Before getting into this fascinating topic, it is important to look at the significance of the Babylonians using the sexagesimal (base-60) number system from which comes 60 minutes in an hour, 60 seconds in a minute, 360 (60×6) degrees in a circle and 60 degrees in each angle of an equilateral triangle etc. 360 divided by 10 = 36 (more on this number soon) and 6 * 6 = 36. It is from this that this mysterious number 666 being the number of the beast came from, which was directly linked with the worship practices of ancient Babylon from around the time of Daniel. See also Daniel 3:1.
The Babylonians worshiped gods that were associated with the sun, moon, planets and stars involved with astrology. Babylonians were also the principle developers of astrology as we know it today and it is because of this that the pagan priests wore amulets called “Sigilla Solis” or “Sun Seal” which symbolized 36 constellations. See also the origin of Babylon and sun worship.
The Origin of 666
In this system of worship, they had 36 supreme gods, which included the sun god, which they believed to be the father of all the other gods and so was supreme over all. The Babylonians believed that numbers had power over their 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 first god they counted got the number one assigned to it, which was also the number for the sun god for the purposes of the counting process. Their second god was assigned to the moon god and of course had the number two assigned to it, and so on up to 36 gods. The gods numbered from 3 through 36 were considered the children of the sun god, which included the various stars and constellations that these gods were associated with. I am sure that you have already guessed by now that the sum of the numbers from 1 to 36 totals 666, which they also assigned to the god associated with the sun as being the father of all their gods. The calculation is simply this:
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
Scholar and Secret Society expert Murl Vance commented the following in his book “Trail of the Serpent.”
“In the astrological religion of Babylon, every god had his sacred number or numbers which were often used in place of the god's name. These numbers indicated the god's place and power among the astrological gods...
Going deeply back into Babylonian astrology we find the real reason for the sanctity for the number 36. The Babylonians divided each of the 12 houses in the zodiac into three rooms, making 36 in all. They then divided the entire remainder of the sky into 36 constellations, and appointed the ruling god of each constellation to rule over one of the 36 rooms of the zodiac. Since the spirits of the departed were believed to go to and dwell in the stars - a teaching still much alive today, there was therefore not a spirit in the heavens, not a star in the sky which was not represented in the 36 rooms of the zodiac, and to swear by the number 36 was to swear by every god in the heavens above, as well as by all the spirits of the departed. The 36 gods were called decans because each ruled over 10 degrees of the zodiacal circle and over 10 days of the 360-day year.
The seven planets or the 7-headed astrological dragon ruled over the 36 decans and over them all, as we have noted, ruled the sun, 'the father of the gods.' It was natural and inevitable that since the summary number of the numbers from 1-36 is 666, this number (called the Grand Number of the Sun), should have been assigned to the sun-god as the cosmic god who not only ruled over all the other gods but also was their heavenly parent. Herein lies the reason for the 'Solar Seals' in use before the time of Christ as amulets to ward off any evil that might come from the 36 decans.” (Vance, pp. 26, 27)
Because the Babylonians saw their gods as being predominantly evil, they feared that one of them may strike them down sometime. This is why they made these amulets with a 6 * 6 matrix with the numbers 1 through 36 on them, which are called numeric matrixes magic squares today. Some positive qualities were credited to some of their gods and particularly the sun god, but overall their gods were seen as being evil rather than good.
The design of the amulets was to protect them from a god striking them down using his magic power so the amulets had to be as powerful as possible. In order to increase its power, they arranged these numbers in such a way that the sum of any given row, column or diagonal was 111, and therefore the sum of all six rows or all six columns was 666. This was supposed to provide extra protection including from the sun god since this god's sum was present on the amulet. The one above has the god of the sun standing on the lion. This indicated the sun's position in the constellation of Leo during the hot days of August. The back is inscribed “Nachyel,” meaning “intelligence of the sun” and the numbers 1 to 36. The second illustration is also a solar seal, but it honours the star Basilisco, which was the diminutive form of the Greek basileus (king), thus meaning the same as the Latin regulus. Regulus is the only first magnitude star in the constellation of Leo. The sun and the moon are again clearly seen on this amulet and on the reverse side is the same arrangement of numerals with the actual figure 666 given as the total.
