Definition of 666
666 (Revelation 16:17-18) is the alarming number of the Beast revealed in Revelation 13:17-18. The False Prophet causes all people who want to buy or sell during the tribulation to get this number placed on their wrist or forehead. God casts the people who take this mark into the lake of fire because accepting this mark equals worshipping Satan.
What Does 666 (Revelation 16:17-18) Mean?
The connection with wisdom
So, what does it take to find what this number represents?
“Here is a call for wisdom: Let him who has understanding calculate the number of the beast. It is the number of a man. His number is six hundred and sixty-six” (Revelation 16:18).
God expects us to use wisdom and understanding to find the significance of this number. So, we’ll look for clues in God’s word, the Bible. And much of Revelation completes the Old Testament prophecy of Daniel. So that’s where we’ll start.
Who is The Beast?
The connection with a man
A person called “The Beast,” a.k.a. the Antichrist and ‘world ruler’ is associated with this number. He is the Satanically empowered person who appears after the rapture and at the beginning of the tribulation. The tribulation is a future seven-year period, a.k.a. Daniel’s seventieth week, when God pours His wrath out on earthdwellers (those who don’t believe in Jesus).
The Beast Will Oppose God and His People.
The Apostle Paul tells us that the Holy Spirit’s presence in the Church is currently delaying his appearance:
“Only He (the Holy Spirit) who is now restraining him (the Beast) will do so until He (the Holy Spirit) is taken out of the way (at the rapture of the Church). Then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord will consume with the breath of His mouth, and destroy with the brightness of His presence, even him, whose coming is in accordance with the working of Satan with all power and signs and false wonders” (2 Thessalonians 2:6-9).
So, once the Holy Spirit is removed, the world ruler will be revealed. The Holy Spirit will leave with the Church when the Church is raptured.
Why the Number 666?
The connection with an incomplete number (6)
Numbers in the Bible often have symbolic meanings. For example, the number seven signifies completeness. So, some Bible interpreters understand the number six to symbolize man not measuring up to God’s standards. These symbolic measurements hint at a tie-in with the number 666 from Revelation.
The Beast will also make a statue of gold in his image and place it in the rebuilt temple in Jerusalem (13:14-18).
The connection with the measurements (60 & 6) of Daniel’s statue
Nebuchadnezzar’s golden image in Daniel 2 & 3 helps us understand the number 666 (13:18). Nebuchadnezzar’s (King of Babylon circa 600 BC) dream in Daniel 2 revealed the pride in his heart–he ruled the known world! In many ways, Nebuchadnezzar typifies the future Antichrist, and God responds to him like He will to the future world ruler.
After seeing the glorious statue in his vision, Nebuchadnezzar had a golden statue made in his image (Dan 3:1). In the original Aramaic language, the Bible lists the statue’s measurements as 60 cubits in height and 6 cubits wide. He required everyone to bow down and pay homage to the image; if they didn’t, he slayed them (Daniel 3:5).
The connection with gold
God warned Israel’s future kings before they entered their Promised Land, Canaan:
“He (the king) shall not multiply wives for himself, or else his heart will turn away; nor shall he greatly increase silver and gold for himself” (Deuteronomy 17:16-17).
Compare this passage to the account of Solomon’s (a king of Israel, King David’s son, about a thousand years before Jesus appeared) wealth in 1 Kings 10:14. Obviously, Solomon disobeyed God’s commands against accumulating wives and gold:
“Now the weight of gold which came in to Solomon in one year was 666 talents of gold” (1 Kings 10:14).
6 is not a Round Number
The amount of wealth Solomon brought in is measured in round numbers for every other commodity as listed in 1 Kings 10:14-29:
• “Two hundred large shields of beaten gold made of six hundred shekels of gold.”
• “He made three hundred shields of beaten gold with three pounds of gold in each shield.”
• “He had one thousand four hundred chariots and twelve thousand horsemen.”
• “He brought chariots from Egypt at a price of six hundred shekels of silver and a horse for a hundred and fifty.”
666 seems too specific and coincidental; it was meant to attract attention. Maybe the Holy Spirit wanted us to notice this and ‘use wisdom’ when He used the same number.
The Antichrist and 666
The connection with worship
This future Beast is also known as the Antichrist. All except God’s people will worship him. The Beast places this mark where it’s difficult to hide. Without this mark, “No one was allowed to buy or sell things unless he bore the mark of the beast—that is, his name or his number” (Rev 13:17).
If a person doesn’t have this mark, the authorities will deny them what they need to survive.
Note: As with salvation, people only receive this mark willingly.
God Warns Do Not Worship the Beast
God warns His people not to worship the Beast. And taking his mark is worshiping him. When The Beast sets up a golden image of himself in the rebuilt temple, he profanes it, and people can no longer worship the true God until it’s cleansed and rededicated.
Note: The Jews will reintroduce temple sacrifices and a Jewish religious system during the seven-year tribulation after Jesus raptures His Church (He takes His church home).
The number of the man, The Beast, is six hundred sixty-six (666)
The correspondence between Solomon’s gold, Nebuchadnezzar’s statue, its measurements, and its worship is intriguing. This will be important for God’s people to know in the tribulation.
God warns the earth dwellers of the tribulation time not to take the mark. If they do, there will be eternal consequences.
“If anyone worships the Beast and his image, and receives a mark on his forehead or on his hand, he also will drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is mixed in full strength in the cup of His anger; and he will be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb. And the smoke of their torment goes up forever and ever; they have no rest day and night…. Here is the perseverance of the saints who keep the commandments of God and their faith in Jesus” (Revelation 17:9-12).
The connection with the tribulation years
In the tribulation, God’s people must know these teachings to stay faithful.
Meanwhile, Jesus commands Christians to stay alert and be looking and praying for His return (Mark 13:32-37):
“He (Jesus) who testifies to these things says, “Yes, I am coming quickly.” Amen. Come, Lord Jesus” (Revelation 22:20).
If you’re an “earth dweller,” please know that Jesus satisfied God’s wrath by sacrificing Himself and dying on the cross. He promises that the person who believes in Him has eternal life. And God—who cannot lie—promises never to take it away.
To find out more about salvation, please watch the video on this page. Be saved today!