The fourth vision begins in 11:19 and goes through 14:20. In 11:19 John says he saw into the temple of God in heaven. The twelfth chapter begins, "And a great sign was seen in heaven." In Johnís writings the word sign means something that points beyond itself. The sign here is the woman in heaven. The word sign is used seven times in Revelation, 12:1,3; 13:13,14; 15:1; 16:14; and 19:20. The woman is a symbol of Israel. In the Old Testament Israel is pictured as a woman and God as her husband. The womanís clothing is described. She is clothed with the sun; the moon is at her feet; and she has a crown of 12 stars. This is surely a reference to Gen. 37:9-10, which are the words of Joseph to his brothers. The woman is about to give birth to a child. At this point another sign was seen in heaven. This is a red dragon with seven heads, ten horns and seven crowns on the beast. The sign is seen in the color, the number of heads, crowns and horns. The seven heads and the ten horns symbolize the same seven world kingdoms as those referred to on the beast in 13:1-4 and 17:1-18. The dragon is cast down to the earth and his tail drags a third of the stars down to the earth. This has reference to the fall of Satan and a third of the angels who fell with him, Isa. 14:12- 14; Ezekiel 28:11-17 and Luke 1-:18. In verse 9, the dragon is named as the Devil and Satan. Devil is the Greek name, and Satan is the Hebrew name. The dragon seeks to devour the boy child when he is born. This child is the Christ child, and the dragon is Satan trying to destroy him through Herod. In verse 5, it says the child was caught up into heaven. This refers to Jesusí ascension. Another very unlikely interpretation that has been given to this is that the child born to the woman symbolizes the 144,000 Jews saved during the tribulation.

In verses 7-12 there is war in the heavens. This is the last desperate struggle between Satanís angels and Godís angels. Heaven in verse 7 does not necessarily refer to the place where God dwells. The atmosphere of the earth is the first heaven, Eph. 2:2, Matt. 6:26; 8:20. The stars are the second heaven, Matt. 24:29; Mk. 13:25. The third heaven is where God dwells, II Cor. 12:2. This section fulfills Dan. 9:20. In the phrase "neither was their place found any more in heaven" has in it the idea that they once had their place established. This place is revealed in Eph. 2:2. They are now cast down to the earth. This is the only place in the Scripture where it actually says that Satan was cast from heaven down to the earth. Satan sees that his time is short, and he tries to destroy the woman and the remnant of her seed. The remnant is always used of Israel.


TEXT w/ Scofield Notes]

(Rev 12:1 KJV) And there appeared a great wonder in heaven; a woman[1] clothed with the sun, and the moon[2] under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars[3]:

1 "WOMAN": <Israel> (history): vv. 1 - 17; Rev 21:12. (Gen 12:2; Rom 11:26, note)

2 "MOON": Cp. Gen 37:9

3 "STARS": Cp. Rev 7:4 - 8

(Rev 12:2 KJV) And she being with child cried, travailing in birth, and pained to be delivered[1].

1 "DELIVERED": Isa 66:7 -10; cp. Mic 4:10

(Rev 12:3 KJV) And there appeared another wonder in heaven; and behold a great red dragon[1], having seven heads[2] and ten horns[3], and seven crowns[4] upon his heads.

1 "DRAGON": <Satan:> vv. 3 - 7; Rev 12:9. (Gen 3:1; Rev 20:10)

2 "HEADS": Cp. Rev 13:1

3 "HORNS": Cp. Dan 7:7

4 "CROWNS": Lit. <diadems>

(Rev 12:4 KJV) And his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven[1], and did cast them to the earth[2]: and the dragon[3] stood before the woman which was ready to be delivered, for to devour her child as soon as it was born[4].

1 "HEAVEN": Rev 8:12

2 "EARTH": Cp. Dan 8:10

3 "DRAGON": <Satan:> vv. 3 - 7; Rev 12:9. (Gen 3:1; Rev 20:10)

4 "BORN": Mat 2:16

(Rev 12:5 KJV) And she brought forth a man child, who[1] was to rule all nations with a rod of iron: and her child was caught up unto God, and to his throne[2].

1 "WHO": i.e. <Christ.> Ps 2:8 - 9; Rev 2:27; 19:15; cp. Isa 9:6 - 7

2 "THRONE": Luke 24:51; Acts 1:9 - 11

(Rev 12:6 KJV) And the woman fled into the wilderness[1], where she hath a place prepared of God, that they should feed her there a thousand two hundred and threescore days[2].

