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Blog title from Revelation Commentary: John F. Walvoord (1910 – 2002)
Key Verse: Revelation 12:7: “And war broke out in heaven: Michael and his angels fought with the dragon; and the dragon and his angels fought,”
Key verse from Life Applications From Every Chapter Of The Bible: G. Campbell Morgan (1863 – 1945)
The translation of the text is from the New King James Bible. Comments come from BibleGateway.com, MacArthur Study Bible. (Everyone should own a MacArthur Study Bible.)
Key Question: Who is the woman of Revelation 12? The answer is Israel. See the following link.
Blog Category “Journey”
The video in this post discusses the signs of the last days.
Introduction (Commentary, Revelation, Chapter 12, John F. Walvoord)
Within this section seven primary characters are introduced: (1) the woman, representing Israel, (2) the dragon, representing Satan, (3) a male child, referring to Christ, (4) Michael, representing the angels, (5) Israel, the remnant of the woman’s seed, (6) the beast out of the sea, the world dictator, and (7) the beast out of the earth, the false prophet and religious leader of the world. Around these main characters swirls the tremendously moving scene of the great tribulation.
In this post we see: vs 1-2 The woman clothed with the sun: Israel; vs 3-4 The great red dragon: Satan; vs 5-6 The child: Christ; vs 7-9 Satan cast out of Heaven by Michael; vs 10-12 Announcement of Satan’s wrath and the saints’ ultimate victory; vs 13-16 The persecution of Israel in the Great Tribulation; vs 17 The persecution of the Godly remnant of Israel.
Revelation Chapter 12
The Woman, the Child, and the Dragon
1 Now a great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a garland of twelve stars. 2 Then being with child, she cried out in labor and in pain to give birth.
3 And another sign appeared in heaven: behold, a great, fiery red dragon having seven heads and ten horns, and seven diadems on his heads. 4 His tail drew a third of the stars of heaven and threw them to the earth. And the dragon stood before the woman who was ready to give birth, to devour her Child as soon as it was born. 5 She bore a male Child who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron. And her Child was caught up to God and His throne. 6 Then the woman fled into the wilderness, where she has a place prepared by God, that they should feed her there one thousand two hundred and sixty days.
Satan Thrown Out of Heaven
7 And war broke out in heaven: Michael and his angels fought with the dragon; and the dragon and his angels fought, 8 but they did not prevail, nor was a place found for them in heaven any longer. 9 So the great dragon was cast out, that serpent of old, called the Devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was cast to the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.
10 Then I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, “Now salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of His Christ have come, for the accuser of our brethren, who accused them before our God day and night, has been cast down. 11 And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death. 12 Therefore rejoice, O heavens, and you who dwell in them! Woe to the inhabitants of the earth and the sea! For the devil has come down to you, having great wrath, because he knows that he has a short time.”
The Woman Persecuted
13 Now when the dragon saw that he had been cast to the earth, he persecuted the woman who gave birth to the male Child. 14 But the woman was given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness to her place, where she is nourished for a time and times and half a time, from the presence of the serpent. 15 So the serpent spewed water out of his mouth like a flood after the woman, that he might cause her to be carried away by the flood.16 But the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened its mouth and swallowed up the flood which the dragon had spewed out of his mouth. 17 And the dragon was enraged with the woman, and he went to make war with the rest of her offspring, who keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ
12:1 sign. A symbol pointing to something else. This is the first of 7 signs in the last half of Revelation. Cf. v. 3; 13:13, 14; 15:1; 16:14; 19:20. a woman. Not an actual woman, but a symbolic representation of Israel, pictured in the OT as the wife of God (Is. 54:5, 6; Jer. 3:6–8; 31:32; Ezek. 16:32; Hos. 2:16). Three other symbolic women appear in Revelation: 1) Jezebel, who represents paganism (2:20); 2) the scarlet woman (17:3–6), symbolizing the apostate church; and 3) the wife of the Lamb (19:7), symbolizing the true church. That this woman does not represent the church is clear from the context. clothed with the sun…moon under her feet…twelve stars. Cf. Gen. 37:9–11. Being clothed with the sun speaks of the glory, dignity, and exalted status of Israel, the people of promise who will be saved and given a kingdom. The picture of the moon under her feet possibly describes God’s covenant relationship with Israel, since new moons were associated with worship (1 Chr. 23:31; 2 Chr. 2:4; 8:13; Ezra 3:5; Ps. 81:3). The 12 stars represent the 12 tribes of Israel.
12:2 cried out…in pain. Israel, often pictured as a mother giving birth (cf. Is. 26:17, 18; 54:1; 66:7–12; Hos. 13:13; Mic. 4:10; 5:2, 3; Matt. 24:8), had agonized and suffered for centuries, longing for the Messiah to come and destroy Satan, sin, and death, and usher in the kingdom.
