212. Idolatrous Spots

Deuteronomy 32:5; Job 11:15; Job 22:26; Job 31:7; Revelation 13:16; Revelation 14:9; Revelation 19:20; Revelation 20:4
The spot or blot here spoken of is said to be something that does not belong to the children of God. “Their spot is not of his children.” Allusion is supposed to be made here to the marks which idolaters put upon their persons, particularly on their foreheads, in honor of their deities. It is a very ancient practice, and probably existed before Moses’ time. Forbes, in his Oriental Memoirs, says that in India different idolatrous sects have different marks. These are specially common among the two principal sects, the worshipers of Siva and the worshipers of Vishnoo. The marks are horizontal and perpendicular lines; crescents or circles; or representations of leaves, eyes, and other objects. They are impressed on the forehead by the officiating Brahmin with a composition of sandal-wood dust and oil, or the ashes of cow-dung and turmeric. The colors are red, black, white, and yellow. In many cases these marks are renewed daily.
Zophar may have referred to a similar custom when he spoke to Job about lifting up his face without spot (Job 11:1515For then shalt thou lift up thy face without spot; yea, thou shalt be stedfast, and shalt not fear: (Job 11:15)). Eliphaz also spoke of lifting up the face to God (Job 22:2626For then shalt thou have thy delight in the Almighty, and shalt lift up thy face unto God. (Job 22:26)). Job himself subsequently denied that any blot was on his hands. Job 31:77If my step hath turned out of the way, and mine heart walked after mine eyes, and if any blot hath cleaved to mine hands; (Job 31:7). In the Revelation of John there are several references to idolatrous marks on the forehead and hands. See Revelation 13:16; 14:9; 19:20; 20:416And 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: (Revelation 13:16)
9And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand, (Revelation 14:9)
20And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone. (Revelation 19:20)
4And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years. (Revelation 20:4)
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