Today, gematria is well-known as a Jewish interpretive method that assigns the numerical values of Hebrew letters to words, phrases, and/or sentences. Then, by adding those values together, it seeks to determine the “deeper meaning” of the text. Sometimes that connection is far-fetched, but sometimes it is quite clear. Surprisingly in some way it is traceable even to the NT times.

In Matthew’s genealogy (which shows that Jesus was a descendant of King David) we read:

“Thus there were fourteen generations in all from Abraham to David, fourteen from David to the exile to Babylon, and fourteen from the exile to the Messiah.” (Mathew 1:17).

The numerical value of the Hebrew characters forming the name of the great King of Israel – David (דוד) is 14.

This is how it works 14 = (4) ד (4) + ו (6) + ד

Matthew uses genealogy to intentionally tie Jesus to David numerically (through a gematria of 14) three times. His point is that Jesus is the son of David, i.e. the Messiah.

In the Book of Revelation, we read, “Here is wisdom. Let him who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for the number is that of a man; and his number is six hundred and sixty-six.” (Rev. 13:18). The author clearly says that the number of the beast can be calculated, which is a clear hint to do exactly that.

Although the beast of Revelation is almost certainly not limited to the first-century, near the time of Revelation’s composition there was a blood-thirsty persecutor of the early Christ-followers – Nero.  His name and title in Hebrew (Nero Ceasar – נרון קסר) has a numeric value of 666. According to tradition, both Peter and Paul were martyred during his reign.

It is likely that Nero was a symbolic figure of all future government-sponsored persecutions (people like Hitler, Stalin, Al Bagdadi, among many others). If the original identification of the beast as Emperor Nero is correct, this would explain why some early manuscripts of the Book of Revelation have 616 instead of 666 as the number of the beast. The difference likely arose from spelling Nero’s name as it was pronounced in Latin instead of Hebrew. In its Latin pronunciation, the “nun” (which has a numerical value of 50) was dropped in seeking to help readers not to confuse the identity of the godless Roman emperor with someone else. Hence we get 616 in some later manuscripts rather than 666 in earlier (original) ones. There are even more hidden treasures just waiting for you to unearth when you begin to read the scriptures from a Jewish perspective.

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172 COMMENTS

  1. You indicated it is likely but this does not mean your 100% sure. I have read revelations and it appears to mean the end of the times (world) If you look around us you see what in the past no one could have believed, we have credit cards that serve as cash, animals can now get a chip installed in their body to keep track of them. Revelations talks about a world currency and Rev states: no one could buy or sell without this mark. So it is not inconceivable that the mark could be a chip or other item
    • Hmmm? Not. Necessarily. The translation is aeon for end of age not end of the world. Microchips is not the mark either. One must consider dispensationalism to aid in the breakdown of scripture. Rev states the mark is in the forehead or right hand. Do more Old Testament research to understand (exodus). It’s deeper than we think. God has seals and marks so we must know the difference. “My sheep shall hear my voice “. Peace & Blessings Barbara

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    • Actually, revelation quite regularly suggests that what it's talking about is near or soon to the hearers. John writes to seven churches in Asia of his day addresses concerns they are facing and tells them what to expect soon. John also contrasts his revelation with Daniel, Daniel's was told to seal up his words because they related to the end. John, by contrast, is told not to seal it because it relates to something soon. So, its dubious to say Revelation is about the end of the world, or 21st-century political events.

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    • The original recipients were told plainly the events must soon take place the time is near, see Rev.1:1,3, 22:6,10. A first century fulfillment reveals Jesus as purchaser and implementer of the new covenant through his life, atoning work & predictions of and judgment on apostate Judaism for trying to continue on in old covenant activity.

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    • In most countries you need some form of number, I.e. identification number (social security number), to open a bank account or any other account. You need this number to buy a house. According to me we basically past the point of return. The chip is just another step to which you’re number will be linked.

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    • I believe it is a chip in your right hand or your forehead. This is happening already. I believe it will be mandatory after the Rapture. Jesus has to come for the bride first.
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    • I'd have to disagree to an extent. I openly and honestly admit I dont have all the answers and I dont understand all things in scripture. However I read revelation a bit differently. The mark is IN not on his forehead or hand a representation of Thoughts and Actions. Worship.....
  2. maybe I'm wrong, but prophecy and stories can be cyclical and can happen at different levels over and over in time with different characters. Do you apply biblical stories to your personal life experience, national experience, or spiritual experience? There's nothing new under the sun.
    • I agree with you in the point that there is nothing we can do about things we don't have any control over. In the perilous times that are upon us and about to come, It is only through our faith and a intimate relationship with our "abba"(Father), that will hold us together. Here's a prayer that they use in drug rehabilitation clinics: (God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; Courage to change the things I can; and Wisdom to know the difference). Thank you Dr Eli for providing us an insight into wisdom.

