Did you know that the Bible says much about your forehead? It is a part of the body that we don’t pay much attention to – unless we hit it on something hard! However, in the great end times drama, there is intense focus on the forehead of mankind.
Firstly, let’s examine what the Jewish people call the Shema. Deuteronomy 6:4-9: “Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one! You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength. And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.”
You may have seen pictures of Jewish men with a little black box secured to their forehead and their arm. This is referred to as tefillin or phylacteries. Attached to these one to two-inch cubes are long leather straps two to three feet in length. One of the boxes is placed on the forehead (Hebrew – shel rosh) and the other is placed on the arm (shel yad). The shel yad contains passages of Scripture written by a scribe on one piece of parchment. These passages, taken from the Torah (the five books of Moses), are Exodus 13:1-16 and Deuteronomy 6:4-9 and 11:13-21. The shel rosh contains the same Scriptures, but they are written on four separate pieces of parchment, the Exodus portion being divided between verses 10 and 11. Each tiny parchment is inserted into one of four separate compartments in the cube.
The command given in these passages was most likely figurative and was to remind the worshipper of his commitment and consecration to the God who redeemed His people after four centuries of bondage in Egypt. Certain Jewish groups – including (most likely) the Sadducees and definitely the medieval Karaites – understood the command to be figurative. The Pharisees, however, took the text literally. For Jews who do take the command literally, the shel yad is placed just above the elbow with the box pointed toward the heart, always on the weaker arm. Therefore, if a person is right-handed, the cube is placed on the left arm and vice versa. This rule comes from a rabbinic interpretation of Deuteronomy 6:8-9 which teaches that the hand that writes should be the hand that binds.
The leather strap is wrapped around the arm seven times. This practice is based on the seven Hebrew words of Psalm 145:16. Ashkenazic (eastern European ancestry) Jews wrap the strap clockwise, while Sephardic (Mediterranean ancestry) Jews wrap it counterclockwise. The strap is then wound three times around the ring and middle fingers, forming the Hebrew letter for “Shaddai”, meaning “Almighty”. The three windings recall the passage in Hosea 2:19 and 20 which contains God’s three-fold commitment to Israel: “I will betroth you to Me forever; yes, I will betroth you to Me in righteousness and justice, in lovingkindness and mercy; I will betroth you to Me in faithfulness, and you shall know the LORD.
In Matthew 23:5, Jesus admonished some who wanted to outwardly appear more pious than their brethren by wearing larger tefillin: But all their works they do to be seen by men. They make their phylacteries broad and enlarge the borders of their garments. He did not condemn their use, but pointed out that choosing to use the larger tefillin to impress men is against the spirit of the command.
When instituting the High Priestly garments in Exodus 28, we read in verses 36-38: You shall also make a plate of pure gold and engrave on it, like the engraving of a signet: HOLINESS TO THE LORD. And you shall put it on a blue cord, that it may be on the turban; it shall be on the front of the turban. So it shall be on Aaron’s forehead, that Aaron may bear the iniquity of the holy things which the children of Israel hallow in all their holy gifts; and it shall always be on his forehead, that they may be accepted before the LORD. The phrase “Holiness to the LORD” indicated ownership – the High Priest was marked as someone devoted to the Lord for service and it also indicated he was accepted.
But upon reaching the Book of Revelation, the focus on the forehead intensifies. We again see a reference to the forehead of Jewish people. In the sealing of the 144,000 Jewish evangelists, we read in Revelation 7:3: “Do not harm the earth, the sea, or the trees till we have sealed the servants of our God on their foreheads.” Revelation 14:1 also says: Then I looked, and behold, a Lamb standing on Mount Zion, and with Him one hundred and forty-four thousand, having His Father’s name written on their foreheads. But then we have two familiar passages relating to the economic and religious control exercised by the Antichrist and False Prophet. Revelation 13:16-17: He causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hand or on their foreheads, and that no one may buy or sell except one who has the mark or the name of the beast, or the number of his name. Revelation 17:4-5: The woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet, and adorned with gold and precious stones and pearls, having in her hand a golden cup full of abominations and the filthiness of her fornication. And on her forehead a name was written: MYSTERY BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND OF THE ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH. Interestingly, because of their idol worship, Israel was also once referred to as a harlot. Jeremiah 3:3: You have had a harlot’s forehead; you refuse to be ashamed.
Throughout the Scriptures, we can see that what is in the forehead is a sign of whether one is spiritually clean or unclean. How interesting it is that there are many Scripture passages focused on the forehead! But it doesn’t end there. After the Millennial Reign of Christ is compete and the new heavens and new earth are created, we read this in Revelation 22:3-4: And there shall be no more curse, but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it, and His servants shall serve Him. They shall see His face, and His name shall be on their foreheads.
So, next time you look at your forehead, consider this: there is an intense end-times drama unfolding which will affect the forehead (ie. the mind) of every man and woman. If you have not yet made a decision to accept Jesus Christ as your Saviour, I urge you to do it. Time is short.