Revelation 12


This chapter commences another series of revelations. Again John

returns to the beginning, and traces the spiritual history of the Church and

the Christian in their warfare with Satan. But the visions which now follow

are somewhat different in character from those already related, inasmuch as

the conflict is now described rather as between the powers of heaven and

hell than between the individual Christian and his oppressors. As with the

other visions, so here, the recital seems calculated to support the suffering

Christian in his trials, since the overthrow of the powers of darkness is

foretold; and the whole series culminates in an account of the final

abasement of the devil, and the exaltation of the Church and the bliss of



The following analysis will help to make clear the relation of the several

parts of the vision.



            WORLD. (vs.7-13.)




Ø      The assaults of the devil.

o       The dragon’s direct attacks on Christ (vs.1-7 and 13-17).

o       On the Church by means of the wild beast (vs.1-10).

o       On the Church by means of the two-horned beast (vs.11-18).


Ø      The overthrow and punishment of the devil. (ch.20:1-10.)

o       The fate of the dragon (ch.14:7).

o       The fate of the wild beast (Babylon) (ch14:8; ch.17.;

      ch.18.; ch.19:19, et seq.).

o       The fate of the two-horned beast (ch.14:9; 19:19, et seq.).


Ø      The victory of the faithful. (ch.14:13; 19:1-10; ch.21; ch.22)



Revelation chapter 12 -14 are explanatory prophecies that describe some of the major

personages and movements of the second half of the Tribulation period. Beginning

with the woman who represents Israel and her child who is Christ, the Messiah.

Although chapter 11 verse 15 records the sounding of the seventh trumpet, the effects

it produces are not described until chapters 15 through 18. Chapters 12 - 14 restates or

summarizes that same period, but describing events from Satan's vantage point.

Including taking the readers back to the original rebellion as Satan is cast to the

earth along with one third of the angels. (demons)  (


In this chapter, John sees a vision of a woman "clothed with the sun, and the moon under

her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars" (v.1)  . Note the similarity between this

description and the description that Joseph gave of his father Jacob (Israel) and his mother

and their children (Genesis 37:9-11). The twelve stars refer to the twelve tribes of Israel.

So the woman is Israel.  Additional evidence for this interpretation is that vs. 2-5 speaks of

the woman being with child and giving birth. While it is true that Mary gave birth to Jesus,

it is also true that Jesus, the son of David from the tribe of Judah, came from Israel. In a sense,

Israel gave birth—or brought forth—Christ Jesus. V. 5 says that the woman’s child was

"a male child, who is to rule all the nations with a rod of iron; and her child was caught up

to God and to His throne." Clearly, this is describing Jesus. Jesus ascended to heaven

(Acts 1:9-11) and will one day establish His kingdom on earth (ch. 20:4-6), and He will rule

it with perfect judgment (the “rod of iron”; see Psalm 2:7-9).  The woman’s flight into the

wilderness for 1,260 days refers to the future time called the Great Tribulation. Twelve hundred,

sixty days is 42 months (of 30 days each), which is the same as 3 1/2 years. Halfway through

the Tribulation period, the Beast (the Antichrist) will set an image of himself up in the temple

that will be built in Jerusalem. This is the abomination that Jesus spoke of in Matthew 24:15 and

Mark 13:14. When the Beast does this, he breaks the peace pact he had made with Israel, and

the nation has to flee for safety—possibly to Petra (also see Matthew 24; Daniel 9:27). This

escape of the Jews is pictured as the woman fleeing into the wilderness.  (


This chapter begins the second half of the Book of Revelation, just as it marks the

beginning of the second half of the Tribulation, the final 3 ½ years before THE


GLORY!  The trumpet of the seventh angel has sounded and its echo will continue

to resound throughout this last awful period of the Great Tribulation.  This remarkable

vision also looks back to the very beginning of earth’s history, then races forth to the

time of Christ and finally to the events still to be consummated in this final period!

This review is necessary to comprehend the full significance of the great sign about

to be revealed.  (The Revelation Record – Henry Morris)


1 “And there appeared a great wonder in heaven; a woman clothed with the

sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars:” 

And there appeared a great wonder; and a great sign was

seen (Revised Version). This sign consists of the whole of the appearances,

the account of which is contained in this verse and the following one. The

vision is thus plainly declared to be figurative (cf. the use of the

corresponding verb in ch.1:1). In heaven. Though the scene of

the vision opens in heaven, it is immediately afterwards transferred to the

earth. It is doubtful whether any particular signification is to be attached to

the expression.  A woman. The woman is undoubtedly the

Church of God; not necessarily limited to the Christian Church, but the

whole company of all who acknowledge God, including the heavenly

beings in existence before the creation, as well as creation itself. The figure

is found both in the Old Testament and in the New. Thus Isaiah 54:5-6,

“For thy Maker is thine Husband .... For the Lord hath called thee as a

woman forsaken and grieved” (compare also John 3:29; II Corinthians

11:2; Ephesians 5:25-32). Clothed with the sun. The whole

description is intended to portray the glory and beauty of the Church. Most

of the ancient commentators give particular interpretations of the symbols

employed. Thus the sun is believed to represent Christ, the Sun of

Righteousness. Primasius quotes Galatians 3:27, “For as many of you

as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.” And the moon

under her feet. This is interpreted as showing the permanent nature of the

Church; she treads underfoot the moon, the symbol of changing times and

seasons. It is thought that a reference is thus intended to the futility of the

endeavors made to subvert the Church (compare Song of Solomon  6:10).

Others variously interpret the moon of


            (1) the Mosaic Law;

            (2) the irreligion of the world;

            (3) the Mohammedan power.


But the figure is probably intended simply to enhance the beauty of the

vision, and to portray the exceeding glory of the Church. We may also

imagine the symbol to denote stability of existence in the midst of change

of outward appearance, as the moon is ever existent and ever reappearing,

though obscured for a time. And upon her head a crown of twelve stars.

This image immediately suggests a reference to the twelve apostles of the

Christian Church, and the twelve tribes of the Jewish Church. The crown

is στέφανος stephanos -  the crown of victory — the idea of which is

prominent throughout the vision.


The woman represents Israel, and her child is Christ; the Messiah (v.5; Isaiah 7:14; 9:6; 66:7-8;

Micah 5:2; Romans. 9:4-5)   The woman is not the church, since the church did not bring forth

Christ, But rather He brought forth the church.  The sun reflects redeemed Israel's unique glory,

brilliance and dignity because of her exulted status and shows her as God's chosen nation.

The moon under her feet alludes to God's promise of dominion, and the crown of twelve

stars pictures royalty and relates to the 12 tribes of Israel. Go to Genesis 37:9 - 11 and read

about the dream Joseph had about the sun, moon and 11 stars which were bowing down

to Joseph. (who was the 12th) In this look toward heaven by John, we are taken to a

different aspect of the battle that has gone on through all ages between Jesus and Satan.

If Jesus is in warfare with Satan, then His people are in battle as well.  (


The word “wonder” is translated sign in John’s gospel -  σημεῖον saemeionsign –

informing us that the immediate vision is symbolic rather than literal.  The woman

includes Israel but must go beyond Israel, back to the beginning.  Eve is the true

mother of us all” in the physical sense, and it was concerning her that the

protoevangelic promise (“the seed of the woman will someday crush the head of

the serpent”  (Genesis 3:15) was given.  The woman thus represents the whole body

of believers.  As true Israel was symbolized as the wife of Jehovah and the true

Church as the bride of Christ, so the great woman must represent all true believers

beginning with Eve herself.  The twelve-starred crown on the woman’s head seems

to represent either the twelve tribes of Israel (ch. 21:12) or perhaps their respective

angels (angels are often called “stars” in the scriptures) or else the twelve apostles

of the Lamb (ibid. v. 14), or possibly both.  Just as Christ had said the righteous would

shine forth as the sun, so the angel had told Daniel that “they that turn many to

righteouness [shall shine] as the stars for ever and ever.”  (Daniel 12:3)  The common

interpretation that the woman is Israel is too constricted for the magnificent context in

which this scene is placed.  Israel is certainly included, but so are all the people of God

throughout the ages, beginning with Ever herself.  (The Revelation Record – Henry Morris)


2 “And she being with child cried, travailing in birth, and pained to be

delivered.”  The present, “crieth,κρὰζειkraxei -  is found in א, A,

P, Coptic, Andreas in a et bav., etc.; the imperfect, ἐκράζενekrazen -  is read

in C, Vulgate, 7, 8, 31, etc., Andreas in c et p, Primasius; the aorist, ἐκράζεν in

B, twelve cursives (compare the words of our Lord John 16:21-22). A

similar image occurs in Isaiah 26:17; 66:7-8; Micah 4:10. The

trouble which afflicted the Jewish Church, and the longing of the patriarchs

for the advent of the Saviour, are here depicted. So also Paul,

encouraging the Romans to bear patiently their sufferings, says, “The

whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now”

(Romans 8:22)


This Scripture is spiritually speaking of the birth of Jesus and of Christianity.  The birth pains refer

to the period before the birth of Christ when Israel was waiting for redemption by the Messiah

(Romans 8:22-23). (


The original evangelical promise was made by God in the Gardenof Eden:  “And I

will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her see; it

shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel” (Genesis 3:15)  These words

were directed to Satan, that old serpent, the very one who is central in this chapter.

