Meaning of Numbers in the Bible
The Number 400

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Meaning of Numbers: The Number 400

The English phrase "four hundred" used for the number 400 is recorded 59 times in 58 King James Bible verses.

The number 400, which is arrived at by multiplying 8 by 50, derives its meaning in Scripture by being a divinely perfect period.

God, after making a covenant with Abraham, revealed to him that his descendants would be afflicted in a foreign land for 400 years. The Eternal, after this period, promised to bring them back into the land of Canaan.

"You must surely know that your seed shall be sojourners in a land that is not theirs, (and shall serve them and they shall afflict them) four hundred (400) years. And also I will judge that nation whom they shall serve. And afterward they shall come out with great substance . . .

But in the fourth generation they shall come here again" (Genesis 15:13 - 14, 16, HBFV).

The count of 400 years, also referenced in Acts 7:6, began with the confirmation of the covenant to Abraham's seed through Isaac (Genesis 22). This event took place in 1845 B.C. Four hundred years late, in 1445, the Israelites are freed from Egyptian bondage.

David, fleeing the wrath of King Saul, ends up in a cave near Adullam. As he resides there, four hundred men gather with him in support (1Samuel 22:1 - 2).

One day David sends ten of his young men to a wealthy man named Nabal in order to request food. Nabal rudely responds to David's request and sends the young men away empty handed. David's response is to gather four hundred of his fighting men in order to attack and destroy Nabal and all the males who serve him. Abigail, Nabal's wife, learns of her husband's folly and is able to turn away David's wrath (1Samuel 25).

Persian King Cyrus allows captive Jews to return to Jerusalem and rebuild the temple destroyed by the Babylonians. According to the Bible, after God's temple is rebuilt, it is rededicated with an offering of 400 lambs and a number of other beasts (Ezra 6).

Appearances of Number Four Hundred

Abraham's wife Sarah is the only woman in Scripture where her age at death is stated (Genesis 23:1). Abraham, when she dies at the age 127, buys a cave in Machpelah (Hebron) and the land surrounding it for 400 shekels of silver. He then uses the cave as a burial location for his beloved wife.

And Abraham hearkened to Ephron. And Abraham weighed to Ephron the silver which he had named in the hearing of the sons of Heth, four hundred shekels of silver, as is current among the merchants (Genesis 23:16, HBFV).

The location Abraham purchases will end up being a family cemetery. His sons Isaac and Ishmael bury him in the same cave as Sarah when he dies. Isaac and his wife Rebekah, as well as Jacob and his wife Leah, will also be ultimately buried in the same place.

Elijah openly challenged 450 false prophets of Baal, and Jezebel's 400 false prophets "of the groves" to meet him at Mount Carmel. The purpose of the meeting is to determine whom Israel should worship.

The prophets of Baal accept Elijah's challenge but Jezebel's prophets do not. Those who served Baal are ultimately slaughtered after God miraculously consumes, through fire, the offering of Elijah (1Kings 18).

The English word "peace" is found 429 times in 400 King James Bible verses. It is recorded the most in both Leviticus and Isaiah (32 times each) followed by the Psalms (27). Jesus, at his last Passover, gave his peace to his disciples and by extension to all those who believe in him.

Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid (John 14:27, KJV).

Then said Jesus to them again, Peace be unto you: as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you (John 20:21, KJV).

Conflict, Resolution and Number 400

Four hundred thousand (400 x 1,000) Israelites show up at Mizpeh upon hearing of a vile crime committed by some men whom the tribe of Benjamin refuses to release for punishment (Judges 19, 20).

The tribe of Benjamin ultimately pays dearly for their foolish decision, with almost all their fighting men, including most of the people living in their territory, put to death. A lone holdout of 600 Benjamite men are offered 400 virgins as wives so that the tribe might not die out (Judges 21:12 - 14). The turmoil finally ends when another 200 females are made available to the surviving Benjamites.

Jacob was not nice to his brother Esau. He took advantage of Esau's hunger and used it to buy his birthright blessings (Genesis 25). Later, conspiring with his mother Rebekah, he tricked Isaac into thinking he was Esau so that he could receive the blessings of the firstborn (Genesis 27). Jacob, after discovering Esau plans to kill him, flees to Haran.

Jacob and his growing family, roughly twenty years later, begin their journey back to Canaan. He soon finds out that Esau and 400 men are coming toward him.

And the messengers returned to Jacob, saying, We came to thy brother Esau, and also he cometh to meet thee, and four hundred men with him (Genesis 32:6, KJV).

Jacob divides his clan into two large groups and prepares to offer Esau a large present. After wrestling with a stranger all night (Genesis 32:24 - 32) God grants him favor in his brother's eyes and his life is spared.

More Info on Biblical Meaning of 400

The Old Testament writings that use "four hundred" for 400 the most are the books of Numbers (14 times) followed by the books of Genesis and 1Kings (8 each). The New Testament books that use the phase are the book of Acts (3 times) followed by Galatians (once).

There are 0 words and phrases in the Bible's original languages that are recorded exactly 400 times.

There are no original language words in either the Old or New Testament texts (Hebrew or Greek) that occur exactly 400 times.

400 is the product of 2 x 2 x 2 x 2 (2 to the fourth power) x 5 x 5 (5 squared).

400 is also equal to 20 x 20 (20 squared).

The number 400 in the Hebrew alphabet is represented by its 22nd letter Tav. In the Greek alphabet it is represent by the letter Upsilon.

Well known Rabbi Gamaliel councils the Jewish Sanhedrin to leave the apostles alone and do not punish them for their teachings. He wisely advises that if what the apostles do is not of God, like the 400 men who supported Theudas, their efforts will soon die out.

"For before these days there rose up Theudas, proclaiming that he himself was somebody, to whom a number of men were joined, about four hundred; but he was put to death . . .

"And now I say to you, withdraw from these men, and let them alone; for if this counsel or this work be from men, it will be overthrown; But if it be from God, you do not have the power to overthrow it. Take heed, lest you be found to be fighting even against God." (Acts 5:36, 38 - 39, HBFV).

The religious leaders only partially follow Gamaliel's advice, as they command the disciples receive an unknown number of stripes (Acts 5:40).

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Biblical Meaning of Numbers
Introduction   -   Book of Numbers
Forgiveness Numbers  -  Abraham's Numbers
Mysterious Numbers of the Jubilee Year!
Mysterious Numbers of Biblical Calendar
Numbers of Israel's Kings   -   Lucky 13!
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Prophecy Numbers   -   Numerology
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Series References
Number in Scripture: Its Supernatural
Design and Spiritual Significance

Some information on the
meaning of the number 400 derived from
Holy Bible Faithful Version (HBFV)