The Meaning of Numbers: The Number 42
The meaning of the number 42 is derived from its direct connection to the coming Antichrist. His evil efforts will last forty-two months in the end time, and thus it is firmly associated with him.
Then the angel gave me a measuring rod like a staff, saying, "Arise and measure the temple of God, and the altar . . . and they shall trample upon the holy city for forty-two months" (Revelation 11:1 - 2)
Revelation 13 states that the end time Beast power will be so powerful that no one will be able to make war with him. He will speak boastful things and receive authority to do almost anything he wants for 42 months (Revelation 13:4 - 5). Forty-two is made up of 6 and 7, showing a link between mankind and God's spirit and a link between the Antichrist and Jesus Christ.
Appearances of the number forty-two
The phrase 'little children' appears forty-two times in the Old Testament.
The tribe of Levi was given a total number of 48 cities as part of their inheritance in the land of milk and honey. Six of these cities were to be designated as special 'cities of refuge' (Num. 6 - 7) leaving 42 other cities.
King Ahaziah of Judah began his reign at 42 years old but was only on the throne one year (2Chronicles 22:2).
The children of Israel had 42 wanderings in the desert until they finally were given rest (Num. 33:1 - 50).
When we substitute a number for a letter in Nimrod's name, we find forty-two playing a role. Nimrod's name equates to 294, which is 42 x 7. Forty-two is often found as a factor in anti-Christian names.
Elisha and the number 42
A group of young men (roughly 30 - 40 in age) began to make fun of the prophet Elisha after his friend and mention Elijah was taken away from him in a fiery chariot. They shouted 'Get out of here, you bald guy!' to Elisha as he passed them by.
Elisha did not waste any time letting the young men know that what they were doing was unacceptable to God. He turned, stared at them and cursed them in God's name. After verbally correcting the men two large female bears came out of the woods and tore to pieces 42 of them (2Kings 2:24)!
Additional info on the Biblical Meaning of 42
In the genealogical table of Jesus Christ's physical lineage in the book of Matthew, the Greek word gennao is recorded 42 times. Its correct translation is the word 'begat' since the lineage is through males who 'beget' a son.
Most of the original apostles leave Jerusalem in 42 AD. They depart in order to full their calling of preaching to the lost sheep of Israel's ten tribes scattered in the world (see Matthew 10:5 - 23). In the same year, the prophet Agabus predicts a coming three year famine that will take place during Emperor Claudius' reign (Acts 11:27 - 28).