chimakwa: (Default)
Dear Religion Dude:

My brother was saying something yesterday about the "www" standing for 666 in Hebrew. I vaguely remember hearing some fearmonger talking about that. I gave him strange looks then said, well, I know whom to ask. I dunno...some kind of "end of the world" type notions. Any enlightenment would help. Sign me,

Worried Wondering Woman


OK, Worried, it's like this: Hebrew doesn’t have numbers, so you use the letters of the alphabet to write numbers. It works in Hebrew as if you said A=1, B=2, C=3... J=10, K=20, L=30 etc., which would make “31” come out as “LA” if English used the same system.

The Hebrew letter that gets transliterated as “W” is called “vav” in modern Hebrew. It is indeed the sixth letter of the Hebrew alphabet and has the value of “6”. We speculate based on other Semitic languages that Ancient Hebrews pronounced the letter vav as “w”, and in older English transliterations it’s often rendered as “w”.

However, writing “vav vav vav” in Hebrew doesn’t give you 666 as such, because 600+60+6, which is how you’d write that number, would be “final mem-samekh-vav” which isn’t nearly as threatening. If you came across the letters “vav vav vav” you wouldn’t even have a way of knowing it was supposed to be a number instead of a word, which could even possibly be pronounced something like “wooo!” So maybe “www” is Jehovah’s way of saying “It’s time for a frat party! Where my red cup at?”

This is, of course, not even going into the whole 666 issue, which is endlessly fascinating and totally bizarre. Long story short: it was a political polemic, the Beast was Nero, as best we can tell, and we’re not even sure it wasn’t supposed to be “616” which is a whole lot less metal. \m/

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Christopher

June 2011

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