The Beast is not one figure from the Bible – but two. In the Book of Revelation, the last book of the New Testament, the First Beast comes from the sea, has seven heads and ten horns. The Second Beast comes the earth, looks like a lamb but talks like a dragon.
The Second Beast acts as an ambassador for the first. It has people make an image of the First Beast and pray to it. The Second Beast is able to make the image come to life and strike down anyone who refuses to worship the First Beast.
Revelation 16, 19 and 20 refers to the Second Beast as the False Prophet. It forms one third of the unholy trinity along with the Dragon/Satan and the First Beast/the Antichrist.
Aleister Crowley (1875–1947), the British occultist, adopted the name To Mega Therion for himself. This phrase, Greek for “The Great Beast” comes from the Book of Revelation
And I stood upon the sand of the sea, and saw a beast [θηρίον, therion] rise up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns, and upon his heads the name of blasphemy. 2 And the beast which I saw was like unto a leopard, and his feet were as the feet of a bear, and his mouth as the mouth of a lion: and the dragon gave him his power, and his seat, and great authority.
Crowley used isopsephy, the art and science of adding up the numeric values of letters, to point out that the name translates to 666.
The Roman emperor Domitian is said to have been secretly called “The Beast” by Romans, Greeks, Christians and Jews according to theologian Ethelbert Stauffer. Domitian’s office title was Imperator Caesar Domitianus Augustus Germanicus or, in Greek, Autokrator Kaisar Dometianos Sebastos Germanikos. This meant the coins of his empire, in Greek, would carry the abbreviation A.KAI.DOMET.SEB.GE. Once again, using isopsephy, the letters tally up to 666.
In the Bible itself, in the Book of Revelation, 666 is described as “the number of a man” associated with The Beast.
In Pure Spirit
Are you afraid of the number 666? Do you think there’s now too much hype around it and too many possible interpretations?