Revelation 12: The Woman and the Dragon

Posted on March 3, 2021


By David Ettinger

What This Is
Back in the mid-to-late 1990s, I taught a Sunday school class verse by verse on the Book of Revelation. This series represents my notes for each class. (I have done some updating as some of my understandings have changed over the years.) I came across them recently and decided to post them. If you wish to use these notes as a study guide, the way to do it is as follows: Read the verse first in your Bible, then look at the corresponding notes here for commentary.

For some reason, I don’t have notes for Chapters 1-3, therefore this series begins with Chapters 4-5. Following the Chapter 4-5 study notes, each chapter will be presented individually.

Read Chapter 4-5 notes here.
Read Chapter 6 notes here.

Read Chapter 7 notes here.
Read Chapter 8 notes here.
Read Chapter 9 notes here.
Read Chapter 10 notes here.
Read Chapter 11 notes here.

The pressure is turned up on Israel as the Seed of the Woman (Jesus) is ready to conquer the seed of the serpent (Satan).

Verse 1
* The woman is Israel.

* The moon and stars refer to Genesis 37:9-11, Joseph’s dream (Joseph is the 12th star).

* Referring to Israel as the women goes back to “the seed of the woman” in Genesis 3:15.

* God chose Israel to be the vehicle through which He would bring the Messiah into the world.

* Note: The woman is neither the Church nor Mary.

Verse 2
* The entire history of the Old Testament is summed up in this expression.

* That the woman is pregnant and in pain refers to the experience of Israel, down through the ages, awaiting the coming of her Messiah.

* Again, we’re NOT talking about Mary.

Verses 3-4
* The red dragon, in general, refers to Satan, but also the future world empire which will be ruled over by the Antichrist.

* Isaiah 14:12-15 and Ezekiel 28:12-17 show Satan’s fall from Heaven.

* Satan waiting to devour the Child: Any attempt on the Messiah’s life, i.e., Herod seeking to destroy Jesus, as well as Rome at the crucifixion.

Verse 5
* The male child is Jesus.

* “Iron scepter”: See Genesis 49:10.

* “Rule all nations”: See Isaiah 9:6-7.

* The child taken up to Heaven could be a reference to the Ascension of Acts 1:9.

Verse 6
* The woman, Israel (the believing remnant), flees and hides for 1,260 days, or 42 months, or 3½ years.

* On Israel’s fleeing during the Great Tribulation, see Matthew 24:15-22.

* Note: Only the believing remnant – or those who will believe – will flee. Followers of the world ruler will not see a reason to flee.

* To where will the remnant flee?

* See Daniel 11:40-41. The area is southern Jordan (the Petra region) and the fleeing remnant will survive the attack by the Antichrist.

Verse 7
* A war breaks out in Heaven.

* Michael is the protector of Israel (Daniel 10:12-13; 21).

* The dragon is Satan, who is accompanied by his fallen angels.

Verse 8
* The power of Satan cannot match the power of God’s angels.

* NOTE: Satan was not even fighting Jesus, just Michael, and yet Satan could not overcome him.

Verse 9
* “Dragon” means “crafty.”

* “Serpent” means “subtle.”

* “Devil” means “accuser.”

* “Satan” means “adversary.

* At last, Satan and his angels are cast out of Heaven for the final 3½ years.

* As we will see in the next chapter, this is when Satan will energize his “seed” – the Antichrist.

Verse 10
* There is great joy in Heaven because Satan no longer has access there.

* This is a pivotal point leading to the return of Christ.

Verse 11
* The “brothers and sisters” – believers – triumphed over Satan for 3 reasons:

1) They are saved by the blood of Christ.

2) Their testimony of salvation in Christ.

3) Their willingness to die for Christ.

Verse 12
* Great news for Heaven – Satan is no longer there.

* However, woe to Earth. Why?

1) Satan is there and is full of fury.

2) He only has a short time left (3½ years).

Verse 13
* Who does Satan persecute?

* Israel.

* Israel is the instrument causing his ultimate defeat.

Verse 14
* The woman being given 2 wings like an eagle means that those fleeing will be given power to do so with great speed and efficiency.

* 1 Kings 18:45-46: Elijah given great power to flee.

* Israel is not just feeling anywhere, but to a prepared spot.

* Israel will also be protected in this spot (believed by many to be Petra).

* Satan will not be able to get to Israel.

* Israel will be protected and provided for for 3½ years.

Verse 15
* We don’t know exactly what’s in view here, but this probably represents the collective efforts of the Antichrist to destroy the remnant.

* This could include false teachers as well as the use of weapons and armies.

Verse 16
* For a reference to “the earth opening its mouth,” see Numbers 26:10.

* Again, we’re not sure what is going on here, but we see God intervening on Israel’s behalf.

Verse 17
* Having failed to get at Israel, Satan makes war against the rest of the world’s believers.