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Daniel 11:36ff. provides us with a picture of the False Prophet. “The king (of the Jewish state, Israel, also called the Anti-Christ; called the beast in Rev. 13:11-18, and the false prophet in Rev. 16:13; 19:20; and 20:10) will do as he pleases (this indicates his absolute power); and he will exalt and magnify himself above every god (religious system of the Tribulation) and will say (eloquently) unheard-of things (blasphemies) against the God of gods (the Lord Jesus Christ). He will be successful (in his own eyes) until the time of wrath (the Tribulation) is completed, for what has been determined must take place (this is the Permissive Will of Christ allowing certain things to take place - remember, Jesus Christ controls history!).”

Daniel 11:37 says, “He will show no regard for the God (gods) (the Lord Jesus Christ; this is a statement of ignorance and lack of desire) of his fathers (Abraham, Isaac and Jacob) nor have normal sexual desires toward women (either a statement of homosexuality or complete disinterest due to self-centeredness, or perhaps both), and will not recognize any god (he is an atheist): but will exalt himself above them all (total arrogance, he believes that he is a god himself and that he should be worshipped).”

Daniel 11:38 “Instead of them, he will honor a god of fortresses (literally, ‘god of the fortified cities;’ this is a reference to the King of the West, the dictator of the Revived Roman Empire); a god unknown to his fathers he will honor (make a pact with) with gold and silver, with precious stones and costly gifts.” [1]

Summary: The dictator of Israel, also called the false prophet and the beast out of the land, takes a look around at the world situation near the middle of the Tribulation; he determines that he needs an ally so that he might preserve his power base against the warlike kings of the north, south and east and west. He must, then, choose one to become allies with. And his decision is simplified by the fact that the kings of the north and the kings of the south have already reached an accord. Thus he chooses the king of the west, the dictator of the Revived Roman Empire (western Europe); the cost, though, is expensive. Not only must he pay tribute, but he and his nation must accept and worship the religious system of the king of the West. And this religious system is the worship of the king of the West as god. Thus, part of the deal is that the “abomination of desolation,” the statue of the king of the west, must be erected in the Jewish Temple, inside the Holy of Holies. However, since the dictator of Israel is an unbeliever this is no problem.

Daniel 11:39 says, “He (the dictator of Israel) will build mighty fortifications with the help of a foreign god (king of the west) and will greatly enrich those who acknowledge him. He will make them rulers over many peoples (Jews) and will distribute the land (portions of Israel) at a price (in effect, he sells power to rule over portions of Israel to the highest bidders; graft and corruption).” And Revelation chapter 17 expands on Daniel 11:39, providing more details.

Daniel 11:40 says, “At the time of the end (the Tribulation, the end of the Age of Israel), the king of the South will engage him (the dictator of Israel) in battle, and the king of the North will storm out against him with chariots and cavalry and a great fleet of ships. He (the king of the North) will invade many countries and sweep through them like a flood.” [2]

A Note of Interest Concerning the False Prophet

By comparing the following verses, Genesis 49:16,17 and Deuteronomy 33:22, there appears to be some foundation for stating that the False Prophet, the dictator of Israel during the Tribulation, is from the tribe of Dan.

In the Greek, Dan is Da,vvn and nD in the Hebrew; the term means “judge.” Dan was the fifth of Jacob’s sons, the first child born to Jacob by his wife Bilhah, the maid of Rachel.

In Genesis 49:16,17 we have Jacob’s blessing on Dan. “Dan will provide justice for his people as one of the tribes of Israel. Dan will be a serpent by the roadside, a viper along the path, that bites the horse’s heels so that its rider tumbles backward.

And Deuteronomy 33:22 relates the words of Moses concerning Dan, “About Dan he said: ‘Dan is a lion’s cub, springing out of Bashan.’” And Bashan was an area of land from Gilead to Hermon, and included many fortified cities, according to Deuteronomy 3:4,5 and I Kings 3:14. And the phrase “a lion’s cub” may refer to the False Prophet’s claim to be the Messiah. [3]


Revelation 13:18 is the verse under scrutiny. “This calls for wisdom. If anyone has insight, let him calculate the number of the beast (the false prophet of Israel), for it is man’s number. His number is 666.

Let’s explore the many options available in this verse based on numerology. The verse hints that a calculation is possible, but extremely difficult. Many commentators utilize what is called gematria, which is a cabalistic (mystical/philosophical interpretation of the scripture by certain Rabbis) method of interpretation of the Hebrew scriptures based upon the numerical value of the letters in the words. In this method, a letter is substituted for a related number. This, however, would be more accurately enumeration, not computation.

Additionally, the abundance of names that this method has produced boggles the imagination. And it should be noted that gematria is not divinely inspired, and thus the massive discrepancies are to be expected.

It is generally recognized that three is the number of Deity; that seven is the number of perfection, and that six is the number of mankind. This is because man was created on the sixth day. Commentators note that Goliath was six cubits in height, his spear’s head weighed six shekels and he has six pieces of armor. Furthermore, Nebuchadnezzar’s dream Image was 60 cubits in height, and six cubits wide and 6 musical instruments are used in its worship.

Too, it has been noted by other commentators that the number 666 is the sum of the aggregate numbers of the square root of six. The square of 6 is 36 and 1 + 2 + 3 + 4 +5 + each successive number up to and including 36, add up to 666.

And the cryptic symbol of the Pagan mystery cults was SSS or 666; and some assert that this is the “connection number” in Spiritism, Theosophy and the New Age cults. And the Greeks wrote the number 666 as cxj, the c representing 600, the x representing 60, and j denoting 6. The latter j is called sti’,gma, stigma [4], and carries pejorative connotations.

It would appear, then, that the meaning of the number is man x 3 or man, man, man. This probably connotes the idea that this “beast-dictator” combines all that is evil in man; and this beast believes only in man and man’s power, and in the worship of man. This would deny God, the saving work of Christ and any divine power. And this anthropocentric (man-centered) system of all that is vile, abnormal, and contemptible, would explain his designation as “the beast.”

Thus the “mark of the beast” on individuals during the Tribulation means that they are members of the false religion that worships the “abomination of desolation” in the Holy of Holies. The king of the West is the “abomination;” they worship his statue in the Temple.

And his prophet is the dictator of Israel, and he is “false.” He claims he is the Messiah, and that the King of the West is God the Father. [5]

And the “mark of the beast” could be any type of brand, bar-coding, fingerprinting, pupil-coding, etc., method that presently exists, or that might still be invented. It could be as simple as a credit card with a number on it.


[1] Thieme, Robert. Revelation; this interpretation of passages from Daniel is attributed to the scholarship of Robert Thieme, and secondarily, to E.W. Bullinger.

[2] Ibid.

[3] An extrapolation from the scholarship of Robert Thieme.

[4] A stigma was a brand or cicatrix on soldiers and slaves in the ancient world. This stigma was held to be protective in the sense that it was usually the symbol of the god whom they served; Leviticus 19:28; 21:5; Deuteronomy 14:1; III Macc. 2:29. Also, see Isaiah 49:16, Ezekiel 9:4, Exodus 13:9,16, Revelation 14:1: 7:2; 9:4.

[5] This exposition on the number of ‘666’ is surmised from the works of Clarence Larkin, E.W. Bullinger, and Robert Thieme.