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Revelation 12: 1-6 The vision of the woman, the red dragon, and the son is rich in symbolism drawn from mythological traditions found in ancient Babylonia, Egypt, Greece, Rome, as well as in the Hebrew Bible.

“A great portent appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars. 2 She was pregnant and was crying out in birth pangs, in the agony of giving birth. 3 Then another portent appeared in heaven: a great red dragon, with seven heads and ten horns, and seven diadems on his heads. 4 His tail swept down a third of the stars of heaven and threw them to the earth. Then the dragon stood before the woman who was about to bear a child, so that he might devour her child as soon as it was born. 5 And she gave birth to a son, a male child, who is to rule all the nations with a rod of iron. But her child was snatched away and taken to God and to his throne; 6 and the woman fled into the wilderness, where she has a place prepared by God, so that there she can be nourished for one thousand two hundred sixty days.”

The woman is unnamed and her identity is uncertain. She may represent Israel, or Mary, or the church. The crown of twelve stars refers to the twelve tribes of Israel, but could also mean the twelve signs of the zodiac. The dragon is the devil, Satan. The child must be Christ.

It’s likely that John took all of the signs of divinity and beauty which he could find and added them together in his description.Psalm 2 is a good description of the coming of the promised one and talks about the rod of iron in verse 9.

Eastern peoples regarded creation in the light of the struggle between the dragon of chaos and the creating God of light and order. This red dragon comes from John’s knowledge of this ancient thought. This dragon has seven heads and ten horns, a mighty powerful creature. Sweeping the stars with his tail comes from Daniel 8:10 and the picture of the dragon waiting to devour the child comes from Jeremiah 51:34.

The child is immediately snatched up after birth. If this is the Messiah, then His entire earthly life is left out. Birth to immediate ascension. John is only concerned with the fact that the Messiah was delivered from the hostile powers which constantly attacked Him, and that He was delivered by the direct action and power of God.

Blessings on your day,

Pastor Sue