This type of parallelism hinges on the use of a single word with two different meanings, one of which forms a parallel with what precedes and the other with what follows. Thus, by virtue of a double entendre, the parallelism faces in both directions. Berlin, A. (1992). Parallelism. In D. N. Freedman (Ed.), The Anchor Yale Bible Dictionary (Vol. 5, p. 157). New York: Doubleday.
Just as “I stood on the sand of the sea” (Rev. 13:1) is a Biblical allusion to Daniel 7:2-3 necessary to interpret the vision, so also 666 is a Biblical allusion to Ezra 2:13 and therefore also to Nehemiah 7:18.
John’s high view of Scripture would require he accept BOTH readings are correct, Ezra 2:13 (666) and Nehemiah 7:18 (667). Therefore, he would be compelled to deduce Nehemiah counts from father Adonikam, but Ezra from Adonikam’s firstborn son who must also be named Adonikam.
Only in this manner is John’s jigsaw puzzle assembled according to his instructions, using only those scriptures John alluded to with the number 666. It is the elegant solution, beautifully simple.
Gematria will never decode 666 meaning, its Satan’s shiny object deflecting attention away from the Name of the Beast revealed in scripture.
If John considered Gematria wisdom and a tool used by understanding minds, then where are the other examples of it in his writings? Why aren’t numbers as Cabalists did in his time, throughout the Apocalypse?
The Bible is the Word of God through men. If John uses Gematria approvingly, then so is God. Why isn’t everywhere in our Bible books? 
Gematria is thought to reveal the kabbalist alternative to the teachings of Scripture promising entry into heaven by learning different truth. It is occult, closely bound to the teachings in the ZOHAR the product of visions that include the phenomena of “automatic writing”. There is nothing from God in the ZOHAR or in Gematria.
Moreover, its irrational a numerical coding of letters according by their accidental appearance in the Alphabet will produce truth with any validity or soundness.
Pictured above right is Gematria coding of Greek letters rather than Hebrew Kabbalists prefer, because the Apocalypse is written in Greek. But “Christian” Cabbalism didn’t appear until the 16th century and nothing in John’s writings suggest he was a Kabbalist. Even the most ardent proponents of Gematria code in Revelation 13:18 cannot cite other examples of it in John’s writings. Therefore, the claim John uses Gematria in Revelation 13:18 is special pleading, nothing more.
Against the idea John is using Gematria is his challenge to ANY in the seven churches of Asia (Rev. 1:4, 11) solve the riddle of 666 meaning. Just as John was unlikely to challenge ANY blind in the church describe an object, its unlikely he challenges ANY solve 666 using Gematria few knew.
John’s requirements were a logical mind and access to divine wisdom which Gematria certainly is NOT. Then ANY can easily count to the name John is thinking as he writes 666.
Easy to count rules out Gematria, not easy to count in most of the different methods of Gematria that existed in the First Century, nor is it easy to discover which “tweaks” he might have used that Kabbalists today employ to arrive at a name they will accePet. Moreover, no “logical mind” concludes such a subjective process can result in anything logically valid and sound. To illustrate, the odds John had President Barack H. Obama, Ronald W. Reagan or Donald J. Trump in mind when he wrote 666 are less than the odds we can throw a baseball to the moon.
But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. (2 Cor. 11:3)
Truth is defined as conformity with fact or reality. Satan beguiled Eve distracting her attention away from scripture to his narrative about the tree of life, and the command not to eat of the tree was corrupted. Gematria accomplishes the same thing, the solution to 666 meaning is found in scripture, nowhere else.
The simplest way to decode 666 meaning is to see its one half of an equation that is like a Janus Parallelism pointing to the same man’s name backward or forward from the same pivot point.
This is consistent with the contextual evidence Revelation 13:18 is a riddle, it contains double entendre and metaphor that can be interpreted as pointing to the same man’s name both John, and Greek speaking Christians having scripture would know.
