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Revelation Chapter Twelve


Revelation 12

Chapter 12 gives us a brief but all-important summary of the whole course of events, viewed, not in their instruments on earth or the judgment of these, but the divine view of all the principles at work, the state of things as revealed of God. The first symbolical person, subject of the prophecy and result of all God's ways in it, is a woman clothed with the sun, having a crown of twelve stars, and the moon under her feet. It is Israel, or Jerusalem as its centre as in the purpose of God (compare Is 9:6 and Ps 87:6). She is clothed with supreme authority, invested with the glory of perfect administration in man, and all the original reflected glory of this under the old covenant, under her feet. She was travailing in childbirth, distressed, and in pain to be delivered: on the other hand Satan's power in the form of the Roman Empire, complete in forms of power, seven heads, but incomplete in administrative supremacy-ten, not twelve horns. But Satan, as the open infidel enemy of God and God's power in Christ, sought to devour the child as soon as born, who was to have the rule of the earth from God. But the child, Christ, and the assembly with Christ, is caught away to God and His throne---does not receive the power yet, but is placed in the very source of it from which it flows. It is not the rapture as regards joy; for it goes back to Christ Himself, but the placing Him and the assembly in and with Him, in the seat from which power flows for the establishment of the kingdom. There is no time for this: Christ and the assembly are all one. But the woman-the Jews, after this fly into the wilderness, where God has prepared a place for them, for the half-week.

The assembly, or heavenly saints, (as Christ, note,) go up to heaven to be out of the way. The Jews, or earthly ones, are protected by providential care upon earth. This gives the whole state of things, and those in view in this scene, and their respective places. She that is to have glory and hold power in the earth is cast out. The child that is to have power, in and from heaven, is previously taken up there. This makes the position very clear.

The historical course of events is now pursued, the child being supposed to be already caught up. There is war in heaven; and the devil and his angels are cast out, and have no more place there. This brings out yet more clearly the distinction of the heavenly saints and the Jewish remnant. The heavenly ones had overcome the accuser by the blood of the Lamb, and the word of their testimony; the woman's seed have the commandments of God and the testimony of Jesus Christ, that is, the Spirit of prophecy. What they have of God in the word is according to the Old Testament.

But, to follow up the latter part of the chapter, a loud voice proclaims in heaven that the kingdom of our God and the power of His Christ is come-the testimony still of the second Psalm; only as yet it was only proclaimed from heaven, where the power of the kingdom was already made good by the casting down of Satan. Satan's anti-priestly power was over forever. King and prophet he might yet put on; but his heavenly place was past. The saints of the heavenlies had overcome him by that which made their conscience and their title to heaven good-the blood of the Lamb, and the word of their mouth, God's sword by the Spirit-and gave up their lives to the death. The heavens and the dwellers there could now rejoice; but it was woe to the inhabiters of earth and sea; for the devil had come down, knowing he had but a little time left. I think verse 11 implies that there are saints killed after the rapture, who yet belong to heaven. If there were such killed because of their faithfulness, were they not taken up, they would lose earth and heaven, though more devoted than those who had earth. We see them moreover in chapter 20 in the first resurrection. The souls under the altar also had to wait for others-their brethren who had to be killed, as they were; and we are to note here that those celebrated as happy are the slain ones, none others. Yet it is before the last three years and a half.

So that we have these three parties in view: the voice of those in heaven; (our) their brethren who had overcome; and those who would be in the three years and a half of Satan's rage, which had not yet begun. Now, if the man-child in heaven be, as we have considered it, Christ and the raptured saints, the voice would be that of those already there, [1] and all self evident: the raptured saints associated with Him celebrate the casting down of the accuser and the deliverance of those who belonged to heaven, calling them "our brethren"--the brethren whose conflict with the accuser was over, as he was now cast down, but who had had to resist him as a heavenly potentate, an anti-priest, all which part is mystery for John-and those who now would be in trial, when he would act with rage on earth, as king and prophet. For the dragon, cast to the earth and unable to accuse in heaven or oppose saints having a heavenly calling (and the priesthood refers to such, not to union), persecutes the Jews, and seeks to destroy their testimony; but God gave, not power of resistance-the Lord must come to deliver-but power to flee and escape and find refuge where she was nourished the whole half-week out of the serpent's reach. He seeks to pursue; wings he has none: but he uses a river, the movements of people under the influence of special motive and guidance, to overwhelm the woman. But the earth, this organized system in which men live, swallowed the waters up. This influence was in vain--was not met by an army, a counter-power, but was nullified. There was such a disposition or course of the earth as neutralized the effort wholly. So God ordered in His providence; and the dragon turned to persecute individually the faithful remnant of the seed-the Jews who held fast by the word.


