Jewish Lords' Witness

The Numbers of the Beast

The JLW Website Visitor Statistics Sign

​​Introduction

This is an unusual case of the introduction to one of my papers being rather lengthy and of equal importance in its content compared with the subject matter, at least to my mind. As you will see, I make no apologies for this.

I had written the initial draft of my previous and recent 
Mysteries paper and had uploaded it to my website development environment prior to finalising it and preparing it for publication on the web. I rapidly ran into serious problems in the next stage of this process. The website development tool that I use has always been limited in its ability to cater for non-English fonts but, over the years, I have learnt how to incorporate both Hebrew and Greek text fonts into my earlier papers to date. This time, however, was rather different in that, for the Mysteries paper, I needed to replicate and compare verses from a variety of the Greek NT codices. This was a task that I had not had to deal with before in any of my previous papers.

I spent a good 3-4 days making very little progress in this specific endeavour and found this particularly frustrating since this was a purely technical issue and had nothing to do with any of our usual challenging scriptural conundrums. This especially since I felt, and still do, that that paper was probably one of the more important papers I have written to date. That night, in my exasperation, I prayed to the Holy Spirit, asking why it was so difficult to make any progress and if I was really meant to write the paper and, if so, how about a little assistance in the matter. Then, as usual in such things, I woke up the following morning, after a particularly good night’s sleep, with the answers.

We now need to back-track to the day when I first started to prepare my development site for the Mysteries paper. I was presented with the diagram you see at the head of this paper. The diagram represents the number of hits the JLW website had thus far in the then current month. I had never seen a profile like that before, ever. There would normally be a gradually undulating profile of hits throughout the month. I had never seen a single large spike on a single day in any month before; the number of hits at 666 also struck a chord of horror to my eyes. This could not be any coincidence! I later wondered if this had been as a result of an attampted demonic DNS attack on my website!

When I awoke the morning after praying to the HS, it struck me that I needed to address the number of the beast and the spike in the Mysteries paper and I made a note in my draft paper to that effect. Almost immediately after that action, I suddenly gained a couple of ideas of how to take my Greek font issues forward and I was able to make instant progress in that regard. My major stumbling block had been removed. Such is the power of prayer! The irony is, of course, that this scriptural issue of the numbers of the beast, whilst related to the difference in Greek NT texts, now appears in this, its own dedicated paper, rather than in my
Mysteries paper during which it had manifested itself! Now read on….
 

The LW Position at the Time of Writing

The diagram of JLW website hits flagged two separate but related points to me. Firstly, the LW position is that the number of the beast is actually 616 not 666. Additionally, the presentation of a spike has its relationship to the Covid-19 protein spike. Both of these are related centre stage at the top of our home page at
https://www.truebiblecode.com/. The spike protein is something that both the LW Church President, Gordon, and I have waxed lyrical about in the past: https://www.truebiblecode.com/understanding917.html and Covid-19 respectively. So, I believe that the Holy Spirit was giving me a sign that we also need to consider the possibility that either 666 was the correct number of the beast after all or that it was, at least, worthy of further consideration, particularly in regard to its relationship to Covid-19.

So, first off let us have a look at the LW justification for supporting the beast’s number at 616 rather than 666. This can be found at the TBC home page, and for convenience I replicate the relevant section here:

''C O V I D 1 9

100 + 0 + 5 + 1+500 + 1 + 9 = 616, the true number of the Beast
The Latin Numeral System is I = 1, V = 5, X = 10, L = 50, C = 100, D = 500, M = 1000. We take O as 0. Each character in COVID19 is interpreted individually.

COVID 19 stands for COronaVIrus Disease 2019 - Since the first case was identified in 2019. 

The first Century beast was the Roman state, the 7 heads which are 7 mountains of Revelation17, being the 7 hills of Rome. The Harlot riding the beast was the early Roman Catholic Church back then (she is still up to her old tricks). Hence the Roman numerology.

