O Jerusalem and her 40 Years



30 AD 

37 O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not!

38 Behold, your house is left unto you desolate.

39 For I say unto you, Ye shall not see me henceforth, till ye shall say, Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord.

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70 AD



Olivet Discourse and the Number 40

One of the most important prophetic passages is found in Matthew chapter 24. This chapter contains detailed prophecies of Jesus concerning future events. Jesus delivered a speech during the last week of His life (around 30 A.D.) Jesus gave the Olivet discourse as He and His disciples sat on the Mount of Olives. From this mount, they could clearly see the city of Jerusalem and its magnificent Temple. The speech is recorded in three places: Matthew 24, Mark 13, and Luke 21. Shortly after Jesus would be led away and crucified.

Forty years after Jesus warned of the destruction of the Temple, Roman General Titus marched into Jerusalem with his army. The Jewish historian Josephus tells us that over 1.1 million Jews perished in the siege of Jerusalem. The Temple was destroyed – not one stone was left upon another. This was just as Jesus had prophesied. It was only after the unbelievers of that generation had rejected Jesus that judgment came.

After Jesus’ death in 30 A.D. this unbelieving generation lived in sin for forty years (Matthew 23:31-39; Acts 2:40). Judgement came in 70 A.D., forty years later. The unbelievers of that generation perished in the flood waters. This is similar to what happened to the unbelievers of Moses’ day. The unbelievers died in the wilderness while the believers were left behind to live in God’s promise. A similar judgement is seen during Noah’s flood. The unbelievers were taken away in the flood, but the believers were saved alive and were “left behind” to live and repopulate the earth (Matthew 24:3-42: Luke 17:26-27).



Chronology 
From the Crucifixion in 30 AD 
to the Destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD 
(All years are reckoned AD) 

AD 30 
 1) Christ crucified Passover Day Nisan 14, April 51
 2) Christ resurrected toward the end of the weekly 
Sabbath Nisan 17 
 3) Christ appears to disciples for forty days from 
Nisan 18 to His ascension Iyar 27, May 181
 4) Holy Spirit poured out Pentecost Sunday, May 
281
 5) Gospel preached in Jerusalem, (Acts 3-5)  31 
 Gospel preached in Jerusalem Apostles 
compile Jesus’ teachings (Acts 5 and 6) 
32 
 1) Martyrdom of Stephen (Acts 6, 7) 
 2) Persecution against Church (Acts 8:1-4) 
 3) Saul’s activities as leader of persecution—
ravages the Church 
 4) Because of persecutions brethren scatter and 
preach the Word everywhere (Acts 8:4) 
 5) Philip to Samaria; Simon Magus (Acts 8:5-13) 
Peter and John sent to Samaria (Acts 8:14-25)
 6) Philip and Ethiopian eunuch (Acts 8:26-40) 
33 
 1) Saul breathes out threats and slaughter against 
disciples, goes to Damascus with letters from 
high priest (Acts 9:1-2) 
 2) Saul’s conversion spring 33 AD (Acts 9:3-18) 
 3) Saul preaches Christ in Damascus (Acts 
9:19-23). 
 4) Plot to kill Saul discovered; Saul escapes by 
night, departs to Arabia (Acts 9:24-25), taught 
by Christ for three years (Gal. 1:15-18) 
34 
 Spring 34 AD end of Saul’s 1st year in Arabia 
35
 1) Spring 35 AD end of Saul’s 2nd year in Arabia 
 2) Gospel of Matthew completed 
36 
 1) Spring 36 AD end of Saul’s 3rd year in Arabia 
 2) Saul returns to Damascus (Gal. 1:17) 
 3) Saul’s first visit to Jerusalem for fifteen days 
(Acts 9:26-30, Gal. 1:18-20) 
 4) Barnabas brings Saul to apostles Peter and 
James (Acts 9:27). Saul speaks boldly to 
Greek-speaking Jews in Jerusalem, who seek 
to kill him (9:28-29) 
 5) Brethren bring Saul to Caesarea and send 
him to Tarsus, Saul’s home in Asia Minor 
(Acts 9:30) 
 6) Saul remains in Tarsus for four years from 
summer 36 AD to summer 40 AD 
 7) Churches in Judea, Galilee and Samaria have 
peace (Acts 9:31) 
37-38 
 1) Peter evangelizes in Lydda and Joppa (Acts 
9:32-41) 
 2) Peter stays with Simon the tanner many days 
(Acts 9:42-43) 
38 
 1) Cornelius has vision; angel instructs him to 
send for Peter in Joppa (Acts 10:1-6) 
 2) Peter comes to Cornelius’ house and many 
Gentiles are converted (Acts 10:24-48) 
 3) Peter reports conversion of Gentiles to elders 
in Jerusalem (Acts 11:1-18) 
 4) Peter remains in Jerusalem from 38 to 44 AD 
 5) Gospel of Mark written between 38 and 44 AD 
39-40 
 1) Brethren scattered because of Saul’s persecution; 
preach the Word to Jews as far as Phoenicia, 
Cyprus and Antioch (Acts 11:19) 
 2) Certain men from Cyprus and Cyrenia preach 
the Word to Greeks in Antioch (Acts 11:20) 
 3) Many believe and a great number of Gentiles 
are converted (Acts 11:21) 
 4) Report of this comes to Jerusalem; apostles 
send Barnabas to Antioch to minister to them 
(Acts 11:22-24). 
 5) Barnabas goes to Tarsus and finds Saul and 
brings him to Antioch to help teach Gentiles 
(Acts 11:25) 
40-41 
Epistle of James written5 
41 
 1) Claudius Caesar made Emperor of Rome 
January 25, 41 AD 2
 2) In Antioch, Barnabas and Saul teach for a

things, yea, the deep things of God.

