Rev 13:18 ... calculate the number of the beast, for
it is the number of a man: His number is 666.
THE NUMBER 666
The bible almost always records numbers (both small and large) in word
form (eg 'two hundred and seventy-six' in Acts 27:37).
However, this is not the case for the number '666' found in Rev 13:18.
Apparently, most of the received texts present the number in the Greek
letter form - where letters are used to represent numbers.
[ NB: Some received texts present the number '666' as "600 60 6". ]
Reading the letters with a Hebrew perspective, that is from right to left,
| = Stigma = 6|
| = Xi = 60|
| = Chi = 600|
When we look into Scripture, to find other references to the number '666',
we find the number in three other places.
- Ezra 2:13 - number of the people of Adonikam who
returned to Jerusalem from Babylon
- 1 Kings 10:14 - '666 talents of gold'
- 2 Chron 9:13 - '666 talents of gold'
The last two references are clearly relevant. Both refer to a fixed
annual income received every year by Solomon. The source of this income
is not stated, but a number of possible sources are excluded.
1King 10:15 besides that from the traveling merchants, from
the income of traders, from all the kings of Arabia,
and from the governors of the country.
The fixed nature of this income suggests a 'rental income'.
Indeed Solomon was the recipient of a significant rental income from
many large vineyards.
Song 8:11 Solomon had a vineyard at Baal Hamon; he leased
the vineyard to keepers; everyone was to bring
for its fruit a thousand silver coins.
:12 My own vineyard is before me. You, O Solomon,
have a thousand, and those who tend its fruit
two hundred (each).
This rental income was also alluded to in Isaiah.
Isa 7:23 It shall happen in that day, that wherever there
could be a thousand vines(vineyards) worth a thousand
(mina each) of silver, It will be for briers
These verses indicate that in the time of Solomon;
An excerpt from www.scripture4all.org.
A Strong's reference summary of G5516.
[ Notes: a) Therefore Scripture is indicating that a silver
mina is composed of 200 silver 'pieces'!
The silver piece being discussed is likely the
smallest silver weight. Suggesting the silver
'pieces', for the rental of the vineyard, were
'bekahs'. The 'bekah' is a half shekel weight.
It was also the weight specified for the census
collection, refer Exod 38:26.
[NB: This would indicate that 100 shekel weights
composed one mina. The ratio also derived
in the "The Mene Mene Tekel Upharsin Prophecy"
webpage discussion. ]
b) A deflated value for silver was present during the
reign of Solomon. Silver was in excess supply and
1 Kings 10:27 "And the king made silver to be
in Jerusalem as stones"
c) The word for 'calculate' or 'count' in Rev 13:18
is Strong's G5585 and means to 'use pebbles in
enumeration'. The use of a word meaning pebbles
indicates that the reader should derive the
number of silver pieces being represented.
(It is interesting that the above 1 Kings 10:27
also compares silver to stones.)
d) Exodus 38:25-26 states 603,550 bekahs (half
shekels of the sanctuary) was the equivalent
of 100 talents and 1775 sanctuary shekels.
Teaching that 6,000 sanctuary bekahs weighed a
Therefore, 200 million half shekels would equal
33,333 (200,000,00 / 6,000) talents of silver.
Equating 33,333 talents of silver to 666 talents
of gold. This would indicate a silver to gold
ratio of 50:1. A single gold coin would be
considered worth the equivalent of 50 silver
coins of the same weight.
e) While the collection of vineyard rental from
each person is stated as having been in silver,
it is evident that those responsible for
collection and forwarding to king Solomon would
have paid the king's treasury in gold.
f) NB: The number 200,000,000 is also mentioned
in Revelation 9:16, referring to the number of
mounted horsemen bound at the river Euphrates. ]
1,000 vineyards x 1,000 silver x 200 people = 200 million silver
(= 666 gold talents)
1,000 vineyards x 1,000 mina = 1 million mina
(= 666 gold talents)
From the above verses it appears that Solomon, as king of Israel, had
control of Israel's vineyards and rented them to whomever he pleased.
Indicating that in the same way the future beast will control who will be
permitted to tend and profit from the various spiritual vineyards of God.
In other words, who would be able to 'buy or sell' in the wine/teachings
The name/number of the beast is said to also be the number of a man
(Rev 13:17-18). Obviously Israel is the name of a nation, but it is also
the name of a symbolic 'son of God'.
Exod 4:22 Then you shall say to Pharaoh, 'Thus says
the Lord: "Israel is My son, My firstborn."
[ Notes: a) At a lesser level, we know that Jacob's name was
changed by God to 'Israel' (Gen 32:27-28).
b) The number 666 also suggests a 2nd lesser
connection to another actual person, King Solomon. ]
Conclusion: Given the less than favourable descriptions of the
Revelation 13 beasts, the teaching is that in the
end-time there will arise within the 'arena of faith'
a deceptive and spiritually controlling entity which
will suppress dissent and subvert the thoughts and
actions of many.
Why the Unusual Presentation of the Number 666?
As this unusual 'numeric/letter form' of presentation
is only encountered in this verse, there has to be a
meaningful reason for the adoption of this format.
Two perspectives can be seen.
1) The format allows a simple splitting of 666 into
three numbers 6, 60 and 600.
Each of these numbers can be used to allude to
the infamous 30 shekels of silver.
6 '5 shekel' weights = 30 shekels of silver
60 bekahs = 30 shekels of silver
600 gerahs = 30 shekels of silver
Indicating a clear reference to a traitor.
2) A progressive recognition of the number is also
Initial letter only = 6
Initial two letters = 66
All three letters = 666
It is interesting that all three numbers 6, 66, 666
have a common attribute. They are all numbers which
are results of counting upwards from 1.
i.e. 1+2+3 = 6
1+2+3+4+5+6+7+8+9+10+11 = 66
1+2+3+4 ... 33+34+35+36 = 666.
It is somewhat unusual that these three numbers
6, 66 and 666 have this feature.
Consider the upper counted numbers, ie 3, 11 and 36.
The number 3 has biblical significance, the number
11 has limited significance and 36 (being 3 x 12)
could be given some relevance.
However, if these numbers 3, 11, and 36 are added
together we have 3+11+36 = 50.
As has already been noted, 50 is the number which
allows the conversion of Solomon's vineyard rental
income from silver to gold.