Monday, January 30, 2017

What is the mark of the beast? Is it 666, or 777, or SSS? What numeric symbols will Satan use, Hindu-Arabic? Jewish? Greek? Chinese?

One thing that makes my head paused and then grind is when I hear a preacher talk about numbers. There’s the fear that the social security number, credit card number, the HUMID card, etc. are omens of the end of days and that these numbers are evil because it portends the arrival of the beast. In the preacher's belief, these numbers are the precursor to the mark of the beast, the dreaded 666.

The dreaded mark

Try as hard as I can to switch off my critical thinking head (or Satan’s voice) I cannot help but think.

Christianity has its own numerology, the belief that numbers have mystical relationship with the divine. 

There are a lot of numbers mentioned in the Bible and some of them are:

3 for resurrection, trinity
4 for the four corners of the earth
6 for imperfection
7 for the seven days of creation/perfection.
12 for the twelve tribes
40 for the forty days after Jesus rose from the dead
And so on.

These numbers have been studied, decoded and interpreted by laymen and scholars of all  ages and theological persuasions. Because these numbers have been granted mystical and spiritual meanings, not by the Scripture itself but by the interpreters and the mystics, it sprouted mysticism and superstitions. But I would leave it at that. If you’re interested about what these numbers mean and the mysteries behind them, try Wikipedia for a start. I will not dwell on the numerology, instead I will ask some basic linguistic questions especially about the mark of the beast, the dreaded 666.

First is it the number, the literal figure or the concept behind the number that really matters.

Numbers are symbols which in themselves are meaningless. Think of it as a currency or money that we use to exchange ideas instead of merchandise. Whatever the origins of these symbols are doesn’t really matter in the discussion, but the fact is that they exist and they are part of our language and for each symbols, through social agreement or laws, etc. are assigned values. So, like currencies, its value is limited to those who are participants in these agreement of value assignments and naturally, like currencies, these numerical symbols have no meaning to the people who does not recognize or assign value to these figures, they are not participant to the language game (Wittgenstein).

1. In what language was the Bible written?

The Old Testament is written in Hebrew. So, what are the numerical symbols in Hebrew?

Let us see the chart below:

Supposed Satan and his cohorts arrived and started stamping people with the figures resembling that of 777, which is really 666 in Hebrew, the language the OT was written, which on the other hand corresponds to the number of perfection in our modern numeric system as written in the English Bibles. How should the common non-Hebrew literate Christians respond? I mean, I hope they would not line up to be marked because they have been told that 7 is God’s number!

Of course, since the Bible is pretty old, these numeric symbols maybe different from the chart, it could be similar to number 4, who cares, but the idea is there. Is it about the actual number or is it the concept, the idea behind it?

Lets try the Greek, the language of the New Testament.

According to the Greek chart, the equivalent of the Hindu-Arabic 6 is similar to our “s”. So, when the beast and his cohorts arrives and started stamping people with SSS or what looks like it, what should be the response since it is really 666 but the Beast ,because he’s Satan and he's smart and found a way to get around the number rules, used the Greek numeric symbol to dupe Christians into being stamped because they have been brainwashed to fear the Hindu-Arabic  number 666.

The argument could go on using the same line of reasoning, should the Chinese watch out for 666 or Chinese characters corresponding to the number 666, the Japanese, Koreans, Thais, and other people that do not use the English alphabet and the Hindu-Arabi numeral system.

Of course, it could be argued that since the Hindu-Arabic is what is commonly used in the world especially in transactions, it is only logical that 666 would be used. But then this proves that it is not the literal symbol, number, that really counts, because the original number is written in Hebrew or Greek or Aramaic which is translated into the Hindu-Arabic characters, then it is all about the idea behind the number. I mean, I could go on…but do the math.

Of course there's a real, factual, historical explanation for the number 666. Well, you dont have to go to the library and take out a tome about it, just google it.

Now, am I the only who have asked these questions. I supposed not...But personally, whether it is 666, 777, 888, 999...doesn't matter personally to me. Evil is not as mysterious as some would have it, evil  does not have the need for mystery. It is out there in the glaring light of daylight and the dark of night, identifiable by the naked eye and by the blind, slavery, war, poverty, apathy, religious fanaticism, bigotry, etc.

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