The Woman of Revelation 12

Last Updated: 10/02/2023 20:34    | Print This Page | |

The book of Revelation is full of depictions of strange creatures and symbolism that can make understanding difficult. I think this was by design such that without a basic understanding of scripture and Biblical history, a lot of the symbolisism is hard to decypher. However in most cases the Holy Spirit has provided the keys to the cypher throughout scripture. There are two women in Revelation, the faithful and the unfaithful, both of which are related to Israel in the end times.

The woman of Revelation 12 is the faithful, and as we will see, will be delivered, unblinded, and called back to God out of great tribulation. I believe this chapter is also key to understanding some details about the timing of the time of Jacob’s trouble, the time of great tribulation and the escape of the bride of Christ before the wrath of God.

Revelation 12:1-5
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 she being with child cried, travailing in birth, and pained to be delivered. 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 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 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.

We’ll focus first on the woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars with child [singular]

Genesis 37:9-11
And he dreamed yet another dream, and told it his brethren, and said, Behold, I have dreamed a dream more; and, behold, the sun and the moon and the eleven stars made obeisance to me. And he told it to his father, and to his brethren: and his father rebuked him, and said unto him, What is this dream that thou hast dreamed? Shall I and thy mother and thy brethren indeed come to bow down ourselves to thee to the earth? And his brethren envied him; but his father observed the saying.

There are two times that God appeared to Jacob and gave him the new name Israel. One when God wrestled with Jacob, Genesis 32:24-28, and when God blessed Jacob and promised him the land and nation in Genesis 35:9-12. According to how Jacob himself interpreted this:

  • Sun = Jacob (Israel) [woman: clothed with the sun, identified by her clothing which is Israel]
  • Moon = Rachel (mom) [woman: standing upon]
  • 11 stars = 11 brothers [woman: crowned with the 12 tribes of Israel (their father). We see the 12 tribes identified with the doorways in and out of New Jerusalem as well. (Revelation 21:12)]

A great wonder (sign) in heaven a woman:

  • Clothed with the sun - The 12 tribes of Israel were born through Jacob, their father. Being clothed with him is like an identity for the woman. When you see the woman, clothed with her father Jacob, it represents all of his literal seed, the Jews, what we call the nation of Israel.
  • Moon under her feet - Genesis 3:15 prophesies of the coming Messiah through the seed of the woman. (It is the man who has the seed) The lineage of Christ actually came through the woman, Mary, and in the symbology of this woman in Revelation 12:2, being Israel, shows that Christ came from the nation of Israel. Revelation 12:2-5 Christ, the man-child was born of a virgin through the nation of Israel, the tribe of Judah. He was bruised by Lucifer (the cross for our sins) and Christ will crush Lucifer’s head (his ultimate defeat in the end). I believe the woman with the moon beneath her feet demonstrates this relationship of the woman as being the foundation of the nation of Israel and the fulfillment of this prophecy.
  • Crown of 12 stars on her head - The 12 tribes of Israel are also represented as the 12 pearl gates into New Jerusalem. I believe this is because salvation came through the Jews via Christ, and so we must pass through their gates to enter the city. Proverbs 4:7-9 speaks of a crown of glory and an ornament of grace. Psalm 103:1-5 speaks of crowning with loving-kindness and tender mercies. Also, in Genesis 49 is Jacob telling the 12 sons “that which shall befall you in the last days.” Genesis 49:22-26 specifies Joseph’s prophecy of the blessings of Jacob being on the head of Joseph, the crown of the head. The crown (stephanos G4735) symbolizes a badge of royalty. So it would seem that the 12 tribes of Israel are the glory of Israel and rightly so since they are her beginnings.
  • She brought forth a man child, who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron
Psalms 2:9
Thou [Yeshua] shalt break them with a rod of iron; thou shalt dash them in pieces like a potter’s vessel.

Revelation 19:15

And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he [Yeshua] should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God.

