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 – נרונקסר) 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.



  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

      • Just spitballin’ off of your point… could the abomination of desolation be like the “singularity” sought for the purpose of immortality apart from God? The idea is abominable. God saw what He created on day 6 and called it very good, and it’s application would bring forth desolation since It would leave dead bodies with attributes of the same uploaded, sans Imago Dei. If twins are separate persons, but are physically identical down to their genetic code, it would suggest that the singularity would seem effective if one sought immortality. Like mediums believe demonic impersonations are human spirits.

        • False you speak of preterism but the 200,000,000 horseman is not symbolism it is the number so no they aren’t the Parthian’s Revelation is not written until 89-95 A. D. on the Island of Patmos John as was custom was released in 95 A. D. With the death of the Ceasar who put him in Prison John died soon after but not before the Scroll of Revelation was being widely circulated so it is not history of a war between Rome and Parthia. It is future the Letters were to actual churches already established but also to the Church age.

      • Thanks MeMe and thanks to you too Barbara for if you didn’t bring that up, we might not have had what we now have in terms of looking for answers.
        MeMe I believe that what you say is what should guide believers so that we do not fall into the trap of being ‘deceived by those who will come into the world’. It is of GOD, it will not be superficial, but relevant in righteousness and in truth.

      • Dr. Eli. I love the insight of the spiral. It really helps put a lot of things into better perspective. As His Word is ever-living, I understand passages in the time that it was written and how it applies to them, to us today, and the future of mankind. Shalom

    • 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.

        • 616 and 666 are both correct,the time for the revelation to be revealed is near,Adonai has sealed his servant’s and revealed the meaning,no one has ever been correct, gematria has nothing to do with it, it just is what it is,the world will be horrified,pray for strength against temptation, take the good seed and let it sink deep,in the words of Elyahu-“how long halt ye between two opinions, if YHVH be Elohim follow him,but if baal,then follow him-my friends you can’t have it both ways.

    • 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.

    • 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.

        • You’re both right. We must make sure we don’t confuse the actual Mark of the Beast with any underlying technology used to implement it. If you believe in the imminence of Christ’s , then Christ *COULD HAVE* returned at any time, including the first century. If the Mark of the Beast had been implemented in the first century, then all that would have been needed was the technology of that day. One could have presumably marked themselves with the number 666, by whatever means, as an INTENTIONAL act of worship of the Antichrist.

    • 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.

    • You are correct. The FDA has approved the use of verichip in humans. It is a 16 digit passive rfid. The “number of a man” cam be linked to his bank account, just the same as a 16 digit credit card number. It allows a consumer to scan their hand at the register and pay for their purchases. The verichip is in many Americans today. May God have mercy on us. Trust in Jesus. Avoid the verichip, even if you’re not allowed to buy food without it. God provides. Trust Him. The day of The Lord approaches quickly. Be ready.

  2. I agree with the words above me. Of all the stuff going on in the world, you have to be blind not to see what is going on .

  3. 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.

      • Is Revelation cyclical? I doubt this! Revelation is an apocalyptic literature. apocalyptic languages are encoded. The statements are prophetic and when dealing with prophecy they are exact and specific in detail. To give multiple meanings and multiple application is just missing what prophecy is all about.

        • I humbly think that you should really reconsider your linear view on prophecy. There are plenty of prophecies that have multiple fulfillment.

          • I admit this is not my best subject; but I’ve followed fairly well. If Revelation is not prophetic for now/the future, where in history/and or the Bible do we account for the Seven Seals being opened? Also, the 144, 000? Interesting!! Thanks.

          • Remember that in Jewish thought, history is not linear nor circular, but spiral like. A prophecy can speak about past, present and future simultaneously.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

    • 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

      • According to modern scholarship most of the New Testament (apart from the true Pauline letters) were written AFTER the destruction of the Temple – including ALL the gospels and Revelation.

        Which is interesting as Paul never read a gospel.

        • Scholarship tends to be self serving. And a higher degree in false theology is still false. Being Messianic, I consider what everyone says, but I only believe what passes through the fire many times unscathed. And there is no solid evidence for what you say.

  10. 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

      • Hello Dr. Eli, my name is William, I have a statement to make, hopefully not out of ignorance but time will tell. I read in Ezra 2:13, that Adonikam’s return number is 666, and his name mean’s LORD of high rising, ( to me this speaks of resurrection in Christ Jesus, the highest rising ). So then looking at the name of Allah ( or it’s equivalent ) which means Lord of rising, could there be an Antichrist that comes from this lineage or at the very least utilize this scripture as fact to deceive ALL. I thank you!

