The Meaning of Numbers: The Number 66
The number 66 derives part of its meaning from the Millennium. Isaiah 66 describes this idyllic time (and beyond) when Jesus Christ will rule over the earth. Lasting peace will finally come upon Jerusalem and the world's wealth will flow into her (verses 12 - 13). Anyone who does evil upon the earth will be swiftly dealt with by the Lord and the people shall see his glory (verses 14 - 18).
All the nations on earth will know God and worship him during the Lord's reign which will last 1,000 years (verses 19 - 21 of Isaiah 66). The weekly Saturday Sabbath, instituted by God and kept by the early New Testament church, will continue to be observed (verse 23). These Sabbaths include God's annual Feast Days, which will also be celebrated in their seasons.
The book of Isaiah, written from 740 to 686 B.C., is the fifth largest book in the Bible in terms of the number of words. It contains 66 chapters, 1,292 verses and 37,044 words.
Destruction and the number sixty-six
In 66 A.D. what is known as the First Jewish - Roman War or the Great Jewish Revolt began. Violence first started in the city of Caesarea. Roman procurator Florus then further fanned the flames of revolt when he took money out of the temple treasury and feigned it was needed by the emperor.
" . . . Florus acted herein as if he had been hired, and blew up the war into a flame, and sent some to take seventeen talents out of the sacred treasure, and pretended that Caesar wanted them" (Wars of the Jews by Josephus, Book 2, Chapter 14, Section 6, see also sections 4 - 5 and 7 - 9).
The war would ultimately lead to the destruction of Jerusalem and her magnificent temple in 70 A.D. Jesus prophesied the leveling of both the city and her temple when he made his triumphal entry into Jerusalem less than a week before his death.
For the days shall come upon you (Jerusalem) that your enemies shall cast a rampart about you . . . And shall level you to the ground . . . and they shall not leave in you a stone upon a stone . . ." (Luke 19:43 - 44, HBFV).
Evil number 66
Judah's King Manasseh, who ruled from 696 to 642 B.C., dies at the age of sixty-six. He was the longest reigning sovereign over either Judah or Israel. He was also one of the most evil rulers over God’s people. He zealously rebuilt pagan altars including placing some of them within Jerusalem's temple (2Kings 21:4 - 5).
Manasseh's indulgence in evil even included burning his sons to death as a sacrifice to his pagan deities (verse 6)! He was known for filling Jerusalem with the blood of countless innocent victims (verse 16).
Additional info on Biblical Meaning of 66
The Apostle Paul, in 66 A.D., was in his next to last year carrying out his final missionary journey. During this evangelistic campaign, he preached the gospel in Spain and (likely) Britain.
Paul, the most influential New Testament Christian, is about 66 years old when he is martyred in Rome in 68 A.D. He receives the death penalty of beheading which befitted his status as a Roman citizen. He perishes under Emperor Nero, likely around May or June, just before Nero commits suicide on June 9.
In most modern Bible translations, the sixty-sixth book is Revelation. It was penned by the Apostle John around 95 A.D. while he was a Roman prisoner on the island of Patmos.
Between 66 and 67 A.D., the Biblical books of 2Peter, Jude and 2Timothy were written.
The only Biblical book with more than 66 chapters in Psalms. Lamentations 3, 1Kings 8 and Matthew 27 number exactly 66 verses.