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Revelation 12 The Woman

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The Woman, Clothed with the Sun

“I believe that the identification of this woman is the key to the understanding of the Book of Revelation.” (McGee, Thru the Bible: Volume V: [Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1983], 986)

Revelation 12:1-6

This is a Bible Study. Have your own Bible handy to look up the references mentioned.

If you do not have a Bible, I invite you to go to or another online Bible.

The Woman, Israel

She is a great wonder that happened in heaven.

Do you want to know who this woman is? She is clothed with the sun.

She is Israel. Throughout the Old Testament we read of God referring to Israel as his wife. Jeremiah 3:1,20;      Ezekiel 16:32-35;      Hosea 2:2     (MacArthur, New Testament Commentary: Revelation 12-22. [Chicago: Moody Publishers, 2000], 4)

McGee called the women symbolic. (987) The symbolism is referring to Israel.

She has the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars:

In Genesis 37:9-10 we read of one of Josephs dreams.

There the sun, moon and stars refer to Jacob, Rachel and his eleven bothers. When you include Joseph, it brings the total to twelve. (MacArthur, 5)

Clothed with the sun

“Reflects redeemed Israel’s glory, brilliance, and dignity”

Moon under her feet

“The moon was part of the cycle of Israel’s required times of worship”

Numbers 29:5-6      Nehemiah 10:33      Psalm 81:3      Isaiah 1:13-14    Colossians 2:16

On her head a crown

“Associates with triumph in the midst of suffering and struggle”

Twelve stars

“(Joseph being the twelfth) on the woman’s head refers to the twelve tribes of Israel.”
Quotes from MacArthur (5) [NASB1995]

These all link to the woman being Israel.

Women Pregnant

2. This woman is pregnant and crying out with labor pains.

The prediction of Jesus birth is recorded in Micah 5:2-3:

But as for you, Bethlehem Ephrathah,
Too little to be among the clans of Judah,
From you One will come forth for Me to be ruler in Israel.
His times of coming forth are from long ago,
From the days of eternity.

Notice that the ruler is from eternity.

Jesus comes from Eternity. (McGee, 987)

The words pregnant and with child are “familiar Old Testament imagery describing Israel (Isaiah 26:17-18; 66:7-9; Jeremiah 4:31; 13:21;      Micah 4:10; 5:3).” (MacArthur, 5)

This pregnancy helps affirm the fact that the woman is Israel.

The Red Dragon, Satan

3. This is the second sign the woman’s and believer’s enemy. (MacArthur, 6)

A great red dragon

Verse 9 tells us this is Satan. (MacArthur, 6) See War in Heaven Link below

“Satan, of course is not an actual dragon (any more than Israel is an actual woman) but a malevolent spirit being a fallen angel.” (MacArthur, 6)

Red, the color of fiery destruction and bloodshed, further stresses Satan’s vicious, deadly, destructive nature.” (MacArthur, 6)

Seven heads and ten horns, and on his heads were seven crowns.

The Seven heads and seven crowns “are royal crowns, diadems, rather that victors’ crowns such as the woman wore.” (Easley, Holman New Testament Commentary: Revelation. [Nashville: B&H, 1998], 209)

“The seven heads suggest complete wisdom; the seven crowns point to blasphemous kingly claims; the ten horns mean power.” (Easley, 209)

See also Daniel 7:7, 20

MacArthur tells us that “the seven heads with their seven diadems (diadema; royal crowns symbolizing power and authority) represent seven consecutive world empires running their course under Satan’s dominion: Egypt, Assyria, Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece, Rome, and Antichrist’s future empire.” (7)

Satan’s Angels

4. The stars of heaven are Satan’s angels.

McGee tells us this “indicates the vast extent of the rebellion in heaven when one third of the angelic host, followed Satan to their own destruction.” (989)      Jude 6

MacArthur remarks “when Satan fell (Isaiah 14:12-15;      Ezekiel 28:12-17) he swept away a third of the angelic host with him.” (8) [NASB1995]

These angels were thrown to the earth

The dragon stood before the woman which was ready to be delivered

This is “a repulsive example of the dragon’s hatred.” (Easley, 209)

This hatred has been around since Genesis 3:15. (Easley, 209)

Satan also tried to eliminate Jesus when He was on the earth.

To devour her child as soon as it was born.  (Jesus)

Remember Herod when the wise men came. He instructed them to return and tell him where Jesus was. Joseph was warned in a dream to escape to Egypt. During that time Herod had all male babies under two years old killed. Satan was at work trying to destroy Jesus. But he could not. God protected His Son.

The Male Child, Christ

5. Jesus is the Son.

Jesus fulfilled prophecy. Genesis 3:15      Isaiah 7:14; 9:6      Micah 5:2

Jesus will rule all the nations with a rod of iron

This will happen during “His earthly, millennial kingdom” (MacArthur, 11)       Psalm 2:7-9      Revelation 19:15

Jesus is not just going to rule the Israelites, but He will rule all the nations.

“The phrase rod of iron speaks of the resoluteness of Christ’s rule; He will swiftly and immediately judge all sin and put down any rebellion.” (MacArthur, 11)

Her Child was caught up unto God and to His throne

Our Heavenly Father approved of the work of Jesus. Jesus redeemed us from our sin. (MacArthur, 11)

6. We do not know where this place is that God prepared.

Also, we do know that God will take care of those in this wilderness.

We also know that it will be for three and a half years.

Those there will be nourished the entire time.

This is the Great Tribulation. Matthew 24:21

All of Israel will be saved. Romans 11:26

The three and a half years come from Daniel 12:7


In this article Scripture quotations taken from KJV.

New American Standard Bible 1995 (NASB1995)
New American Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1960, 1971, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. All rights reserved

Easley, Kendell H., Holman New Testament Commentary: Revelation. Nashville: B&H, 1998
MacArthur, John. New Testament Commentary: Revelation 12-22. Chicago: Moody Publishers, 2000
McGee, J. Vernon, Thru the Bible: Volume V: Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1983


The Seventh Trumpet                                                       War in Heaven

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