        • Hi, Bill! I think this interpretation can join a list of another 50 like this (or more). Now… the amount of them should make is realize that we don’t really know. But we don’t need to. All we need to be is vigilant and godly. We do not need to worry about anything else.

        • The AC will be Assyrian (Micah 5:5-6). And the Assyrian people are still a viable ethnic group. Since the Assyrian Empire included mostly modern Syria and Iraq, both now Muslim countries, Islam could well be the vehicle by which he comes to power.

  11. i believe that things are.. and will continue-to get better. according to the the statue dream that King Nebuchadnezzar saw, into which the little rock (jesus) crashed into and destroyed, and then grew and spread until it filled the whole earth – to me that does not indicate that times would be worse. in Habakkuk 2:14 For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the LORD as the waters cover the sea. – to me it seems inconceivable that the knowledge of the glory of the Lord would bring worse rather than better.

    • This a postmillenial view that has fallen away from most interpreters’ favor, but it is one of historical ways especially reformed protestants interpreted the biblical future passages before the wars of 20th century. It should not be discounted.

      • I guess we’ll find out at the end of the Millennium, won’t we?

        Just kidding, of course. But the text does seem to indicate the God’s presence will be manifest in a real and concrete way upon the earth.

    • Irinka before times will get better, God will pour out His wrath on those who have rejected Him, He will judge them – thus the rock crushing the statue’s feet. Once that happens then Jesus will reign and there will be peace.

  12. I think the chip is the mark of the beast, and It will be inserted into people’s body, if you refuse the mark you can’t buy or sell. In a cashless society this is what will happen. The Jews in the Holocaust were tatoed with a slaves were branded with hot modern day technology will have a modern branding system..but this end of the age will be worse for mankind because we have polluted the earth, we have not protected our children ,sexual abuse is rife, knowledge has increased and a great falling away from churches

  13. Very interesting discussion, though I ‘m not sure I’d use gematria for the purpose of proposing exoteric, as opposed to esoteric, interpretations. (Also, I believe the canonical New Testament came to us in Greek, hence the utility of, say, James Pryse’s “Apocalypse Unsealed” and Lea and Bond’s “Apostolic Gnosis.”) Along those lines, I’d be most interested in a discussion of Revelation as Merkabah.

  14. Could the mark be in the spirit as the forehead as we think and the hand as what we do! Our thoughts and actions in worshipping our God or following the beast!

  15. I would say to those end of the world assumptions that there are many things yet to take place before the end of the world, including the 1000 year reign of our God and King Jesus.

  16. Subject: 666 or 616 Message: I agree that Revelation had to make sense to the original readers; therefore, the book cannot be referring only to events far into the future. That is not to say it does not also apply to a distant future fulfillment also. My question relates to identifying 666 (also 616) with Nero. Doing so would seem to require a date for Revelation much earlier than the generally accepted 95 CE date. Do you hold to an earlier date for Revelation? If so, why?

  17. I invite you to see my proposals for 666 and 616 regarding revelation 13:18 on the online hermetic library website. I am a ‘fellow’ of the Hermetic Library. Thank you for the opportunity to share my opinion! Walter C. Cambra

  18. Dr. Eli Lizorkin-Eyzenberg: Greetings once again! I am Walter C. Cambra and I left a brief message on my opinion for 666 and 616 mentioned on the Hermetic Library website. In my haste I forgot to mention the title of my article for your scrutiny . . . ENIGMA. Thanks for your attention. Walter C. Cambra. [note: Nebekednesser and Ewil Marduk . . . using Greek numerical values. Click onto Google the following: Hermetic Library 666 / 6l6 / Cambra

  19. Dr. Eli Lizorkin-Eyzenberg: There is a manuscript numbered 2344 that dates from the 11th century a.d. that cites revelation 13:18 for the number of the beast as “665”. This is apparently the only manuscript that cites 665 for the beast. Generally, scholars suggest that 665 is based upon a faulty spelling for Nero Ceasar. However, this deviant number is ACTUALLY an example of the kabbalistic “RULE OF COLEL” which states, essentially, that the numerical value of any word or phrase may have one unit of its value either added to / substracted without altering its symbolic meaning! WALTER C. CAMBRA

  20. Hi Dr. Eli. I’d like to learn about the genealogy of Jesus. Do you have some article about that issue? Thanks.

  21. The numerals surely represent the Roman Empire and everything that was and is the Roman religions but all man made religion carry this mark. The mark of Yehovah’s people are his Sabbaths. Interesting that there are 3 types. The 7th day weekly Sabbath, the 7 annual Sabbaths and the 7th year Sabbath to the land= 777. So seemly the mark of Yehovah’s people is 7. Man was created on 6th day. So the number of beast said to be number of man. Man’s ideas of worshiping their gods’s as opposed to Yehovah’s way. The bible interprets itself!!!! Simply put.

