40 (number)

The forty (40 ) is the natural number between 39 and 41 you straight.


From the French word quarante (forty) originated the term quarantine. In the 14th century, forty days' isolation periods to avoid plague epidemics were imposed for the first time.

Mythology and religion

Forty is the number of symbols of the examination, probation, or initiation of death. When the tenfold four she represented perfection. The origin of the forty - day cycle can search in Babylonia, where a connection of the forty -day disappearance of the constellation of the Pleiades was observed behind the sun with rain, storms and dangers. After the recovery of the Pleiades a bundle of forty reeds was burned as a sign of joy.

Many temples of ancient times had forty pillars, such as in Persia, Baalbek, in Ezekiel or the Celts.


Ea ( Enki ), the god of life, the water and the tide carried the symbol number forty.


In Egypt, it was planned after this astrological forties scheme, the crop calendar, as well as in ancient Greece ( Hesiod ). In Egypt, interpreted this time than forty days of death and of absence of Osiris, during which fasting was prescribed.

Old Testament

Forty days in the Old Testament, the time of the rain of the Flood (Gen 7.4 EU), the stay of Moses on Mount Sinai (Ex 24,18 EU), the time in which Ezekiel blame Judas takes upon himself ( Ez 4, 6 EU), the duration of the migration of Elijah to Mount Horeb (1 Kings 19.8 EU), and the test for Nineveh under Jonah (Jonah 3,4 EU).

Forty years of the Hebrews wandered through the desert (Num 14,33 EU), they lived under the rule of the Philistines (Judges 13.1 EU), each lasted the reign of Kings David (2 Sam 5,4 EU) and Solomon (1 Kings 11,42 EU), and the second book of Moses contains forty chapters.

According to Leviticus woman applies for birth of a boy 40 days (7 days and 33 days " cleaning bleeding " ) and after the birth of a girl 80 days (14 days and 66 days, " Cleaning bleeding " ) as unclean ( Lev 12:1-8 EU). Then she has to clean up ritual and pass in the days of the Second Temple to the priest as a sacrifice cleaning a sheep and a dove.

New Testament

In the New Testament the risen Christ taught his disciples for forty days about the kingdom of God, and was then in the sky to the place " at the right hand of God" raised ( Ascension). In Christianity, therefore, granted the joy of time from Easter to Ascension forty days. The forty day fast of Jesus also has significance for the span of Lent before Easter or Christmas ( Advent ). Forty days after the birth of Christ, Joseph and Mary went with her child as prescribed to the temple, where it was recognized by Simeon and Anna as Savior. Derived from the feast of Candlemas or Presentation of the Lord is celebrated, which formerly marked the end of the Christmas season especially.


In Islam, forty stands for the transformation and the death of forty days is usually the time is thought after the event of death of the deceased. Also, reconciliation and the return to the pure teaching is symbolized it.

The Shiite -enactment Arba'in / اربعين / forty ' is forty days after Ashura, the feast of martyrdom of the grandson of the Prophet Muhammad, Husain, celebrated. At the age of forty, Muhammad received his visions.


The minimum age for the Federal President of Germany is defined in the Basic Law on forty years. It is thus legally an age that can expect a certain maturity.

Nature and science

The pregnancy lasts forty weeks in humans.

Culture, literature, music, and spiritual life

  • Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves is a well known tale from the Arabian Nights story collection.
  • The Forty Days of Musa Dagh is a historical novel by the Austrian Jewish writer Franz Werfel, who processed the genocide of the Armenian literary.