There was to be perpetual enmity between Satan and “the woman” (that is, all

believing women), [Isn’t it strange as this is one of the role reversals that is a part

of “THE LIE” secularists argue a “war on women” by Fundamental Christianity –

CY – 2015], and between the serpent’s seed and the woman’s seed (talking here

about godly seed.  CY – 2015).  Someday there will come the prototype “seed of

the serpent,” one wil be the very incarnation of Satan, completely embodying the

character of his father, “the father of lies” (John 8:44).  He will be “that man of

sin, the son of perdition” (II Thessalonians 2:3), whose evil career is a major theme

in the book of Revelation.  The One who will conquer this seed of the serpent will

be the prototype and only perfect “seed of the woman,”  THE SON OF GOD, born

not the seed of man but of a virgin.  (This is none other than our Lord and Savior,

JESUS CHRIST!  God’s gracious promise of the coming Savior, the seed of the

woman, given to all mankind, had eventually to be fulfilled in a particular chosen

nation, a chosen tribe, a chosen family, and finally a chosen woman.  Thus the promise

to the world became the promise to Israel, then to the tribe of Judah, then to the family

of David, and ultimately to the virgin Mary.  There was much depending on the birth

of this glorious Son.  Not only would He redeem and rule Israel, but He shall deliver

the whole creation into GLORIOUS LIBERTY!  “For unto us a child is born, unto us

a Son is given, and the government shall be upon His shoulder:  and His name shall be

called Wonderful, Counselor, The Mighty God, the Everlasting Father, The Prince of

Peace.  Of the increase of His government and peace, there shall be NO END, and

upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom to order it, and to establish it with

judgment and with justice from henceforth even FOR EVER.  THE ZEAL OF THE


                                                                                (The Revelation Record – Henry Morris)


3 “And there appeared another wonder in heaven; and behold a great

red dragon, having seven heads and ten horns, and seven crowns

upon his heads.” And there appeared another wonder in heaven; and there

was seen another sign in heaven (Revised Version). (See on v. 1.) The

appearance seen is not a representation of the devil as he actually is, but

the sign — the dragon — is figurative and descriptive of the particular

characteristics now about to be exhibited. In heaven — most likely merely

in the space above, where he could be easily seen.  And behold a great red dragon.

His identity is established by v. 9, where he is called “the great dragon, the old s

erpent, the devil, Satan, the deceiver.’’ Red; no doubt to enhance his terrible

appearance; suggestive of his murderous, destructive character. “Dragon”

(δράκωνdrakon) in the New Testament occurs only in this book. In the Old

Testament the word is of frequent occurrence. In the Septugint δράκων,is used

seventeen times to express the Hebrew tannin (a sea or land monster, especially a

crocodile or serpent); five times it stands for leviathan; twice it represents

kephir (young lion); twice nachash (serpent); once attud (he-goat); and

once pethen (python). Tannin (singular) is always rendered by δράκων,

except in Genesis 1:21, where we find κῆτοςkaetos -  but twice it is corrupted

into tannim (viz. Ezekiel 29:3; 32:2). The latter word, tannim, is the

plural of tan (a jackal), and is found only in the plural; but once it is found

corrupted into tannin (Lamentations 4:3). There is no doubt as to the

signification of the appearance. The dragon, is, in the Old Testament,

invariably a symbol of what is harmful, tyrannous, murderous. It is a

hideous, sanguinary monster, sometimes inhabiting the sea, sometimes the

desolate places of the earth, always “seeking whom it may devour.” (I Peter

5:8)  In some passages it refers to Pharaoh (Psalm 74:13; compare Ezekiel 29:3;

32:2); in others it is a type of what is noxious or desolate (Job 7:12; Isaiah 13:22;

34:13; Psalm 44:19; Jeremiah 9:11, etc.). In Isaiah 27:1 we have the combination,

leviathan the piercing serpent, even leviathan that crooked serpent;… the dragon t

hat is in the sea.” Having seven heads and ten horns. The description of the beasts

in chapters 12-17, is evidently derived from the vision of Daniel (7.), although the

details differ. It seems reasonable to conclude, therefore, that the interpretation

generally should follow the same lines as that applied to the Old Testament symbols,

with which the writer was so familiar. The appearances described in Daniel are

universally considered to typify various worldly powers which oppressed the Church

and nation of the Jews.  Similarly here the symbolism seems intended to portray the

opposition of the devil to the Church of God, working through the power of the

world.  The heads and horns are both declared in ch.17:10, 12 to typify

kingdoms — in what way we shall presently see (ibid. v. 10). The numbers seven

and ten are both symbolical of completeness (see ch. 1:4; 5:1; 13:1; 17:3). We have,

therefore, in this picture of the dragon, the idea of the full and complete power of

the world arrayed on earth against God and His Church. This power, connected with

and derived from the devil, the prince of this world (John 12:31), is often alluded to

by John as being opposed to, or in contrast with, the godly (John 7:7; 14:17; 15.; 16.; 17.;

I John 2:15; 3:13; 5:4, etc.). And seven crowns upon his heads; seven diadems

(Revised Version). That is, the kingly crown, the symbol of sovereignty, worn by

the dragon to denote his power as “prince of this world.” The word διαδήματα

diadaemata  - diadems -  is found in the New Testament only here and ch.13:1 and

19:12. It is not the στέφανος, the crown of victory worn by the saints (see

ch.2:10; 3:11; 6:2, etc.). No account is given of the disposition and arrangement

of the heads, horns, and diadems; nor is it necessary. The seven crowned heads

signify universal sovereignty; the ten horns, absolute power. Probably those to

whom John wrote understood the symbol as referring specially to the power of

heathen Rome, which was at that time oppressing the Church; but the meaning

extends to the power of the world in all ages (see on ch.13:1).



Here is yet another sign in haven.  This is another symbolic enactment which explains

the great cosmic drama  which had been taking place in heaven and earth since the very

foundation of the world.  The two principal characters are the woman and the serpent.

There are two wonders (σημεῖον saemeion - sign, miracle) mentioned here, the red dragon,

 and “a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet” in v. 1.  The dragon

was a hydra-headed serpent.  Its seven heads all wore crowns, indicating kingly power.

These are later interpreted (ch. 17:10) as seven kingdoms of the past.  The ten horns are

interpreted (ibid. v. 12) as ten kings of the end times.  A similar vision was seen by Daniel,

except that the beast of his vision had only one head with ten horns.  (Daniel 7:7, 20,24)

For the identification of these kings and kingdoms, see the exposition on ch. 17.  For the

present, it is enough to say that they represent the kingdoms of this world and that such

kingdoms largely are indeed under the domain of Satan.  This was the very claim of Satan

when he tempted Christ.  “And the devil taking Him up onto an high mountain, shewed

unto Him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time.  And the devil, said unto

Him, All this power will I give thee, and the glory of them:  for that is delivered unto me;

and to whence I will give it.  If thou therefore wilt worship me, all shall be thine.”

(Luke 4:5-6)  It is sobering to realize that all governments of men are ultimately controlled

by the devil, even though God Himself ordained the powers that be (Romans 13:1)

and commands Christians to submit to their ordinances (I Peter 2:13-15).  There have been

godly men in positions of political power and these have had a restraining influence.