[1] I do not continue to put the voice as Christ's. The application to Him is too questionable.

── John DarbySynopsis of Revelation


Revelation 12

Chapter Contents

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)

Commentary on Revelation 12:1-6

(Read Revelation 12:1-6)

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.

Commentary on Revelation 12:7-11

(Read Revelation 12:7-11)

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.

Commentary on Revelation 12:12-17

(Read Revelation 12:12-17)

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.

── Matthew HenryConcise Commentary on Revelation


Revelation 12

Verse 2

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

And being with child she crieth, travailing in birth — The very pain, without any outward opposition, would constrain a woman in travail to cry out. These cries, throes, and pains to be delivered, were the painful longings, the sighs, and prayers of the saints for the coming of the kingdom of God. The woman groaned and travailed in spirit, that Christ might appear, as the Shepherd and King of all nations.

Verse 3

[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.

And behold a great red dragon — His fiery-red colour denoting his disposition.

Having seven heads — Implying vast wisdom.

And ten horns — Perhaps on the seventh head; emblems of mighty power and strength, which he still retained.

And seven diadems on his heads — Not properly crowns, but costly bindings, such as kings anciently wore; for, though fallen, he was a great potentate still, even "the prince of this world."

Verse 4

[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.

And his tail — His falsehood and subtilty.

Draweth — As a train.

The third part — A very large number.

Of the stars of heaven — The Christians and their teachers, who before sat in heavenly places with Christ Jesus.

And casteth them to the earth — Utterly deprives them of all those heavenly blessings. This is properly a part of the description of the dragon, who was not yet himself on earth, but in heaven: consequently, this casting them down was between the beginning of the seventh trumpet and the beginning of the third woe; or between the year 847 and the year 947; at which time pestilent doctrines, particularly that of the Manichees in the east, drew abundance of people from the truth.

And the dragon stood before the woman, that when she had brought forth, he might devour the child — That he might hinder the kingdom of Christ from spreading abroad, as it does under this trumpet.

Verse 5

[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.

And she brought forth a man child — Even Christ, considered not in his person, but in his kingdom. In the ninth age, many nations with their princes were added to the Christian church.

Who was to rule all nations — When his time is come.

And her child — Which was already in heaven, as were the woman and the dragon.

Was caught up to God — Taken utterly out of his reach.

Verse 6

[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.

And the woman fled into the wilderness — This wilderness is undoubtedly on earth, where the woman also herself is now supposed to be. It betokens that part of the earth where, after having brought forth, she found a new abode. And this must be in Europe; as Asia and Afric were wholly in the hands of the Turks and Saracens; and in a part of it where the woman had not been before. In this wilderness, God had already prepared a place; that is, made it safe and convenient for her. The wilderness is, those countries of Europe which lie on this side the Danube; for the countries which lie beyond it had received Christianity before.

That they may feed her — That the people of that place may provide all things needful for her.

Twelve hundred and sixty days — So many prophetic days, which are not, as some have supposed, twelve hundred and sixty, but seven hundred and seventy-seven, common years. This Bengelius has shown at large in his German Introduction. These we may compute from the year 847 to 1524. So long the woman enjoyed a safe and convenient place in Europe, which was chiefly Bohemia; where she was fed, till God provided for her more plentifully at the Reformation.

Verse 7

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

And there was war in heaven — Here Satan makes his grand opposition to the kingdom of God; but an end is now put to his accusing the saints before God. The cause goes against him, verses 10, 11, Revelation 12:10,11 and Michael executes the sentence. That Michael is a created angel, appears from his not daring, in disputing with Satan, Jude 9, to bring a railing accusation; but only saying, "The Lord rebuke thee." And this modesty is implied in his very name; for Michael signifies, "Who is like God?" which implies also his deep reverence toward God, and distance from all self-exaltation. Satan would be like God: the very name of Michael asks, "Who is like God?" Not Satan; not the highest archangel. It is he likewise that is afterward employed to seize, bind, and imprison that proud spirit.

Verse 8

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

And he prevailed not — The dragon himself is principally mentioned; but his angels, likewise, are to be understood.

