I previously had only the section on Shoebat’s interpretation of the mark of the beast here, but I believe it is better to include the entire chapter on the mark.
The Mark, Name, and Number of the Beast:
(Be sure to watch the video at the bottom of the page that has NEW information that I just discovered that greatly supports my overall conclusion in this article.)
(1) The Mark of the Beast
16 He also forced everyone, small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on his right hand or on his forehead, 17 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. 18 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. (Rev. 13:16-18)
The first thing to notice is that this verse is in the second half of Rev. 13 where it refers to the second beast. Anytime it refers to the first beast, it makes an appropriate reference; as we saw in the last chapter, it says, “He exercised all the authority of the first beast on his behalf . . .” So when it refers to “he” in the last half of Rev. 13, it refers to the second beast. Then we go on down to where it starts talking about the mark and it starts with, “He also forced everyone . . . to receive a mark.” It does NOT say that the mark is of the first beast, therefore, it is the mark of the second beast. Since it is the mark of the second beast, it is not the mark of any global government; even if the first beast were going to rule the entire world, but it will not. It is the mark of the false prophet, Muhammad, or the mark of the religion he started.
Most translations of the above verses do a little bit of interpreting based on assumptions, rather than just translating. Thus most Bible versions say you cannot buy or sell unless you have the mark, “which is the name of the beast or the number of his name.” Is the mark going to be the name of the beast, or the number of his name? Didn’t John know which it was? John was not confused, it is the translations that are confused. Let’s look at the literal translation:
. . . not any could buy or sell, except the one having the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of its name. (LIT)
This is also the way it reads in the KJV and NKJV:
. . . he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name. (KJV)
That little word “or” is in the Greek text, both times shown in LIT and KJV. And it means “or.” So it literally says that you cannot buy or sell unless you have any one of three things:
- the mark of the beast or
- the name of the beast or
- the number of the name of the beast
Having any one of those three will allow you to buy or sell. So this is powerful evidence that it refers to being a follower of the second beast, because if you have the name of the beast, then it signifies that you believe in him; the same with the number of the name of the beast, or the mark. All of these point to the second beast. But because of mistranslation, we have merged these three.
The right hand is important in the Bible; for example, Jesus is seen sitting at the right hand of God. The Complete Word Study Dictionary says:
Concerning the mark being on the right hand, God is said to be at the right hand of the person whom He helps as the enemy is to the right of him whom he seeks to overcome and the accuser to the right of the accused. By the right hand the whole man is claimed, whether in action or in suffering … (CWD, p. 405)
Therefore, the right hand has meaning beyond the literal sense, so it does not require a literal mark be placed on the right hand or forehead. The right hand holds even more importance in Islam. Muslims receive reward in the right hand, but punishment in the left hand; the right hand is the hand of honor or cleanness, but the left is dishonor or uncleanness (Q. 69:19-26). One verse in the Quran refers to the Muslim people as a whole as “those of the right hand” (Q. 56:90-91).
The Greek for “mark” is charagma (5480) and means, “An engraving, something graven or sculptured, an impression, mark or symbol.” (CWD). Thayer’s Greek Definitions adds cattle brand to the definition. Word Meanings in The New Testament, says:
The noun charagma comes from the verb charasso, “to engrave.” So it means a stamp or impress made on an object. . . . It was evidently some kind of an official seal impressed firmly on the right hand or forehead. Imperial seals of that period have been found. (by Ralph Earle, p. 465)
John Gill’s Exposition of the Entire Bible says:
Maimonides says, it was a custom with the Gentiles to mark themselves with their idols, showing that they were their bought servants, and were marked for their service.
It was also common to mark a slave, or even a soldier, with a brand. Thus Strong’s says, “a badge of servitude.” A synonym of this word is “seal” (sphragis 4973), defined as, “mark, seal, impression.” The difference between these two words, charagma (5480), and sphragis (4973), seems to be found in the idea of protection being also connected with sphragis, as being sealed up in a jar, or a scroll being sealed. Thus it could not be opened by the messenger without the recipient seeing that it had been opened.
So we see that the 144,000 have the seal, or mark (sphragis), of God in their foreheads and are protected from harm (Rev. 9:4), but those who take the mark (charagma) of the beast are not protected but will receive God’s judgment. The two words are similar in meaning, therefore, the word charagma (5480) could have been translated “seal,” as in a royal seal, as we saw in the definitions above.
The seal (sphragis) of God in Rev. 7, which is placed on the foreheads of the 144,000, is clearly not a literal mark that can be seen; therefore, the mark or seal (charagma) of the beast does not have to be a literal mark. The meaning could have multiple levels of application, so on one level it could be symbolic and refer to ownership, there could be a literal mark, but it will not be a global account number, as we will see. Those with the mark, name, or number are followers of the beast. People take the mark, name, or number when they convert to or submit to Islam.
Even though it is not a global account number that is placed on the forehead or right hand, there are a lot of connections to a mark, both literally and figuratively, within Islam. We learned that the meaning of the word “mark” can refer to something carved or engraved, such as an official seal of a ruler. In ages past a ruler would put some melted wax or ink onto the bottom of a letter and then press his seal/stamp/mark onto it, thus making it official.
Muhammad had a literal seal/ stamp/ mark that he used on his official documents. He sent letters to neighboring nations calling on them to join Islam or be invaded, and put his stamp/ seal/ or mark at the bottom of each letter:
Seal of Muhammad:
Seal / Mark of the Beast?
