Biblical Significance of
120 Days/Years

*40 Days, 40 Years, 120 Days, 120 Years
*120 days of Commandments and Fasting
*120 Years of Moses
*Three Starts of the First 40-Year Period
*Questions Raised
*The 120 Years of Kings Over United Israel

40 Days, 40 Years, 120 Days, 120 Years

Numerous prophecies in the Bible make the point that a day can be prophetic of a year. Consider these examples:

Because of their complaining and lack of faith after their men had spent forty days spying out the Promised Land, the Israelites had to wander in the desert for forty years (Numbers 14:34)

Ezekiel had to lie on his side for 390 days to illustrate that Jerusalem was to be destroyed after a period of 390 years (Ezekiel 4:6)

The prophecy of the 'Seventy Weeks' as found at Daniel 9:25, 26 has proven to count each day as a year in its fulfillment.

120 days of Commandments and Fasting

One important prophetic 120-day period mentioned in the Bible started when Moses went up Mount Sinai to receive the Ten Commandments. He spent forty days on the mountain (Exodus 24:18), and then on his return, he found that the IsraElites had built a gold calf to worship; upon which, Moses broke the tablets. Apparently shortly thereafter, Moses started a forty-day fast to beg God to forgive the people (Deuteronomy 9:18). And then he went back up the mountain to create duplicate stone tablets, where he stayed for another forty days (Exodus 34:28). Following that, the people ratified the Sacred Agreement.

What was the significance of this 120-day period? Well, it does have to do with the creation of God's Sacred Agreement with His people – from its inception to its acceptance – and it was a time of turmoil and testing. Does this 120 days symbolize a significant future 120-year period? Time will tell.

120 Years of Moses

There's also a 120-year period that had to do with Moses. It started at his birth in Egypt – when the Pharaoh decreed the death of all the newborn IsraElite male children in the land (Exodus 1:15, 16). Then, when he was about forty years old, he killed an Egyptian and fled the country to live in the land of Midian. It was there, forty years later, that God's messenger spoke to Moses from the burning bush and gave him the commission that led to the IsraElites being set free and the establishment of God's Sacred Agreement with them. And finally, there was the last 40-year period, which the IsraElites spent wandering in the desert. So, at the end of exactly 120-years (see Deuteronomy 34:7), Moses died and the IsraElites entered the Promised Land.

What is the possible significance of the 120-years of Moses' life? Well, if you haven't read it already; consider the observations made in the linked document, 'Armageddon – When?' under the subheading: 'Theory 4: 2,520 Years.' As it points out, this could possibly be (but it isn't necessarily so) the same period as 'the last days' of this 'age.'

Three Starts of the First 40-Year Period

Now, the fact that the 120-years of Moses' life started with an attempt to kill him as a newborn baby in Egypt is quite interesting, for we read of a similar event happening at the time of Jesus' birth, when JoSeph and Mary had to flee to Egypt to save the baby's life. Then we read of the same type of thing happening a third time at Revelation 12:4. For there, it warns of a time when the Slanderer will try to devour (destroy) the 'seed' (or baby) of God's 'woman.' And this action leads up to a war in heaven (see verse 7) that results in the Dragon and his messengers (angels) being cast down to the earth. And according to that account, this brings a period of 'woe' for the earth (see verse 12), while the Kingdom and Jesus' authority to rule begins in the heavens (see verse verses 10-12). So, could the start of the last days have been symbolized by the 120 years of Moses? Time will tell.

What did the events in the life of Moses have to do with events in the life of Jesus? Is Moses a fitting symbol of Jesus, and does his life picture anything that has to do with the establishment of the Kingdom? Well, Moses was God's appointed ruler over His people during that entire 120-year period. He served in that position first as a member of the household of Pharaoh, and then as God's leader of the nation of IsraEl when he was leading them to the Promised Land. The IsraElites were also 'baptized' into Moses at the Red Sea (see 1 Corinthians 10:2). In addition, he was the mediator of God's Sacred Agreement with His people (Hebrews 12:24). So there could be no one more fitting to symbolize Jesus than faithful Moses.

Questions Raised

If any of the above is significant, it raises many other questions that deserve further investigation. Some of these are:

What does the beginning of the first 40-year period (the saving of the child) signify for God's people today?

Will the second 40-year period in Moses' life that ended with God's deliverance of His people from Egypt have a modern fulfillment?

Will the last 40-year period 'in the desert' also have a modern fulfillment?

Does the complete 120-year period have a modern fulfillment? And if so, when will (or did it) begin?

Notice that 40-years is the typical length of the life of a single adult generation, as the 40-year trek in the desert shows. So if the 120-year period has a modern fulfillment, it seems to picture three generations.

The 120 Years of Kings Over United IsraEl

Another interesting (but usually overlooked) 120-year period that is broken into three 40-year parts, is the combined reigns of Saul, David, and Solomon. For according to the Bible, each reigned for exactly forty years.

Since the 40-year reign of King David was one of turmoil, war, and the defeat of IsraEl's enemies; this period is thought to be prophetic of the 40-years of cleansing of the wicked from the land. This was followed by the peaceful 40-year reign of Solomon (during which God's Temple was built), which is thought to picture 40-years of peace and prosperity that follow sometime after 'the Battle of Armageddon.' But if this is true, then what did the first 40-year reign (that of Saul) picture?

Saul's reign is surely significant, because he was selected and anointed by God (although he wasn't of the kingly tribe of Judah), and his reign lasted for exactly 40 years. There is too much that is prophetic and planned here for it to be unimportant history. So, might it picture a period of imperfect rulership that leads up to the coming of the greater David, Jesus?

Also, notice that the second 40-year period in Moses' life ended with the release of the IsraElites and the destruction of PharaOh and his army. This could indicate that Armageddon will come at the end of an 80-year period; and thereafter, there may come a final 40-year period of cleansing and wandering. For if the destruction of Pharaoh and his army pictured Armageddon, then the last 40-years that the IsraElites spend in the desert must be prophetic also. Notice that this was also a period of peace for God's people and of relying on Him for their sustenance. So it appears as though a third 40-year period comes after the Battle of Armageddon. For more information, see the linked document, 'Similarities Between the Exodus and the Events of Revelation.'

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