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The Number 666 & The Essence of the Beast

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Avatar for Mictorrani
Written by   506
1 year ago (Last updated: 3 months ago)

I.

Let us take a look at 666 - "the number of the beast", and at what it might really mean.

The first mention of it is in the Book of Revelation, the last book of the Christian Bible. Chapter 13 tells us about a seven-headed beast, and it ends..

Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is Six hundred threescore and six.

There has been a great deal of speculation about this number through the centuries, and apart from Antichrist and Satan, it has been connected to the names of several more or less famous (or infamous) men of history. Sometimes it looks like a puzzle of recreational mathematics, when someone tries, really tries hard, to generate 666 out of a desired name. We will not linger on all these examples, let us just look at two of them, before we turn to (in my opinion) the most likely solution.

If you put A=100, B=101, C=102, etc... and change the letters of the name "Hitler" to numbers, the sum is 666.

A fanatic anti-Catholic once made a construction to "prove" that the Pope is the Beast. He added the numerals (Roman numerals - other letters where ignored) in one of the pope's Latin titles:

V I C AR I V S F I L I I D E I

5+1+100 …+1+5 …+1 +50+1+1+500 …+1 = 666!

It would be possible to find a large number of examples in literature, but in the end I think the most probable explanation is the Roman emperor Nero. A view that is shared by most scholars.

II.

To solve this sort of enigma, it is necessary to pay attention to the historical environment it was created in, its realities, and its way to think.

Methods of assigning numerical values to letters, and thus to words, names, and sentences - and then using them for comparison, interpretation, prediction, and divination – have been extensively used through history. The oldest known example is from 8th century B.C. Babylonia. During the Antiquity it was common, and it probably came quite naturally to cultures where letters were also used as numerals; as with the Greeks, Romans, and Hebrews. Greek methods later influenced Germanic rune magic, and Hebrew methods still prevail in Cabbalism.

Another base for this thinking was the tremendous importance paid to words. A word (or a name) had a magical meaning, containing the essence of what it was denoting.

The political reality was a still heathen Rome, persecuting the early Christians, occupying the Middle East, and (in 70 A.D.) destroying Solomon's temple in Jerusalem.

The author of the Revelation was John, a Christian from Asia Minor (probably not the Apostle or the Evangelist, although that is a matter of dispute).

The Beast is said to have seven heads, and chapter 17 further indicates that it would be a sequence of rulers, it is hard to believe that anything else than Roman rulers would be referred to.

III.

If we count with the Greek alphabet - and we should, because the New Testament was originally written in Greek - and put alpha=1, beta=2, ..., omega=24, then we get the sum 666, if - to the word Kaisar - we add the seven rulers (in Greek form): Neron, Vespasianos, Titos, Domitianos, Nervas, Traianos, and Hadrianos.

An old hand script has 616 - which might be an older version that was early discarded. We get 616 if we omit the word Kaisar, and use the seven names: Neron, Galba, Othon, Vitellios, Vespasianos, Titos, and Domitianos.

This suggests that the chapters 13 and 17 were compiled during the end of the Flavian time [The Flavian Dynasty, 69-96 AD]. The changed conditions of the time just after that generated a change from 616 to 666, and the interregnum rulers were removed from the list (they were never recognised over the entire empire anyway), to keep the number of rulers to seven.

This can be the reason for the mentioning of ten diadems (instead of seven); since, of the ten rulers from Nero to Hadrian, only seven were undisputed rulers.

IV.

This interpretation is completely in line with the Nero legend, which was well-known at the time; and it gives a significance to what the Revelation says, that one of the (seven) heads was mortally wounded but was healed.

After Nero's suicide in the year 68, it was held by many that he was still alive and would one day return from the kingdom of Parthia to rule again.

The seven-headed beast was then a sequence of emperors, beginning with Nero, where he would return as the eighth - compare the octave and its tonic. As the first and the eighth, he would be the essence of the Beast!

Appendix - Roman emperors from Nero to Hadrian:

Nero* (54-68), Galba (68-69), Otho (69), Vitellius(69), Vespasian* (69-79), Titus*(79-81), Domitian* (81-96), Nerva* (96-98), Trajan* (98-117), Hadrian* (117-138).

*= the seven "undisputed" emperors.

(This material has previously been published in TMA/Meriondho Leo and in my e-book “Numericon”.)

Copyright © 2007, 2020 Meleonymica/Mictorrani. All Rights Reserved.

If you are interested in numbers, you find all my articles related to numbers here, and please also join my community Numbers (7b6a).

You find all my writings on Read.Cash, sorted by topic, here.

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Written by   506
1 year ago (Last updated: 3 months ago)
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Comments

Interesting keep it up

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1 year ago

intresting topic indeed! i loved this article. also people likes linking everything to these kind of stories, regardless if there is really a relation or not. looking for more articles like that from you!

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1 year ago

Yeah, it is like an obsession of the human mind to link everything to these sort of things. I will soon post another text about a legend associated with a number.

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1 year ago

on the bright side, when human mind links everything to stuffs like that, the result will be worth it as mesteries and all. and sure! i will happily read it

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1 year ago

I love numbers, thanks for the interesting article.

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1 year ago

Then check out The Goldbach Conjecture, posted just a few minutes ago. https://read.cash/@Mictorrani/the-goldbach-conjecture-a0901e4f

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1 year ago

Oh! Is this Theology, Mathematics, puzzle, magic or religion?......I can't even answer it. Men! The Covid -19 pandemic is even a beast.....666 as it is a great problem to the whole world.

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1 year ago

Covid-19 as the Great Beast 666! No, I don't think so. Even as an epidemic, Covid-19 is not the worst we know of. The Black Death, for instance, which killed more than 30% of the population in Asia and Europe, was more devastating. Yet, Covid-19 is surely bad enough.

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1 year ago

Thank you for this reply. Though I've not really read much on the beast 666, but I learned its going to be a kind of problem to the world....just likened Covid-19 to this. Thank you for mentioning the "Black Death". I never heard of this. You see, I learn on daily basis. Thanks.

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1 year ago

Thank you for this link. Well appreciated. I will surely go through the link to read about black death.

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1 year ago

That's great looking forward to more like this from you

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1 year ago

It is funny what meaning people attach to some numbers. 666, 13, 7 and so on. And yet these are only numbers that, for example, in binary form, lose their attraction completely.

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1 year ago

Don't say that. It depends. Some meanings are dependent on the denotation system, others are not. That is two different things. We would still talk about the seventh heaven or seven wonders of the world, even if we did not write with ten as the base, or not even used West-Arabic numerals. Most of the meanings attached to numbers are really about numbers and have nothing to do with how we write the numbers. There are some exceptions though, but it would bring us too far to dive into that in a comment.

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1 year ago

You're right. Especially small numbers have a "magic" meaning independent of the denotation system. Maybe I see this too much from a mathematical or computer science point of view.

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1 year ago

Perhaps. The cultural aspects of numbers have not much to do with mathematics. And by the way... thank you for the donation!

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1 year ago

I just finished reading this and my mind is still absorbing it. Every article of yours is information-packed and straight to the point. I love it. I don't know much about history and I even used dictionary to understand some words here. My knowledge about this 666 thingy is so limited. You really did a great job elaborating this topic.

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1 year ago

Thanks. That's a compliment when you use a dictionary instead of just skipping the parts you don't understand. It means that you're really interested. That's the sort of reader every writer wants.

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1 year ago