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13 Mind-Blowing Facts About the Mark of the Beast in the Bible That Will Shock You

mark of the beast in the bible

The mark of the beast in the Bible has stumped Christians and Bible scholars for centuries.

Here is what the verses say:

Revelation 13:16-18 ESV

16 Also it causes all, both small and great, both rich and poor, both free and slave, to be marked on the right hand or the forehead, 17 so that no one can buy or sell unless he has the mark, that is, the name of the beast or the number of its name. 18 This calls for wisdom: let the one who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man, and his number is 666.

What exactly does it mean, and is it something that I should fear?

Everyone has their opinions. But before we examine some stunning truths about this symbol, there’s something you need to do.

The Absolute Mandatory Task We Need to Do Before Trying to Understand the Mark of the Beast in the Bible

Before we get started, set your mind right now to be utterly open to alternative views about the mark of the beast.

Most people believe that we will see this mark in our lifetime or in the near future.

They believe it’s an evil, wicked symbol that marks the end of all days when meteors crash into the planet and fire will reign down from above.

But you might be surprised to learn there are other ways to examine this topic. Right now, set your mind to be like the noble Bereans in the book of Acts:

Acts 17:10-11

10 The brothers immediately sent Paul and Silas away by night to Berea, and when they arrived they went into the Jewish synagogue. 11 Now these Jews were more noble than those in Thessalonica; they received the word with all eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so.

Examine this article and compare it with scripture to see if these things are so.

Here are 13 stunning facts about the mark of the beast you probably didn’t know about.

1. The Mark of the Beast is More Than Likely Symbolic and Not Literal

The book of Revelation is highly symbolic. This means that not everything we read is intended to be taken literally.

Jesus with a sword coming out of his mouth and a woman with the moon at her feet and stars on her head?

Ancient Jews used a figure of speech to say where a person’s loyalty lay: A mark on their hand or forehead.

Isaiah 44:5

This one will say, ‘I am the Lord's,’ another will call on the name of Jacob, and another will write on his hand, ‘The Lord's,’ and name himself by the name of Israel.”

Exodus 13:9

And it shall be to you as a sign on your hand and as a memorial between your eyes, that the law of the Lord may be in your mouth. For with a strong hand the Lord has brought you out of Egypt.

These phrases were not meant to be taken literally but were just figures of speech to show who you belonged to.

It’s highly possible that John was speaking symbolically in Revelation 13 to show that whoever “took the mark of the beast” was showing who they belonged to - some evil force other than God.

2. God Has a Mark, Too: The Mark of the Beast and the Seal of God

Most people stop reading at Revelation 13 and learn about the mark of the beast.

But if they simply read one verse later, it says:

Revelation 14:1

Then I looked, and behold, on Mount Zion stood the Lamb, and with him 144,000 who had his name and his Father's name written on their foreheads.

God also puts His name on the foreheads of these faithful 144,000.

The question we should ask is this: If we’re going to say it’s a literal mark in Revelation 13 (a microchip or something similar), shouldn’t it also be a literal mark in Revelation 14?

Will God implant a computer microchip in the foreheads of the 144,000 when He returns?

It’s very logical to see this “name” or “mark” of God as symbolic, which would further prove the symbolicness of the mark of the beast.

3. The Most Popular View is Wrong: The Mark of the Beast is a Chip

Many Christians believe the mark is some kind of inserted chip because they think Revelation 13 applies to our day, where there is advanced technology.

However, this is just mere speculation that has gained global popularity.

Dr. Thomas Ice, executive director of the Pre-Trib Research Center at Liberty University and a massive advocate for futurism, says:

“Some have suggested that the mark of the beast will be the universal product code, a chip implanted under the skin, or an invisible mark requiring scanning technology to recognize it. Such applications do not align with what the Bible actually says.” [1]

4. The Mark of the Beast Was Once Thought to be Barcode Labels

We didn’t always have barcodes on purchases. So, when they first came out, people got scared!

A barcode has three sets of two big lines - one on the outside left, one in the middle, and one on the outside right.

mark of the beast barcode

For whatever reason, people were confusing these lines to be 6, 6, and 6. But the lines are binary (black and white spaces), and a scanner can’t get 666 from a barcode.

5. Nero is the Beast Who Gives the Mark

John told his readers to have wisdom and calculate the number of the man he was talking about so they would know who he was.

If the beast were a person thousands of years in the future, John would not have anticipated that they would be able to calculate it.

Anyways, the Jews used alpha-numerics, in which their letters also represented numbers.