616 is the correct variant rather than 666, according to the Ephraemi Rescriptus Codex, Tyconius a 4th century Christian writer, and P115 - the Oxyrhynchus fragment from 225-275 AD, the oldest extant copy of Revelation13:17. Irenaeus, the 2nd century Christian writer, acknowledged its existence but rejected it in favour of 666. Irenaeus was in the Catholic Church, which fell as a true church on 84Nisan14 AD. 666 is a triangular number, the sum of all the numbers from 1-36 = 666. It is more spooky and interesting mathematically.

Rome became a multiheaded beast when the Monarchy of the 7 kings from Romulus to Tarquinius Superbus, was overthrown and the Senatus Populus-Que Romanus (SPQR) was established. This is when Rome became a Republic ruled by a representative democracy of Senators, a multi headed Senate, rather than a single headed King. SPQR was founded in 509 BC. 616 years after that, the number of the beast in years from its founding, was 107 AD (there was no 0 BC/AD). So the first century Mark of the Beast came into force then.

It therefore behoves us to count 616 days into the 42 month licence to the dragon by God and to the sea beast of Revelation13 by the Dragon. We have the licence running from 2017Adar17 (12th 1NC first fruits) to 202Elul14. 616 days into that licence is 2019Chislev3 (2019December4/5). But according to the US Documentary maker Glenn Beck, the first cases of Covid19 occurred in China in 10 hospitals in October 2019. So the Games may well have been infected. So participants may have spread the virus worldwide after these. So it is absolutely possible that the first 1NC reserve saints were infected with Covid19 on 2019chislev3 (December4/5) and on that day Jesus was wearing his Crown of Thorns, his Coronavirus of Spikes.''

Well, we are certainly not the only believers that consider 616 to be the correct number of the beast. The author of the following website also clearly shares that belief, although I would not necessarily subscribe to all of its content:
https://neohistoricism.net/2021/09/04/616-the-alternate-number-of-the-beast-of-revelation-13-identifies-the-mark-of-the-true-lamb-standing-on-mount-zion/
 

The Codices

From the above position, we see that the key LW justifications for the number 616 are that this is the number found in the Ephraemi Rescriptus (RES) Codex, supported by Tyconius in the 4th century together with the Oxyrhynchus fragment dated from the 3rd century. This, arguably, passes our three witnesses test as identified in my earlier 
Mysteries paper.

For the record let us have a look at the ER codex for the relevant verse and compare it with a couple of the others containing the more traditional number:

18 Here is wisdom. He that hath understanding, let him count the number of the beast; for it is the number of a man: and his number is Six hundred and sixty and six. (Revelation 13 ASV)

18 ωδε η σοφια εστιν ο εχων νουν ψηφισατω τον αριθμον του θηριου αριθμος γαρ ανθρωπου εστιν και ο αριθμος αυτου χξς  (Revelation 13 TIS)


18 ωδε η σοφια εστιν ο εχων νουν ψηφισατω τον αριθμον του θηριου αριθμος γαρ ανθρωπου εστιν και ο αριθμος αυτου εξακοσιοι εξηκοντα εξ (Revelation 13 NA27)


Above we have those in common with the majority of texts both English and Greek containing the number 666 as the number of the beast. An interesting comparison between the above Greek codices, provided as typical, is that the Tischendorf codex contains the number ‘666’ as numeric characters whereas the Nestle Aland 27th Version codex contains ‘six hundred and sixty six’ as words. Let us now compare these to the RES codex:

18 ωδε η σοφια εστιν ο εχων νουν φισατω τον αριθμον του θηριου αριθμος γαρ ανθρωπου εστιν και ο αριθμος αυτου εστι_ εξακοσιαι δεκα εξ (Revelation 13 RES)