To the extent that a government is founded upon law rather than men, and to the extent

of these laws are based on the laws of God as revealed in Scripture, to such an extent will the

government be in conformity with GOD’S PURPOSES rather than Satan’s.  There have been

periods in the history of Israel, as well as in England and the Untied States, and other

nominally Christian nations, when this seems to have been largely the case.  Sad to say that

Satan’s claim was so nearly the truth that Christ Himself did not bother to refute it.  John

says in I John 5:18-19, “We know that….the whole world lieth in wickedness.”  Practically

all the past kingdoms of the world, symbolized by the seven heads and ten horns, are/were

united by the spirit of the fiery dragon.  (The Revelation Record – Henry Morris)


4 “And his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and did cast them

to the earth: and the dragon stood before the woman which was ready to be

delivered, for to devour her child as soon as it was born.”

And his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and

did cast them to the earth; draweth (Revised Version). Not the stars with

which the woman is crowned (see v. 1), but other stars. In describing the

vast power of the devil, John seems to allude to the tremendous result

of his rebellious conduct in heaven, in effecting the fall of other angels with

himself (Jude 1:6). The seer does not here interrupt his narrative to

explain the point, but returns to it after v. 6, and there describes briefly

the origin and cause of the enmity of the devil towards God. The third part

(as in ch. 8:7, et seq.) signifies a considerable number, but not

the larger part. And the dragon stood before the woman which was

ready to be delivered, for to devour her child as soon as it was born;

which was about to be delivered, that when she was delivered, he might

devour her child (Revised Version). A graphic picture of what is true of

Christ Himself of the Church, both Jewish and Christian, and of every

individual member of the Church. This is another example of the personal

history of Christ being repeated in the history of His Church. The devil, in

the person of Herod, attempts to prevent the salvation of the world;

through Pharaoh he endeavours to crush the chosen people of God,

through whom the Messiah was to bless all the earth; by means of the

power of Rome He labors to exterminate the infant Church of Christ.


When John tells us that the devils' tail drew a third of the stars of heaven

and threw them to earth, he is describing the original demonic uprising

against God.   Satan somehow managed to convince a third of all God's

angels to join him in his rebellion; these beings we now call "demons" or

"fallen angels." They serve Satan and play an important role in the

judgments of the Tribulation.   We see here, also, the woman about to birth,

and this is the birth of Jesus the Christ.   Satan used Herod to try to kill Jesus

the moment He was born. That was not God's plan, so Jesus was protected until

the time of the cross. This also indicates here the birth of the church, which the

devil has tried to devour every way he could.  (


This scene is behind Isaiah 14:12-15 and Ezekiel 28:16-17.  Christ had spoken of

the devil and his angels”  (Matthew 25:41)  Here for the first time we learn that

 these satanic angels constituted a third of all the angels.  When Satan was cast

to the earth from heaven, the great host who followed him in his rebellion were

also forced out of heaven, thereby becoming “The rulers of the darkness of this

world.”  (Ephesians 6:12)  When Satan was cast to the earth, he got a victory over

Eve but God had promised that the seed of the woman, in turn destroying Satan.

Thus began the agelong effort by Satan to thwart the fulfillment of the prophecy

by trying to destroy any who could possibly be the promised seed.  Many times

Satan attempted to destroy Christ before He could go to the cross.  When he was

unable to destroy Christ’s holiness at the temptation, he tried again and again to

slay Him, but always without success.  When the hour came, Christ went to the

cross that He might destroy him that had the power of death, that is the devil.

(Hebrews 2:14)  Also, Christ gave His life, no man took it from Him!  (John 10:17-18)

                                                                                (The Revelation Record – Henry Morris)


5 “And she brought forth a man child, who was to rule all nations with

a rod of iron: and her child was caught up unto God, and to His throne.”

And she brought forth a man child, who was to rule all nations with a rod of

iron; a son, a male — the Greek υἱόν, ἄρσενhuion arsenmale son; man

child -  renders it emphatic — who is to rule, as in the Revised Version; to rule, or

to govern as a shepherd (compare the verb in Matthew 2:6). This reference

and Psalm 2:9 leave no doubt as to the identification of the man child.

It is Christ who is intended. The same expression is used of Him in

Revelation 19., where He is definitely called the “Word of God.” And her

child was caught up unto God, and to His throne. The sentence seems

plainly to refer to the ascension of Christ and His subsequent abiding in

heaven, from whence He rules all nations. The seer, perhaps, wishes to

indicate at once the absolute immunity of Christ from any harm proceeding

from the power of the devil, whose efforts are henceforth directly aimed

only at the Church of Christ. Satan still hopes to injure Christ through His

members. As remarked above (see on v. 4), what is true of the personal

history of Christ is often true of His Church and of His true members. And

thus some have seen in this passage a picture of the woman, the Church,

bringing forth members, to devour whom is Satan’s constant purpose, but

who in God’s good time are taken to His throne to be near Himself.


This is speaking of Jesus Christ. Jesus was caught up unto God to set on the right

hand of God at the resurrection and is setting at the right hand of God. When He

returns, Jesus will rule all nations as Lord of lords and King of kings. During Jesus'

earthly, millennium kingdom, this rule is a breaking, and shattering work of

judgment.  An iron rod is one that cannot be broken and speaks of the

resoluteness of Christ's rule.   He will swiftly and immediately judge all sin

and put down any rebellion. (


That the primary fulfillment of this promise relates to Jesus Christ is clear from the reference

to Psalm 2:7-9.  Since the nations will not willingly submit themselves to God and His

Anointed One (ibid. v. 2), He will have to subdue them forcibly, and to reign over them with

a scepter of iron.  Christ is again identified thus when He finally conquers them as the

Victorious King of kings.  (ch. 19:5)  This promise applies also in a secondary sense to all

who genuinely believe on Him and are included among those who conquer with Him.  “And

he that overcometh, and keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the

nations:  And he shall rule them with a rod of iron; as the vessels of a potter shall they be

broken to shivers:  even as I received of my Father.”  (ch. 2:26-27)  The words “caught up”

precisely as those used in connection with the rapture of the believers at the return of Christ,

when we “shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air ”

(I Thessalonians 4:17)  (The Revelation Record – Henry Morris)


6 “And the woman fled into the wilderness, where she hath a place prepared

of God, that they should feed her there a thousand two hundred and threescore

days.”  And the woman fled into the wilderness. As with Christ, so

with His Church. His great trial took place in the wilderness; so the trial of

the Church occurs in the wilderness, by which figure the world is typified.

It is generally pointed out that this verse is here inserted in anticipation of

v. 14. We prefer rather to look upon it as occurring in its natural place,

the narrative being interrupted by vs. 7-13 in order to account for the

implacable hostility of the devil. Where she hath a place prepared of God.

א, A, B, P, and others insert ἐκεῖ - ekei as well as ὅπουhopou - where she there

hath, etc. — a redundancy which is an ordinary Hebraism. Though the

Church is “in the world,” she is not “of the world” (John 17:14-15);

though the woman is in the “wilderness,” her place is “prepared of God.”

The harlot’s abode (ch. 17.) is in the wilderness, and it is also of the

wilderness; it is not in a place specially prepared of God. That they should

feed her there a thousand two hundred and three score days. The

sense is the same as in v. 14, “that she should be sustained there.” The

interpretation of the 1260 days, or 3 ½ years, coincides here with that

adopted in ch.11:2. It describes the period of this world’s existence, during the

whole of which the devil persecutes the Church of God.  In ch.13:5, this is declared

to be the period of the power of the beast, that is, the world power. (For a

discussion of the whole subject of this period, see on ch. 11:2.)


The wilderness represents anywhere outside Palestine. During the last half of the

Tribulation period (1260 days is three and one half years), Israel will take refuge

among the Gentile nations, where God will care for her. (Perhaps through the

Gentile believers)   God will frustrate Satan's attempt to destroy Israel during

the Tribulation and will hide His people just as Jesus stated in Matthew 24:15-21.



