16 And [kai] he causeth [poieo] all, [pas] both small [mikros] and [kai] great, [megas][kai] rich [plousios] and [kai] poor, [ptochos][kai] free [eleutheros] and [kai] bond, [doulos] to [hina][autos] receive [didomi] a mark [charagma] in [epi] their [autos] right hand [dexios], [cheir] or [e] in [epi] their [autos] foreheads: [metopon] KJV-Interlinear
16 And he
causes all, the small and the great, and the rich and the poor, and the free
men and the slaves, to be given a mark on their right hand, or on their
The anti-christ will segregate and divide all people into two common groups - those who will worship him, and those who will not.
Those who do not worship will typically be Christians, but not all people disloyal to the anti-christ will necessarily be Christians. There will certainly be unbelievers who oppose the anti-christ, but they will be dealt with swiftly as they will not have any protection provided them by God, as many believers will have.
The terms small and great, rich and poor, free and slave are expressions that mean to include all categories of people, no matter who they are. There will be no class or category of people left out of this evil policy.
All people will be ordered and obligated to worship the anti-christ, and as a demonstration of their loyalty or obedience, they will be made to bear a mark or identification.
The word for mark, 'charagma,' means an etching, a stamp, a badge of identity. And though it has been long believed by many that this was going to be some sort of tattoo or imprint on their body, it more naturally fits the technology of today, for identification cards and such things.
Today you need a coded card for banking, or membership in a store or organization or school. Almost every aspect of our lives today, comes with a card of some sort. You can try to live a cash only life, but as a practical matter, you will need a card even if only for driving, sooner or later. Most infants when born, are given an identification number at birth which they will carry with them all their lives.
So the technology is here, even though it is a good technology and makes life a bit easier and pleasant for us all, but one day, it will be used in an evil way, as the anti-christ will use it to try and enslave and control the masses of people on the planet.
On their right hand, is a reference to the daily activities that people engage in, so people will not be able to live and function without some form of identification. The right hand, 'dexios,' refers to the hand that usually takes or accepts, meaning they will reach out and accept this requirement of them.
And on their forehead, is a reference to the mental attitude of people, meaning that they will actively engage in and obey the anti-christs laws. So, by attitude and by hand, people will accept by means of thought and deed, the laws decreed by the anti-christ. This will be a proactive decision, voluntarily made, even though under duress, that will be made by the general population of unbelievers.