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The Number 666

Eli wrote asking whether 666 is related to the 666 descendants of Adonikam in Ezra 2:13. Here was my response on 3/5/2017:

Hi Eli

Thank you for detailing the issues, so I could research them. Very interesting indeed. I do think Ezra 2:13 is the best indication of the name of the Anti-Christ referred to in Rev. 13:16. The number 666 appears to mean Adonikam.

In turn, the meaning of Adonikam in Ezra 2:13 may be Lord of the Enemies, not the Lord who is raised.  Vitringa, a famous old Hebraist Christian scholar, says it is "Lord of enemies," but others who are not Hebraists have said it means "Lord who rises up,"  claiming it is grammatically impossible it is "Lord of the enemies." See Ernest William Hengstenberg,  Revelation of St. John for those who Search the Scriptures, Vol. 2 (1852) at 52.

Adonikam is typically explained as combining ADON -- LORD with QUM…  rising up. See Hebrew names explained at Meaning of Hebrew Names 

However, there was formerly present in Strong's Hebrew 138 on Adonijah mention that Ezra 2:13 where Adonikam appears that it means "Lord of Enemies." Here is the screen capture of a Bing search that shows the original Strong's 138. It reads:


https://www.studylight.org/lexicons/hebrew/hwview.cgi?n=138 • Adonijah = "my lord is Jehovah Also Ezra 2: 13, called ("lord of enemies"), (Adonikam], comp, 8:13 Nehemiah 7:18. List of Word Forms. ">

However, the Study Light version of Strong's 138 (Hebrew) does not mention Ezra 2:13 and "Lord of enemies" that was visible in the preview. See link.

Nor is "Lord of the enemies" present in other searches on Strong's 138. See  http://biblehub.com/hebrew/strongs_138.htm

The word in Ezra is Adonikam, and is Strongs 140. http://biblehub.com/interlinear/ezra/2-13.htm

Then Strong's 140 gives no meaning to this name … see http://biblehub.com/hebrew/strongs_140.htm

This word Adonikam appears in 3 places: Ezra 2:13, Ezra 8:13 and Nehemiah 7:18… but each time it is talking of the same group… sons of Adonikam.

Yet, it is clear Strong's 138 on Adonijah had at one time -- now deleted -- referred to a contrasting meaning of Adonikam as "Lord of enemies."

It is quite puzzling.

Anyway, the connection to 666 in Revelation is quite obvious. The name Adonikam is the ancestor of 666 children. Ezra 2:13.

The scholar Ernest William Hengstenberg, in Revelation of St. John for those who Search the Scriptures, Vol. 2 (1852) at 52, following Vitringa's lead, explained how strong this should be taken:

In the whole of the Old Testament there is but one instance in which the number 666 occurs with a name. It is said in Ezra ii.13, "The sons of Adonikam 666." The name Adonikam must therefore be the name of the beast. It was admirably fitted for being so.

The point was even better put by Martin Silbrede in his "[Review of] THE BEAST OF REVELATION, by Dr. Kenneth L. Gentry Jr.," The Counsel of Chalcedon 1989 No. 8 at 11, 14. He explains that he prefers

"Vitringa's and Hengstenberg's identification from Ezra 2:13  [that] the name of the Beast is Adonikam. This solution utilizes no extra-Biblical consideration whatsoever, tying together the predicates from the opening verses of Rev. 13 to form the actual name of the Beast: Adonikam-- the Lord rises up, the name of the Beast that rises up from the sea with the name of blasphemy on its heads….

"Though ultimately inconclusive (the correlation could be entirely accidental), the odds of a random match like this between a rare occurrence of 666 in the Old Testament, the name associated with that number, and the actual description of the blaspheming beast rising out of the sea, is extremely remote."

Thus, absent any better theory, this is the most likely. And Adonikam means Lord who rises or Lord of the enemies. I prefer the latter. This would fit the church's reference to those who oppose Jesus' teachings as the ENEMY, and his followers.


Bro. Doug