Now the glory of the God of Israel had gone up from the cherub, where it had been, to the threshold of the temple. And He called to the man clothed with linen, who had the writer’s inkhorn at his side; and the LORD said to him, “Go through the midst of the city, through the midst of Jerusalem, and put a mark on the foreheads of the men who sigh and cry over all the abominations that are done within it.” To the others He said in my hearing, “Go after him through the city and kill; do not let your eye spare, nor have any pity. Utterly slay old and young men, maidens and little children and women; but do not come near anyone on whom is the mark; and begin at My sanctuary.” Eze 9:3-6
This is not the first or last place in Scripture that speaks of marking people on the forehead. The most famous passage is:
He causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hand or on their foreheads, and that no one may buy or sell except one who has the mark or the name of the beast, or the number of his name. Rev 13:16-17
The “he” spoken of in Revelation is the second beast in the form of a lamb with two horns, who causes all men everywhere to falsely worship the first beast instead of the LORD God, Creator of heaven and earth. Interestingly enough, the first beast has seven heads and ten horns, with attributes of the beast, the leopard, the bear, and the lion (Rev 13:1-2). The vision of the four beasts that Daniel saw, were in reverse order, the lion, the bear, the leopard, and the beast (Dan 7, the vision of the four beasts). Together, the four beasts that Daniel saw, had seven heads and ten horns. John in Revelation is seeing the same thing that Daniel saw. Hmmm … we will have to come back to that when we get to Revelation.
Suffice it to say, that the first and second beasts receive their power from the dragon, Satan, who is opposed to God. So in Rev 13, men are marked on their foreheads, which cause them to be identified with the second beast. A mark in Scripture is a sign, evidence, a witness. Other marks in Scripture:
Then I saw another angel ascending from the east, having the seal of the living God. And he cried with a loud voice to the four angels to whom it was granted to harm the earth and the sea, saying, “Do not harm the earth, the sea, or the trees till we have sealed the servants of our God on their foreheads.” Rev 7:2-4
This seems to be the same scenario as we are reading in Ezekiel today: destruction, calamity, is decreed, but first, before it is carried out, the servants of God must be marked on their foreheads. Why? In Ezekiel, we are seeing that it is so the decreed destruction does not come upon them.
Really, we can choose to be marked for the LORD. Our actions, our way of life, determines how we will be marked. The men in Jerusalem, who Ezekiel saw in the vision, did not know they were being marked for preservation from the judgment of the sword. But their way of life, of being in distress over the abominations which were being done in the city, of not participating in those same abominations, marked them as being on the LORD’s side.
We do not need to fear the time that is coming! We just need to come out of Babylon, the head of gold, which all of the kingdoms of this world are patterned after, so that we will not partake of her sins or receive of her plagues.
For further reading:
marked on the hand and forehead