CHAPTER 12 | Verses 1-17

Israel, the people and the land, are important in God’s prophetic purposes. Chapter 12 is a review – looking at things from a different vantage point. A heavenly perspective. Israel played a very important role in Messiah’s first coming. Likewise, Israel is going to play a very important role when Messiah returns.

Verse 1: “A great sign appeared in the heavens: a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet and upon her head a crown with twelve stars.”

What we see in this verse is very similar to what we see in the book of Genesis, in regard to one of Joseph’s dreams (Genesis 37v9-11). Joseph is a typology of Messiah. Many things that happened in his life give us an understanding of the work and personhood of Messiah. When Joseph spoke about the sun, moon and stars he was referring to Jacob, his mother and to his
brothers – the tribes of Israel. In this chapter there is an emphasis on the children of Israel. This woman is a picture of Israel, who gave birth to the Messiah.

Verse 2: “And being with child, she cried out in her labor and her labor was difficult.”

Verse 3: “Another sign appeared in the heavens: and behold a great dragon, red like fire, and to him were seven heads, ten horns and on his heads seven crowns.“

This second image is one of an empire – a beast (17v8). The dragon is satan (12v9). Seven heads speak of seven empires that all serve the purposes of satan (17v9-11). The ten horns are 10 kings (Rev 17v12-14). Crowns are synonymous with rule/kingdom.
satan is opposed to the work and person of Messiah Yeshua. He stands against what God has promised to bring about.

Verse 4: “And his tail carried from the heavens a third of the stars. He cast them to the ground. And the dragon stood before the woman who was giving birth, on account that he might swallow her child when she gave birth.“

These stars relate to angels (1v20). Many conclude, from this verse, that one third of the angels rebelled against God and aligned themselves to satan. Satan’s plan was to destroy (swallow) Yeshua, but he failed.

Verse 5: “And she gave birth to a Man Child, who in the future would rule over the nations with a rod of iron. And her child was taken to God and to His throne.”

This verse makes it very clear that the man child is Messiah Yeshua and He will rule from the throne of God. When Messiah was born the children of Israel were greatly disappointed and rejected his leadership.

Verse 6: “The woman fled into the wilderness, where there had been prepared for her a place by God on account that He would sustain her there 1260 days.“

The dragon was unsuccessful at destroying Messiah, so he began to persecute the woman (Israel) instead. These 144 000 of the house of Israel (as seen in chapter 7)are going to be taken into the wilderness in order that they might come to faith, out of desperation, because of the time of Jacobs trouble.

There has been a shift in this verse. From verse 1 – 5 we were looking at Messiahs first coming. In this verse the focus now shifts to the last days. Prophetically we know that Israel is going to flee in the last days. (Matthew 24v15-21) John used literary devices and techniques so that we would have a better ability to discern what God is revealing in this book. 1260 days repeats itself in the Scripture. 

It is always in regard to the latter half of Daniel’s 70th week and is the time also referred to as ‘The Time of Jacob’s
trouble’. (Daniel 12v7, Jeremiah 30v7, Daniel 12v1) At the end, God is going to allow the toughest most difficult time for the Jewish people (satanic persecution) – but this tribulation is going to bring them to dependence on God and cause them to act in faith. Sometimes faith comes out of desperation. God is going to move to deliver Israel, because she is key in bringing about the establishment of the Kingdom.

Verse 7: “And there came about a war in the heavens. Michael and his angels fought with the dragon, and the dragon fought with his angels.”

A spiritual battle is taking place at the same time as Israel is being persecuted and fleeing (in the physical realm).

Verse 8: “But they did not prevail, and also their place was no longer found in the heavens.”

The fact that they waged an unsuccessful war in the heavens foreshadows victory for God, and victory for the people of God.

 Verse 9: “And the great dragon, the serpent of old, who is called the accuser and satan, was cast down, the one who deceives the whole world. He was cast to the earth and his angels were cast down with him.”