How do we solve Biblical riddles?
Let’s review Samson’s riddle, it reveals a blueprint for solving Biblical riddles. An important clue is the double meaning of the words “lion” and “honey” in the language of Samson and the Philistines:
The word “lion” in Hebrew (ʾarî) is almost identical to an Arabic word for “honey” (ʾary).-Wolf, H. (1992). Judges. In F. E. Gaebelein (Ed.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Deuteronomy, Joshua, Judges, Ruth, 1 & 2 Samuel (Vol. 3, p. 468). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House.
So he said to them: “Out of the eater came something to eat, And out of the strong came something sweet.” Now for three days they could not explain the riddle. (Jdg. 14:14) NKJ
“Eater” in Hebrew can be a man, beast or insect that “devours with extreme violence” (0398 אָכַל ‘akal Num. 23:24; 1 Ki. 13:28). As the “eater” is “strong” (05794 עַז `az) “mighty, fierce” the image of lion naturally arises. Confirming this describes a lion is the irony of taking food from the lion’s mouth, a definite clue.
As for “sweet” honey naturally comes to mind (Jdg. 14:18).
The “lion/honey” homonym is what made this a valid riddle. Notice these points are present in the answer the Philistines gave to Samson:
What is sweeter than honey? and what is stronger than a lion? (Jdg. 14:18)
Many commentators object the riddle was unfair, but the context contradicts that claim. They wouldn’t have wasted three days trying to solve it, or by the seventh day threaten the bride’s family if they could have simply objected it wasn’t a fair riddle (Jdg. 14:14-15). Their answer in Judges 14:18 implies they considered it fair, the answer a valid result of the clues in the riddle.
What likely prevented the Philistines from solving the riddle was the presence of many possible “strong eaters” and “sweets” at the feast. That would misdirect their attention away from the solution.
They broke the first rule for solving riddles, thinking outside of the box is a must.. The surrounding context may be irrelevant, and some words in the riddle specially chosen to “misdirect” away from the solution.
Modern commentators duplicate Philistine “in the box thinking” when they insist “count” requires John used Gematria to calculate the name of the Beast. A “count” (5585 ψηφίζω psephizo “to count with pebbles”) can be simple addition or subtraction having nothing at all to do with Gematria
Let’s review John’s riddle:
Here (5602 ὧδε hode) is wisdom (4678 σοφία sophia). Let him (3588 ὁ ho)
that hath (2192 ἔχω echo) understanding (3563 νοῦς nous) count (5585 ψηφίζω psephizo) the number (706 ἀριθμός arithmos) of the (3588 ὁ ho) beast (2342 θηρίον therion): for it is the number of a man (444 ἄνθρωπος anthropos); and his number is Six hundred threescore and six (5516 χξς chi xi stigma). (Rev. 13:18)
ὧδε ἡ σοφία ἐστίν (Rev. 13:18); ὧδε ὁ νοῦς ὁ ἔχων σοφίαν (Rev. 17:9)
Here the wisdom is; Here the mind the(one) having wisdom.
Here is wisdom = Here Scripture is required
“Wisdom” is the capacity for rational thought, inference. We must use wisdom to infer the veiled meaning of “wisdom” and the other double entendre and metaphor in this riddle. What is “wisdom” to John and the Christians in the seven churches of Asia (Rev. 1:4; 11)?
We call the Bible “wisdom literature”. In the Greek version of Proverbs 1:2, 7 sophia wisdom appears thrice. Wisdom is imparted by scripture granting understanding in “dark sayings” and “parables” (Prov. 1:6-7). In the NT even a child is made wise by Scripture, which God wrote to equip the man of God for every good work (2 Tim. 3:15-17). It certainly is a good work to know the name of the coming Antichrist Beast and warn others. Therefore, “here is wisdom” is metaphor for “here Scripture is required.” The similar expression in Revelation 17:9 confirms this, there also scripture was required to interpret the symbols.
