Part 025 – The Woman, Dragon and Man-Child (Rev.12:1-17)


A Study

Part 025

The Woman, Dragon and Man-Child (Rev.12:1-17) 

Revelation chapter eleven leads us into chapter twelve

In the previous part of this series of lessons, we have studied Revelation chapter eleven verses one through thirteen. And this portion of Rev.11:1-13, leads us into Revelation chapter twelve. The whole of Rev.12 gives additional details and commentary on Rev.11:1-3. Chapter eleven began by calling attention to the whole of the seven-year Tribulation, divided into two equal periods of 3½ years. Events during the latter half of the Tribulation were briefly mentioned first – the Gentiles treading the city of Jerusalem under foot for 42 months, that is the second 3½ years (Rev.11:2). Then in the following verses, is mentioned a single series of events, covering 1260 days, that is the first 3½ years (Rev.11:3-13) – the ministry of two individuals (v.3) to witness to the Jewish people before they enter into their darkest hour (vv.4-13). Then chapter twelve picks up and gives details and commentary concerning events surrounding Israel and the nations during the last half of the Tribulation.

Revelation chapter twelve is self explanatory

Then, chapter twelve is also integrally arranged in such a manner that the first six verses give the complete story, with the remaining verses forming the commentary. The first three verses vv.1-3, form a background and lead into the next three verses, vv.4-6. Then the remainder of the chapter (vv.7-17) is a commentary on the latter three verses. Verses vv.7-12 is a commentary on v.4; and then verses v.13 is a commentary on verses vv.4 & 5; and then verses vv.14-16 is a commentary on v.6; and verse v.17 covers the whole matter of vv.4-6.

Then the subsequent chapters, particularly 13, 14 and 17 – 19a continue this commentary. All of these chapters, 11 – 14 and 17 – 19a are inseparably tied together and must be studied together as one unit; any one part being incomplete when separated from the other parts.

Understanding the metaphors

Metaphors are extensively used in chapter twelve, which is something seen throughout the Book of Revelation and throughout Scripture in general. That is to say, the “Woman” is not a literal woman but is descriptive of someone or something else; and so it is with the “Dragon” and the “Man-Child.” And that being depicted by all three metaphors is clearly made known within the chapter itself, through comparing Scripture with Scripture. Man is never left to his own imagination as to that which God is depicting through the use of metaphors. The texts, the contexts and related Scripture elsewhere will always shed light on the matter, revealing how the metaphors should be understood. Studying the Scripture in this same manner, the “woman” can easily be identified as Israel. In a similar manner, we can identify the “dragon” as the Devil, Satan. And the “Man-Child” can also be identified as the 144,000, “the remnant of her seed” or “firstfruits to God and to the Lamb” (Rev.11:13; 12:17). The identification of these three metaphors will be discussed in the next part of this series.