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  3. Well we already have companies demanding that their workers have chips in them for payroll purposes (clocking and out), insurance information and personal data. There are stores that have chip readers where you can scan your chip to purchase. They used to have a commercial touting the arrival of this technology showing a man stuffing meat packages in his pants and then walking out of the store through the security scanners without any of the store employees blinking. But it was quickly pulled a month into the campaign.
    • Cyn, hi. I think this is missing the point. The issue is not the technology, but the rule of God's Law/Word. Making a purchase via credit card with or without a chip is not ungodly, making a purchase with cash that used child or underpaid workers in China is.

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    • in the hand implies the work we do, ( whether we work on the Sabbath or not), in the forehead implies our thoughts--, speech-
  4. Sir your course is superb but one small request .If possible plz provide that course with no cost even for few students. Thank you very much. Really I am enjoying with your explainations.
    • All of our discussions are completely free. But Israel Bible Center needs to be able to handle the operational budget. Shouldn't people that work be able to pay their bills? So, it can't be free, but we made as inexpensive as possibly can make it. I suggest that you look for sponsors who can help you (or friends who can split the cost with you).

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  5. This is a very interesting perspective and I agree that it is possible (I'm not God, I don't know for certain either!) that Nero could have served as a symbol, much in the way many first occurrences in biblical history serve as symbols for greater atrocities that came or are coming later. Prophecy is difficult to interpret; we should all approach it with humility as I believe you did in this article. Thank you for sharing your unique and fresh perspective on this challenging piece of spiritually-inspired literature.
  6. Persecution should be viewed in Revelation as within the history of Jewish and Christian persecution by not only pagan Rome, but by its offspring namely the Papacy and the Roman Catholic Church as well as those who are the daughters of Babylon. It's very interesting to see the reference of Nero to 666, but it doesn't stop there. One of the titles of the Pope also counts to 666. Your point about Sunday worship not being an issue is not completely correct, since it is related to the papal change of the Torah of God and the Shabbat.
    • Well... may I be a bit of devil's advocate here so to speak for few moments? :-) I agree that all kinds of people from Michael Garbochiov to Henry Kissenger to Obama and Trump got the 666 connection attached to their names by some. BUT 616 version of Revelation points to the fact that early Christians thought 666 was about Nero (see my argument above) and none of other candidates I mention here including the Pope of Rome was alive in the first century.

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    • The problem with this sort of thinking is that the original readers didn't have a clue who this pope you are writing about was.

      The writer of Revelation is writing about events in the first century that people knew about - otherwise it was just gobbledeegook to them.

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  7. Thanks Dr. Eli for helping me to understand things much better. Learning to look at things from an historical Jewish setting really brightens the room. I look forward to getting your new book.
  8. To say St. John wrote The Book Of Revelation being a letter written to the early Christians who were suffering at the hands of Nero, & his number was the equivalent of 616/666 is untrue. It wasn't possible to link the number of the beast to Nero for the simple reason. Nero ruled Rome & persecuted the Christians from 37 AD to 68 AD. Domitian, ruled from 81 AD to 96 AD. The Book Of Revelation was written during the rule of Domitian (circa 90 AD).
    • All the New Testament was completed before 70 CE. We can infer this because none of them make mention of its destruction other than in prophecy (Yeshua). Inference is a weak form of logic, however in this case the event would have been so significant there is no way it would not have received comment. Revelation 11 speaks of a Temple as if it is there, not as if rebuilt. No New Testament books speak of the destruction of the Temple. So to say as some do they were written decades after the event is false.

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  9. Okay, what is strange to me is why 616 didn’t give me a deeper meaning. I see you calculated 4 + 6 + 4. I need to understand what 4 means. 4= creation - separate day from night? The original problem does reemerge. There was both dark and light, but I learned to identify with the darkness. Or 4=Sabbath rest? Yes, I was resting because His Victory (the foundation) is different than my work (what is being built upon the foundation). I am glad you do this!!!!!!!! #ItsVeryComplicated
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