1. Additional notes on the definition of MET-o-pon (KJV "forehead")
2. Should "mark on the forehead" be translated "computer record based on the forehead"?
3. "Mark", defined
Biblical Significance of the retina scans "or" thumbprints required on federalized driver's licenses by the 2005 Real ID Act which will become mandatory April 2008; and of the international database construction authorized by S 1348, known as the "Immigration Compromise" bill of 2007, (See "The Big Brother Bills") which failed in June 2007 but is expected to pass in 2009.
Next year's drivers' licenses must include digital photographs (which can be processed by facial recognition software) and banks already require right hand thumb prints.
The Revelation 13 "Mark" will be "in" (KJV) the right hand OR "in" the "forehead". Exactly how close
are these to the same thing, according to the Greek?
The "mark" is "in" the "forehead", translates the KJV. The retina is below the forehead. But could the Greek
word describe anything below the forehead?
The "mark" is "in" the "forehead", translates the KJV. The retina is below the forehead. But could the Greek word describe anything below the forehead?
The Greek word translated "forehead" in the KJV is metwpon. (MET-oh-pon. )
Strong's Concordance defines it: "from 3326 [which is defined "amid"; 73% of the time KJV translates it "with"] and [the Greek word] ops (the face); the forehead (as opposite the countenance) :--forehead."
Today, Wikipedia defines "forehead": "In human anatomy, the forehead or brow is the bony part of the head above the eyes."
But when James Strong published his Concordance in 1890, Daniel Webster's original dictionary was what Strong had to rely on to choose English words that best defined the Greek words. So we can look at Webster's original version for what Strong was saying when he wrote that "metwpon" means "forehead". It defines "Forehead" as: "The part of the face which extends from the hair on the top of the head TO the eyes."
Let's return to that strange statement in Strong's definition of "forehead": "the forehead (as opposite the countenance)". Here is what "countenance" means, according to Daniel Webster's original dictionary:
"Countenance: the human face; the whole form of the face...in scriptural language, the light of God's countenance is his smiles of favorable regards, his favor and grace; and to hide his face or countenance is to manifest his displeasure, and withdraw his gracious aids., So the rebuke of his countenance indicates his anger and frowns. Ps 80. This application of face or countenance, which seems to be of high antiquity, proceeded probably from the practice of turning away the face to express anger, displeasure, and refusal - a practice still common, but probably universal among rude nations. The opposite conduct would, of course, express favor. The grant of a petition is accompanied with a look directed to the petitioner; the refusal or denial, with an averted face. Hence, Support; aid; patronage; encouragement; favor in promoting and maintaining a person or cause. 'Let religion enjoin the countenance of the laws. Give no countenance to violations of moral duty.' 'It is the province of the magistrate to give countenance to piety and virtue.' Atterbury. 6. Show; resemblance; superficial appearance. 'The election being done, he made countenance of great discontent thereat.' Ascham."
If "countenance" focuses on the spiritual stand one takes, as expressed by the face, the eyes are definitely the most expressive part of the face. But what does "opposite" mean in this context? According to Webster:
"Opposite: 1. Standing or situated in front; facing; as, an ediface opposite to the Exchange. Brooklyn lies opposite to New York, or on the opposite side of the river. 2. Adverse...3. Contrary..."
Webster's primary definition was "situated in front"! This definition had disappeared by the time my 1979 dictionary was written! However, it still appears under "oppose", as "to place in front; to offer to full view".
If metwpon means "opposite the countenance" by Webster's meaning, which is "in front of the expressive part of the face", or in other words, "the most expressive part of the face - the part of the face that takes the lead in expressing the heart", then metwpon definitely does not mean the skin above the eyebrows, but the entire face, and certainly including the eyes.
Arndt-Gingrich offers another definition, with Scriptural examples: "As the place marked with a sign of some kind...Rev 7:3, 9:4, 13:16, 14:1, 9, 17:5, 20:4, 22:4...Ezekiel 9:4..."
Rev. 7:3, 9:4, 22:4, and Ezekiel 9:4 describe God's marks on the "foreheads" of the saints. Ezekiel says it is written with ink. Well, you can't write on retinas with ink, I don't think. At least I can't. But could an angel? Don't know. Eye makeup is a lot more common than forehead makeup. Even pirates use eye makeup, according to the movie series Pirates of the Caribbean. But the only forehead makeup I have ever seen, from any country or any period in history, is the dot in the middle of the foreheads of Indian Hindu women. (Well, there is the "war paint" of Native Americans in their past, but it is over the whole body.) However, Eastman's Bible Dictionary says there was a "practice common among Oriental nations of colouring the forehead or impressing on it some distinctive mark as a sign of devotion to some deity." Was this more than the Hindu female dot?
Revelation 22:4 says Jesus' Name will be written on the metwpon of the saints in Heaven.)