Neither was this place found any more in heaven — So till now he had a place in heaven. How deep a mystery is this! One may compare this with Luke 10:18; Ephesians 2:2; 4:8; 6:12.

Verse 9

[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.

And the great dragon was cast out — It is not yet said, unto the earth - He was cast out of heaven; and at this the inhabitants of heaven rejoice. He is termed the great dragon, as appearing here in that shape, to intimate his poisonous and cruel disposition.

The ancient serpent — In allusion to his deceiving Eve in that form. Dragons are a kind of large serpent.

Who is called the Devil and Satan — These are words of exactly the same meaning; only the former is Greek; the latter, Hebrew; denoting the grand adversary of all the saints, whether Jews or gentiles. He has deceived the whole world - Not only in their first parents, but through all ages, and in all countries, into unbelief and all wickedness; into the hating and persecuting faith and all goodness.

He was cast out unto the earth — He was cast out of heaven; and being cast out thence, himself came to the earth. Nor had he been unemployed on the earth before, although his ordinary abode was in heaven.

Verse 10

[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.

Now is come — Hence it is evident that all this chapter belongs to the trumpet of the seventh angel. In the eleventh chapter, from the fifteenth to the eighteenth verse, are proposed the contents of this extensive trumpet; the execution of which is copiously described in this and the following chapters.

The salvation — Of the saints.

The might — Whereby the enemy is cast out.

The kingdom — Here the majesty of God is shown.

And the power of his Christ — Which he will exert against the beast; and when he also is taken away, then will the kingdom be ascribed to Christ himself, Revelation 19:16; 20:4.

The accuser of our brethren — So long as they remained on earth. This great voice, therefore, was the voice of men only.

Who accused them before our God day and night — Amazing malice of Satan, and patience of God!

Verse 11

[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.

And they have overcome him — Carried the cause against him.

By the blood of the Lamb — Which cleanses the soul from all sin, and so leaves no room for accusing.

And by the word of their testimony — The word of God, which they believed and testified, even unto death. So, for instance, died Olam, king of Sweden, in the year 900, whom his own subjects would have compelled to idolatry; and, upon his refusal, slew as a sacrifice to the idol which he would not worship. So did multitudes of Bohemian Christians, in the year 916, when queen Drahomire raised a severe persecution, wherein many "loved not their lives unto the death."

Verse 12

[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.

Woe to the earth and the sea — This is the fourth and last denunciation of the third woe, the most grievous of all. The first was only, the second chiefly, on the earth, Asia; the third, both on the earth and the sea, Europe. The earth is mentioned first, because it began in Asia, before the beast brought it on Europe.

He knoweth he hath but a little time — Which extends from his casting out of heaven to his being cast into the abyss. We are now come to a most important period of time. The non - chronos hastens to an end. We live in the little time wherein Satan hath great wrath; and this little time is now upon the decline. We are in the "time, times, and half a time," wherein the woman is "fed in the wilderness;" yea, the last part of it, "the half time," is begun. We are, as will be shown, towards the close of the "forty-two months" of the beast; and when his number is fulfilled, grievous things will be. Let him who does not regard the being seized by the wrath of the devil; the falling unawares into the general temptation; the being borne away, by the most dreadful violence, into the worship of the beast and his image, and, consequently, drinking the unmixed wine of the wrath of God, and being tormented day and night for ever and ever in the lake of fire and brimstone; let him also who is confident that he can make his way through all these by his own wisdom and strength, without need of any such peculiar preservative as the word of this prophecy affords; let him, I say, go hence. But let him who does not take these warnings for senseless outcries, and blind alarms, beg of God, with all possible earnestness, to give him his heavenly light herein. God has not given this prophecy, in so solemn a manner, only to show his providence over his church, but also that his servants may know at all times in what particular period they are. And the more dangerous any period of time is, the greater is the help which it affords. But where may we fix the beginning and end of the little time? which is probably four-fifths of a chronos, or somewhat above 888 years. This, which is the time of the third woe, may reach from 947, to the year 1836. For, 1. The short interval of the second woe, (which woe ended in the year 840,) and the 777 years of the woman, which began about the year 847, quickly after which followed the war in heaven, fix the beginning not long after 864: and thus the third woe falls in the tenth century, extending from 900 to 1000; called the dark, the iron, the unhappy age. 2. If we compare the length of the third woe with the period of time which succeeds it in the twentieth chapter, it is but a little time to that vast space which reaches from the beginning of the non-chronos to the end of the world.