This statement from Murl Vance further explains the need for a person to carry the amulets with them:
“…as to why anyone should use the number 666 lies in the very nature of pagan idolatry, which is … nothing but disguised demon worship. The principle behind all demon worship is fear, and the worship is nothing more than an effort to placate the evil one. Since in the fear religions, all misfortune, sickness, and death are the result of the operation of evil spirits, the worshiper, knowing by his conduct that he is not on God's side and therefore cannot expect, as long as he continues in open rebellion, to have his prayers for help addressed to God answered, turns to the only other supernatural power available to him, Lucifer himself.
One characteristic stands out in any of these fear religions: the worshiper ever tries to stay in the good graces of his god by revering or wearing some symbol representing that god. Not only does he offer his most cherished possessions - perhaps his own children - he must ever, to avoid disaster, have on his person some object in which the spirit of his god dwells, he must carry his god around with him. This is the principle behind all charms, amulets, and magical objects ever found in pagan idolatry.” (Murl Vance, Trail of the Serpent. Pages 108-109).
These amulets were usually made of gold being like the colour of the sun or baked clay tablets and were carried in yellow silk or hung around their neck, which they believed provided protection as long as they carried it with them.
This table as illustrated has the same arrangement of numbers as the above images in a 6 x 6 matrix and is also referred to in numerology as the magic square of the Sun. There are similar magic squares for Saturn, Jupiter, Mars, Venus, Mercury and the Moon, all of which have been known for centuries.
The creating of amulets with this number arrangement that belongs to astrology appears to have continued well past the time of Christ. Archaeologists have found amulets with Latin inscriptions, so we know that the Romans were indulging in this practice. Therefore, the number 666 came about from pagan worship practices of the Babylonians and their practice of astrology. The symbolism of sun worship is still used in many areas of the Catholic Church today, not always particularly obvious but often packaged discreetly as to not be noticed by the untrained eye. After the Church became the state religion of the Roman Empire, possessing a 666 solar seal, magic square could get you burned at the stake!
In a very real sense, the numbers representing each god carried by the holder was believed to give them power that they would not ordinarily have. To the worshiper of the Babylonian gods, anyone having such an amulet on himself with the sum reaching to 666 was seen as having power over all the gods and would likely have been regarded with some awe and respect. This power would be seen as great because the person had the sum of 666 on them, which gave that person power over even the highest supreme god, the sun god. A person would want authority over even the highest god so that he could control his own destiny and protect himself from evil that any of the gods might do to him. This particular magic square is a baked clay tablet and is written in Arabic.
Summary Numbers and the Number of the Beast
Note that the numbers 36 and 666 are called summary numbers because they “summarize” the sum of the numbers of the gods. 36 is the summary number for the god numbers 1 through 8, while 666 is the summary number of the god numbers 1 through 36. They are more commonly called triangular numbers, which was an important concept to the ancient Babylonians.
Each god had one or more numbers assigned to it as the sun god not only had the number 666 assigned to it as the sum of the numbers of the 36 gods, but it also had the number 1 assigned to it, which went towards creating the sum of the 36 god numbers. The moon god was assigned the number 2 as it was considered the wife of the sun god, so their most important son was assigned the number 3 and typified all new life, whether plant or animal. The summary number of all three of these gods was 6 because 1 + 2 + 3 = 6. As Murl Vance put it, “As the summary number of the father, the mother, and the son, 6 therefore 'embraced all the powers of the three gods.'” (Murl Vance, page 26) Logically, to swear by the number 6 was to swear by the power of all three of these gods. This of course was the pagan equivalent of the divine trinity. While speculative, it is possible that this may have something to do with the choice of having 36 gods because 6 * 6 = 36.
