The Number Sixteen in the Bible
Ses (6) and asar or esreh (10) are the Hebrew words that are used to form sixteen (16). The number sixteen is not used in the New Testament. There are ,however, sixteen soldiers that guarded Peter in Acts: 12.
The majority of the time that “sixteen” is used it is with kings or leaders. Several kings ruled for sixteen years (Ahaz – 2 Ch. 28:1, 2 Kg. 16:2; Jotham – 2 Ch. 27:1and 8, 2 Kg. 15: 33; Jehoash – 2Kgs.13:10) and one began his reign (Uzziah – 2 Kg. 14:21, 2Ch.26:1) at sixteen years of age. In 1 Chronicles 24 the number of leaders in one family was sixteen and who got the sixteenth duty position (chapters 24, 25).
In Joshua 15 and 19 it is associated with towns and villages in Judah and Issachar. The two most interesting times sixteen is used is in Ex. 26: 25, 36: 30 with the silver bases for the west end of the Tabernacle and the number of days that it took to clean the Temple during Hezekiah’s rule (2 Ch. 29:17).
Normally, I would try to make connections with all of these but to me there was nothing clear. The sixteenth letter in the Hebrew alphabet is ayin, which means “eye or spring.” (See the references for further study.) It was in this idea that I found a loose connection. God had His “eye” on those kings and leaders, the Tabernacle, and the cleaning of the Temple. The hebrew4christians website is a good study on the “eye” of God.
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