The Number 16

The number sixteen is symbolic of love and loving. Christians are to become perfected in God’s love not just by physically obeying the Commandments (which should be done anyway) but also by following the full spiritual intent of our Creator’s laws and judgments (Matthew 22:37 – 40). This duality of true love is represented by 8 + 8 = 16.

In the Old Testament, 16 of the various names and titles for God specially signify His constant, never-ending love for the children of Israel.

Some of the longest words in the King James Bible are sixteen letters long. They include covenantbreakers (Romans 1:31), evilfavouredness (Deuteronomy 17:1), lovingkindnesses (Psalm 25:6) and unprofitableness (Hebrews 7:18).

The words sickness and branch, as well as the phrase the Father, appear sixteen times in Scripture.

Of the seventy people of the house of Israel (Jacob) that sojourned to Egypt in order to survive a devastating seven-year drought (Genesis 45:11), Zilpah (through whom Jacob had two sons) and her descendants numbered 16 total people (Genesis 46:18).

Jehoash, king of Israel, reigned for 16 years (798 to 782 B.C.). King Ahaz reigned over Judah as sole ruler also for sixteen years (732 to 715 B.C.).

Azariah (also known as Uzziah) is made king of Judah at the young age of 16 (2Kings 15:2). A good king, he rules for the second longest period, fifty-two years (792 to 740 B.C.), of any ruler of either Israel or Judah.

There were sixteen Judges (or group of Judges) that governed Israel from the time the Israelites took possession of the promised land to the time Saul was anointed their first human king. They were Joshua, Othniel, Ehud, Deborah and Barak, Eli, Gideon, Abimelech (North only), Tola (North only), Jephthah (East only), Samson (in the South and West only), Samuel, Ibzan (East only), Jair (North only), Elon (East only) and Abdon (East only).

Samuel’s sons comprised the sixteenth and final Judge over Israel. Designated Judges by Samuel when he was old and could no longer perform his duties, they soon became so corrupt in their responsibilities that the Israelites requested a human king be placed over them.

Apostle Paul, in his first book to the Corinthian church, states that there are sixteen distinct things about the quality of love that God has and that he wants us to have as well. Love is incredibly patient and very kind. It never brags about itself or does it envy others.

Perfect love does not act vainly, behave in an unacceptable manner, is not selfish, is not very easily provoke and thinks no evil of others. It mourns sin but rejoices in what is the truth. Godly love is willing to bear and endure all things, and to hope for and believe the best. This greatest of all spiritual gifts will never ever fail (1Corinthians 13:4 – 8).

The 16th time the word “love” is used in 1John it says, “There is no fear in love . . .” (1John 4:18).

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