Explanatio: Rev. 13:17-18 Name and Number of the Beast

“And he will make it so that” he who will not adore should be killed, and it should be seen from the purchase whom one is permitted to kill. Therefore, as it is said that “nobody would be able” to do trade “except he who will have the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of its name” — that is, unless he will have been in communion [with the beast]. “The mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name” are one. Therefore, he said only “the mark” above, “so that they will give it to them on the hand or on the forehead.” After this, he shows it through the synonym; and “the mark” is said, and “the name” and “the number of its name.”

The Lord says, recalling this [and] warning his churches about the last times and their perils, “Therefore, when you shall see the act of contempt* which was spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place, let him who reads understand it.” (Mt. 24:15, VL) It is called “the act of contempt” because God is provoked when idols are worshipped instead of Him, or when the dogma of the heretics is introduced into the churches. But expulsion is when unstable and carnal human beings turn away from salvation, seduced away from true things by false signs and portents.

But he says one of the heads of the beast, the one which we said above in the false prophet to be “as if slaughtered to death,” and “his death wound was healed,” is Nero who prefigured the Antichrist, and therefore the eighth is Antichrist himself; he who now rules the Church subtly through false sacerdotes, will then openly lay waste to the Church. Because “Jews” [ie, sinful Christian religious persons] have crucified Christ, and they await Nero the Antichrist instead of the Christ, therefore God has been stirred up to send a fitting king and a fitting Christ such as these “Jews” [Christian religious persons] have deserved. And because he will not have the name “Nero Antichristus” but is going to bear another name, likewise he is going to build another life which is such that “Jews” [Christian religious persons], for whom he will simulate chastity and elegant simplicity, [munditiam] would take him to themselves as if Christ. Hence Daniel says, “He will not recognize the desire of women,”** when previously he was the most impure “and he recognizes no God of his fathers.” (Dan. 11:37, VL)
For he will not be able to seduce the people of the circumcision — that is, the Jews [Christian religious persons] — unless he would be a vindicator of the law. Therefore he is not going to recall the saints to worshipping idols, but to worshipping according to the circumcision.

Therefore, even as to those whom he will be able to seduce, so afterward he will make them known with those seduced to himself, as he is called Christ by them and he will lavish many gifts upon the deceived saints, and he will divide the earth among his armies. And those whom he will not be able to subjugate through terror, he will subjugate through flattering gifts.

But as for him rising out of the underworld, we have said at the first beast which is to rise “out of the Abyss” that it is stirred up to go by the word: “The water will nurse him and the abyss has grown him.” (Ezek. 31:4, VL) The Spirit says nevertheless who may permit it, and who comes with both an altered name and an altered behavior: “For it is the number of a name, and his number.” So He says the numbers are found in many, out of the Greek letters: “DCLXVI.” [666.]

This is he who is named with seven names, for the seven heads that are the seven kingdoms subjected to him; and he will have an eighth name, which we have said above is ACXYME, the name in which will be made the mark on the hand and on the forehead. And by your charity, let us explain these seven names.

One is EVANTAS — that is what is called “serpent” in Latin, for the one who deceived Eve first.

He has the second name DAMNATUS, for the one who brought in great damage to the world.

He has the third name ANTEMUS — that is, abstemious to strong drink — that is, wine — as if abstaining from wine.

He has the fourth name GENSERICUS, from the Gothic tongue. [Gaeseric who invaded Africa.]

He has the fifth name ANTICHRISTUS in all tongues.

He has the sixth name TEITAN, from Greek.

He has the seventh name DICLUX [DIC LUX = “say light”], from Latin, by which name we understand the Antichrist is expressed through an antiphrasis [using a word to mean something opposite to its usual meaning]; presuming to call himself “light,” he “transfigures himself into an angel of light” (2 Cor. 11:14) — he who will be deprived and cut off from supernal light.

Notes: Beatus says that anything he says about Jews should be read as being about Christians, and specifically religious like monks. Of course, the usual reading of this tradition is that Antichrist will try to deceive literal Jews; so perhaps this time Beatus is talking about Jewish people and not monks.

* The Vulgate has the abomination of desolation [“abominationem desolationis”], but this translation has the contempt [“adspernationem”], which also can mean an abomination.

** Some commentators associate “the desire of women” with the Messiah, who is “the desire of Israel” and “the desire of all nations.” Obviously the Antichrist wouldn’t at all desire the Christ to show up.

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