Revelation 13:16
Parallel Verses
New American Standard Bible
And he causes all, the small and the great, and the rich and the poor, and the free men and the slaves, to be given a mark on their right hand or on their forehead,

King James Bible
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:

Darby Bible Translation
And it causes all, the small and the great, and the rich and the poor, and the free and the bondmen, that they should give them a mark upon 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;

Young's Literal Translation
And it maketh all, the small, and the great, and the rich, and the poor, and the freemen, and the servants, that it may give to them a mark upon their right hand or upon their foreheads,

Revelation 13:16 Parallel
Commentary
Barnes' Notes on the Bible

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.

Revelation 13:16 Parallel Commentaries

Library
Guelf and Ghibelline. (ii)
[Sidenote: Honorius III (1216-27) and the Crusade.] The bull of summons to the Lateran Council of 1215 mentions as the two great desires of the Pope's heart the recovery of the Holy Land and the reformation of the Church Universal; and it is made clear that the various measures of reform to be placed before the General Council are intended to bring Christian princes and peoples, both clergy and laity, into the frame of mind for sending aid to Palestine. Moreover, at the Council it was agreed that
D. J. Medley—The Church and the Empire

The Third
refers to Exodus. The promise is, "I will give to eat of the hidden manna, and will give him a white stone, and in the stone a new name written, which no man knoweth, saving he that receiveth it" (ii. 17). It is in this third Epistle, which refers to the wilderness period and Balaam's counsel, that we have a special reference to the manna, the wilderness sustenance, of which Exodus contains the record. "Bread from Heaven" and "Angels' food" (Ps. lxxviii. 24,25) are set over against the lusts of the
E.W. Bullinger—Commentary on Revelation

The Fifth vision "On Earth"
E5, xiv. 6-20. The Six Angels and the Son of Man. The next vision which follows "on earth," follows closely on the last, and is preliminary to the pouring out of the seven Vials. No angel has been seen or heard since the seventh angel sounded the seventh trumpet in xi. 15. This shows us that the passage xii. 1-- 8 is parenthetical, and constitutes one series or episode. This fifth vision on earth consists of the appearance of six angels consecutively, each having his separate mission, and all but
E.W. Bullinger—Commentary on Revelation

The First vision "On Earth"
E^1, chap. vi. 1-- 8. The Six Seals, and the sealing of the 144,000 From the whole of the first Vision "in Heaven" (H^1, vi. 1-vii. 8) for the putting forth of power "on Earth" in the completion of the redemption of the purchased inheritance. The price has been paid in the shedding of the precious blood of the Lamb; and now, the necessary power is to be exercised so as to secure all its wondrous results, in wresting the inheritance from the hand of the enemy by ejecting the present usurper, and
E.W. Bullinger—Commentary on Revelation

Cross References
Galatians 6:17
From now on let no one cause trouble for me, for I bear on my body the brand-marks of Jesus.

Revelation 7:3
saying, "Do not harm the earth or the sea or the trees until we have sealed the bond-servants of our God on their foreheads."

Revelation 11:18
"And the nations were enraged, and Your wrath came, and the time came for the dead to be judged, and the time to reward Your bond-servants the prophets and the saints and those who fear Your name, the small and the great, and to destroy those who destroy the earth."

Revelation 14:9
Then another angel, a third one, followed them, saying with a loud voice, "If anyone worships the beast and his image, and receives a mark on his forehead or on his hand,

Revelation 19:5
And a voice came from the throne, saying, "Give praise to our God, all you His bond-servants, you who fear Him, the small and the great."

Revelation 19:18
so that you may eat the flesh of kings and the flesh of commanders and the flesh of mighty men and the flesh of horses and of those who sit on them and the flesh of all men, both free men and slaves, and small and great."

Revelation 19:20
And the beast was seized, and with him the false prophet who performed the signs in his presence, by which he deceived those who had received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped his image; these two were thrown alive into the lake of fire which burns with brimstone.

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