When it comes to numbers in the Bible, It’s quite possible that 666 is the most famous and infamous of the numbers. People who know little else about the Bible know that

666 is a number connected with some kind of evil character or movement.


A practice called gematria gives a numerical value to the letters of a word, then uses their combined numerical value to express a name or witty association of ideas. Gematria can be used as a simple code to hide an identity. Scripture gives only one clear number code, the number of the beast. This is given as the number of a man, 666: “In this situation wisdom is needed. Let the person who has insight figure out the number of the beast, because it is a human number. The beast’s number is 666” (Rev 13:18). If, as many scholars believe, a name is hidden in the numbers (the value given to the letters that add up to the word from of 666), and if it is assumed that the writer was using the Hebrew or Aramaic alphabet (which only use consonants), one name seems to emerge. The consonants for Nero Caesar are as follows:

The number 666 is associated with an evil leader in end-times prophecy.

num (n) = 50

resh (r) = 200

waw (W) = 6

nun (n) = 50

qoph (q) = 100

samekh (s) = 60

resh (r) = 200

These total 666 and seem to be the best solution. Six is a traditional symbol for humans, possibly because man was created on the sixth day. And because seven is the number of perfection and six is one less than that, the number six is a reminder of human incompleteness. People without God will always be incomplete, always falling short of the perfect number. In addition, the Bible often repeats things three times for emphasis-repeating a word three times, for example, as in “Holy, holy, holy” (Isa 6:3). Thus, some have suggested that the threefold use of six could indicate an emphatic description of imperfection. This symbolism may also have been in John’s mind.


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