“Sign of the devil”

RORY: I like the brown.

LORELAI: Come here a sec, you’ve got some dirt on your forehead. I’m sorry, it’s just the sign of the devil, my mistake.

Lorelai refers to the Mark of the Beast which is mentioned in the Bible in Revelation 13:16-17.

He causes all, both small and great, both rich and poor, both free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hand or on their forehead, so that no one may buy or sell, except he who has the mark or the name of the beast or the number of his name.

The “beast” is also called “the false prophet” or Antichrist who “speaks like a dragon” – that is, speaks arrogantly, as if to place himself even above God. The meaning of the text has been hotly debated, but many biblical scholars think that “the beast” is the Roman Empire, the Emperor Nero, and the ruling elites. However, there is a popular view that “the beast” is the Devil himself. (See the entry for Antichrist for information on how the Antichrist and Devil have become conflated).

The Greek word translated as “mark”- charagma (χάραγμα) – can mean a mark that is engraved, imprinted, or branded. The word is the same one used to refer to stamped money, documents, or coins. As Roman coins carried the image of the emperor, it seems to fit in with the idea of “the beast” being the Roman Empire and emperor.

During the time when Nero was emperor, in 66 AD, the Jews revolted against the Romans and coined their own money so that they did not need to carry around this symbol of oppression to do business. This is about the same time that scholars believe Revelation was written, and some believe that these verses pertain to that, or are informed by it.

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