When interpreters consult the pages of Scripture, rather than frontpage news, the biblical connotation of the mark becomes clearer. Revelation describes the mark being placed on “the right hand or the forehead” (Rev 13:16), which echoes the description of God’s commandments in the Torah: “You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes” (Deuteronomy 6:8; cf. 11:18). Based on this verse, later Jews affixed Tefillin (תפלין) – small boxes containing biblical texts—to their hands and foreheads. In the Greek New Testament, tefillin are called “phylacteries” (φυλακτήρια; Matt 23:5), and observant Jews wear these ritual adornments during prayer to this day. Thus, from a Jewish perspective, it is immediately clear that the “mark of the beast” takes the place of the divine commands; to accept this mark is to reject the will of God.
The event in Ezekiel has precedent in Exodus. Describing the meaning of Passover, Moses tells his people, “You shall tell your child on that day, ‘It is because of what the Lord did for me when I came out of Egypt.’ And it shall be to you as a sign on your hand (ידך; yadekha) and as a memorial between your eyes, that the Lord’s teaching (תורה; torah) may be in your mouth” (Exodus 13:9). As in Ezekiel, those whom God saves bear the divine mark. Later in the same chapter of Exodus, Moses tells the people to consecrate their firstborn to God, and the rationale for this practice is a recollection of Israel’s salvation. “For when Pharaoh stubbornly refused to let us go,” says Moses, “the Lord killed all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both the firstborn of man and the firstborn of animals… but all the firstborn of my sons I redeem. It shall be as a sign on your hand and frontlets between your eyes, for by a strong hand the Lord brought us out of Egypt” (13:15-16). The mark of the Lord signifies salvation from death and destruction, and Revelation presents the negative inverse for those who take the mark of the beast *(CLICK HERE FOR MORE)