How many times did Moses Fast for 40 Days and 40 Nights?

It is commonly known that Moses spent 40 Days and 40 Nights without any physical nourishment in the presence of God – a feat no other human has accomplished in history. But how many days did Moses Fast? Was it once, twice or three times? And does it matter – Let’s find out!

Pentecost to Atonement
If you are aware that Shavuot (also known as Pentecost) was when God gave the Torah at Mount Sinai, you are also aware that the people asked Moses to approach God and get the Word of God as they were afraid for their lives.

Exo 20:18 And all the people saw the thunderings, and the lightnings, and the noise of the trumpet, and the mountain smoking: and when the people saw it, they removed, and stood afar off. And they said unto Moses, Speak thou with us, and we will hear: but let not God speak with us, lest we die. And Moses said unto the people, Fear not: for God is come to prove you, and that his fear may be before your faces, that ye sin not. And the people stood afar off, and Moses drew near unto the thick darkness where God was.
Deu 5:27-31 Go thou near, and hear all that the LORD our God shall say: and speak thou unto us all that the LORD our God shall speak unto thee; and we will hear it, and do it. And the LORD heard the voice of your words, when ye spake unto me; and the LORD said unto me, I have heard the voice of the words of this people, which they have spoken unto thee: they have well said all that they have spoken. O that there were such an heart in them, that they would fear me, and keep all my commandments always, that it might be well with them, and with their children for ever! Go say to them, Get you into your tents again. But as for thee, stand thou here by me, and I will speak unto thee all the commandments, and the statutes, and the judgments, which thou shalt teach them, that they may do them in the land which I give them to possess it.

Moses who ascended the Mountain on Pentecost remained there for 40 days and 40 nights.

Deu 9:9 When I was gone up into the mount to receive the tables of stone, even the tables of the covenant which the LORD made with you, then I abode in the mount forty days and forty nights, I neither did eat bread nor drink water:
Exo 24:18 And Moses went into the midst of the cloud, and gat him up into the mount: and Moses was in the mount forty days and forty nights.

Then at the end of the first 40 days, Moses returned to a congregation that had been led astray by worshipping a golden calf.

Deu 9:12-17 And the LORD said unto me, Arise, get thee down quickly from hence; for thy people which thou hast brought forth out of Egypt have corrupted themselves; they are quickly turned aside out of the way which I commanded them; they have made them a molten image. Furthermore the LORD spake unto me, saying, I have seen this people, and, behold, it is a stiffnecked people: Let me alone, that I may destroy them, and blot out their name from under heaven: and I will make of thee a nation mightier and greater than they. So I turned and came down from the mount, and the mount burned with fire: and the two tables of the covenant were in my two hands. And I looked, and, behold, ye had sinned against the LORD your God, and had made you a molten calf: ye had turned aside quickly out of the way which the LORD had commanded you. And I took the two tables, and cast them out of my two hands, and brake them before your eyes.

The very next day, Moses ascended the Mount for the second time to ask God for Mercy for the sin of the congregation and stayed on top of the mount for a second time fasting for 40 days and 40 nights.

Deu 9:18 And I fell down before the LORD, as at the first, forty days and forty nights: I did neither eat bread, nor drink water, because of all your sins which ye sinned, in doing wickedly in the sight of the LORD, to provoke him to anger.
Exo 32:30,31 And it came to pass on the morrow, that Moses said unto the people, Ye have sinned a great sin: and now I will go up unto the LORD; peradventure I shall make an atonement for your sin. And Moses returned unto the LORD, and said, Oh, this people have sinned a great sin, and have made them gods of gold.

At the end of the second 40 day fast, he came down to hew two tablets of stone for the second set of the “10 Commands/Words/Sayings” and returned back to the top of the mountain for a third set of 40 days.

Deu 10:1-5 At that time the LORD said unto me, Hew thee two tables of stone like unto the first, and come up unto me into the mount, and make thee an ark of wood. And I will write on the tables the words that were in the first tables which thou brakest, and thou shalt put them in the ark. And I made an ark of shittim wood, and hewed two tables of stone like unto the first, and went up into the mount, having the two tables in mine hand. And he wrote on the tables, according to the first writing, the ten commandments, which the LORD spake unto you in the mount out of the midst of the fire in the day of the assembly: and the LORD gave them unto me. And I turned myself and came down from the mount, and put the tables in the ark which I had made; and there they be, as the LORD commanded me.
Exo 34:1,2 And the LORD said unto Moses, Hew thee two tables of stone like unto the first: and I will write upon these tables the words that were in the first tables, which thou brakest. And be ready in the morning, and come up in the morning unto mount Sinai, and present thyself there to me in the top of the mount.
Exo 34:28 And he was there with the LORD forty days and forty nights; he did neither eat bread, nor drink water. And he wrote upon the tables the words of the covenant, the ten commandments.