Wherever they will end up, whether concentrated in one location such as Petra,

or scattered over the vast wilderness areas south and southeast of Jerusalem,

these godly people witll be under God’s special protection and will receive His

special provision!  Isaiah foresaw this time in these words:  “Come, my people,

enter thou into thy chambers, and shut thy doors about thee:  hide thyself as it

were for a little moment, until the indignation be overpast.  For behold, the

Lord cometh out of His place to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their

iniquity.”  (Isaiah 26:20-21)  In the “waste-howling wilderness,  there is surely

no food for a multitude of desolate Israelites to eat for 3 ½ years.  Nevertheless,

the Lord had fed several million of His people for forty long years in the desert

once before, and He can do it again.  The manna was called “angel’s food”

(Psalm 78:25 and, no doubt, angels again will be the instruments  God uses in

meeting this need.  (The Revelation Record – Henry Morris)


7 “And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the

dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels,  8 And prevailed not; neither

was their place found any more in heaven.”  And there was war in heaven.

The passage vs. 7-13 is an interruption of the narrative of the persecution of the

woman by Satan. It is caused, apparently, by a desire to account in some degree

for the relentless hostility of the devil towards God and His Church. Two

explanations of the passage may be referred to.


  • Vs. 7-13 relate to the period anterior to the Creation, concerning which we

have a slight hint in Jude 1:6. This, on the whole, seems to agree best with

the general sense of the chapter, and to present fewest difficulties. Thus:


Ø      It accounts for the insertion of the passage (see above).

Ø      The war is directly between the devil and Michael, not between the

devil and Christ, as at the Incarnation and Resurrection.

Ø      Vs. 8 -9 seem to require a more literal interpretation than that

which makes them refer to the effects of Christ’s resurrection.

Ø      It was not at the period of the Incarnation that the scene of Satan’s

opposition was transferred to the earth, as described in v. 12.

Ø      The song of the heavenly voice may be intended to end with the word

Christ (v. 10), and the following passages may be the words of the writer

of the Apocalypse, and may refer to the earthly martyrs (see on v. 10).

Ø      This attempt of the devil in heaven may be alluded to in John 1:5,

“The darkness overcame it not” (see also ibid. ch.12:35).


  • The passage may refer to the incarnation and resurrection of Christ, and

the victory then won over the devil. This interpretation renders the whole

passage much more figurative.


Ø      Michael is the type of mankind, which in the Person of Jesus Christ

vanquishes the devil.

Ø      Subsequent to the Resurrection Satan is no more allowed to accuse

men before God in heaven, as he has done previously (see Job chps.1 & 2;

Zechariah 3:1; I Kings 22:19-22); he is thus the accuser cast down

(v. 10), and his place is no more found in heaven (v. 8).

Ø      The earth and sea represent the worldly and tumultuous nations.

Perhaps the strongest argument in favor of the second view is found in

Luke 10:18 and John 12:31. Michael and his angels fought

against the dragon; Michael and his angels [going forth] to war with the

dragon (Revised Version). Michael (מָי־כאֵל;) signifies, “Who is like to

God?” We may compare this with the cry of the worldly inch.13:4,

“Who is like unto the beast?” In Daniel, Michael is the prince who stands

up for the people of Israel (Daniel 12. l; 10:13, 21). Michael, “the

archangel,” is alluded to in Jude 1:9 as the great opposer of Satan.

John, perhaps borrowing the name from Daniel, puts forward Michael

as the chief of those who remained faithful to the cause of God in the

rebellion of Satan and his angels. The angels of the dragon are the stars

of v. 4, which he drew with him to the earth, and possibly the reference

to this event in v. 4 gives rise to the account in vs. 7-13. Some

commentators interpret the war here described as that between the

Church and the world. Michael is thus made to be symbolical

of Christ, and some have no difficulty in indicating a particular man

(such as Licinius) as the antitype of the dragon. And the dragon

fought and his angels, and prevailed not; neither was their place

ound any more in heaven. The Greek is stronger, not even their place,

etc. Οὐδέ  - oudeneither -  is read in א, A, B, C, Andreas, Arethas;

οὔτε oute – neither -  is found in P, 1, 17, and others. So complete was

the defeat of Satan that he was no longer permitted to remain in heaven

in any capacity.


The vision of war in heaven anticipates Satan's exclusion from "heaven" and his restriction

to the earth during the last half of the Tribulation. Michael the archangel is the leader of

God's holy angels (Daniel 10:13,21; 12:1; Jude 1:9).  At some point of the Tribulation period,

God will empower Michael and his forces to cast Satan and his forces out of access to heaven,

so that Satan must thereafter confine his activities to the earthly sphere.  I believe there is an

order of command in heaven as there is here on the earth.  We see here, that not only the

church of the Lord Jesus Christ is being attacked here on the earth, but that there is war in

heaven as well. Here we see defeat of Satan to such an extent that he is not allowed in

heaven any more, not even to accuse the believers.  His defeat on the earth is complete as well.

His doom was sealed when Jesus died on the cross and was resurrected.  (


The angels are intensely concerned with all these events on earth.  It is the devil and

his angels who are bent on persecuting the woman; therefore, it is Michael and God’s

angels who will protect and feed her.  Satan has befouled the earth with his easy access

to people and even to accuse them before God as “the accuser of the brethren…which

accused them before our God day and night.”  (v. 10)  But this situation is about to be

ended.  No longer will Satan and his host contaminate the earth as business as usual.

“The heavens are the Lord’s.”  (Psalm 113:16)  Satan and  his angels have been allowed

to continue there for thousands of years, by God’ s grace and for man’s testing, BUT THE

TIME HAS COME TO EXPEL THEM!  This battle probably began before the Lord and

His holy angels descended from heaven to set up His judgment seat in the atmospheric

heavens where the demonic powers had held sway for ages. (ch. 4:2; I Thessalonians 4:16-17)

                                                                        (The Revelation Record – Henry Morris)


9 “And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the

Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out

into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.”

And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called

the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world; cast down

(Revised Version); the whole inhabited earth (Revised Version, margin).

“The dragon:” so called, because he is the destroyer (see on v. 3). “The

ancient serpent,” as he was revealed in Genesis 3. So in John 8:44 he is

the destroyer from the beginning.” “The devil” (" (ΔιάβολοςDiabolos) is the

Greek rendering of the Hebrew Satan, שָׂמָן, “the accuser, the adversary;”

reference is made in v. 10 to the signification of the name, “The Deceiver.” 

The deceits by which Satan cheated the world in oracles, sorcery, soothsaying,

magic, and other frauds, are here specially noticed. These were put to flight by

the power of Christ and of the Holy Ghost, in the preaching of the gospel by the

apostles and others in the first ages of Christianity. Our Lord Himself, speaking

of the consequence of the preaching of the seventy disciples, reveals the spiritual

struggle and the victory: ‘I was beholding Satan as lightning fall from

heaven’ (Luke 10:17-18).” He was cast out into the earth, and his

angels were cast out with him; cast down to the earth, etc. (Revised

Version). “To the earth” in a twofold sense:


  • the phrase is a description of the loss of dignity and power on the part

of Satan, in being cast to earth as opposed to heaven;


  • earth is the scene of his future operations, where he may still in some

degree sustain the struggle against God.


The evil one is given four designations:

                (1) Dragon pictures his monstrous character as the enemy of God;

                (2) Serpent connects him with the clever deception of Eve in Genesis 3;

                (3) Devil means "slanderer" (v. 10);

                (4) Satan means "Adversary" (I Peter 5:8).

He also deceiveth the whole world (20:8).  Notice we are told here, that the serpent

that tricked Eve was the devil as well.   You can call him by any name you want to.

If whatever you call him is evil, it is the devil or his handiwork.   Here we see that he

deceiveth (is continually deceiving) the whole world. The devil runs to and fro

throughout the earth seeking whom he may devour. The devil does not even bother

the lost at all.  He already has them. He is after the BELIEVER.  He comes to church

regularly, trying to coax you away. He brings false doctrine and strife in the church.

Check everyone and everything they say by the Word of God. The deceiver

will come dressed in sheep's clothing, Matthew 7:15 He plants doubt and fear

wherever he goes.  The devil is the very one who brings in the "feel good" religion.

