Why did it take 40 years to get from Egypt to Israel?


Even if you only have a tiny amount of geographical knowledge of the Middle East, the story of Exodus makes absolutely no sense from a literal perspective. Why in God’s name did it take forty years for Moses and the Israelites to walk from Egypt to Israel? The logistics of that relatively short trek don’t add up to it taking 40 years. I’ll cover that in detail in a moment but first, let’s dispense with the thought of Moses actually being a real person.

Moses is a myth, and that becomes abundantly clear when we research evidence from archaeological experts like Ze’ev Herzog:

Ze’ev Herzog (Hebrew: זאב הרצוג‎; born 1941) is an Israeli archeologist, professor of archaeology at The Department of Archaeology and Ancient Near Eastern Cultures at Tel Aviv University specializing in social archaeology, ancient architecture and field archaeology. Ze’ev Herzog served as director of The Sonia and Marco Nadler Institute of Archaeology from 2005 to 2010 and has served as an archaeological advisor to the Israel Nature and National Parks Protection Authority in the preservation and development of National Parks at Arad and Beer Sheba.

Herzog took part in the excavations of Tel Hazor and Tel Megiddo with Yigael Yadin and in excavations at Tel Arad and Tel Be’er Sheva with Yohanan Aharoni. He directed the excavations at Tel Beer Sheba, Tel Michal and Tel Gerisa and at Tel Yafo (ancient Jaffa) in 1997 and 1999.

Herzog is among Israeli archaeologists who say that “biblical archaeology is not anymore the ruling paradigm in archaeology and that archaeology became an independent discipline with its own conclusions and own observations which indeed present us a picture of the reality of ancient Israel quite different from the one which is described in the biblical stories.”[1]

In 1999 Herzog’s cover page article in the weekly magazine Haaretz “Deconstructing the Walls of Jericho” attracted considerable public attention and debates. In this article, Herzog cites evidence supporting that “the Israelites were never in Egypt, did not wander in the desert, did not conquer the land in a military campaign and did not pass it on to the 12 tribes of Israel. Perhaps even harder to swallow is the fact that the united monarchy of David and Solomon, which is described by the Bible as a regional power, was at most a small tribal kingdom. And it will come as an unpleasant shock to many that the god of Israel, Jehovah, had a female consort and that the early Israelite religion adopted monotheism only in the waning period of the monarchy and not at Mount Sinai”.[2]

Herzog is a co-author of Has King David’s Palace in Jerusalem Been Found?[3] which opposes claims made by Eilat Mazar who unearthed what she believed was King David’s palace in Jerusalem, but is now known as the Large Stone Structure.

So, when we hear that the Old Testament is largely invented stories, what kind of leap of logic can we make concerning Moses? Exactly. And when we know that this part of scripture never happened, we officially have permission to interpret it spiritually, just as the ancient writers intended us to do.

And if that wasn’t enough to convince you, see these clever memes that break down the logistics of this “exodus”.

Image result for moses 40 year walk images

Image result for moses 40 year walk images

Image result for moses 40 years in the desert images

Okay, that was fun but now we get to learn the hidden meaning, what it actually means from a spiritual and astrotheological perspective. Because that’s how these ancient parables and allegories should be viewed. Stay away from the literal if you truly want to embrace truth and sanity.

Astrotheology first. By the way, astrotheology is simply the study of the stars as they relate to religious texts. This perspective is extensively broken down in another one of my articles here. It’s always about the Sun, always.

And it’s not just Christianity that used the number “40” abundantly. Look at the following to see how it’s used in other worldwide religions. There is an obvious truth to all of it that will be revealed shortly.

In religion

The number 40 is found in many traditions without any universal explanation for its use. In Jewish, Christian, Islamic, and other Middle Eastern traditions it is taken to represent a large, approximate number, similar to “umpteen“.


  • Enki ( /ˈɛŋki/) or Enkil (Sumerian: dEN.KI(G)𒂗𒆠) is a god in Sumerian mythology, later known as Ea in Akkadian and Babylonian mythology. He was originally patron god of the city of Eridu, but later the influence of his cult spread throughout Mesopotamia and to the Canaanites, Hittites and Hurrians. He was the deity of crafts (gašam); mischief; water, seawater, lake water (a, aba, ab), intelligence (gestú, literally “ear”) and creation (Nudimmud: nu, likeness, dim mud, make bear). He was associated with the southern band of constellations called stars of Ea, but also with the constellation AŠ-IKU, the Field (Square of Pegasus). Beginning around the second millennium BCE, he was sometimes referred to in writing by the numeric ideogram for “40,” occasionally referred to as his “sacred number.”

