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Solomon's six-hundred and sixty-six talents of gold

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By large-hammer - Posted on 07 April 2002

by Marcus Booker
Since Revelation says to "count the number of the beast," many Preterists have assumed that the number six-hundred and sixty-six is a gematria. But is it actually a gematria? Is it really something so ambiguous? Is it really something that can be filled in with almost anything? Or is it actually a Scriptural reference, dealing with Israel's history. Since Revelation says to "count the number of the beast," many Preterists have assumed that the number six-hundred and sixty-six is a gematria. But is it actually a gematria? Is it really something so ambiguous? Is it really something that can be filled in with almost anything? Or is it actually a Scriptural reference, dealing with Israel's history. I am leaning towards this latter option.

Solomon's yearly income of gold was six-hundred and sixty-six talents (1 Kings 10:14). King Solomon embodied separation from the law; he was the paradigmatic apostate. 1 Kings mentions his income of gold immediately before the account of his apostasy; the account precedes his constructing of high places for the gods of the nations (even to Molech). Solomon's heart had turned away from God; his heart was not perfect like that of his father David. The same mystery of lawlessness was permeating Israel in the first century; the nation was being hardened and turning away from God. Thus came the great apostasy.

It was Solomon's sin that, according to the Scriptures, caused the kingdom to be divided. David's Israel became Israel (10 tribes) and Judah (2 tribes). Physically, the kingdom would never be reunited. Unity, according to the prophets, could only occur once the idolatry was taken away. Christ accomplished this restoration. He was the "hope of Israel," the "hope of the resurrection." He breathed life into the dry bones of a dead nation; he raised the entire host. Like a shepherd, Christ gathered together the scattered among God's chosen people; he brought them to their own land and caused them to dwell safely in it. In this way, Christ took away sin and took captivity captive; he ended the exile.

It would seem, then, that the reference to the number six-hundred and sixty-six hearkens back to Solomon's sin. It has nothing to do with the Caesars of the Romans.

Immanuel's picture

When I look at the scriptures in regard to the things that Jesus and John said that opposed loving God, it is the love of money and the things of the world. This may very well be what John was trying to reveal when he wrote the book of Revelations in regards to the mark of the beast. No one else even mentioned the mark of the beast and when you read the other books that John wrote he had a strong message about loving one another and not the things of the world. I believe that the mark of the beast could be very well apply to just the love of money for us today. Remember in the old covenant that the sons of Israel had to write Gods laws on their hands and foreheads as a symbolic way to show that they loved God with all their heart, mind, soul and strength in Deut.6:8. Receiving in likeness today the mark of the beast on the hand could be symbolic as works. People who love money will work their lives away to get rich. People who receive in likeness the mark on their foreheads could be as those so obsessed with being wealthy that it consumes their thoughts to the point that nothing else matters. Like Jesus said it is hard for a rich man to enter into the Kingdom of God.
Here are some scriptures to think about before those who are futurist, before getting to excited about the mark of the beast being a computer chips being implanted in your body.

Here are some scriptures to think about before get excited about the mark of the beast being a computer chips being implanted in your body.

Luke 16
13”No servant can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.”

The Law, the Prophets, and the Kingdom
14 Now the Pharisees, who were lovers of money, also heard all these things, and they derided Him. 15And He said to them, “You are those who justify yourselves before men, but God knows your hearts. For what is highly esteemed among men is an abomination in the sight of God.

1 Timothy 6
9But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and harmful lusts which drown men in destruction and perdition. 10For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.

The Good Confession
11 But you, O man of God, flee these things and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, gentleness.

2 Timothy 3

Perilous Times and Perilous Men

Dangerous Times Are Coming
1 But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: 2For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, 3unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good,

John 12
24Most assuredly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it produces much grain. 25He who loves his life will lose it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. 26If anyone serves Me, let him follow Me; and where I am, there My servant will be also. If anyone serves Me, him My Father will honor.

