There were 42 encampments or in Hebrew letters mem and bet –– מב –– meaning ‘mighty house’ in Hebrew Word Pictures. Forty-two has been associated with persecution, judgment, and death as well as redemption and salvation. There were 42 young men who made fun of Elisha’s bald head and were torn to pieces by two bears (2 Kings 2:23-24). There are 42 months for the gentiles to trample Jerusalem and the beast to speak blasphemies (Revelation 11:2, 13:5). After 42 camps, before entering the Promised Land, the Israelites are reminded of the lessons they should have learned through each stage of spiritual growth.
For the nation of Israel, the ‘days of the omer’ were a time of great anticipation. The barley harvest began and the wheat harvest would soon follow. They would gather, thresh, and clean grain to store for the next year. For the disciples, forty ‘days of the omer’ were spent with the risen Yeshua; the final ten they waited in Jerusalem for his promise.