Lent, Day 15

“Lent, Day 15”
Liturgy of the Hours, Office of Readings, Second Responsory
Friday of the Second Week of Lent
©️2021 by Gloria M. Chang

The number forty in the Bible is associated with the recreation of the earth and its inhabitants, beginning with the Flood of Noah. God’s Law given to Moses contains the prescription for life and the flourishing of the earth (Deuteronomy 11:13-15). The Law, like the Flood, effects a cosmic renewal. For example, Sabbath and Jubilee laws prescribe rest for land and animals as well as humans. 

Moses fasted for forty days and forty nights on Mount Sinai on two separate occasions. The first set of stone tablets containing the Ten Commandments had been shattered in anger when Moses found the Israelites worshipping a golden calf (Exodus 32:19). The Lord called Moses to reascend the mountain with two new tablets to receive the words of the Decalogue.


The Lord said to Moses: Come up to me on the mountain and, while you are there, I will give you the stone tablets on which I have written the commandments intended for their instruction. So Moses set out with Joshua, his assistant, and went up to the mountain of God. He told the elders, “Wait here for us until we return to you. Aaron and Hur are with you. Anyone with a complaint should approach them.” Moses went up the mountain. Then the cloud covered the mountain. The glory of the Lord settled upon Mount Sinai. The cloud covered it for six days, and on the seventh day he called to Moses from the midst of the cloud. To the Israelites the glory of the Lord was seen as a consuming fire on the top of the mountain. But Moses entered into the midst of the cloud and went up on the mountain. He was on the mountain for forty days and forty nights.

Exodus 24:12-18

Then the Lord said to Moses: Write down these words, for in accordance with these words I have made a covenant with you and with Israel. So Moses was there with the Lord for forty days and forty nights, without eating any food or drinking any water, and he wrote on the tablets the words of the covenant, the ten words.

Exodus 34:27-28

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