This article was accepted for publication in The Cryptogram—The Journal of the American Cryptogram Association.


Although it is generally believed that Nero Caesar of first century A.D. Imperial Rome was the likely intended solution to the number of the beast (666) mentioned in The New Testament “Book of Revelation” (Rev. 13:18), it wasn't until the first half of the 19th century A.D. that scholars actually proposed Nero as the solution to 666.1)

During the last decade a fragment was decoded that cites Revelation 13:18 as 616 [P/OVY/4499]. There has been debate on the Internet as to which number for the beast is the original. The second century A/D/ Bishop Irenaeus was aware of this lesser atteste number in a few manuscripts. However, he discounted 616 as a scribal error.2)

Approaching the 666 vs. 616 debate in its current form will not yield an intelligible explication on the problem.

The scholar Gunkel3) suggested that the mysterious number of the beast must be a very ancient piece of apocalyptic tradition. The scholar Vitinga4) suggested that scholars need to look back to Babylon for a man who stood in relation to Babylon as Caesar to Rome. The scholar Wellhausen5) suggested that the author of Revelation was aware of a 'traditional' solution and a 'contemporary' (Rome) solution.

The proposed solutions in this article demonstrate that 666 and 616 were actual contemporaneous (6th century B.C. Imperial Babylon). 666 was 'archetypal' while 616 was referring to the son and successor of Nebekenezer. Nero was a 'typological' solution. The Babylonians destroyed the first Jewish Temple while the Romans destroyed the second Jewish Temple. The Jewish priestly House of Yeshua )Ezra 2:36) was in forced exile in 6th century B.C. Babylon. The House of Yeshua is translated in the Gree as House of Jesus. Notice that The New Testament letter titled “First Peter” 5:13 states: “Greetings from her who dwells in Babylon.”

Here is the key; and anyone who has intelligence may work out the number of the beast. The number represents a man's name, and the numerical value of its letters is six hundred and sixty-six (NEB Rev 13:18)

Nine Components of the Puzzle

Babulōn Β α β υ λ ὼ ν
2 1 2 20 11 24 13 = 73
Aiguptos Α ἴ γ υ π τ ο ς
1 9 3 20 16 19 15 18 = 101
Edōm Ε δ ὼ μ
5 4 24 12 = 45
Mōab Μ ὼ α β
12 24 1 2 = 39
Ammōn Α μ μ ὼ ν
1 12 12 24 13 = 62
Turos Τ υ ρ ο ς
19 20 17 15 18 = 89
Sidōn Σ ι δ ὼ ν
18 9 4 24 13 =68
666 = 50 8 2 8 29 8 4 59 8 200 200 8 100
Ν η β η κ η δ ν η σ σ η ρ
13 7 2 7 10 7 4 13 7 18 18 7 17 =130
Balthasar Β α λ θ α σ α ρ
2 1 11 8 1 18 1 17 = 59
= 666

The seven kingdoms are symbolically represented as the seven heads of the sea beast at Rev 13:1.

The two kings are symbolically represented by the two horns of the land beast at Rev 13:11.


The New English Bible (1972), in the Old Testament book of Two Kings 25:27 footnote “b” refers to “EWIL MARDUK.” He was the son and successor to Nebedkenesser of the 6th century B.C. Imperial Babylon. The armies of Imperial Babylon destroyed the 1st Temple in Jerusalem and deported a remnant of ancient Israel into forced exile in Babylon. Among this Jewish remnant was the priestly House of Jeshua (Ezra 2:36). The Greek Septuagint, Ezra 2:36 translates this as House of Jesus!

E Ε 5
W ϝ 6
I ι 10
L λ 30
M Μ 40
A α 1
R ρ 100
D δ 4
U υ 400
K κ 20

P/OXY/4499 refers to the papyrus fragment discovered by archaeologists in the 1890's in the town of Oxyrhynchus, Egypt. It contains portions of the canonical Book of Revelations which cites 616 for Rev 13:18.

Arthur S. Peake. The Revelation of John. London, England: Holborn Publishing house, 1920, pp. 323–326
“Irenaeus on 666 and 616” http://jdavidstark.com/2011/12/13
cited in Peake, pp. 324-325
cited in Peake, p. 324
cited in Peake, p. 327