Revelation 12:2-4

2 She was pregnant and 1was crying out in birth pains and the agony of giving birth.
3 And another sign appeared in heaven: behold, a great 2red dragon, 3with seven heads and 4ten horns, and on his heads 5seven diadems.
4 His tail swept down 6a third of the stars of heaven and 7cast them to the earth. And the dragon stood before the woman who was about to give birth, so that when she bore her child 8he might devour it.

Revelation 12:2-4 Meaning and Commentary

INTRODUCTION TO REVALATION 12

This chapter contains a vision of two wonders or signs seen in heaven, a woman and a dragon, and an account of what followed thereon, war both in heaven and earth. The vision of the woman is in Re 12:1,2, who is described by her being clothed with the sun; by her having the moon under her feet; by a crown of twelve stars on her head; and by her pregnancy, travail, pains, and cry. The vision of the dragon is in Re 12:3,4, who is described by his size, a great one; by his colour, red; by the number of his heads and horns, and the crowns on the former; by the force and strength of his tail, drawing and casting: down to the earth the third part of the stars of heaven; and by his position, standing before the woman, in order to devour her child when born. Next follows an account of the birth of her child, and what became of that and her: the child is said to be a man child, is described as a monarch, and as advanced to great honour and dignity; but she flies into the wilderness, where a place is prepared for her of God, and where she is hid for the space of 1260 days, Re 12:5,6; upon this ensues a war in heaven; the combatants on one side were Michael and his angels, and on the other the dragon and his; the issue of which was, that the latter were conquered, and cast out into the earth, Re 12:7-9, on account of which victory a triumphant song is sung by the inhabitants of heaven, because of salvation and strength that were come to them; and because of the kingdom and power of Christ, which now took place; and because of the ejection of Satan, the accuser of their brethren; in which song also notice is taken of the manner in which Satan was overcome by those he accused, by the blood of the Lamb, by the word of their testimony, and by their death; and it is concluded with an apostrophe to those that dwell in heaven, calling on them to rejoice, and to the inhabitants of the earth denouncing woe to them, because the devil was among them, whose wrath was great, his time being short, Re 12:10-12. Next follow the dragon's persecution of the woman, and her flight into the wilderness, and the care took of her there, as before described, Re 12:13,14; then the method the serpent took to annoy her, the help she received from the earth, and the wrath of the dragon upon that; which put him upon making war with the remnant of her seed, who kept the commandments of God, and had the testimony of Jesus, Re 12:15-17.

Revelation 12:2-4 In-Context

1 And a great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars.
2 She was pregnant and was crying out in birth pains and the agony of giving birth.
3 And another sign appeared in heaven: behold, a great red dragon, with seven heads and ten horns, and on his heads seven diadems.
4 His tail swept down a third of the stars of heaven and cast them to the earth. And the dragon stood before the woman who was about to give birth, so that when she bore her child he might devour it.
5 She gave birth to a male child, one who is to rule all the nations with a rod of iron, but her child was caught up to God and to his throne,
6 and the woman fled into the wilderness, where she has a place prepared by God, in which she is to be nourished for 1,260 days.
7 Now war arose in heaven, Michael and his angels fighting against the dragon. And the dragon and his angels fought back,

Cross References 8

  • 1. [Isaiah 66:7-10; Micah 4:10]
  • 2. [Revelation 17:3; Isaiah 27:1]
  • 3. Revelation 13:1; Revelation 17:9, 12
  • 4. Daniel 7:7
  • 5. [Revelation 19:12]
  • 6. See Revelation 8:7
  • 7. Daniel 8:10
  • 8. [Matthew 2:16]
The English Standard Version is published with the permission of Good News Publishers.