Beware, he is a destroyer, he appealed to Eve's flesh and destroyed her. The flesh

is at war with the Spirit. DO NOT LISTEN TO THE FLESH.  (



Appropriately enough, this is the very middle verse of the Book of Revelation, and the event

it describes marks again the middle of the tribulation period.  The repetition of the names and

titles of the wicked one in this verse is striking – the great dragon, that old serpent, the Devil,

Satan.  There can surely be no doubt as to his identity.  The old serpent in Genesis is the great

dragon in Revelation, as well as the Satan who tested Job and the Devil who tempted Christ. 

He is the great enemy of God and of God’s people through the ages. He often appears deceptively

as an angel of light and a minister of righteousness (II Corinthians 11:14-15), but he is really a

hissing snake, and a fiery dragon, and a devouring lion (I Peter 5:8).  Note especially the amazing

assertion that he has been the deceiver of the whole world.  Educated and ignorant, king and

pauper, male and female, Jew and Gentile, strong and weak, young and old, black and white –

all are deceived by him.  All the world’s high-sounding philosophies, conceived ever so brilliantly

by profound thinkers –whether pragmatism, idealism, gnosticism, determinism, hedonism,

materialism, transcendentalism, existentialism, deism, or any of countless others, and regardless

of the eminence of the geniuses with whose names they are associated – Aristotelianism, Platonism,

Hegelianism, Marxism, Maoism. Confucianism, Buddhism, Kantianism, Freudianismall are

man-originated, man-centered, and man-honoring, rather than God-originated, God-centered, and

God-honoring.  They are all merely varieties of humanism, rather than theism, exalting man rather

than God and thus helping to carry out Satan’s attempt to dethrone God.  Furthermore, they are all

based on a denial of God’s Word as supreme – true and final.  They assert man’s reason in judgment

upon God’s Word.  “Yea, hath God said . . . ?”  (Genesis 3:1)  was Satan’s first deception, as

he tempted Eve, and he has followed the same procedure ever since.  If he can persuade men to

question, to doubt, to modify, to allegorize, to compromise God’s Word, and then finally to

disobey, reject, and destroy God’s Word, he will thereby defeat God’s purposes in creation,

and God Himself will then no more be God.  But how can he thus deceive the whole world into

rejecting God’s Word and believing the lie of humanism?  The answer, clearly, is by persuading

men that God is not the ultimate reality, and that the universe itself is the only eternal entity. 

Space, time, matter, energy, motion – these are the only eternal absolutes, and all other systems

(organic or inorganic, cosmic or atomic, physical or spiritual) are in a perpetual state of

evolutionary flux, ever changing and always relative.  Thus all the beliefs and philosophies

of men are humanistic philosophies, denying the absolutes of God and His Word, and all

humanism is based on the grand deception of evolutionism.  Small wonder that all religions

and philosophies of men, ancient or modern, naïve or sophisticated, are fundamentally

evolutionary systems, the only exceptions being those based on God’s word, the Bible.

The Devil has effectively deceived the whole world, therefore, utilizing the same monstrous

deception with which he has deceived himself.  He apparently believes, that, since matter is

the only ultimate reality, rather than the God who claimed to have created him, he can

somehow succeed in dethroning God and placing himself on God’s throne.  This is THE

CONFLICT OF THE AGES!  (The Revelation Record – Henry Morris)


10 “And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and

strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of His Christ: for the

accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God

day and night.”  And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven.  The “great

voice is characteristic of all the heavenly utterances (compare ch.5:2; 6:1, 10;

16:17, etc.). The personality of the speaker is not indicated.

From the following chorus the voice would seem to proceed from many

inhabitants of heaven. Now is come salvation, and strength, and the

kingdom of our God, and the power of His Christ; the salvation and the

power, and the kingdom of our God, and the authority of His Christ

(Revised Version). The Revised Version marginal reading may also be

noticed, Now is the salvationbecome our God’s, and the authority [is

become] His Christ’s. The heavenly inhabitants celebrate the triumphant

confirmation of God’s supremacy, which has been vindicated by the defeat

and expulsion of the rebellious hosts. “The salvation of God” (σωτηρία

sotaeria ) is that which proceeds from Him; that salvation which belongs to

God as its Author; compare ch. 7:10; 19:1. “The authority of his

Christ” is first manifested in heaven; Satan is cast down to the earth, and

here again at a subsequent epoch the authority of Christ is displayed, and

another victory won over the devil. This seems to be the conclusion of the

heavenly song. As before stated (see on v. 7), the three and a half verses

now concluded seem to relate to a period previous to the creation of the

world. It seems equally probable that the following two and a half verses

refer to those earthly martyrs and suffering Christians for whom this book

is specially written. These two views can be reconciled by supposing the

song of the heavenly voice to cease at the word “Christ” (v. 10); and

then the writer adds words of his own, as if he would say, “The cause of

the victorious song which I have just recited was the fact that the devil was

cast down, the same who is constantly accusing (κατηγορῶν – ho kataegoron

the accuser) our brethren. But they (our brethren) overcame him, and valued not

their lives, etc. Well may ye heavens rejoice over your happy lot, though it means

woe to the earth for a short time.” For the accuser of our brethren is cast

down, which accused them before our God day and night. The one

accusing them (κατηγορῶν ); not the past tense. Satan does not cease

to accuse, though he may not do so with effect, since he may be overcome

by the “blood of the Lamb.”  The heavenly beings are henceforth beyond his

reach. He can yet accuse men — our brethren — says John; but even

here his power is limited by the victory of THE DEATH AND RESURRECTION

OF CHRIST referred to in v. 5. “Accuser (κατηγορῶν) is found in א, B, C, P,

Andreas, Arethas. The form κατήγωρkataegor -  found in A, is rather the Targumic

and rabbinic corruption of the word קטיגור, than the Greek word itself.

“Of our brethren,” the saints and martyrs (see above); “is cast down” (or,

was cast down”) from heaven.


The words salvation, strength (δύναμις - dunamis - power), kingdom, and ἐξουσία

exousia - authority) all refer to the coming of the millennial kingdom of Christ.

He (the devil) is tossed out once and for all time. His day is over. The last half of

the Tribulation will be a time of terrible trouble on earth (Jeremiah 30:7; Daniel 9:27; 12:1;

Zephaniah 1:15; Matthew 24:15-22). It will be Satan's final attempt to prevent the return

and the reign of Christ. He has only a short time to try to prevent the establishment of

Christ's kingdom so his wrath intensifies of his persecution of Israel, God's chosen nation.



When the heavens are finally cleansed of all the demonic powers and Satan himself is gone, this

will be the signal for a glad cry of victory from all the multitudes assembled at the throne in the

heavens.  Probably this very throne will have been the objective of the attack by hell’s angels,

since it was this throne that Satan coveted, but now it is fully secure and the attacking hosts are

gone. The coming of God’s kingdom and the reign of Christ, already celebrated a number of

times by the redeemed throng in heaven, is again the object of their thankful praise.  A special

object of thanksgiving is the fact that Satan no longer will have personal access to God, which

privilege he has abused for ages by continual accusations against the redeemed.  Of course,

when such accusations are made (no doubt often justified in part, though probably also

distorted and magnified), the Lord Jesus Christ is our intercessor and advocate (Hebrews

7:25; I John 2:1), and His blood is a perpetual offering and cleansing agent for our sins

(i John 1:7, 2:2).  Nevertheless, Satan’s repeated presence and disturbing charges against

fellow believers still on earth constitute an intensive irritant in heaven, and great will be

the exultation when he is finally deposed completely.  (The Revelation Record – Henry Morris)


11 “And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word

of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.”

And they overcame him (compare the frequent references to those

who overcome, and the promises made to them, Revelation 2.; 3.; 21:7,

etc.). The reference “they” is to “our brethren,” the accused ones of v.10.

By the blood of the Lamb; because of the blood, etc. (Revised

Version). That is, “the blood of the Lamb” is the ground or reason of their

victory, not the instrument. So in ch.1:9, “I John… was in the

island called Patmos, because of the Word of God (διὰ τὸν λόγον dia ton logon –

because of the word)” (compare ch.6:9). “The Lamb,” who was seen “as it had

been slain” (ch.5:6) — Christ.  And by the word of their testimony; and on

account of the word, etc.  The one phrase is the natural complement of the other.

