Revelation 12:1-6 – A Vision of a Woman, a Child, and a Dragon
SummarySymbols depict the threats that face the people of God. Nevertheless, God continues to nourish the church in the face of opposition from Satan, who is represented by the dragon.
AnalysisThe woman clothed with the sun represents the people of God. She has traits that come from many different times and places. Like Eve, she has pain in giving birth and is confronted by a serpent (Genesis 3). Like Israel, she is initially pictured as a woman in labor and later as one who is carried on eagle's wings to a place of refuge in the wilderness (Isaiah 26:17; Exodus 19:4). Like Mary, she gives birth to the Messiah, yet she also symbolizes the whole Christian church (Revelation 12:5, 17). The story begins in heaven, where the woman appears with a crown of stars on her head, yet it leads into the wilderness as she is persecuted by Satan. Nevertheless, the woman experiences the saving power of God in the wilderness. Since the woman symbolizes the whole people of God, her story offers assurance that God can also meet others who suffer threats from evil in the same way.