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What Is the Number 60 Meaning in the Bible?

What Is the Number 60 Meaning in the Bible

The number 60 appears numerous times throughout the Bible, both in symbolic and practical usages. But what does this number actually represent, and why is it significant?

The number 60 conveys meanings of completeness, totality, renewal, and new beginnings throughout biblical texts. By looking closer at how 60 is used with regards to time periods, generations, measurements, and factors in key events, we can better understand the deeper meaning and symbolism of this number.

Time Periods and Generations

One major way the number 60 is used is to represent important time spans. According to Genesis 7:12, the flood brought judgement upon the earth and lasted for 60 days and nights. The period of 60 years also surfaces in several instances:

  • The Israelites ate manna in the wilderness for 60 years (Exodus 16:35). This key transitional period was a time of total dependence on God.
  • Isaac was 60 years old when his sons Esau and Jacob were born (Genesis 25:26). This ended a period of barrenness and began Isaac’s fatherhood.
  • The book of Isaiah refers to the end times when people will live to be 60 or 100 years old (Isaiah 65:20). This points to longevity and fullness of years.

In many Near Eastern cultures, a 60-year cycle represented one generation. So the use of 60 years or days throughout key biblical events shows a fullness of time before transition or renewal takes place.

Measurements and Dimensions

Another symbolic usage of 60 is in measurements and dimensions. When God gives Noah instructions for building the ark, it translates to 300 cubits long, 50 cubits wide and 30 cubits high (Genesis 6:15). The total dimensional measurements involve multiples of 60 (300 x 50 x 30 = 450,000).

Later, when Solomon builds the temple in Jerusalem, it was measured to be 60 cubits high (1 Kings 6:2). The vestibule across the front of this temple was 60 cubits long (2 Chronicles 3:4). The prevalence of dimensions involving 60 cubits shows how this number indicated wholeness, completeness, and attention to detail in important structures.

Cycles, Renewal, and Rebirth

Another key symbolic meaning of 60 in the Bible relates to cycles of renewal, rebirth, and new beginnings.

  • Every 60 years in ancient Israel was a Jubilee year when debts were forgiven, slaves were freed, and land returned to original owners (Leviticus 25). This represented renewal and equality under God.
  • In ancient mythology outside the Bible, the legendary phoenix bird was said to renew itself by arising from the ashes every 60 years. This concept of renewal every six decades appears tied to the Jubilee cycle.

So in addition to being used in measurements of time and space, the number 60 carries connotations of cyclical renewal and rebirth. The unusual longevity in Isaiah, paired with dimensions of Noah’s ark, show how 60 indicates fullness before a transition or purge takes place.

Biblical Numerology and Symbolism

When examining what numbers represent in the Bible, there are a few symbolic meanings around the number 60 that provide insight.

  • The number 60 is divisible by 2, 3, 4, 5, and 12. So it incorporates foundational numbers like
    • 2 – unity, the first prime number
    • 3 – Godhead (Trinity), completeness
    • 4 – earth, universality
    • 5 – grace
    • 12 – governmental perfection

So mathematically, 60 exhibits uniqueness and wholeness as a highly composite number.

  • Using a technique called gematria (where numbers are mapped to the alphabet), the name “Eden” has a value of 60 in Hebrew. So 60 connects conceptually with the Garden of Eden.
  • 60° angles form an equilateral triangle, one of the strongest and most balanced geometric shapes. So 60 degrees carries notions of structural integrity.

When you analyze 60 based on numerology tied to other meaningful numbers and names, we see dimensions of foundations, completeness, and paradise.

Conclusion:Number 60

In surveying how 60 is used throughout scripture with regards to key narrative events, measurements, timelines, and symbolism, it becomes clear this number has strong connotations of completeness, fullness, renewal and new beginnings.

The prevalence of 60 years, days, and cubits associated with flood judgements, temple dimensions, generations, and jubilee cycles point to:

  • Fullness of time before a purging & renewal
  • Dimensions incorporating multiples of 60 show Divine detail and care
  • A 60 year societal reset restoring equality

So whether used literally or symbolically, numerically or grammatically, 60 conveys completeness, totality, reciprocity and rebirth. When we take time to understand numbers like this, it enriches the meaning of key biblical texts and themes.

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