Let him that hath understanding = A mind capable of perceiving the hidden sense meant in this “count”
count the number = Deduce the “count” (5585 ψηφίζω psephizo “to count with pebbles”) therefore “deduce the equation whose sum is 666”
for it is the number of a man = Of the man, the number exists because of the Man, what he does or is”
and his number is Six hundred threescore and six. = The solution surrounds 666, it is the pivot pointing to both the Beast and the Man”
The double meaning in the Genitive, it is the “number OF a man” meaning something the man is or does “gives birth” to 666. Adonikam has 666 children, the number is OF a man.
Another clue: John says 666 is the SUM of an equation, a “count” (5585 ψηφίζω psephizo “to count with pebbles”) which is the “number of the Beast” meaning something the Beast is or does causes 666 to exist (Rev. 13:17). We must infer the equation John does not provide, it must be found in scripture and its sum is 666.
The children of Adonikam, six hundred sixty and six. (Ezr. 2:13) KJV
The children of Adonikam, six hundred threescore and seven. (Neh. 7:18) KJV
1) 666 is OF the man Adonikam because he has 666 children (Ezr. 2:13). He “gives birth to the number”.
Therefore, whether we look forward, or backward from 666 it points to the same name, Adonikam.
Having these two verses point to the same name from different directions is like “two witnesses” establishing the matter (Deut. 19:15).
This part of the riddle is like an OT style Janus Parallelism that looks backward and forward from a pivot point in the text. Similar “puns” are found often in OT Scripture (Gen. 48:26; Amos 1:11; Nah. 1:8; Song of Solomon 2:12; Ps. 73:25 &c.), perhaps also in the NT Thou Art PETROS in Mt. 16:18
In John’s day faithful believers received scripture without doubting, they would choose to believe BOTH Ezra 2:13 and Nehemiah 7:18 readings are correct and conclude one must start at Father Adonikam, the other at the Son Adonikam. It wouldn’t occur to John modern critics (often faithless but wanting easy work) reject these texts entirely claiming them filled with random error. Therefore, any rejection of this riddle on that basis is unhistorical, irrelevant immaterial and thoroughly incompetent. As false as quoting apocryphal books as if equal to scripture, covertly subverting the authority of scripture (Is. 8:20; Dt. 4:2; 13:1-4). Their judgment is not slow, God is longsuffering (2 Pet. 3:9) but it is certain if they don’t repent.
It follows God put these different lists in scripture precisely so John could compose his faith inspiring riddle, to benefit the generation whose faith will be severely tested by a fallen away and apostate world when Adonikam the Beast appears.
John challenged anyone (3588 ὁ ho) with a mind (3563 νοῦς nous) capable of logical deduction who has understanding in Scripture to learn the name John had in mind when he penned this verse.
In conclusion, 666 meaning an allusion to the man’s name Adonikam (0140 אֲדֹנִיקָם ‘Adoniyqam), minor variations in the spelling in Greek Septuagint manuscripts notwithstanding (Adon[e]ikam, Adonikan, Adeikam, Adenikam, Adaneikam or Adoniakaim). No one disputes Adonikam is meant.
Rather than Gematria which causes confusion and doubt as to the name of the Beast, the Holy Spirit inspired this Riddle to strengthen the faith of the generation alive in the End Time. They must be faithful when the entire Church is falling away during a time of unprecedented apostasy (2 Th. 2:3-4; 1 Tim. 4:1; 2 Tim. 4:2) and mockery of God’s Holy Word the Bible (Jude 1:18; 1 Tim. 3:1-5; 2 Pet. 3:3).
This proverb identifies the Fear of the LORD as the beginning of knowledge that will solve riddles, and that respect arises from the study of God’s Holy Word:
6 To understand a proverb, and the interpretation; the words of the wise, and their dark sayings.
7 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction. (Prov. 1:6-7) KJV)
God’s Word is His instruction—the “words of the wise”. Therefore, it is necessary for solving Biblical riddles. In other words, ‘fools despise scripture and its instruction and seek answers elsewhere’.
