Disclaimer up front, I am not arguing Greek Mythology is true and The Antichrist will be a Titan from it. Or even how many Christians usually tie the Titan Mythology into Genesis 6. Nor would it require him being anyone who lived in the past returning. By the end it will make sense why a (completely biologically Homo-Sapien) Jewish Messiah claimant, or maybe even someone claiming to be Jesus, would use this name. Just bear with me.
The spelling has a Greek Gemetria value of Six Hundred and Sixty Six.
Iota=10, Alpha=1, Pi=80, Epsilon=5, Tau=300, Omicron=70, Sigma=200.
This spelling is also 7 letters, and no repeats, 7 different Greek letters. Why do I find that significant? At the start of Chapter 13 John says the Name of Blasphemy was written on the seven heads of the Beast. I've long had a hunch this is the name being dealt with at the end, just not sure what to make of it. Here I think it possible that each Head had one letter. Perhaps I could go deeper with that, but not today.
A few Greek names are known to have had this value. Irenaeus and Hippolytos and other Early Church Fathers speculated on some, but didn't notice this one. Though Tietan, a bizarre I don't think attested anywhere else spelling of Titan, is included, and a Titan is what Iapetos was in Greek Mythology. I'm not quite the first to notice this however, a google search for Iapetos 666 will mainly turn up stuff about a Metal band (I haven't listened to them). But no Bible Study seriously looking into it. At first I myself while excited to have stumbled on this didn't think too much of it.
But then I read how the name is usually interpreted to mean The Piercer. It's thought to come from the word iapto which means wound or pierce, and usually refers to a spear. Most scholars think this meaning is meant to apply the idea of mortality to him.
All that is stuff right from Wikipedia. I myself think it could also be possible to interpret it's derivation from that word as meaning Pierced or Wounded. Which can make us think of Revelation 13 even if we didn't already have the Gemetria connection. But maybe The Beast would want both the Piercer and Pierced meanings to apply to him, he was Pierced, but after being healed intends to Peirce his enemies.
I will return to Etymology later.
Homer mentions Iapetos in the Iliad (8.478–81) as being in Tartaros with Kronos. He is a brother of Kronos, who ruled the world during the Golden Age. 2 Peter 2:4 uses Tartaros as a name for The Abyss, The Beast ascends out of The Bottomless Pit.
The importance of that Homer reference has to do with how the idea of all the Titans being in Tartaros comes later, at first it was just these two. Given how little we know of Iapetos, and how Homer and Hesiod come after Greek Mythology had already changed in many ways. It could be Iapetos and Kronos were originally the same.
Egyptian mythology also has more then one Underworld god. Anubis like Hades is seemingly existing only to rule there. The other is Osiris who similar to the Titans originally ruled the world of the living but then was killed. The Pharaoh is Horus in life and Osiris in death.
It is believed there was an underworld god among the Semites named Shalman, the god of the Theophoric Assyrian name Shalmanezzer. Possibly related to the Hebrew name Shalim meaning Dusk. In Egyptian Mythology the land of the Dead was also called The West, Amentis, because it was where they believe the Sun traveled from West to East during the Night. It's not difficult to connect these names to the name of Solomon, as Shalim and Shalem are very similar if not identical in spelling. And I've argued elsewhere adding an N to the name of Shalmo to get Solomon isn't just a result of the Greek. And they are also speculated to be related to the Greek Salmoneus, another King imprisoned in Tartaros. In the Septuagint Solomon is spelled Salomon.
Solomon is linked to the number 666 in 1 Kings 10:14 and 2 Chronicles 9:13. He was a type of Christ early on when he was doing well, but later he fell into Idolatry. Even the fact that he built a palace for himself that took 4 years longer to build then The Temple is perhaps a sign of this. That will be a subject in the future. But this connection is still only as a type.
I've also talked on this Blog about how The Beast may seek to be an Adam figure. That one of the titles of Christ he may claim for himself is The Last Adam. How part of the reason his name adding up to 666 means something may be a connection to the 6th day of Creation being the day Adam was made. And understanding The Image of The Beast begins with Adam being made in The Image of God. And that maybe his deception will draw on false teachings that say Genesis 1 and 2 are about two different Adams.
Iapetos in Greek Mythology is made an ancestor of the entire Human Race. Two of his sons are Prometheus and Epimetheus. Prometheus is the father of Deucalion, the Noah figure of one of Greek Mythology's Flood Legends. And Epimetheus married Pandora (arguably an Eve figure) and had Pyrrha, the wife of Deucalion.
It may be interesting to note that being the Grandfather of the Flood Survivor gives basis to identify Iapetos with Methuselah, who's name means "His death shall bring" making an interesting connection for the mortality association.