This contains the number 616 in word form so we can clearly compare ‘sixty’ (εξηκοντα) in the Nestle Aland 27th Version codex with ‘ten’ (δεκα) in the RES codex. So, if the Ephraemi Rescriptus is the only surviving codex containing the number 616, why should we pay more attention to that one rather than all the others which contain the number 666? It could well be argued that this flies in the face of the LW  'three witnesses principle' identified in my earlier
Mysteries paper. From our studies on codex corruption in the Mysteries paper as well as the more general experience of the LWs, we have already established that the RES is one of the more reliable examples when considering the corruptions of the Roman Catholic church. Nonetheless, it is hard to accept the one over the many, although God does have that modus operandi, which is not to be ignored:

7 The LORD did not set his love upon you, nor choose you, because ye were more in number than any people; for ye [were] the fewest of all people: (Deuteronomy 7 KJV)

22 A little one shall become a thousand, and a small one a strong nation: I the LORD will hasten it in his time. (Isaiah 60 KJV)

Also, we have the Oxyrhynchus fragment which supports the Ephraemi Rescriptus rendering of the beast's number (
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Number_of_the_beast) and thereby giving us two witnesses to 616. This fragment was only discovered in 2005; I find this timing interesting given that the church of the Lords’ Witnesses was itself only established in 1996. The nine intervening years were possibly made necessary for the Fourth True Christian Church to be in a state of readiness to contemplate the number of the beast to be 616 perhaps?

However, we cannot ignore the fact that 666 is the number written into every English translation of Revelation that I have read and is emblazoned in many people’s minds as the number representing Satan, including even those who would not profess themselves to be believers. Why would God have allowed this to have occurred on such a large scale if 666 were not the true number, or at least had some significance? Certainly the writer of the following web-page believes 666 to be the correct number of the beat in favour of 616:
https://www.endtime.com/blog/666-or-616-the-number-of-the-beast/.

One interesting thought is that the True Bible Code includes the
The Ambiguity Principle. Where this occurs in scripture, it indicates that two different understandings of the scripture have two different meanings in two separate threads, i.e., they are both true but each in a different greater meaning. Up to now this has only been exercised within a single code-retaining translation. But what if this principle also needs to be exercised across two different codices? This would make both 666 and 616 of import to our God, albeit in two different greater meanings!
 

Old Testament Scriptures

One factor that has given more credence to 666 being the correct number is the fact that the Old Testament contains that number in two sets of verses that both could have meaning in this debate. The Old Testament Hebrew texts have not been adulterated in the same way that the Greek New Testament codices have been, so they are completely trustworthy for our purposes.

Firstly, let us have a look at the verses concerning King Solomon:

14 And the weight of the gold that came to Solomon in one year was six hundred and sixty six talents of gold, (1 Kings 10 GLT)

14וַיְהִי מִשְׁקַל הַזָּהָב, אֲשֶׁר-בָּא לִשְׁלֹמֹה בְּשָׁנָה אֶחָת--שֵׁשׁ מֵאוֹת שִׁשִּׁים וָשֵׁשׁ, כִּכַּר זָהָב. (1 Kings 10 BHSox)

14וַיְהִי מִשְׁקַל הַזָּהָב, אֲשֶׁר-בָּא לִשְׁלֹמֹה בְּשָׁנָה אֶחָת--שֵׁשׁ מֵאוֹת שִׁשִּׁים וָשֵׁשׁ, כִּכַּר זָהָב.
(1 Kings 10 WLC)

 
13 And the weight of the gold that came to Solomon in one year was six hundred and sixty six talents of gold, (2 Chronicles 9 GLT)

13וַיְהִי מִשְׁקַל הַזָּהָב, אֲשֶׁר-בָּא לִשְׁלֹמֹה בְּשָׁנָה אֶחָת--שֵׁשׁ מֵאוֹת וְשִׁשִּׁים וָשֵׁשׁ, כִּכְּרֵי זָהָב. (2 Chronicles 9 BHSox)

