Numbers 14:34 Index
"After the number of the days in which ye searched the land, even forty days, each day for a year, shall ye bear your iniquities, even forty years, and ye shall know my breach of promise."
Research Material

" . . . each day for a year . . . "

  • Here in Numbers 14:34 occurs the first use of the words "day" and "year" together in a correlative sense, in a prophetic setting. The spies had spent 40 days searching the land of Canaan and had reported unfavorably on prospects for occupying it. In so doing they demonstrated a lack of faith in God's promises and in His power to fulfill those promises, yet their report was accepted by the people (Numbers 14:4). As a result of this decision the nation was sentenced to 40 years of suffering in the wilderness. The 40 literal days thus became prophetic of 40 literal years - one year of remedial wandering about in the desert for each faithless day spent wandering about in the Promised Land. That this is not an isolated instance of the use of the year-day principle in prophecy is evident from Ezekiel 4:6, where the same principle is again applied. God specifically told Ezekiel, "I have appointed thee each day for a year," and in so doing confirmed the principle established in Numbers 14:34. (1BC 869)
  • The time of the first advent and of some of the chief events clustering about the Saviour's lifework was made known by the angel Gabriel to Daniel. “Seventy weeks,” said the angel, “are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most holy.” (Daniel 9:24). A day in prophecy stands for a year. (See Numbers 14:34Ezekiel 4:6). The seventy weeks, or four hundred and ninety days, represent four hundred and ninety years. A starting point for this period is given: “Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks” (Daniel 9:25), sixty-nine weeks, or four hundred and eighty-three years. (PK 698)

". . . ye shall know my breach of promise."

  • From a verb meaning "to hinder," "to frustrate," "to restrain." . . . They had set themselves in opposition to God and alienated themselves from Him. In order that they might learn to cooperate with God, He ordained that they should experience His opposition His frustration of their plans. (1BC 869)
  • The truth that as a man “thinketh in his heart, so is he” (Proverbs 23:7), finds another illustration in Israel's experience. On the borders of Canaan the spies, returned from searching the country, made their report. The beauty and fruitfulness of the land were lost sight of through fear of the difficulties in the way of its occupation. The cities walled up to heaven, the giant warriors, the iron chariots, daunted their faith. Leaving God out of the question, the multitude echoed the decision of the unbelieving spies, “We be not able to go up against the people; for they are stronger than we.” Numbers 13:31. Their words proved true. They were not able to go up, and they wore out their lives in the desert.

    Two, however, of the twelve who had viewed the land, reasoned otherwise. “We are well able to overcome it” (Numbers 13:30), they urged, counting God's promise superior to giants, walled cities, or chariots of iron. For them their word was true. Though they shared with their brethren the forty years’ wandering, Caleb and Joshua entered the Land of Promise. As courageous of heart as when with the hosts of the Lord he set out from Egypt, Caleb asked for and received as his portion the stronghold of the giants. In God's strength he drove out the Canaanites. The vineyards and olive groves where his feet had trodden became his possession. Though the cowards and rebels perished in the wilderness, the men of faith ate of the grapes of Eschol.