Some have heard about ancient manuscripts that supposedly have the numbers 616 or 606 instead of 666. Some have also claimed one of the copies with the number 616 is again supposedly older than the other documents with the number 666 on them. If true, there are good reasons to believe that the numbers 606 or 616 were due to scribal errors that somehow propagated down through additional copies as other scribes copied the earlier manuscripts. A mistake made early in the “life” of the document of Revelation could easily propagate and appear to us as if it is the more correct version, even if it was a mistake. This is especially likely given that the original meaning of the number 666 was concerned with its magical properties.
If you read the page on 666 and the mark of the beast, then you know that Babylon worshiped gods that were associated with the sun, moon, planets and stars involved with astrology. Babylonians were the principle developers of astrology and the pagan priests wore amulets called “Sigilla Solis” or “Sun Seal” which symbolized 36 constellations. In this system of worship, they had 36 supreme gods plus the god associated with the sun, which they believed to be the father of all the other gods and so was supreme over all. They believed that numbers had power over the gods they worshiped so they assigned numbers to their gods so that they could have power over them. They did this by counting their gods and assigning a consecutive number to each of the 36 lesser supreme gods, and then added up these numbers (from 1 to 36) and assigned the sum to the sun god. The sum of the numbers from 1 to 36 totals 666, which they assigned to the god associated with the sun. See also Murl Vance quote. See also the origin of 666.
1 + 2 + 3 + 4 + 5 + 6 + 7 + 8 + 9 + 10 + 11 + 12 + 13 + 14 + 15 + 16 + 17 + 18 + 19 + 20 + 21 + 22 + 23 + 24 + 25 + 26 + 27 + 28 + 29 + 30 + 31 + 32 + 33 + 34 + 35 + 36 = 666
606 and 616 cannot be the number or the Mark of the Beast
The numbers 616 or 606 had no magical meaning of any significance to the Babylonians, so that by itself should inform us that these had to be copy errors. People copied things by hand before the printing press, so if you wanted a copy of any manuscript and you had the money, you hired somebody to copy it for you or to read it to you if you could not read.
It seems highly implausible that God would say that the woman in Revelation 17 is Babylon and connect it with the first beast of Revelation 13, and then give us the number 616 or 606 instead of 666. Since God modelled the woman after Babylon, there would be absolutely no reason to use the numbers 606 or 616 and every reason to use the number 666. The Babylonian mystery religion never used these numbers and they had no significance to them in any way shape or form. Thus, these numbers 616 or 606 can only be scribal errors regardless of whether the document may appear to be earlier.
Nero and the Mark of the Beast
Some have also said that the numeric value of the name Caesar Nero works out to 616 if one drops the letter “n” at the end of the name to make it Caesar Neron, (Hebrew names typically added the “n” to foreign names ending with an “o”) because “n” has a value of 50, so 616 + 50 = 666. The problem of course is that Nero does not fit the majority of the descriptions of the beast. For instance, the beast was said to blaspheme the tabernacle of God, which means it substituted and established its own service for that which God had provided. Nero never did that in the temple of God. He also never changed God’s times and laws, took out three of the kingdoms from the fall of the Roman empire or persecuted the saints for 1260 years, and most other criteria are also not met. Hence, Nero cannot be the beast and he is not the person who receives that mysterious number 666.
The fact is that Satan is always trying to stay one step in front of the truth and now that the real origin and truth on 666 is becoming more widely known, he is trying to throw confusion out there by attempting to take attention from the real number that did in fact come from Babylon. It reveals that 666 came from astrology and sun worship that eventually became Sun-day worship in the Church. This was our adversary’s attack on one of the Commandments of God that most do not want to know about much to the enemy’s delight. There really can be no doubt that the number is not 606 or 616 as these numbers have no significance but that once mysterious number 666 definitely does.