666: The Number of the Beast
(see Rev 13:18)

For more serious academic stuff, see the sections on Mathematical Curiosities or Biblical History below, but first take a good look at:

A Fun Collection of Beastly Numbers

WARNING: This page should not be viewed by anyone suffering from hexakósioi-hexékonta-hexa-phobia (fear of you-know-what!)
 

666 Biblical Number of the Beast
660 Approximate Number of the Beast
DCLXVI Roman Numeral of the Beast
665 Number of the Beast's Older Brother
667 Number of the Beast's Younger Sister
664 or 668 Number of the Beast's Next-Door Neighbors
999 Number of the Australian Beast
333 Number of the Semi-Beast (also "Halfway to Hell")
66 Number of the Downsized Beast
6, uh..., I forget Number of the Blond Beast
666.0000 Number of the High Precision Beast
665.9997856 Number of the Beast on a Pentium
0.666 Number of the Millibeast
X / 666 Beast Common Denominator
0.00150150... Reciprocal of the Beast
-666 Opposite of the Beast
666i Imaginary Number of the Beast
6.66 x 102 Scientific Notation of the Beast
25.8069758... Square Root of the Beast
443556 Square of the Beast
1010011010 Binary Number of the Beast
1232 Octal of the Beast
29A Hexidecimal of the Beast
2.8235 Log of the Beast
6.5913 Ln of the Beast
1.738 x 10289 Anti-Log of the Beast
00666 Zip Code of the Beast
666@hell.org E-mail Address of the Beast
www.666.com Website of the Beast
1-666-666-6666 Phone & FAX Number of the Beast
1-866-666-6666 Toll Free Number of the Beast
(which could also be written 18-666-666-666!)
1-900-666-6666 Live Beasts, available now!  One-on-one pacts!
Only $6.66 per minute!
  (Must be over 6+6+6 years old!)
666-66-6666 Social Security Number of the Beast
Form 10666 Special IRS Tax Forms for the Beast
66.6% Tax Rate of the Beast
6.66% 6-Year CD Interest Rate at First Beast Bank of Hell
($666 minimum deposit, $666 early withdrawal fee)
$666/hr Billing Rate of the Beast's Lawyer
$665.95 Retail Price of the Beast
$710.36 Price of the Beast plus 6.66% Sales Tax
$769.95 Price of the Beast with accessories and replacement soul
$656.66 Wal-Mart Price of the Beast (next week $646.66!)
$55.50 Monthly Payments for Beast, in 12 easy installments
Phillips 666 Gasoline Used by the Beast (regular $6.66/gal)
Route 666 Highway of the Beast (where he gets his kicks!)
666 mph Speed Limit on the Beast's Highway
6-6-6 Fertilizer of the Beast
666 lb cap Weight Limit of the Beast
666 Minutes Weekly News Show about the Beast (airs daily from
Midnight to 11:06 a.m., on Cable Channel 666, of course)
666o F Oven Temperature for Cooking "Roast Beast"
666k Retirement Plan of the Beast
666 mg Recommended Minimum Daily Requirement of Beast
Lotus 6-6-6 Spreadsheet of the Beast
Word 6.66 Word Processor of the Beast
Windows 666 Bill Gates' Personal Beast Operating System
#666666 Font Color of the Beast (the gray in this table, no kidding!)
i66686 CPU of the Beast
666-I BMW of the Beast
IAM 666 License Plate Number of the Beast
Formula 666 All Purpose Cleaner of the Beast
WD-666 Spray Lubricant of the Beast
DSM-666 (rev) Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of the Beast
66.6 MHz FM Radio Station of the Beast
666 KHz AM Radio Station of the Beast
66 for 6 A Beastly Score for an Innings (in cricket)
6 for 66 Bowling Figures of the Beast
6/6/6 Birthday of the Beast (but in which century?)

This collection was compiled and expanded from various sources,
including anonymous e-mails forwarded by various people,
and similar collections online at http://www.yamon.freeserve.co.uk/Beast.html
and http://www.dontflameme.com/jokes/2000jokes/january2000.html

P.S. How many rows are in the above table? Is that a coincidence?


More Beastly Numbers
(six more, partly inspired by all the hoopla over June 6, 2006!)
6.66o F A Cold Day in Hell
Boeing 666 The Beast's Personal Airplane Model
Airforce 666 The Name of the Beast's Airplane (after he becomes President!)
C6H6O6 The Beast's Favorite Chemical (1,2,3-cyclopropanetricarboxylic acid)
666 Atomic Mass of Governmentium (it contains no protons or electrons, but has 1 neutron, 15 assistant neutrons, 35 deputy neutrons, 80 vice neutrons, 145 supervisory neutrons, 165 team leader neutrons and 225 consulting neutrons, giving it an atomic mass of 666)
6.66% 30-Year Mortgage Rate on 06/06/06 (not a joke, but a curious coincidence!)

Some Coincidences and Trivia involving 666


Mathematical Curiosities about 666
(for those with a mathematical mindset and/or a penchant for gambling!)


Other Fun and Humorous 666 Sites
(a.k.a. Are YOU the Beast?)

