Revelation; The Beast- 666

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posted on Jul, 25 2010 @ 01:57 PM
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Or maybe it was Bonaparte...

"I alighted at a bungalow appertaining to the British Residency. There I found an Englishman, who, without any preface, accosted me thus;
"Pray, Mr Macaulay, do you not think that Buonaparte was the Beast?"
"No, sir, I cannot say that I do."
"Sir, he was the Beast. I can prove it. I have found the number 666 in his name. Why, sir, if he was not the Beast, who was?"
This was a puzzling question, and I am not a little vain of my answer.
"Sir," said I, "the House of Commons is the Beast. There are 658 members of the House, and these, with their chief officers- the three clerks, the sergent and his deputy, the chaplain, the doorkeeper, and the librarian- make 666."
"Well, sir, that is strange. But I can assure you that if you write Napoleon Buonaparte in Arabic, leaving out only two letters, it will give 666."

G.O.Trevelyan, "Life and letters of Lord Macaulay" (ch6)

*** ***

I want to offer some thoughts on Revelation ch13 v18

Obviously I'm going to be asking the question; what is the meaning of 666?

We're told, in most translations, that it's "the number of a man."
The NIV says "It is man's number", which implies "Man" as a collective noun. But that's a modern English idiom; surely the Greek word for "humanity" would have been "men"?

If it's the number of a man, who is that man?

We're told that the number can be calculated, and in the previous verse we were told that it is the number of a name. There's an obvious link between name and number in the standard practice of the time, which was to represent numbers by means of letters of the alphabet.

We can't, unfortunately, work "forwards" from the number itself; we get nothing useful from the letters which represent the number 666.
So that's where the "calculation" comes in- the practice of Gematria. Choosing a possible name and working backwards from it, turning the letters into numbers and trying to make them add up to 666.

Part of the process might work like this;



Our real difficulty, in practice, is that the "target number" of 666 can be reached only too easily, giving us multiple solutions.

If we limit the field to the people, and especially the Emperors, who would have been around in John's time, then the choice is manageable.

Nero seems to be the clear favourite amongst scholars. Apparently his name works equally well (in different forms) for 666 and for the variant reading "616"- which might be the explanation for the other reading.
John Robinson, in "Redating the New Testament" (ch8) gives a similar puzzle about Nero which was quoted by Suetonius.
"Count the numerical values
Of the letters in Nero's name,
And in 'murdered his own mother'
You will find their sum is the same."

There's an alternative theory based on possible abbreviations of Domitian's titles- but apparently they haven't been found on coins in that particular form.

But once we bring in later candidates, the ambiguity of the process becomes much more problematic. Even if we knew (as we don't know) that the Beast belonged to our own generation instead of some future generation, the choice would still be overwhelming. I can find even on one site the calculation being applied to Bush, to Obama, to Arnold Schwarzeneggar, and to Georges Papandreou.

Furthermore, the fact that people are starting from their expected conclusion and working backwards from it gives them a strong temptation to "fudge" the calculation. The most obvious method is to tinker with the name of the chosen candidate, until they find the form which best suits their purposes. Leaving out two letters of Buonaparte. Giving his middle initial to "George W.Bush" and taking it away from "Bill Gates III". Allowing "Charles, Prince of Wales" to have only one of his titles.

The result is that we've got no reason to feel confidence in any of these conclusions.
The process which purports to identify the Beast for us cannot, in fact, identify him with any certainty.

As far as I'm concerned, there's also something problematic about the basic assumption, that God would choose this way to address the later church.

It was a fairly natural way to communicate with the church of John's time. They were using letters to represent numbers as a matter of course, and a code based on the fact would not be obscure to them- no more obscure than a code based on acronyms would be to us ("...and there was a great king in the West called UKUSANATO...").

It is NOT a natural way to communicate with the church of later generations. We don't use letters to represent numbers, in daily life, which means that we've lost the ability to make sense of Gematria. The technique is kept alive for code-breaking purposes, but it's not a language understood by the people at large.

"In many and various ways God spoke of old to our fathers..."- Hebrews ch1 v1
My understanding of the Biblical God is that he is a God who wants to communicate.
Which means that he would want his meaning to be reasonably accessible.
I find it difficult to believe that he would deliberately send a message to the later church in a form which nobody would be able to read, leaving his meaning to be uncovered by code-breakers.

Incidentally, this is not just about Gematria. The same objection applies to each and every interpretation which involves finding 666 in "hidden" places.