“The blood of the Lamb” would have been shed in vain without the testimony,

 the outcome of the faith of his followers; that testimony would have been impossible

without the shedding of the blood. And they loved not their lives unto

the death; their life even unto death. That is, they valued not their life in

this world, even to the extent of meeting death for the sake of giving their

testimony. There is no article in the Greek, merely ἄχρι θανάτον achri thanaton

until death - so also in the same phrase in Acts 22:4. The article of the Authorized

Version in Acts 22:4 is probably derived from Wickliffe’s Bible; that in the

present passage, from Tyndale’s.


Victory is Theirs - Thank God that His Word does not leave the story of the Tribulation

saints with their earthly demise, but loudly proclaims their ultimate victory through the

blood of the Lamb. The "they" here are the Christians. When Jesus shed His blood on

Calvary and became the perfect Lamb sacrifice once for all time, Satan was defeated.

You can see here the word of our testimony is when we open our mouths and declare

that we believe Jesus Christ is Lord, and also believe He rose from the grave; we will

be saved. We must proclaim this, even if we know it will mean our life. We are not to

regard life here on this earth as very valuable. The life that is important is in heaven.

(Matthew 19-21 – CY – 2015)  This world is not the Christian's home. WE ARE



The saints at the throne in heaven gladly give their witness to the faithfulness of the suffering

saints who had just lately been experiencing demonic persecution on earth and satanic

accusation in heaven.  As always, victory over sin and Satan had been achieved by the two-edged

sword of faith and confession.  The blood of the Lamb had been the necessary and sufficient price

of their forgiveness and redemption, and they had believed and received this in their hearts.  But

that same Redeemer had also said they must confess this faith openly on earth, thus proving it to

be genuine faith, before He would confess them as His own to His Father at the throne in heaven

(Matthew 10:32-33).  This is the testimony of many Scriptures. 


  • “If thou shalt confess with thy mouth . . . and believe in thine heart . . . thou shalt be saved”

        (Romans 10:9). 

  • “Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight,

         O Lord, my strength, and my redeemer” (Psalm 19:14). 

  • “But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to

        every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear”

        (I Peter 3:15).

 Furthermore these tribulation saints (like many others through the ages) had maintained their

inward faith and outward testimony even in the face of martyrdom.  Satan’s slanders against the

saints become hollow (as did his accusations against Job) and empty when they prove the

genuineness of their faith even in the presence of opposition and ridicule, of suffering and death.

                                                                                                (The Revelation Record – Henry Morris)


12 “Therefore rejoice, ye heavens, and ye that dwell in them. Woe to the

inhabiters of the earth and of the sea! for the devil is come down unto you,

having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time.”

Therefore rejoice, ye heavens, and ye that dwell in them;

O heavens (Revised Version). Κατοικοῦντες katoikountes  - that dwell, is read in

א, 26, 29, 30, 31, 98, Andreas, Vulgate, Primasius, Memphitie, Armenian.

The Revisers have followed the common reading of σκηνοῦντεςskaenountes -

tabernacled, which is found in the majority of manuscripts. There is no sense of

transitoriness in John’s use of σκηνόωskaenoodwell - rather one of repose and

tranquillity (compare ch.7:15).  Κατασκηνοῦντες kataskaenountes  is found in C.

So in ch.13:6 the abiding place of God is called his tabernacle. These are the words

of the writer (see on v. 10). The cause for this rejoicing has been given in v. 9; the

devil having been cast out, those in heaven enjoy absolute immunity from

all harm which he can work. Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of

the sea! Woe for the earth and for the sea! (Revised Version). A few cursives

give τοῖς κατοίκουσιν tois katoikousin - to the dwellers. The influence of the

devil works woe to the whole world — to the human inhabitants, to the

animal and vegetable life of the earth which was cursed for man’s sake (compare

Genesis 3:17). For the devil is come down unto you, having great

wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time; or, came

down (aorist). A short season” (καιρός kairos) in which to exist in the world.

His wrath, kindled by his ejection from heaven, is the greater because of

the comparative shortness of his reign on earth. This “short season” is the

period of the world’s existence from the advent of Satan till the final

judgment. It is short in comparison with eternity, and it is frequently thus

described in the New Testament (Romans 9:28; I Corinthians 7:29; and

here, ch.3:11, etc.). It is the “little time” of ch. 6:11; the “little season” of

ch.20:3, during which Satan must be loosed. Here ends the digression

descriptive of the struggle in heaven before the creation of the world, and

the following verses take up and continue the narrative which was interrupted

after v. 6.


Here we Christians are told to look up and rejoice when we see terrible things happening,

because our redemption draweth nigh. (Luke 21:28)  The devil, even now, is in an all out

push to destroy the church as it used to be fifty years ago. He realizes his time is running out,

and he is working on the believers, trying to convert them to his way. His scheme is to tell

us not to be a radical Christian. He is trying to make us not take God real seriously. He

doesn't mind going to most churches, because he hears very little pure Word of God and

no sermons on the blood. Watering down Jesus is one of his favorite tools to destroy the

church.  It will be Satan's final attempt to prevent the return and the reign of Christ. He

has only a short time to try to prevent the establishment of Christ's kingdom. Therefore

he has great wrath and intensifies his persecution of Israel, God's chosen nation, which

setting up his own counterfeit kingdom through the Beast, the false messiah.



While all those who have been translated to heaven can experience great joy at Satan’s

final exile from heaven, it will be a great woe for those on earth.  Those who are already

believers there, both Jews and Gentiles (as well as those Bible-believing Israelites who

have yet to acknowledge Christ) will undergo the most severe persecutions to which

Satan and his angels can subject them, seeking either to slay them in his bitter resentment

and wrath or at least to eliminate their usefulness to God on earth.  All the other inhabitants

of earth he knows must be organized quickly into a massive army against God.  His angelic

hosts have proven insufficient, but there may be the one last chance that these can be

supplemented with the two billion or more ungodly men and women still left on earth. 

It is a foolish and desperate hope, but it is all he has.  Furthermore, he well knows that

God’s calendar has only allowed him another forty-two months, so his time is running out. 

The inhabitants of the earth and sea must be quickly sealed in their own rejection of God,

both to assure his control over them and to cheat God of any further souls for His kingdom.

But who are the inhabiters of the sea?”  Actually the words “the inhabiters of” do not

appear in the oldest manuscripts, though they are in the received text.  However, the

pronouncement of woe on the land and sea merely in their physical structures would

seem pointless, so that their inhabitants are at least included by implication.  In any case,

it is likely that the term applies to the not inconsiderable number of people who spend

most of their time on the sea (fishermen, merchant seamen, navy personnel, houseboat

dwellers).  Both boat people and land dwellers are the objects of Satan’s wrathful

purposes.  This is the pronouncement of the third “woe” (compare Revelation 8:13; 9:14). 

Satan’s wrath and the sounding of the seventh trumpet both persist throughout the entire

second half of the tribulation.  This verse is the middle verse, not of the entire Book of

Revelation  (v. 9), but of chapters 4 through 19, which are the chapters comprising the

tribulation period.  (The Revelation Record – Henry Morris)


13 “And when the dragon saw that he was cast unto the earth, he

persecuted the woman which brought forth the man child.”

(For an explanation of the characters here alluded to, see on the previous verses.)

The devil, defeated in his attempts against God in heaven, and foiled in his

attack upon the man child — Christ Jesus (see v. 5), now directs his

efforts against the woman — the Church. The interpretation must not be

confined to one peculiar form of evil which assails the Church, but must

include all — the bodily persecutions with which those to whom John

wrote were afflicted, the heresies which arose in the Church, the

lukewarnmess of her members (ch.3:16), and all others.


No longer able to combat his enemies in heaven, either human or angelic, Satan will seek to

vent his wrath on Israel.  It is he, no doubt, who constrains the beast to break the covenant

with Israel and to insist that men worship the beast’s own image, and it will be Satan who

will instruct his man of sin to seek to destroy the Jews when they refuse.  The Jewish people

have been persecuted longer than any other nation in history, and this last persecution will

have the purpose of their complete and final destruction.  God, however, will once again

intervene on their behalf, and they will be protected there in their place in the wilderness. 