13וַיְהִי מִשְׁקַל הַזָּהָב, אֲשֶׁר-בָּא לִשְׁלֹמֹה בְּשָׁנָה אֶחָת--שֵׁשׁ מֵאוֹת וְשִׁשִּׁים וָשֵׁשׁ, כִּכְּרֵי זָהָב.
(2 Chronicles 9 WLC)
 
So here we have King Solomon’s tribute calculated as 666 talents in two near identical verses written at different times in different places by different authors (Jeremiah c. 580 BCE in Judah and Egypt and Ezra c. 460 BCE in Jerusalem (?) respectively). I have also reproduced two separate Hebrew codices for each verse to indicate the consistency of the Hebrew texts we have available to us today. But we are not yet finished in this analysis; let us have a look at another OT verse, this time one describing King Solomon himself:

29 And God gave Solomon wisdom and understanding exceeding much, and largeness of heart, even as the sand that [is] on the sea shore. (1 Kings 4 KJV)

29וַיִּתֵּן אֱלֹהִים חָכְמָה לִשְׁלֹמֹה וּתְבוּנָה, הַרְבֵּה מְאֹד; וְרֹחַב לֵב--כַּחוֹל, אֲשֶׁר עַל-שְׂפַת הַיָּם. (1 Kings 4 BHSox)


 For the record, the words ‘wisdom’ and ‘understanding’ are correct English translations for the Hebrew words ‘חָכְמָה’ and ‘וּתְבוּנָה’ respectively. Let us now go back to the NT verse that started all this:

18 Here is wisdom. He that hath understanding, let him count the number of the beast; for it is the number of a man: and his number is Six hundred and sixty and six. (Revelation 13 ASV)

18
 ωδε η σοφια εστιν ο εχων νουν φισατω τον αριθμον του θηριου αριθμος γαρ ανθρωπου εστιν και ο αριθμος αυτου εστι_ εξακοσιαι δεκα εξ (Revelation 13 RES)

For comparison with the Hebrew texts, the words ‘wisdom’ and ‘understanding’ are also good English translations, in this case for the Greek words ‘σοφια’ and ‘νουν’ respectively. I cannot imagine these choices of words are any accident between the two Testaments in comparing King Solomon with the counter of the beast's number!

But now let us have a look at an earlier verse in the Book of 1 Kings:

12 Behold, I have done according to thy words: lo, I have given thee a wise and an understanding heart; so that there was none like thee before thee, neither after thee shall any arise like unto thee. (1 Kings 3 KJV)

12הִנֵּה עָשִׂיתִי, כִּדְבָרֶיךָ; הִנֵּה נָתַתִּי לְךָ, לֵב חָכָם וְנָבוֹן, אֲשֶׁר כָּמוֹךָ לֹא-הָיָה לְפָנֶיךָ, וְאַחֲרֶיךָ לֹא-יָקוּם כָּמוֹךָ. (1 Kings 3 BHSox)

12הִנֵּה עָשִׂיתִי, כִּדְבָרֶיךָ; הִנֵּה נָתַתִּי לְךָ, לֵב חָכָם וְנָבוֹן, אֲשֶׁר כָּמוֹךָ לֹא-הָיָה לְפָנֶיךָ, וְאַחֲרֶיךָ לֹא-יָקוּם כָּמוֹךָ.
(1 Kings 3 WLC)

Here, God is extolling Solomon’s virtues and again has confirmed His gifts, to that King, of wisdom and understanding. What is additionally interesting to me in this verse is that God states that there will be no-one to follow like Solomon in this respect. This is saying to me that there WILL be someone to make pretence that they are like Solomon in these end-times.

