Revelation 12:2

2 And being with child, she cried travailing in birth: and was in pain to be delivered.

Revelation 12:2 Meaning and Commentary

Revelation 12:2

And she being big with child
Which may be expressive of the fruitfulness of the church in bearing and bringing forth many souls to Christ, and which were very numerous in this period of time, when it was said of Zion that this and that man was born in her; and particularly of her pregnancy with the kingdom of Christ, to be brought forth, and set up in the Roman empire, under the influence of a Roman emperor: and this being her case, she

cried, travailing in birth, and pained to be delivered;
which are metaphors taken from a woman in travail; and may either denote the earnest cries and fervent prayers of the members of the church, and the laborious and painful ministrations of the preachers of the Gospel for the conversion of souls, and especially for the setting up of the kingdom of Christ in the empire of Rome; or else the sore and grievous persecutions which attended the apostles of Christ, and succeeding ministers of the word, throughout the times of the ten Roman emperors, and especially under Dioclesian; when the church was big, and laboured in great pain, and the time was drawing on apace that a Christian emperor should be brought forth, who should be a means of spreading the Gospel, and the kingdom of Christ, all over the empire; see ( Jeremiah 30:6 Jeremiah 30:7 ) ( Matthew 24:8 ) ; so the Targumist frequently explains the pains of a woman in travail in the prophets by (aqe) , "tribulation"; see the Targum on ( Isaiah 13:8 ) ( 26:18 ) ( 66:7 ) .

Revelation 12:2 In-Context

1 And a great sign appeared in heaven: A woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars.
2 And being with child, she cried travailing in birth: and was in pain to be delivered.
3 And there was seen another sign in heaven. And behold a great red dragon, having seven heads and ten horns and on his heads seven diadems.
4 And his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven and cast them to the earth. And the dragon stood before the woman who was ready to be delivered: that, when she should be delivered, he might devour her son.
5 And she brought forth a man child, who was to rule all nations with an iron rod. And her son was taken up to God and to his throne.
The Douay-Rheims Bible is in the public domain.