Revelation Chapter 12 – The Birth and the Dragon

“Now a great sign was seen in heaven — a woman clothed with the sun, under her feet the moon, and on her head a crown of twelve stars. She was pregnant and about to give birth, and she screamed in the agony of labor” (Revelation 12:1-2).

‘Sign in the heaven’ refers to an astronomical event. Planets and constellations represent unique concepts in Biblical prophecy. As these heavenly bodies move throughout the year, they accurately reveal prophetic events. The magi from Persia-Saudia Arabia who brought gifts to Yeshua were astronomers who studied the heavens and understood the Hebrew ‘signs in the heavens.’

“Where is the newborn King of the Jews? For we saw his star in the east and have come to worship him” (Matthew 2:2).

The ‘great sign in the heaven’ is a woman clothed with the sun, under her feet the moon, and on her head a crown made of 12 stars. From an astronomical viewpoint, explained by John P. Pratt, the ‘woman’ is a very large constellation known as the Maiden or Virgo for the Virgin. This constellation moves in an elliptical path along which the sun, moon, and planets appear to move as the earth orbits the sun. In one year, the sun will appear to move through all twelve zodiac constellations. For two weeks per year, the sun appears in the ‘clothing of the woman.’ Every three years, the moon appears as a thin evening crescent under the ‘feet of the woman’ at the same time the ‘sun is in her clothing.’

Basing this heavenly event on this constellation, the prophecy would indicate a time period which can be determined by the position of the sun and moon in the ‘clothing’ of the Maiden constellation. On the Hebrew calendar, the timing of this event points toward the first day of the seventh month or the Feast of Trumpets. This ‘appointed time’ would be when the seven messengers blow their shofars to begin the Messianic Era.

“Another sign was seen in heaven there was a great red dragon with seven heads and ten horns, and on his heads were seven royal crowns. Its tail swept a third of the stars out of heaven and threw them down to the earth. It stood in front of the woman about to give birth, so that it might devour the child the moment it was born” (Revelation 12:3-4).

A red dragon with seven heads and ten horns stands in front of the woman who is screaming in childbirth; the dragon is prepares to devour the child the moment it is born. The tail of the dragon sweeps a third of the stars out of heaven and throws them down to the earth.

A constellation known as the Dragon or Draco has within the coil of its ‘tail’ what is considered to be one-third of the stars. Using Pratt’s map of the heavens, the elliptical circle around which the sun, moon, and planets travel is clockwise. The Dragon is near the center of the circle in an honored place, considered to be the top of the sky.

“How did you come to fall from the heavens, morning star, son of the dawn? How did you come to be cut to the ground, conqueror of nations? You thought to yourself, ‘I will scale the heavens, I will raise my throne above God’s stars. I will sit on the Mount of Assembly far away in the north” (Isaiah 14:12-13).

Leviathan is believed to be a ‘seven-head’ monster that comes up out of the sea and is judged (Isaiah 27:1). The Talmud also mentions a dragon with seven heads –– a demon who lost a head every time the rabbi prayed (Ḳiddushin 29b, Soncino ed., p. 141).

“By your strength you split the sea in two, in the water you smashed sea monsters’ heads, you crushed the heads of Livyatan …” (Psalm 74:13-14).

The seven heads and the ten horns are explained to Yochanan:

“The ten horns you saw are ten kings who have not yet received a kingdom, but who for one hour will receive authority as kings along with the beast. They have one purpose and will give their power and authority to the beast. They will wage war against the Lamb, but the Lamb will triumph over them because he is Lord of lords and King of kings -and with him will be his called, chosen and faithful followers” (Revelation 17:12-14).

Many believe the ‘woman’ represents Miriam who gave birth to Yeshua, however, that places Miriam in a place greater than Isra’el or even the Tribe of Judah. Others suggest the Maiden is Isra’el, the ‘woman’ who entered into a marriage covenant with Adonai and is known as the ‘virgin’ Isra’el from whom the ‘Seed of woman’ was birthed.