1 "WILDERNESS": 12:14

2 "DAYS": Rev 11:2,3; 13:5; cp. Dan 9:27; see Rev 7:14 and 11:2, notes

(Rev 12:7 KJV) And there was war in heaven: Michael[1] and his angels[2] fought against the dragon[3]; and the dragon fought and his angels[4],

1 "MICHAEL": Dan 10:21; Jude 9

2 "ANGELS": See Heb 1:4, note

3 "DRAGON": <Satan:> vv. 3 - 7; Rev 12:9. (Gen 3:1; Rev 20:10)

4 "ANGELS": See Heb 1:4, note

(Rev 12:8 KJV) And prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven.

(Rev 12:9 KJV) And the great dragon[1] was cast out, that old[2] serpent[3], called the Devil[4], and Satan[5], which deceiveth[6] the whole world[7]: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels[8] were cast out with him.

1 "DRAGON": <Satan:> vv. 9 - 17; 13:1; Rev 20:2. (Gen 3:1; Rev 20:10)

2 "OLD": Gen 3:1; Isa 14:12 -19

3 "SERPENT": <Satan:> vv. 9 - 17; 13:1; Rev 20:2. (Gen 3:1; Rev 20:10)

4 "DEVIL": <Satan:> vv. 9 - 17; 13:1; Rev 20:2. (Gen 3:1; Rev 20:10)

5 "SATAN": <Satan:> vv. 9 - 17; 13:1; Rev 20:2. (Gen 3:1; Rev 20:10)

6 "DECEIVETH": Cp. 2 Cor 4:4; 11:14

7 "WORLD": Gk. <oikoumene.> See Luke 2:1, note

8 "ANGELS": See Heb 1:4, note

(Rev 12:10 KJV) And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation[1], and strength, and the kingdom of our God[2], and the power of his Christ: for the accuser[3] of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night.

1 "SALVATION": See Rom 1:16, note

2 "GOD": See Rev 20:4, note

3 "ACCUSER": <Satan:> vv. 9 - 17; 13:1; Rev 20:2. (Gen 3:1; Rev 20:10)

(Rev 12:11 KJV) And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb[1], and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.

1 "LAMB": <Sacrifice> (of Christ): v. 11. (Gen 3:15; Heb 10:18, note)

(Rev 12:12 KJV) Therefore rejoice, ye heavens, and ye that dwell in them. Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea[1]! for the devil[2] is come down unto you, having great wrath[3], because he knoweth that he hath but a short time.

1 "SEA": Rev 8:13

2 "DEVIL": <Satan:> vv. 9 - 17; 13:1; Rev 20:2. (Gen 3:1; Rev 20:10)

3 "WRATH": v. 17; cp. 1 Pet 5:8

(Rev 12:13 KJV) And when the dragon[1] saw that he was cast unto the earth, he persecuted[2] the woman which brought forth the man child.

1 "DRAGON": <Satan:> vv. 9 - 17; 13:1; Rev 20:2. (Gen 3:1; Rev 20:10)

2 "PERSECUTED": Cp. Mat 24:9

(Rev 12:14 KJV) And to the woman were given two wings of a great eagle[1], that she might fly into the wilderness, into her place[2], where she is nourished for a time, and times, and half a time, from the face of the serpent[3].

1 "EAGLE": Cp. Exo 19:4

2 "PLACE": v. 6; cp. Hos 2:14 -15

3 "SERPENT": <Satan:> vv. 9 - 17; 13:1; Rev 20:2. (Gen 3:1; Rev 20:10)

(Rev 12:15 KJV) And the serpent[1] cast out of his mouth water as a flood after the woman, that he might cause her to be carried away of the flood.

1 "SERPENT": <Satan:> vv. 9 - 17; 13:1; Rev 20:2. (Gen 3:1; Rev 20:10)

(Rev 12:16 KJV) And the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened her mouth, and swallowed up the flood which the dragon[1] cast out of his mouth.

1 "DRAGON": <Satan:> vv. 9 - 17; 13:1; Rev 20:2. (Gen 3:1; Rev 20:10)

(Rev 12:17 KJV) And the dragon[1] was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed[2], which keep the commandments[3] of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.

1 "DRAGON": <Satan:> vv. 9 - 17; 13:1; Rev 20:2. (Gen 3:1; Rev 20:10)

2 "SEED": <Remnant:> vv. 13 - 17; Rev 14:5. (Isa 1:9; Rom 11:5, note)

3 "COMMANDMENTS": <Law> (of Moses): v. 17; Rev 14:12. (Exo 19:1; Gal 3:24, note)