Verse 13

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

And when the dragon saw — That be could no longer accuse the saints in heaven, he turned his wrath to do all possible mischief on earth.

He persecuted the woman — The ancient persecutions of the church were mentioned, Revelation 1:9; 2:10; 7:14; but this persecution came after her flight, verse 6, Revelation 12:6 just at the beginning of the third woe. Accordingly, in the tenth and eleventh centuries, the church was furiously persecuted by several heathen powers. In Prussia, king Adelbert was killed in the year 997, king Brunus in 1008; and when king Stephen encouraged Christianity in Hungary, he met with violent opposition. After his death, the heathens in Hungary set themselves to root it out, and prevailed for several years. About the same time, the army of the emperor, Henry the Third, was totally overthrown by the Vandals. These, and all the accounts of those times, show with what fury the dragon then persecuted the woman.

Verse 14

[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.

And there were given to the woman the two wings of the great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness to her place — Eagles are the usual symbols of great potentates. So Ezekiel 17:3, by "a great eagle', means the king of Babylon. Here the great eagle is the Roman empire; the two wings, the eastern and western branches of it. A place in the wilderness was mentioned in the sixth verse also; Revelation 12:6 but it is not the same which is mentioned here. In the text there follow one after the other, 1. The dragon's waiting to devour the child. 2. The birth of the child, which is caught up to God. 3. The fleeing of the woman into the wilderness. 4. The war in heaven, and the casting out of the dragon. 5. The beginning of the third woe. 6. The persecution raised by the dragon against the woman. 7. The woman's flying away upon the eagle's wings. In like manner there follow one after the other, 1. The beginning of the twelve hundred and sixty days. 2. The beginning of the little time. 3. The beginning of the time, times, and half a time. This third period partly coincides both with the first and the second. After the beginning of the twelve hundred and sixty days, or rather of the third woe, Christianity was exceedingly propagated, in the midst of various persecutions. About the year 948 it was again settled in Denmark; in 965, in Poland and Silesia; in 980, through all Russia. In 997 it was brought into Hungary; into Sweden and Norway, both before and after. Transylvania received it about 1000; and, soon after, other parts of Dacia. Now, all the countries in which Christianity was settled between the beginning of the twelve hundred and sixty days, and the imprisonment of the dragon, may be understood by the wilderness, and by her place in particular. This place contained many countries; so that Christianity now reached, in an uninterrupted tract, from the eastern to the western empire; and both the emperors now lent their wings to the woman, and provided a safe abode for her.

Where she is fed — By God rather than man; having little human help.

For a time, and times, and half a time — The length of the several periods here mentioned seems to be nearly this: - Years. 1. The non-chronos contains less than......................1111 2. The little time..........................................888 3. The time, times, and half a time.........................777 4. The time of the beast....................................666 And comparing the prophecy and history together, they seem to begin and end nearly thus: - 1. The non-chronos extends..............from about 800 to 1836 2. The 1260 days of the woman...................from 847 - 1524 3. The little time.............................. - 947 - 1836 4. The time, time, and half..................... - 1058 - 1836 5. The time of the beast is between the beginning and end of the three times and a half. In the year 1058 the empires had a good understanding with each other, and both protected the woman. The bishops of Rome, likewise, particularly Victor II., were duly subordinate to the emperor. We may observe, the twelve hundred and sixty days of the woman, from 847 to 1524, and the three times and a half, refer to the same wilderness. But in the former part of the twelve hundred and sixty days, before the three times and an half began, namely, from the year 847 to 1058, she was fed by others, being little able to help herself; whereas, from 1058 to 1524, she is both fed by others, and has food herself. To this the sciences transplanted into the west from the eastern countries much contributed; the scriptures, in the original tongues, brought into the west of Europe by the Jews and Greeks, much more; and most of all, the Reformation, grounded on those scriptures.

Verse 15

[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.

Water is an emblem of a great people; this water, of the Turks in particular. About the year 1060 they overran the Christian part of Asia. Afterward, they poured into Europe, and spread farther and farther, till they had overflowed many nations.

Verse 16

[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.