The Fall of Babylon
When the Medes and Persians conquered Babylon in 539 B.C., they came with their own religious practices and gods, so had no need of the priests of the Babylonian religious system. Although the Persians were sympathetic towards the Babylonian god Marduk and did accommodate the priests of this god for a while, it appears from history that they eventually fired the priests and used their own. The Babylonian priests left Babylon (probably because they were out of work) and most of them went to Pergamum and some to Egypt where they taught their religious practices to the Egyptians. The Egyptians readily picked up these Babylonian religious concepts and further extended and developed some of the ideas that we find in astrology today.
The teaching of the Babylonian religious practices by the Babylonian priests and their direct descendants went on in the city of Pergamum for centuries afterwards. They taught astrology and making the amulets with the numbers 1 to 36 on them in the special arrangements they commonly used. This continued until about the year 133 B.C. when the last king of the Attalid Empire, (Eumenes’ son, Attalus III) who had his capital at Pergamum, died without an heir and bequeathed his kingdom to Rome. Rome accepted the kingdom and set up the province of Asia, which included Ionia and the territory of Pergamum by 129 B.C. When Alexander the Great came through the region, much of the knowledge of astronomy and astrology that the Babylonian priests possessed was also passed on to the Greeks.
Sometime soon after this, the priests who were still teaching the Babylonian religious practices saw their opportunity and went to Rome. The Romans often adopted the religious practices of other cultures, which also helped the empire survive as long as it did. The Babylonian priests rightly calculated that the Romans would be very willing to learn and follow their teachings. Soon all of Rome filled with their religious teachings and practices. It eventually became so pervasive that people called Rome the “New Babylon.” Early Christians also used the term Babylon as a veiled code word for a particular city to avoid persecution from that pagan power. That city as you have no doubt concluded was also Rome. See also 1 Peter 5:13.
When the Christian Church came along, the practices and beliefs of the Babylonian religion followed right into the Church. Historians have said that it seemed almost the entire city of Rome converted virtually overnight to Christianity, but what actually happened is that the Babylonian religion was simply brought into the Church and the three supreme gods of the Babylonian religion were simply renamed as God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. Lesser gods became saints of the Church. Their pagan Babylonian religious practices came into the Church right along with it. This made it easy for the followers of the Babylonian religion to convert to Christianity, but it certainly was not a genuine conversion. God condemns these pagan practices, but they brought them into the Church anyway.
History also fully supports this. The pagan Babylonian priests had a chief priest who held the title Pontifex Maximus (translated to Latin meant that he was head pagan priest or literally the Greatest Pontiff). Most have heard the word “Pontiff” applied to the Pope and history explains where that term comes from. Originally, the king of the Attalid Empire held the title of Pontiff, and he passed it on to the Babylonian Priests before he died and they went to Rome. This title was given to Julius Caesar in 63 B.C. thereby making him the supreme priest of the Babylonian Religion and its gods. (This shows that the Babylonian priests arrived in Rome before the time of Julius Caesar or this event could not have happened.)
This meant that the Babylonian religion literally moved into Rome and took it over, becoming head of the Roman government. This title passed from emperor to emperor, all of whom served as chief priest of the Babylonian Religion from then on until 367 A.D., where the Roman Emperor Gratian became the first since Julius Caesar to refuse the title Pontifex Maximus. Before Gratian refused the title Pontifex Maximus, the young Emperor bestowed it upon Pope Damasus I, who became the first Pope in history to hold the title. This made him head of the Babylonian religion when he took the title of Pontifex Maximus. Damasus I was the head of the Christian Church in Rome, and took the title as head of the pagan Babylonian Religion and its collection of pagan gods. Did the Babylonian Religion move into the Christian Church? History says most definitely YES. So why does God call the Papal Church Babylon? The answer should now be becoming clear.