Revelation 2:27
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.
  • The Meshiach Nagid was prophesied to come from the lineage of Israel along with other prophecies that place Christ being born of a virgin and of Jewish lineage. Indeed, all of our scriptures are Jewish and Romans 11 is quite clear on how important Israel still is to Him. He is also the “seed of the woman” not having had the seed of man to be conceived.
Genesis 3:13-15
And the LORD God said unto the woman, What is this that thou hast done? And the woman said, The serpent beguiled me, and I did eat. And the LORD God said unto the serpent, Because thou hast done this, thou art cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life: And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.

Now this all fits perfectly and we see more clearly using scripture to interpret scripture, that the Meshiach Nagid would be Jewish. The prophecy of Revelation 12 clothes the woman with the symbol for Israel as seen in a vision by Joseph and recognized as symbolizing himself, his wife and 11 sons by Jacob.

Great Wonder in Heaven

There is another fascinating correlation brought forth by Frederick A. Larson in his 2007 documentary The Star of Bethlehem. I’ll provide a quick rundown, but I would highly recommend watching if you have not. In it he recounts his journey and findings looking for signs in the skies using Starry Night software to see what the Magi from the East might have seen that triggered their journey across the desert to Jerusalem to see the promised Messiah. What he finds is very fascinating and points to some of the same wonders in heaven John describes above in Revelation.

  • Starting 9/11/03 BC (From Babylon)
    • Coronation: Jupiter (king planet) rises from the east in close conjunction with Regulus (king star). This is rare, but happens sometimes. However during this time Jupiter was in retrograde three times, making a halo over Regulus.
    • Lion of Judah: Regulus is one of the stars in the constellation Leo (lion). Genesis 49:9-10
    • Birth of a King: Following Jupiter in the sky is the sun in the constellation Virgo and a barely crescent moon at Virgo's feet at Rosh Hashannah. Revelation 12:1-5
  • Starting 6/17/02 BC (From Babylon)
    • The Brightest Star: 9 months later Jupiter (king planet) sets in the West in conjunction with Venus (mother planet) and their light combined so to the observer with the naked eye it appeared to be the brightest star anyone had seen.
  • Starting 11/5/02 BC (From Jerusalem)
    • A Southern Star: The Magi arrive in Jerusalem and Jupiter is now in the southern sky from Jerusalem and the point it goes into retrograde is 12/25/02 BC, stopping over Bethlehem South of Jerusalem.
  • 4/5/30 AD The Day of the Cross (From Jerusalem)
    • Yeshua was killed on a year when Nisan 14 fell on a Wednesday
      • Luke 23:54 - It was preparation day, before Sabbath (High Day Sabbath)
      • John 13:1 - Just before the Passover feast
      • Leviticus 23:5 - The LORD's Passover begins at twilight on the 14th of Nisan.
    • Characteristics of this time
      • Luke 2:23 - Yeshua was about 30 years of age when He began His ministry
      • John - Records 3 Passovers during Yeshua's ministry (last passover was his death/resurrection)
      • Matthew 27:2 - He was handed over to Pilate, whom Roman historian Tasitus records his rule to be 26-36 AD.
    • Yeshua died around 3 pm that day. Mark 15:25-37

You can also hear a more scholarly take from Michael S. Heiser’s Naked Bible Podcast - Episode 138: What Day was Jesus Born? from 12/25/2016, where he comes to the same date on what he deems the birth of Christ. He also goes into how the dating for Herod's death in 4 BC dating from Josephus, which most people do, is not accurate and Herod’s death was in 1 BC.

Woman in the Wilderness

Revelation 12:6
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.

To be honest, I’m not sure what to make of this part. Timing-wise, this would be just after Christ’s ascension that Israel would be in the wilderness, but I’m not yet sure how this fits in.

Matching Revelation 14?

I heard a theory that this is one of the proofs for a 360-day year because in this case, we are given an exact number of days, 1260. Then in Revelation 12:14, it’s described as 3 ½ years, or a time, and times, and half a time. This would give us an exact number of days value for 3 ½ years which shows that prophetic years in scripture are exactly 360, not the 365.2 we have now.

