Joseph D. L. wrote: ↑
Thu Mar 05, 2020 5:45 pm
rakovsky wrote: ↑
Thu Mar 05, 2020 5:30 pm
Sure. My theory is that it refers to both the gematrial number of a particular man, like you said, and it also refers to the number of Man, that is, it has a spiritual or allegorical meaning as well, as D. Wallace theorizes.
But your argument is entirely lopped sided. You're arguing that only obscure translations give it correctly, but that this doesn't effect the overall meaning of the passage when it does.
You want to eat your cake and have it to.
Most scholars consider it a coincidence. These same scholars who interpret Revelation
13:18 as being "a man
Again, you want to have it both ways.
Yes, I want to eat my cake and have it two/too.
So I am interpreting both meanings as in the text.
Revelation uses alot of OT images and figures, like the commander Magog at Armageddon being a commander in the apocalyptic battle in the Book of Ezekiel.
So John was familiar with the TaNaKh and did not just see the 666 as a pure coincidence. After all, supposing, as likely is the case, that he was thinking of Nero, why not say Nero instead of "Caesar Nero", which is the one that adds up to 666 in Gematria?
It's kind of like the 144 issue. I think that it is not just a coincidence that 144 is used to refer to a holy community in two different places in Revelation - one place being the 144,000 righteous Israelites and the other place being the 144 cubits of the heavenly city. I think that John was aware of these coincidences.
In Rabbinical understanding of Bible verses, there are actually 4 levels of interpretation of a verse. One is the plain meaning, another is the allegorical meaning, and there are two more besides.
Also, there is alot of ambiguity in Greek Christian writing.
Take for instance the Nicene teaching that we believe that Christ rose on the Third Day according to the Scriptures.
It's ambiguous. Certainly it means that the rising was according to the Scriptures, but does the statement also mean that the rising specifically on the third day was according to the scriptures. In other words, according to the Scriptures, is the rising to be on the third day?
That's kind of like "Man/ a man" in Revelation. If you say that according to the Scriptures He is supposed to rise on the third day, then where exactly does it say that? Hosea 6 is the only place where it's specific, and Psalm 16 probably applies because it demands a 1st-3rd day resurrection implicitly. But the place where a rising on the third day is specified in the NT is apparently the story of Jonah, which in a plain reading doesn't mention anything about the Messiah or a third day resurrection. You are stuck reading passages and terms as having more than one meaning I think. Even if the Tanakh writers didn't intend these things (eg. Jonah's story as pointing to the Messiah), the NT writers like the author of Revelation did think in these terms of dual meanings.
So what we are considering here is:
Is there a connection between the number of talents of gold brought to Solomon for the Temple's construction (666) being the same as the number of the beast or AntiChrist in Revelation?
In describing the building of the Temple, Josephus says: "The weight of the gold that was brought to Soiomon him was six hundred and sixty-six talents, not including what was brought by the merchants or the gifts which the governors and the kings of Arabia sent to him."(Book VIII)
Similarly, 1 Kings 10 says:
14. Now the weight of gold that came to Solomon in one year was six hundred threescore and six talents of gold,
15. Beside that he had of the merchantmen, and of the traffick of the spice merchants, and of all the kings of Arabia, and of the governors of the country.
Revelation 13:17-18 says,
"And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name. Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is six hundred threescore and six."
So whereas Solomon received 666
gold talents annually, in the prophecy of Revelation, in order to buy or sell, a person would need to have the number of the beast's name, 666.
JTaum on Hermeneutics Stack Exchange theorizes:
If we look back at the law for kings in Deuteronomy 17, It prohibits the king from multiplying horses and chariots, wives, and wealth. This is exactly what Solomon is doing in 1 Kings 10-11. Chapter ten begins by commending his great wisdom, but then steps through his decline - that is, he begins violating the rules for kings by multiplying gold (666 talents a year), multiplying horses and chariots, and finally multiplying wives who turn his heart away from following YHWH. He sets up centers of false worship for all the foreign gods of his wives. So, the number 666 is associated with Solomon in his fall, his abuse of power, and his turning away from true worship of YHWH.
Julian Farrington theorized on the Quora website:
The link with Solomon, I believe is that Solomon was accounted as the wisest man on Earth, yet Jesus said ‘the Queen of Sheba traveled from the uttermost part of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon, and yet ONE GREATER than Solomon is here”. It’s in the same passage that Jesus was referring to the Queen of Sheba’s travels, that we learn Solomon was paid 666 talents of Gold in a year. It’s pretty likely that some of that would have come from Sheba for hearing his wisdom. Jesus also said that ‘The flowers of the field don’t work for money or make their own clothes, but that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these”.