The Flood connection is a good place to get into how many Creationists (including myself), and even some purely Secular people doing comparative mythology like Robert Graves, see this name as being derived from Yaphet/Japheth. Greek mythology is very garbled and so a son of the Flood survivor became an ancestor. Not unlike Rammah son of Kush becoming Rama with a son named Kusha in Hindu mythology.
The secular scholars however tends to do so from a desire to late date as much of Genesis as they can and say Genesis took the name from the Greeks. While Iapetos makes sense as an archaic Greek transliteration of Japheth, if it went the other way I wouldn't expect Japheth to be spelt with only three letters.
This can be a good time to look at how Japheth fits into typological themes of The Bible.
In Genesis 9:27.
God shall enlarge Japheth, and he shall dwell in the tents of Shem; and Canaan shall be his servant.The word for Tents here is Ophel and is definitely used of the Mishkan/Holy Tabernacle elsewhere. This can be seen as anticipating Romans 9-11 and Galatians talk of Gentiles being grafted unto Israel. (I've seen a KJV only pastor use Genesis 10 to say "Gentiles" Biblically refers only to descendants of Japheth) That is good, I love the Adoption theme of The Bible.
The Problem is how many, including some in the Hebrew Roots movement, tie that into British Israelism and Two House Theology. Seeing Ephraim and the Northern Kingdom become intermingled beyond distinction with the descendants of Japheth. Cimmerians linked to both Gomer and Omri, Scythians linked to both Magog and Israel, The Irish linked to Magog and Judah's son Zarah and later the House of David. And all of Britam's identifications. I do see some truth in plenty of that kind of stuff, but it also gets tied into Racist and Nationalist political agendas.
And many of these are expecting a Messiah Ben-Joseph. Christ White has argued for The Antichrist claiming to be Messiah Ben-Joseph independent of the Lost Tribes aspect. And I disagree with many aspects of his argument especially Jerusalem as Mystery Babylon, but have explored how that could tie into the Lost Tribes issue.
I have a growing hunch The Antichrist will be using much rhetoric taken from the Hebrew Roots movement. That he'll talk about Nimrod the same way Rob Skiba does. And that includes their reverence for The Book of Jasher, which paints Nimrod as Evil and says he fought a War with the Japhethites. There may be other sources for this Japheth vs Nimrod mythology, I'm unsure.
I've said before I think there may be Decoy Antichrists, including the Terrible of The Nations who will rule Babylonia. And that The Terrible of The Nations will be an enemy of The Antichrist, and probably who wounds him.
Of all the people who are types of Christ in The Hebrew Bible, it's interesting how it was Joshua of all of them who shares his actual name. The Shia Muslim reverence of Ali draws a lot on seeing Ali as the Joshua to Muhammad's Moses. Well in this un-Biblical Jasher mythology, Japheth becomes arguably the Joshua to Noah's Moses.
Now some Creationists talking about Iapetos as Japheth have claimed Iapetos makes no sense in Greek etymology at all. And in fairness there are real Greek scholars who have questioned the etymology I discussed above.
But what I want to talk about is how that commonly accepted Etymolgoy for Iapetos can be more consistent with Japheth's Hebrew eytmolgoy then you might think.
Going back to Genesis 9:27, the use of Enlarge there is a known pun, as Japheth's name is derived from that Hebrew word, phathah. But this verse is the only time the KJV translates it Enlarge. It's also sometimes words like Entice or Beguile, where sometimes a sexual connotation is implied in the context. And the Strongs definition suggests it could mean "to open". So the idea of Piercing could come from it, especially as things get clouded through a change in language.
A Yot added at the beginning of a name is often a sign of being Yah theophoric but then contracted, like Jehoram becoming Joram. Yeshua itself is an example of a Yah theophoric being contracted to the point where the letter Yot is all that represents the Holy Name. Now I don't think Japheth was a Yah theophoric name originally, but I think a future false Messiah deifying himself while going by that name could seek to re-imagine it as one.
Those who out of ignorance of how First Century Greek worked try to claim Iesous is really a pagan name. May add that they feel a transliteration of a Yah theophoric name should have an Alpha after the Iota. But in Greco-Rroman times all Semitic names beginning with Yot began with Iota-Eta. And that included Japheth in the Septuagint. But this rule wasn't a factor in more archaic times when the spelling of Iapetos was standardized. And given the many Semtic via Phonecian influences on Greek, I wonder if Iasus might derive from a more ancient Greek form of Yeshua?
So I can easily imagine a false Messiah Ben-Joseph etymologically connecting himself to Japheth. And interpreting the name Iapetos to mean either "Yah pierced" or "Yah Piercer". And either of those proposed meanings could have opposite proposed interpretations depending on if he identifies himself with Yahuah or rejects the name of Yahuah. "Pierced by Yah" or "Yah is pierced". And "Yah the Piercer" or "the Piercer of Yah". There are multiple options.