A large number of myths about Enki have been collected from many sites, stretching from Southern Iraq to the Levantine coast. He figures in the earliest extant cuneiform inscriptions throughout the region and was prominent from the third millennium down to Hellenistic times.

The exact meaning of his name is uncertain: the common translation is “Lord of the Earth”: the Sumerian en is translated as a title equivalent to “lord”; it was originally a title given to the High Priest; ki means “earth”; but there are theories that ki in this name has another origin, possibly kig of unknown meaning, or kur meaning “mound”. The name Ea is allegedly Hurrian in origin while others claim that it is possibly of Semitic origin and may be a derivation from the West-Semitic root *hyy meaning “life” in this case used for “spring”, “running water.” In Sumerian E-A means “the house of water”, and it has been suggested that this was originally the name for the shrine to the God at Eridu.


  • In the Hebrew Bible, forty is often used for time periods, forty days or forty years, which separate “two distinct epochs”.[8]
  • Rain fell for “forty days and forty nights” during the Flood (Genesis 7:4).
  • Noah waited for forty days after the tops of mountains were seen after the flood, before releasing a raven (Genesis 8:5-7).
  • Spies were sent by Moses to explore the land of Canaan (promised to the children of Israel) for “forty days” (Numbers 13:2, 25).
  • The Hebrew people lived in the lands outside of the promised land for “forty years”. This period of years represents the time it takes for a new generation to arise (Numbers 32:13).
  • Several Jewish leaders and kings are said to have ruled for “forty years”, that is, a generation. Examples include Eli (1 Samuel 4:18), Saul (Acts 13:21), David (2 Samuel 5:4), and Solomon (1 Kings 11:42).
  • Goliath challenged the Israelites twice a day for forty days before David defeated him (1 Samuel 17:16).
  • Moses spent three consecutive periods of “forty days and forty nights” on Mount Sinai:
  1. He went up on the seventh day of Sivan, after God gave the Torah to the Jewish people, in order to learn the Torah from God, and came down on the seventeenth day of Tammuz, when he saw the Jews worshiping the Golden Calf and broke the tablets (Deuteronomy 9:11).
  2. He went up on the eighteenth day of Tammuz to beg forgiveness for the people’s sin and came down without God’s atonement on the twenty-ninth day of Av (Deuteronomy 9:25).
  3. He went up on the first day of Elul and came down on the tenth day of Tishrei, the first Yom Kippur, with God’s atonement (Deuteronomy 10:10).
  • A mikvah consists of 40 se’ah (approximately 200 U.S. gallons or 760 liters) of water
  • The prophet Elijah had to walk 40 days and 40 nights before arriving at mount Horeb (1 Kings 19:8).
  • 40 lashes is one of the punishments meted out by the Sanhedrin (Deuteronomy 25:3), though in actual practice only 39 lashes were administered.[9]
  • (Numbers 14:33–34) alludes to the same[clarification needed] with ties to the prophecy in The Book of Daniel. “For forty years—one year for each of the forty days you explored the land—you will suffer for your sins and know what it is like to have me against you.”
  • One of the prerequisites for a man to study Kabbalah is that he is forty years old.
  • “The registering of these men was carried on cruelly, zealously, assiduously, from the rising of the sun to its going down, and was not brought to an end in forty days” (3 Maccabees 4:15).


Christianity similarly uses forty to designate important time periods.[8]

  • Before his temptation, Jesus fasted “forty days and forty nights” in the Judean desert (Matthew 4:2, Mark 1:13, Luke 4:2).
  • Forty days was the period from the resurrection of Jesus to the ascension of Jesus (Acts 1:3).
  • According to Stephen, Moses’ life is divided into three 40-year segments, separated by his growing to adulthood, fleeing from Egypt, and his return to lead his people out (Acts 7:23,30,36).
  • In modern Christian practice, Lent consists of the 40 days preceding Easter. In much of Western Christianity, Sundays are excluded from the count; in Eastern Christianity, Sundays are included.
  • The Forty Martyrs of Sebaste
  • Kirk Kilisse, “Forty Churches” (Σαράντα Εκκλησιές) in Eastern Thrace
  • Rain fell for “forty days and forty nights” during the Flood (Genesis 7:4).


