The difference in duration is explained by the principle that a day in the life of an individual is equivalent to a year in the life of a people. This principle emerges from a number of texts, e.g., “According to the number of the days in which you [the spies] spied out the land, 40 days, for every day a year, you [the people] shall bear your iniquity 40 years” (Numbers 14:34); “I assign to you a number of days, 390 days, equal to the number of years of their punishment, and so you shall bear the punishment of the house of Israel. When you have completed these, you shall lie down a second time, but on your right side, and bear the punishment of the house of Judah: 40 days I assign you, one day for each year” (Ezekiel 4:5–6).