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ANF05. Fathers of the Third Century: Hippolytus, Cyprian, Caius, Novatian, Appendix
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XXVIII.

Then that abominable one will send his commands throughout every government by the hand at once of demons and of visible men, who shall say, “A mighty king has arisen upon the earth; come ye all to worship him; come ye all to see the strength of his kingdom: for, behold, he will give you corn; and he will bestow upon you wine, and great riches, and lofty honours. For the whole earth and sea obeys his command. Come ye all to him.” And by reason of the scarcity of food, all will go to him and worship him; and he will put his mark on their right hand and on their forehead, that no one may put the sign of the honourable cross upon his forehead with his right hand; but his hand is bound. And from that time he shall not have power to seal any one of his members, but he shall be attached to the deceiver, and shall serve him; and in him there is no repentance. But such an one is lost at once to God and to men, and the deceiver will give them scanty food by reason of his abominable seal. And his seal upon the forehead and upon the right hand is the number, “Six hundred threescore and six.”19601960    Rev. xiii. 18. And I have an opinion as to this number, though I do not know the matter for certain; for many names have been found in this number when it is expressed in writing.19611961    ἐν τῇ γραφῇ. Still we say that perhaps the scription of this same seal will give us the word I deny.19621962    ἀρνοῦμαι. But the letters of the word ἀρνοῦμαι in their numerical value will not give the number 666 unless it is written ἀρνοῦμε. See Haymo on the Apocalypse, book iv. For even in recent days, by means of his ministers—that is to say, the idolaters—that bitter adversary took up the word deny, when the lawless pressed upon the witnesses of Christ, with the adjuration, “Deny thy God, the crucified One.”19631963    The text is in confusion: ἐπειδὴ καὶ πρώην διὰ τῶν ὑπηρετῶν αὐτοῦ ὁ ἀντίδικος ἐχθρὸς, ἢ γοῦν τῶν εἰδωλολατρῶν, τοῖς μάρτυσι τοῦ Χριστοῦ προέτρεπον οἱ ἄνομοι, etc.


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