As best I can determine, the words on the seal say something like, “Allah/Messenger/Mohammad,” and is short for “Mohammad is the messenger of Allah.” Or perhaps, it is short for the Shahadah, which is the Islamic statement of faith; “There is no God but Allah, and Muhammad is his messenger.” This is all one needs to say to become a Muslim. In other words, to accept Muhammad’s mark is to become a Muslim. Is Muhammad’s seal the literal mark of the beast? ISIS fighters in Iraq have been seen wearing this on their foreheads.
Muhammad’s seal has made its way onto a black flag that is supposedly a reproduction of one that Muhammad used while doing jihad, and is suspected of being used by Al Qaeda. The words at the top of the flag purportedly say, “No god but Allah.” It is seen in Libya and Syria and now Iraq, and is also carried by ISIS.
There is another connection that Islam has to a mark or seal. In the Quran, Muhammad is called “the seal of the prophets” (33:40). The Arabic word for “seal” is khátam(خاتَم) , and means “an official mark (seal)” (Muhammad: The Seal of the Prophets, Dr. Muhammad Abraham Khan, p. 161). Even though most Islamic scholars teach that it has the meaning of “last” because the seal or signature was put at the end of a letter, in classical Arabic, the root for khátam “clearly points toward the idea of the placing of an impression of a signet-ring upon something, that is, the idea of a ‘seal’ (Wahiduddin Richard Shelquist, wahiduddin.net/ words/khatam.htm, see also the Arabic-English Lexicon, by Edward W. Lane, p. 702). So even the Arabic word for “seal” has a meaning similar to the Greek word used in Rev. 13, and the Quran calls Muhammad a seal/ mark of prophets.
So a seal, sign, or mark is directly connected to Muhammad in several ways. And Revelation is 99% symbolism; therefore, we cannot expect to see Muhammad’s number 666 stamped on anyone’s forehead, but we might see his seal (this is explained shortly). Keep in mind that symbolism is never an exact match to the thing symbolized; a close resemblance or connection is all that is necessary (see Book One for a full definition of symbolism).
But there is more; Muhammad says in the Quran that his people have a mark on their foreheads. When Muslims bow in prayer they press their foreheads and hands onto their prayer rugs so that when they raise up they have marks on their foreheads and hands, thus they have three visible impressions on their skin (the forehead and both hands). Most translations of the Quran say, “Their marks are on their faces in consequence of prostration” (48:29) (Maulana Ali); the Pickthal translation says, “The mark of them is on their foreheads from the traces of their prostration.”
According to a book titled, IRAN: Desperate for God, published by Voice of the Martyrs, some Muslims are so fervent in prayer that they actually cause a callus to form on their foreheads. (A callus is a thick area of rough skin.) This callus is considered a “sign” of holiness. Those marks on their foreheads are not directly what the mark of the beast is, but is very close to it. And is certainly not the number of the beast.
So Islam is literally connected to mark/seal/stamp in several ways: Muhammad is called “the seal of the prophets,” Muhammad had a literal seal, and the marks on the foreheads of all Muslims after prayer. Keep in mind that there is also a name of the beast and number of the name. So the mark of the beast is separate from the name and number of the name.
You can see by the above information that meaning can be multilayered, that one symbol can have several different applications, or the thing symbolized can mean several different related things. For example, to Christians the symbol of an anchor means faith and hope, but can also mean being secured in the storms of life, rather than being tossed by the waves. You can see how the meanings are similar yet different, and yet they point to the exact same symbol, the anchor. We see this here in Revelation.
(2) The Number of the Name of the Beast, 666
Since the mark of God in Ezekiel and seal of God in Revelation are not literal visible marks, it is reasonable to assume that the mark and number of the beast will not be literal either. However, as we saw above, there could be a literal mark, but the number is clearly symbolic because we are told to figure it out.
But, you may say the mark is supposed to be a number. No, we have seen that the mark of the beast is a mark, and the number is the number of the name of the beast. About the number Barnes Notes states:
The phrase “the number of the beast” means, that somehow this number was so connected with the beast, or would so represent its name or character, that the “beast” would be identified by its proper application.
The number 666 is a symbolic number that points us to who the beast and his followers are, which is why the Bible tells us to “calculate” the number, or literally to figure it out.
Since the number 666 will not literally be stamped on people’s foreheads, it must contain symbolism designed to point us to the identity of the second beast. There is no limit to the interpretations of the number of the name. You can find 666 in the names of dozens of famous people, past and present, supposedly including Al Gore, William Jefferson Clinton, Henry Kissinger, and the Pope. To understand the number of the name of the beast we must first look in the Bible, and then to history.
An occurrence of 666 is connected to Israel’s enemies:
The weight of the gold that Solomon received yearly was 666 talents, not including the revenues from merchants and traders and from all the Arabian kings and the governors of the land. (1 Kings 10:14-15)
Since this passage clearly shows that Solomon received far more than 666 talents of gold, there must be significance in the use of 666 in this passage. Solomon collected revenue in various forms of taxes, called tribute, from the neighboring countries. So this passage connects 666 with the nations that surround Israel. This is one of only three passages in the Old Testament where 666 directly occurs, and the word Arabia appears here as well. The Arabians are stated as being Israel’s enemies in 2 Chronicles 21:16, and 26:7, and they still are today. And Arabia is where Islam began.
The number appears indirectly several times, such as in the story of David and Goliath. Goliath stood 6 cubits and a span tall, his iron spearhead weighed 600 shekels, and he had 6 different types of armor and weapons: a helmet, a coat of mail, bronze leg protectors, a javelin, a spear, and a sword. An assistant carried his shield, so Goliath personally had only six different weapons and armor. What is the significance of this? Here symbolic 666 is connected with those who were waging war against Israel. Who have been the greatest enemies of both Jews and Christians for over 1,400 years? The Muslims. Who desires above all else to wage a literal war against Israel and all Christians? Muslims.
