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Bible Encyclopedias

Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature

Number of the Beast

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in Revelation 13:18. This is described as "the number of a man," i.e. humanly computed, or according to some usual standard or mode, and to signify 666 (χξς, v. r. 616, χις ). The Beast is the world-power in its hostility to the kingdom of God. The number of the name is plainly the number made up by the numerical power of the letters composing the name added together... But here the proposed interpretations are multitudinous. That suggested by Irenaeus (Cf.F1. 1 v, c. 29, 30), followed by many Protestant interpreters among the rest, but very sceptically, by Alford is one of the (but not the) oldest, viz., λατεινος = Latin, i.e. beast, or kingdom λ 30, a 1, τ 300, ε 5; Ι 10, v 50, o 70, ς 200=666. Some have suggested αποστάης, with reference to Julian; Bossuet, Diocles Augustus; Hengstenberg, Adonikam, because it is said (Ezra 2:13) the sons of Adonikam were 666 (see Corn. ad loc.); Benary, נֵרוֹן קֵסִו, or, dropping the final nun in Nero, to suit the various reading, giving therefore either 666 or 616. This interpretation is favored by Stuart. Bengel refers the 666 to the number of years the Beast was to exercise his dominion; but that surely is not the number of his nanme (see Stuart's Com., on the Apoc. excurs. iv; and for the full literature on the subject, Rabett's'Lateinov; Clarke; on the same; and Thom's Number of the Beast). The first solution proposed above seems to be the best confirmed. On the subject of numbers generally, see Stuart's Com. on the Apoc., Introd. § 7, excurs. 2. (See REVELATION, BOOK OF).

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McClintock, John. Strong, James. Entry for 'Number of the Beast'. Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature. https://www.studylight.org/encyclopedias/eng/tce/n/number-of-the-beast.html. Harper & Brothers. New York. 1870.

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