|Ch 9 Solving the Revelation 13:18 Riddle: Here is Wisdom|
No other passage has mystified than Revelation 13:18: Here is wisdom Let him who has understanding count the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man and his number is 666.
There are two riddles in the Bible and both are in the book of Revelation and deal with the Antichrist. Revelation 17:9-11 provides a riddle which identifies the government of the Antichrist and Revelation 13:18 provides a mystery that identifies the Antichrist himself via his mark. Both puzzles reveal deep Scriptural truths in solving them.
Aside from the two challenges that occur in the book of Revelation there is a riddle given is Judges 14:2-18, but it was posed by Samson and not by Christ Himself. While all of the Revelation and the book of Daniel provide visions and explanation’s to the dreams, Revelation 13:18 deviates to posing to the reader a difficult and complex riddle, more challenging than the one posed in Revelation 17:9, which has been solved. For reference see my article, The Identity of the 7th and 8th Head of Revelation Explained.
We are given our first hint in the verse before verse 18. 17 And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name. We learn that the number and the name of the beast are one in the same.
Many believe that the riddle will easily be solved by counting the name of the Antichrist and that his number in the Hebrew or English language will add up to 666, thus identifying him. The riddle is much more difficult and has more deeper meaning than just calculating the number of a man based on his name, although you will count to solve it. To decode the riddle we are going to look at it phrase by phrase.
It should be noted that the riddle in Revelation 17 also begins with a similar phrase of “here is the mind that has wisdom’. Each time wisdom is mentioned in the Bible it refers to either great intellectual capacity or the ability to understand deep spiritual truths.
Great Intellectual Capability
The prophet Daniel served in three of the four world empires because of his keen intellect but he also possessed the ability to understand deep spiritual truths. The Antichrist we are told will possess a keen intellect and his intelligence is referred to as wisdom. By it he will lead his government.
The Bible makes mention of kings consulting their wise men, which was another word for advisors and consultants. The Magi or wise men were analysts who studied astrology, science and the prophetic word and through their understanding of each were able to from two Bible verses come to the exact location of the birth place of Jesus Christ. Like the prophet Daniel they also received visions so their intellect also crossed into possessing spiritual wisdom.
Proverbs 9:10 states, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom and the knowledge of the holy is understanding. Godly wisdom is understanding Biblical teachings of God and of His son Jesus Christ. Knowledge of the holy is understanding the deeper principles and mysteries in the word of God that center around his holiness. Holiness is not piety but rather separation from the ways of the world, to serve an esoteric God whose ways and whose world is incomprehensible to the finite mind. We accept it none-the-less.
Revelation’s Here is wisdom is a loaded phrase because what it is telling you is that this riddle pertains to Godly wisdom, which means a deeper Biblical teaching that is not normally found, that one would have to think about.
While the word wisdom is used in many instances in the Bible we never see the phrase, “Here is Wisdom”. Here in the Greek means to this place, and takes skill to understand. We see wisdom and understanding in Proverbs relating to spiritual wisdom, we also see it pertaining to intellect as with the prophet Daniel, whose skill caused him to serve chief roles within the governments of three of the four world empires that existed.
Our next phrase is let him who has understanding meaning that to decode Revelation 13:18 it will not only take wisdom in uncovering Biblical mysteries but also specialized skill. We see “understanding” used in Scripture denoting specialized skill. We find wisdom and understanding used 53 times in the Bible and each time one is a component of the other meaning that they are two separate parts but belong together. Someone can have understanding without wisdom and wisdom without understanding. Knowledge is different than wisdom and understanding in the Bible. Wisdom is also comparable to aptitude.
We see this phrase the most referring to the prophet Daniel, which book parallels with the book of Revelation. Only instead of Revelation 13:18 telling us about the prophet Daniel’s wisdom, it now poses the riddle to those who are out there who have studied the prophetic books to help them decode the riddle. We actually see wisdom and understanding in relation to the prophet Daniel used 3 times in Chapter 1. There is a another key verse in the Bible that uses the phrase wisdom and understanding that I will present after we first look into the verse further.
In the book of Daniel in reference to the persecution of the Tribulation saints, we see their having this wisdom and understanding and this too is discussed in more detail later in this report.
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