But the earth helped the woman — The powers of the earth; and indeed she needed help through this whole period. "The time" was from 1058 to 1280; during which the Turkish flood ran higher and higher, though frequently repressed by the emperors, or their generals, helping the woman. "The" two "times" were from 1280 to 1725. During these likewise the Turkish power flowed far and wide; but still from time to time the princes of the earth helped the woman, that she was not carried away by it. "The half time" is from 1725 to 1836. In the beginning of this period the Turks began to meddle with the affairs of Persia: wherein they have so entangled themselves, as to be the less able to prevail against the two remaining Christian empires. Yet this flood still reaches the woman "in her place;" and will, till near the end of the "half time," itself be swallowed up, perhaps by means of Russia, which is risen in the room of the eastern empire.

Verse 17

[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.

And the dragon was wroth — Anew, because he could not cause her to he carried away by the stream.

And he went forth — Into other lands.

To make war with the rest of her seed — Real Christians, living under heathen or Turkish governors.

── John WesleyExplanatory Notes on Revelation


Chapter 12. Pregnant Woman and the Dragon

The Blood of the Lamb
The Word of Their Testimony

I. A Great Sign Appears in Heaven

  1. The Woman Gives Birth to a Son
  2. The Dragon Wants to Devour the Child
  3. The Child Is Snatched Up

II. Angels Fight against the Dragon

  1. Accuse Day and Night
  2. Hurled to the Earth
  3. Rejoice

III. Flights Start on the Earth

  1. Pursue the Woman
  2. Drown in Water
  3. Attack the Rest

── Chih-Hsin ChangAn Outline of The New Testament

Chapter Twelve General Review
1) To note the primary force behind the persecution that was about to
   come upon the early Christians
2) To appreciate why the persecution of the early church was so intense
With this chapter we learn that Satan was the primary force behind the
persecution that was about to befall God's people.
We are told of his failed attempt to prevent the male Child from being
born and assuming His rightful place of authority as ruler of the
nations (1-6).  An effort to usurp that authority by waging war in
heaven is thwarted, resulting in the devil and his angels being cast to
earth.  That prompts a loud voice in heaven to proclaim that salvation,
strength, the kingdom of God and the power of His Christ has come.
Because the accuser (i.e., the devil) has been cast down, those in 
heaven who overcame by the blood of Jesus and their testimony, and who
did not love their lives to the death, could rejoice.  But woe is 
proclaimed to those on the earth, because now the devil has come down 
to them and he knows his time is short (7-12).  At first the dragon's
efforts are directed toward the woman who gave birth to the child.  
However, she is given wings to fly to her place in the wilderness where
she is nourished for a time, times, and half a time (1,260 days, cf.
v.6).  Even the earth helped the woman, so enraging the dragon that he
went to make war with the rest of her offspring, identified as those
who keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ
While the identities of the male child and the dragon are rather
evident, who is the woman and the rest of her offspring?  I suggest the
woman represents the spirit of faithfulness in God's messianic 
community (perhaps best exemplified by Mary) who kept covenant with 
God.  Called "the daughter of Zion" in prophecy (cf. Mic 4:10; 5:2ff;
Isa 66:7ff), she produced not only Christ, but His disciples as well
(her offspring, 12:17).  Like the temple of God representing the inner
spirit of the church which cannot be harmed (cf. 11:1), the spirit of
faithfulness cannot be destroyed by Satan.  But just as the holy city
being trod under foot for forty-months represented the outward 
persecution of the church (cf. 11:2), so the devil would persecute the
woman's offspring, i.e., the disciples who were still on the earth.
Thus the chapter reveals why a period of great tribulation was about to
come upon Christians (cf. 2:10).  Satan was frustrated by being
thwarted at every turn.  Cast down to the earth, he would attempt to
destroy the disciples of Jesus.  The instruments he would use are 
introduced in the next chapter.
      1. A great sign appeared in heaven, in which woman is clothed:
         a. With the sun
         b. With the moon under her feet
         c. A garland of twelve stars on her head
      2. Being with child, she cried out in labor and pain to give
      1. Another great sign appeared in heaven:  a great, fiery red 
         a. With seven heads, ten horns, seven diadems on the heads
         b. With a tail which threw a third of the stars of heaven to
            the earth
      2. Standing before the woman, ready to devour the child as soon
         as it is born
      1. The male child is born
         a. Who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron
         b. Who was caught up to God and His throne
      2. The woman fled into the wilderness
         a. Where she has a place prepared by God
         b. Where she is fed for 1,260 days
   A. A WAR IN HEAVEN (7-9)
