The identification of the lamb beast. It is the name of a man, or, possibly, a set of men, or, an institution headed by a man or set of men. A name, the letters of which, when regarded as numerals, total 666.
In Hebrew, the numeral value of the letters of “Nero Caesar”, when added, make 666 [“Nero Caesar”, 616, marginal reading]. Nero was, indeed, a beast, but it is a far cry to call him a Lamb-Like beast.
In Greek, [the book was written in Greek], the letters of “Lateinos” total 666: L, 30; A, 1; T, 300; E, 5; 1, 10; N, 50; O, 70; S, 200. Lateinos means “The Latin Kingdom”. It was so understood by Irenaeus, who was a pupil of Polycarp, who was a pupil of John, and bishop of Smyrna at the time the book was written. Latin was the language of Rome. Papal Rome made Latin its official language. And it still is. Among all nations of all languages. Its prayers, canons, missals, breviaries, decrees, bulls, worships, blessings, and cursings, are in Latin.
Some understand the number this way: 6 is man’s number, just short of 7, which is God’s number. 666 is a triple concentration of 6. The square of 6 is 36: 1, 2, 3, etc., up to 36, when added together, equal 666. The significance seems to be that, the Beast, powerful as he is, and no matter how powerful he may become, he is still not as powerful as God.
The book of Revelation recognizes only two classes of people: those who belong to God, and those who belong to the beast. Here the unhappy lot of those who have the mark of the beast is in sad contrast to the unspeakable joy of those who have the mark of the lamb. The contrasting of the fate of the redeemed and the lost, which is so noticeable in this book, was also a characteristic of Jesus’ teaching, in the Gospels.