Goliath started the attack, but David killed him by using a stone (with God’s help of course); so in the future, Muslims will start the final world war but God will destroy them by the means of a literal stone from heaven, which is an asteroid impact (these events are discussed in detail in Book Four on the Wrath of God).
The number of the name of the beast is also in Daniel 2, where the king erected a solid gold statue that was 60 cubits tall, 6 cubits wide, and the people were commanded to bow down and worship it at the sound of 6 instruments: horn, flute, zither, lyre, harp, and pipes. The sound of the musical instruments called people to bow down to the image; Muslims are called to bow down in prayer five times a day at the sound of a person calling out words in a manner that sounds like singing. Music was used during Ottoman attacks, such as before and during the battles against Constantinople:
This night they worked [preparing for the battle] in high excitement, shouting and singing, while fifes and trumpets, pipes and lutes encouraged them on. . . .
All along the line of the walls the Turks rushed in to the attack, screaming their battle-cries, while drums and trumpets and fifes urged them on. (The Fall of Constantinople 1453, S. Runciman, Cambridge U. Press, p. 126-127, 133)
The Babylonians also threatened to kill anyone who did not bow to the image. Millions of people who have refused to bow toward Mecca in prayer have been killed, and many more will yet be killed.
The book of Ezekiel says, “In the sixth year, in the sixth month on the fifth day” (8:1), Ezekiel had a vision. In this vision he saw six men approaching “each with a deadly weapon in his hand” (9:2). A seventh man put the mark of God on the foreheads of all the righteous. All those without the mark were killed by the 6 men; in the 6th year and 6th month (666). Here the mark / seal of God is associated with those who are righteous and all persons without the mark are killed in God’s judgment. This is similar to what happens in Revelation, those with the mark of God, the 144,000, are protected, but those associated without it, because they have the mark of the beast, will be killed in the Wrath of God.
Similar connections with 666 are found in modern Israel. Jerusalem was a divided city until 1967, with half the city controlled by the Arabs. Then in June, the 6th month, several Arab nations mobilized their armies for war against Israel, so Israel attacked first, and the war lasted 6 days (which is why it is called the Six Day War). This gives us three 6s (666). Also, it was officially declared over at 6 pm local time in Jerusalem. What’s more, Israel won the Arab half of Jerusalem and a large piece of Jordanian-controlled land. This connects 666 with Islamic nations fighting against Israel.
It was on the 6th day of that war that the Israelis gained control of the Temple Mount where stands the Dome of the Rock (the Jews immediately returned control to the Muslims).
East Gate of the Temple
A powerful reference to the number 666 is found in Ezekiel’s description of a future Jewish Temple. Whether real or symbolic, there is an astonishing mention of 666:
10 Inside the east gate were three alcoves on each side; the three had the same measurements . . . 12 . . . and the alcoves were six cubits square. (Ezekiel 40:10, 12)
Here we have six alcoves, or niches, and each are six cubits square, which is 6x6x6. (Other translations do not plainly say they are square, but all books and drawings I consulted had these alcoves being square, because if the right wall is 6 cubits then the left wall must also be 6 cubits unless the room is really messed up architecturally.) So what this presents to us is, that each person walking through the east gate is surrounded by six alcoves, each representing 666! This is another passage that tells us who the people of 666 are; those who surround Israel. Could it be any clearer?
This is powerful evidence. The Bible does not include this information to take up space. It was put there for our benefit, to provide us with information we need to know.
Some people object to finding 666 in the manner above, but since the number is symbolic, and we are told to figure it out, then we can expect to see it this way. Otherwise, it must be literal, but that is nonsense. If it were literal, then it would not have told us to figure it out, and if it were literal then you should expect to see 666 marked on the foreheads of the followers of beast. But you are not going to see that, which means it is not a literal 666. There are other references to 666 in the Old Testament that are less discernible and less certain, so I will not include them here.
All the above evidence tells us that the enemies of God today are the people that surround Israel, which are all Islamic nations, and identifies them as the people of the beast and false prophet, not the fictional world government of the EU or the UN. Islam is the greatest enemy of freedom and justice the world has ever known. Muslims openly declare their plan to take over the world, and they will get their chance during the Great Tribulation.
I have made the connection with the Eastern Gate rooms and 666 and the people that surround Israel; there is another possible connection with Islam, but it is probably just a coincidence.
So if you were actually able to walk through the Eastern Gate and see these niches, they would look very much like small rooms cut in or built into the stone wall, which are for guards to stand in.
(3) The Number 6 in Islam
We have seen that 666 refers to the enemies of God in the Bible, today they are followers of Islam, but does the number 6 or 666 have any direct connection with Islam? You are never going to find 666 stamped on anything actually connected to the first or second beast, which is why the Bible tells us to calculate, or figure out, the number. However, 666 is connected in the form of multiple occurrences of the number 6.
We learned that the mark and number of the beast are associated with the second beast, not the first beast, so 666 should be connected to Islam in some way. And we find that the number 6 is associated with Islam in many different ways.
Muslims go to mosques on Friday, the 6th day of the week; there are 6 volumes of the Hadith or Traditions, which are the collected sayings of Muhammad outside of the Quran. And there are also 6 articles of faith:
Islam began just over 600 years after the birth of Christ, Muhammad died in 632 at the age of 61 (or 62) (666); and if Christ died in 32 A.D., as many scholars believe, then Mohammed died only a couple of months off from being exactly 600 years later.
