Revelation 12:3-4

3 Then another sign appeared in heaven: an enormous red dragon with seven heads and ten horns and seven crowns on its heads.
4 Its tail swept a third of the stars out of the sky and flung them to the earth. The dragon stood in front of the woman who was about to give birth, so that it might devour her child the moment he was born.

Revelation 12:3-4 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 12:3-4 In-Context

1 A great 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.
2 She was pregnant and cried out in pain as she was about to give birth.
3 Then another sign appeared in heaven: an enormous red dragon with seven heads and ten horns and seven crowns on its heads.
4 Its tail swept a third of the stars out of the sky and flung them to the earth. The dragon stood in front of the woman who was about to give birth, so that it might devour her child the moment he was born.
5 She gave birth to a son, a male child, who “will rule all the nations with an iron scepter.” And her child was snatched up to God and to his throne.
6 The woman fled into the wilderness to a place prepared for her by God, where she might be taken care of for 1,260 days.

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Cross References 8

  • 1. ver 1; Revelation 15:1
  • 2. ver 9,13,16,17; Revelation 13:1
  • 3. Revelation 13:1; Revelation 17:3,7,9
  • 4. Daniel 7:7,20; Revelation 13:1; Revelation 17:3,7,12,16
  • 5. Revelation 19:12
  • 6. S Revelation 8:7
  • 7. Daniel 8:10
  • 8. Matthew 2:16