John 15

The World’s Hatred
18 “If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you. 19If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. 20Remember the word that I said to you, “A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you. If they kept My word, they will keep yours also.

2 Timothy 4

The Abandoned Apostle
9 Be diligent to come to me quickly; 10for Demas has forsaken me, having loved this present world, and has departed for Thessalonica—Crescens for Galatia, Titus for Dalmatia. 11Only Luke is with me. Get Mark and bring him with you, for he is useful to me for ministry.

James 2
4have you not shown partiality among yourselves, and become judges with evil thoughts? 5Listen, my beloved brethren: Has God not chosen the poor of this world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom which He promised to those who love Him? 6But you have dishonored the poor man. Do not the rich oppress you and drag you into the courts? 7Do they not blaspheme that noble name by which you are called?
8If you really fulfill the royal law according to the Scripture, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself,”[1] you do well; 9but if you show partiality, you commit sin, and are convicted by the law as transgressors. 10For whoever shall keep the whole law, and yet stumble in one point, he is guilty of all. 11For He who said, “Do not commit adultery,”[2] also said, “Do not murder.”[3] Now if you do not commit adultery, but you do murder, you have become a transgressor of the law. 12So speak and so do as those who will be judged by the law of liberty. 13For judgment is without mercy to the one who has shown no mercy. Mercy triumphs over judgment.

1 John 2
14I have written to you, fathers,
Because you have known Him who is from the beginning.
I have written to you, young men,
Because you are strong, and the word of God abides in you,
And you have overcome the wicked one.

Do Not Love the World
15 Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father but is of the world.

1 John 3

The Command to Love
1 Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God![1] Therefore the world does not know us,[2] because it did not know Him. 2Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is.

1 John 3

The Outworking of Love
16 By this we know love, because He laid down His life for us. And we also ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. 17But whoever has this world’s goods, and sees his brother in need, and shuts up his heart from him, how does the love of God abide in him?
18My little children, let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth.

1 John 4
8He who does not love does not know God, for God is love. 9In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him. 10In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.

1 John 4
16And we have known and believed the love that God has for us. God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God in him.

The Consummation of Love
17 Love has been perfected among us in this: that we may have boldness in the day of judgment; because as He is, so are we in this world. 18There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love.

1 John 5
3For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome. 4For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our[1] faith. 5Who is he who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?

Revelation 13
16 And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads:
17 And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.
18 Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is Six hundred threescore and six.

It says that those who do not have the mark of the beast will not be able to buy or sell.

There is symbolic or spiritual kind of buying and selling we can find in the bible.

Revelation 3
18 I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.

Jesus advised those in the church with lukewarm works to buy from Him gold refined in the fire, white garments, and eye salve. Then in Matt. 25: 1 - 13 the parable of the ten virgins the five foolish were told to go buy more oil from those that sold “oil meaning the Holy Spirit”.

Matthew 25
8 And the foolish said unto the wise, Give us of your oil; for our lamps are gone out.
9 But the wise answered, saying, Not so; lest there be not enough for us and you: but go ye rather to them that sell, and buy for yourselves.
10 And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came; and they that were ready went in with him to the marriage: and the door was shut.

We know that is something you cannot buy with money. Look at the person who tried in:

Acts 8
18 And when Simon saw that through laying on of the apostles' hands the Holy Ghost was given, he offered them money,
19 Saying, Give me also this power, that on whomsoever I lay hands, he may receive the Holy Ghost.
20 But Peter said unto him, Thy money perish with thee, because thou hast thought that the gift of God may be purchased with money.

Then we have Isaiah 55 the free offer to buy mercy without money.

Isaiah 55
1 Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money; come ye, buy, and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price.
2 Wherefore do ye spend money for that which is not bread? and your labour for that which satisfieth not? hearken diligently unto me, and eat ye that which is good, and let your soul delight itself in fatness.
3 Incline your ear, and come unto me: hear, and your soul shall live; and I will make an everlasting covenant with you, even the sure mercies of David.