Solomon has wisdom, but he ended up using his wisdom to make money, and that (according to Jesus) is NOT wisdom. Jesus taught that we should not work for money, but work for God (Matthew 6:24), and if we do this, God will feed and clothes us (Matthew 6:25–34). The mark of the beast relates directly to this, we’re either going to work for God, and live by faith, or we’re going to (as Solomon did), place our faith in money, and take the mark.
So the idea in the Gospels is that Christ has greater wisdom than Solomon, who was famous for his wisdom
and who multiplied his gold in violation of Deuteronomy 17 by getting gold annually in the amount of 666 talents. It's no coincidence in my view that Revelation 13:18 calls for "wisdom" when it demands understanding the number 666.
The Wikipedia article on "666" notes that "In the Bible, 666 is the number of Adonikam's descendants who return to Jerusalem and Judah from the Babylonian exile (see Ezra 2:13)." Elilabs' article on "Adonikam" notes:
Ne 7:18 The children of Adonikam, six hundred threescore and seven.
The discrepancy [between the numbers in Ezra 2:13 and Ne 7:18] is that the number reported this time [in Ne 7] is 667, not 666. This is not really a discrepancy after all, as this second number is just counting Adonikam along with his descendants.
Adonikam was a noble under Artaxerxes sent from Babylon to Jerusalem to rebuild the Temple. He is thus analogous to the craftsmen under Hiram in the time of Solomon.
So in both cases the TaNakh was connecting 666 with the building of the Temple. Under Solomon when Solomon was building the Temple, 666 talents of gold arrived, and during the rebuilding of the second temple, Adonikam arrived, and in his wake 666 of his descendants arrived.
More evidence that 666 is treated as having a dual meaning shows up conceptually, as well as in Irenaeus' dual use of the number.
Conceptually, man and beast are both associated with the number 6, since they were made on the 6th day.
Genesis 1 has:
24. And God said, Let the earth bring forth the living creature after his kind, cattle, and creeping thing, and beast of the earth after his kind: and it was so.
25. And God made the beast of the earth after his kind, and cattle after their kind, and every thing that creepeth upon the earth after his kind: and God saw that it was good.
26. And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness
Further, the idea that 666, as a threesome or trinity, would symbolize mankind or a man, deifying himself, setting himself up as God, would go along with the Roman emperor depicting himself as an emperor-god.
Evert Jan Hempenius writes in his outline, "Revelation 13:11-18 -Who is afraid of the number 666? Be wise": "For it is man's number." Hempenus notes that in Revelation the AntiChrist portrays himself as divine, and he notes about the Antichrist setting himself up as god in the Temple in the NT:
The first beast wore blasphemous names, like “god,” “lord,” and “saviour.” It is about a man who wants to be like god, to be God himself. It is the root of all sins that man wants to be like god.
▪ When we look back at the first encounter with the serpent and dragon in Genesis 3, we read: “The serpent said to the woman. “For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil” (Gen 3:5). Read also 2 Thessalonians 2:3, 4: “Let no one deceive you in any way. For that day will not come, unless the rebellion comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction, who opposes and exalts himself against every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, proclaiming himself to be God.”
This connection between the AntiChrist and the temple would go along with the two other usages of 666 in the Bible, associated with the First and Second Temples.
In his essay "Demystifying the number of the beast in the book of revelation: examples of ancient cryptology and the interpretation of the “666” conundrum", M G. Michael does a good job reviewing what he calls the symbolic-theological interpretation of 666, seeing it as symbolizing man's number in a bad way. He quotes St. Irenaeus who holds a symbolic view of 666 as well as modern writers. Irenaeus was from Asia Minor and was writing about 75 years after the apostle John, who was on the Island of Patmos next to Asia Minor, so Irenaeus has some value as an authority on Revelation. Supposedly Polycarp was a colleague of John, the author of Revelation and was also a teacher of Irenaeus, which creates a link of teaching between Irenaeus and John.
M.G. Michael quotes Irenaeus as seeing 666 as the "sum" of Noah's 600 years of age before the flood, the 60 cubit height of Nebudchadnezzar's statue and the 6 cubit width of the statue's base, thus pointing to the number as a symbol of wickedness and apostasy. Michael also noted that Irenaeus also related 666 to people's names, not just to symbols of wickedness.
So Irenaeus saw 666 as having both a symbolic meaning and as referring to specific persons' names.