So what we need is a way to interpret "666" which would be reasonably accessible to the church at large- including, ideally, those who were around when the book was first written.

I can offer three suggestions, all of which point in approximately the same direction.

One option is to apply the Gematria calculation in the usual way, limiting the field to the candidates known to the original church. We can then regard the identified man as a model for the later Beast. This keeps us obedient to the instruction to "calculate" the number, and it liberates us from the thankless task of disentangling all the other claims.

So if the identified man is Nero, then the point of comparison would be the persecution of the church.
If we can convince ourselves it relates to Domitian, then we can make use of the fact that he claimed the title DOMINUS ET DEUS ("Lord and God"), and we can infer that the Beast would make similar claims for himself. And we've already assumed, for other reasons, that he would be calling himself the returned Christ.

Either way, the parallel would be "Ruler who thinks highly of himself and kills many Christians".

Another option is to see significance in the detail that 666 was King Solomon's annual income in silver talents.

The anti-Masons haven't been slow to notice this, but I disregard that angle on the ground that the Christians of John's time would not have heard of the Masons. Therefore the concept "Solomon- patron of the Masons" would not have been accessible to them.

More to the point, perhaps, is the information that Solomon was a multiple idolater.
"For when Solomon was very old, his wives turned away his heart after other gods, and his heart was not wholly true to the Lord his God."- 1 Kings ch11 v4
(He was also responsible for the cruel exploitation which caused the rebellion of Israel)
So this gives us the parallel "Great ruler who worships many gods, not faithful to the Biblical God."

The combination of these two suggestions produces a picture which is well in keeping with the rest of the chapter.

Finally, we can pay attention to the symbolic meaning of the number "6".

In Revelation, "7" is the number which points us towards God.
It's argued that "6" is the number which points us towards humanity (which brings us back to that slightly suspect NIV translation).
In both cases, the association goes back to the story of Creation. The 6th day, when humanity appeared- the 7th day, when God rested.

So the number "666" would be about a focussing upon humanity.
Which would be an evil- not because humanity is evil, in itself, but because humanity is not-God.
Idolatry is the act of setting up not-God in the place which belongs to the Creator God.
The raising of humanity itself to the place of God is that ultimate idolatry which goes right back to the Tower of Babel.

I've already suggested (in my previous thread) that the world-religion of the Beast would be focussing on humanity in two different ways.

There would be the worship of the world-state itself. I don't have the space to repeat my previous description of what Arnold Toynbee calls "corporate self-worship", when a society becomes its own god. He saw it in modern nationalism, and he foresaw the possibility that it could be enlarged to a "collective worship of Humanity". I suggested that this might be fulfilled in the worship of the "first Beast", which the population of the world would be worshipping precisely because they could recognise it as a projection of themselves.

As for the second Beast, the leader, it is generally understood that he would be identifying himself with the returned Christ (whatever other religious titles he might be claiming), and this, of course, would be the ultimate act of setting a human individual in the place of God.

So then, one way or another, the worship of humanity.

And that, I suggest, is the central meaning of "666".







[edit on 25-7-2010 by DISRAELI]




posted on Jul, 25 2010 @ 07:15 PM
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reply to post by DISRAELI
 

Incidentally, I apologise for the fact that the sound on the Youtube clip seems to be out of sync.
It wasn't like that 24 hours ago (I stuck it on another thread for testing purposes)
The problem seems to be at the Youtube end.



posted on Jul, 25 2010 @ 07:31 PM
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Fantastic thread mate, I always love it when I see one of these threads.
Do you have any opinion regarding 666 vs 616?



posted on Jul, 25 2010 @ 07:42 PM
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reply to post by hippomchippo
 

I must admit I haven't formed an opinion on the textual point.
When you're looking for symbolic meanings, 666 is easier to work with.
I saw one explanation that the Greek form of Nero led to 666 and the Latin form led to 616, and the suggestion was that this might have been the reason why 616 sometimes turns up.
I think there's at least one person on ATS pushing 616, but that seems to be because he's got his own agenda about what it means.
It seems that the majority of MSS say 666, and some scholars think the odd couple that say 616 might have an older text, but as far as I can see, they're still arguing about it.



posted on Jul, 25 2010 @ 08:02 PM
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Your thread is very well put together, .... I usually come on threads like these just to bash em a little, ... lol

I've always believed the number 666 refers to Nero, it is a direct translation in hebrew and "Neron Caesar" the greek spelling also equals 666 .. The book of revelation was written in symbols and alterior meanings to avoid further persecution of John who was exiled on Patmos at the time.

