Surely wisdom does not settle upon man when he walks but when he sits down. (Vayechi 30:280)

4) They are embalmed with anointing oil, superior to any other oil, mixed with spices. The good oil is absorbed in the body day after day for forty days, as it is written: "And forty days were fulfilled for him: for so are fulfilled the days of those who are embalmed." (Vayechi 87:856)

5) Then a pillar of fire shall be seen there, standing from above down for forty days. And all the nations of the world will see it. (Shemot 15:98)

6) He sees a picture of the destroyed Temple and all the righteous who were killed there. Then, he takes from there ten garments called 'garments of jealousy' to be hidden there for forty days and not to be revealed at all. (Shemot 15:121)

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7) At the end of forty days, a voice will stir and will call from the Supernal throne, (Shemot 15:122)

8) Rabbi Shimon sat while his son, Rabbi Elazar, stood and explained the secrets of the words of wisdom, and his face shone like the sun...Rabbi Shimon exclaimed: "And he was there with Hashem forty days and forty nights, he did neither eat bread nor drink water" (Shemot 34:28). If for us, WHO MERITED TO CLEAVE TO HASHEM for a while it was so, THAT AND WE SPENT TWO DAYS IN THE LIGHT OF HASHEM AND DID NOT KNOW WHERE WE WERE, with Moses, about whom the Torah bears witness: "And he was there with Hashem forty days" - it is much more so. --(Shemot 30:251)

9) We also found, he who consumes food OF MEAT AND MILK during the same hour or in one meal, so they join together, AND HE IS CONSIDERED AS IF HE ATE MEAT AND MILK TOGETHER, forty days a kid roasted with its skin, MEANING ROASTED TOGETHER WITH ITS HEAD, appears to those above. --(Mishpatim 29:566)

10) This is what Bila'am said, "There shall come a star out of Jacob" (Bemidbar 24:17), and this star will illuminate for forty days. --(Trumah 86:860) These forty CHIEFS reprimand and excommunicate all those who uttered something they should not have, and IMMEDIATELY after, pronounced a holy word of the Torah, and sully their mouths therein. The chiefs excommunicate them, and they are excommunicated for forty days, for their prayer is not accepted. --(Pekudei 48:568)

11) This living creature stands watchful over the prayers, because the petitions, uttered by men in their prayers, are all in the hands of this living creature. It puts them in this chamber, where they are kept for forty days. --(Pekudei 49:620)

12) Every forty days, this living creature comes out, takes all the prayers and puts them before the 72 lights to be judged. Then the spirit, Zechut El looks at them carefully, to see whether that man is worthy or not. If he is worthy, the prayer goes out, and this petition rolls, and twelve chiefs with it, each demanding from that spirit that the prayer be accepted, and it is accepted by them. --(Pekudei 49:621)

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13) If Moses could not enter the tabernacle BECAUSE OF THE CLOUD WHICH RESTED ON IT, how could he ENTER THE CLOUD AND remain on the mountain for forty days? --(Vayikra 1:7)

14) HE ANSWERS, There were two clouds, one CLOUD which Moses entered AND IN WHICH HE REMAINED ON THE MOUNTAIN FORTY DAYS AND FORTY NIGHTS - THIS CLOUD IS OF MALCHUT - and one CLOUD which rested on the tabernacle. --(Vayikra 1:8)

15) Rabbi, Rabbi. When we flew away from you, we entered and saw all the members of the Yeshivah gathering to a certain sanctuary where Messiah was present. They were discussing the judgment of that man that stood at the entrance. We have no authority to reveal his name. Rabbi Shimon became sad about it. He told him, Do not feel sad about this, Rabbi, you will get to know all about this, this night in your dreams. However, they passed a judgment about him in accordance with the edict of Messiah, that this person shall remain outside with this pain for forty days. At the end of forty days, he will get tortured with the pain of Gehenom for an hour and a half. --(Shlach Lecha 25:193)

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16) There are several offerings there. There is an offering mentioned in the Torah, SINCE TRUMAH (ENG. 'OFFERING') CONSISTS OF TORAH AND THE LETTER MEM. That is an offering, which is the Torah, given in Mem (=forty) days. If you say that yet I ate from her IN THOSE FORTY DAYS, does it not say: "and he was there with Hashem forty days and forty nights; he did neither eat bread, nor drink water" (Shemot 34:28)? It was kept until this time, MEANING UNTIL THE ERECTION OF THE TABERNACLE. This was an offering to the Holy One, blessed be He, and if the King did not eat, THAT IS, THERE WAS NO MATING OF ZEIR ANPIN AND MALCHUT REFERRED TO AS 'EATING', how could his servants eat? Following that, AFTER THE TABERNACLE WAS ERECTED, it says, "I have gathered my myrrh with my spice" (Shir Hashirim 5:1) - THAT THERE WAS A MATING OF ZEIR ANPIN AND MALCHUT. Following that, it is written, "eat, O dear ones" (Ibid.), and the servants could eat; THAT IS, THEY WILL RECEIVE FROM THE ILLUMINATION OF THIS MATING. --(Korach 11:50)

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