Furthermore, God will use this time for intensive instruction and reconciliation with His

ancient people, preparing them to receive the Lord Jesus as their Messiah and Savior

when He comes to the earth again at the end of their three-and-a-half year exile:

“Therefore, behold, I will allure her, and bring her into the wilderness, and speak

comfortably unto her. . . .  And I will betroth thee unto me for ever; yea, I will betroth

thee unto me in righteousness, and in judgment, and in lovingkindness and in mercies. . . .

and I will say to them which were not my people, Thou art my people; and they shall say,

Thou art my God” (Hosea 2:14-23).  (The Revelation Record – Henry Morris)


14 “And to the woman were given two wings of a great eagle, that she

might fly into the wilderness, into her place, where she is nourished

for a time, and times, and half a time, from the face of the serpent.”

And to the woman were given two wings of a great eagle.

“The two wings of the great eagle” is found in most authorities, though a

omits both the articles. The symbol of the eagle is a common one in the

Old Testament, and this may account for the presence of the article. The

escape of the Jewish Church from the power of Pharaoh, and her

preservation in the wilderness, are referred to under a like figure (see

Exodus 19:4; Deuteronomy 32:11, “Ye have seen what I did unto

the Egyptians, and how I bare you on eagles’ wings, and brought you unto

myself). The natural enmity between the eagle and the serpent is alluded

to.  “The two wings” may typify the Old and New Testaments, by the authority

of which the Church convicts her adversaries, and by which she is supported

during her period of conflict with the devil.  That she might fly into the

wilderness, into her place. The reference to the flight of Israel from Egypt

is still carried on. “Her place” is the “place prepared of God” (v. 6). The Church,

though in the world, is not of the world (see on v. 6). Where she is nourished

 for a time, and times, and half a time, from the face of the serpent. Still the

history of Israel is borne in mind. As the chosen people were nourished in the

wilderness, so the Church of God is sustained in her pilgrimage on earth.

The redundant δπον ἐκεῖ  - dron ekei - where there, follows the analogy of the

Hebrew (see on v. 6). “The time, times, and half a time,” is the period elsewhere

described as 42 months, 1260 days, 3.5 years. It denotes the period of the existence

of this world (see on ch.11:2). The expression is taken from Daniel 7:25; 12:7.

By this verse and v. 6 is established the identity of the two expressions — 1260 days,

and the time, times, and half a time (i.e. one year + two years + half a year). The plural

καιροί  - kairoi - is used for “two times,” as no dual occurs in the Greek of the New

Testament.  The construction (τρέφεται ἀπὸ προσώπου  τοῦ ὄφεωςtrephetai apo

 prosopou tou opeos - , nourished from the face of the serpent), is built upon the

analogy of the Hebrew. The “serpent” is the “dragon” of v. 13 (compare v. 9, “the

great dragon, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan”). The two words are

used as convertible terms (compare v. 17, where he is again called “the dragon”).


The wings of a great eagle represent swift escape from persecution. The eagle in many

instances in the Bible is symbolic of God. I believe, it means that God will protect us

in the midst of the problems. This I believe is what the "sealing of the believers" is all

about. That phrase comes from Daniel 12:11. This refers to the second half of the

Tribulation which begins by the abomination of desolation. In Matthew 24:15 Jesus said

"When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the

 prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand)."

During this time, God protects Israel from the Satan who may know where the Jews

are hiding, but will be unable to get at them because of GOD’S DIVINE PROTECTION!



The urgency of the woman’s flight is reiterated here.  In order to escape the wrath of the beast,

she required special help, “two wings of a great eagle.”  The meaning of this figure is not clear

except that it implies MIRACULOUS HELP!  There is probably an allusion to Exodus 19:4. 

“Ye have seen what I did unto the Egyptians, and how I bare you on eagles’ wings, and brought

you unto myself.”  In this case, the figure certainly refers to the many miracles by which the Lord

brought Israel out of Egypt.  (“According to the days of thy coming out of the land of Egypt will

I show unto him marvelous things.”  Micah 7:15; see also Zechariah 14:3 – CY – 2015) 

Once the woman  reaches her place prepared by God, she will be “nourished” (same word as

feed in v. 6), and this no doubt will also require miraculous provision.  The duration

(“time and times and half a time”) is clearly the same period as the 1,260 days of v. 6. 

The use of this unusual terminology here is probably for the purpose of tying it in to Daniel

7:25 and 12:7, where the same terminology appears, also referring to the second half of the

tribulation.  The woman is nourished in the very “face of the serpent.”  Try as he will Satan

is unable to reach and destroy the woman in the wilderness. 

                                                            (The Revelation Record – Henry Morris)


15 “And the serpent cast out of his mouth water as a flood after the

woman, that he might cause her to be carried away of the flood.”

cast out of his mouth after the woman water as a rivercarried

away by the river. A flood, in the Old Testament, has several significations.

It frequently expresses overwhelming misfortune. Thus Psalm 69:15,

“Let not the waterflood overflow me;” Psalm 90:5, “Thou carriest them

away as with a flood” (compare also Daniel 9:26; 11:22; Isaiah 59:19;

Jeremiah 46:7; Amos 9:5, etc.). The flood is typical of every form

of destruction with which the devil seeks to overwhelm the Church of God.

At the period of the writing of the Apocalypse, it plainly symbolized the

bitter persecutions to which Christians were subjected; but its meaning

need not be limited to this one form of destruction. Thus all those writers

are correct, so far as they go, who interpret the flood of the Mohammedan

power, of heresy, of the Gothic invasion, etc.


The flood symbolizes overwhelming evil and persecution. This imagery symbolizes

trouble in general. Satan's forces will sweep towards the Jew's hiding place like a

great flood so as to be drown, killed or consumed by them.  (



The most probable meaning of the sign is that of an overwhelming army dispatched by the beast,

as instigated by the serpent.   This would be the obvious reaction of the irate dictator when the

Jews suddenly flee Jerusalem, and such a meaning is also consistent with the use of the same

figure of speech in the Old Testament.  For example, when the Egyptian armies came against

Babylon, Jeremiah said: Egypt riseth up like a flood, and his waters are moved like the rivers;

and he saith, I will go up, and will cover the earth; I will destroy the city and the inhabitants

thereof (Jeremiah 46:8).  Note also Jeremiah 47:2 and Daniel 11:26. Whatever the meaning of the

figure, Satan will mount what would seem to be an invincible attack against the godly remnant of

Israel in their desert stronghold.  But God is equal to the need.  “When the enemy shall come in like a

flood, the Spirit of the Lord shall lift up a standard against him” (Isaiah 59:19).  “If it had not been

the Lord who was on our side, now may Israel say . . . Then the waters had overwhelmed us, the

 stream had gone over our soul; Then the proud waters had gone over our soul, Blessed be the Lord,

who hath not given us a prey to their teeth” (Psalm 124:1-6).  (The Revelation Record – Henry Morris)


16 “And the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened her mouth,

and swallowed up the flood which the dragon cast out of his mouth.”

swallowed up the river (Revised Version). “The earth”

frequently, but not invariably, in the Revelation signifies “the wicked.” It is

doubtful, therefore, how far the figure here employed should be pressed.

What is certain is that the writer intends to express the idea that the Church

is preserved in a wonderful and even miraculous way from the efforts of

the devil. Further than this we cannot proceed safely. Possibly we may see

in the passage an allusion to the world embracing Christianity, by which the

instrument of Satan’s ill will became a defense to the Church; though an

earlier period and earlier deliverances seem more likely to be intended

(such as the conversion of Paul); for after endeavoring to destroy the

woman at one stroke, the dragon proceeds to war with her seed. The

words recall another incident in the history of the Israel’s flight from

Egypt and sojourn in the wilderness, viz. that of the destruction of Korah

and his company; though, of course, the nature of the incidents is not the

same in both cases.


With all his wrath and all his cleverness and all his power, the old dragon

cannot reach one who is under God’s protection, for “greater is He that is

in you, than he that is in the world” (I John 4:4).  The overflowing horde

of men and weapons sent after the Jews in the wilderness by the beast

(if that, indeed, is what the river from the serpent’s mouth depicts),

though infinitely superior to the unarmed refugees in might, is utterly

unable to conquer them or even to reach them.  A great chasm will open

in the earth, already trembling and unstable from the worldwide earth

movements of the tribulation period, and swallow them up.  Such a terrestrial

miracle is quite appropriate in the context.  The whole situation is analogous

to the pursuit of the children of Israel by Pharaoh at the time of Exodus.

