An inauspicious day


Dear Reader, you may have heard by now that today is June 6, 2006, better known as 6/6/06.  The date is reminiscent of the number 666, an infamous numerical sequence referred to in the Bible as the Mark of the Beast. 
 
Have you ever actually read the Bible passage that mentions this number?  Here it is in case you missed it:
 
Revelation 13:11-18 (New American Standard):
11 Then I saw another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb and he spoke as a dragon.  12 He exercises all the authority of the first beast in his presence And he makes the earth and those who dwell in it to worship the first beast, whose fatal wound was healed. 13 He performs great signs, so that he even makes fire come down out of heaven to the earth in the presence of men.  14 And he deceives those who dwell on the earth because of the signs which it was given him to perform in the presence of the beast, telling those who dwell on the earth to make an image to the beast who had the wound of the sword and has come to life.  15 And it was given to him to give breath to the image of the beast, so that the image of the beast would even speak and cause as many as do not worship the image of the beast to be killed. 16 And he causes all, the small and the great, and the rich and the poor, and the free men and the slaves, to be given a mark on their right hand or on their forehead, 17 and he provides that no one will be able to buy or to sell, except the one who has the mark, either the name of the beast or the number of his name.  18 Here is wisdom:  Let him who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for the number is that of a man; and his number is six hundred and sixty-six.
I recommend reading the Book of Revelation and supporting commentaries if you want to learn more about the Beast and the man whose number is 666In western culture, the number 666 is usually associated with the devil, hell, and generally anything evil.  Most people vaguely know the meaning of 666, even if they’ve never read the Book of Revelation and don’t realize the Biblical implications of this number. 
 
Today’s date reflects an inauspicious number so well known that it is being observed by some as a special day (today is also Korean Memorial Day and is observed here in Korea for a different reason).  An updated version of "The Omen," a horror movie classic about the demon-possessed child of a diplomat, began playing today in movie theaters.  The township of Hell, Michigan declared 6/6/06 a local holiday and will hold festivities in honor of today’s date.  Today’s date made me ponder about the concept of hell on earth and made me curious as to whether there are other hells on earth.  Yes, there are.  There’s Hell, Norway, a small Scandinavian village, and Hell, Grand Cayman, a byzantine rock formation.  There’s also Hells Canyon, Idaho, and Hell for Certain, Kentucky.  Presently, there is no Hell in Afghanistan, Iraq, or East Timor, although some people may feel that way.

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