The Meaning of Numbers: The Number 61
The meaning of number 61 is directly related to the amazing foretelling of the start of Jesus' public ministry! Isaiah 61, written between 740 and 686 B.C. records the following remarkable and glorious prophecy.
The Spirit of the Lord God is upon Me because the Lord has anointed Me to preach the Gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to bind up the broken hearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound. To preach the acceptable year of the Lord and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all who mourn (verses 1 - 2 of Isaiah 61).
The phrase "acceptable year of the Lord" references the Jubilee year which is declared every fiftieth year on the Day of Atonement (Leviticus 25:10, 39 - 40, see also chapter 27).
Jesus, while preaching in Nazareth on the Day of Pentecost, astonished the crowd by proclaiming Isaiah's 700+ year prophecy was being fulfilled as he was speaking (Luke 4:17 - 18, 21)!
Appearances of the number sixty-one
The residents of Nazareth, who had known Jesus all his life, had a hard time accepting that Isaiah 61 was referencing him. After the Lord chided them for their unwillingness to believe the truth (Luke 4:23 - 27), they tried to murder him by forcing him off a cliff (verses 28 - 30)!
Psalm 61 was written by King David during a time he felt burdened and in need of God's aid.
From the end of the earth I cry to You when my heart is overwhelmed; lead me to the Rock higher than me, for You have been a shelter for me, a strong tower against the enemy.
So I will sing praise to Your name forever, so that I may daily perform my vows (verses 2 - 3, 8).
Number 61 and Apostle Paul
The Apostle Paul is 61 years old in 63 A.D. In the early spring of this year, after spending two years in one of Rome's prisons awaiting trial, he is acquitted of all charges and is set free. He immediately embarks to the island of Crete to confer with Titus (Titus 1:5) and then sails to Nicopolis (Titus 1:5, 3:12). He then begins his fifth and final missionary journey by traveling to Spain (Romans 15:22 - 24, 28) and possibly Britain.
Paul, after a harrowing journey through a fierce Mediterranean storm and being shipwrecked, finally makes it to Rome in the early spring of 61 A.D. He is taken to the capital city to have the case against him heard by Caesar (Acts 25:10 - 12). The two years spent awaiting trial proves to be his most productive as during this period he writes the books of Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, Philemon and Hebrews!
The most productive writing period during the Apostle Paul's ministry took place between 61 and 63 A.D. During this time, while awaiting trial in one of Rome's prisons, he penned the books of Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, Philemon, 1Timothy and Titus!
Additional info on Biblical Meaning of 61
God has Moses carry out a war against Midian for their role in leading the Israelites into idolatry and licentious behavior (see Num. 25, 31). The war booty Israel takes from their enemy amounts to a huge amount of sheep, cattle, donkeys and other possessions (Numbers 31). One of the tributes dedicated to the Lord was sixty-one donkeys taken from the booty allocated to the soldiers (Num. 31:39).
No chapters in Scripture contain exactly 61 verses. The only books that have more than sixty-one chapters are the Psalms and the book of Isaiah.
The book of 2Peter, written between 65 and 66 A.D., numbers exactly 61 verses. Coincidently, the sixty-first book in the King James, and the majority of modern Bible translations, is 2Peter as well!