Something to say:
Forty [lashes] shall he strike him (25:3).
Although the prescribed punishment for one who has committed certain sins is forty lashes, this is actually reduced by one in practice, so that the sinner receives only thirty-nine. The Ma’ayanei Chachomim discusses one reason for this. He says that if a person were to receive the full punishment of forty lashes, he would feel that his sin was totally wiped out, and he might not be careful in the future. The Chachomim therefore reduced the number of lashes, so that the person would continue to examine his ways.