So, going back to Revelation 13:18, I think it is arguable that the man referred to is King Solomon but that the end-times man referred to will either be called Solomon or will have some pretence to appear like that wise Old Testament King. However, I also find the tense of the wording strange in this context. Since King Solomon has already counted his talents to ‘let’ him count the number sounds like it is also a future not just a past act. If this is so then the number is also still to be counted. We also have the number of the beast AND the number of a man. It states that ‘his’ number is 666 not ‘their’ number. This would suggest that the man is King Solomon whose number is 666 but the number of the beast is yet to be established. Perhaps this is 616? The more I look at this verse more I am beginning to think that both numbers have power in different meanings.

Whilst I would not necessarily subscribe to all of its content, the following website demonstrates that I am certainly not the first person to have seen this connection:
https://humbleunderstanding.wordpress.com/2015/03/05/mark-of-the-beast-and-666-the-old-testament-connection/

Let us now add further fuel to this particular fire. Now I mentioned at the top of this section that there were two sets of Old Testament verses to consider, so let us have a look at that intriguing second set of verses about a man named Adonikam: 

13 The sons of Adonikam, six hundred and sixty six. (Ezra 2 GLT)
13בְּנֵי, אֲדֹנִיקָם--שֵׁשׁ מֵאוֹת, שִׁשִּׁים וְשִׁשָּׁה. (Ezra 2 BHSox)
13בְּנֵי, אֲדֹנִיקָם--שֵׁשׁ מֵאוֹת, שִׁשִּׁים וְשִׁשָּׁה.
(Ezra 2 WLC)

18 The sons of Adonikam [were] six hundred and sixty seven. (Nehemiah 7 GLT)
18בְּנֵי, אֲדֹנִיקָם--שֵׁשׁ מֵאוֹת, שִׁשִּׁים וְשִׁבְעָה. (Nehemiah 7 BHSox)
18בְּנֵי, אֲדֹנִיקָם--שֵׁשׁ מֵאוֹת, שִׁשִּׁים וְשִׁבְעָה.
(Nehemiah 7 WLC)

Well, there are a couple of obvious questions before we even start! Who on earth is Adonikam? I have to say that I have no idea and can only assume that it does not matter who he was for the sake of this matter. Maybe the real point is that the verse in Nehemiah gives the number of his sons as 667, which is one digit different from the number of his sons as 666 in the Ezra verse! Seven (
וְשִׁבְעָה) compares with six (וְשִׁשָּׁה). Again, I present two Hebrew codices to demonstrate that they are both identical. If this is the perfect Word of Jehovah, then this is no counting error. God is sending us a message here that all is not what it seems in the number 666. Which of Adonikam’s numbers is the correct one? I don’t know, do you?? Please send me your answers in a sealed envelope! I think this is absolute confirmation to me that God is telling us that both the numbers 666 and 616 have significance. If so, I can see unbelieving souls asking why wasn’t the number in Nehemiah ‘616’? Well, that would have been far too easy and obvious, thereby not requiring much ‘wisdom’ or ‘understanding’ methinks!

One possible (but not probable) logical explanation is that Adonikam’s line produced an additional son in the intervening years between Ezra’s writing (around 460 BC) and that of Nehemiah (some time after 443 BC). However, even if that were the case, this does not detract from the likelihood that this difference represents God’s sending us a coded message on the subject at hand.

Oh yes, and before anyone asks, I carried out a search for ‘616’ in the Old Testament. No occurrence was found thereby adding further credence to the number 666 being valid.
 

Conclusion

Going back to my receiving that sign presented at the top of this paper, together with the basic research carried out in the body of this paper, I think there is little doubt that we are being told that the number 666 has more import than the LWs have given to it to date. Thus far we have fixed our sights solely on the number 616. Also, the sign did not only present the number but also a spike in the graph. I can only imagine that that referred to our interpretation of how the number of the beast relates to Covid-19. The problem with the LW position currently is that we have numerous meanings for 616 but not one for 666. This represents a piece of research that we clearly must carry out. I have no answers at this juncture so watch this space for further developments!

 
Date of Publication: 8th May 2022