When the Egyptian armies were drowned in the Red Sea, Miriam sang of the

deliverance in these words: “Thou stretchest out thy right hand, the earth

swallowed them” (Exodus 15:12).  Whatever the exact fulfillment of this

prophecy may entail, it is calamitous and devastating to the purposes of the

beast and the dragon.  By the same token, their miraculous deliverance and

sustenance will be traumatically persuasive to the Jewish men and women,

trembling in their place of refuge.  “As I live, saith the Lord God, surely with

a mighty hand, and with a stretched out arm, and with fury poured out, will

I rule over you: . . . And I will bring you into the wilderness of the people, and

 there will I plead with you face to face.  Like as I pleaded with your fathers

in the wilderness of the land of Egypt, so will I plead with you, saith the Lord God. 

And I will cause you to pass under the rod, and I will bring you into the bond of

the covenant” (Ezekiel 20:33-37).   As the forty years in the wilderness prepared the

people of Israel in olden times to enter the land of Canaan, so these three-and-a-half

years in the wilderness will make them ready to receive Christ and enter the glorious

kingdom age of the millennium.  But, although this Jewish remnant is to be the nucleus

of the millennial kingdom of Israel, there are many other believers (or potential

believers) still scattered around in all the nations of the world.  These are also of

concern both to the dragon and to the Lord.  (The Revelation Record – Henry Morris)


17 “And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war

with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of

God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.”

And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to

make war with the remnant of her seed; waxed wrothwent away to

make, etc. (Revised Version). Having failed to prevent the mission of the

man child — Christ Jesus — and having been foiled in his attempts to

overwhelm the Church of God, Satan proceeds to attack the individual

members of the Church — the seed of the woman. The method by which

he endeavors to do this is related in the following chapters.  The “rest of

her seed” (Revised Version) signifies all the children of the woman,

excluding the man child of v. 5. All members of the Church of God are

thus  referred to, those who are brethren of Christ (compare Hebrews 2:11,

“For which cause he is not ashamed to call them brethren”). Which keep

the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ

(nearly all manuscripts omit “Christ”); hold the testimony (Revised

Version). This plainly points out who are the “rest of the seed” — they are

those who are God’s faithful servants. We may see in the description a

reference to the Church of God, both Jewish and Christian. The members

of the Jewish Church were they to whom “the commandments of God”

were specially revealed, and Christians are they who specially “hold the

testimony of Jesus.” (For an explanation of the latter phrase, see on ch.1:2.)


.We have now reached another stage in the history of the warfare carried on

by the devil against God.


  • Vs. 7-12 of this chapter describe the origin of the hostility of Satan towards God;
  • vs. 4-5 relate the attempts of the devil to destroy Christ and to thwart his mission;
  • vs. 13-16 refer to the attacks of Satan upon the Church of God, by which he hoped

      to destroy it as a whole, before there was time for the “seed” to spring up.


Having failed in every attempt, the dragon now sends other agents by whom he

hopes to destroy the individual members of the Church — the other seed of the

woman — the brethren of Christ.


This is likened to the army of Pharaoh's when all of his chariots were destroyed in Exodus 15.

Verse 12 states: You stretched out your right Hand, the earth swallowed them."

This really angers Satan. He cannot get to Jesus, as we said before, so he is venting his

anger on the followers of Jesus. Notice here that there is only a remnant left that has not

fallen for the devils false doctrine. A remnant means a very small portion that is left.

You see here, that this small portion (remnant) of Christians are still keeping God's

commandants, and even though the opposition has been great, they still have given the

testimony of Jesus Christ. These two names (Jesus, Christ) together mean The Savior,

the Anointed One.  The remnant may be a reference either to:


  • Jewish believers, who have refused to worship Satan and his Beast or
  • Gentile Believers, who are the seed of Abraham through Christ



When the dragon cannot reach the woman herself (and certainly he can no longer touch the true

seed, Jesus Christ), he will direct his full wrath against “the remnant of her seed.”  Thus, his age-long

vendetta against “the seed of the woman” (Genesis 3:15) will continue right to the very end of the

age and his final incarceration in the lake of fire. When the Jews flee Jerusalem into the wilderness

at the midpoint of the tribulation, there will undoubtedly be many who remain behind.  Some will

prefer compromise, some will be unaware of the danger or ignorant of the Scriptures, and some

will simply be unable to flee for one reason or another.  In any case, there will be considerable

numbers of Israelis who will continue to live in Jerusalem and  other parts of Israel; and these

also are referred to in a number of biblical prophecies.  Furthermore, there will still be many

Israelites in other nations, and these too are included in the prophecies.  All of these will

undergo severe persecution at the end-times, by virtue of being Jews, and for refusing the

mark of the beast.  It is remarkable that such a small and apparently insignificant nation as Israel

could be the focus of so much attention and concern from all the great nations of the world. 

It is equally remarkable that the Israelites who have been scattered around the nations of the

world for thousands of years still retain their national identity and still feel that the land of

Israel is their home land.  Even today world attention is focused on Israel, as well as on world

Jewry.  In the imminent prophetic future, as already discussed (Chapter 6) is the invasion of

Israel by Russia, followed by the catastrophic defeat of Russian and the resulting rise of the

western alliance (NATO and the Common Market) into a state of world preeminence.  Even

then, attention will still center on Israel, and a prominent leader of this alliance (soon identified

also as the beast, the man of sin, the Antichrist, the final world dictator before the triumph of

Christ) will make his seven-year treaty with Israel, then break it at its midpoint.  Many Jews will

have returned to Israel in the first three-and-a-half years, but many will still be scattered.  And

wherever they are, the beast will seek to persecute them, and God will thereby chastise them, in

hopes they can be delivered from their unbelief and finally brought to acknowledge the

 Lord Jesus as their Messiah and Savior.  Many Scriptures deal with their great tribulation and

final restoration.  For example, Jeremiah says: “For, lo, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will

bring again the captivity of my people Israel and Judah, saith the Lord: and I will cause them to

return to the land that I gave to their fathers, and they shall possess it. . . . Alas! for that day is

great, so that none is like it: it is even the time of Jacob’s trouble, but he shall be saved out of it. . . .

For I am with thee, saith the Lord, to save thee: though I make a full end of all nations whither

 I have scattered thee, yet will I not make a full end of thee: but I will correct thee in measure,

and will not leave thee altogether unpunished” (Jeremiah 30:3-11).  Note also many other

Scriptures to this effect (Leviticus 26:40-45; Deuteronomy 30:1-5; Isaiah 11:10-16; 27:6-13;

Jeremiah 23:3-8; 31:7-11; 32:37-41; (I reccommend  Jeremiah ch. 23 v. 6 – Jehovah Tsidkenu

Names of God by Nathan Stone – this website – CY – 2015) Ezekiel 34:11-16; 36:22-28; and

Daniel 12:1).  In fact, great portions of the books of the Old Testament prophets, especially Isaiah,

deal with the sufferings and promised blessings of the scattered remnants of Israel during the tribulation

period.  Apparently there will also be many Gentiles in the nations of the world who will become

believers during this period.  Ch. 7:9-14 speaks of a great multitude from all nations who come out of

the great tribulation and will then be martyred during its second half.  Some will survive, however, and

will constitute the remnant who will populate the millennial world when Christ returns. All of these,

also, are included among the seed of the woman, with whom the dragon will engage in mortal

combat during the last three-and-a-half years – the Great Tribulation.  It is these who “keep the

commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.”  The old serpent – as well as the

beast, the serpent’s seed, and all his other multitudes of demonic followers and human spiritual

progeny – hate these people with diabolic passion, making war on them in unremitting intensity

and ferocity.  But despite all such persecutions, they love not their lives unto death, maintaining

the testimony of Jesus Christ” and seeking to “keep the commandments of God.”  Some modern

Christians, who carry dispensational distinctions to an extreme, would suggest that keeping God’s

commandments somehow mitigates against a testimony for Christ and salvation by grace, but these

tribulation saints certainly find the two compatible, even in the most difficult circumstances that

godly men and women will ever have to endure.  (The Revelation Record – Henry Morris)


"Excerpted text Copyright AGES Library, LLC. All rights reserved.

Materials are reproduced by permission."


This material can be found at:


If this exposition is helpful, please share with others