Revelation of John 14His number is Six hundred threescore and six. This mystical number, 666, intended, apparently, to designate, in some way or other, the name of the power described under the similitude of the two-horned beast, has come down through the whole succession of commentators on the sacred volume, a standing enigma on which their research and ingenuity have been exercised in vain. The clew which they have attempted to follow is this: The Greeks, having no separate characters to represent numbers, usually expressed them by the letters of their alphabet, each letter receiving, for this purpose, the assignment of a certain determinate value. Now, by adding together the values expressed by the several letters of a name, a number is obtained which is called the number of that name. Accordingly, it has been generally supposed that the name of the government, or church, or person, or influence, Whichever it may have been, that was intended to be prefigured by this beast, thus reduced to a number, would be 666. A great variety of names have consequently been proposed which answer this condition. Protestant commentators generally, who consider the beast as denoting the Papal power, refer this number to the word Lateinos, the supposed Greek form for the expression The Latin;—meaning the Latin church, by which expression the Roman church was originally designated.
No man could learn that song; could experience the joy which that song expressed.
Not defiled with women; with idolatry, a sin often characterized in the Scriptures by the metaphor here employed.—Virgins; pure in their fidelity to the worship of Jehovah.
Their works; the memory and reward of their works.
And the earth was reaped. This reaping by the Lamb represents, perhaps, the gathering of the good, as the second reaping (17-19) plainly denotes the general summoning of the wicked to judgment and retribution.
Unto the horse-bridles; that is, in depth. The bridle of the horse dipping into the surface of water through which the rider is passing, indicates to him the depth of the flood.—A thousand and six hundred furlongs; over a vast extent of ground. These expressions are designed to indicate the greatness and the extent of the destruction with which the enemies of God will finally be overwhelmed.
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