From this and other pertinent texts arose the sound hermeneutical principle reclaimed during the Reformation: “Let Scripture interpret Scripture.”
Some estimate John quotes or alludes to the Old Testament more than 50% of the time. Therefore, 666 meaning an allusion to Adonikam is consistent with John’s methodology throughout the Apocalypse:
Revelation never explicitly quotes Scripture, but it is permeated by biblical allusions and patterns. The use of Isaiah, Ezekiel, Jeremiah, Joel, and Daniel is particularly evident. But events in Revelation are never said to fulfill biblical prophecy. As with other apocalypses, Revelation draws its authority not from biblical proof but from the seer’s visions. What he sees divulges what is happening in heaven itself, and this special knowledge grounds the entire book. The use of biblical allusions gives Revelation deep roots in Israel’s sacred traditions and taps into their power.-Murphy, F. J. (1994–2004). Introduction to Apocalyptic Literature. In L. E. Keck (Ed.), New Interpreter’s Bible (Vol. 7, p. 10). Nashville: Abingdon Press.
One example, John’s allusion in Revelation 13:1 (“I stood upon the sand of the sea”) to Daniel 7:2 establishes Daniel as providing the necessary interpretive keys. The end time beast (Rev. 13:1-2) is a composite (in reverse) of the beasts in that chapter (Dan. 7:4-8).
Either John is a Holy Spirit filled prophet of God (Rev. 1:10; 2 Pet. 1:20-21) or he is a fearful Cabalist Jewish Mystic dreading the return of long dead Nero, so much so he won’t speak his name. Then John contradicts his own warning against adding to the Word of God (Dt. 4:2; 12:32) the word of men, which is what mystical Cabbalism is (Rev. 22:18-19).
Adonikam alone is the elegant solution, it alone assembled John’s puzzle using all the pieces. Gematria skips over the requirement 666 is the number OF a man, via a hasty generalization of the details in the text. Gematria therefore is irrelevant, immaterial and incompetent, any dependence on it to solve this riddle only begs the question “is this the same name John had in mind as he wrote?”.
The mind that has understanding would hardly use unsound Gematria. Its tin foil hat logic arbitrarily codes letters, that can hardly result in anything divine. The process incorporates the essence of Jewish fable (1 Tim. 1:4; 4:7; 6:20; 2 Tim. 2:16; 4:3-4; Tit. 1:14), irrationality.
Confirming how inelegant Gematria is, it requires we “calculate a Hebrew transliteration of the Greek form of a Latin name, and that with a defective spelling.”- Mounce, R. H. (1997). The Book of Revelation (p. 262). Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.
Even after the title is added, Neron Kaisar the method still misses the mark, adding up to 676. So most tweak it by dropping a letter so it adds up to 666.
Some cite the vario lecto 616 as confirming Gematria use, but the calculation is completely different than Gematria advocated today:
While there is early testimony of Nero being used as the cipher of 616, the methodology for Nero as 616 is drastically different than what is implemented today. In approximately 438 C.E., a document known as the Liber Genealogus suggests that the key to John’s cryptic number, which is seen as 616 in this document, is to first add up the numerical value of the letters in the Latin word for “Antichrist,” which equals 154. Next, the document suggests that the number should then be multiplied by four since Nero has four letters in his name. The number acquired is 616. Even though it is accurate to say, then, that Nero was referred to as a solution for the 616 number of the beast at a somewhat early date (5th c. C.E.), the methodology which is implemented by the modern Nero option is drastically different.-Wood, S. J. (2011). Simplifying the Number of the Beast (Rev 13:18): an interpretation of 666 and 616. In S. J. Wood (Ed.), Dragons, John, and Every Grain of Sand: Essays on the Book of Revelation in Honor of Dr. Robert Lowery (p. 136). College Press Publishing Co.
