Demystifying the Number of the Beast in the Book of Revelation: Examples of Ancient Cryptology and the Interpretation of the “666” Conundrum
by M.G. Michael [ view full text here]
As the year 2000 came and went, with the suitably forecasted fuse-box of utopian and apocalyptic responses, the question of “666” (Rev 13:18) was once more brought to our attention in different ways. Biblical scholars, for instance, focused again on the interpretation of the notorious conundrum and on the Traditionsgeschichte of Antichrist. For some of those commentators it was a reply to the outpouring of sensationalist publications fuelled by the millennial mania. This paper aims to shed some light on the background, the sources, and the interpretation of the “number of the beast”. It explores the ancient techniques for understanding the conundrum including: gematria, arithmetic, symbolic, and riddle-based solutions. Is the “number” in any way related to advanced automatic identification technologies such as microchip implants? And what of the social implications of integrating such advanced technologies to citizenry who may not wish to buy-in into such schemes (e.g. national healthcare) which are in apparent conflict with their religious beliefs?
“It also forced all people, great and small, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hands or on their foreheads, so that they could not buy or sell unless they had the mark, which is the name of the beast or the number of its name. 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.”
Six: The Mark Unleashed
The film is set in the end-times, when the earth has been taken over, and the mark of the Beast – an implant in the right hand or forehead – is being imposed on everyone worldwide. Those who take the mark become part of ‘The Community’; those who refuse are imprisoned and after three weeks are beheaded.
Two non-Christian renegades (Kevin Downes and David A. R. White) steal a car for a friend who has also refused the mark. When they arrive at his place they find that he changed his mind and took the mark and “feels so much happier”. The two are then captured by police and taken to prison. Smuggler Tom Newman (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) is also captured by a police unit led by his ex-wife, who took the mark. He is tortured until he agrees to infiltrate a Christian group in the prison in order to kill Elijah Cohen, a Christian leader who remains at large. All three of them meet in prison and decide to try and escape.