1 Kings 10:14
12 With the timber the king made supports for the Lord’s temple and for the royal palace and stringed instruments for the musicians. No one has seen so much of this fine timber to this very day.) 13 King Solomon gave the queen of Sheba everything she requested, besides what he had freely offered her. Then she left and returned to her homeland with her attendants. 14 Solomon received 666 talents of gold per year, 15 besides what he collected from the merchants, traders, Arabian kings, and governors of the land.
16 He also caused everyone (small and great, rich and poor, free and slave) to obtain a mark on their right hand or on their forehead. 17 Thus no one was allowed to buy or sell things unless he bore the mark of the beast—that is, his name or his number. 18 This calls for wisdom: Let the one who has insight calculate the beast’s number, for it is man’s number, and his number is 666.
Notes and References
"... The number of the Beast according to Revelation 13:18, 666 (ἑξακόσιοι ἑξήκοντα ἕξ), has long posed problems for interpreters. The number was mysterious as early as the second century when a writer like Irenaeus proves uncertain as to its meaning. But, like any other good crux worth its salt, the mystery of 666 has not stopped the floodgates of interpretation; if anything, it has encouraged interpreters to offer a veritable myriad of options, many of which are highly speculative ... The language of an allusion ‘being at work with’ in the previous sentence is somewhat vague but intentionally chosen. We do not believe that ‘666 = Solomon’ in the way that ‘666 = Nero’ for so many New Testament scholars. Rather, we wish to suggest that the highly unusual, statistically infrequent number 666 serves at this point to activate a connection between Revelation and the wider narratives about King Solomon in a metaleptic fashion not unlike that described by Richard B. Hays in his works on echo in the New Testament ... This clear echo of Egyptian servitude has the effect of comparing Solomon’s burgeoning regime to the tyranny of Pharaoh, and it is difficult to escape the inference that a proportion of Solomon’s wealth is generated precisely through similar, if not identical means of coercion ..."
Bodner, Keith and Brent A. Strawn Solomon and 666 (Revelation 13:18) (pp. 299-312) New Testament Studies, No. 66, 2020
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