A great Sign appeared in Heaven: a Woman dressed all in sunlight, standing on the moon, and crowned with Twelve Stars.
She was giving birth to a Child and cried out in the pain of childbirth.
And then another Sign alongside the first: a huge and fiery Dragon! It had seven heads and ten horns, a crown on each of the seven heads.
With one flick of its tail it knocked a third of the Stars from the sky and dumped them on earth. The Dragon crouched before the Woman in childbirth, poised to eat up the Child when it came.
The Woman gave birth to a Son who will shepherd all nations with an iron rod. Her Son was seized and placed safely before God on his Throne.
The Woman herself escaped to the desert to a place of safety prepared by God, all comforts provided her for one thousand two hundred and sixty days.
War broke out in Heaven. Michael and his Angels fought the Dragon. The Dragon and his Angels fought back,
but were no match for Michael. They were cleared out of Heaven, not a sign of them left.
The great Dragon - ancient Serpent, the one called Devil and Satan, the one who led the whole earth astray - thrown out, and all his Angels thrown out with him, thrown down to earth.
Then I heard a strong voice out of Heaven saying, Salvation and power are established! Kingdom of our God, authority of his Messiah! The Accuser of our brothers and sisters thrown out, who accused them day and night before God.
They defeated him through the blood of the Lamb and the bold word of their witness. They weren't in love with themselves; they were willing to die for Christ.
So rejoice, O Heavens, and all who live there, but doom to earth and sea, For the Devil's come down on you with both feet; he's had a great fall; He's wild and raging with anger; he hasn't much time and he knows it.
When the Dragon saw he'd been thrown to earth, he went after the Woman who had given birth to the Man-Child.
The Woman was given wings of a great eagle to fly to a place in the desert to be kept in safety and comfort for a time and times and half a time, safe and sound from the Serpent.
The Serpent vomited a river of water to swamp and drown her,
but earth came to her help, swallowing the water the Dragon spewed from its mouth.
Helpless with rage, the Dragon raged at the Woman, then went off to make war with the rest of her children, the children who keep God's commands and hold firm to the witness of Jesus.
Published by permission. Originally published by NavPress in English as THE MESSAGE: The Bible in Contemporary Language copyright 2002 by Eugene Peterson. All rights reserved. (The Message Bible Online)