Why prefer elegant over inelegant interpretation? Elegance (parsimony, simplicity) is evidence of truth.
When choosing which interpretation is correct we look for elegance to reveal it.
Elegance is like correctly assembling a picture puzzle, never forcing pieces fit or leaving pieces out or using pieces from different picture puzzles.
Inelegance is like incorrectly assembling a picture puzzle, forcing pieces fit cutting edges to make them fit together in ways unintended by manufacturer, or using pieces from different picture puzzles.
Only the elegantly assembled puzzle will reveal the true picture meant by the manufacturer. Therefore, observed elegance (parsimony, simplicity) is evidence of truth.
Another consideration: We can know them by their fruits:
16 Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?
17 Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit.
18 A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.- (Matt. 7:16-180 KJV
Jesus Christ our LORD applied this to prophets (Mt. 7:15), but as prophets teach we can extend it to teaching. Teaching can also be known by its fruits.
What are the fruits of accepting Gematria as the means for solving John’s riddle; are they good or evil?
Upon learning Gematria is required to correctly interpret this text everyone reacts the same way. They do as Eve did, look away from the Word of God to consider the teaching of someone else (Gen. 6:6).
Historically, that is the beginning of apostasy and error, leaving the truth of God’s word for a devilish lie. Too strong? Gematria is guaranteed to misname the Antichrist Beast, hiding his identity while he sows apostasy and error in the church, causing the eternal death of many as they believe his lies. Gematria produces bad fruit, therefore the tree also is bad.
Moreover, if John resorted to Cabbalism in this text any claim to his being filled with the Holy Spirit of God speaking the inerrant Word of God (Rev. 1:10; 2 Pet. 1:20-21) becomes a lie. Then he is diminishing the Word of God as insufficient without the addition of Gematria (Dt. 4:2; 12:32), which is a direct contradiction to his own warning (Rev. 22:18-19).
Good fruit is in abundance when we understand 666 meaning an allusion consistent with many of John’s allusions to the Old Testament. These point to information necessary for correct interpretation. THEN John’s status as a Holy Spirit filled prophet of God referencing the Word of God to teach truth is undiminished, and Scripture remains the place where the mind that has understanding finds divine wisdom, rendering the Man of God fully equipped for every good work, just as apostolic doctrine teaches.
I think its elementary, given the numerical riddle in Revelation 13:18, that God put the numerical difference in Ezra 2:13 (666) and Nehemiah 7:18 (667). He foreknew John would pen Revelation 13:18 and by this means reveal the name of the Beast to the generation that was alive to see him appear in history, to increase their faith in the inerrant Word of God.
Consider how copyists through the centuries had to overcome the temptation to reconcile the two texts, a test modern scholars would fail. This proves God divinely prevented the corruption of His Holy Word, that Providential Preservation of Scripture actually happened in history.
These are good fruits in stark contrast to the evil fruit Gematria brings forth.
Strong’s (0140 אֲדֹנִיקָם ‘Adoniyqam) says Adonikam = “my lord arose”, Gesenius has “lord of enemies”. Therefore, its possible the name is meant figuratively, to suggest either or both of these meanings.
But I think the Antichrist Beast is likely to have “Adonikam” as his name. It follows from the efficacy of the deluding influence causing the great apostasy that God put prophetic details in scripture to give His children “proof” that would strengthen their faith in their time of great need for assurance.
Consider the character of the Beast that is revealed in scripture insults God—His name His Tabernacle and all with Him in heaven (Rev. 13:6). If his birth name isn’t Adonikam, its likely he would purposely choose Adonikam as his name as he challenges God to fight him (Dan. 7:25). In other words, make all the lore of the Antichrist part of his propaganda, as a “dare” against God.
