The Number 400

The number 400, which is arrived at by multiplying 8 by 50, symbolizes in the Bible a divine perfect time period.

A 400 year period exists from God’s fulfilling of his pledge to Abraham in Isaac’s birth to the children of Israel leaving Egyptian bondage. Stephen, in his testimony before religious leaders just before his martyrdom, mentions the starting point of this count (Acts 7:6), which agrees to what the Eternal stated in Genesis 15:12 – 13.

This is what God said to him (Abraham, the father of the faithful): ‘Your descendants will live in a foreign country, where they will be slaves and will be badly treated for four hundred years (Acts 7:6).

Abraham’s wife Sarah is the ONLY woman in the entirety of Scripture where her age at death is stated (Genesis 23:1). When she died at 127 Abraham bought the cave of Machpelah, located in Mamre (Hebron), for 400 shekels of silver (verses 3 – 20). He used the cave as a burial location for his beloved wife.

When Abraham himself died at the age of 175, his sons Isaac and Ishmael buried him in the same cave (25:8 – 10). When Isaac’s wife Rebekah passed on she too was placed in the cave, as well as Isaac himself (who was buried by sons Esau and Jacob – Genesis 35:29).

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