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.’
God uses many different ‘signs’ in the Scriptures to reveal Himself, to direct people where they should go and to establish covenants. Each ‘sign’ had a prophetic purpose and brought forth a response from the person or people to whom it was given.