If John hadn’t devised this genius marketing riddle which has generated intense public interest since it was written, and just revealed the name of the Beast, I am convinced the Antichrist Beast would purposely choose that name. That fits the persona of the Antichrist revealed in scripture, he would directly challenge God and the reliability of Scripture.
It follows God would not so severely punish the followers of the Beast (Rev. 14:9-11) if they were ignorant of who he is. To merit that severe punishment one must be sinning willfully, in full knowledge of what they are doing. Forgiveness is possible for sins done in ignorance (Lev. 4:2-4, 13-14; Mt. 12:31-32), but punishment will be according to works (Rev. 20:11-15), making it an elementary deduction followers of the Beast know full well who he is. [Salvation is by grace alone (Eph. 2:4-10), but punishment is according to works.]
Hence, fears Social Security Numbers, bar codes, whatever numbers are being used in normal commerce and society is the “mark of the beast” is clearly contradicted. Everyone sporting the Beast’s number to buy and sell will know precisely who the Bible says he is, they won’t be ignorantly sinning. In fact, they may even boast about it, make it part of their imagery as the Nazi’s did with mythology.
The name Adonikam implies other details about the Antichrist that can be inferred. Adonikam was one of the Jews who returned from the province of Babylon (Ezr. 2:1), therefore we can infer he will be an Assyrian Jew.
This apostate is called the “little horn” in Daniel (Dan. 7:8, 11; 8:9-14), and the nation he rises in is within the boundaries of the old Roman Empire. This is not the European Common Market of today as some suppose because it will be a “Grecian Roman Empire (“leopard” Rev. 13:2) version containing some of ancient Assyria.
Adonikam AKA “the Assyrian” (Mic. 5:5-6; Isa. 14:25-27) Satan’s seed (Gen. 3:15) is also called the “King of the North” (Dan. 11:36-12:1), he is the “Prince to come” (Dan. 9:26-27) “Man of Sin” (2 Thess. 2:3) “False Christ” (Mat. 24:5, 24; Mk. 13:22) who covenants with Israel for 3.5 years but at mid-week becomes “the Desolator” (Dan. 8:13; 9:27; 12:11) “King of fierce countenance” (Dan. 8:23) “Son of Destruction” meaning he’ll be a Christian Jew like Judas (2 Thess. 2:3; Jn. 17:12) “serpent by the way, adder that biteth” (Gen. 49:17) who becomes Big Mouth morphing from “Chancellor” “Man of Sin” to Emperor extraterrestrial “god” at midweek (Rev. 13:5-8; Dan. 7:20, 25; 9:27) hoping to change times and law by blaspheming God as an Extraterrestrial who can be defeated with the aid of the Dragon “God of forces” (Rev. 16:13-14; Dan. 11:38-39; Dan. 9:27), “that Wicked” (2 Thess. 2:8) “the Deceiver” “the Antichrist” denying the Father and the Son (1 Jn. 2:18, 22; 4:3; 2 Jn. 1:7)
Names that require additional exposition:
Micah 5:2-4 refers to the Messianic age, Micah 5:5-6 what would happen to the Assyrian if he appeared at that time. “Seven shepherds and eight principle men” symbolize “this man shall be the peace”. This perfect number of shepherd and principle men symbolizing the Messiah “that is to be ruler in Israel” (Mic. 5:2), “they will waste the land of Assyria…thus shall HE deliver us from the Assyrian, when he cometh into our land” (Mic. 5:6). This illustrates the Assyrian’s certain and total destruction when he comes as prophesied. The reference to the “land of Nimrod” confirms the Assyrian is the king of Babylon.
The Assyrian will be the king of Babylon (Isa. 14:25-27; 14:4). Just as Babylon must be rebuilt to fulfill the prophecies regarding it (Jer. 51:8; Rev. 18:8; Jer. 51:30; Rev. 17:16; Jer. 50:39; Rev. 18:21; Jer. 51:63-64; Rev. 18:21), so also the Assyrian must exist in the end time to receive all predicted regarding him (Isa. 14:25-27; Dan. 8:25; 11:45-12:1; Rev. 19:19-21).