The first significant battle, and one of the most important battles fought between the Arabs and the Eastern Roman Empire, was in 636, at Yarmuk, (notice that Yarmuk has 6 letters). It was important because the victory opened up all of Syria and Palestine to the Muslims. The Muslims trapped the Romans, so the Romans agreed to lay down their arms and surrender, but once the weapons were gathered up, the Romans were all slaughtered:
The Battle of the Yarmuk, the slaughter in that gorge of Syria, was decisive; it was perhaps the most decisive battle in the history of the world. . . . Very often in history it has been so; one decisive action has changed in a day the political future of a whole country, even of a whole civilization . . . (The Battle Ground: Syria and Palestine: The Seedplot of Religion, Hilaire Bellock, p. 243)
Also, the Battle of Yarmuk lasted 6 days (Yarmuk AD 636: The Muslim conquest of Syria, by David Nicolle, page 77).
The Muslim general, Amr, who invaded and conquered Egypt, also has 666 associated with him:
There is some discrepancy among the Arab authorities on the subject of ‘Amr’s age at the time of his death, though their agreement upon the date of that event is nearly unanimous. It may be taken for granted that he died on the Yum al Fitr A.H. 43, corresponding to January 6, 664. (The Arab Invasion of Egypt, by Alfred Butler, p. 546)
Sultan Mehmed VI (6th), was the last sultan of the Ottoman Empire. Sultan has 6 letters, Mehmed has 6 letters, plus 6th, gives 666. Is it just a coincidence that he was also the 36th ruling Ottoman sultan?
The number 666 is also associated with modern Muslims who are working to bring back the Islamic empire. Hassan al-Banna Shahid and five others founded the Muslim Brotherhood (MB), often just referred to as the Brotherhood or Ikhwan in Arabic. Notice that Hassan, Shahid, and Ikhwan all have 6 letters. Plus, Shahid was born in 1906, and a total of 6 persons founded the MB.
In June of 1996, while American troops were in Saudi Arabia, Muslims exploded a suicide truck bomb that destroyed Khobar Towers, which was the housing complex for U.S. troops in Dhahran. Notice that it took place in June, the 6th month, of 1996, and “Khobar” and “Towers” each have 6 letters.
Finally, when the Ottoman Empire became modern Turkey, President Atatürk presented “Six Arrows” of reform. The National Security Council of Turkey has 6 members, and “Turkey” has 6 letters, the capital of Turkey is “Ankara” which has 6 letters.
God made the world in 6 days and mankind is supposed to work 6 days and rest the 7th day. So the number 6 is connected with man and work, but also to man’s efforts at saving himself in the form of a false religion of effort or striving; Islam is nothing but a religion of striving. It is all outward effort, bowing and reciting memorized prayers a certain number of times, and fighting wars.
Someone posted a question online about the number of verses in the Quran and it was answered by someone who knew a lot about the subject. Here is that question and answer, that explains the number of verses in the Quran:
How many verses (Ayahs) are there in the Quran? People mention different numbers about the amount of the Quranic verses. If so, why? Are there different types of Quran? Is addition or deletion of the verses in question? Can you explain it?
Scholars have different opinions about the number of the Quranic verses. But this conflict is just about “numerating” the verses. All the scholars are in agreement about the content and originality of Quran. . . .
Here are some points about the difference:
Some scholars numerated the long sentences as two or three verses, while some others regarded them as one whole verse.
Besides, Shafii scholars regarded “basmala” (1) as a part of each sura and didn’t numerate them. But the Hanafi scholars regarded each Basmala as specific verses, so counted them. . . .
The number of the verses according to Scholars:
Ibn-i Abbas (ra): 6616,
Nafi (ra): 6217,
Shayba (ra): 6214,
Scholars of Egypt (ra): 6226,
Zamahshari (ra) (the genius Eloquence Scholar of the Arabic language and literature); 6666.
Bediuzzaman, mujaddid (the reformer) of the 13.century, also has the opinion of 6666 verses.
Ibn-i Huzeyme, one of the big imams, made the following explanations on “6666” issue while handling the “Quran’s miracle of number” topic of his book titled “An Nasih wa’l Mansuh”:
There are 1000 verses about promising (wa’ad);
1000 about threat (wa’id);
1000 command (amr) verses;
1000 forbiddance (nahy) verses;
1000 information and story verses;
1000 warning and example verses;
500 verses about ruling;
100 verses about invocation and glorification;
66 “nasih and mansuh” (“the abrogating and abrogated”) verses.
Totally there are 6666 verses in the Quran.
Consequently, the expression “Quran has 6666 verses,” is based on the mentioned points.
But today, accepting the opinion of Kufa, all Qurans consist of 6236 verses. . . . (askaquestionto.us/question-answer/revealedbook/how-many-verses-ayahs-are-there-in-the-quran)
You can see from the above information that at least three respected Islamic scholars used Qurans with 6666 verses, and at least one with 6616 verses. This explains why some Christians claim that the Quran has 6666 verses, and even many Muslims believe it has, because some of them do! I checked the four physical Quran translations that I own, and some online, and they all had 6236 verses.
So why do most of the Qurans we use today have only 6236? In all probability, at some point in the past few hundred years they decided to stop using the Qurans with 6666 verses and 6616 verses. This means they purposely chose to use some very long verses rather than divide them into more readable and reference-able shorter verses, most likely because of the association with 666.
In addition to the verses, there are 114 chapters, called suras. If you count or calculate the number of the second beast, like we are told to do, then: 1+1+4=6.
You saw the ten-horned mosque in Saudi Arabia in another chapter; could there be yet another coincidence, in that there are 3 mosques in Turkey that each have 6 minarets (666)?
- The Mugdat Mosque in Mersin, with a height of 266 feet.
- The Sultan Ahmed Mosque, also called the Blue Mosque, in Istanbul, built 1609-1616.
