The Quintessence of the Meaning of 666

This is a new understanding of the number 666 mentioned in Revelation 13:18. Here are the two main sources for my interpretation:

Ephesians 6:12

For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. -- New American Standard Bible (NASB)

Testamentum Salomonis

And I ordered another demon to appear. And there came to me the thirty-six principles (stoicheia), their leaders like unshapely dogs. Among them there were some in human shape, some in bull's shape, some with faces of beasts, some in the shape of serpents, some with faces of a sphinx or of birds. And to the question "Who are you?" they answered: "We are the thirty-six principles (or elements-stoicheia), the world-rulers of the darkness of this Aeon." -- Testamentum Salomonis, XVIII, 1-2; ed. C. C. McCown, Leipzig, 1922, p. 51. For a more easily accessable source, see The Old Testament Pseudepigrapha, Volume 1: Apocalyptic Literature and Testaments (The Anchor Yale Bible Reference Library) Edited by James H. Charlesworth, Doubleday, 1983, p. 935 ff.


From this and other harmonies I've concluded that receiving the mark of the beast means servile conformity to evil systems of power. Quite possibly then, complicity of thought or actions to all the demon-inspired world forces of wickedness and darkness is a very damning sin. I should also say upfront that the numeric sum of all the numbers from 1 to 36 equals 666.


Before I enumerate all the major harmonies, a few comments on The Testament of Solomon are in order.


1. The Apostle John might have heard some of the story of The Testament of Solomon before he wrote the book of Revelation. The relevance of this fact is that specific details in inspired dreams and visions are sometimes expressed in terms of a prophet's background and life experience. A good example of this is Zechariah's vision of the four chariots.

I looked up again, and there before me were four chariots coming out from between two mountains -- mountains of bronze.  Zechariah 6:1.

In Babylonian mythology--certainly a part of the culture in which Zechariah was familiar--the abode of Deity is guarded on either side by a brass mountain. [1]. And this detail fits the context of the vision. The four chariots came from heaven.


2. The thirty-six demons in The Testament of Solomon are obviously an interpretation of the thirty-six decans of Egyptian mythology.  


3. The Hermetica, which were popular Egyptian-Greek wisdom texts in the 2nd and 3rd centuries AD, reveal that a general understanding of the thirty-six demons had already been regarded as common knowledge near the time that John wrote the Apocalypse.

The force which works in all events that befall men collectively comes from the Dekans; for instance, overthrows of kingdoms, revolts of cities, famines, pestilences, overflowings of the sea, earthquakes--none of these things, my son, take place without the working of the Dekans. --Hermetica, Excerpt VI: 8. [2].

The earliest depiction of the zodiac we have is from Egypt. The Dendera Zodiac is a carving on sandstone from the temple of Hathor in Dendera, and is dated to the 1st century BC. It shows the twelve constellations of the zodiac we are familiar with as well as the Egyptian system of decans. It is now held in the Louvre Museum, Paris. A plaster copy remains at Dendera; the original was taken out of Egypt by Napoleon. [3] [4].


Egyptian zodiac 2 

Above: The zodiac that was carved on the ceiling of the temple at Dendera.

Egyptian zodiac 1

Are you sure that God doesn't count the deification of sun-shaped wafers as sun worship to some degree?

The Deification of Mary

As an illustration of the weakness of mankind to submit to false gods and ancient traditions (666), here is yet another false god, which is also an idol of human manufacture, that Catholics declare must be revered by all.

The Three Angels' Messages Versus The Three Demons' Messages

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