The Mark of the Beast
"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:" Revelation 13:16
What is the mark of the beast... this mark in the right hand or in the forehead? What does it mean? What does it symbolize? After all, we are dealing with symbolic prophecy!
[The 10 Commandments]
"I am the LORD thy God, which brought thee out of the land of Egypt... Thou shalt have none other gods before me. Thou shalt not make thee any graven image... Thou shalt not bow down thyself unto them, nor serve them... Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain... Keep the sabbath day to sanctify it, as the LORD thy God hath commanded thee. Six days thou shalt labour, and do all thy work: But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, nor thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thine ox, nor thine ass, nor any of thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates; that thy manservant and thy maidservant may rest as well as thou. And remember that thou wast a servant in the land of Egypt, and that the LORD thy God brought thee out thence through a mighty hand and by a stretched out arm: therefore the LORD thy God commanded thee to keep the sabbath day. Honour thy father and thy mother... Thou shalt not kill. Neither shalt thou commit adultery. Neither shalt thou steal. Neither shalt thou bear false witness against thy neighbour. Neither shalt thou desire thy neighbour's wife, neither shalt thou covet thy neighbour's house, his field, or his manservant, or his maidservant, his ox, or his ass, or any thing that is thy neighbour's." Deuteronomy 5:6-21
"And these words, which I command thee this day [the 10 Commandments (?)], shall be in thine heart: And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. And thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thine hand, and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes." Deuteronomy 6:6-8
According to Deuteronomy 6:6-8, God's Law... the greatest and most prominent part of it being the 10 Commandments, appearing in the immediate context, in Deuteronomy 5... is to have an effect on our thoughts and actions no less visible than would be frontlets between our eyes and a sign upon our hand.
Using Deuteronomy 6:6-8, in the context of Deuteronomy 5, the Ten Commandments, as our defining example or pattern... the mark of the beast... it must be the law of the beast and its effects on our thoughts and actions... the "mark ... in their foreheads" is the effect of the beast's law on our thoughts and the "mark in their right hand" is the effect of the beast's law on our actions.
"And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name." Revelation 13:17
What is the mark of the name or the number? What is meant here? What do they symbolize? After all, remember that we are dealing with symbolic prophecy!
Note: for Revelation 13:17 the NASB reads "and he provides that no one will be able to buy or to sell, except the one who has the mark, either the name of the beast or the number of his name." while the NIV reads "so that they could not buy or sell unless they had the mark, which is the name of the beast or the number of its name." In its notes, the NIV adds that the majority of manuscripts, for this portion of scripture, do not have the first "or", between "the mark" and "the name of the beast" and thus the translations of the NIV and the NASB.
The name is on (or in) the forehead... How do we know this? Examine the following scriptures in Revelation.
"And I looked, and, lo, a Lamb stood on the mount Sion, and with him an hundred forty and four thousand, having his Father's name written in their foreheads." Revelation 14:1
Also the related text...
"And they shall see his face; and his name shall be in their foreheads." Revelation 22:4
"And upon her [the whore of Revelation 17's] forehead was a name written, MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH." Revelation 17:5
Therefore... we can conclude that...
...the mark of the name of the beast is on the forehead, or equivalently that it is the same as the mark in (or on) the forehead, and the mark of the number of the name of the beast is on the hand, or equivalently that it is the same as the mark in (or on) the right hand.