      1. Between Michael and his angels, and the dragon and his angels
      2. The dragon and his angels did not prevail
         a. No place was found for them in heaven any longer
         b. The dragon and his angels were cast to the earth
         c. The dragon identified
            1) That serpent of old, called the Devil and Satan
            2) Who deceives the whole world
      1. Proclaiming victory for Christ and His brethren
         a. Salvation, strength, the kingdom of God, and the power of
            Christ have come
            1) For the accuser of the brethren has been cast down
            2) Who had accused them before God day and night
         b. How the brethren had overcome the accuser:
            1) By the blood of the Lamb
            2) By the word of their testimony
            3) They did not love their lives to the death
      2. A call to rejoice, along with a warning
         a. For those in heaven, rejoice!
         b. For the inhabitants of the earth and sea, woe!
            1) For the devil has come down to them having great wrath
            2) Knowing that he has only a short time
      1. Cast to the earth, he persecuted the woman who gave birth to
         the male child
      2. But the woman was given two wings of a great eagle
         a. That she might fly into the wilderness to her place
         b. Where she is nourished for a time, times, and half a time
         c. Safe from the presence of the serpent
      3. The serpent spewed water out of his mouth like a flood after
         the woman
         a. Hoping to cause her to be carried away
         b. But the earth helped the woman by opening its mouth and
            swallowing up the flood
      1. Enraged with the woman he cannot reach, the dragon goes to 
         make war with the rest of her offspring
      2. The rest of her offspring identified:
         a. Those who keep the commandments of God
         b. Those who have the testimony of Jesus Christ
1) What are the main points of this chapter?
   - The woman, the child, and the dragon (1-6)
   - Satan thrown out of heaven (7-12)
   - The failed attempt to persecute the woman (13-17)
2) What great sign appeared in heaven? (1-2)
   - A woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on
     her head a garland of twelve stars
   - Being with child, she cried out in labor and in pain to give birth
3) What other sign then appeared in heaven (3-4)
   - A great fiery read dragon, with seven heads, ten horns, and seven
     diadems on his heads
   - Whose tail drew a third of the stars of heaven and threw them to
     the earth
   - Who stood before the woman, ready to devour her child as soon as
     it was born
4) What child was born?  What happened to the child? (5)
   - A male child who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron
   - He was caught up to God and His throne
5) What happened to the woman? (6)
   - She fled to the wilderness, where she had a place prepared by God
   - She was fed for 1,260 days
6) What happened in heaven?  Who did not prevail?  (7-8)
   - War broke out between Michael and his angels and the dragon and
     his angels
   - The dragon and his angels
7) Who was this dragon?  What was done with him and his angels? (9)
   - The serpent of old, called the Devil and Satan, who deceives the
     whole world
   - They were cast out of heaven
8) What did a loud voice proclaim in heaven about Christ and the 
   dragon? (10)
   - Salvation, strength, the kingdom of God, and the power of His 
     Christ has come
   - The accuser of our brethren, who accused them before God day and
     night, has been cast down
9) How had the brethren overcome the dragon? (11)
   - By the blood of the Lamb
   - By the word of their testimony
   - By not loving their lives to the death
10) What are those who dwell in heaven told? (12)
   - To rejoice
11) Why was woe proclaimed to the inhabitants of the earth and sea?
   - For the devil with great wrath has come down to them
   - For he knows he only has a short time
12) Cast down to the earth, who did the dragon persecute next? (13)
   - The woman who gave birth to the male child
13) What was given the woman?  Why? (14)
   - Two wings of a great eagle
   - To fly into the wilderness to her place, from the presence of the
14) How long was she nourished? (14)
   - A time, times, and a half of time
15) How did the serpent try to persecute the woman?  Who helped her?
   - By spewing water out of his mouth, to carry her away by the flood
   - The earth, by opening its mouth and swallowing up the flood
16) Enraged by his inability to persecute the woman, who did the
    dragon go to make war with next? (17)
   - The rest of her offspring
   - Those who keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of
     Jesus Christ


--《Executable Outlines


Pregnant woman and the dragon

The blood of the Lamb

The word of their testimony


I.  A great sign appears in heaven

1.    The woman gives birth to a son

2.    The dragon wants to devour the child

3.    The child is snatched up

II.Angels fight against the dragon

1.    Accuse day and night

2.    Hurled to the earth

3.    Rejoice

III.       Fights start on the earth

1.    Pursue the woman

2.    Drown in water

3.    Attack the rest

── Chih-Hsin Changan Outline of The New Testament