Appearances of the number forty
The book of Exodus, with its 40 chapters and 1,213 verses, is the seventh longest book. The longest is the Psalms.
From the time they entered the promised land, to the time of King Saul, Israel was sporadically governed by a number of individuals known as Judges. Though they did not rule like a king, they nevertheless had a tremendous influence on the people, as they represented God and were inspired to execute his will. Judges who served 40 years include Othniel, Deborah and Barak, Eli and Gideon.
The first three human kings over the children of Israel, Saul, David and Solomon, each ruled for forty years (1050 to 930 B.C.). After the united kingdom split into two separate pieces, King Joash served forty years as one of Judah's better kings.
Abraham tried to bargain with God to NOT destroy Sodom and Gomorrah if forty righteous people were found (Genesis 18:29). Both Isaac and Esau were forty years old when they were first married (Genesis 25:20, 26:34).
God flooded the earth by having it rain for forty days and nights (Genesis 7:12). After the patriarch Jacob (Israel) died in Egypt, the Egyptians spent forty days embalming his body (Genesis 50:3).
How does the number 40 relate to humility?
God allowed the ancient Israelites, from time to time, to be harassed and dominated by certain enemies in order to chastise and humble them for their sins. The Philistine's, in the southern and western parts of Israel's land, harassed them from 1105 to 1065 B.C. God's resolution to the harassment was Samson (see Judges 13:1, 1Samuel 7:13, 15 - 17).
Additional information on the Biblical Meaning of 40
The Bible was written by forty different people. Those called of God NOW are under probation, or judgment, based on how they live by every word of God.