- The Sabanci Mosque in Adana, built 1998.
You may be asking, how many minarets do other mosques have? It is not standard to put six minarets on a mosque. Some have one, but most have either two or four.
Lastly, but certainly not least, is the numerical value of “Allah.” I found several Islamic websites that clearly say that the numerical value of “Allah” is 66. In Arabic (al-+’ilāh, the god) (www.the freedictionary.com); notice that it has 6 letters in Arabic. And even in English Allah is sometimes spelled Allaah and Islam sometimes spelled Islaam, with 6 letters (www.fatwa-online.com/aboutis laam/0020224_03.htm) (www.indotalisman.com/99names. html, www.deenislam.co.uk/Sufic-introduction tothe99Names.pdf, www.discoveringislam.org/yahweh_in_ quran. htm).
I will not give the background of how Allah is connected to the moon god and Baal. Other people have already done that. in books and online. Though interesting, it does not add to the proof that Islam is the religion of the beast and false prophet, so I do not cover it here.
(4) A New Theory About the Mark is Proven Wrong
Walid Shoebat, author of God’s War on Terror, grew up speaking and reading Arabic, so he believed he saw something in the Greek text that most of us could never see, which is that the Greek letters chi xi sigma, which signify 600 60 and 6, look very much like the Arabic word, Bismillah that means, “in the name of Allah,” along with crossed swords, which is found in many Islamic emblems and flags. He believes that John actually saw the Islamic word and the crossed swords and tried to copy it; so what we see as being 666 in the Greek is not that at all. But the evidence says that this theory is very wrong.
Shoebat says the top image is what John saw, and that John actually wrote down something like the bottom image. He says that scribes thought he had written the number 666 as seen in the Codex Vaticanus, seen here:
This new theory has taken off on many websites and youtube.com; even well-known Bible teacher Chuck Missler has taught it, but it is not accurate for several reasons. First, notice that the scribes would have had to turn the middle squiggle 90 degrees and move the line from beside it to above it. That is major editing, not merely writing letters that resembled what John wrote.
Since the early Bibles were handwritten, it is probable that only a few copies of the Bible would resemble Bismillah and crossed swords. If Shoebat were to have seen a different manuscript, he would not have seen anything that looked like Bismillah.
This image is from the Chester Beatty Papyri collection. The letters that look like an X and E are Greek letters that appear frequently in Greek documents.
Notice the letters above the white line. They don’t look very much like crossed swords and Bismillah. Look at the bottom line, there is another X and E with a line after it; is that another Bismillah?
Typeset text looks even less like Bismillah, without serious alterations. Here the number set in type: χξϚ (www.blue letterbible.org) which is typeset. Here are two more typefaces of those letters:
Shoebat references the Vaticanus codex found in the Vatican library, but it was not complete, and was pieced together. The book of Revelation was missing, so they added a much later copy of Revelation to make a complete Bible. So Revelation in Vaticanus was not so ancient, but later. Another codex, the Sinaiticus, has 666 written out in words and in capital letters, which do not in any way resemble Bismillah or crossed swords! Most of the early texts of the Bible are in all capital letters, like the one below.
Also, the number 666 could have been written out in words. Which was in the original text that John wrote? Was it 666, or the words six hundred, sixty, six? We will not know this before the return of Christ, but it makes no difference insofar as this issue is concerned.
However, a piece of evidence does exist that points to the words being written out originally. Notice the line above the letters in the Chester Beatty Papyri above. That line above the text is not part of the numbers, it is a scribal mark that means that the numbers below it are an abbreviation. Did John abbreviate his original? We will never know, but I think it unlikely. To me this means that the number was originally written out in words, six hundred sixty and six, because I believe he would want to be as exact, or accurate, as possible.
But more importantly, the text actually says it is a number. The word “number” appears four times in the last two verses, “for it is man’s number. His number is ___” So John was not trying to write something other than a number. Everything John wrote down, he either saw in a vision, or is what an angel told him during the visions; he did not write down impressions or assumptions, and he says it is a number!
But even if he wrote the number, perhaps God intended it to point to Bismillah? No, that is not possible because the verse says it is a number. It also says that we should “count” the number of the beast. How can you count up or calculate something that is not a number?
This inaccurate interpretation includes much twisting of the meaning of the original Greek text in order to smooth out the conflicts. Shoebat and his followers are doing this in an attempt to make the passage make sense with Bismillah. Even though I believe the whole chapter points to Islam, I do not approve of Scripture twisting to show that point of view.
So they have contrived alternate meanings for “count” and “number” and end up making the verse say something very different. They claim an alternate meaning for “number” (arithmos) (706), is “multitude,” so they come up with this; “let him that hath understanding determine [instead of count] the multitude of men belonging to the beast: for it is a multitude of men; and his multitude is (crossed swords, Bismillah).” They are using the word “multitude” incorrectly, as though it were not connected to arithmos. Using “multitude” this way is dead wrong. Here is what Thayer’s Greek dictionary says about arithmos:
1) a fixed and definite number 2) an indefinite number, a multitude
The word “multitude” as used in the above definition refers to a large number, not a specific group of anything, certainly not a group of people. The way Shoebat and his followers are using it, it refers to a group, the group being the Muslims.
The word “multitude” from the Greek arithmos can be used only if its use retains the original meaning. As in, “he has a multitude of problems.” Notice that the sentence could have been worded this way; “he has a large number of problems.” So it retains the meaning connected to “number.” But as it is being used by Shoebat, it has a totally different meaning which is not in any way even inferred or suggested by its meaning; therefore, it is engaging in the worst kind of Scripture twisting.