It could be that verse 6 and 14 are speaking of the same time and that the idea of the woman fleeing and also being taken can coexist. The timing of this fleeing and being protected for 3½ years in a place prepared by God for her and nourished comes at the end of the time of Jacob’s trouble. It is the cutting short of this time that saves her from completed destruction and comes when the dragon is cast to the earth around the abomination of desolation and revealing of the man of sin who is no longer restrained. In Matthew 24:15-18 and Mark 13:14-16 Yeshua explicitly tells those in Judea to flee to the mountains, matching Revelation 12:6 where the woman flees into the wilderness.

Then in Revelation 12:14 she is given wings of a great eagle to fly into her place, indicating a swift removal as the majority of cases where the symbol of the eagle is used, it is to denote swiftness. In Revelation 12:15-16 we see the dragon casts water from his mouth to carry her away in a flood, but that is prevented by the earth. In this way, we see a potentially cohesive view that initially they flee, but the intensity of the persecution requires outside help to save them and get them to the place prepared for them to endure the coming wrath of God where they will be refined through the fire, Zechariah 13:8-9, and come out of the 70th week of Daniel a nation that accepts their true Messiah, Yeshua.

Flight to Egypt?

There is another theory that this is after Christ’s birth, when Mary, Joseph, and Yeshua fled to Egypt.

Matthew 2:13-23
And when they [wise men from the east] were departed, behold, the angel of the Lord appeareth to Joseph in a dream, saying, Arise, and take the young child and his mother, and flee into Egypt, and be thou there until I bring thee word: for Herod will seek the young child to destroy him. When he arose, he took the young child and his mother by night, and departed into Egypt: And was there until the death of Herod: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Out of Egypt have I called my son. Then Herod, when he saw that he was mocked of the wise men, was exceeding wroth, and sent forth, and slew all the children that were in Bethlehem, and in all the coasts thereof, from two years old and under, according to the time which he had diligently inquired of the wise men. Then was fulfilled that which was spoken by Jeremiah the prophet, saying, In Rama was there a voice heard, lamentation, and weeping, and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children, and would not be comforted, because they are not.

But when Herod was dead, behold, an angel of the Lord appeareth in a dream to Joseph in Egypt, Saying, Arise, and take the young child and his mother, and go into the land of Israel: for they are dead which sought the young child’s life. And he arose, and took the young child and his mother, and came into the land of Israel. But when he heard that Archelaus did reign in Judaea in the room of his father Herod, he was afraid to go thither: notwithstanding, being warned of God in a dream, he turned aside into the parts of Galilee: And he came and dwelt in a city called Nazareth: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophets, He shall be called a Nazarene.

The wise men from the East, while often portrayed as coming with their gifts to the manger, were likely not there until months after Yeshua’s birth. The fact that Herod ordered the murder of all boys 2 and under, based on his questioning of the wise men, would indicate the age he expected the Messiah to be was at least two years or less.

It wasn’t until after the death of Herod in 4 BC that Joseph is told to return to Israel with his family, ending up in Nazareth. We don’t know exact times between when Herod ordered the murder of the children so it’s not possible to determine if they were in Egypt for 3½ years or not.

Bible Exposition - This site advocates Revelation 12:6 pointing to Mary, Joseph, & Yeshua’s trip to Egypt.

Spirit &

Israel and the time of Jacob’s Trouble (Great Tribulation)

Revelation 12:7-13
And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels, And prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven. 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 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 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. 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. And when the dragon saw that he was cast unto the earth, he persecuted the woman which brought forth the man child.

Seeing who the woman is reveals the connection to the great tribulation Christ spoke of in Matthew 24:15-22 and Mark 13:14-20 in which He referred to the Old Testament prophecies in Jeremiah 30:1-7 and Daniel 12:1. We see here that Lucifer is cast out of heaven and knowing he has a short time (about 3½ years Revelation 13:4-5), he goes after the woman who brought forth the man-child. A more detailed study on the great tribulation, what it means and who its for as well as how long it lasts according to the Bible.

Taken into the wilderness

Revelation 12:14-16
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 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. 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.

