Summary: A brief description and identification of the woman introduced in Revelation 12

The Woman of Revelation 12

The Lord Jesus Christ, addressing the faithful Israelites who will be in the land of Judea at the mid-point of the 70th Week of Daniel said these words:

“When ye therefore shall see the ABOMINATION OF DESOLATION spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso reads let him understand) Then let them which be in Judea flee into the mountains: Let him which is on the housetop not come down to take anything out of his house. Neither let him which is in the field return back to take his clothes. And woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck in those days! But pray ye that your flight be not on the Sabbath day: For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no nor ever shall be.” (Matthew 24:15-21)

This admonition from the Lord will apply to all the saints of that day, as the Antichrist’s worldwide persecution will escalate at the mid-point of the 70th Week of Daniel for it is clearly described as:

“war with the saints” (Daniel 7:21; Revelation 13:7).

His warning in this verse directly applies to the faithful of Judea. As the Lord Jesus indicated in Matthew 24:21, this spiritual and physical warfare will be the most intensive time of affliction for the saints in the history of the world. Satan’s great wrath (Revelation 12:12), the Great Tribulation, will be focused upon the people of Israel as recorded in Revelation 12:1-17.

It is in this chapter where the symbolic title “the woman” is found referring to those faithful Israelites during the 70th Week of Daniel:

“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. And she being with child cried, travailing in birth, and pained to be delivered.” (Revelation 12:1, 2)

The “woman” is clothed in the most brilliant heavenly attire, standing upon the moon, with her crown of twelve stars symbolizing the twelve tribes, or twelve sons of Israel. She is about to give birth to the Son of God, the Lord Jesus Christ, and in the process fulfill the primary purpose for her existence:

“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. 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.” (Revelation 12:3, 4)

Satan is the great red dragon. He casts one third of the stars to the earth displaying his furor followed by his confrontation of the woman in a vain attempt to destroy her Child, the Lord Jesus Christ, the Savior of mankind. In the next verse the Lord Jesus’ history is given in a brief but significant synopsis:

“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 His throne.” (Revelation 12:5)

The Lord’s past incarnation through physical birth, His future role as the earthly King of kings, and His present exalted position at the right hand of God are clearly highlighted. Then, the focus turns upon the actions of those faithful of Israel in response to the Lord Jesus Christ’s warning:

“And the woman fled into the wilderness, where she has a place prepared of God, that they should feed her there a thousand two hundred and three score days.” (Revelation 12:6)

In that day, at the mid-point of the 70th Week of Daniel, when Satan’s assault on the faithful intensifies, “the woman” will flee from population centers and take refuge in the protective environment prepared by God Himself.

In Revelation 12:7-12 open war breaks out in heaven and Michael and his angels are victorious over Satan and his angels, with the result being Satan and his angels are cast out of heaven unto the earth. The devil, now knowing he has only a short time, brings forth his “great wrath” upon the faithful:

And when the dragon saw that he was cast into the earth, he

persecuted the woman, which brought forth the Man Child. And to the woman were given two wings of [the] 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.”(Revelation 12:13)

Satan’s immediate response upon being cast out of heaven is the persecution of “the woman”, but she is supernaturally rescued. She is given protection from the place of affliction to a secret abode in the wilderness made ready by the Lord.

While some interpret “the great eagle” to be the United States coming to the aid of Israel, the Scripture reveals that God Himself has utilized “eagle’s wings” in the past to describe His own deliverance of His people Israel from Satan’s assault:

“Ye have seen what I did unto the Egyptians, and how I bare you on eagle’s wings, and brought you unto Myself.” (Exodus 19:4)

Revelation 12, which introduces and focuses upon “the woman”, closes by describing Satan’s assault upon the remaining faithful in Israel:

“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. And the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened her mouth, and swallowed up the flood that the dragon cast out of his mouth. And the dragon was wroth with the woman and went to make was with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.” (Revelation 12:15-17)

Although “the woman” is ultimately protected from Satan’s wrath, the symbolic language here, paints a vivid word picture of a horrific attempt to drown “the woman”. The text brings to mind an all-consuming flood rushing in to devastate and destroy the faithful with only the earth itself being able to stave off this most intensive onslaught by “the dragon”.

She is given protection in her “place prepared by God” which parallels the Exodus account when the children of Israel were given a safe haven in the land of Goshen being protected from the plagues which God brought upon the Egyptians.

The Lord again provides shelter from the storm, not only protecting “the woman” from Satan’s vicious persecution during Satan’s great wrath, the Great Tribulation, but also gives her a safe haven during the seven trumpet judgments. They begin the Day of the Lord (Revelation 8-11) when the Lord judges the planet and purifies His people Israel..

This specific series of plagues/judgments is also called “the time of Jacob’s trouble” (Jeremiah 30:7). The Lord will send these plagues to bring judgment to the world with the primary purpose of purifying His people (Isaiah 1:24-28, 6:10-13; Ezekiel 7:19, 20; Zechariah 13:8, 9; Malachi 3:1-3). This prepares them for their Redeemer, the Lord Jesus Christ (Isaiah 59:20; Romans 11:26) Who will redeem them at the end of the 70th Week of Daniel.

The two secondary purposes of the Day of the Lord are:

1. Punishment of the People (Isaiah 2:10-17; Zephaniah 1:17; Revelation 9:20, 21, 19:20, 21)

2. Purging of the Planet (Psalm 102:26; II Peter 3:10-13)

The faithful woman will also be spared from this time of trouble as she is “nourished for a time, and times, and half a time” (Revelation 12:14), which is the last 3-1/2 years of the 70th Week of Daniel, in her Goshen-like abode prepared of God, for the Great Tribulation and the seven trumpets make up the last half of the 70th Week of Daniel.

These faithful of Israel will join the 144 Thousand and those Israelites who will be saved eventually populating the promised land for the 1,000 year physical reign of Christ called the Millennium (Revelation 20:1-4) as described by the prophet Micah:

“Therefore will He [Messiah] give them up, until the time that she [Israel] which travails [The time of Jacob’s trouble (Jeremiah 30:7)] has brought forth [all Israel saved]: then the remnant [rest/remainder] of His [Messiah’s] brethren [The woman] shall return unto the children [sons] of Israel [the 144 Thousand].”

(Micah 5:3)

Although the Authorized Version uses the word “remnant” here in this verse, this is not the word normally used to describe the “remnant” that God preserves referred to throughout the Old Testament. This word simply means the remainder, the rest or ones leftover and may be larger or smaller than the former part.

Micah uses this word just once here in this verse but the word that refers to the preserved remnant of Israel he does use five other times: (Micah 2:12, 4:7, 5:7, 5:8, 7:18) highlighting the distinction he made here in this text.

He is referring to the remainder/rest of those other faithful Israelites who will be in “a place prepared of God” (Revelation 12:6) until the time the great gathering of the people of God takes place at the end of the 70th Week of Daniel.

Micah indicates that these three groups of Israelites will unite in that time which agrees with Jacob’s prophecy:

“The scepter shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, unto Shiloh [The Peaceful Ruler/ Lord Jesus Christ] come; and unto Him shall the gathering of the people [Israelites] be.”

(Genesis 49:10)

“The woman”, will return from her place “in the wilderness” joining the 144 Thousand and those Israelites “who will turn from transgression in Jacob” (Isaiah 59:20) as they all will gather unto their Messiah, the Lord Jesus Christ to populate the promised land during the Millennium when the Lord Jesus will physically sit upon:

“The throne of His father David, And He shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of His kingdom there shall be no end.” (Isaiah 9:7; Luke 1:32, 33)