The Woman and the Dragon
12 And then a great ·wonder [sign; portent; C symbolic descriptions of heavenly/spiritual realities] appeared in heaven: A woman was clothed with the sun, and the moon was under her feet [C indicating authority or victory; Gen. 37:9], and a crown [C a reward of victory] of twelve stars was on her head [C representing the twelve tribes of Israel; the woman is a symbol of the persecuted people of God]. 2 She was ·pregnant [L in the womb] and cried out with [L labor] pain, because she was about to give birth [C to the Messiah]. 3 Then another ·wonder [sign; portent; 12:1] appeared in heaven: There was a giant red dragon with seven heads [C reminiscent of the many-headed Leviathan representing evil and chaos, here representing Satan; Ps. 74:14; Is. 27:1; Dan. 7:1–9] and seven ·crowns [diadems; royal crowns] on each head. He [or It; C the Greek masculine pronoun can refer to a person or thing] also had ten horns [C symbols of strength and power; Dan. 7:7–8, 20, 24]. 4 His tail swept a third of the stars out of ·the sky [or heaven] and ·threw [cast; hurled; Dan. 8:10] them down to the earth [C representing an early victory against God’s people; 12:1]. He stood in front of the woman who was ready to give birth so he could ·eat [devour] her ·baby [child; C Jesus the Messiah] as soon as it was born. 5 Then the woman gave birth to ·a son [L a son, a male child,] who will ·rule [or shepherd] all the nations with an iron ·rod [sceptre; 19:15; Ps. 2:9]. And her child was ·taken up [or snatched away; C probably a symbolic reference to the resurrection, where Satan’s victory was thwarted] to God and to his throne. 6 The woman ·ran away [fled] into the ·desert [wilderness] to a place God prepared for her where she would ·be taken care of [nourished; fed] for one thousand two hundred sixty days [C equal to three and one-half years; see 11:3].
7 Then there was a war in heaven. Michael [C an archangel and protector of God’s people; Dan. 10:13, 21; 12:1; Jude 9] and his angels fought against the dragon, and the dragon and his angels fought back. 8 But the dragon was not strong enough, and he and his angels lost their place in heaven. 9 The ·giant [great] dragon was ·thrown down [cast; hurled] out of heaven. (He is that ·old snake [ancient serpent] called the devil or Satan [Gen. 3:1, 15], who ·tricks [deceives; leads astray] the whole world.) The dragon with his angels was ·thrown down [cast; hurled] to the earth.
10 Then I heard a loud voice in heaven saying:
“The salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God
and the ·authority [power] of his ·Christ [Messiah; Anointed One] have now come [Dan. 7:14].
who accused them day and night before our God,
has been ·thrown [cast; hurled] down.
11 And our brothers and sisters ·defeated [conquered] him
by the blood of the ·Lamb’s death [L Lamb; C by means of Christ’s sacrificial death]
and by the ·message they preached [L word of their witness/testimony].
[L And] They did not love their lives so much
that they ·were afraid of [avoided] death.
12 So rejoice, you heavens
and all who live there!
But ·it will be terrible for [L woe to] the earth and the sea,
because the devil has come down to you!
He is filled with ·anger [wrath],
because he knows he ·does not have much time [L has little time].”
13 When the dragon saw he had been ·thrown [cast; hurled] down to the earth, he ·hunted for [pursued; or persecuted] the woman who had given birth to the ·son [boy; L male]. 14 But the woman was given the two wings of a great ·eagle [or vulture; Ex. 19:4; Deut. 32:10–11; Is. 40:31] so she could fly to the place prepared for her in the ·desert [wilderness]. There she would be ·taken care of [nourished; fed] for ·three and one-half years [L a time, times, and half a time; 11:2, 3; 13:5; Dan. 7:25; 12:7], away from the ·snake [serpent; C God will spiritually nourish his people though they are persecuted]. 15 Then the ·snake [serpent] ·poured [spewed; L threw] water out of its mouth like a river ·toward [after] the woman so the flood would ·carry [sweep] her away [C overwhelming water signifies overwhelming trouble; Ps. 18:4; 69:2]. 16 But the earth ·helped [rescued] the woman by opening its mouth and swallowing the river that ·came [spewed; L was thrown] from the mouth of the dragon. 17 Then the dragon was ·very angry [furious; full of wrath] at the woman, and he went off to make war against ·all her other children [L the rest of her seed/offspring]—those who obey God’s commands and who ·have the message Jesus taught [or hold fast to their testimony about Jesus].
- Revelation 12:18 the dragon Some Greek copies read “I.”