“Once again, I will build you; you will be rebuilt, virgin of Isra’el. Once again, equipped with your tambourines, you will go out and dance with the merrymakers” (Jeremiah 31:3).

The Hebrew word for ‘scream’ is yalal and means ‘to howl’ or ‘wail.’ This constellation reveals Isra’el’s spiritual battle since Adonai put a curse on the Serpent and ‘his seed.’ Isra’el has suffered much travail bringing forth salvation to the world –– first as the Lamb and soon as the Lion of Judah. From their centuries of slavery in Egypt, their years of captivity in Babylon, their near-annihilation in Persia, their almost assimilation with Syria, the Crusades, the Inquisitions, and the Holocaust, the children of Isra’el have mourned and wailed at the loss of their infants and children, their Temple, and their Land of Promise.

“She gave birth to a son, a male child, the one who will rule all the nations with a staff of iron. But her child was snatched up to God and his throne;  and she fled into the desert, where she has a place prepared by God so that she can be taken care of for 1,260 days” (Revelation 12:5-6).

The male child that Isra’el birthed is Yeshua, the savior of the world. After Yeshua receives his inheritance of the nations, they will need to be broken with an iron rod. Even when Messiah rules the world as King, there will still be those who refuse to bend their knee to his rule (Psalm 2:8-9).

The ‘dragon’ tries to devour the child. The ‘dragon’ as the Adversary has two prophetic allusions. First, at the moment of Yeshua’s birth, the Adversary wanted to kill him. Herod’s edict to murder all baby boys in Bethlehem under two years old began his battle to stay alive. To keep his son safe, Yosef took Miriam and Yeshua to Egypt (Matthew 2:13-15). As a grown man, the Adversary still tried to de-throne Yeshua. He tests him in the wilderness, but Yeshua passes each test (Matthew 4). The Adversary enters Judas so he will completely submit to his plan of betraying Yeshua (Luke 22:3). The Adversary believes he has finally succeeded when Yeshua dies on the cross. However, his hopes are crushed when Yeshua is raised from the dead and taken into heaven to sit at the right hand of Adonai (Hebrews 12:2).

The second prophetic meaning happens in the ‘Day of Adonai.’ The astronomical sign shows the the ‘woman,’ the ‘Virgin Isra’el,’ preparing for the arrival of King Messiah. Yeshua promised that he would return only when the nation of Isra’el welcomed him back: “Look! God is abandoning your house to you! I tell you, you will not see me again until you say, ‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of Adonai!’” (Luke 13:35).

In the days of Tribulation, the ‘dragon’ needs to devour the Jewish people in order to prevent Yeshua’s return. The ‘dragon’ doesn’t want his rule over earth to end nor does he want judgment –– the ‘lake burning with fire and sulfur.’ This time Adonai will protect His people, the nation of Isra’el. The ‘woman’ will be taken into the wilderness for 3 ½ years or 1,260 days. During her absence, two witnesses will be prophesying in Jerusalem (Revelation 11:3).

“Next there was a battle in heaven — Mikha’el and his angels fought against the dragon, and the dragon and his angels fought back.  But it was not strong enough to win, so that there was no longer any place for them in heaven.  The great dragon was thrown out, that ancient serpent, also known as the Devil and Satan [the Adversary], the deceiver of the whole world. He was hurled down to the earth, and his angels were hurled down with him” (Revelation 12:7-9).

When the Shining One was first created, he guarded the heavenly Sanctuary and protected Gan Eden (Ezekiel 28:12-14). He became prideful and wanted to have a kingdom greater than Adonai. He was judged for his arrogance and was thrown from his honored position at the Throne of Adonai. This moment happened quickly as Yeshua testifies: “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven (Luke 10:13). When the Shining One fell to earth, he became the god of this world controlling the ‘powers of the air’ (2 Corinthians 4:4, Ephesians 2:2). His desire was to create a kingdom of the earth’s nations and a ‘bride’ through lies and deception (John 8:44). He still had access to the Throne of Adonai as the Accuser, but now he is thrown out of the heavenly realm altogether, he cannot access the Throne, he can no longer accuse the righteous (Job 1:6-8).