In Rev. 13: 15 it says, they that do not have the mark should be killed or “hated”. I said if you hate your brother you are a guilty with the same judgment

Revelation 13
15 And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed.

Matthew 5
21 Ye have heard that it was said of them of old time, Thou shalt not kill; and whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment:
22 But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire.

The world can hinder you from buying and selling in a spiritual way and hating a person without a just cause is of the same kind of sin as murder. Murder starts with hatred in the heart.

Right after the Ten Commandments were written on stone, God give them the two Greatest Commandments, The Father commanded through Moses in Deut. 6: 8 that they should write His laws on there hand and on their forehead.

Deuteronomy 6
4.”Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one!
5.You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength.
6.”And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart.
7.You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up.
8 And thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thine hand, and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes.

Revelation 13
16 And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads:

Ephesians 1
1.2that we who first trusted in Christ should be to the praise of His glory.
13.In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise,
14.who is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory.

In contrast the laws of the old covenant and mark of the beast are to go on the hand or forehead. But remember in the new covenant the Holy Spirit is the seal of God and to love as Jesus loved us fulfills the law to love. If this were not true, then by taking the two great commandments and taking the old covenant Ten Commandments with Feast of the Sabbath into the new covenant it would make the weekly Sabbath Day the seal of God and Sunday would be the mark of the beast. But thank God the old covenant law pointed to better things that are found in the Holy Spirit.

There is one other thing to consider here concerning the mark of the beast. They that have it have no rest day or night.

Revelation 14
11 And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name.

This one scripture is your best clue as to what the mark of the beast is. They have no rest day or night. This mean God’s rest, for they have not entered into His rest because of unbelief as in the new covenant rest. Many still believe that they are to rest one day a week whether it be Saturday or Sunday so that they can be keeping all of the Ten Commandments. How can one be sealed in Christ if they are still sealed in the old covenant law, it is like putting new wine into a old wineskin.

Mark 2
22 And no man putteth new wine into old bottles: else the new wine doth burst the bottles, and the wine is spilled, and the bottles will be marred: but new wine must be put into new bottles.

Matthew 11:28
Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.

Hebrews 9:8
The Holy Ghost this signifying, that the way into the holiest of all was not yet made manifest, while as the first tabernacle was yet standing:

21 For since by man came death, by Man also [came] the resurrection of the dead.

MiddleKnowledge's picture

An excellent presentation of an alternative (Biblical) view of 666. I would add that the sin of Solomon's hoarding up gold and wealth very well may be connected with James'prophetic condemnation of the covenant people in the Jewish churches. Notice James 5:1-3 "Now listen, you rich people weep and wail because of the misery that is coming upon you. Your wealth has rotted and moths have eaten your clothes. Your gold and silver are corroded. Their corrosion will testify against you and eat your flesh like fire. You have hoarded wealth in the last days."

Of course, this sounds a lot like Jesus too, who warned the covenant people to lay up treasure in heaven where "moth and rust do not destroy."

It seems to me that if Solomon is the antecedent for Revelation's 666, then the referent is primarily the covenant people, represented by their leadership, ultimately the High Priest. I'm not sure if this rules out Rome and Nero's part in the persecution. Maybe John is putting the finger on both Rome and the Jewish harlot. Remember they were involved in an adulterous relationship. They had become one which may be why the number providentially "fits" in both cases.

Thanks for the insight, Marcus. This is a great start to a new discussion. One thing that is important which I appreciate in your approach is that you consciously ask where the Scripture answers its own questions. This takes discernment on our part, and even more so for the first century Christians who actually lived through these events.

Dottie's picture

Thanks for writing this article. I read I King 10:14 a while ago. I thought about the connection and wanted to do a study, but never did. I will now.

EWMI's picture

Just When I Thought It Was Safe ....

... to finally settle on an interpretation of the "number" an excellent challenge like this comes around!

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