Jun 06, 2006 at 10:38pm IST

666: Beware! Today's the day

Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man, and his number is 666.

- Revelation 13:18 (King James version of the Bible)

New Delhi: Friday the thirteenth, 9/11 and now 06/06/06.

BEASTLY NUMBER: 666 refers to the beast in the Bible's Book of Revelations. (Photo: AP) (AP)

With June 6, 2006 here authorities are gearing up to tackle prophecy theorists or hate groups that might try to use the devil's number to stir tension.

Expectant mothers are delaying labour so that they don't give birth on the date associated with Antichrist.

For many 666 is a marketing opportunity. Director John Moore is cashing in on the phenomena and releasing his movie The Omen on Tuesday.

Ann Coulter is also releasing her book How to Talk to a Liberal (If You Must): The World According to Ann Coulter on the same day.

So what is the significance of the number 666?

Simply put - the Beast. The number 666 is used to refer to the beast in the Bible's Book of Revelations in the New Testament.

In some interpretations of Christian eschatology the Beast is believed to refer to a being controlled by or equated with the Antichrist.

Revelation 13:16-18 states:

"Also it causes all, both small and great, both rich and poor, both free and slave, to be marked on the right hand or the forehead, so that no one can buy or sell who does not have the mark, that is, the name of the beast or the number of his name. This calls for wisdom: let anyone with the understanding calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a person. Its number is six hundred and sixty-six."

Ahistorical versions of Christian eschatology believe that the mark of the Beast (666) is the one way in which the Antichrist will exercise power over the Earth during the period of Tribulation.

One literal interpretation is that the number 666 will be imprinted on the skin.

Some interpret the mark as a requirement for all commerce to mean that the mark might actually be an object with the function of a credit card.

Alternatively, the mark is supposed to be a microchip or barcode in or on the human body.

These interpretations are usually presented in the form of conspiracy theories.

However, there has been widespread debate over the meaning of the number.


Some scholars, such as Dr Delbert Hillers and the editors of the Oxford & Harper Collins translations, contend that the number is a code for the Roman Emperor Nero, a view that is also supported by the Roman Catholic Church.

Because the date June 6, 2006 is abbreviated as 06/06/06, it has attracted attention as having some connection to the mark of the Beast.

Nonetheless, it should be noted that the number of the beast is 666, not 6606 (as in June 6, '06), and therefore, the date has no more in common with the number of the beast than June 6, 1996 (6696) or June 6, 1946 (6646).

Furthermore, at no point in the Christian bible is any connection made between 666 and a date.

Fearing 666!
bullet The fear of the number 666 is called hexakosioihexekontahexaphobia.
bullet Prominent hexakosioihexekontahexaphobics include the late Ronald Reagan and Nancy Reagan. In 1989, when they moved to the former president's final home in the Bel Air section of Los Angeles, they had the address of 666 St. Cloud Road changed to 668.
bullet When Intel introduced the 666 MHz Pentium III in 1999, they decided to market it as the Pentium III 667 claiming that since the actual speed was 666.666 MHz, therefore 667 was the more accurate approximation.
bullet The US Highway 666, “the Highway of the Beast”, was renumbered in 2003 after controversy over the supposed reference to the Biblical beast, which also made the road signs a common target for theft.
bullet The number 666 is a simple sum and difference of the first three 6th powers:

666 = 16 - 26 + 36

bullet It is also equal to the sum of its digits plus the cubes of its digits:

666 = 6 + 6 + 6 + 6³ + 6³ + 6³

bullet The sum of the squares of the first 7 primes is 666:

666 = 2² + 3² + 5² + 7² + 11² + 13² + 17²