A recent comment from a KJV-only proponent has caused me to rethink some of my post-COVID assumptions about what form the Mark of the Beast will take during the Tribulation, but perhaps not quite in the way they had intended. The comment they made pertains to a single word—one preposition used twice in Revelation 13:16:
And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads . . . (KJV)
Their argument went something like this (emphasis mine in brackets): Gates and other New World Order types are working on forced vaccines and microchips—things that go in the body—and the KJV says the Mark will be in the hand or in the forehead. [And, in the same vein as other KJV-only arguments:] All other translations say “on,” therefore all other translations are false.
Recalling that the LSV has “on” in both instances, I had to double-check and see if there was any merit to their argument. It’s true that most translations have “on,” although the KJV isn’t unique with “in”; a few other translations, such as the Douay-Rheims and older English translations like the Geneva, also have “in,” probably owing more to the semantic range of “in” in Early Modern English (15th through 17th centuries) rather than an unspoken belief by the translators that the Mark would be “inside” the hand or forehead.
In any case, which is the most textually-accurate translation? The Greek word in question is ἐπὶ, which does literally mean “on.” It can mean “on” in the sense of being on top of or above something, or it can insinuate contact, such as when someone might say “we’re coming upon our destination.” In this second situation, translators often substitute the English word “to.” “In,” “into,” and “inside” are words pretty foreign to the usage of Greekἐπὶ. John demonstrates this point in this very chapter of Revelation, where we see him utilize the normally-used word for “in,” Greek ἐν, when describing something inside of something else, but ἐπὶ when describing something on top of or above something. The KJV gets it right here:
And all that dwell upon (ἐπὶ) the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in (ἐν) the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. (Rev. 13:8, KJV)
Coincidentally, Greek epi sounds similar to English upon and Greek en sounds like English in. There’s nothing profound about this, but when you’re reading the Greek text it makes it easy to distinguish the meaning of the words.
The KJV is probably a bit off here with “in” in Revelation 13:16, but what about other verses describing things on or inside hands? What Greek words are used in those other instances? Well we don’t have to look far. We don’t even have to look in another book of the Bible. Right in Revelation chapter 1 we read:
. . . and having seven stars in His right hand, and out of His mouth a sharp two-edged sword is proceeding, and His countenance—as the sun shining in its might. (Rev. 1:16, LSV)
The Greek word used here for “in” is none other than ἐν. Items can be in the hand (Mt. 3:12; Rev. 1:16; 14:14; 17:4) or on the hand (Mt. 4:6; Rev. 13:16; 14:9; 20:4). Greek differentiates between the two, and Revelation 13:16 says “on.” To be clear: if the Mark of the Beast ends up being something injected into a person’s hand or forehead I won’t argue with God about it. Perhaps God chose the Greek word for “on” because in His foresight and sovereignty He understood the Mark would rest on the internal structures of the body, but nevertheless, “on” is what He chose, and therefore I’m leaning toward the conclusion that the Mark is something on the hand or forehead. Something visible. Something identifiable to others.
Enter the ubiquitous QR Code: the two-dimensional evolution from one-dimensional barcodes. QR codes were first unveiled in 1994 and saw a gradual increase in usage over the next two decades, a rapid increase in their third decade, and in the post-COVID world have become essentially universal, in some ways even more universal than the barcode. QR codes are now used for payments, packaging and inventory, restaurant menus, online authentication, and, more recently, worldwide vaccine certification and verification. In short, QR codes now touch virtually every facet of the global economy; not just the control and flow of goods as was the case with barcodes, but also the control and flow of people themselves. We haven’t even entered the Tribulation yet and tens of millions of people can’t buy, sell, or travel without them.
As I’ve been chewing on their possible use as the Mark of the Beast, I came up with four questions that can help us decide if these are, in fact, a prime candidate:
1. Can QR codes contain enough data and form enough unique combinations to identify, track, and control every individual on earth?
In the first few decades after the popularization of the classic 1D barcode in the 1970s, many prophecy watchers suspected their possible involvement with the coming Mark. And it makes sense why: their primary use was for transactions and inventory—the control of buying and selling. And they could store quite a bit of data on a small, visible surface.
