According to the Bible, 40 is the number for waiting, preparation, testing or punishment. It is the number to start a new chapter of the history of salvation.
What happened 40 days after the solar eclipse of 8/21/2017. It was 9/30/2017 Yom Kippur – the Day of Atonement, the holiest day of the year in Judaism. Its central themes are atonement and repentance. The month of Elul started at 8/22/2017 (Rosh Chodesh Elul) the day after the solar eclipse which is a time of repentance in preparation for the High Holidays of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur.
Is it a coincidence? No. God use Sun, Moon and stars for signs and seasons. This is the sign for repentance as God called Jonah to warn the people of Nineveh. When God sent warning message that ” Forty more days and Nineveh will be overthrown”, that day of final judgement was on Yom Kippur. And Jonah proclaimed the message in the city on Rosh Choldesh Elul.
It has been a tradition to read book of Jonah on Yom Kippur to warn the people to stop doing sins and return to God.
No one is beyond the reach of God‘s hand. Just as Jonah’s endeavor to escape God’s providence was unsuccessful, same way, we are incapable of eluding divine justice for transgressions we may have committed.
On the other hand, God’s benevolence and mercy awaits us if we only repent full-heartedly.
- to be continued.