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Date: Sat, 20 Apr 2002 10:17:03 -0500
From: James Jordan 
Subject: Re: (urth) Numerological Wolfe

At 05:16 PM 4/19/2002, you wrote:
>I made a numerological reflection relevant to 5HC:
> > "666," the Number of the Beast, is "the number of a man." Kaballistically,
> > 6 is a man and 3 is God; 666 is Man making a God of himself.)
> > In Rev. 13 the number is six hundred, sixty, six, not three 6s. A
> > lot of people are confused on this, simply because we say "sixsixsix"
> > and the English could be read either way.
>Well, yeah. The Arabic numeral system simply wasn't around when John
>had his vision. Still, I misdoubt whether the standard translations
>(like KJV's "six hundred, three score and six") are any better reflections
>of the original Gk than a simple 666. I frankly find it very unlikely that
>St John in writing this down was _un_aware of the hexaplicity of the three
>components of his number.

         Not to disagree, but just to provide a bit more for anyone interested:
         The text of Rev. 13:18 is not "hex, hex, hex," (6,6,6) but 
"hexakosioi hexekonta hex" (600,60,6). But of course you are right: Three 
sixes is significant, since man was made on the sixth day. Goliath is 6 
cubits and a span high, and his spearhead weight 600 shekels (1 Sam. 17). 
Nebuchadnezzar's idol in Daniel 3 has dimensions of 60x6 cubits. 
Numerologically, 666 is a climactic extension of this theme. Also, 666 is 
the triangular of 36 (6x6). So, sixes abound in this number.
         What we see in all this, and climactically in 666, is man's 
attempt make himself god by his own bootstraps. He never gets to God's gift 
of sabbath ("7") -- God's elevation of him by grace into "little godhood," 
as another line of posts has been discussing. He just keeps multiplying 
himself over and over. This is pretty much a standard thematic 
understanding of these multiplied sixes, and of course it fits perfectly 
with the first 5HC novella -- as you say: man deifying himself.
         I doubt if Wolfe made the connection to Solomon (though that's 
what any synagogue-trained 1st c. Jew hearing the passage would first think 
of), and I agree that Wolfe may have enjoyed thinking of Nero in this 
connection, since that is a frequently encountered specific understanding 
of 666 as a code. That would be secondary, though. The multiplication of 6s 
never getting to 7 is the more basic thematic link.



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