Summary: An easy-to-read and easy-to-understand study on Revelation 12.
This chapter of Revelation is referred to as a “great” chapter, for we find many "great" things that are written about. In verse 1, we find a “great wonder”; in verse 3, we see a “great dragon”; a “great wrath” in verse 12; and a “great eagle” in verse 14.
But that is not all we find. We also find a great help because we will find a great spiritual insight that will help us know more about and understand our great enemy.
In VERSES 1-2, we read,
“A great sign appeared in heaven; a woman clothed with the sun and the moon under her feet. She had a crown of 12 stars on her head. 2 She was pregnant and cried out in labor and agony to give birth.”
There are many thoughts as to who this woman is. Suggestions range from Mary giving birth to Jesus to the church giving birth to a worldly life, but scripture can easily dispute ever one of these claims.
I believe the woman is a representation of Israel. What would Israel be giving birth to? The answer to that is Jesus Christ. When we get to verse 4, we will explain further.
“Then, another sign appeared in the heaven; there was a great fiery red dragon having seven heads and 10 horns, and on his heads were seven diadems.”
In the Bible, Satan is always referred to as a dragon. Since the beginning of time, the mention of a dragon has produced absolute fear in man’s heart. That also embodies the spirit of Satan – something to fear! This reference to Satan as a dragon is repeated throughout Bible, as seen in –
“On that day the Lord, with His harsh, great, and strong sword will bring judgment on the Leviathan, the serpent. He will slay the dragon that is in the sea.”
In REVELATION 12:3, the seven heads refer to the one world government, which is ruled by Rome. It has biblically been referred to as the “City of 7 Hills” because Rome has always been a seat of government and is surrounded by seven large hills.
The 7 heads refers to a specific location, the 10 horns refer to the 10 different areas (or regions) that are put in place around the world that will serve Rome. The diadems (or crowns) refer to the heads of states in these 10 areas. They will serve Rome and the Antichrist.
“His tail swept away a third of the stars in heaven and hurled them to the earth. And the dragon stood in front of the woman who was about to give birth, so that when she did give birth, he might devour her child.”
When this verse refers to “stars”, it is referring to the biblical reference of angels. Lucifer was the chief of all created beings when he was in heaven. When he launched his rebellion against God, he was cast out of heaven along with a third of all the angels. These angels were the ones who aligned themselves with Lucifer to come against God. They were all thrown out of heaven and hurled to the earth.
The word “hurled” implies a great force was used to catapult them away from God. It was not a “soft” pitch, but a very forceful throwing; such as one would see when done in great anger! The dragon, as said earlier, is a reference to Satan. This verse says the dragon stood in front of the woman who was about to give birth. Why would this be written this way by John?
In verse 2, I said I thought this woman represented Israel. Here is why I believe that: Throughout the bible, Satan’s chief objective is to annihilate and override Israel. Whether it was through Cain killing Able, or Hitler killing the Jews, or even through today’s Islamic nations wanting to erase Israel from the face of the earth, we see that Satan has always tried to keep Israel from belonging to God.
I believe the dragon (Satan) is determined to devour the child the woman will give birth to so that the child cannot accomplish his purpose. Israel is the woman, who will give birth to Jesus Christ, the child. See, if Satan could somehow kill Jesus Christ when he was born, there would be no Christianity for him to worry about, and Satan would then win. That is why Satan stood in front of the woman, ready to devour the child.
“But she gave birth to a Son – a male child – who is going to shepherd all nations with an iron scepter; and her child was caught up to God and to His throne.”
The dragon was not able to devour the baby. The baby, of course, is Jesus Christ. And Jesus was swept up to heaven with His Father and to His own throne.