The Meaning of Numbers: The Number 20
Twenty (20), which is one more than nineteen, is twice ten and can, at times, mean a complete or perfect waiting period.
For 20 years Jacob waited to get possession of his wives and property, and to be freed from the control of Laban his father-in-law (Genesis 31:38 – 41). For 20 years the children of Israel waited to be freed of Jabin, king of Canaan, who oppressed them. God response was to raise up Deborah and Barak, who freed the people from bondage (Judges 4 – 5).
In the days of Samuel the prophet the Philistines battled and overcame Israel, taking the Ark of the Covenant back to their land. The Ark brought such calamities on the Philistines that after seven months they gave it back to the Israelites. It ended up in the city of Kirjath-jearim, which is several miles west of Jerusalem. Israel had to wait at least twenty years (1Samuel 5 – 7) before the Ark would be moved again.
New International Version
38 “I have been with you for twenty years now. Your sheep and goats have not miscarried, nor have I eaten rams from your flocks. 39 I did not bring you animals torn by wild beasts; I bore the loss myself. And you demanded payment from me for whatever was stolen by day or night. 40 This was my situation: The heat consumed me in the daytime and the cold at night, and sleep fled from my eyes. 41 It was like this for the twenty years I was in your household. I worked for you fourteen years for your two daughters and six years for your flocks, and you changed my wages ten times.
Uploaded on August 20, 2021