The day Moses returned, after the 3rd 40-Day fast, it is said that his face shined with God’s Glory, so that the congregation was afraid to look at him. This day is traditionally thought to be Atonement (Yom Kippur) and there is valid reasons to think so.

Exo 34:29,30 And it came to pass, when Moses came down from mount Sinai with the two tables of testimony in Moses’ hand, when he came down from the mount, that Moses wist not that the skin of his face shone while he talked with him. And when Aaron and all the children of Israel saw Moses, behold, the skin of his face shone; and they were afraid to come nigh him.

Counting from Pentecost to Atonement this year(2020AD), we find an oddity in God’s Calendar, where there are exactly 120 days between Pentecost and Atonement (May 31st to Sep 28th 2020). What’s odd further is that Passover fell on a Wednesday(8th April 2020) this year, which resembles the year of Yeshua’s Death where there are 3 days and 3 nights between Passover Eve and Firsfruits, the day of His resurrection.

I wonder whether the dates this year, fall in line perfectly with the events almost 3500 years ago in Moses’ time as well as 2000 years ago at the time of Yeshua.

The Days of Elul and Restoration
According to the above study, the last 40 Day period coincide with days of Elul – The 6th month of the Hebrew Calendar. Even though the 40-Day period of Elul that ends with Yom Kippur – the Day of Atonement, is known as a time of Repentance, it is also a time of Restoration. It’s a time when our marriage with the Heavenly King is restored after the separation that comes through sin. The above could also be broken into 3 times of 2000 years – 1.) The time of Adam & Noah. 2.) The time of Israel to Messiah 3.) The time of Messiah and the preparation of the Bride. Maybe you will see many more connections and shadows through this event as well.

Conclusion
Moses fasted for 3 consecutive 40 day periods totaling 120 days from Pentecost to Atonement. The last 40 day period which is known as Elul, and observed even today is a most holy time which is separated for the Bride to restore her Marriage Vows with The King. May He arrive speedily!

4 thoughts on “How many times did Moses Fast for 40 Days and 40 Nights?

  1. Larry Paulus

    What you presented and what the Bible says is convincing that there were the two 40 day fasts. I am not convinced that the in between what I see as first and second, that there was a third set of 40 days. With the Lord, yes, 40 days: not stated.

    Reply
    1. RameshDeSilva Post author

      Dear Larry,
      It is not upto me to convince you. The Scriptures speak for itself. I simply present the evidence.

      1st Time:
      Deu 9:9 When I was gone up into the mount to receive the tables of stone, even the tables of the covenant which the LORD made with you, then I abode in the mount forty days and forty nights, I neither did eat bread nor drink water:

      2nd Time:
      Deu 9:18 And I fell down before the LORD, as at the first, forty days and forty nights: I did neither eat bread, nor drink water, because of all your sins which ye sinned, in doing wickedly in the sight of the LORD, to provoke him to anger.
      Deu 9:25 Thus I fell down before the LORD forty days and forty nights, as I fell down at the first; because the LORD had said he would destroy you.

      3rd Time:
      Exo 34:1 And the LORD said unto Moses, Hew thee two tables of stone like unto the first: and I will write upon these tables the words that were in the first tables, which thou brakest.
      Exo 34:28,29 And he was there with the LORD forty days and forty nights; he did neither eat bread, nor drink water. And he wrote upon the tables the words of the covenant, the ten commandments. And it came to pass, when Moses came down from mount Sinai with the two tables of testimony in Moses’ hand, when he came down from the mount, that Moses wist not that the skin of his face shone while he talked with him.
      Deu 10:1-5 At that time the LORD said unto me, Hew thee two tables of stone like unto the first, and come up unto me into the mount, and make thee an ark of wood. And I will write on the tables the words that were in the first tables which thou brakest, and thou shalt put them in the ark. And I made an ark of shittim wood, and hewed two tables of stone like unto the first, and went up into the mount, having the two tables in mine hand. And he wrote on the tables, according to the first writing, the ten commandments, which the LORD spake unto you in the mount out of the midst of the fire in the day of the assembly: and the LORD gave them unto me. And I turned myself and came down from the mount, and put the tables in the ark which I had made; and there they be, as the LORD commanded me.

      Be a blessing to everyone around you!
      Shalom

      Reply

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