Emperor Nero's Number
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Emperor Nero's Number
(Revelation 13.18)
Page 195

"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 13.18)✞

Hebrew Letters Read

Nero Letters = 666"The number of a man." may be translated as "humanity’s number." Numbers were used by John of Patmos to identify a person, in this case Nero, without the Roman authorities knowing. Technically, assigning a numerical value to a name, word or phrase based on its letters was known as "gematria." One of the most plausible answers to the question of the meaning of the number 666 may have been under our noses as a reference to the Emperor Nero. In the Nineteenth Century, James Austin Bastow (1810-1894), a Primitive Methodist Minister in Lancashire England, identified the number as having a symbolic correlation to the Emperor Nero. The first readers of Revelation probably thought that 666 was an oblique reference to the Emperor Nero because of the great persecution he undertook upon the Christian Faith. At the very least, "666" was thought of as the "number of imperfection", in contrast to "777" which was regarded as the number of perfection and completeness. Nero symbolized all the evils of the Roman Empire. The Greek name "Nero" transliterated into Hebrew letters reads, "NERON KESAR" which has the numeric value of "50+200+6+50+100+60+200" adding up to "666"!✞

616 or 666?

Six hundred and Sixty SixA few early manuscripts had the number "616" in place of "666" and this strangely also further pointed to the Emperor Nero. While the Greek form of Nero's name adds up to "666" the Latin form of Nero's name adds up amazingly to "616" and reinforces this conclusion! "Papyrus 115" which was the oldest preserved manuscript of the Book of Revelation from c317 AD as well as other ancient sources like "Codex Ephraemi Rescriptus" give the number of the Beast as "616" not "666." Another very early manuscript had "616" written out in full as "six hundred and sixteen"! It was interesting to note that "888" was the Greek number for Jesus by the same calculation and that "777" is commonly accepted as the number for "completeness!" Whatever specific application the number 666 or 616 was given, whether to Adolf Hitler or the world's unified governments or Emperor Nero or not, it symbolized worldwide dominion and the complete evil of an unholy force designed to undo Christ's work and overthrow his followers by deceit.

"Emperor Nero's Number"
by Ron Meacock © 2018

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