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Chapter 12

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1 And there appeared a great wonder in heaven; a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars:

2 And she being with child cried, travailing in birth, and pained to be delivered.

3 And there appeared another wonder in heaven; and behold a great red dragon, having seven heads and ten horns, and seven crowns upon his heads.

4 And his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and did cast them to the earth: and the dragon stood before the woman which was ready to be delivered, for to devour her child as soon as it was born.

5 And she brought forth a man child, who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron: and her child was caught up unto God, and to his throne.

6 And the woman fled into the wilderness, where she hath a place prepared of God, that they should feed her there a thousand two hundred and threescore days.

7 And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels,

8 And prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven.

9 And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.

10 And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night.

11 And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.

12 Therefore rejoice, ye heavens, and ye that dwell in them. Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea! for the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time.

13 And when the dragon saw that he was cast unto the earth, he persecuted the woman which brought forth the man child.

14 And to the woman were given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness, into her place, where she is nourished for a time, and times, and half a time, from the face of the serpent.

15 And the serpent cast out of his mouth water as a flood after the woman, that he might cause her to be carried away of the flood.

16 And the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened her mouth, and swallowed up the flood which the dragon cast out of his mouth.

17 And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.

Commentary for Revelation 12

A description of the church of Christ and of Satan, under the figures of a woman and of a great red dragon. (1-6) Michael and his angels fight against the devil and his angels, who are defeated. (7-12) The dragon persecutes the church. (13,14) His vain endeavours to destroy her, He renews his war against her seed. (14-17)1-6 The church, under the emblem of a woman, the mother of believers, was seen by the apostle in vision, in heaven. She was clothed with the sun, justified, sanctified, and shining by union with Christ, the Sun of Righteousness. The moon was under her feet; she was superior to the reflected and feebler light of the revelation made by Moses. Having on her head a crown of twelve stars; the doctrine of the gospel, preached by the twelve apostles, is a crown of glory to all true believers. As in pain to bring forth a holy family; desirous that the conviction of sinners might end in their conversion. A dragon is a known emblem of Satan, and his chief agents, or those who govern for him on earth, at that time the pagan empire of Rome, the city built upon seven hills. As having ten horns, divided into ten kingdoms. Having seven crowns, representing seven forms of government. As drawing with his tail a third part of the stars in heaven, and casting them down to the earth; persecuting and seducing the ministers and teachers. As watchful to crush the Christian religion; but in spite of the opposition of enemies, the church brought forth a manly issue of true and faithful professors, in whom Christ was truly formed anew; even the mystery of Christ, that Son of God who should rule the nations, and in whose right his members partake the same glory. This blessed offspring was protected of God.

7-11 The attempts of the dragon proved unsuccessful against the church, and fatal to his own interests. The seat of this war was in heaven; in the church of Christ, the kingdom of heaven on earth. The parties were Christ, the great Angel of the covenant, and his faithful followers; and Satan and his instruments. The strength of the church is in having the Lord Jesus for the Captain of their salvation. Pagan idolatry, which was the worship of devils, was cast out of the empire by the spreading of Christianity. The salvation and strength of the church, are only to be ascribed to the King and Head of the church. The conquered enemy hates the presence of God, yet he is willing to appear there, to accuse the people of God. Let us take heed that we give him no cause to accuse us; and that, when we have sinned, we go before the Lord, condemn ourselves, and commit our cause to Christ as our Advocate. The servants of God overcame Satan by the blood of the Lamb, as the cause. By the word of their testimony: the powerful preaching of the gospel is mighty, through God, to pull down strong holds. By their courage and patience in sufferings: they loved not their lives so well but they could lay them down in Christ's cause. These were the warriors and the weapons by which Christianity overthrew the power of pagan idolatry; and if Christians had continued to fight with these weapons, and such as these, their victories would have been more numerous and glorious, and the effects more lasting. The redeemed overcame by a simple reliance on the blood of Christ, as the only ground of their hopes. In this we must be like them. We must not blend any thing else with this.

