Who hasn’t heard of those infamous three numbers, six six six? They have been embedded in popular culture ever since “The Omen” was released back in the seventies. In the movie, the story was told of a boy born under questionable circumstances, that bore three sixes on his head. Upon further investigation, his “father” discovered that he as really a Demon whose intentions were the destruction of humanity.
But how much truth is there to that story? In the movie, there were several Bible passages from the Book of Revelation that were quoted regarding those three numbers. Was that accurate, or was that Hollywood?
The Book of Revelation, according to many biblical scholars, was written as a coded message of hope to the then heavily persecuted Christians. Heavily coded because the author feared that if the Christians were caught with a text that was considered subversive to the Roman government, they would be executed. So it had to be written in a kind of code. The code that was used was a form of symbolic writing, called “Apocalyptic Style” of writing. It was considered by many to be widely used between 200 BC and 200 AD. And because it was used in the Book of Daniel, the author of the Book of Revelation figured that the Christians would be able to interpret the message.
Of the many symbols in Revelation is the infamous 666. What does it mean? There are two things to consider that will make it clear. The first is that degree adverbs were seldom used in the original language. Degree adverbs are words like “very” or “completely.” Usually if they wanted to say something was very big, they would simply repeat the adjective three times. Big big big. If you’ve ever been to a Catholic Mass, this method is still used today when Catholics sing “Holy Holy Holy Lord…”
The second is that the number seven represents perfection, or completeness, in biblical numerical symbology. So six, therefore, is less than perfect, or imperfect. And when you want to say something is “very imperfect,” using biblical numerical symbology, that of course translates into “imperfect imperfect imperfect,” or 666.
So when the author of Revelation described the evil leader of Rome as having the number 666, he was saying that the leader of Rome was a very bad man.