Verse 10: “I heard a great voice in the heavens, and it said: ‘Now has come the salvation of our God and the power of His kingdom and the authority of His Messiah. For the one who accused our brothers has been cast down, the one who accused them before our God day and night.”

Verse 11: “For they overcame on account of the blood of the Lamb and on account of the word of their testimony. For they did not love their lives unto death.”

The blood of the Lamb adds a Passover/redemptive context to this verse. The only way that we can share in this victory, over satan and his demonic angels, is through redemption that comes by the blood of the Lamb.

‘Testimony’ is a very important part of the salvation experience. It doesn’t save us, but, being saved, we are given power so that we can have a testimony – by walking in victory and being able to manifest the glory of God.

Unto death… their emphasis was not on themselves. Their thoughts were not based upon life in this world; they had a sure confidence in the age to come. (1 Corinthians 15v19) They were Kingdom minded.

Verse 12: “Shout on account of this O heavens, and the ones who dwell there. Woe to the dwellers of the earth and in the sea – for the accuser has come down unto you with great wrath, for he knows that his time is short.”

Those who dwell in the heavens (or earth): see explanation in 3v10 When a phrase is well documented, being used over and over again, and then we see an alteration (a new word or phrase added to it) it is to teach us something new. e.g. here the word ‘sea’ has been added to the phrase ‘The dwellers of the earth’. In the next couple of chapters there is an emphasis on the sea. Prophetically, a sea is often used as a reference to instability, an unstable location (Constant movement. Waves roaring. Chaos–2 Samuel 22v5, Psalm 65v7, Jeremiah 5v22).

Verse 13: “And it came about, when the dragon saw that he had been cast down to the earth, that he persecuted the woman who gave birth to the male child.” Israel is being attacked/persecuted by satan because he knows Scripture (Genesis 3v15) He doesn’t obey Scripture, but Scriptural truth impacts him. He rebels against this. He understands, prophetically, how key Israel is in the Kingdom being established, and satan could not defeat Yeshua the first time, but he understands that if Israel do not get right with God then Messiah will not return (Matthew 23v37-39) It is highly significant that Yeshua left heaven and entered earth through Israel.

Verse 14: “And it was given to the woman two great wings of an eagle to fly to the wilderness, to her place, where she will be sustained for a time, times and a half time, away from the serpent.”

Eagles’ wings, also seen in Exodus 19v4, set this verse in the context of redemption and salvation. Israel is almost ready, through Messiah Yeshua and His blood, to experience redemption.

Time, times and a half time: John uses the same terminology that Daniel did, so that we can understand what time period this verse is referring to i.e. The last three and a half years of Daniel’s 70th week. (Daniel 7v25, Daniel 9v27, Daniel 12v7)

Verse 15: “And the serpent cast a river of water from his mouth after the woman, to sweep her away in the river.”

Verse 16: “And the land helped the woman, for the land opened up its mouth and swallowed the river which the dragon had sent from his mouth.”

What was key for Israel, according to this verse, in preserving them from satan’s attack? The land. It is not talking about land in a general term here, but about the land of Israel. The safest place for a Jewish person to be in the last days is in the land of Israel. Those who call upon the name of the L-rd will be saved, by faith, in the all sufficient work of Messiah Yeshua. (Joel 2v32)

Verse 17: “And the dragon became angry with the woman, and he went and made war with the rest of her descendants. The ones who keep the commandments of God, and to them that have the testimony of Messiah Yeshua.”

The believing community is tied to Israel. (Romans 9v6-8) In God’s Kingdom there are going to be those that are naturally descended from Jacob (Jewish people), but there are also going to be those who are grafted in – Gentiles (or people from the nations – Romans 11v17-21). It is undeniable that we are talking about believers at the end of this verse. Believers are the ones who keep the commandments of God: they walk in obedience to the Word of God.

Believers are also those who manifest the testimony of Yeshua


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