Re: Rev.13:18 (was Numerics (was Re: Comments on Snoke's approach)

From: David Bradford <>
Date: Sat Aug 20 2005 - 07:00:22 EDT


By choosing 666 over 616 as the more valid number, you have already fallen victim to your particular specialism, which is the formal mathematical aspect of certain biblical passages.

It is well to remember that the characteristics of the Bible that interest you and me more than most people rely on the plain language text for their foundation. So, it is clear that beneath the formal, there is an artistic (ie literary) facet that we can never describe using formulae. The plain text never stops meaning what I has always meant, no matter how many extra layers of hidden wisdom it may contain. That is why I do not dismiss either your strictly formal analysis, nor the hybrid features that are presently of most interest to me. Your special focus on the math allows you to recognise 666 as a valid number linking Revelation 13:18 with Genesis 1:1, but it has caused you to take your eye off the special role that 616 also plays in both passages. I would assert that both numbers are equally valid, and were deliberately included in alternative original manuscripts of Revelation precisely because they are blood relatives.

If we consider the period in which Revelation was written, then the despotic Nero(n) would certainly have been recognised as an obvious choice for the meaning of 666 and 616, both. Others, such as Gordon Brown have already addressed this possibility. But it is possible to recognise another numerological relationship between these two numbers that reflects both the background of the author and his contemporary setting, under Roman rule. The number 666 is well known to be the sum of the first six* roman numerals (I, V, X, L, C & D), (* where 6 is the number of man - having been created in the sixth 'day' in Genesis 1). In the case of Latin script, roman numerals are a pale substitute for the fully fledged numerologies that sprang from the earlier Hebrew and Greek languages, in which every letter had its own unique value. The author of Revelation, the Apostle John, would have been fully aware of this comparison, since at that time Hebrew gematria and the Greek equivalent were an important adjunct to the Jewish cum Christian religion. John would, therefore, have recognised that the number 616 is the gematria sum of the name of the most revered holy book of his time, haTorah (the Torah). These contextual, historical circumstances alone would lead one to conclude that neither 616 nor 666 is superfluous.

But a standard gematria analysis of Genesis 1:1, word by word, leads to an unfortunate bias. As you have elegantly demonstrated, Vernon, it is the number 666 and not 616 that is emphasised as the threefold triangular number T(36) that are seen to surround T(37) within the triangular number T(73), which is 2701, the full gematria total of the first verse. This is where we find the formal mathematical analysis tending to overwhelm the artistic merit of scripture.

However, the generally softer approach that I take to analysing the first 64 letters of Genesis (see ) actually reverses the emphasis, suggesting that 616 has the stronger claim to recognition. The truth is, of course, somewhere between the two extremes, since your findings and mine are simply alternative perspectives on the same landscape. To be sure, the G1 Square does support the case for 666 in the vertical stem of the 'Y' formation of letters vav, as well as the 2x666 that results from the product of the two diagonal sums (using qatan letter values). But the first verse of Genesis also finds other ways to emphasise two highly significant co-factors of 616, which are 22 and 28.

First of all 22 and 28 are, respectively, the numbers of letters in (i) the Hebrew alphabet, and (ii) the first verse of Genesis.

Second, the sum of qatan letter values in sided 3 and 4 of the G1 Square are 22 and 28.

Third, the fourth side of the Square begins and ends with the last two 'first occurrences' of letters within the first verse. That is to say, letter 22 is the first occurrence of vav, and letter 28 is the first occurrence of tzadee. These are the only two first occurrences in the second half of the verse.

Then outside the first verse, but still within the first chapter, we find five uses of the verb 'to divide' followed by two uses of the verb 'to multiply'. The verb 'to multiply' appears only in verses 22 and 28.

Next, anyone who has viewed my website will have seen that the number of letters that make up the present day Hebrew Torah (ie 304805), or its prime factors to be more precise, lead to an elegant construction that specifically reveals the two numbers 616 and 666.

Finally, the G2 Square includes only one 616 sequence, and that happens to cross over the position of the single 666 sequence from the G1 Square. That is, if the two Genesis Squares are superimposed then the 666 from G1 and the 616 from G2 form the two diagonals of the 3x3 cluster of squares at the lowest point.

All of these facts surely lead to the conclusion that both 616 and 666 are necessary, though each of them takes precedence in alternative situations. Yet there are situations in which only the presence of both numbers can convey the truth of deliberate design.



  ----- Original Message -----
  From: Vernon Jenkins
  To: Don Nield
  Cc: Randy Isaac ;
  Sent: Thursday, August 18, 2005 8:00 PM
  Subject: Re: Rev.13:18 (was Numerics (was Re: Comments on Snoke's approach)


  Concerning 616, I enclose a copy of the appendix to my page "On testing the uniqueness of Genesis 1:1" (
  Appendix: On the correct reading of Rev.13:18

  Doubts continue to be expressed in some quarters concerning our proper understanding of the 'number of the beast'. Is it 666 or 616? Apparently both appear as possible candidates in the early Greek manuscripts. However, I suggest there are a number of good reasons why we should accept 666 as the God-ordained number, viz

  (a) generations of scholars involved in the study and translation of the Greek originals have clearly understood the true value to be 666 - otherwise why would this number unfailingly appear in the text proper and 616, if at all, in a footnote?

  (b) the evaluation of 'Jesus', the Christ, from the Greek (nominative case) is 888; hence, that of the Antichrist is more likely to be the counterfeit lookalike, 666, than 616;

  (c) 666 is the epitome of numerical geometry; as 'triangle of triangles' it features in the geometrical representation of Genesis 1:1; on the other hand, 616 is devoid of any such associations

  (d) 666 as triangle is linked to two other dimensionless NT numbers, 153 and 276 - both of which are also triangular - by the theme "out of the sea'; details are provided on the page "666 - and All That!" (

  I hope you will agree that these considerations settle the matter in favour of 666.


  ----- Original Message -----

  From: "Don Nield" <>
  To: "Vernon Jenkins" <>
  Cc: "Randy Isaac" <>; <>
  Sent: Thursday, August 18, 2005 12:07 AM
  Subject: Rev.13:18 (was Numerics (was Re: Comments on Snoke's approach)

> Vernon Jenkins wrote:
> .....
>> Randy, you concluded your email with the paragraph, "Rev. 13:18 is an
>> intriguing verse and I certainly do not know what the proper
>> interpretation is. But I believe I can bound the range of
>> possibilities. At most, it implies that a person with wisdom would
>> know that the "beast" has the characteristics conveyed by the
>> symbolism represented by "666". No more."
>> I am not happy with certain modern translations which begin this verse
>> with "This requires wisdom." - or words to that effect. What the
>> original Greek actually says is "Here wisdom is." or, as the AV and
>> NASB correctly have it, "Here is wisdom". In other words, wisdom is
>> _being offered_ rather than _required_. I'm sure you will agree that
>> that is an important distinction which fundamentally influences one's
>> proper understanding of the verse. And regarding your "No more", the
>> fact that 666 is uniquely triangular, has triangular NT companions in
>> 153 and 276, and appears in triplicate in the numerical reading of
>> Genesis 1:1, offer clear leads to its proper interpretation - and to
>> the acquisition of wisdom.
> In intepreting Rev. 13:18 we should also take into consideration of the
> fact that some ancient manuscripts read "six hundred and sixteen"
> instead of "six hundred and sixty-six". This upsets Vernon's scheme.
> The variant reading is accounted for if the verse is a reference to
> Nero(n) Caesar. Dropping the final "n" reduces the count by fifty.
> Don
Received on Sat Aug 20 07:03:17 2005

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