Beast Tattoo Mark
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Beast Tattoo Mark (Revelation 13.15-17)

"The second beast was given power to give breath to the image of the first beast, so that the image could speak and cause all who refused to worship the image to be killed. It also forced all people, great and small, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hand or on their forehead, so that they could buy or sell unless they had the mark, which is the name of the beast or the number of its name." (Revelation 13.15-17)✞

Forehead or Right Hand

Jewish Phylacteries on head and forearmEvery one who had worshipped the image of Caesar, a title used by Roman Emperors from Augustine to Hadrian, had the beast tattoo mark inscribed on them "on his right hand or on his forehead." A tattoo, is a form of bodily decoration which comes in a wide variety of patterns and colors. The word "tattoo" from "tattow" is an 18th century word derived from the Polynesian "tatau." Originally, it was known as painting, scarring or staining. Joseph Banks (1743-1820), the naturalist aboard Captain Cook's ship the HMS Endeavour described tattoos in his journal, "I shall now mention the way they mark themselves indelibly, each of them is so marked by their humor or disposition." Tattoos however date back as far as 2,500 years ago and have been discovered on the arms of a mummified Scythian chieftain in Siberia. A tattoo is a grim parody of a sacred Jewish custom. When a Jew prayed in accordance with Exodus 13.8-9 "On that day tell your son, 'I do this because of what the Lord did for me when I came out of Egypt.' This observance will be for you like a sign on your hand and a reminder on your forehead that this law of the Lord is to be on your lips. For the Lord brought you out of Egypt with his mighty hand." Also in Deuteronomy 6.8-9 where the Law is to be respected. "Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates." Accordingly, a Jew wore a phylactery, a small leather box containing minutely written portions of the Jewish Law, also called a "tefillin" strapped to his left arm and on his forehead. These little leather boxes contained biblical verses on parchment inside them and identified the owner with his god.✞

A Slave Mark

TattooThe word for "the beast mark" in Revelation 13.16 is "charagma" which literally means a stamp or an imprinted mark and is used seven times in Revelation and once in Acts. Sometimes domestic slaves were branded with the mark of their owner. But usually they were branded only if they had run away or had been guilty of some grave misdemeanor. Deserters from the British Army were also tattooed with the capital letter "D." Concentration camps like Auschwitz branded their interns with a number on their forearms. Such a mark was also called a "stigma," which we still use in the English language today to mean "a mark of disgrace associated with a particular circumstance, quality, or person" as in "the mark of Cain" in Genesis 4.15, " But the Lord said to him, 'Not so [Hebrew "Very well"]; anyone who kills Cain will suffer vengeance seven times over.' Then the Lord put a mark on Cain so that no one who found him would kill him." Cain was cursed and marked for life possibly with a mark on his forehead for killing his brother, Abel. If the mark in Revelation is connected with this, it means that those who worship the beast are his property and are marked with his ownership tattoo.

"Beast Tattoo Mark"
by Ron Meacock © 2017

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