The Complete Word Study Dictionary, by Spiros Zodhiates, is a thick Greek dictionary, often with much information and several definitions for a word, but it gives only one meaning for arithmos, NUMBER. If John wanted to convey the meaning of a “multitude” of people, as in a group or company of people, he would have used (plethos) (4128) which means “full-ness, that is, a large number, throng, populace: – bundle, company, multitude” (Strong).
You may notice that the Greek, arithmos is the exact word from which we get our English word arithmetic, and arithmetic does not have any connection to a group or company of anything. So the correct meaning of arithmos is number, not multitude or group.
If you used this type of alternate meanings, like is described above, with all or any other part of the Bible, you could get whatever you wanted to get, and could get anything imaginable in the text. The Bible would be a book without any predictable meaning, as it would say whatever you wanted it to say.
Another thing to consider is that, since there were many Christians in the Middle East down through the centuries who were able to read and write in both Greek and Arabic, how is it that no one has seen crossed swords and Bismillah in the Greek text before now? Because it is not actually in the text, but is contrived to be there.
Since this book was first published, I have some added information on the subject of Walid Shoebat’s view of the mark.
The claim is made that the word “arithmos” can mean multitude. The additional info on this subject is, the word “multitude” actually appears in Revelation directly, and it is not “arithmos” but is “ochlos” (3793). It appears three times 7:9; 17:15, & 19:6: “Then I heard what sounded like a great multitude . . .”
A crowd, throng, confused multitude. . . . With polloi . . . Much, great, many crowds . . . Specifically used for the common people, the rabble . . . Generally a multitude, a great number.
Therefore, I believe if John had intended to mean “multitude” he would have used the word that actually does mean “multitude.”
(5) The Name of the Beast
We have discussed #1 and #3, but not #2:
- the mark of the beast or
- the name of the beast or
- the number of the name of the beast
It is believed that the word “name” as used here is like “Bob” or “John” but it can have a different meaning. The Greek for name is ὄνομα (3686) (onoma) and means: name, title, character, reputation, fame, authority. Since we are trying to decipher symbolic meaning, perhaps we should not be looking for a literal name, but one of the alternate meanings. To cast out devils in the name of Jesus means to use his power and authority.
We know that the mark and number of the beast are not of the first beast, but of the second beast, which is Islam. So what is the power and authority of Islam? Allah and the Quran. So if the name of the second beast refers to the Quran, then the number of the name of the beast refers to the Quran.
We have already learned that Allah’s numerical value is 66, and that some Qurans have 6666 verses, and some have 6616, but most of those today only have 6236; likely because they don’t want them to be connected to 666. We also learned that the beast calls down fire, and the Quran speaks of using fire against unbelievers. So the evidence still points to Islam as the second beast.
(6) Cannot Buy or Sell
Many people believe that there must be a literal global number in order to enforce what they believe it says about the mark. It does not say that you must take the mark of the beast or be killed, but merely that you cannot buy or sell unless you have the mark, or the name of the beast or the number of its name. This refers to being able to conduct business. There are several Bible commentaries that agree with this point of view, such as this one:
The text does not say that men will not be able to eat unless they have the mark . . . of the beast, but that they will not be able to carry on business without that mark. (The Wycliffe Bible Commentary, 1962) (ellipsis in the text)
Muslim merchants were at one time some the most successful in all of Africa and Asia, which is one of the ways in which Islam spread beyond the reach of the armies of conquest. The merchants moved their families to establish a presence in a city; their numbers gradually grew until they were able to coerce the local government to make concessions to them, and even coerce them into converting, least the merchants take their ships and go to another port.
But today, Muslims are no longer among the world’s most successful traders, and they blame the West. Now Western Europe and North America do most of the trading with each other and East Asia. So when the next empire comes to power, they are going to require that Christians, Jews, Hindus, and Buddhist cease doing business, thus allowing only Muslims to engage in trade.
Similar but less harsh restrictions have been in place since the beginning of Islam. Discrimination against Christians and Jews has long been part of Islamic society. Muhammad started “an entire system of humiliating regulations that institutionalize[d] inferior status for non-Muslims in Islamic law” (The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam and the Crusades, Spencer, p. 37). Historically, there were a host of rules that relegated non-Muslims to second-class status and were designed to make them feel inferior, demoralized, and humiliated, including heavy taxation, abduction of children, not riding horses, stepping aside for Muslims, not praying loudly, not ringing church bells, not building their houses taller than Muslim houses, having to wear different clothing, and many more. Some of these rules are still in place.
They frequently could not build or repair churches, or vote, or testify in a court of law, or raise their voices when singing in churches. They were even required to give three days free lodging to traveling Muslims. “If they violate these terms, the law further stipulates that they can be killed or sold into slavery at the discretion of the Muslim leader” (Ibid, page 51). This legal and social system of discrimination and oppression was designed to, and resulted in, a gradual conversion to Islam throughout the lands that Islam conquered. This system of “repression, discrimination, and harassment . . . made conversion to Islam the only path to a better life” (Ibid, page 107).
A detailed description of this social discrimination is given by Islamic expert Bat Ye’or:
The oppressions to which those latter are exposed, even to this day, are almost incredible. In Algiers the French Government emancipated them some forty years ago, but in Tunis, Morocco, and Tripoli they only got certain liberties during the last few years. Till then they had to live in a certain quarter, and were not allowed to appear in the streets after sunset. . . . If it was a dark night they were not allowed to carry a lantern like the Moors and Turks, but a candle, which the wind extinguished every minute. They were neither allowed to ride on horseback nor on a mule, and even to ride on a donkey was forbidden them except outside the town; they had then to dismount at the gates, and walk in the middle of the streets, so as not to be in the way of Arabs. . . . and then to walk on with lowered head; before coming to a mosque they were obliged to take the slippers off their feet, and had to pass the holy edifice without looking at it. As Tunis possesses no less than five hundred mosques, it will be seen that Jews did not wear out many shoes at that time. It was worse even in their intercourse with Musulmans; if one of these fancied himself insulted by a Jew, he stabbed him at once, and had only to pay a fine to the State, by way of punishment.