12-17 The church and all her friends might well be called to praise God for deliverance from pagan persecution, though other troubles awaited her. The wilderness is a desolate place, and full of serpents and scorpions, uncomfortable and destitute of provisions; yet a place of safety, as well as where one might be alone. But being thus retired could not protect the woman. The flood of water is explained by many to mean the invasions of barbarians, by which the western empire was overwhelmed; for the heathen encouraged their attacks, in the hope of destroying Christianity. But ungodly men, for their worldly interests, protected the church amidst these tumults, and the overthrow of the empire did not help the cause of idolatry. Or, this may be meant of a flood of error, by which the church of God was in danger of being overwhelmed and carried away. The devil, defeated in his designs upon the church, turns his rage against persons and places. Being faithful to God and Christ, in doctrine, worship, and practice, exposes to the rage of Satan; and will do so till the last enemy shall be destroyed.

Commentary by Matthew Henry, 1710.

Discussion for Revelation 12

  • Skmd
    God's true followers are represented by this woman. The pregnancy and birth is the incarnation of Jesus Christ. At his birth Satan through Herod, wanted to kill Him but failed. CHRIST lived, died, rose from death and is in heaven with the Father now. Persecution of the woman and her remnant is the continual war between God's people on earth and the devil. He uses worldly goverments and instutions to try and destroy God' s people, but he will not succeed because of the power given them through the blood of Jesus Christ.
  • Patty
    Abigael, verse one is speaking of Racheal, Jacob and his twelve sons. verse two starts talking about when Satan and the third of angels sinned in heaven. angels were sent to hell but Satan was cast to earth for a season, verse thirteen begins talking about the 144,000 that will flee to Petra. Satan won't be able to get to them through the anti-christ so he'll go after the tribulation saints.
  • Carolyn
    Woman is the universal church bride Body of Christ Family of God starting in Eden and including 40 years in wilderness, constant persecution through the ages, sustained by God during 3 1 2 year Great Tribulation even being delivered by death as seen by the 'souls under the altar' in Revelations . Man child is God incarnate - office of the Christ Word the Lamb birth, death, resurrection, ascension. Dragon is Satan and his earthly rule kingdoms persecution and war against God People of God - all allowed by God from time cast out of heaven to final casting into eternal lake of fire. Rev. 12 is a pictoral account of God's victory over the Destroyer.
  • Fred
    My thinking is Israel will have to flee to Petra to escape Satan. The Bible says they will escape on the wings of Eagles . My guess is there will be a massive airlift by American c130s. They have pictures of screaming Eagles on the side of them . It's only a hundred mile trip but it will be made over and over. C130s can land in the desert. It will be frantic and furious but any Jewish person going any other direction will be murdered. My guess is from 500,000 to a few million will survive at Petra but all other Jewish people in the world will be murdered. God will feed and protect the people who make it to the mountains. By the time this happens the land of Petra will be controlled by Israel making this possible. The prophesy of Ezekiel 38 an 39 will have happened by then thus putting control of the mountains of Petra in Israeli hands. It would do Israel a real favor to store their military billeting supplies there I.e. Blankets, cots, ropes, mess kits, etc. There is natural water there. The coolness inside will protect from the heat. God is going to feed them. It is the perfect place for such an undertaking. Praise be to the Lord. He always knows the best way and every solution. It will be just short of 31 2 years they will have to stay there. After this the Lord will return and lock up Satan and the other fallen angels for a thousand years. Praise God.
  • Abigael
    Can someone explain revelation chapter 12 please.
  • Abigael
    Can someone please explain revelation 13 to me, because I don't understand who the woman is.

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Bible Trivia

The Apostle John sees a vision of a woman clothed with the sun, the moon under her feet and a crown of 12 stars on her head. Who does this most likely represent?
  • Venus
  • The 12 apostles
  • Jezebel
  • Mary (the mother of Jesus), or Israel, or the church
  • All women of Israel