Comment: 666 revisited.

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You may know that I am obsessed with God and Satan, always looking for biblical clues to the mystery of why we want them to exist. Since people want Satan to exist, many associate the 666 in Revelation 13:18 with the devil, whereas most historians believe this number was numerical code for the Christian-persecuting Roman Emperor Nero.

But I was knocking around 1 Kings the other day, and at 10:14 discovered that King Solomon’s annual income in gold, presumably in taxes, weighed 666 talents. Consider the context in Revelation: In the end times, no one will be able to buy and sell without being stamped with 666, the number of the Beast, which is also the number of a man. Consider also that, according to some calculations, Solomon is the 666th name to appear in the Bible, and that he was the richest king of Israel. Consider further that, at the time Revelation was written (c. 90 A.D.), Christianity was torn between persecution by Rome and the pain of separation from its parent, Judaism -- the latter struggle causing the New Testament to be laced with competitive Jew-hatred.

So whatever other meanings 666 may have carried, the numerologically and scripturally savvy ancient Christers would certainly have associated it with Solomon, whom they would have seen as the personification of a particular stereotype: He was the first money-grubbing Jew.

Both greed and Jews were Beasts the early church strove to avoid. Greed, though classed as a deadly sin, was a transgression with which the church would soon become intimately acquainted. And to a few idiots, the Jews have not lost their Beastly associations for nearly two millennia.