Some dispute that Church leaders brought Babylonian pagan religious practices into the Catholic Church but even Catholic historians admit it. Cardinal Newman in his Development of Christian Doctrine, pages 372, 373 says that the Church incorporated many pagan religious practices into the Church. He claims that the Church sanctified them and that made it safe to bring these practices into the Church. Every year Catholic Pilgrims kiss the feet of the Roman god Jupiter thinking they are kissing the image of Peter. God condemns idolatry, the making of images for worship, and even bowing down before images as part of an act of worship. Yet many images are in Catholic Churches and they teach people to bow down before them. They may be praying to someone else but the act of bowing down before the image, regardless of what or who one is actually worshipping at the time is plainly what God condemns in Exodus 20:4-6.
God condemned the Catholic Church in Revelation by referring to it as Babylon. They brought many pagan religious practices into the Church despite God condemning these idolatrous practises. The Church in Rome seems to believe that it can bring things into the Church that are pagan in origin, make them holy and therefore make them acceptable to God. However, the Bible teaches that only God is holy and only he can make things holy. Here is what Vance said about this:
“Though the early church leaders showed themselves strongly opposed to Gnosticism, many scholars point out that it was later embraced by the Church. Montfaucon [a Catholic scholar quoted by Vance] tells us that demon worship was carried on in the early church by those claiming to be bishops of Jesus Christ, and the Gnostics, as we have already seen, combined the worship of the serpent with the worship of Christ, they combined elements from the Babylonian, Persian, Egyptian, Greek, Roman, Hebrew, and Christian religion into the universal or catholic system which embraced all others. It is but natural that they should take over, also, the summary number which includes in its mystic embrace the whole circuit of the heavens and all its gods, the number 666, the secret and most sacred number, we believe, in all paganism.” (Vance, page 113)
Here is just one example of pagan religious beliefs being incorporated into the very heart of the Papacy. Look at the picture of the artist’s painting of the Papal throne (from the Vatican Museum) and note the zodiac symbols above the throne. Why are these symbols present above the Pope's throne? During Medieval times, the zodiac symbols were carved into the Papal throne (Vance, page 22). One has to wonder why the zodiac, which are clearly pagan symbols, would be carved into the throne of the ruler of the Catholic Christian Church?
There is no evidence that I know of that the Papal thrones have the zodiac on or around them in modern times, but there is clear evidence that they once did have such signs associated with them. The Papacy itself has verified this (Vance, page 89, quoting from the frontispiece of Di Fortuna, published under the auspices of Pope Clement VII). See more on Catholic Church paganism.
The reason the Bible speaks so negatively about 666 is that it symbolizes the power of the person who has this number to have power over all the other gods, which in the case of the Papacy is their claim to be God and to have authority over God and his law, which are false claims. Because the Popes claim both to be God and to have authority over God, they believe that they can change the law of God to suit their own purposes. This is extremely serious to God and He knows it will also lead many to be lost for all eternity. So the above evidence links 666 with ancient sun worshipping pagan Babylon and the Papacy of the Catholic Church, which is dominated by pagan practices and solar images and referred to as Babylon in the book of Revelation. This is just a small part of the evidence that makes this relationship apparent.
One should now understand the relevance of why God calls the Catholic Church Babylon, and while 666 the number of the beast is not directly satanic, it is indirectly very satanic as it comes out of Babylonian pagan worship. As a result, the Catholic Church has symbolically become Babylon and why we find that the head of this power has the number 666. It was also known a long time ago that various Papal titles such as “Vicarius Filii Dei” which means Vicar of Christ or substitute for Christ, being synonymous with Antichrist, i.e., assuming the power of God on earth, does count or add up to 666 in Roman numerals and Latin etc. All the parallels are amazing such as the numbers on the amulet count to 666 and in the same way the Bible says to count the number of the beast, which also comes to 666. See an excerpt of an article on the known titles of the Pope called “The number of a man” or select for the full original image. See Page 17 for continued article.
To find out why the number of the beast that originated with sun worship has now been given to the head of the Papal Church, I highly recommend reading how sun-day worship actually began around 2000 B.C. and was Satan worship that took place on Sunday. This is essential eye opening reading.