Satan’s Seed the Assyrian
Satan has a physical seed just as the Woman has a physical seed. There will be enmity between Woman’s seed “Christ” and Satan’s Seed the “Antichrist” “Beast”:
And I will put enmity Between you and the woman, And between your seed and her Seed; He shall bruise your head, And you shall bruise His heel.” (Gen. 3:15 NKJ)
Satan craftily spoke through a serpent corrupting Eve from the simplicity of God’s truth beguiling her to eat (2Cor. 11:3) from Satanic tree of knowledge (Gen. 3:1-6). Satan is the cedar tree (Ezek. 31:8-11) fallen angels followed (Ezek. 31:6) whom Christ “the ruler of the nations” and His angels will cast into “the pit” (Ezek. 31:11-14). In Ezekiel 31:3 this “cedar” is called Assyria, “the Assyrian” (Mic. 5:5-6; Isa. 14:25-27) is Satan’s seed (Gen. 3:15).
A flood of spiritism converted TARES in John’s congregation (Mat. 13:24-30) into antichrists (1 John 2:19; 4:1-3; Mat. 7:22-23; 2 Thess. 2:2, 7-12), demons had made their dwelling among them (Mat. 13:31-32; Rev. 18:2) to telepathically manipulate them (1 Cor. 12:1-2; Lk. 8:12; 2 Cor. 4:3-4; 1 Thess. 3:5; 1 Jn. 4:1 cp. Jas. 1:13; cf. 1 Ki. 22:23; 2 Thess. 2:11-12). This parallels the end time so exactly John declares “it is the last time”—“we know its the last time when spiritist energy the mystery of lawlessness indwells causing a rebellion against the truth of God (2 Thess. 2:10-12; 1 Tim. 4:1; Jude 1:12).
Although the wording “we know it is the last hour” makes it appear John is prophesying, in context this is an inference, “the many antichrists is how we know its the last hour.” John’s exposition is meant to show “this is how it will be in the end time” without identifying his time as the end time (Mat. 24:36; Mk. 13:32). John is discussing “this time” in abstract, removing it from history to teach when many antichrists appear in history, it is the “last time”. John’s educational purpose is confirmed by his focus—not on the Antichrist and what he will do in the end time, but on the events that identify the time preceding his arrival: the spirit of antichrist and the many antichrist false prophets it inspires to leave the truth (1 Jn. 4:6; Mat. 7:21; 2 Thess. 2:10-12) and deny Jesus is the Christ, the Only Begotten Son of the Father (1 John 2:19, 22-24; 4:1-6). When you see all these things, then you know it is the last time.
The Antichrist first appears in the apostate church as a miracle working “false Christ” “man of sin” (2 Thess. 2:3). But at mid-week he morphs into the “Son of Destruction” the Desolator (Dan. 9:27) denying the Father and the Son, indeed he denies the very concept of God (Dan. 11:36-37) casting truth to the ground (Dan. 8:12) promoting the “ancient alien theory” where all called God or worshipped as such, were the products of extraterrestrial visitation. He exalts himself above them all, claiming the Dragon “god of forces” has so empowered him none can war against him (2 Thess. 2:4; Dan. 11:37-39; Rev. 13:4). It was given to him to speak such blasphemies against the God of Gods, His habitation and His angels for forty and two months (Rev. 13:5-6).
Hence, there are to phases of the antichrist, one as the “prince who is to come, false Christ” in whom the mystery of lawlessness is strong, and the mid-week version “the desolator” (Dan. 9:27) that is against everything called God thus denying the Father and the Son. AKA The Son of Destruction because all following him will become just like him, destroyed forever in the lake which burns with fire and sulphur (Mat. 10:28; Rev. 14:9-11; 19:20; 20:10, 13-15), the second death from which is there no resurrection.
