For my final number in “The Importance of Numbers in the Bible” series, I would like to look at the number 666. Immediately, you will be thinking of the number of the Beast but did you know it is also the sum of all the numbers (0-36) on a roulette wheel? In China, 666 is considered to be lucky and is often displayed in shop windows. The number 6 in China is similar in pronunciation to the symbol that means “flowing”, therefore, 666 is interpreted as “everything goes smoothly.”
The connection with the Devil appears in Revelation, however, 666 is mentioned three times in the Old Testament. Both 1 Kings 10 and 2 Chronicles 9 record the Queen of Sheba’s visit to Solomon in Jerusalem. Following this, we are told of Solomon’s splendour. As 2 Chronicles 9:22 says, “King Solomon was greater in riches and wisdom than all the other kings of the earth.”
The other documentation of the number 666 in the Old Testament is found in the list of exiles that returned from captivity in Babylon. It lists all the men of Israel and the number of their descendants:
Now we get to the New Testament, or more specifically, the book of Revelation. The number of the Beast is mentioned in Revelation 13:18 (NIV): “This calls for wisdom. Let the person who has insight calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man. That number is 666.”
The number 666 represents the level of perfection man can achieve without the influence of God. Six on its own symbolises incompleteness and imperfection, suggesting that without God, we will always fall short.
The first digit in 666 represents the falsity of man-made religions. 2 Corinthians 4:3-4 states that people have become blind to the true God. The god people have established in His place is under Satan’s lead.
The second digit refers to the false governments in the world. These are the people in authority who no longer seek God’s advice when making important decisions. The third six is symbolic of man’s self-centred economy. Rather than looking at the bigger picture and thinking about how monetary decisions will affect the wider world and please God, mankind is only concerned how the decisions would benefit themselves.
Many people have tried to claim numerous things are the work of the Devil. Often, they use various forms of Gematria (Hebrew, German, English and so forth), which assigns numbers to letters. Here are a few examples of words or phrases that total 666:
We are happy for you to use any material found here, however, please acknowledge the source: www.gantshillurc.co.uk
Rev'd Martin Wheadon