The Woman Clothed With the Sun

THE WOMANA great and wondrous sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet and a crown of twelve stars on her head. She was pregnant and cried out in pain as she was about to give birth. (Revelation 12:1-2)

Identity of the Woman – As with many of the visions in Revelation, there are a variety of viewpoints as to the identity of the “woman clothed with the sun.”

Mary – One viewpoint is that this is a symbolic reference to Mary the mother of Christ.(1)

Church – Others identify her as the Church, with the twelve stars representing the twelve apostles referenced in Revelation 21:14.(2)

Israel – Still others see the woman symbolizing Israel, as indicated by Joseph’s dream in Genesis 37:9–11, where the sun and the moon referred to Jacob and Rachel, Joseph’s parents and the stars the twelve sons of Jacob.(3) This view is further supported by Satan’s clash with Michael, the archangel assigned to protect Israel (Daniel 12:1).(4)

Combination – As in other signs and prophecies, there is no reason why this one cannot have multiple meanings, as each exemplify Satan’s efforts through the ages (what was, is and is to come) to thwart God’s program for His creation.

Activity of the Woman – The woman was said to be pregnant and about to give birth. Under the first viewpoint above, John would be looking back to the birth of Christ to the Virgin Mary,(5) (what was). If a reference to the church, it could be referencing the persecution of the church as Satan opposes it prior to the Rapture (what is). Finally, if a symbolic reference to Israel of the past, it could point to the suffering of the future nation prior to the Parousia,(6) (what is to come).

Up Next – The Red Dragon.

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References

  1. Walvoord, John F. (1985). Revelation. In J. F. Walvoord & R. B. Zuck (Eds.), The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures (Vol. 2, pp. 957–958). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.
  2. Barry, J. D., Heiser, M. S., Custis, M., Mangum, D., & Whitehead, M. M. (2012). Faithlife Study Bible (Re 12:1). Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software.
  3. Walvoord, John F. (1985). Revelation. In J. F. Walvoord & R. B. Zuck (Eds.), The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures (Vol. 2, pp. 957–958). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.
  4. Cabal, T., Brand, C. O., Clendenen, E. R., Copan, P., Moreland, J. P., & Powell, D. (2007). The Apologetics Study Bible: Real Questions, Straight Answers, Stronger Faith (p. 1903). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
  5. Walvoord, John F. (1985). Revelation. In J. F. Walvoord & R. B. Zuck (Eds.), The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures (Vol. 2, p. 958). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.
  6. Walvoord, John F. (1985). Revelation. In J. F. Walvoord & R. B. Zuck (Eds.), The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures (Vol. 2, p. 958). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.

 

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