“Mark of the Beast”

An excerpt from my studies in Revelation:

“Also it [the Beast] forces everyone — great and small, rich and poor, free and slave — to receive a mark on his right hand or on his forehead” (Revelation 13:16).

As I am delving into certain word translations in Revelation, ‘forces’ intrigued me.  Is there a difference between ‘choosing’ the mark and ‘being forced?’  In essence, yes, but would ‘force’ be a good translation from the Hebrew? And, if someone is ‘forced’ to do something, it is counted against them by Elohim? 

The Greek word used in this verse for ‘force’ is poiei and means ‘causes, make to do.’  Of course this definition does suggest ‘force’ and is how the Hebrew was translated into the Greek. 

The Hebrew word used in this verse for ‘force’ is darush and literally means ‘demand, require, and being sought.’  So, when it comes to the ‘mark of the beast,’ it will be demanded, required, and sought.’   Again, it seems people will have no choice in the matter as the ‘mark’ will be required.

In the Hebrew language words are formed from three basic letters.  From these three basic letters, other words are formed by adding different vowels as well as parts of speech.  For example, to make an infinitive, the letter ‘l’ or ‘lamed’ is added to the front of the world.  So, lidrosh is the infinitive of darush and means ‘to demand or to preach.’  

In the sense of the ‘mark of the beast,’ it will not only be demanded, but preached.  The definition of the the word ‘preach’ means to ‘publicly proclaim or teach a religious message.’  It can also mean ‘to earnestly advocate a belief or course of action.’   Thus, in regards to the ‘mark of the beast,’ it will be publicly proclaimed, it will earnestly advocate for a course of action.’ This is why Yeshua says to all of the Messianic congregations in Asia, “Those who have ears, let them hear what the Spirit is saying to the Messianic communities.” Each of us will be called to respond to the consequences of the ‘mark of the beast’ differently.

Another word that comes from darush is midrash.  A midrash is a commentary on part of the Hebrew scriptures. From a midrash comes a variety of different understandings of the Scriptures being discussed and multi-faceted ways to implement them into one’s personal life and walk.  A midrasha, another word that comes from midrash, is a religious school.

The ‘mark of the beast’ will be on the right hand or forehead.  This is significant when it comes to the tefillin worn by the Orthodox communities during morning prayers. The word tefillin comes from the word tefillah which is the Hebrew word for Psalms and means ‘prayers.’  Tefillin are comprised of small black boxes containing scrolls with Scriptures from the Torah.  The arm-tefillah, called shel yad [belonging to the hand] are small straps wrapped around the right arm, hand and fingers, while the head tefillah called shel rosh [belonging to the head] is secured above the forehead.  These objects are worn as a ‘sign’ of the Shema from Deuteronomy 4:6-9.

“Sh’ma, Yisra’el! Adonai Eloheinu, Adonai echad [Hear, Isra’el! Adonai our God, Adonai is one]; and you are to love Adonai your God with all your heart, all your being and all your resources. These words, which I am ordering you today, are to be on your heart; and you are to teach them carefully to your children. You are to talk about them when you sit at home, when you are traveling on the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them on your hand as a sign, put them at the front of a headband around your forehead, and write them on the door-frames of your house and on your gates.”

The ‘mark of the beast’ will not only be a direct assault on how the Orthodox Jewish community prays and honors God, but it will be ‘preached’ as a ‘religious message.’  In other words, the end times deception will be religious. The Orthodox as well as the Conservative, Reformed and Secular are looking for the Messiah to come.  They will be deceived by the ‘anti-messiah’ for numerous reasons and it may be that when the Orthodox remove their tefillin to receive the ‘mark,’ the deception will be complete.

Whatever the mark will be, it will be on the hand and forehead which alludes to whatever is done with the hands will be marked and whatever is thought will be controlled.  It will be forced, demanded, and required by all who wish to buy or sell whether great or small, rich or poor, slave or free – it will be global.  

And, according to Revelation 14:9-10 whoever worships the beast, his image AND receives the mark on his forehead or hand will not only drink the wine of God’s wrath, but be tormented by fire and sulfur.  In other words, those who take the ‘mark of the beast’ will suffer in eternity along with the beast and the false prophet (Revelation 19:20-21).  Being ‘forced’ or ‘required’ won’t ‘save’ you from eternal separation and death; staying separate and trusting in God for provision will.  We must always remain diligent and faithful when something is being forced on us in order to buy or sell; especially when it may involve religious indoctrination.

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