This is known as gematria, and when John used the number 666, he was quietly stating who he was talking about.

The letters of Nero’s name have the following numeric values: n=50, r=200, w=6, n=50, q=100, s=60, r=200 = 666. There were no vowels in Hebrew.

Nero was the evil emperor who persecuted Christians and began the destruction of Jerusalem in the late 60s.

6. Is the Mark of the Beast 616 or 666?

One of the oldest fragments of Revelation records the beast’s number as 616, not 666.

But most older documents record it as 666. How can we know which number is correct?

The most plausible explanation for why 616 exists is that it equals the numeric value of Nero’s name in Latin.

Again, Nero’s name in Hebrew equals 666 (nrwn qsr). But in Latin, it would be spelled nrw qsr. This new spelling equals 616.

It’s believed that a Latin copyist already knew that the beast was Nero (as the early church commonly believed), so he changed the number to the Latin numerical equivalent and spelling of Nero to better fit his Latin translation.

Ultimately, it doesn’t matter if it’s 666 or 616 because they are equal to Nero.

7. They Must Have the Mark of the Beast to Buy or Sell

Why was the mark of the beast needed to buy or sell?

One theory is that famine and hard times got so bad during the Jewish-Roman wars that Jews and Christians could not purchase from their market without first “taking the mark.”

Rome ruled over Jerusalem, so when the locals wanted to enter the market, they had to pledge allegiance to the “beast” - Nero and the Roman Empire.

They did this by worshipping a statue of the emperor by the market. In return, the guards placed ash on them (like a mark), showing the sellers inside that they were loyal to the beast.

8. The Mark of the Beast Doesn’t Necessarily Mean There is No Cash

Hopefully, by now, you’re starting to see that it’s possible that this mark-of-the-beast stuff happened in the past around AD 70.

So, there’s no reason to speculate if its future coming will usher in a cashless society.

But just so you know, Revelation never mentions anything about all other methods of payment being canceled out because of the coming mark.

All it says is that people cannot buy or sell without the mark.

More than likely, they were still using their usual methods of payment (coins and items to barter with), but they just couldn’t do so without the mark.

More about the so-called cashless society here, if you’re interested:

9. The Mark of the Beast is Not Clearly Said to Be the Mark of the Antichrist

The “beast” is believed to be the same as the “Antichrist.”

However, the Book of Revelation never uses the word “antichrist.” Therefore, it is mere speculation to say that the beast of Revelation 13 is the Antichrist.

10. If You’re a True Christian Who Believes in Pre-Trib Futurism, You’ll Never Know What the Mark of the Beast Is

Most Christians are Pre-Trib, meaning they believe that before the Great Tribulation happens, believers will be raptured off the earth.

According to this view, all of the horrible events of Revelation, including the mark of the beast, will happen after we’re already gone.

It doesn’t make sense for these same Pre-Tribbers to say, “A new microchip just came out! It’s the mark of the beast! I’m not going to have anything to do with it!”

The pre-tribulation theory says that the beast's mark will not be revealed until after the rapture, not in the days leading up to it.

11. The Jehovah’s Witnesses Believe the Mark is Symbolic and Represents Our Trust in an Evil Political System.

You can read about this on their site - mark of the beast

In the above link, they say the beast represents a worldwide political system but don’t offer any evidence.

However, they do say that the mark is symbolic. When you “take the mark,” you’re putting too much trust in the political system.

12. The Mark is Six Hundred and Sixty-Six, Not Six Six Six

The number 666 is six hundred and sixty-six, and not three sixes.

In Greek manuscripts, the number is written as χξς (666), and not ἓξ ἓξ ἓξ (6, 6, 6).

mark of the beast 616 666

666 is on the fourth line beginning with "χ" (χξς)

This debunks any wild speculation and superstition about the number where we split it into three separate sixes.

For example, an amount at the checkout lane totaling $6.66 is not a bad omen since the number in Revelation 13 is 666, and not 6.66 or three different sixes.

13. The Mark is Not a Literal Thing That the Early Church Saw

Again, the mark is symbolic, not literal. It’s not something they saw on each other’s hands or foreheads.

Modern believers are fascinated by the mark and wonder how it will look.

Will it be a barcode, a microchip, a tattoo, or this mark of the beast doom slayer image gaining popularity because of its appearance in a video game?

mark of the beast doom

There’s no need to wonder about this since the mark was not literal and occurred already in the first century.


If you’re interested, here is a complete Bible Study on the Mark of the Beast that goes into more detail.




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