Are you wondering what does the number 60 mean in the Bible?
In the bible the number 60 means support, complete, sabbath or rest. These words come together to portray a picture of something being completed and entering into rest or a fullness found in completion or togetherness. It speaks of protection and connection. the sabbath was like that…people would connect and be protected when together.
The origins of the Number 60
The 15th letter of the Hebrew alphabet is Samech (also spelt Samekh) The numerical value of this letter is 60. Instead of it being 15, which is 10+5 or yod-hey the fifteenth letter is 60. Then to get 61 you use two letters together, Samech-Aleph 60+1 = 61.
The word Samech means to prop, support twist or turn slowly. The picture is of a closed circle and represents the infinite power of God’s infinite light. This circular design represents support. This also represents a wedding band, an uninterrupted structure of a circle or a relationship that is one.
The Number 60 in Biblical Things
- In the Old Covenant a 60 year old male could redeem himself from a vow of serving the Lord by paying 15 shekels to the temple. A 60 year old woman could redeem herself from such a vow for only ten shekels (Leviticus 27:1 – 2, 7). This compares to younger adult males who had to pay fifty shekels while younger women paid thirty (verses 3 – 4).
- Offerings – sixty rams along with the same number of male goats and lambs we given as an offering when the alter was dedicated
- The first temple in Jerusalem was 60 cubits long
- Those that are able to follow the truth of God are able to produce fruit 30, 60 or 100 times that which they have received. (Mat 13:23)
The number 60 in the Bible
The number 60 appears in the bible 32 times, one example is…
“At that time we took all his cities. There was not one of the sixty cities that we did not take from them—the whole region of Argob, Og’s kingdom in Bashan.”Deut 3:4
The age of sixty is also mentioned in:
- Leviticus 27:7 (NIV): for a person sixty years old or more, set the value of a male at fifteen shekelsand of a female at ten shekels.
- Leviticus 27:3 (NIV): set the value of a male between the ages of twenty and sixty at fifty shekels of silver, according to the sanctuary shekel
- 1 Timothy 5:9 (NIV): No widow may be put on the list of widows unless she is over sixty, has been faithful to her husband
Paul was put into prison in 58AD and came out of prison in 60AD. This echoes the idea that 60 is about moving from one completed season into another new season and that there is a transition. This transition is 60. Paul wrote a great deal of the bible while he was in prison, then when he was released he went from there to Rome. Paul has an incredible experience on the Island of Crete where he does not die from a snake bite in the midst of his journey.
Isaac and Rebekah
This story in Genesis is a particularly personal one for me. In this story, Isaac and Rebekah were trying to conceive and were unable to. They were 40 when they started trying and 60 when they had Jacob and Esau. There is 20 years between the time they started trying and when they had the babies.
The only thing is that the whole 20 year period is swallowed up in 3 verses (Gen 25:21-24). We don’t get to see or hear any of the stuff that they went through in that 20 year period of praying for children.
The number 60 then represents a season of answered prayer, but also as described above it represents a season of completeness and sabbath. Meaning one season is over and another season in beginning and 60 is the time in-between.
What Does the Number 60 Mean for Me?
If you are seeing the number sixty in your life it may be that God is trying to speak to you about seasons in life. There seems to be a reoccurring idea that 60 represents changing from one season to another season and that there is a transition period, like the sabbath day, and like a completed circle.
What is happening in your life now that could be coming to an end?
What rest do you need to take in order to be ready for the next thing that God is going to lead you into?
What things do you need to leave behind because they are like old wineskins, and the new thing that God is doing in your life needs new wineskins? This could be about transitioning relationships, or transitioning positions, or transitioning thoughts and ideas.
It seems clear that there is a small window of rest in between, and God is using the number 60 to invite you into that rest. To leave behind the former things and consider what is next. The word Sabbath is used sixty times in the bible and is a day that we were to rest, connect with God and connect with our family. It is the first day of the week…we work from our rest, not the other way around. What is God speaking to you about rest…in preparation for what is coming?
Context is everything with numbers, so remember to look at what is around the number 60 when you see it. What other symbols or numbers do you see? Where are you? What is happening? This will help you with your understanding.