Revelation 9:21 and Revelation 18:23

Q: Is the word “mark” of the beast in Revelation associated with the word "pharmakeia"?

A: No, the word “mark” is not associated with the word “pharmakeia,” often translated as “sorcery.” The Greek word “charagma” occurs 7 times in Revelation, always associated with the beast and those who worship it. The word “pharmakeia” occurs only twice, never in the same verses as the word “mark.” In Rev 9:21 it describes the activities of all of humankind who are left after the plagues. They do not repent of their “sorceries,” among other things. In Rev 18:23, pharmakeia refers to the deceitful actions of “Babylon the great city” (18:21). So both words have a negative connotation but there is no direct connection.

Dr. Susan E. Hylen
Associate Professor of New Testament
Candler School of Theology - Emory University




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