The context for God giving the Ten Commandments to the Hebrews is their forty year journey in the wilderness. Actually, it only took them about one year to travel from Egypt to the promised land, but then because of disobedience, they wandered in the wilderness for a total of forty years. The number forty fascinates me.
First, let's look back in the Old Testament before the time of the exodus and discover the number forty in Hebrew history, as described by Stephen, the first Christian martyr, in the seventh chapter of Acts.
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The bride-to-be was obviously nervous. It was only the rehearsal, but already the pastor could see that tomorrow’s wedding might be in for problems.
“You’re letting it all get to you,” he told her gently, as he pulled her aside. “Just take it one little step at a time. When you get to the door with your father tomorrow afternoon, look only at the aisle ahead of you. You’ve walked it hundreds of times, every Sunday when you come to church. Think only of that.
This story about Peter's mission to the Gentiles continues the account that began in 10:1, and it repeats in greater detail the content of Peter's vision that was already mentioned in 10:9-16. It is a remarkable story, because it treats rather lightly a dispute that was widespread in the New Testament church, the dispute over conditions to be laid upon Gentile converts to the faith.