  22. Putting gematria aside, Revelation was written in Koin’e Greek. John’s Vision was written in such, except for about five Hebrew words (Armageddon; WW,; Amen; etc.) , for clarity and meaning. Seeing WWW. in a vision, WW. in ancient Hebrew was the closest mark John knew. That meant shah; shishshah- 6; 16; 66; 666. Subsequent translations of 616 and 666 were both correct. For reference charts of these, “Revelation WWW. is 666” Breese 2005 IUniverse. Includes Vatican emails, two copies of this book are in the Segreto de Archivio. Amen?

  23. Wow….!!!!!!! Now that I am totally confused after reading all of these comments, Dr. Ely can you please make a final clarification about the beast and the number? Was the beast and the number Nero or is the event still to take place into the end times. Quite frankly, I have not heard it explained by other scholars to be Nero nor an event that has already taken place in the person of Nero.

    Thank you.

    • Shaleom, Ileana (and HUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUGE welcome to our family!). It is my opinion that 666/616 stood for the blood-thirsty enemy of God’s people in the time when NT was being written. BUT it may and most probably does foreshadows many government ran persecutions against God people the recent example of which may be Al Bagdadi of ISIS. Christians in Iraq and Syria experienced most horrible tribulation possible at the hands of these animals (actually this really a big offense to animals).

  24. Dear Dr. Eli Lizorkin-Eyzenberg: Greetings once again! An article I wrote titled “TWILIGHT OF AN IDOL” (AN ADVENTURE IN SCRIBAL MISCHIEF) has been published in the Sept/Oct issue of THE CRYPTOGRAM ( jounal of the American cryptogram association) [my pen name in the journal is DLUX] 2018 issue. The article calls into question the pristine meaning of the ‘statue’, suggesting that it was originally a reference to the passage of the following neo-Babylonian kings, nebekednesser, ewil marduk, neriglissar, nabonidus, and Balthasar. The prisinte meaning is tied to the enigmatic numbers until “the time of the end” found in Daniel and Revelation. The canonical books of Daniel and Revelation are redactions that appear in historical eras later than the time of the substratum that was woven into these canonical works! The original meaning of the ‘statute’ is tied to the substratum of the meaning of the ‘time of the end’ regarding
    the triad of numbers found in Daniel l2 and Revelation ll. These triad of enigmatic numbers are occultly referring to the fulfilment of the Lord’s prophesy through Jeremiah that l) Babylon would fall and 2) the jews in Babylon would be repatriated . Walter C. Cambra.

  25. Dear Dr. Eli Lizorkin-Eyzenberg: Regarding the ‘statue’ in Daniel that ostensibly refers to the passage of world empires ‘until the time of the end’: See the scholar P. R. Davies work DANIEL, p. 48. See, also, the scholar G. K. Beale’s work THE USE OF DANIEL IN JEWISH APOCALYPTIC AND IN THE REVELATION OF ST. JOHN,

  26. Dear Dr. Eli Lizorkin-Eyzenberg: Regarding my comments and article titled TWILIGHT OF AN IDOL, see the scholar P. R. Davies work titled DANIEL, p. 48. Also, see the scholar G. K. Beale’s work titled THE USE OF DANIEL IN JEWISH APOCALYPTIC LITERATURE AND IN THE REVELATION OF ST. JOHN, p. 310 [“Indeed, the observation that these Danielic patternsappearrepeatedly in Jewish and Christian apcalyptic literaturewould seem to point, not to a mere general apocalyptic tradition, but to a specific, circulating Daniel tradition.” p. 3l0

  27. Have you considered Walid Shoebat message on the mark of the beast? He postulated that the mark in the original text were not Latin words but Arabic, and they are directly related to Islam.

