QUARANTINE: What about the Bible and the number 40?

Quarantine is a term used in medicine to describe the isolation of people from disease for a non-specific period of time and thus prevent or limit the spread of an infectious agent, biological toxin, or a released chemical to protect health, safety, and public welfare.

What about the Bible and the number 40?
What about the Bible and the number 40?

Quarantine is for people who have been exposed to a contagious disease, but who are not sick. While people who are sick with a contagious disease and they are separated is called “isolation.”

The Bible and quarantine

The oldest effective forms of isolation known are those mentioned in the Pentateuch over 3400 years ago, from which the advice was followed, especially in the case of leprosy.

Infected people were separated to prevent the spread of the disease among the ancient Israelites under the Mosaic law.

The number 40 is a very significant number in the Bible, many theologians agree that this number represents “change.” It is the time of preparation of a person or people to make a fundamental change.

On the other hand, the number 40 appears frequently in contexts related to trial or evidence, so much so that many scholars know it as the number of “evidence” or “trials”.

The number 40 appears more than a hundred times in the Bible and at key moments:

  • The flood lasted 40 days and 40 nights (Genesis 7:12).
  • Isaac and Esau were 40 years old when they married (Genesis 25:20; Genesis 26:34).
  • Moses lived 120 years (Deuteronomy 34:7), divided into three stages: 40 years in Egypt, another 40 as a shepherd in the land of Midian, and 40 years of wilderness crossing (Acts 7:20-40).
  • The exodus lasted 40 years (Deuteronomy 8:2).
  • 40 was the maximum number of lashes a man could receive for a crime, according to the Law (Deuteronomy 25:3).
  • 40 days and 40 nights Moses was on Mount Sinai (Deuteronomy 9:9-11).
    Moses interceded on behalf of Israel for 40 days and 40 nights (Deuteronomy 9:18-25).
  • 40 days the spies of Israel explored the promised land (Numbers 13:25).
  • 40 years Israel served the Philistines before the liberation of Samson (Judges 13:1).
  • 40 days challenged Goliath to the Israelites before David defeated him (1 Samuel 17:16).
    David reigned 40 years (1 Kings 2:11), as did Saul (Acts 13:21) and his son Solomon (1 Kings 11:42).
  • The prophet Elijah lasted 40 days in the desert until he met God on Mount Horeb (1 Kings 19:8).
  • Jonah announced that Nineveh would be destroyed in 40 days (Jonah 3:4).
  • 40 also appears in Ezekiel’s prophecies (Ezekiel 4:6; 29:11-13).
  • 40 days after his birth Jesus was presented in the Temple (Luke 2:22).
  • 40 days and 40 nights Jesus went to the desert to be tempted by Satan after his baptism (Matthew 4:1-2)
  • After his resurrection, Jesus appeared to his disciples for 40 days (Acts 1:3).

“Global Quarantine”

Currently in different countries of the world they have decreed quarantine due to the spread of Covid-19, although the quarantine that governments are promoting is not literally 40 days, as children of God we must take this opportunity to seek even more of God. And not that we are not doing it; It is a great opportunity to do it deeply and in the company of our family.

We can take advantage of this time of social isolation to meditate on the word, fast and seek God deeply in prayer, since we do not have the same work and ecclesiastical commitments.

God is stopping humanity from turning to Him, remembering what His word says, that “when they see that everything is happening as I have told them, they will know that soon I will come again” (Matthew 24:32-33).

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