40 days/nights

Bryan Rocine brocine at earthlink.net
Sun Sep 26 19:02:01 EDT 1999

Dear Mark,

Any decent lexicon will have a section on yom meaning time
in general, and will refer you to such expressions as yom
qatsir "time of harvest" or xodesh yamim "a month's
duration" or miyamim yamimah "yearly."  So we realize that
yom often has an idiomatic sense "time."  However, yom
obviously refers to a twenty four hour period at other
times.  When the Scriptures refer to 'arba`im yom ve
'arba`im laylah, I would think that we should take the
pleonastic reference to *forty nights* used in the passages
you mention as the writer's intention to *avoid* an
idiomatic reference to time in general and refer rather to a
twenty-four hour period.


you wrote:
> Ok.  Well what I want to know is what did the author
intend  literal or fig
> in the use of forty-days and forty nights in the Noah
saga, also the 40 day
> cake in ! Kings 19 as well as the forty day fast of Christ
( from a Hebrew
> perspective if possible).
> It seems all these are presented as accounts intended to
be literal. Does
> the language allow this (keep away historical arguments--
I am interested in
> the authors intentions).  Thanks.

B. M. Rocine
Associate Pastor
Living Word Church
6101 Court St. Rd.
Syracuse, NY 13206

(office) 315.437.6744
(home) 315.479.8267

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