Who is the Beast of Revelation 13? Ben Witherington

gyum atria what is it no it's not any

kind of pizza it's a Hebrew word for the

use of symbolic numbers one of the

things you learn when you study not only

Biblical prophecy but you still study

early Judaism as Jews were fascinated

with symbolic numbers and there are a

variety of numbers that were symbolic

numbers the number three number seven

was the number of perfection the number

ten the number twelve multiples of 12

like 144,000 gematria is not only the

use of symbolic numbers but it's when

you are actually assigning a numerical

value to letters of the Hebrew or the

Greek alphabet okay so let's deal with

that famous number 666 in the book of

Revelation though we have some variant

texts that have it as six one six I'll

explain that in a minute the way that

gematria works is that you've assigned a

numerical value to each of the letters

of the Hebrew alphabet okay and so let's

take a name like the name David you

would add up the numerical value of D

and then of the equivalent of the letter

V and then again of D and that would be

the number of David the name David would

have a certain numerical value based on

the numbers you've assigned to the

alphabet well that's what we're actually

dealing with when we're dealing with 666

and here's the most interesting part

there were plenty of coins minted by the

Roman Emperor in the 1st century AD that

had the following inscription which said

things like nay Ron Kaiser Divi Philly a

gusty and what that means is Nero Caesar

the son of the divine

now if you were to add up the numerical

value of that particular inscription in

Latin you would come up with the number


so who's mr. 666 well according to the

author of Revelation he's a Nero like

figure whether it's Nero in particular

or or he's just the symbol for the

persecutor of Christians the Antichrist

figure who persecutes Christians or not

but here's the other interesting bit the

other inscription you might have in the

eastern part of the Empire would read

Nero Kaiser Divi fili

Augusta in other words there would be

the letter what we would call the letter

n that's not there well if you add up

the numerical value of that that's six

one six okay that's where the textual

variants come from from the eastern end

of the Empire so either way whether it's

six six six or six one six the numerical

value of this adds up to a name and the

name it adds up to is the name of Nero

the emperor of the Roman Empire in the

60s it was the first famous persecutor

of the church when Christians thought of

an anti-christian figure they thought of

Nero of course they did and some of them

when Domitian at the end of the first

century AD started doing the same thing

they thought always Nero back from the


here's Antichrist part 2 the sequel what

we're being told is that this is a world

ruler who is systematically persecuting

prosecuting and executing Christians and

that that is a very bad thing now the

author of Revelation John of Patmos

believes that human history in the

future is not going to be rather

different from human history in his own

day he believes that probably human

history is going to culminate with a

really wicked ruler who looks a lot like

Nero in his

behavior towards Christians this is a

description of the character of the

person it's not naming the actual human

name of the person it's describing the

character of that final wicked ruler of

the world and saying you better watch

out because he's coming Christians you

need to be prepared to be persecuted one

of the things about the book of

Revelation that makes it so actually

incompatible with the dispensational

interpretation of all this is that the

author of Revelation is going to say to

us be prepared to go through the

tribulation be prepared to be persecuted

and even executed Revelation is the book

of the martyrs it's it's it even uses

the Greek verb Nicolle which means to

conquer or to overcome to refer to being

faithful unto death and into death to

the faith of Jesus Christ it's the book

of the martyr so mister 666 one more

time who is he he's a world ruler that's

bad to the bone wicked through and

through and looks a lot like the

behavior of Nero or the character of

Nero and what we know about him is he's

going down for the count once and for

all when the rider on the white horse

Jesus comes