  • Muhammad was forty years old when he first received the revelation delivered by the archangel Gabriel.
  • Masih ad-Dajjal roams around the Earth in forty days, the first day length is like one year, the second day is like one month, the third day is like one week and the next day (until 40th day) is like one day.
  • God forbade the Israelites from entering the Holy Land for 40 years to separate them from Musa (Moses) and his brother.[10]
  • Musa (Moses) spent 40 days on Mount Sinai where he received the 10 commandments.[11]


  • In the Yazidi faith, The Chermera Temple (meaning “40 Men” in the Yazidi dialect) is so old that no one remembers how it came to have that name but it is believed to derive from the burial of 40 men on the mountaintop site.

Funerary customs

  • Some Russians and Serbs believe that ghosts of the dead linger at the site of their death for forty days. After the forty days, additional prayers are performed at the grave (parastos (парастос) or panihida (панихида)), to escort the soul on its way to God’s court.
  • Many Christian Filipinos mark the end of the initial mourning period on the fortieth day after death, and have a Mass said. They believe that the soul remains on the earthly plane for forty days before entering the afterlife, recalling how Christ ascended to heaven forty days after his Resurrection.


  • In Hinduism, some popular religious prayers consist of forty shlokas or dohas (couplets, stanzas). The most common being the Hanuman Chalisa (chaalis is the Hindi term for 40).

In the Hindu system some of the popular fasting periods consist of 40 days and is called the period One ‘Mandala Kalam’ Kalam means a period and Mandala Kalam means a period of 40 days. For example, the devotees of Swami Ayyappa, the name of a Hindu god very popular in Kerala, India (Sabarimala Swami Ayyappan) strictly observed forty days fasting and visit (only male devotees were permitted to enter into the god’s temple until September 2018) with their holy submittance or offerings on 41st or a convenient day after a minimum 40 days practice of fasting. The offering is called “Kaanikka”.


  • Anand Sahib, the fifth and the final of the daily Sikh prayers have 40 paragraphs . and the 40th paragraph is often read when concluding any sikh ceremony.
  • Chali Mukte (40 liberated ones) refer to the 40 soldiers in the army of Guru Gobind Singh. These 40 disciples were the most favorite and beloved disciples of the Guru.


Malik Jabbar, author of the books “The Astrotheological Foundation of the Christ Myth“, gives us an excellent breakdown of why the number “40” is used in religion:

“The number “40” symbolically and allegorically relates to the interval of the Sun in between the Equinoxes, and the Sun’s tangible effect upon the climate of our planet during that time frame. The Biblical writers may use weeks, hours, years or days, depending on the context of the fable to make it work out, but in there it is. This interval is always associated with some kind of struggle, deprivation, trial or test. The reason for the struggle is because of the difficulty the Sun has in vanquishing the cold of the winter. After six months of being below the equator, the Sun is now in position, when it reaches the Vernal Equinox on March 21st, to restore warmth and moisture to the northern regions. But the victory of the warmth over the cold is not immediate. But rather a tug of war, back and forth, between the forces of light (warmth, salvation, reward and blessings) and darkness (cold, tempting devil, Satan). But after forty days (May Day) you can rest assured that the frost won’t ruin your crops. The Sun is now victorious and free from the tempting, tugging devil of winter. It’s all about the delay of the effect of the Sun once a new Equinox or Solstice has been crossed.”

Isn’t that fascinating? All major fundamental versions of religions on the planet can be traced back to Sun worship, all of them. It’s simply veiled in allegory or symbolic characters and stories used to convey a deep spiritual truth.

The exodus has to happen within you. You have to be the Sun/Son, and your mission is to arrive at the Summer Solstice/Jerusalem. A separation from the lower nature, Egypt, that which holds you in bondage, and an embracing of the higher nature, Jerusalem, within you. The whole thing pertains to an elevated state of consciousness that can be obtained by meditating. That’s it! No Bible study needed. No money in the basked needed. No Sunday Church service needed. By the way, that’s why people go to Church on Sunday because it’s literally the day of the Sun.

Okay, we’ve covered the astrotheological perspective. Now we can dive into what it means from an esoteric perspective.

That would be the testing and trial of your physical life as a whole. It’s a journey of the soul to completion. That makes sense with the allegory of Moses’ exodus from Egypt, the tempting of Jesus by Satan on the mountain top, Ezekiel laying on his right side and the like. The Bible is filled with references to the number “40”. And now you know why.

All of these stories are conveying the same message, which is the overwhelming need to exist in a higher state of consciousness than we currently are. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: you need to meditate to accomplish this. It’s that simple.

That’s it for this one, folks. Let me know what you think in the comments below.