Sixty years: a diamond anniversary. Unlike the previous nine numbers, the number sixty appears multiple times in the Bible. It also appears numerous times in everyday life: sixty seconds in a minute, sixty minutes in an hour. It is the atomic number of neodymium, which can be found in some magnets, loudspeakers and electric cars.
There are sixty marbles used in a game of Chinese chequers. In darts, sixty is the highest score that can be scored with a single dart.
In old literature, sixty was sometimes called “three score” because it was three times twenty (a score). The Babylonians had a number system with a base of sixty, which is known as sexagesimal. In some cultures, sixty is considered to be the age in which someone becomes a senior citizen. In Buddhism, Buddha had sixty disciples.
The number sixty appears approximately thirty-two times in the Bible. Occasionally, a particular instance is repeated in different books. Take, for example, Deuteronomy 3:4, which says:
Here’s another example:
The measurements of Solomon’s temple are mentioned in both 1 Kings and 2 Chronicles:
In the book of Ezra, temple measurements are also given:
Other measurements of sixty cubits include:
A handful of people have been quoted as being sixty years old at the times of certain events:
Let’s take a look at some more examples of the number sixty in the Old Testament:
I have mentioned a couple of New Testament verses above already but I have a few more to share with you. Both Matthew and Mark write about the parable of the sower, therefore, the same information is repeated, including two mentions of the number sixty.
So, does the number sixty mean anything in scripture? The French psychoanalyst René Allendy believed it represented the global karma of the world. The German philosopher Jakob Böhme called this number “the earth”. There is, however, no obvious answer based on the examples above.
I leave you with the knowledge that the word “Sabbath” is used sixty times in the New Testament.
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Rev'd Martin Wheadon