In Revelation 13, the “second beast” – also described as the “false prophet” – puts in place a system to subjugate people using a mysterious “mark” or number – 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.- Revelation 13:16-18

The number “666” is the most intriguing symbol in the book of Revelation. The importance of understanding the number and what it stands for is illustrated in verse 18 where the author of Revelation invites those with insight to try and “calculate” the mark of the beast. It is only with a correct understanding of the meaning of the number “666” that we can hope to accurately decipher the other verses pertaining to the anti-Christ. A failure to understand what the number “666” stands for would render our attempts to decipher Revelation futile. From the passage quoted in the beginning, the first thing one ought to gather about the “mark” or “666” is that its primary purpose has to do with economic control and subjugation – after all only those with the “mark” or “666” on their right hands and foreheads can buy or sell.

The popular interpretation of the “mark” on the forehead/right hand passage is that it is a reference to implantable chip technology. While it is undoubtedly an elegant theory that may very well be fulfilled in the near future, there is still a good chance that it stops short of fully explaining what the “mark” or “666” on the forehead/right hand really is. Old Testament Parallels We have good reason to believe the author of Revelation was simply using Old Testament motifs in describing the “mark” on the forehead/right hand. I say this because the imagery of the beasts mark on the forehead or the hand, as described in Revelation appears to be a twisted mirror image of verses in the Book of Deuteronomy, where God The Israelites are told regarding the Commandments of God –  Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. – Deuteronomy 6:8 You shall therefore impress these words of mine on your heart and on your soul; and you shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontals on your forehead – Deuteronomy 11:18

I believe that the author of Revelation was attempting to portray the anti-Christ as someone who would mimic the way in which God instructed the Israelites to bind the Law on their forehead and hands. In other words, accepting the anti-Christs “mark” on the right hand or forehead amounts to accepting his “law” and thus, him as leader. It is only under this condition that people would be allowed to carry out trade; in other words the anti-Christ is depicted in Revelation as someone who – among other things – wields the power to subjugate economically.


Interestingly, even the number ‘666’ , has its origins in the Old Testament, specifically from the passages speaking of King Solomon’s rule and authority. Now the weight of gold which came in to Solomon in one year was 666 talents of gold, – 1 Kings 10:14 Christians have written tons of material attempting to explain the number 666 but only very rarely have do they ever make mention of 666  as it appears in 1 Kings 10:14. We see that 666  – even in the Old Testament – has clear connotations of economic control and subjugation. Solomon, as King of Israel, was receiving tributes of 666 talents of gold from those who were subjugated by him.

In other words, they had accepted and submitted to the domination of King Solomon. This leads me to believe that “worshiping” the beast  is not going to be of religious nature, rather it is simply a metaphor for choosing to accept the anti-Christ as supreme leader and living by his law. While many insist that Revelation is speaking of people literally worshiping the anti-Christ as a god, the actual word used for worship, proskuneo can also mean an act of homage given to people in authority. Revelation states that 666 is “the number of a man”.

The number 666 may well be considered as Solomon’s ‘number’, after all Solomon was associated with  666 – the number of gold talents he was receiving from those who had submitted to his rule. Thus, the phrase “number of a man” could have been intended as a reference to a man named Solomon, whose authority was symbolised by 666. I believe its well worth speculating that the writer of revelation was trying to tell us the anti-Christ is going to be named ‘Solomon’. Or that the anti-Christ is going to be an evil version of King Solomon – a mighty ruler from Jerusalem.

God knows best.

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