Revelation Explained

This site contains my personal views on Revelation. I will be teaching through the book verse by verse. My teachings will be from a conservative evangelical background.

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Location: Brampton, Ontario, Canada

Sunday, September 10, 2006

The Woman

"A great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars; and she was with child; and she cried out, being in labor and in pain to give birth." (Revelation 12:1,2 - New American Standard)

This section of Scripture is a flashback. John covers a period going back to the birth of Christ and forward to the end of the Tribulation. It begins with a sign in the sky.

The woman in verse one represents Israel. The symbolism is taken from one of Joseph's prophetic dreams.

“Then he had another dream, and he told it to his brothers. 'Listen,' he said, 'I had another dream, and this time the sun and moon and eleven stars were bowing down to me.' When he told his father as well as his brothers, his father rebuked him and said, 'What is this dream you had? Will your mother and I and your brothers actually come and bow down to the ground before you?' His brothers were jealous of him, but his father kept the matter in mind.” (Genesis 37:9-11 – New International Version)

In this prophetic dream, the sun represents Jacob, the moon Joseph's mother, and the stars his brothers. Revelation uses the same symbols to represent the nation of Israel which descended from Jacob and his twelve sons.

Israel is pictured by John as about to give birth to the Messiah, Jesus Christ. Although Mary was the mother of Jesus, it is Israel as a nation that was God's means of bringing his son into the world. The prophet Isaiah said, “For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given.” (Isaiah 9:6a – King James Version) The “us” is the nation of Israel.

So John sees a woman representing Israel who is about to give birth to the Messiah. She is at the time of delivery. The Greek word translated in pain means tortured.


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