It is important to note that parallels and patterns should never be used to form doctrine. However, they should be used to support what has been already been revealed by God’s Spirit through the clear teaching of the Word.  In this series I want to explore the meaning and significance of numbers that have spiritual significance.  I happen to like the number forty!  Not so much the number itself but what it represents in scripture.

Forty – A Period of Testing

The number forty is mentioned 157 times in Scripture. The number forty symbolizes a period of testing, trial or probation.

  • For example, Moses’ lived forty years in Egypt and forty years in the desert. After which God selected him to lead his people out of slavery.
  • Moses was on Mount Sinai for forty days and nights receiving God’s laws. This happened on two separate occasions (Exodus 24:18, 34:1 – 28). Moses also sent spies, for forty days, to investigate the land.
  • For forty days, the prophet Jonah warned Nineveh, that because of its many sins destruction would come.
  • For forty days the prophet, Ezekiel laid on His right side. This was to symbolize Judah’s sins (Ezekiel 4:6).
  • Jesus was tempted by the devil, not just three times, but MANY times during the forty days and nights he fasted just before his ministry began. He also appeared to his disciples and others for forty days after his resurrection from the dead.
  • The number forty can also represent a generation of man. Because of their sins after leaving Egypt, God swore that the generation of Israelites who left Egyptian bondage would not enter their inheritance in Canaan (Deuteronomy 1). The children of Israel were punished by wandering in the wilderness for forty years. This was before a new generation was allowed to possess the promised land.
  • Just days before his crucifixion, Jesus warned his disciples that Jerusalem and the Temple would be destroyed (Matthew 24:1 – 2, Mark 13:1 – 2). Forty years after his crucifixion in 70 A.D., the mighty Roman Empire destroyed the city and burned its temple to the ground. Not one stone was left upon another.
  • The book of Exodus has forty chapters.
  • Israel was ruled by judges from the time they entered the Promised Land to the time of King Saul. These judges had a tremendous influence on the nation of Israel. Judges who served forty years include Othniel, Deborah and Barak, Eli and Gideon.
  • The first three kings over the children of Israel, Saul, David and Solomon, each ruled for forty years (1050 to 930 B.C.).
  • After the United Kingdom had split into two separate pieces, King Joash served forty years as one of Judah’s better kings. (2 Chronicles 24:1)
  • Abraham pleaded with God NOT destroy Sodom and Gomorrah if forty righteous people could be found (Genesis 18:29).
  • Isaac and Esau were both married at the age of forty years (Genesis 25:20, 26:34).
  • God flooded the earth by having it rain for forty days and nights (Genesis 7:12).
  • After the patriarch Jacob (Israel) had died in Egypt, the Egyptians spent forty days embalming his body (Genesis 50:3)
  • Forty days after Jesus was born, He was presented at the Temple in Jerusalem for His legal purification, according to the established law (Luke 2: 22-40).
  • Forty days between the Ascension of Jesus and His Resurrection. (Acts 1,3)
  • Elijah walked forty days and forty nights to reach Mount Horeb. He fasted for forty days before beginning his public ministry. He remained forty days on the Mount Carmel. (1 Kings 19-8).
  • Isaac was forty years old when he married his wife, Rebekah. (Genesis 25-20)
  • The embalming of Jacob was prolonged for forty days. (Genesis 50-3)
  • It is interesting to note that forty different people wrote the Bible.

Olivet Discourse and the Number 40

One of the most important prophetic passages is found in Matthew chapter 24. This chapter contains detailed prophecies of Jesus concerning future events. Jesus delivered a speech during the last week of His life (around 30 A.D.) Jesus gave the Olivet discourse as He and His disciples sat on the Mount of Olives. From this mount, they could clearly see the city of Jerusalem and its magnificent Temple. The speech is recorded in three places: Matthew 24, Mark 13, and Luke 21. Shortly after Jesus would be led away and crucified.

Forty years after Jesus warned of the destruction of the Temple, Roman General Titus marched into Jerusalem with his army. The Jewish historian Josephus tells us that over 1.1 million Jews perished in the siege of Jerusalem. The Temple was destroyed – not one stone was left upon another. This was just as Jesus had prophesied. It was only after the unbelievers of that generation had rejected Jesus that judgment came.

After Jesus’ death in 30 A.D. this unbelieving generation lived in sin for forty years (Matthew 23:31-39; Acts 2:40). Judgement came in 70 A.D., forty years later. The unbelievers of that generation perished in the flood waters. This is similar to what happened to the unbelievers of Moses’ day. The unbelievers died in the wilderness while the believers were left behind to live in God’s promise. A similar judgement is seen during Noah’s flood. The unbelievers were taken away in the flood, but the believers were saved alive and were “left behind” to live and repopulate the earth (Matthew 24:3-42: Luke 17:26-27).

Summary

Numbers play an important role in scripture. The number forty represents a time of testing, trial or probation. Of all the types and shadows of the Old Testament, none is as pervasive and important as the shadows revealed in the relationship between “forty,” and the fulfillment of promises.

The forty days of rain in the days of the flood were the judgments of God. The forty day periods of fasting, testing, and communing with God that were faced by Moses and Jesus were a form of God’s judgments. The forty years that the Israelites spent in the wilderness were also the judgments of God. Various leaders in Israel, who reigned for forty year periods, were put there BY God according to His Will and Judgments. Egypt was left desolate for forty years because of God’s judgments. There is a consistency and pattern that is revealed in scripture.

"Numbers In Scripture: The Number 40 - Scripture Revealed" http://www.scripturerevealed.com/bible-studies/numbers-in-scripture-the-number-40/#:~:text=Forty%20%E2%80%93%20A%20Period%20of%20Testing,his%20people%20out%20of%20slavery.

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