12:3 great, fiery red dragon. The woman’s mortal enemy is Satan, who appears as a dragon 13 times in this book (cf. v. 9; 20:2). Red speaks of bloodshed (cf. John 8:44). seven heads…ten horns…seven diadems. Figurative language depicting Satan’s domination of 7 past worldly kingdoms and 10 future kingdoms (cf. Dan. 7:7, 20, 24). See notes on 13:1; 17:9, 10. Satan has and will rule the world until the seventh trumpet blows (11:15). He has inflicted relentless pain on Israel (Dan. 8:24), desiring to kill the woman before she could bring forth the child that would destroy him (see notes on Esth. 3:6–15).
12:4 a third of the stars of heaven. Satan’s original rebellion (cf. Is. 14:12ff.; Ezek. 28:11ff.) resulted in one-third of the angelic host joining his insurrection and becoming demons. to devour her Child. Unable to prevent the virgin birth of Christ, Satan tried to kill the child in a general massacre of male children commanded by Herod (Matt. 2:13–18; cf. Luke 4:28, 29).
12:5 a male Child. Jesus Christ in His incarnation was of Jewish descent (Matt. 1:1; 2 Tim. 2:8). Despite Satan’s efforts to destroy Israel and the messianic line, Jesus’ birth took place as predicted by the prophets (cf. Is. 7:14; 9:6; Mic. 5:2). rod of iron. Describes Jesus’ coronation as King over the nations of the world (cf. 11:15; 19:15; Ps. 2:6–9). her Child was caught up to God. Christ’s ascension is in view (Acts 1:9; 2:33; Heb. 1:1–3; 12:2).
12:6 wilderness. God will protect Israel from Satan by hiding her in the wilderness, perhaps in the region of Moab, Ammon, and Edom, east of Palestine. Interestingly, those countries will be specifically spared from the Antichrist’s attack against the Holy Land (cf. Dan. 11:41). one thousand two hundred and sixty days. At the mid-point of the Tribulation, the Antichrist breaks his covenant with Israel, puts a stop to temple worship, sets up the abomination of desolation (Dan. 9:27; Matt. 24:15), and devastates Jerusalem (11:2). At that time, many Jews flee for their lives (Matt. 24:16ff.). God will preserve them during the last 1,260 days (42 months; 3½ years) constituting the Great Tribulation. See notes on 3:10; 6:1, 9.
12:7 war broke out in heaven. The tumultuous events on earth during the Tribulation find their counterpart in heaven. A state of war has existed since the fall of Satan (cf. v. 4; cf. Dan. 10:13; Jude 9). Something will intensify that warfare—possibly the raptured saints passing through the realm of the prince of the power of the air (cf. Eph. 2:2).
12:9 dragon was cast…to the earth. Satan and his demons were cast out of heaven at the time of their original rebellion, but still have access to it (cf. Job 1:6; 2:1). That access will then be denied, and they will be forever barred from heaven. Devil and Satan. Cf. 20:2. “Devil” comes from a Gr. verb meaning “to slander” or “to falsely accuse.” He is a malignant liar (John 8:44; 1 John 3:8). His accusations against believers (v. 10) are unsuccessful because of Christ our Advocate (1 John 2:1). Satan, meaning “adversary,” or “enemy,” appears especially in Job and the gospels. deceives the whole world. As he has throughout human history, Satan will deceive people during the Tribulation (cf. 13:14; 20:3; John 8:44). After his temporary release from the bottomless pit at the end of the Millennium, he will briefly resume his deceitful ways (20:8, 10).
12:10 accuser. See note on v. 9. Satan will no longer accuse believers before the throne of God because he will no longer have access to heaven.
12:11 blood of the Lamb. No accusation can stand against those whose sins have been forgiven because of Christ’s sacrificial death (see Rom. 8:33–39).
12:12 he has a short time. Knowing that his time is limited, Satan will intensify his efforts against God and mankind, and specifically target Israel (v. 13, 17).
12:14 wings of a great eagle. Not actual birds’ wings, but a graphic depiction of God’s providential protection of Israel (cf. Ex. 19:4). Wings often speak of protection (cf. Deut. 32:9–12; Ps. 91:4; Is. 40:31). Eagles—probably vulture-like griffins—were the largest birds known in Palestine. a time and times and half a time. Three and one-half years; the second half of the Tribulation (cf. v. 6; 11:2, 3; 13:5).
12:16 earth opened its mouth. A great army will come against Israel like a flood (v. 15; cf. Jer. 46:8; 47:2), only to be swallowed up, perhaps in conjunction with one of the numerous earthquakes that occur during that period (6:12; 8:5; 11:13, 19; 16:18; Matt. 24:7).
12:17 rest of her offspring. Satan will turn his frustrated rage against every follower of the Lamb he can find—Jew or Gentile. commandments of God…testimony of Jesus. The revealed truth from God and Christ contained in Scripture. Obedience to God’s Word always marks a genuine believer. Cf. John 8:32.
Closing Thought Chapter 12
The closing thought is from Bible.org, by Dr. John F. Walvoord
Taken as a whole, chapter 12 is a fitting introduction to the important revelations given in chapter 13. Here are the principal actors of the great tribulation with the historic background which provides so much additional information. Israel, Satan, Christ, the archangel, and the godly remnant figure largely in the closing scenes of the age. Next the two principal human actors are introduced: the beast out of the sea and the beast out of the earth, the human instruments which Satan uses to direct his program during the great tribulation.
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