The Number of the Beast is described in the Book of Revelation 13:18. From the King James translation:
“ Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is Six hundred threescore and six. ”
In the Greek manuscripts, the Number is rendered in Greek numerical form as “χξς”, or sometimes literally as “six hundred and sixty-six”
The oldest known record of the verse, a fragment of an early manuscript of Revelation from the Oxyrhynchus site, Papyrus 115, gives a different number, 616.
The number 666 appears several times in the Old Testament, including in 1 Kings 10:14-22 as the number of talents of gold received by King Solomon in one year. "Now the weight of gold that came to Solomon in one year was 666 talents of gold".Scholars such as Dr. Ellen Aitken, Dean of the Faculty of Religious Studies at McGill University, have speculated that the reference to this passage was a way of speaking in code about then contemporary figures about whom it would have been politically dangerous to criticize openly.According to the Bible, Solomon fell into apostasy and built altars to Chemosh, Moloch, and Ashtoreth, pagan gods to whom human sacrifices were made. (See 1 Kings 11:4-8.)666 can also refer to a Roman Emperor such as Nero (whose name, written in Aramaic, was valued at 666, using the Hebrew numerology of gematria, a manner of speaking against the emperor without the Roman authorities knowing).
Futurist Christian eschatology typically holds that the Mark of the Beast is one way in which the Antichrist will exercise power over the Earth during the period of Tribulation, because of the prophetic statement in Revelation 13:16-17 that "the Beast" (θηριον) will require all people to receive the mark (χάραγμα "branded mark or character) in their right hands or foreheads in order to buy or sell, making survival for those on the run much more difficult. A possible translation of the meaning of the number 666 may be: the number 666 will be the number that all currency will be based upon. Exact interpretations of this vary widely. For example
Some Christians interpret the mark as a requirement for all commerce to mean that the mark might actually be an object with the function of a credit card (i.e. RFID). Steven D. Miller proposes that the mark of the beast may refer to a social security number or card. Terry Watkins supposes the mark to be a microchip and or barcode on the human body.
Some support this barcode theory through reference to the three elongated end and middle symbols found in some common barcode symbologies; they appear identical to the symbol used to represent the number six on the right hand segment of a barcode—666 is the template from which barcodes are read. Many barcodes are 'written' in a binary system. Each number—and the guardbars—are represented by the black and white spaces. When carefully comparing the codes, the number "6" is written in the code 1010000, seven units. The left and right guardbar are written in three units: 101. Finally, the middle guardbar is written in 5 units, 01010. Although this recurring "101" looks like three sixes the blanks necessary for it to be read as such are not present.Alternatively, some who take a historical view of the Book of Revelation identify the Mark of the Beast with the stamped image of the emperor's head on every coin of the Roman empire: the stamp on the hand or in the mind of all, without which no-one could buy or sell.
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