Re: Contradictory Judges
I try not to read too much into the numbers or treat them as hard values. "40" is a real common number throughout the Bible (40 days and nights of the Flood, 40 years in the desert, etc.) I've heard it can refer to something like a period of completion or something like that, but I might be wrong.
It is only the cynic who claims “to speak the truth” at all times and in all places to all men in the same way, but who, in fact, displays nothing but a lifeless image of the truth… He dons the halo of the fanatical devotee of truth who can make no allowance for human weaknesses; but, in fact, he is destroying the living truth between men. He wounds shame, desecrates mystery, breaks confidence, betrays the community in which he lives, and laughs arrogantly at the devastation he has wrought and at the human weakness which “cannot bear the truth”. Dietrich Bonhoeffer, in Ethics.