As late as 1868 seventeen Jews were murdered in Tunis without the offenders having been punished for it: often a Minister or General was in the plot, to enrich himself with the money of the murdered ones. . . . [and Jews] had to pay 50,000 piastres monthly to the State as a tax. (From Protected People Under Islam, David G. Littman & Bat Ye’or; in The Myth of Islamic Tolerance, p. 102.)
It is interesting to note that there were times when the Muslims were not interested in making conversions because they depended upon the tax money of non-Muslims, and actually prohibited conversions. At one point the Arabic empire actually put a mark on the forehead and hand of those who were not Muslim, to keep them from converting:
The kharaj, the tax on non-Muslim land, reduced the Copts to destitution: they abandoned their fields and mass conversions occurred, but they were forcibly brought back by the army and obliged to pay the taxes (694-714). . . . In 724, twenty-four thousand Copts converted to Islam to escape ruinous taxes. (A Christian Minority: The Copts in Egypt, by Bat Ye’or. In The Myth of Islamic Tol., R. Spencer: p. 235)
Another writer relates a horrifying account of Suleiman’s tax collector, Usamah b. Zayd, in the 8th century:
Usamah b. Zayd, used particularly barbarous means to extract money from the Christians. With hot iron bars he impressed a symbol on the body of each taxpayer. If a monk or a Christian layman was discovered without the sign, Usamah first amputated the victim’s arms and then beheaded him. Many Christians converted to Islam in order to avoid punishment as well as to be freed of tribute. (Greek Christian and Other Accounts of the Muslim Conquests of the Near East, by Demetrios Constantelos, reprinted in The Legacy of Jihad: Islamic Holy War and the Fate of Non-Muslims, Andrew G. Bostom, page 391)
Some, but not all, of the oppressive laws were repealed in the 1800s because of pressure from European nations, which is another reason that Muslims hate Europe and America today. A missionary, named Napier Malcom, spent five years in Persia and wrote about life there in 19th century:
Up to 1895 . . . the houses of both the Parsis [Zoroastrian] and the Jews, with the surrounding walls, had to be built so low that the top could be reached by a Mussulman with his hand extended . . . Up to about 1860 Parsis could not engage in trade. They used to hide things in their cellar rooms, and sell them secretly. . . . Up to 1870 they were not allowed to have a school for their children. (Quoted in The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam and the Crusades, by Spencer, page 162-163)
An unpublished thesis by an Egyptian relates some of the suffering which the Coptic Christians have endured:
In short, Christians were subjected to incredible burdens by their inferiority status to Muslims in every aspect of their daily lives. They were reduced to less than slaves. . . .
The different forms of taxes [that] were imposed on Christians were, jizya (the poll tax) and kharaj (land tax), as well as commercial and travel taxes. Apart from all of these taxes, at the ruler’s will, large sums of money were extorted from Christians. If they failed to pay, he ordered women and children to be taken as slaves. . . . To escape the ravage of plunder, Christians were forced to pay protection money to emirs (rulers) and sheikhs (chiefs). Whenever the central government had failed to apply law and order, the Muslim roving tribes took advantage of Christians. To secure their lives from danger, paying protection money was part of their existence. (The Coptic Christians of Egypt Today: Under Threat of Annihilation, by Baheg T. Bistawros, B.D., Evangelical Theological Seminary Thesis, 1996. www.amcoptic.com/thesis.pdf)
Today Christians are discriminated against in education, employment, owning property, imprisonment, have their names published in the newspaper which increases social pressure by loss of employment, harassment by Muslim neighbors, and much more.
The easing of the discriminatory laws in many Muslim countries, such as no longer having to pay the heavy jizya tax, makes many modern Muslims angry and prone to attack Christians with violence. They rob them of their goods or burn down their homes and businesses.
So we see that Muslims have been punishing Christians and Jews socially and economically since the beginning of Islamic rule, and the future Islamic empire will most certainly have similar laws restricting business activity (buying and selling) by Christians and Jews.
At least that is what history would lead one to believe, since Christians and Jews were limited in the occupations during previous Islamic empires. But as violent and fundamentalist as the Muslim Brotherhood and other groups are today, the next empire may try to force all non-Muslims into converting by literally limiting their ability to buy food and other necessities by passing a law that says no one but Muslims can buy or sell anything at the market.
(7) Cashless Society
Most teaching on the mark of the beast today has centered around a mythical future cashless monetary system and one-world government. There is no worldwide conspiracy involving our government to bring about a cashless society ruled by the Antichrist, it’s pure fiction.
The cashless system appears to be coming upon us gradually, but there will never be a time when governments will totally convert to a cashless system. Consider what takes place during wars; electricity is disrupted and in some cases stopped completely because war destroys electric lines, transformers, and power plants. Without electricity it is impossible to operate an all-electronic cash economy. Even under present conditions, there are occasional winter storms that down power lines, leaving people without electricity for weeks. And in summer with heavy air conditioner usage there have been several major power outages in America. The problem is 100 times worse in nations outside North America and Western Europe; large cities may have electricity for only a limited number of hours each day. So, the lack of electricity in most nations will prevent any such thing as a global cashless money system.