  28. [39. Fifty.–The letter N, here denoting Nero, and Nerva in line 58. 45. Mountain of two seas.–Isthmus of Corinth, which Nero attempted to open to the two adjoining bodies of water. 50. Three kings.–Galba, Otho, and Vitellius. 52. Seven times ten.–This number is denoted by the Greek {Greek O}, initial of the Greek form of the name of Vespasian ({Greek Ou?espasiano’s}). 54. Three hundred.–Here denoting Titus. 56. Four.–The letter A, initial of Domitian 60. Three hundred.–Here denoting Trajan, who was of Spanish origin, and so reckoned by the Sibyl as a “Celtic mountaineer,” not accurately, but in a loose, general

  29. I believe the Nero Interpretation is correct. I have been taught that for 40 years. BUT I think it was just for their time. It was to give them encouragment. I am sure the Christians of that age understood it completley. Basically, it is good will win over evil. They were being told to be faithful in the face of death and they would receive a crown of life. Jesus said his kingdom is NOT OF THIS WORLD. People still expect that just like the Jews of his time did; even the apsotles did till corrected.

  30. I’m confused just reading the Holy Bible. All these comments and articles do for me is confuse and frustrate me further.

    • How do you propose we understand “calculate the number of his name” if not by the methods that existed in Yehsua’s day? Context, context, context…

  31. Dr. Eli,
    The other night I saw a show on History vault and it was about a code called”God Code” have you ever seen this show? If not it s very interesting, mainly if you have seen it I would be interested in your views on this.

  32. God used symbols in the OT to represent kingdoms, e.g., Daniel 2. The golden head of the statue represented Babylon; the breast and arms of silver MedoPersia; the bronze thighs Greece, legs of iron Rome; and the feet of iron and clay divided Rome. There was to be no ruling kingdom of the world after Rome. The cloud that smashes the statue represents the return of Christ. All these symbols are repeated in Daniel 7, 8 and also throughout Revelation. We must read and understand the OT in order to interpret the NT, particularly Rev.Daniel was told to seal up the book till the end.
    The mark in the forehead is not literal nor is the seal. They refer to spiritual things – our actions and faith in Jesus Christ. In the OT the God told the Jews to write His words in their forehead, meaning to absorb His words in their minds. Some Jews took it literally and wire scrolls tied to their heads. In the same way the seal of God is spiritual, we won’t receive a big stamp. There is so much to understand in the OT and I am still learning but this I know – unless you use the OT to understand the imagery (particularly Daniel) you will be very lost with your understanding. I would equate it to understanding the imagery in The Temple and The Temple service, it all related to Christ, his atonement, his 3 days in the grave etc. Amazing really! I think we will study The Bible even in heaven to come to a full understanding. I am continually amazed by the scriptures and their accuracy. The Jewish interpretation is adding another dimension to my understanding and I am loving it!

    • Maureen re studying and in heaven We will no longer be flesh & Blood but spirit full of understanding and since we don’t go to heaven we however will be united with Jesus when he comes again to rule for 1000 years. God bless.

  33. There are comments from some who see in the book of Revelation a futuristic scenario. The book of Daniel proves that there was always talk of the “Final time.” But not from the end of the world, but for the beginning of the Messiah’s reign and the destruction of the Temple … Almost all Revelation is History.

  34. Dear Dr. Eli Lizorkin-Eyzenberg: Greetings once again! The National Library of Israel has accessioned my works on DANIEL and REVELATION. Best Wishes! WALTER C. CAMBRA

  35. Professor Masomeh Noor Mohammadi of The University of Tehran, IRAN translated my works on DANIEL and REVELATION into Farsi and the work was published in IRAN as “Two Essays on The Bible”. Walter C. Cambra

  36. Nero has nothing to do with Antichrist. The number 666 applies to the real Beast which will soon appear on the world scene.

  37. The MARK oh God is the Holy Spirit so it’s conceivable that the “Mark” of the Antichrist is a mental (forehead)ascent to his Ways & theories which leads them to act (hand) according to his ideology. This the mention of the mark being on the forehead & hand.

  38. The Revelation given to John is a continuous historic prophecy concerning God’s people in relation to the powers of the time from when it was revealed to John – the Eastern Roman Empire. the rise of Islam, the rise of the Papacy and its persecution of apostolic Christians and Jews

  39. The Papal system is a man-made construction that owes nothing to Bible truth and will be utterly destroyed when Christ returns. This is graphically described in Revelation 17 and 18. Hence the urgent appeal 18:4 “Come out of her my people.” that ye be not partakers of her sins”.


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