Recently, I have received a question as to the “symbol” which appears in Chizayon (Revelation) 13:18. Let’s take a look at the verse in question:
Chizayon (Revelation) 13:18:
Here is wisdom. Let him that has understanding calculate the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is χξς.
The “symbol” is not a “symbol” at all, but rather, is three letters: chi, ksi, and stigma. You might ask where we found such letters, so I will provide you with the original Greek from the Stephanus Textus Receptus:
ωδε η σοφια εστιν ο εχων τον νουν ψηφισατω τον αριθμον του θηριου αριθμος γαρ ανθρωπου εστιν και ο αριθμος αυτου χξς
The last “word” is the word in question; unfortunately, it is not a word. Therefore, it is most likely just three letters – the Greek letters chi, ksi, and stigma.
Before the protest breaks out, consider this edict:
Chizayon (Revelation) 22:18-19
For I testify unto every man that hears the words of the prophecy of this cepher, If any man shall add unto these things, ELOHIYM shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this cepher: 19 And if any man shall take away from the words of the cepher of this prophecy, ELOHIYM shall take away his part out of the cepher of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this cepher.
So, before we examine the three Greek letters, let us consider the Hebrew concept of gematria. Gematria is the practice of assigning certain numbers to the letters of the Hebrew aleph beit. While there are 22 letters speaking generally, one might assume that these letters would be numbers 1-22. Not so! Instead, we have a numbering sequence that goes like this:
You can see that the sequence is not just simply arithmetic. Let’s take a look at the formula in a graph:
Even though the tav is the last letter of the Hebrew aleph beit, the other letters which appear in the gematriac formula are called safit letters – kaf safit, mem safit, nun safit, pe safit, and tsadi safit, and the last is the only two letter root in Hebrew, the aleph tav (eth).
As can be seen here, the sequence of the numbers yields a total count of 28 numbers, yet reaches a gematriac value of 1,000. Let’s compare with the Greek:
If we review using this formula of Gematria, we can see that the Greek letters which would yield 600, sixty, and six would be W omega (600), O omicron (60), and Z zeta (6). Keeping in mind that stigma is an obsolete Greek letter, if we construed the letters which actually appear in the Greek to this formula, we get C chi (400), X ksi (50), V stigma (700). If we forget the formula used in the Hebrew gematria, and just use numeric value, we get C chi (22), X ksi (14), V stigma (25). How was six hundred, sixty and six determined given these realities? Who knows?
What we can determine with certainty, is that the three letters actually appeared. To place the 666 where these letters are found makes several prohibited leaps. First, there is an assumption that there was a Greek practice of gematria. Then, we follow with an assumption that Yahuchanon intended to infer gematria when he wrote these letters. Then, we place a numeric value on the numbers wholly inconsistent with the actual gematria in place. Ultimately, we end up with a substitution, based on an unwarranted and inaccurate assumption. Quite a leap upon which to base prophecy for the last several centuries.
We did not take such an approach. Instead, we made life easy for all of us, and actually placed the three Greek letters which actually appear in the place where they appear, without assumption, without substitution, and without conclusions based upon our preferences.
We shall discuss this more in the next blog.