Perhaps the "woman" in Revelations or "Whore of Babylon" also reffered to Nero's mother who he eventually killed.

Although most of it seems strange to us, we cannot grasp it from the perspective of the minds of the time, and the society they lived in, I'm sure for Christians at the time, it DID seem like the end of the world. And revelations was an underground text for believer's to reflect the times and instill faith.

[edit on 25-7-2010 by IntastellaBurst]



posted on Jul, 25 2010 @ 08:14 PM
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Originally posted by IntastellaBurst
Perhaps the "woman" in Revelations or "Whore of Babylon" also reffered to Nero's mother who he eventually killed.

Although most of it seems strange to us, we cannot grasp it from the perspective of the minds of the time, and the society they lived in, I'm sure for Christians at the time, it DID seem like the end of the world. And revelations was an underground text for believer's to reflect the times and instill faith.

The Harlot's a very complex woman, and I'm expecting to spend at least four threads dealing with her, from different angles- when I finally get there.

Yes, we can't ignore what the book meant to the people of John's time. All the Biblical books were written in the first instance for their own contemporaries, so that has to be the starting point for understanding them. My working method for dealing with Revelation is to regard it as encouragement for his own church in the first instance, given what they were facing, and then additionally in the traditional way as encouragement for a future church.



posted on Jul, 25 2010 @ 08:38 PM
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This is an off-the-cuff comment because I haven't thought about it recently, but at one point I thought the Harlot most definitely referred to America or New York City. Something about how once she fell, merchants wept because no one would buy or sell their things (since all money nowadays is fiat money, which is essentially worthless, and all modern fiat moneys have close ties to the dollar in such a way that if the dollar went up in smoke, the whole currency system of the world would collapse).



posted on Jul, 25 2010 @ 08:47 PM
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reply to post by NewlyAwakened
 

I don't want to anticipate too much what I might be saying in a few weeks time, but I see the Harlot as a number of things- an unfaithful church, the existence of other religions, a great city, a political persecuting power.
There could be a case that New York fits into at least part of that, the part that can be compared with the ancient trading city of Tyre. At this stage, I wouldn't want to rule out the idea. But we need to make her fit in with other parts of the book.



posted on Jul, 26 2010 @ 10:42 AM
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S&F, Simply because this is the only thread the anti-christ which I havent completely bashed !!

Unfortunately it may be too complex for some of the people here, if you had titled it " Lindsey Lohan the next antichrist" ... then it would have taken off.

we get a new antichrist thread every week, so most people ignore them, however this is the only one I'd reccomend so far.



posted on Jul, 26 2010 @ 10:48 AM
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reply to post by IntastellaBurst
 

Thank you for that comment.
Unfortunately, sensational titles aren't my style, they go against the grain.
Although, on consideration... Would that be Lindsey Lohan in Greek or in Hebrew letters?



posted on Jul, 26 2010 @ 04:18 PM
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There's another point of interest, which there wasn't space to discuss in the OP;

I haven't been able to find an answer to the question; what does the theory of Gematria do with names written in, say, the Chinese script?
It could be an important point, because there's no obvious reason why an antichrist should not be Chinese.
Can there be, then, any rule about the choice of transliteration systems?
If "Mao Zedong" and "Beijing" do not produce any results when the calculation is attempted, is it acceptable to go back to the real names like "Mao-tse-tung " and "Peking", and try again?

I wonder if any Gematria specialist has any views on this.



posted on Jul, 26 2010 @ 04:37 PM
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Nice thread...there are more than a few ways to reach the 666=man, Nero, etc....really hard to say, even in fore sight or hind sight.

As such, I look for the traits of the ..."THE Antichrist" to pick potential candidates. I also look at circumstances and trends.

I believe the Antichrist is yet to come. However, I also believe his entry onto the world stage is near. Why?

Watch as Israel draws closer to Germany as an ally, as the USA moves further and further way. Also see who takes power in Germany, as Germany becomes the premiere power in a revitalized and reinvented Europe.

See also if the Euro powers produce and enforce a Palastinian/Israel peace treaty and Jerusalem is divided and patroled by the Euro/Nato powers. Watch Defense Minister Guttenberg.

Also, realize that the New Right is emerging in europe..ie National Socialist..ie Nazi versus the rising Islamic tide. And who is backing the backlash against the Islamic emergence in Euroland...the Catholic Church and the Pope. Where have we seen this before?