And the Hebrew Gemetria value of the Hebrew spelling of Japheth being 490 he could argue a Biblical Numerical significance for, being 70 times 7. I've suggested before that the Antichrist might claim to be the Messiah the 70 weeks points to.
And so I feel I have made my case. What's below is just a supplemental epilogue and not part of the main thesis.
For those who want to cling to the Hexagram having some connection to the Mark of The Beast because of the Seal of Solomon/Ring of Solomon mythology. Which I talked a little about yesterday. You could easily place one letter of Iapetos, probably the first, Iota, in the middle and the remaining six letters in each point.
It becomes interesting then that the moon of Saturn that has become named after Iapetos is hard to look at without thinking of Hexagons and Hexagrams because of it's unique appearance. Saturn was the roman name for Kronos, so to keep that theme all or most of Saturn's moons were given names with a Titan connection, including one simply named Titan. Saturn has it's own notable Hexagon also.
In the novel of Arthur C Clarke's 2001:A Space Odyssey, the Black Alien Monolith is on Iapetus/Japetus. But the movie changed it to a moon of Jupiter because they couldn't figure out how to do Saturn's Rings. (Yet people think Kubrick directed it to rehearse a NASA faked Moon Landing). This fact is a factor in why I imagine Iapetus when thinking of William Scnebelen's Cathedral of Pain story about being taken to a Moon of Saturn, even though Bill doesn't specify which moon at all.
There are lots of Ancient Aliens related fringe theories about Iapetus. Including that it's an artificially created moon comparable to The Death Star. Tom Horn advanced a Christianized version of these ideas placing Tartaros/The Abyss inside Iapetus rather then The Earth. I no longer believe that theory, but the idea that the Star approaching the Earth in Revelation 9 after the 5th Angel Sounds could be Iapetos remains in my mind. Remphan being known to refer to Saturn I view as possibly support for Satan's Throne being on one of it's moons.
But that astronomical stuff is not that important.
Update May 27 2017: More on Bill Cooper's After The Flood, and Japheth and Noah in Pagan mythologies.
There is a lot of agreement on Iapetos being derived from Japheth. But Bill Cooper's other identifications for Japheth are more controversial. And while I like his research, it does have flaws.
I've already talked about how flawed I feel his argument for Sceaf (once rendered Seth) as Japheth is. I've contemplated using the Seth variant to identify him with Set of Egyptian mythology, or one of the Seti's of the 19th Dynasty named after him. And I may engage in further speculation on that in the future. But if I looked for a Biblical origin for Sceaf itself, Asaph is the first name to come to mind, Asaph's Psalms are popular to link to the Messiah Ben-Joseph tradition.
And his Iupater/Jupiter argument is silly, that etymology is clearly simply Father-Jove. If the Spear association of Iapetos is correct, then Quirinus may be the Latin form of him. As far as appendix 11 goes. Dardanus was a descendant of both Iapetos and Jupiter because his parents in Greek mythology were Zeus and Electra daughter of Atlas son of Iapetos.
But I want to defend the Pra-Japati connection. Arguing Prajapati is Japheth gets written off since it has a seemingly clear etymology, Praja-Pati, "Lord of The People". But Prajapati was definitely viewed as a god of procreation, which fits what I pointed out above about the etymology of phathah.
And the name Prajapati is also linked to the family of the Flood survivor, Manu in Hindu mythology. But this time rather then a descendant or ancestor Prajapati is a title of Manu, being a progenitor. But the name of Prajapati is applied to ancestors of Manu as well.
Manu as a Hindu name for Noah is interesting to speculate on, since Man as a word for Human probably comes from the same Proto Indo-European origin (Man was not originally gender specific, Woman means Man with a Womb) it is used in Bible translations for Adam and Enosh, words for Human, as well as Ish and Zakar, words for Male.
Manes is an obscure name in Greek texts thought to be a Hellenized form of it. He was the the first King of Maeonia, but mainly an ancestor of early Kings of Lydia. His son was Atys and the son of Atys was Lydus/Ludos, the namesake of Lydia. In the Bible the namesake of Lydia is Lud/Lod the son of Shem son of Noah.
Manu the Great is also a Chaledean god of Fate. It is usually said there probably isn't a connection between him and the Hindu Manu, but Prajapati is also a god of time and fate.
The Hebrew name Noah or Noach is Strong number 5146, it means Rest or Comfort. A related Hebrew word carrying similar meaning is Nacham, Strong number 5162. But another Hebrew name comes from that, by adding a Mem as a prefix you get Manehem/Menahem. So adding a similar prefix to Noah to carry the meaning of "from Noah" would get Menoah or Manoah, the name of Samson's father.
Could Manu be a corruption of that name?