Chapter 12 is about the woman and the dragon. It can be difficult to interpret what this chapter is talking about but with the right outlook on it, it becomes clear. In Genesis 37:9 Joseph saw in a dream the sun, moon, and eleven stars plus himself, signifying the totality of God’s people. Based on this principle, the sun, moon, and stars here must signify all of God’s people as well, which is represented by a woman. The sun signifies God’s people in the New Testament because the world is no longer dark after Christ entered the world; there is hope for mankind. The moon signifies God’s people in the Old Testament. The moon is the age of law, which is not to be exalted over the stars; all these people are light bearers. The child, being a man child, signifies God’s stronger people. The bible considers them a collective unit fighting the battle for God here on earth. The cry mentioned is actually a prayer. When it says “…and cried out in pain…” it signifies the suffering that God’s people face.
The Red Dragon
The red dragon in verse 3 is Satan. The redness of the dragon signifies the shedding of blood caused by Satan’s murders (John 8:44). The seven heads and ten horns are those of the Antichrist (13:1). This indicates that Satan and the Antichrist are one; the Antichrist is an embodiment of Satan. The seven diadem crowns that the dragon wears indicate the glory of the seven Ceasers’ extraordinary kingship. Since each of them were one with Satan, each assumed deity, claimed to be God, and forced people to worship himself as God. The third part of the stars that are cast to the earth are the saints that backslide because of Satan and are therefore cast down to earth and now they must partake in the Great Tribulation and rapture. That the dragon stood before the woman signifies that he is always against God’s people. Since Genesis 3:15 to this day he is always waiting to claim possession of God’s people and devour them. The man-child is the overcoming saints, the stronger followers. We know this because in Revelation 2:26-27 it says that the overcoming saints will help rule the nations during the millennial kingdom and here they are given an iron rod to rule the nations. God will protect the remaining believers during the last three and a half years before they are raptured on that last day.
The War in Heaven
The war in Heaven mentioned in verse 7 begins immediately after the strongest believers are raptured. They are always in a state of fighting for the Lord. With this war Satan and his angels are cast out of Heaven. Satan accused Job and Joshua and now he accuses the believers of God day and night. But, through fighting him, the kingdom of God can now come in full. Verse 11 refers to the overcoming believers who constitute the man-child in verse 5. They overcame the slander of Satan. The blood of the Lamb answers before God all the accusations of the devil against us and gives us victory over him. We need to verbally testify against the devil when we feel him against us. Unto death indicates martyrdom. They were martyred in Christ’s name. The devil is angry because he has been cast out of Heaven losing all of his territory. He will concentrate his hatred against God’s people during the last three and a half years with great strength, trying to turn them away from Him.
The Woman in the Wilderness
Because of this wrath of Satan, God will be the great eagle that protects her. The wings signify his strength to rescue (Exodus 19:4, Deuteronomy 32:11-12). He will protect His people from Satan just like He brought the people of Israel out from the Pharaoh’s persecution. A time and times and a half denotes three and a half years. The water that Satan will cast out in verse 15 signifies the armies that will be sent by Satan to try and destroy the children of God. God said that He would not use water again to punish His people; therefore, this refers to Satan’s attempt to destroy God’s people. The earth will open and swallow Satan (the depths of the earth often signify hell). The rest of her seed signifies the rest of God’s people who do not make up the man-child. Among them are the Jews that we saw in Chapter 7 and the believers who hold Jesus’ testimony. The sea in verse 18 is the same that we will see in 13:1- the Mediterranean Sea. The sand here represents the shore of the Holy Land, where Israel is. Satan’s persecution will be focused mainly on the land of Israel during the Great Tribulation.