1 Maccabees 13:49


47 So Simon reached an agreement with them and stopped fighting against them. But he expelled them from the city and cleansed the houses in which the idols were located, and then entered it with hymns and praise. 48 He removed all uncleanness from it, and settled in it those who observed the law. He also strengthened its fortifications and built in it a house for himself. 49 Those who were in the citadel at Jerusalem were prevented from going in and out to buy and sell in the country. So they were very hungry, and many of them perished from famine. 50 Then they cried to Simon to make peace with them, and he did so. But he expelled them from there and cleansed the citadel from its pollutions. 51 On the twenty-third day of the second month, in the one hundred seventy-first year, the Jews entered it with praise and palm branches, and with harps and cymbals and stringed instruments, and with hymns and songs, because a great enemy had been crushed and removed from Israel.

Revelation 13:17

New Testament

15 The second beast was empowered to give life to the image of the first beast so that it could speak, and could cause all those who did not worship the image of the beast to be killed. 16 He also caused everyone (small and great, rich and poor, free and slave) to obtain a mark on their right hand or on their forehead. 17 Thus no one was allowed to buy or sell things unless he bore the mark of the beast—that is, his name or his number. 18 This calls for wisdom: Let the one who has insight calculate the beast’s number, for it is man’s number, and his number is 666.

 Notes and References

"... Revelation 13:17 says “they could not buy or sell unless they had the mark, which is the name of the beast or the number of its name.” You could do little in commerce in the ancient world (13:17) without handling such a “mark,” because allusions to the emperor’s divinity appeared on many coins and even shipping bills and other documents. In fact, a mid-third-century emperor demanded certificates of sacrifice to the emperor to participate in commerce and escape prosecution; he likely sought to eradicate Christians. Many Christians compromised by bribing officials or by using other practices; some preferred death and were accordingly executed. Even in John’s day, however, one could not handle money without involvement in the imperial system. To withdraw from an economic system permeated with imperial worship—even to withdraw from trade guilds, whose meetings included meat offered to idols—was in many cities economic suicide. Well-to-do Jewish communities in cities like Sardis had much to lose by boycotting the system, and Christian merchants as a smaller minority would lose even more. Under other circumstances, a blockade preventing some from buying and selling could lead to their starvation (1 Maccabees 13:49) ..."

Keener, Craig What is the Mark of the Beast? (pp. 1-5) Zondervan Academic, 2018

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