Religious: Study in depth, Revelation 12, verses 1- 17Submitted by Steadfast on Sun, 05/26/2013 - 11:42
Revelation 12: a study in depth. Verse One
12:1 " And there appeared a great wonder(1) in heaven; a woman(2) clothed with the sun(3) and the moon(3) under her feet, and upon her head was a crown(4) of twelve stars(5)."
(1) WONDER: Gr. sēmeion, a sign, a mark, a token. From the Gr, root sēmainō, to give a sign, to signify, to indicate.
a.) sēmeion is often translated in context as " a miracle " ( Luke 23:8, John 4:54 )
b.) a further confirmation of the " open " or " revealed " nature of the book of Revelation.
c.) in Rev 12:1 " sēmeion " is a sign pointing towards future events.
(2) WOMAN: is a church ( Isa 54:5, Jer 6:2 representing Gods church )
And ( Jer. 3:20, Eze. 23:2-4, 2 Cor. 11:2, Eph 5:25-32, and Rev 17:1-3 representing an apostate church as a corrupt woman. )
a.) in this reference the Woman represents Gods church both OT and NT as she transitions from OT ( Pre birth of Jesus ), past the birth and resurrection until the return of Jesus ( NT Church. ) within this single prophetic revelation twelve. One must therefor take great care to prove that a " church " thought to represent this WOMAN today, does in fact have the attributes of righteousness. Thankfully God, in his wisdom foreknew we'd earnestly seek to know who this WOMAN/ church is in our time and He inspired John to write Rev. 12:17 as a guide by which we might properly apply scripture to know the characteristics of His only church today. This WOMAN must therefor have TWO characteristics 1). She must have the " testimony of Jesus Christ " ( Rev 19:10 tells us exactly what the testimony of Jesus Christ is ) and 2.) she must " keep the commandments of God ". Any church that fails to have either of these two attributes, can NOT be this woman as described in scripture.
(3) " Clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet," Her the church is examples the brightness of Jesus ( resurrected ), and God himself as they appear to men throughout the OT and NT when they appear to men in person.
a.) God is Light, and the sun and moon represent those lights of the earth. The moon under her feet has been suggested to encompass the OT sanctuary system ( and those laws that applied to the sacrificial system of types ) that was overshadowed and replaced with a better thing ( the sun being an prophetic image of; the Son of righteousness, Jesus Christ ) in the NT. thusly the NEW is worn as a garment but the OLD is the foundations overshadowed by the greater light.
(4) CROWN: Gr. stephanos, a victors garland ( crown )( see MAtt. 27:29, Rev 2:10 ) as in a crown one wins for winning a foot race ( this imagery would have had profound and clear understanding in the early church as the athletic games of the Greeks were widely known and enjoyed throughout all of the known world at that time, the winner of each event was given a " woven garland " to indicate their triumph ).
a.) this CROWN is NOT diadēma, a kingly crown.
(5) Twelve Stars: commentators apply these stars to either the twelve apostles or the twelve patriarchs OT, I favor including both as both are equal in importance in their times to Gods church. The latter does not exist without the former, and all are not abiding in Jesus without the latter, they must it seem be seen in the context of the purpose that God has for them and not through the eyes of bias. Undoubtedly the emphasis is upon the latter due to the context of REV 12, but the former is also interwoven into the NT church ( we are Israel, grafted into the vine and into the seed of Abraham by grace , see Romans Chapters 8-11).
Studying Scripture in depth: Revelation 12 , verse 2
12:2 " And she being with child cried, travailing in birth, and pained to be delivered."
The " she " is an obvious reference to the " woman " who is a church(1) in verse one. And this church is " with child ", that child being none other than Jesus ( ee-ay-sooce , Strong's Gr. 2424 ) the long awaited and anticipated messiah of the nation of Israel and the whole earth. Please note with me that we are introduced to the concept of this "woman/ church " at the time Jesus(2) is to be born into the world.
travailing: Gr. ( Strong's 5605 ) ōdinō, o-dee'-no; from ( 5604 )( ōdin, o-deen : a pang or throe, espec. Of childbirth:- pain, sorrow, travail. ) ; to experience the pains of parturition ( literal or figurative ) :- travail in birth.
Obviously, the reference to birth pains is used in a figurative sense here, as the "woman/ church " is not a individual, but is a image of Gods holy church both prior too and after the birth of our redeemer Jesus Christ.
The "Woman/ Church was first given to the nation of Israel, for they were to make disciples of the world proclaiming God in all they did, missionaries and evangelists(3). Yet, Israel the physical nation failed, firstly to be missionaries, secondly to look for salvation as being for their own selves as well as others. They considered themselves saved by virtue of ancestry ( Abraham is our father (4)) not realizing that it was Abrahams FAITH (5) that was accounted to him as righteous. They saw the DNA, God sees the heart, lest we also make such error in presumption.
The question then remains, and id love to hear your thoughts; at what point did the Church go from the physical Israel into those who by faith become the spiritual Israel , what scriptures support your beliefs ( please list them, as well as what bible you used to quote from so we all can see ).
God Bless and give glory to Him who is able to save, Jesus Christ.
(1) see Revelation 12: a study in depth posted 5/26/2013 Here at the DP.
(2) some see Isa. 7:14 as a reference. For " travailing woman " read Isa. . . . 26:17,66:7,8.
(3) Gen. 12:3, Ex. 19:4-6, Isa. 40-55.
(4) John 8:39
(5) for how FAITH is exampled and encouraged see Hebrews Chapters 11 & 12