I’ve pointed out before it isn’t happenstance that the 1940s and 50s witnessed a number of major prophetic precursors simultaneously: the founding of a primordial world government in the form of the United Nations (1948), the founding of the World Bank and several other international institutions (1944, etc), the development of the atom bomb (1945), the first computer (1945), the first integrated circuit (1958), and, most importantly, the reestablishment of the nation-state of Israel (1948). Israel’s rebirth didn’t occur in a vacuum. It was accompanied by a number of other major technological and geopolitical turning points that clearly set the stage for the final fulfillment of end-of-the-age events. In the midst of these two pivotal decades, the barcode, a precursor of sorts to the Mark, was invented—in 1948, the year of Israel’s rebirth to be exact. Although the invention wouldn’t catch on until the 1970s, it ultimately revolutionized the buying and selling of goods the world over.
It should come as no surprise then that QR codes are technically a type of barcode, but planar (2D) rather than linear (1D). While the longest 1D barcodes can contain 100 interpreted characters of data, QR codes can contain up to 4,296 alphanumeric characters or 7,089 numeric characters.
To put that in perspective, the longest 1D barcode standards, if alphanumeric, could theoretically be used to produce more unique barcode combinations than there are stars in the universe, but the 2D QR code standard could be used to produce more unique QR code combinations than there stars in trillions and trillions of universes. The popular Universally Unique Identifier (UUID or GUID) contains 32 hexadecimal digits, which could be used to produce 3.4 x 10^38 unique combinations. There are only an estimated 10^24 stars in the known universe. Alphanumeric barcodes of 100-character length could produce an even greater number of unique combinations than GUIDs. The common QR code standard could be used to produce a virtually limitless number of unique codes on a virtually limitless number of earths in a virtually limitless number of universes. The point is this: QR codes are easily up to the challenge of uniquely identifying every man, woman, and child on the planet, complete with detailed information about them. And when coupled with databases that can store data accessible when a person’s QR code is scanned, the powers that be can get all the information they need.
2. Are QR codes readable if tattooed or otherwise imprinted on human skin?
The answer is a resounding (and eerie) “yes.” QR codes can be read from pretty much any surface as long as the QR code is formatted according to the common standards that readers use. And as a matter of fact, a number of news stories have highlighted individuals already tattooing themselves with QR codes, including an influencer who had a QR code linked to her website tattooed on her forehead and an Italian man who had his COVID vaccine pass QR code tattooed on his arm.
As I’ve studied the answer to this question, it’s also become clearer to me that of all the Mark candidates out there, QR codes seem to be the most likely for the simple reason they would be the most reliable and easy to read. RFID or NFC chips, for example, are digital, would require injection, and have very limited error correction capability. QR codes, RFID chips, and NFC chips can all store a similar amount of data (several kilobytes), but given that they are passive and electronic, RFID and NFC chips can only be read if in very close proximity to a reader and are susceptible to the same types of failures other electronics succumb to. QR codes can be stretched, scratched, scuffed, or even cut nearly in half and still be read because of sophisticated error correction. They can be read from almost any angle or even upside down. They can even be printed in different colors (they don’t have to be white and black). Only outright mirroring or inversion would prevent a QR code from being read by most readers. The point is that they are eerily ideal for human skin. Over many years tattoo ink can smudge and spread, but the error correction largely accounts for this—certainly for the brief few years of the Tribulation.
Unlike RFID or NFC chips, or the more recent quantum-dot tattoos, QR codes can be read through high-definition security cameras by prying authorities. They also have greater longevity. Quantum-dot tattoos, for instance, may only be readable for a couple of years; however, they are placed fairly superficially in the skin, so unlike chips, but like QR codes, quantum-dot tattoos could also be considered “on” the hand or forehead rather than “in.”
3. Will the infrastructure be in place during the Tribulation for their usage as the Mark?
Tattooing is the most primitive method of marking the skin known to man. It can be done in every country, in virtually every city. It doesn’t require anything advanced. It doesn’t even require electricity if you use some of the primitive methods. Many of the technological things we speculate about today regarding the Tribulation don’t fully account for a world devastated by the rapture and years of war and cataclysm. The world will be falling apart, not growing more orderly. We’re seeing a convergence of all dystopian eventualities on the world stage, but we’re not seeing all that will be, but rather all that could be if Jesus doesn’t intervene. Jesus will intervene. He will cut the days short.
