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Revelation 13:16

    Revelation 13:16 Translations

    King James Version (KJV)

    And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads:

    American King James Version (AKJV)

    And he causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads:

    American Standard Version (ASV)

    And he causeth all, the small and the great, and the rich and the poor, and the free and the bond, that there be given them a mark on their right hand, or upon their forehead;

    Basic English Translation (BBE)

    And he gives to all, small and great, the poor and those who have wealth, the free and those who are not free, a mark on their right hand or on their brows;

    Webster's Revision

    And he causeth all, the small and the great, and the rich and the poor, and the free and the bond, that there be given them a mark on their right hand, or upon their forehead;

    World English Bible

    He causes all, the small and the great, the rich and the poor, and the free and the slave, to be given marks on their right hands, or on their foreheads;

    English Revised Version (ERV)

    And he causeth all, the small and the great, and the rich and the poor, and the free and the bond, that there be given them a mark on their right hand, or upon their forehead;

    Clarke's Commentary on Revelation 13:16

    And he caused all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark - To ascertain the meaning of the mark which the two-horned beast causes all orders and degrees of men in the Latin world to receive, we need only refer to Revelation 14:11, where the mark imposed by the two-horned beast is called the mark of his name. The name of the beast is the Latin empire: the mark of his name must therefore be his Latin worship: for this very reason, that it is the two-horned beast, or false prophet, who causes all descriptions of persons to receive it. Now it is well known that the continual employment of the Latin clergy is to enforce the Latin idolatry upon their flocks. The mass and offices of the Church, which are in Latin, and contain the sum and substance of their idolatrous worship, are of different kinds, and abound in impious prayers to the Virgin Mary, and the saints and angels. In a word, the Latin worship is the universal badge of distinction of the Latin Church, from all other Churches on the face of the earth; and is therefore the only infallible Mark by which a genuine papist can be distinguished from the rest of mankind. But the two-horned beast causes all to receive this mark: -

    In their right hand, or in their foreheads - Right hand in Scripture language, when used figuratively, represents the physical power of the person of whom it is spoken; and when applied to God designates a signal manifestation of Divine power against his enemies, and in behalf of his people. See Psalm 17:7; Psalm 20:6; Psalm 21:8; Psalm 45:3, Psalm 45:4, etc. The reception of the mark in the right hand must therefore mean, that all so receiving it devote the whole powers of their mind and body to the propagation of the Latin worship, and to the eradication of all they denominate heresies out of their Church. But some receive the mark in their foreheads. By any thing being impressed upon the forehead, is meant the public profession of whatever is inscribed or marked upon it. See Revelation 9:4; Revelation 14:1; Revelation 22:4, etc. The mark of the beast being received on the forehead, therefore, means that all those so marked make a public profession of the Latin worship; whereby it is evident to all that they form a part of the Latin Church. Many may be marked in the right hand who are also marked on their foreheads, but it does not follow that those marked on their foreheads are also marked in their right hand; that is to say, it is not every individual that complies with the Latin worship who, to the utmost of his power, endeavors to propagate his religious system. Hence the propriety of the words, "He causeth all - to receive a mark in their right hand, Or in their foreheads."

    Barnes' Notes on Revelation 13:16

    And he caused all - He claims jurisdiction, in the matters here referred to, over all classes of persons, and compels them to do his will. This is the second beast, and, according to the interpretation given above, it relates to the papal power, and to its claim of universal jurisdiction.

    Both small and great - All these expressions are designed to denote universality - referring to various divisions into which the human family may be regarded as divided. One of those divisions is into "small and great"; that is, into young and old; those small in stature and those large in stature; those of humble, and those of elevated rank.

    Rich and poor - Another way of dividing the human race, and denoting here, as in the former case, all - for it is a common method, in speaking of mankind, to describe them as "the rich and poor."

    Free and bond - Another method still of dividing the human race, embracing all - for all the dwellers upon the earth are either free or bond. These various forms of expression, therefore, are designed merely to denote, in an emphatic manner, universality. The idea is, that, in the matter referred to, none were exempt, either on account of their exalted rank, or on account of their humble condition; either because they were so mighty as to be beyond control, or so mean and humble as to be beneath notice. And if this refers to the papacy, every one will see the propriety of the description. The jurisdiction set up by that power has been as absolute over kings as over the feeble and the poor; over masters and their slaves; alike over those in the humblest and in the most elevated walks of life.

    To receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads - The word here rendered "mark" - χάραγμα charagma - occurs only in one place in the New Testament except in the Book of Revelation Act 17:29, where it is rendered "graven." In all the other places where it is found Revelation 13:16-17; Revelation 14:9, Revelation 14:11; Revelation 15:2; Revelation 16:2; Revelation 19:20; Revelation 20:4, it is rendered "mark," and is applied to the same thing - the "mark of the beast." The word properly means "something graven or sculptured"; hence:

    (a) a graving, sculpture, sculptured work, as images or idols;

    (b) a mark cut in or stamped - as the stamp on a coin.

    Applied to people, it was used to denote some stamp or mark on the hand or elsewhere - as in the case of a servant on whose hand or arm the name of the master was impressed; or of a soldier on whom some mark was impressed denoting the company or phalanx to which he belonged. It was no uncommon thing to mark slaves or soldiers in this way; and the design was either to denote their ownership or rank, or to prevent their escaping so as not to be detected.

    Most of us have seen such marks made on the hands or arms of sailors, in which, by a voluntary tattooing, their names, or the names of their vessels, were written, or the figure of an anchor, or some other device, was indelibly made by punctures in the skin, and by inserting some kind of coloring matter. The thing which it is here said was engraven on the hand or the forehead was the "name" of the beast, or the "number" of his name, Revelation 13:17. That is, the "name" or the "number" was so indelibly inscribed either on the hand or the forehead, as to show that he who bare it pertained to the "beast," and was subject to his authority - as a slave is to his master, or a soldier to his commander. Applied to the papacy, the meaning is, that there would be some mark of distinction; some indelible sign; something which would designate, with entire certainty, those persons who belonged to it, and who were subject to it. It is hardly necessary to say that, in point of fact, this has eminently characterized the papacy. All possible care has been taken to designate with accuracy those who belong to that communion, and, all over the world, it is easy to distinguish those who render allegiance to the papal power. Compare the notes on Revelation 7:3.