Let's pause for a distinction. Blind people express almost the same range of emotion even though their "eyes" are useless. Much is expressed by where the eyes are looking, which blind people cannot express. So it is time to acknowledge that much of what we call the expression of "the eyes" is actually of the flesh surrounding the eyes: the eyelids, eyebrows, crow's feet, etc. The eyes are the center of our self expression, but our eyes, by themselves, may be actually a minor participant in it.
Could it be that God's Mark differs from Satan's Mark; God's proclaims the saint's allegience to God for everyone to see, being actually on the eyes and transforming their very character, and through them, even healing the soul; while Satan's "mark" is not actually on the eyes but is based on the eyes, and it can be read only by machines?
The Online Bible offers still another option for which part of our face the metwpon may indicate: "3359 metwpon metopon metí-oh-pon from 3326 and [the Greek word] ops (the face); TDNT-4:635,591; n n AV-forehead 8; 8 1) the space between the eyes, the forehead ." The forehead is the space between the eyes? Or, the word can mean either the forehead or the bridge of the nose? The only lesson I can draw from this, for this study, is that this further proves Greek dictionary writers do not have consensus that metwpon refers to the skin above the eyebrows.
2. Does the Greek word "epi", translated "in" in the KJV ("the mark in the right hand") and "on" in some modern translations, necessarily mean some physical alteration or addition to the right hand or the forehead? Can it possibly mean a record based on the right hand or the forehead?
FROM PART ONE OF THIS ARTICLE: The Arndt-Gingrich Greek dictionary says "epi" can mean "on the basis of": "on the basis of. epi duo h triwn marturwn on the evidence of two or three witnesses 1 Ti 5:19."
The King James translates 1 Timothy 5:19 "Against an elder receive not an accusation, but before [Gr: epi] two or three witnesses."
But Arndt-Gingrich says the verse means "on the evidence of two or three witnesses". So in other words, where the KJV said "before", Arndt-Gingrich pointed out the context requires us to understand "based on the evidence of", from which we may extract the general meaning, "on the basis of".
This proves the possibility that "epi" in Revelation 13:16 may mean, not the mark "in" or "on" the metwpon, but the retina scan - the digital record or image - which is "based on" the metwpon.
Another verse with this meaning is Matthew 4:4. "But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by [Gr. epi, on the basis of, or by the power of] every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God"
ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Now I must present a bunch of technical stuff which I would not wish on anybody, but I expect this Greek study to be thoroughly questioned so I just need to be as thorough as I can. The Arndt-Gingrich Greek dictionary says "epi" can mean "on the basis of". "on the basis of. epi duo h triwn marturwn on the evidence of two or three witnesses 1 Ti 5:19." This quote from Arndt-Gingrich is from section "I. with the genitive." That's because "epi twn metwpwn autwn", "in their foreheads", is genitive. (In English, possessive - a clause beginning with "of".)
(In the case of "in their right hand" KJV, "epi ths xeiros autwn ths decias", autwn, "of his", is genitive, but xeiros, "hand", is Nominative. In English, Nominative is the noun which is the subject of the sentence. Here is my English word for Greek word translation: "upon [the basis of] the hand of his the right".
Mt 4:4 is cited in a later section of the Arndt-Gingrich definition of "epi", where "epi" accompanies the dative. The example shows the meaning of "epi" as "on the basis of" is not confined to where the word accompanies the genitive. The Greek phrase for "by every word" is "epi panti rhmati ekporeuomenw". Here "epi" must mean something like "our existence continues on the basis of every word of God". Arndt-Gingrich generalizes the possible meaning of "epi" which we can take from this example: "of that upon which a state of being, an action, or a result is based."
Young's Literal Translation, (preserving the literal Greek grammar, word for word) Revelation 13:16: "And it [the beast] maketh [or, "does"] all, the small, and the great, and the rich, and the poor, and the freemen, and the servants, that it may give [or, "that it should have given"] to them a mark upon their right hand or upon their foreheads." ("Received", KJV, is actually "given", 3rd person, singular, aorist 1, subjunctive, active, "he should have given".)
3. Does the definition of "mark" affect this issue?
Probably not, but here is the definition, just as a double check.
Arndt-Gingrich finds the word used as a brand on horses, an image minted on a coin, ink stamped on documents, or an etching. If these are its meaning, it will definitely be a physical alteration of the right hand or face.
But Arndt-Gingrich offers one more possible definition, which the word means in Acts 17:29: "thing formed, image in the representative arts. gar technas, an image formed by art. Acts 17:29 (CIG 6208 phoibon charattein ) MM.)"
The verse reads "Acts 17:29 Forasmuch then as we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Godhead is like unto gold, or silver, or stone, graven [charagma, the same word as in Revelation] by art and man's device." This shows the Mark of the Beast need not be any crude physical thing, so long as it appears. A digital image qualifies.
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