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The Number of the Beast is described in the Book of Revelation 13:17-18. The original Greek reads:
καὶ ἵνα μή τις δύνηται ἀγοράσαι ἢ πωλῆσαι εἰ μὴ ὁ ἔχων τὸ χάραγμα, τὸ ὄνομα τοῦ θηρίου ἢ τὸν ἀριθμὸν τοῦ ὀνόματος αὐτοῦ. Ὧδε ἡ σοφία ἐστίν· ὁ ἔχων νοῦν ψηφισάτω τὸν ἀριθμὸν τοῦ θηρίου· ἀριθμὸς γὰρ ἀνθρώπου ἐστί· καὶ ὁ ἀριθμὸς αὐτοῦ χξϛʹ.
The King James translates:Revelation 13:17-18
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.
In the Greek manuscripts, the Number is rendered in Greek numerical form as χξϛʹ, or sometimes literally as ἑξακόσιοι ἑξήκοντα ἕξ, hexakósioi hexēkonta héx, “six hundred and sixty-six".
Mark of commerceEdit
- And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: 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. Rev. 13:16-17 (KJV)
Futurist eschatology typically holds that the Mark of the Beast is one way in which the Antichrist will exercise power over the Earth during the period of Tribulation, because of the prophetic statement in Revelation 13:16-17 that "the Beast" (θηριον will require all people to receive the mark (χάραγμα "branded mark or character") in their right hands or foreheads in order to buy or sell, making survival for those on the run much more difficult. A possible translation of the meaning of the number 666 may be: the number 666 will be the number that all currency will be based upon. Exact interpretations of this vary widely. For example:
- Some Christians interpret the mark as a requirement for all commerce to mean that the mark might actually be an object with the function of a credit card (eg. RFID).
- Steven D. Miller proposes that the mark of the beast may refer to a social security number or card.
- Terry Watkins supposes the mark to be a microchip and or barcode on the human body.
Some support this barcode theory through reference to the guard bars found in some common barcode systems such as the UPC. The rationale relies on interpreting each of the groups of guard bars as a '6', even though they are not encoded as a '6' using the barcode system. Yet, the only number that shares the end bars pattern of bar, space, bar is the number 6.
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