Mankind is trying to rebuild the proverbial Tower of Babel, but like the first one, it won’t see completion. I don’t think we’re going to see Musk get to Mars, or every man, woman, and child hooked up to cyberspace via the neural lace. I don’t think we’re going to see everyone trapped in the Metaverse. We’re going to see exactly what the Bible predicts. Although all of these things are only a handful of years away, the rapture will be a profound setback to the enemy’s plans. A 3.5-year setback to be exact. Yet he will also take it as his opportunity to wreak havoc. With most of the opposition gone, he’ll be able to consolidate and rebuild, finally implementing his worldwide Mark. The fact that we’re seeing so many dystopian developments right now just goes to show how much closer we are to the real thing: the Tribulation.
Yet despite the disappearance of tens, or even hundreds of millions, and the unfolding post-rapture cataclysms, QR codes and code readers are already so ubiquitous that it’s safe to say it’s the one system which is already in place and will largely remain in place during a large part of the Tribulation. Virtually every modern cellphone has a QR code reader, and as of this year nearly 84 percent of people on earth now own a smartphone (source).
4. What connection, if any, do QR codes have with the mysterious number of the beast (666)?
According to Revelation 13:17, the Mark must be related to either the name of the beast or the number of his name. The number is 666.
All QR codes, regardless of size or version, have a number of standard features. The most basic feature are the black and white blocks. The arrangement of these blocks is how data is uniquely stored and read, and also how error correction can “restore” sections of a QR code that have been damaged or removed. Another basic feature are the three position detection markers found at each of three corners of the code. It’s these that connect each and every QR code on the face of the planet with the number 666.
Read linearly from any direction, each position marker contains exactly six bands: if one of the two markers on the left, either black, white, black, white, black, white (if read from left to right or top to bottom), or white, black, white, black, white, black (if read from right to left or bottom to top). Or vice versa if reading the marker in the top-right. This triple sixfold banding is found on every QR code on the face of the planet, except for the smaller Micro QR codes. The image below, from End Times Truth, demonstrates what I mean:
QR codes are connected with “6” and “666” in a number of other ways as well:
1. Each position marker consists of 64 blocks, thus 64, 64, 64
2. Each position marker contains 33 dark blocks, thus (3 + 3), (3 + 3), (3 + 3)
3. Each position marker contains 6 + 6 dark edges, thus 6 x 6 dark edges for all three position markers
4. Likewise, each position marker contains 6 + 6 light edges or 6 x 6 light edges for all three position markers
5. Each position marker contains an inner square of 9 dark blocks, surrounded by a square of 16 light blocks, which is surrounded by a square of 24 dark blocks: 9 inverted = 6; 1 x 6 = 6; 2 + 4 = 6
6. The timing patterns are always located on the sixth row
7. There are six key components of a QR code: the position markers, timing patterns, version information, format information, alignment pattern, and encoding region
In conclusion, I’m not absolutely convinced that the QR code will in fact be the Mark, but it seems like a prime candidate (or perhaps a very similar 2D barcode system will be used). It’s the one candidate with us right here, right now, that could be implemented virtually as is. The infrastructure and ubiquity are already present. It can even be used to store additional information (like, for instance, the “name” of the beast). It’s reliable, impervious to issues that might fault RFID chips, NFC chips, or quantum-dot tattoos, and is even trackable through surveillance systems. At the end of the day, it wasn’t Gate’s quantum-dot tattoo that the World Health Organization and other authorities and governments enacted as the control mechanism during the pandemic, but rather the universally-adopted QR code. I think the powers that be may have been trying this on for size.
And if there’s one thing we’ve learned from the enemy’s tactics during this pandemic, it’s that the power of social pressure and “allegiance” can be monumentally powerful as a control mechanism. Again, it wasn’t invisible quantum-dot tattoos that were used, but visible masks and QR codes—things that are easily seen by others, allowing for collective social pressure and cohesion and the immediate identification of non-conformers. The Mark will be, after all, a sign of allegiance to the beast.
Have you received Salvation from Jesus the Messiah? Time is running out. Jesus will return very soon. The signs of His return are everywhere in this crazy world we are living in. Please read below so that you can be saved. Jesus is the only way to Heaven. The Words below are directly from the Bible, so you can trust them.
For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures. (1 Corinthians 15:3-4)
Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. (John 14:6)
For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. (John 3:16-17)
If you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the Scripture says, “Whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame.” For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek, for the same Lord over all )is rich to all who call upon Him. For “whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.” (Romans 10:9-13)
“As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you; abide in My love. IF YOU KEEP MY COMMANDMENTS, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love. (John 15:9)
For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:38-39)
For those of us who persevere and do what Jesus says to do, we have this to look forward to in eternity: And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.”
The Bible – New King James Version, NKJV