The Adversary was ‘hurled’ down. The Hebrew word for ‘hurl’ is tul and means ‘sent violently.’ The same word is used of Jonah when he was hurled into the sea. This word is different from the Hebrew word for ‘fall’ – naphal – used to describe the Shining One’s initial ‘fall’ from his place of honor in heaven (Isaiah 14:12). The half-breed human-angelic giants living in the days of Noach and in Canaan after the flood are called Nephillim which comes from the word ‘fall’ (Genesis 6:1-6, Numbers 13:33).

The Adversary is called ‘son of the morning’ by the prophet Isaiah. In Hebrew, the word helel means ‘shining’ or ‘bright.’ This word became Lucifer meaning ‘light bringer,’ in Latin and that ‘name’ is not found in the Hebrew; it is only used in the King James Version. After the Shining One, the ‘son of the morning’ fell from heaven, he had to ‘masquerade as an angel of light’ because he lost the reflecting light of the Divine Presence (2 Corinthians 11:14).

“Then I heard a loud voice in heaven saying, “Now have come God’s victory, power and kingship, and the authority of his Messiah; because the Accuser of our brothers, who accuses them day and night before God, has been thrown out! “They defeated him because of the Lamb’s blood and because of the message of their witness. Even when facing death they did not cling to life. “Therefore, rejoice, heaven and you who live there!(Revelation 12:10-11).

When the Adversary is violently sent out of the heavenly realm, everyone who lives in the Kingdom of Heaven rejoices in the victory, power, kingship, and authority of Yeshua. This great time of rejoicing will include ‘spinning around’ and dancing in the heavens.

Hebrew Word Pictures

The Hebrew word for ‘victory’ is teshuah which has the same root as Yeshua. Teshuah means ‘deliverance’ and ‘salvation.’

Victory – teshuah

ת Tav – Crossed Sticks means ‘sign’ or ‘covenant.’

ש Shin – A Tooth means ‘to consume’ or ‘destroy.’

ו Vav – A Nail means ‘binding.’

ע Ayin – An Eye means ‘see’ or ‘understand.’

ה Hey – A Window means ‘reveal’ or ‘behold.’

The Hebrew Word Picture for teshuah: covenant sign consumes the binding, see and behold.

The Hebrew word for ‘power’ is toqeph and includes ‘strength’ and ‘energy. The Greek word in this verse is dunamis and means ‘miraculous’ might and strength. It is used to show marvelous deeds and powerful works.

Power – toqeph

ת Tav – Crossed Sticks mean ‘sign’ or ‘covenant.’

ק Kof – Back of the Head means ‘what is behind.’

פ Pey – A Mouth means ‘speak’ or ‘source.’

The Hebrew Word Picture for toqeph: sign of what is behind the source.

The Hebrew word for ‘kingship’ is melukah and also means ‘royalty.’ Melek means ‘king’ an has the same root as melukah. A version of this word for ‘kingdom’ is recited in the Shema: Baruch shem kavod malchuto l’olam va-ed –– Blessed be His name whose glorious kingdom is forever.

Kingship – melukah

מ Mem – Water means ‘chaos’ or ‘mighty.’

ל Lamed – A Shepherd’s Staff means ‘urge forward.’

ו Vav – A Nail means ‘binding.’

כ Kaf – A Open Palm means ‘open’ or ‘cover.’

ה Hey – A Window means ‘reveal’ or ‘behold.’

The Hebrew Word Picture for melukah: mighty urging foward binding and covering, behold.

The Hebrew word for ‘authority’ is samchut and means ‘spiritual authority’ and ‘power of attorney.’ In Strongs Concordance, the same word toqeph is used for ‘authority.’ The Greek word in this verse is exousia meaning ‘the power to act’ in a spiritual sense.

Authority – samchut

ס Samech – A Prop means ‘support.’

מ Mem – Water means ‘chaos’ or ‘mighty.’

כ Kaf – An Open Palm means ‘open’ or ‘cover.’

ו Vav – A Nail means ‘binding.’

ת Tav – Crossed Sticks mean ‘sign’ or ‘covenant.’

