On page 177, there seems to be what looks like measures of 8,6,4, etc. I just wanted to check. If there is a clear measure with just a number and a line under it, that means that what that number is, is how many measures there are?
Those are multiple-measure rests. The first one is 8 bars long. Notice how the measure number is 61, and the next barline is measure number 69. In this case, it shows the singers using this part how many bars the orchestra plays after they're done singing (and perhaps before they start singing again on a subsequent page). It also notes key changes, which might help them follow along.
To emphasize: the number is the number of measures, not the number of beats. If you're counting four quarter notes per measure, then, you should multiply the number by four to get the total number of beats. If you're counting two half notes per measure, multiply by two.
The horizontal line indicates a rest that lasts for the whole measure and the number above indicates the number of measures that you have to rest.
You can easily confirm this by looking at the little numbers above the bar lines. They usually increase by increment 1, but at the measures in question, the increment corresponds to the numbers above the rests.