Spiritual Meaning of REVELATION 13:18
AR 607. Verse 18. Here is wisdom, signifies that it is the part of a wise man, from what has been said and explained in this chapter, to see and understand the quality of the doctrine and faith of the clergy concerning God and salvation. It is said "here," because those things are meant which are declared and explained in this chapter, specifically concerning "the beast out of the earth," by which is signified the doctrine and thence the faith of the clergy concerning God and salvation (n. 594), for the things contained in this verse are said of that beast; and as it is the part of a wise man, or of wisdom, to see and understand what that doctrine and thence the faith is, it is said, "Here is wisdom."
AR 608. He that hath intelligence let him count the number of the beast, signifies that he who is in enlightenment from the Lord, may know the quality of the confirmations of that doctrine and faith from the Word that is with them. "To have intelligence" signifies to be in enlightenment from the Lord; "to count the number" signifies to know the quality, "number" signifying quality (n. 348, 364, 448), and "to count" signifies to know; and because the quality which is signified by "number" is its quality as to truth, and all the truth of doctrine and faith in the church is from the Word, therefore it means the quality of their confirmations from the Word; this also is the quality which is signified by the number "six hundred sixty-six," as will be seen presently.
AR 609. For it is the number of a man, signifies the quality of the Word and thence of the church. By "man" is signified wisdom and intelligence (n. 243), here wisdom and intelligence from the Word; thus also the Word as to the wisdom and intelligence in the man of the church. The church itself likewise appears before the Lord as a man; hence a man of the church, as to his spirit, appears in heaven as a man according to the quality of the church from the Word in him. This therefore it is which is signified here by "the number of a man," because it follows after these words, "Let him that hath intelligence count the number of the beast," by which is signified that he who is in enlightenment from the Lord may know what the quality of the confirmations of the doctrine and faith concerning God and salvation among the clergy really is. The quality of the church from the Word is also signified by "man" (n. 920).
AR 610. And his number is six hundred sixty-six, signifies this quality, that all the truth of the Word is falsified by them. By "the number of the beast" is signified the quality of the confirmations of doctrine and faith from the Word with them (n. 608, 609); by "six hundred sixty-six" is signified every truth of good, and as this is said of the Word, it signifies every truth of good in the Word, here the same falsified, because it is "the number of the beast." The reason of this signification is, because "six" signifies the see as "three" multiplied by "two"; and "three" signifies what is full and all, and is predicated of truths (n. 505), and "two" signifies the marriage of truth and good; and as "six" is composed of those two numbers multiplied by each other, it therefore signifies every truth of good in the Word, here the same falsified; that it is also falsified by them may be seen in (n. 566). The number "six hundred sixty-six" is used, because in that number six is tripled, and triplication completes; the multiplying by one hundred, whence comes "six hundred," and by ten, whence comes "sixty," changes nothing (n. 348). That "six" signifies what is full and all, and is used where the truths of good are treated of, may appear from those passages in the Word where that number occurs; but the signification of this number does not clearly appear except to those who see the things concerning which it treats in the spiritual sense, as when the Lord said:--
That the seed which fell on good ground, brought forth fruit, some thirty, some sixty, some an hundred (Mark 4:8, 20; Matt. 13:8, 23).
That the householder went out and brought laborers into his vineyard at the third hour and at the sixth hour (Matt. 20:3, 5).
That upon the table in the tabernacle the cakes of bread were arranged in two rows, six in each (Lev. 24:6).
That there were set six water-pots, after the manner of the purifying of the Jews (John 2:6).
That there were six cities of refuge or asylums (Num. 35:6, 7; Deut. 19:1-9).
That the measuring reed with which the angel measured all parts of the new temple and the new city, was six cubits (Ezek. 40:5).
That the prophets should drink water by measure, the sixth part of a hin (Ezek. 4:11).
That they should take for an offering the sixth part of an ephah of a homer of wheat (Ezek. 45:13).
Because "six" signifies what is full, the word "to take a sixth part," came into use, by which, in the spiritual sense, is signified what is complete and entire; as that:--
They should offer the sixth part of an ephah out of a homer of wheat (Ezek. 45:13).
And it is said of Gog:--
I will turn thee back, and leave the sixth part of thee (Ezek. 39:2).
By this is signified that with him every truth of good in the Word was utterly destroyed; who are meant by "Gog," may be seen (n. 859).