Also, the whole idea of giving everyone on Earth a mark in their forehead or right hand is preposterous and logistically impossible. It would take decades to give such a mark to more than 7 billion people. Think about how many locations would have to be set up to give out the mark; suppose there were a small number like 10,000 stations worldwide. How many years would it take to get those 10,000 stations in place? Then each station would need to give the mark to 700,000 people, and it would require them to operate 24-hours per day seven days a week to get the job done and still take over a year. And each station would have to give the mark to more than one person per minute during that 24 hours, 7-days-a-week, for over a year. This means that in reality it would take decades to accomplish, if ever.
We all know how inept national governments are, the U.S. government cannot even get a healthcare website running correctly after several years of work! So no national government could ever accomplish such a feat, certainly not a global government that will have to work with numerous languages.
When you consider that most people could not use it anyway, because the majority of the world’s population doesn’t even have access to a telephone or electric lights, the whole idea becomes completely absurd. Therefore, electronic cash on a global scale will never happen.
(8) Mark of Jihad or Loyalty
Even though the mark and number have symbolic meaning, going along with my belief that an interpretation is often multilayered, there may actually be a literal mark which is limited to the Revived Ottoman Empire.
For example, they could require everyone to take a pledge of jihad, that they will work for the cause, even if it is only donating money, or making flags, or providing sex to the fighters (see introduction). So they may require a literal mark as a sign of one’s pledge of jihad.
What will this mark look like? I imagine the mark taking one of two forms, the first being a literal tattoo that is put on the skin, such as a small letter or symbol signifying jihad. A standard tattooing device only takes a few minutes to make a very small tattoo. (The next paragraph is just speculation.)
But suppose the device had several small needles so that just pressing it on the skin and turning it on will produce the mark in a few seconds. Another way of getting the mark could be to slightly burn it on. For example, suppose they come up with a way to put on an instant tattoo using heat it to make it permanent. Instant temporary tattoos already exists, so they just need to have special ink that will react to heat or some kind of sound wave or something and it becomes permanent.
Or the mark could be a microchip that is not an account number, but merely shows that you are a loyal follower of Islam or a supporter of jihad. In this case, a battery-operated scanner can be used to pass over the forehead or hand and will beep and show on the screen that they have the mark. In this case, it would not take as long to give the mark because they do not have to setup an entire computer system for assigning numbers and tracking numbers, and will not be global, but only in the Islamic empire of the beast.
But I believe it is more practical to have the tattoo, because even a small chip, like which are put into dogs and cats, will leave a noticeable bump if put into the forehead.
We may actually have a description of the mark being given in Revelation 9, with the stings like scorpions. In Book One I stated that this passage most likely represented forcing people into the army for five months, in preparation for war, because of its war-like description; “like horses prepared for battle. . . . the sound of their wings was like the thundering of many horses and chariots rushing into battle” (9:7, 9). So if this passage in Rev. 9 refers to a literal mark being given as a mark of jihad, then that view is still valid, it just refers to everyone who will have even a small part in the war, not just the soldiers, as stated above:
5 They were not given power to kill them, but only to torture them for five months. And the agony they suffered was like that of the sting of a scorpion when it strikes a man.
What happens when a scorpion stings a person? It sticks them with a sharp pointed barb, like a needle, and it hurts a lot, like a needle. So these scorpions will either give a needle tattoo, burn on a tattoo, or implant a chip. But it is impossible to say, at this time, what the device will look like, or what the mark will actually be, we can only make educated guesses. Rev. 9 continues:
. . . 9 They had breastplates like breastplates of iron, and the sound of their wings was like the thundering of many horses and chariots rushing into battle. 10 They had tails and stings like scorpions, and in their tails they had power to torment people for five months.
Notice the mention of sound and wings; tattoo guns make a buzzing kind of sound, like small metal wings flapping very fast. The tattoo needle goes in and out about 100 times per second. Notice that it has power in its tail. It is doubtful that a chip implant device will make this same noise, and I have seen some implant devices that are not powered at all, but manually operated.
Verse 10 is slightly different in the Literal Translation:
And they have tails like scorpions, and their stings were in their tails; and their authority is to harm men five months. (LIT)
Notice that their tails are like scorpions, which most likely means in appearance. Also, the locusts have stings are in their tails, just like scorpions have stings in their tails.
In the picture on the next page, notice the similar appearance of the scorpion’s stinger and the tip of the tattoo gun. Notice how it slops down to a point, just like the tattoo gun. The sting of the tattoo gun is in the needle that comes out the tip, just like a scorpion. And both a scorpion and a tattoo gun are about the same size; both will lay easily in the palm of the hand. And most importantly, both cause pain by piercing the skin.
Also, there are different words in the Greek for “in” and “on,” so even though the KJV says the mark will be “in” the right hand or forehead, in the Greek it says “on,” which is the way it reads in most modern translations. This is small, but could be significant. Being “on” the hand rather than “in” the hand most likely rules out a microchip implant.
So as a brief recap of my view on this; the scorpion stings in Rev. 9 could be five months of giving the mark of the beast in preparation for war, which will make it a mark of jihad. Only those who pledge their support in the war effort will be allowed to conduct business.
I realize that the number is six hundred sixty and six is not merely three sixes, but since it is symbolic, we must look for it in many different ways and many different places. We are not likely to find it directly shown, but must do as the Scripture tells us, and “count” or figure out the number.
I expect that we will yet discover more information on the number, name, and the mark of the beast as time goes by. Perhaps the name of the Mahdi will add up to 666, or the words that will be part of the mark.
We have learned that some of the older Qurans have 6666 verses and some have 6616 verses. It is also interesting that a few of the oldest manuscripts of Rev. 13 have 616 instead of 666. The variant was even noted by the early church father, Irenaeus. This discrepancy has been examined and discussed for centuries.
Michael D. Fortner