What does 666 mean in the Bible?
The Bible predicts that the next major event in God’s plan for this earth is a period of time called the Tribulation. We are now waiting for it to come.
The Tribulation will start with a period of peace (1 Thess. 5:1-3; Rev. 6:1-2) and after 3.5 years, war and violence will come. War comes when a great national leader takes control of a world alliance such as the United Nations (UN). He will oppose everyone, including God. He will also have support from a man who will encourage the world to follow him. The Bible calls these men the Anti-Christ and the False Prophet (Rev. 19:20; 20:10). Many have suggested that the Anti-Christ will receive support from most of the world because of a real or imagined crisis. Therefore, the False Prophet will be able to insist that some type of mark be placed on the back of a person’s hand or forehead for security or economic reasons.
Who is this False prophet and what is the mark? Revelation 13:18 gives us the answer to both. It says that the number “666” is a clue to his identity and can also be the mark that a person will receive. The mark can be either the number “666” or the name of the False Prophet.
And he causes all, the small and the great, and the rich and the poor, and the free men and the slaves, to be given a mark on their right hand, or on their forehead, so that no-one could buy or sell unless he had the mark, which is the name of the beast or the number of his name. This calls for wisdom. If anyone has insight, let him calculate the number of the beast, for it is man’s number. His number is 666. (NIV) Rev. 13:16-18
Recently, there have been discussions about implanting a small chip under the skin of a person for identification purposes. It has been recommended that it be implanted on the back of the wrist. This shows that one method already exists for accomplishing this “marking.” The actual “mark” could be an entirely different method.
Meaning of “666”
What does the “666” mean? Some have said the number referred to Nero. They assumed that this was true because the letters of the name “Caesar Nero” add up to 666 in the Hebrew language.
Others have discovered that the phrase “The Latin” also adds up to 666 and so they concluded it pointed to the Pope of the Roman Catholic Church. But the Tribulation has not come yet. These suggestions are wrong. There have been many ideas about its meaning. But no one knows. It will remain a mystery until the time of the Tribulation.
The number 666 will be a clue for those who are alive during the Tribulation. It will be a sign that the end has come. It will be required to buy or sell. Those who do not accept the sign will probably die of hunger or be hunted down and killed. It will be a serious decision to make. Those who accept the sign will be supportive of the Anti-Christ and the other world rulers. They will end up on the side against God. Those who reject the device or marking will be considered traitors, but they will be on God’s side. The Tribulation will be a war between God and world governments. The right decision will be to reject the sign, believe in Jesus Christ, and prepare for death.