Friday, 5 February 2010

The number of the beast

This calls for wisdom: let the one who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man, and his number is 666. (Revelation 13)

I think it is likely that this number refers at least to Nero. If this is the case it has implications for the dating of the book of Revelation which I think was written prior to 70 AD.

In this passage we note the the number of the beast is the number of a man. This does not necessarily mean that the beast is a man, just that the number of the beast is the number of a man.

The number of a man may be the number of the name via gematria. Nero Caesar's number in Greek is 1337, but his number in Hebrew is 666. The call for wisdom may have meant that the number needed to be calculated in Hebrew, not Greek. The association with Nero is very ancient, almost certainly as old as the book of Revelation. Nero Caesar does not have a gematria in Latin (that I am aware of), the Latin numbering scheme does not lend itself to this. But transliteration of Nero Caesar from Latin to Hebrew gives the number 616 which is mentioned in several manuscripts of Revelation. This confirms that the authors of the variant manuscripts thought Nero was intended. Below are the calculations.

Greek Number Hebrew NumberLatin Hebrew Number
Ν 50 נ 50 N נ50
Ε 5 --E--
Ρ 100ר200Rר200
Ω 800 ו 6 O ו 6
Ν 50 נ50---
- - - - - - -
Κ 20 ק 100 C ק100
Α 1 - - A - -
Ι 10 - - E --
Σ 200 ס 60 S ס 60
Α 1 - - E - -
Ρ 100 ר 200 R ר 200
Total 1337 666 616

Though Nero's gematria in Greek is given by Suetonius without the Caesar resulting in 1005.

6 comments:

  1. Of course Solomon had 666 all about him. Is there perhaps a connection with Solomon and the Beast?

    ReplyDelete
  2. I have heard that theory before.

    Now the weight of gold that came to Solomon in one year was 666 talents of gold, besides that which came from the explorers and from the business of the merchants, and from all the kings of the west and from the governors of the land.

    But have not read of any convincing connection.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I haven't thought upon it long enough to form any connection, nor have I so much as bothered to google it. However the two certainly could be connected. Perhaps the name of the beast will be Solomon? lol IDK

    ReplyDelete
  4. The number of the beast.

    I was studying one bronze inscription from Botorrita, Zaragoza. Their structure share a musical composition, cantillation; each line has three different readings. The obvious and usual hebrew reading (ketib), the inverse reading and the qére.

    Their text has two lines ont the top and four columns, three with sixthy lines and another one with forty.

    As a result we have this formule {2 + [3 x 60]+ [1 x 40]) x 3 = 666.

    This instrument, actually called guillotina, was used for to comply the sentence of death. People use to sing it previous the execution of murders.

    I wrote some articles about on my blog. Basically this is the number of the sacred law, the Alliance.

    http://hebreoiberico.blogspot.com/

    ReplyDelete
  5. Hi Antonio, I don't see how this relates to Revelation. You will have to point me to a specific post for a translation engine, I can't read Spanish.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Thanks for your post about the interpretation of 666 in Gematria. 666 can be made to mean many things, but the interpretation needs to fit in to the context of Revelation chapter 13 where it is given, and explain why 666 is related to the beast rising up out of the sea, having 7 heads and ten horns, etc. In Hebrew gematria, Neron Caesar adds up to 666. We hope to have a blog post about this soon. Also Romiith, the Roman or Latin people, also adds up to 666 in Hebrew Gematria.

    ReplyDelete

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