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."
Bibliography

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

  • From yom, a word rendered variously as "day," "time" (Genesis 26:8), "season" (Genesis 40:4),"age" (Genesis 18:11),"when" (Leviticus 14:57), "Now" (Deuteronomy 31:21), "a while" (1 Samuel 9:27), "full" (2 Samuel 13:23), "for evermore" (2 Kings 17:37), "long life" (Psalm 91:16), "so long as I live" (Job 27:6), "weather" ( Proverbs 25:20), and "year" (Exodus 13:10). Yom, obviously, was much more flexible in meaning than is our word "day." In common Hebrew usage yamim, "days," was often used for "years" (Exodus 13:10; Leviticus 25:29; Numbers 9:22; Joshua 13:1; Judges 11:40; Judges 17:10; Judges 21:19; 1 Samuel 1:3; 1 Samuel 1:21; 1 Samuel 2:19; 1 Samuel 20:6; 1 Samuel 27:7; 2 Samuel 14:26; 1 Kings 1:1; 2 Chronicles 21:19; Amos 4:4). (1BC 868)
  • The word yom is a softened form of chom, "heart," from the root yacham, "to be warm" (Genesis 9:2). Each day was said to be composed of "evening," the dark or "cool" part of the day (Genesis 1:4; Genesis 1:5; Genesis 3:8), and "morning," the light part or "heat" of the day (Genesis 1:4; Genesis 1:5; Genesis 18:1). Similarly, a year was composed of the cold or winter and the heat os summer (Genesis 8:22). Thus, with respect to their temperature cycles, a significant characteristic common to both, the day and year resembled each other. In (Genesis 8:22) the various expressions, "seedtime and harvest"(Genesis 8:22), "cold and heat" (Genesis 8:22), "summer and winter" (Genesis 8:22), and "day and night" (Genesis 8:22) are used in this parallel sense. The first two couplets are the product, or result, of the last two. In the first two, heat follows cold: in the last two, cold follows heat. Note particularly the strict parallelism of the last two couplets, where the heat and cold of the year parallel the heat and cold of the day. (1BC 868)
  • 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)
  • The burden of Christ's preaching was, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent ye, and believe the gospel” (Mark 1:15). Thus the gospel message, as given by the Saviour Himself, was based on the prophecies. The “time” which He declared to be fulfilled was the period 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  (Numbers 14:34; Ezekiel 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. The commandment to restore and build Jerusalem, as completed by the decree of Artaxerxes Longimanus (Ezra 6:14Ezra7:1; Ezra7:9 margin), went into effect in the autumn of B. C. 457. From this time four hundred and eighty-three years extend to the autumn of A. D. 27. According to the prophecy, this period was to reach to the Messiah, the Anointed One. In A. D. 27, Jesus at His baptism received the anointing of the Holy Spirit, and soon afterward began His ministry. Then the message was proclaimed. “The time is fulfilled” (Mark 1:15). (DA 233) *****

". . . 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. (Ed 149)