The Number 666

Author: Eduardo Freire Canosa
(University of Toronto Alumnus)

This calls for wisdom. If anyone has insight, let him calculate the number of the beast, for it is man's number. His number is 666.

(Rev. 13:18)

This calls for wisdom. If anyone has insight: Red flag. A similar appeal to the reader's vanity, "This calls for a mind with wisdom," introduced the spurious sentence, "The seven heads are seven hills on which the woman sits" (Rev. 17:9; see my webpage "New York City Is 'Babylon The Great'").

Let him calculate the number of the beast, for it is man's number. His number is 666: This verse is bogus for at least two reasons,

  1. No algorithm is specified for the calculation. The Romans, the Greeks and the Hebrews used different methods for converting a name to a number. The reader can concoct his own algorithm, underscoring the arbitrariness of any solution or fit. You will end up seeing 666's everywhere

  2. The Lord rebuked Aaron and Miriam saying, "With him [Moses] I speak face to face, clearly and not in riddles; he sees the form of the Lord" (Numbers 12:8). John the author of the Book of Revelation saw the form of the Lord (Rev. 1:12-19). Why then would the Lord hand down this riddle?

Note: The number 666 shows up three times in the Old Testament as a by-product of chance, linked to King Solomon twice (1 Kings 10:14, 2 Chronicles 9:13) and once to a minor figure called Adonikam (Ezra 2:13).

Why 666?

The spur for this section was the awareness that bogus Rev. 17:9 pretended to equate Ancient Rome with Mystery Babylon or Babylon the Great. Since the Book of Revelation is censored heavily, it is reasonable to expect that the number 666 likewise targeted Ancient Rome, specifically (i) the generic man of Ancient Rome, i.e. the Roman, or (ii) the generic king of Rome, i.e. Caesar. The two algorithms that follow obtain the number 666. In regard to the first algorithm, I must confess to having a blurred recollection from my Spanish childhood (1953-65) about a classmate showing it to me; Roman numerals were taught in elementary grades then.

The Roman

Note: The number one thousand was first written Ī and later replaced with the letter M. The overbar notation was kept to denote a multiple of one thousand. Below is the number 44,715 in Roman numerals.



Note: Lucius Verus died in AD 169 and Marcus Aurelius governed as sole emperor until AD 180. Aurelius could then be regarded as the sixth emperor of the dynasty, and since he renewed the persecution of Christians, the riddle may have been written against him between AD 169-180.

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