It is key to see here that the woman [Israel] is protected from the dragon [Lucifer] who is the one that went after the woman [Israel] after he was cast out of heaven Revelation 12:13 and gave power to the beast. Revelation 13:2-5

Why is this key? If the great tribulation started at the abomination of desolation, when the dragon gave power to the beast that would last 42 months and went after Israel, then when the dragon can no longer get Israel, the great tribulation would be over.

  • Daniel 12:11 - 1290 days from abomination of desolation
  • Revelation 12:14 - 1260 days protected from dragon in wilderness

1290 days - 1260 days = 30 days

After the Great Tribulation is Over

Revelation 12:17
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.

Now we see the dragon is really ticked because he’s still got 1230 days before he’s done (Revelation 13:5 | Revelation 19:20) and he can’t get Israel any more because as God promised, He will refine them through fire Zechariah 13:8-9 after taking them into the wilderness and protecting her from the dragon.

So what does Lucifer do after only 30 days to get Israel? He goes after everyone else of Jewish descent and that believe in Christ for his final 1230 days, the time when the wrath of God is also being poured out on the children of disobedience. For those in Christ now, the harpazo will come before God’s wrath, because we aren’t appointed to God’s wrath. 1 Thessalonians 5:1-5

Revelation 12:17 is the time after the harpazo, where those who didn’t have oil in their lamps in Matthew 25:1-13 are left behind and the door is shut before the marriage of the Lamb. Matthew 7:13-23 There is still salvation through Christ, but there won’t be any added to the bride of Christ after the harpazo. Feel guilty about the harpazo?

Is the church the woman of Revelation 12?

Someone brought up the following saying the church the woman because we’re grafted in:

Paul told the Roman that they have to be grafted into the House. The woman/church is Israel Physically or spiritually.”

Romans 11:17-25
And if some of the branches be broken off, and thou, being a wild olive tree, wert graffed in among them, and with them partakest of the root and fatness of the olive tree; Boast not against the branches. But if thou boast, thou bearest not the root, but the root thee. Thou wilt say then, The branches were broken off, that I might be graffed in. Well; because of unbelief they were broken off, and thou standest by faith. Be not highminded, but fear: For if God spared not the natural branches, take heed lest he also spare not thee. Behold therefore the goodness and severity of God: on them which fell, severity; but toward thee, goodness, if thou continue in his goodness: otherwise thou also shalt be cut off. And they also, if they abide not still in unbelief, shall be graffed in: for God is able to graff them in again. For if thou wert cut out of the olive tree which is wild by nature, and wert graffed contrary to nature into a good olive tree: how much more shall these, which be the natural branches, be graffed into their own olive tree? For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in.

Romans 1:16
For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.

Romans 2:9
Tribulation and anguish, upon every soul of man that doeth evil, of the Jew first, and also of the Gentile;

Romans 2:10
But glory, honour, and peace, to every man that worketh good, to the Jew first, and also to the Gentile:

My response:
The association doesn’t work with reality and God usually uses images of reality for us to associate what we cannot see with. So in reality, can a woman give birth to herself? The woman is associated with the sun, moon, and 12 stars we see in Joseph’s dream that is interpreted for us by Jacob himself. We know that Christ was born of the Jews and that He will rule with a rod of iron. So we have directly defined for us that:

  • Woman = Israel
  • Man-child = Christ

Where does the church fit in? Can we possibly be the woman? No, because the Gentile church didn’t exist until Christ brought salvation to the Gentiles. So how could the church be the woman?

As far as being grafted onto the root, which is Christ, there is no difference between Jew or Gentile except that the Jew is always a natural branch grafted on and Gentiles are always wild branches grafted on. This doesn’t mean that we are both the same. In fact the distinction of natural and wild clearly delineates the two groups, yet in Christ they are the same. This doesn’t mean that prophetic symbols for history and the future always connect Israel and the church as being the same.

The church is promised to be kept from God’s wrath. Israel is promised to be refined through it. Zechariah 13:8-9 This is just one of many differences that still exist between the two groups because we are stuck in space-time unlike God, who knows the end from the beginning. In the end, the only difference will be that some will be the bride of Christ and others will not. They will all be in heaven though. However, there are still prophetic events tied to one group or the other that must be fulfilled first.