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It is commonly believed that the mark of the beast would be 666 and there is much dispute over just what this is. (Revelation 13:18) The number 6 is something worth looking into but here we will look at a twist on its significance. For me it is as we are told it is a mark; it is an identifier. On the sixth day both man and beast were created. If we consider that often times the war within us is depicted as the war between our man traits and our animal or beast traits it is no far stretch to look at the four empires that are depicted once as an image of a man (Dan2)and once as beasts (Dan 7)in another vision of Daniel. Also of importance is to remember that Nebuchadnezzar (king of Babylon) was turned into a beast at the culmination of his sin state (Dan 4:28-33). Also as a side note, Nebuchadnezzar's graven image is sixty cubits tall and six cubits across (Daniel 3:1). Now notice that the number 666 is mentioned only twice elsewhere in reference to the same event in Solomon's life in 1 Kings 10:14 and 2 Chronicles 9:13. Solomon collected 666 talents of gold in revenue for the year. The text does not say much else.
Let’s compare the facts of the text: 1) the Queen of Sheba visits Solomon and is impressed (1 Kings 10:1-13; 2 Chronicles 9:1-12); 2) 666 talents, and a description of the rest of his wealth and glory (1 Kings 10:14-22; 2 Chronicles 9:13-21); 3) mention of greatness and monies he collected (1 Kings 10:23-25; 2 Chronicles 9:22-24); 4) Solomon collects horses and chariots (1 Kings 10:26-29; 2 Chronicles 9:25-28) this is a sin according to Deut 17:16-17 kings are not to do this. 5) Second Chronicles 9 ends with Solomon's death and the next chapter shows the kingdom ripped apart. 6) In 1 King's, however, the chapter ends with Solomon's sins regarding horses and chariots. The next chapter shows him collecting foreign wives (Deut. 17:17) and worshipping false gods. Both accounts show God's Anointed falling into sin. The kingdom eventually split because Rehoboam refused to lighten the load in taxes and forced labor that his father had put on the people. Solomon's latter days were as a beast. So now notice that in telling us of Solomon’s days, both texts mentioned that Solomon brought in 666 talents of gold in one year. Then he slid into sin. Solomon had been judged by God for his idolatry and was told that the kingdom would be taken. The northern tribes quickly fell into the same idolatry as which Solomon was judged. Jeroboam made two golden calves and set one in Beth-El, a city of Ephraim, and the other in Dan, the principle city of the tribe of Dan. Jeroboam had reason to create his own system of worship. All the men of Israel were required to appear in Jerusalem for the feasts each year. Because this would cause the reunification of the northern and southern kingdoms, (Jerusalem was in the southern kingdom of Judah) Jeroboam stopped the practice and filled the void of the true
temple worship by creating his own temple, priesthood and system of worship. (I Kings 12: 2233) The northern kingdom of Israel was never able to repent of their idolatry and consequently was judged by God. Taken captive, Ephraim and its kingdom were eventually scattered throughout the nations having not returned. Hosea, who was a prophet to the northern tribes, speaks of their sin and future reunification, especially in chapters 11-13. A major point to notice is that the very same sin of idolatry is what the antichrist will commit. Just as Jeroboam set up centers of worship in Ephraim and Dan the antichrist will set up false centers of worship. A question to ask may be, who does Jeroboam represent in our times-the ruler over Ephraim and Dan. And who are Ephraim and Dan today? That’s another subject.