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?