Bede offers several explanations of the number 666 in his Bede: Commentary on Revelation . The number is the number of the Greek word “Titan,” a “giant,” because “it is thought that Antichrist will usurp this name, as if he excelled all in power, boasting that he is the one of whom it is written, ‘he rejoiced as a giant to run his course.’”

The name “Antemos,” which means “contrary to honor” is also a 666, and the verb “I deny” has the same numerical value. Both exhibit “the character of the person and the asperity of the work of Antichrist.”

Bede eventually offers a reading that is more firmly rooted in the Bible: “who is ignorant, that the number six, in accordance with which the world was created, signifies the perfection of work? And this, whether simple, or multiplied by ten, or a hundred, demonstrates the fruit of the same perfection to be sixty-fold, or a hundred-fold.” Plus, “The weight of gold also which was brought to Solomon every year was six hundred and sixty-six thousand talents. The seducer, therefore, will presume to exact for himself the offering which is rightfully due and paid to the true king.”

666 means “a counterfeit Adam” and “a false Solomon.”

Articles by Peter J. Leithart

Loading...