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Its the same “wisdom…understanding/mind” combination in Rev. 17:9 where critically thinking on the symbols given is required. That cannot occur without Holy Scripture, the book of Daniel:
And here is the mind (3563 νοῦς nous) which hath wisdom(4678 σοφία sophia). (Rev. 17:9 KJV)
Hence the New Jerusalem Bible nails it:
There is need for shrewdness here: anyone clever may interpret the number of the beast: (Rev. 13:18 NJB)
Wisdom is cleverness, shrewdness, the ability to look critically at a problem and see it from various perspectives and discern the wisest way to proceed:
Since the LXX normally uses σοφία/σοφός for the Hbr. stem חכם, in essentials this alone need be considered. The verb חכם occurs 26 times (q 18, pi 3, pu 2, hi 1, hitp 2), חָכָם as adj. or noun occurs 135 times, the noun חָכְמָה 147 times and in the plur. חָכְמוֹת 485 times. 73 instances are in the historical books (חכם 3, חָכָם 31, חָכְמָה 39), 41 in the prophets (חכם 1, חָכָם 24, חָכְמָה 16), 13 in the Psalms (חכם 4, חָכָם 2, חָכְמָה 7),86 180 in the Wisdom lit. proper (חכם 18, חָכָם 76, חָכְמָה 86),87 and 5 in the other books. Thus about three-fifths of the total may be found in the Wisdom books. It is worth noting that in the historical books the words mostly denote technical or artistic ability or cleverness and knowledge such as the wisdom of Solomon.-Wilckens, U., & Fohrer, G. (1964–). σοφία, σοφός, σοφίζω. G. Kittel, G. W. Bromiley, & G. Friedrich (Eds.), Theological dictionary of the New Testament (electronic ed., Vol. 7, p. 476). Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans.
① to add up digits and calculate a total, count (up), calculate, reckon (lit. ‘w. pebbles’) …
② to probe a number for its meaning, interpret, figure out τὸν ἀριθμὸν τοῦ θηρίου Rv 13:18.- TW.-Arndt, W., Danker, F. W., Bauer, W., & Gingrich, F. W. (2000). A Greek-English lexicon of the New Testament and other early Christian literature (3rd ed., p. 1098). Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
A common view among scholarship has Matthew using Gematria (fourteen) to point to King David (Mt. 1:17).
The problems with that view are substantial, however, and I do not think a compelling case can be made for it. First, “David” came to be spelled plene, דויד, in the late OT books (exclusively so in Ezra-Nehemiah and 1–2 Chronicles) as also in the Dead Sea Scrolls, and the numerical value of that spelling adds up to twenty four! Second, an obvious objection is that the proposed solution only works in Hebrew (or Aramaic), whereas Matthew is written in Greek. Are his readers supposed to know that much with that little an indication? Third, although Matthew does evince a pronounced stylistic fondness for patterns (triads, sevens, etc.), nowhere in his Gospel does he attach any theological meaning to such patterns.
There is a simpler solution to the question. In 1 Chronicles 1–2, there are fourteen names from Abraham to David. That was the starting point for Matthew’s genealogy; he found that in his Bible. As the textual notes and commentary have shown, there are omissions and repetitions in both the second and the third sections of Matthew’s genealogy. For the purpose of communicating his profound message of symmetry and divine purpose in the history of God’s people Israel, Matthew has followed and repeated the pattern that he found in the biblical genealogical material in 1 Chronicles. The number fourteen is of no particular significance; it simply reflects Matthew’s use of the biblical material in 1 Chronicles for the first part of his genealogy, in which he himself made no adjustments. What is meaningful is not the number, but the threefold repetition of the number as an indication of God’s guidance and purpose in leading the history to its fulfillment in Jesus the Christ.-Gibbs, J. A. (2006). Matthew 1:1–11:1 (pp. 84–85). St. Louis, MO: Concordia Publishing House.