The Harlot riding the Beast....Europa riding Zeus...the harlot riding the red bull....the Catholic Church entwined with the Nationalst socialist in Europe.... who heads it up? BINGO



posted on Jul, 26 2010 @ 04:43 PM
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reply to post by AlreadyGone
 

Thank you for that contribution.
Yes, the possibilities of the future look interesting, to say the least.
I don't know if you're aware of the argument in my various ch6 threads, that the events of the "Four Horsemen" -plague, war, famine, death- would need to come first?



posted on Jul, 26 2010 @ 04:45 PM
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everyone here knows that the monster's energy drink logo is the hebrew symbol for 6...in other words 666

[image] farm4.static.flickr.com... [/image]



[edit on 26-7-2010 by Funkydung]



posted on Jul, 26 2010 @ 04:56 PM
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reply to post by Funkydung
 

Thank you for that video link, which was very interesting.
My query is; the number "666" relates to someone ruling the earth and compelling the population of the world to worship, and killing those who refuse to worship. Is the Monster Energy drink company doing this? Will they be doing it in the near future?

I'm afraid I shall have to refer you to my comments above about finding "666" in "hidden" places.
Nice try, though.



posted on Jul, 26 2010 @ 05:29 PM
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Originally posted by DISRAELI
reply to post by Funkydung
 

Thank you for that video link, which was very interesting.
My query is; the number "666" relates to someone ruling the earth and compelling the population of the world to worship, and killing those who refuse to worship. Is the Monster Energy drink company doing this? Will they be doing it in the near future?

I'm afraid I shall have to refer you to my comments above about finding "666" in "hidden" places.
Nice try, though.



np dis...the monster energy drink isnt ruling the earth but it is part of it....the number 666 is 'hidden" sorta right there in plain sight. thats how they do things. put in right there for everyone to see...but not understand....let those that have understanding reckon the number of the beast....

reckon

1. To count or compute: reckon the cost. See Synonyms at calculate.
2. To consider as being; regard as. See Synonyms at consider.
3. Informal To think or assume.
v.intr.
1. To make a calculation; figure.
2. To rely with confident expectancy. See Synonyms at rely.
3. Informal To think or assume.



posted on Jul, 26 2010 @ 05:35 PM
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Originally posted by Funkydung

np dis...the monster energy drink isnt ruling the earth but it is part of it....the number 666 is 'hidden" sorta right there in plain sight.

OK, then, who are the owners of the Monster Energy drink?
What company are they part of, which is ruling the earth?
(And if it's ruling the earth, why can't I buy it in England? Is it any good?)



posted on Jul, 26 2010 @ 07:07 PM
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I ought to add in links to the two previous "Beast" threads, i.e.

The first Beast- a World-state

The second Beast- Great leader and antichrist

Because the argument in this thread presupposes them.



posted on Jul, 26 2010 @ 11:14 PM
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Also these, tracing the development of the hostility of the Beast from the events of the Atonement;

Woman in heaven

Satan fell from heaven

On the wings of an eagle



posted on Jul, 27 2010 @ 12:04 AM
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reply to post by DISRAELI
 



Incidentally, this is not just about Gematria. The same objection applies to each and every interpretation which involves finding 666 in "hidden" places.


aleph=1 bet=2 gimel=3 dalet=4 hey=5 vav=6 zayin=7 chet=8 tet=9

yod=10 kaph=20 Lamed=30 mem=40 nun=50 samech=60 ayin=70 pey=80 tsade=90

kuf=100 resh=200 shin=300 tav=400

6=vav 60=samech 400=tav 200=resh

vstr, vav in this place is a prefix and means "and" or "but"

str is the root and means hide, conceal, secret, mystery.

hide - to conceal from sight; prevent from being seen or discovered: to obstruct the view of; cover up: to conceal from knowledge or exposure; keep secret.citation

conceal - to hide; withdraw or remove from observation; cover or keep from sight: to keep secret; to prevent or avoid disclosing or divulging.citation

secret - something that is or is kept secret, hidden, or concealed: a mystery.citation

mystery - anything that is kept secret or remains unexplained or unknown: any truth that is unknowable except by divine revelation.citation

vav samech tav resh are words with meaning. The meaning reveals the beast, his image, and his name that 616 substantiates.

In ancient Hebrew the cumulative meaning of each letter would amount to "shielding (the) mark (of a) man"





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