A cartoon related to 666 from
The Far Side® by Gary Larson:

The scene shows a devil scowling at a painter and
the number 999 painted over a doorway in Hell.
The painter looks at a piece of paper and says,

"Well, I'll be... I must've been holding
the dang work order like this!" 

Unfortunately, Mr. Larson does not permit
any of his cartoons to be displayed online;
but you can find this one in
The Chickens Are Restless (p. 37)
or The Far Side Gallery 5 (p. 39).


Addendum: Internet Users Beware!

In the ancient Hebrew practice of gematria (assigning numerical values to letters),
the letter "waw" is equivalent to the number "six."

So  WWW  is also equivalent to  666  !!!
( or is it really? )

Thanks to John Stewart Muller, one of my former students, for first pointing this out to me.


The More Serious, Biblical, Academic Stuff

Who or What Is the Beast?

The answer to this nearly 2000-year-old question depends on how you choose to interpret the Book of Revelation (a.k.a. the Apocalypse), the last book of the New Testament.

Near the middle of this highly symbolic book are descriptions of several strange creatures:

At the end of the paragraph about this third beast, the author challenges the reader with an intriguing puzzle: "This calls for wisdom: let anyone with understanding calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a person. Its number is six hundred sixty-six." (13:18).

In order to understand this text, one must know that ancient Hebrew (like Greek and other ancient languages) did not have a separate set of characters to indicate numbers, but simply used the letters of its alphabet to represent numbers. This fact provides the basis for the ancient practice of "gematria," in which numerical equivalents of words and names are calculated (still a popular game today!).

So, Who Is the Person Whose Number Is 666?

Throughout history, attempts have been made to identify 666 with many famous people (usually one's enemies)!

Most biblical historians agree, however, that the Book of Revelation is simply referring to the Roman Emperor NERO, the most "beastly" ruler of the first Christian Century:

Is the Number Really 666, or Was It Originally 616?

What about June 6, 2006?

Relax! Although this date could be abbreviated 6/6/6, it has absolutely nothing to do with the "Beast" of the Book of Revelation! Consider these few points:

Despite this last bullet, several people asked me to "predict" what would happen on June 6, 2006. Here's what I replied:

As a biblical scholar and Catholic priest, I think trying to predict the future is a misuse of the Bible. Biblical prophecy is not about crystal-ball gazing into the future. Rather, prophets of the Bible are those who speak on behalf of God, conveying God's messages to people, interpreting the past, present, and future through God's eyes, so to speak. Biblical prophets call people to repent and to remain faithful to God, not to worry about when the world will end or who is the "beast" of the Book of Revelation.

But just for fun, since people really pressed me to "predict" something, here is what I said would happen on June 6, 2006: 

Reflections after June 6, 2006:

I was somewhat amazed by all the media interest and popular hoopla surrounding June 6. The first person to contact me was Seth Borenstein, a reporter from the Associated Press, who prominently featured this webpage and some of my comments from a telephone interview in an article published June 4, 2006 (entitled "Humor, curiosity surround June 6, 2006"; alt title "A calendar date to end all others nears"). A search on Google News showed that this AP article was reprinted by over 250 news outlets in the U.S. and around the world (including Australia, Canada, China, Dominican Republic, Great Britain, Kazakhstan, Romania, Russia, South Africa, and Turkey).

As a result, in the following two days I was contacted by and/or gave live interviews on three television networks, six other newspapers, and fifteen radio stations (not just from the USA, but also Canada, Great Britain, and Argentina). Some of the radio interviews were on syndicated programs that ran in hundreds of cities in the U.S. Each interview was somewhat different from all the others: some reporters asked about the biblical/historical background of the number 666, others about the differences between 666 and 616; some radio hosts were interested in Emperor Nero and Ancient Rome, others in bar codes and implanted chips! Some of the interviews lasted about 30 seconds, others about 30 minutes, most were rather fun to do, especially those that combined the report with the party going on that day in the little town of Hell, Michigan!

In the past few years, my website has gotten between 1000 and 2000 visitors daily. However, as I had "predicted" above, it received well over 10,000 visitors on June 4, over 18,000 on June 5, and spiked at over 36,000 on June 6! Why are so many people interested in 666? Are that many people really scared about the future? It seems that some people need to have more faith in God to find peace in their lives! I'm just glad there are only 60 minutes in every hour; otherwise, some people might freak out twice a day, at 6:66 a.m. and 6:66 p.m.!

So, when all is said and done, the number 666 will continue to intrigue numerologists and fascinate gamblers, be profitable for Hollywood but avoided by most other businesses, provide fodder for the apocalyptic warnings of fundamentalist preachers and challenges for the teachings of mainline Christian pastors. But after June 6, 2006, has come and gone, biblical scholars will go back to studying 616, while the wedding industry looks forward to July 7, 2007!


Return to the Study Guides for Apocalyptic Literature

or to my explanation of What Biblical Prophecy Really Is (and Isn't)

or return to the HOME PAGE of Felix Just, S.J.

Electronic New Testament Educational Resources


This page was established around 9/9/99, significantly expanded 01/01/01, revised again 02/02/02,
and (contrary to some people's "predictions") did not self-destruct on 06/06/06 (nor on 09/09/09)!