The Hebrew Word Picture for samchut: support mighty covering binding the covenant sign.

But woe to you, land and sea, for the Adversary has come down to you, and he is very angry, because he knows that his time is short!” When the dragon saw that he had been hurled down to the earth, he went in pursuit of the woman who had given birth to the male child.  But the woman was given the two wings of the great eagle, so that she could fly to her place in the desert, where she is taken care of for a season and two seasons and half a season, away from the serpent’s presence” (Revelation 12:12-14).

The earth will experience the rage of Satan because he knows his time is short.

‘The dragon’ pursues ‘the woman’ whose has given birth to the ‘male child.’ The Adversary earnestly pursues Isra’el and the Jewish people because they birthed Yeshua.

Isra’el is given two wings of a great eagle so that she might fly to a place in the desert for 3 ½ years. Just as they were carried on eagles’ wings out of Egypt to the wilderness; Isra’el will be carried on eagles’ wings to the desert to protect them from the rage of the Adversary (Exodus 19:4). In the wilderness, Isra’el will renew her strength; she will become a strong nation.

The judgments in Revelation may not be consecutive, but concurrent. This part of the vision may refer to the ‘abomination of desolation’ in the Temple. Yeshua says that for the sake of ‘the elect,’ in Judah, the length of time must be limited or no one would survive. Everyone in Jerusalem must escape to the hills of Judea leaving everything behind.

The Greek uses the word ‘woe’ to describe the situation for pregnant women and nursing mothers. They will have ‘extraordinary grief’ at the culture of death required of them: the murder of babies in the womb and post-birth murders. Though they will denounce such practices, they will have to run to save their unborn and nursing babies from the anti-messiah and the false prophet.

The righteous need to pray for their escape –– that it not be in winter or on the Shabbat (Matthew 24:16-22).

The serpent spewed water like a river out of its mouth after the woman, in order to sweep her away in the flood;  but the land came to her rescue — it opened its mouth and swallowed up the river which the dragon had spewed out of its mouth” (Revelation 12:15-16).

The Adversary spews likes and deceptions like a river that defile and blaspheme Adonai in order to destroy the chosen people. The prophet Isaiah reveals more about this event: “When the enemy shall come in like a flood, the Spirit of the Lord will lift up a standard against him and put him to flight [for He will come like a rushing stream which the breath of the Lord drives]” (Isaiah 59:19, Amplified Bible).

The ‘land’ delivers Isra’el; it opens up and swallows the river. The Greek word for ‘land’ means ‘earth.’ In the wilderness, the ‘earth’ swallowed the sons of Korech for their rebellion against Moshe (Numbers 16:32). In Hebrew the word for ‘land is eretz and means ‘earth’ as in the ‘whole earth.’ The word eretz is for ha’aretz hamuvtakhat or Promised Land. To judge the Adversary and his blasphemous mouth, the Promised Land will open up and swallow his prideful river of words.

“The dragon was infuriated over the woman and went off to fight the rest of her children, those who obey God’s commands and bear witness to Yeshua” (Revelation 12:17).

The Adversary becomes infuriated over Adonai’s miraculous protection of the nation of Isra’el. He turns his rage on those left –– the ‘saints’ or ‘holy ones.’ These children of ‘the woman’ are unique –– they have a testimony of Yeshua and keep Torah. Judaism does not acknowledge Yeshua as Messiah so they only have Torah. Christians have a testimony of Yeshua (Jesus), but believe the Torah been abolished. Neither group fit the Biblical description of ‘saints’ or ‘holy ones.’

These children of the ‘woman’ Isra’el are spiritually-minded men and women who embrace the Messianic vision of the Olive Tree of Isra’el that has natural branches of Jews and grafted-in wild branches of gentiles. These natural and wild olive branches do not just believe in Yeshua; they also obey the commandments –– all of them. There is no dividing wall between these two groups of people in the Commonwealth of Isra’el; they are ‘one new man.’ Through the Ruach haKodesh they have been sanctifed by the Truth and walk in the Spirit.

Revelation 13 – The Beast and Its Mark

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